A multifaceted blog on RPGs

Archive for the ‘D&D 4E’ Category

The Gunmage IV – Daily Powers, lvl 1

In Black Powder Weapons, D&D 4E on April 21, 2009 at 7:43 am

I received a fair amount of criticism for my last post about encounter powers (and also for the at-wills). According to my critics (I’m looking at you PrecociousApprentice) the powers were overpowered and the Gunmage was a better controller than a wizard and a better striker than the ranger. The critics were, of course, right and I have since edited the powers to make the Gunmage more on par with other strikers. Even if the balance was a bit off on the first take, it seems like the flavor of the class is generally appreciated and I take that as an incentive to continue on the same path.

This time I hope I’ve done a better job at balancing as I give you the 1st level daily powers of the gunmage:

Read the rest of this entry »

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!

Read the rest of this entry »

The Gunmage II – At-will powers, lvl 1

In Black Powder Weapons, D&D 4E on March 24, 2009 at 2:59 pm

In my last post, I introduced The Gunmage, a spell-powered gunslinger using elemental bullets to single out and take down enemies. I started of with the class description and the features, and now I continue with perhaps the most defining parts of a class, the first level at-will powers. Read on for the gory details. This post has now been updated after comments , some powers have changed name to better suit the fact that all powers except Magelock shot now has two special bullet types.

Read the rest of this entry »

The Gunmage I – Class Description And Features

In Black Powder Weapons, D&D 4E on March 24, 2009 at 11:46 am

I’ve had a fairly popular series on black powder weapons in D&D 4E going and though I’ve done two paragon paths, the musketeer and the pistoleer, based on the feedback in the comment, there seems to be a need for a full blown class รก la the gunmage from the 3.5E setting Iron Kingdoms. Writing a class is quite some work though, so I’ll post things as I get along and use the feedback from the comments to change and update the class and power. Finally, I’ll put the class and the other Black Powder posts in a pdf compendium and post it here for those who are interested in using it. Read on for the first post on the Gunmage, the arcane black powder class.

Read the rest of this entry »

Science Fiction for Fantasy GMs I, aka Orcs in Spaaaaaace!!!

In D&D 4E, Generic on March 18, 2009 at 10:20 pm

I’m not very much into fantasy literature. The little non-work-related reading I manage tend to be more in the Science Fiction genre. When it comes to roleplaying however, it’s all orcs and elves. It wasn’t always like this, of course, I’ve done my share (and still do) of non-fantasy gaming: steampunk, cyberpunk, espionage, cold war supers, pulp and so on. But when it comes to campaign staying power and player satisfaction, nothing compares to run-of-the-mill, vanilla fantasy. For me as a GM, this is highly unsatisfying, I want to run Science Fiction dang nabbit! However I try though, my epic SF campaigns rarely last more than 4-5 sessions. So a while back, I asked a couple of friends of mine: what’s so hard about science fiction gaming? I then realized that the question should be: what’s so easy about fantasy?

To that end, I start this series of posts about Space Fantasy, the hows, the whys, the dos and the don’ts. Read on for the first post in the series, What’s the deal with fantasy anyway?

Read the rest of this entry »

Fantasy Civics in RPGs

In D&D 4E on March 17, 2009 at 8:16 am

Are your campaign worlds series of identical fiefdoms with warring kings and mischievous noblemen. Gets kind of old, doesn’t it? To spice up the life of you and your players, I’ll give you some alternatives. Next time your players save the country, perhaps they’ll marry the consul’s daughter? Read on for my take on some alternative fantasy civics.
Read the rest of this entry »

Black Powder Weapons IV – Monsters

In Black Powder Weapons, D&D 4E on February 19, 2009 at 9:19 am

What begun as a simple post on how to include black powder weapons in Dungeons & Dragons has bulged out like a gelatinous cube and is now into its fourth installment. With players getting most of the love so far, time has come for the DM to receive some well deserved attention. It’s time for some black powder inspired monsters and traps. Read on for the goodies!

Read the rest of this entry »

Other Uses For Action Points

In D&D 4E on February 6, 2009 at 9:43 am

Action Points were introduced with the Eberron setting, allegedly to smooth out some of the catastrophic failures that typically are part of any dice-rolling mechanics so that the game would better simulate the high action theme of that setting. The Eberron action points refreshed on a per-level basis and basically allowed you to add a d6 to any roll if you did it before any other rolls were made. This mechanic always struck me as a bit clunky. After every failed roll, the players had to stop and think if they wanted to expend their hard earned AP, hindering the flow of the game.

Action points in D&D 4E have been reworked and now actually live up to their name. The mechanic where you get one more action is very easy to use, easy for players to remember and gives the characters a possibility to go that extra mile (or at least that extra Move action). Also, the fact that they are replenishable on a daily/milestone basis gives them a “use them or lose them”-feel. So AP in D&D 4E are generally a good thing. But for those who can handle a bit more complexity in their games, there is the nagging feeling that they could be used for so much more. Read on for some examples of other uses for action points in D&D 4E.

Read the rest of this entry »

Black Powder Weapons III – Feats, Powers and Classes

In Black Powder Weapons, D&D 4E on February 3, 2009 at 2:32 pm

When reading through my list of black powder weapons, a friend of my commented that he thought they were well done and balanced, but who would use them? Rangers need their minor actions for hunter’s quarry if nothing else and Rogues won’t be proficient with them and won’t be able to use them for Sneak Attack. Well, a weapon is useless if you can’t use it, so here come some suggestions on how to integrate the new black powder weapons with the classes in PHB.

Read the rest of this entry »

Black Powder Weapons II – More Weapons!

In Black Powder Weapons, D&D 4E on February 2, 2009 at 12:08 am

At the end of my post on black powder weapons in D&D, I mentioned some examples on how it could be extended and here comes that extension. Say hello to the Halfling Derringer, the Blackfire Shotgun and their friends! I’ve included the weapons from the last post for completion (The Eladrin Longarm has been updated with a slightly longer range). First the properties, including a few new ones. (Edit: I’ve updated High Accuracy, to give it a little more power)

Black Powder

When firing a Black Powder weapon, a thick cloud of smoke fills the square where the weapon was fired, providing light obscuration until the end of the firer’s next turn.


A shotgun fires a burst of quickly dispersing small shots. It deals an extra +1d6 damage to targets within 2 squares. This extra damage does not count as weapon damage for example for the purpose of calculating power damage.

Double Barrel

Double Barrel weapons may be fired one barrel at a time or both barrels in one attack. When firing both barrels, the attack deals an extra [W] damage, but you grant combat advantage until the end of your next turn. Both barrels are loaded separately as per the weapon’s load property.

High Accuracy

This weapon has a particularly high accuracy, by spending one minor action, you gain a +1 bonus to your next attack against one target in this turn. By spending an additional minor action, the bonus increases to +2.

On to the weapons…

Read the rest of this entry »