A multifaceted blog on RPGs

The Gunmage III – Encounter Powers, lvl 1

In Black Powder Weapons, D&D 4E on April 18, 2009 at 10:12 am

Since I created the At-will powers for the gunmage, I received some well thought-out comments and decided to revise them a bit, go to the original post to see the results! In this post, I continue with the encounter powers for lvl 1, focusing more on singling out one target and making him feel all alone. Next up are the daily powers in the next installment. Read on after the break!

Lvl 1 Encounter powers

All powers add the keyword Cold, Fire, Lightning or Thunder depending on what bullet is used.

Firerune
Gunmage Attack 1

The witchfire bullet strikes the creature adn from the wound, fire bursts in the form of an arcane rune, searing its flesh.
Encounter * Arcane, Fire, Weapon
Standard Action                 Ranged weapon
Requirement: You must be wielding a black powder weapon.
Target: One creature
Attack: Dexterity vs. AC
Hit: 2[W] + Dexterity modifier damage and the target gains vulnerability cold 5 until the end of your next turn. If you use a witchfire bullet, the target also gains vulnerability thunder 5 until the end of your next turn.
Frostbite
Gunmage Attack 1

From the bullet wound, frost spreads over the creature’s body, covering him in a sheet of ice.
Encounter * Arcane, Cold, Weapon
Standard Action               Ranged weapon
Requirement: You must be wielding a black powder weapon.
Target: One creature
Attack: Dexterity vs. AC
Hit: 1[W] + Dexterity modifier damage and target becomes dazed until the end of your next turn. If you use a hoarfrost bullet, the target instead becomes dazed and slowed until the end of your next turn.
Lightning Rod
Gunmage Attack 1

Lightning strikes the target again, and again and again, as if it was drawn to him.
Encounter * Arcane, Lightning, Weapon
Standard Action               Ranged weapon
Requirement: You must be wielding a black powder weapon.
Target: One creature
Attack: Dexterity vs. AC
Hit: 2[W] + Dexterity modifier damage. If you use a crackling lightning bullet, until the end of your next turn, all attacks against the target with the Lightning keyword have a +2 power bonus to hit.

Thunderburst
Gunmage Attack 1

The bullet strikes into your target with a deafining roar, striking his allies to the ground.
Encounter * Arcane, Thunder, Weapon
Standard Action               Ranged weapon
Requirement: You must be wielding a black powder weapon.
Target: One creature
Attack: Dexterity vs. AC
Hit: 1[W] damage
Secondary Target: Each enemy adjacent to the primary target
Secondary Attack: Intelligence vs. Reflex
Hit: Target is pushed 1 square from primary target. If a thunderstrike bullet was used, target is also knocked prone.
Unerring Magelock Shot
Gunmage Attack 1

With deadly accuracy, you pinpoint your target.
Encounter * Arcane, Weapon
Standard Action               Ranged weapon
Requirement: You must be wielding your magelock weapon.
Target: One creature
Attack: Dexterity vs. Reflex
Hit: 2[W] + Dexterity modifier damage
Special: If the target is your single-out target, you gain a +2 power bonus to your attack roll.

As usual, comments are welcome, especially regarding balance, playability and flavor. Next week, I’ll tackle the dailies!

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  1. Following my comments on the at-wills, these powers are a bit much. Their flavor is great, they fit the theme that you seem to be going for, but they are all much more powerful than the powers available to any of the strikers or controllers. They allow greater damage output than any of the striker powers, while giving all the benefits of a controller, without the drawbacks of either. Basically your powers are of the form of [w] or 2[w] + dex + Xd6 + Int + huge area of effect + add on effect.

    Lets look at Lightning Charge. [w] + dex damage. Good. Then a save ends effect that allows an extra attack each turn on an enemy within 2 of the original target. That is huge.You should get an average of 2 extra attacks from this, as long as there is an enemy in range. That is 3 attacks with one 1st level encounter. Might be a bit powerful for an encounter right there. We could call that a good encouter and leave it at that, even if it is a bit much for a striker. Add to that the fact that this power creates a large burst (5×5 square. Might be bigger than any other 1st lv encounter) that does +Int damage. This power is likely the best minion killer in the game, and at 1st level. Large burst minion killer, with decent prime target damage, and a save ends extra attack per turn, from a striker with an extra damage feature. This power does what about three powers should do. It should be extra damage, or area attack, or extra attack, or status. Don’t try to do too much with each power.

    Wizard encounters at this level have areas that are equal to burst 1 or blast 5. Lightning Charge is as big as the blast, only at range. Warlock powers are all single target with an add on minor effect. Ranger powers give a single extra attack with a little mobility. Rogue powers give an added effect in the form of extra damage or movement or status. Avengers give a multiattack, or movement. Invokers have multiattacks or status. None give save ends effects. You have given an area effect and an ongoing multiattack. I would choose this power over every other power in the books. This makes it too good. The other powers are comparable. This means that they seem to be balanced amongst themselves, but are way better than any other class gets.

    I like your ideas, but the balance is way off. I would suggest that you take this class to any of the optimization boards to test balance. Go to the WotC optimization board, post what you have, and ask them to help tweak this so that it doesn’t overshadow all the other strikers and controllers all at once. The flavor is great, and the project will turn out great, it just currently has some balance issues.

    • Thanks a lot for taking the time to look through the powers, your advice is greatly appreciated! I also happen to think that you are absolutely right, I’ve done the classic mistake of looking at too many places at once, trying to one-up wizards and avengers at the same time. The focus on the class should be striker and I will do some retooling to get the class more in line with the ranger/avenger/warlock on which it should be based. I might keep some area effect to show its controller leanings but will be stricter about the rest. When done fiddling, I’ll take your post it to the boards and let the wild dogs lose on it 🙂

  2. Ok, changed thos, going to the at-will powers and trying to get them in par with the other strikers. The Lightning Charge was too god to nerf, so it’ll come back as a daily. How about these powers?

  3. I just gave them a casual glance, but these seem more in line. That was the quickest response to constuctive criticism I have ever gotten. Nice work. It bodes well for this project in general.

    I really do like the flavor of this, and I am glad to see that you are engaging with this project with an open mind. I will check back when I can to give my opinion. Keep up the good work.

  4. I was up and about anyway 🙂 A friend of mine use to say that the only response to criticism is thankyou and though I’ve done my share of RPG designing, I’ve learned a couple of things from it, first, you don’t see your own mistakes, second, you don’t get it right the first time (especially when it comes to balance).

    I’ve retooled the at-wills a bit too, even if those weren’t as off the wall as these were.

  5. The Thunderburst got a bit too nerfed I think, I might add Dexterity modifier to the damage to primary target. Is Frostbite still too powerful?

  6. I’m going to have to keep an eye on this project! A quick read through didn’t have anything jump out at me as overtly powerful or ridiculously weak (although, I’m generally better about seeing strong than seeing weak). Which is good! I read the comments and did a second run through..

    Frostbite seems best compared to something else that dazes: Rogue’s Dazing Strike. This power can be melee only, has no element keyword, and has no other effect than the daze. Frostbite allows a bonus if a certain bullet is used and is ranged only. I’d say they are on par, pending how difficult it is to change bullets. I suppose I’ll take a look at the core of the class next.

    Thunderburst could use a +something to damage. Its secondary effect is an attack, not an effect, so it may not hit and isn’t really all that powerful.

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