Home > D&D, D&D 4e, RPG > RPG night of week 47/2009

RPG night of week 47/2009

Yesterday night we continued our 4e D&D campaign. It is the campaign we started originally with Mentzer Red Box D&D, in legendary Grand Duchy of Karameikos. After some low-level casualties we had a group of characters about around levels 3 to 5. At that point some magical maelstrom rushed over the world and our characters were brought to the world of Argarak – a homebrewn campaign setting of our DM running this particular campaign. Characters were also converted to the latest edition of D&D.

In the original campaign my character Cabera was a burly cleric of the church of Karameikos. He was very strong (18) but only barely wise enough (13) to take a career as cleric. Conversion to 4e meant he was obviously going to be battle cleric. With Red Box rules it is almost irrelevant if your cleric has wisdom of 13 or 18. It effects only saving throws and XP bonus. Strength however is very useful to Basic Set clerics who can wear any armor and often fight side by side with the fighters.

In the 4e however the efficiency (and playability) of cleric is dependent of not only wisdom but also charisma and strength. Most other classes can rely only on their one primary ability or one secondary ability beyond that. Cleric is a weird hybrid class between a devoted preaching priest and the crusading battle cleric (resembling more the original red box cleric). Battle clerics also have to purchase feats to use better armor and shields which came for free in Red Box. Only about half of cleric powers use strength for hitting their targets and the rest use wisdom. Fighter powers for example use almost always strength to hit and results are modified by either strength, dexterity or constitution. Wizard powers use always intelligence to hit and effects are modified by intelligence almost always. In my opinion cleric class is a little bit short-handed in 4e. In Players Handbook 2 the divine classes like Invoker or Avenger are much more intelligently designed, following the idea of primary and secondary (and dump) stats more closely. In the aspect of cleric the (almost overly) balanced system of 4e D&D makes an obvious exception.

Oh, and if your cleric wants to be good in actual religious matters he should also have high intelligence as religion is (quite logically though) a knowledge skill, based on intelligence. It certainly is much easier to play say an efficient ‘martial spellcaster‘ like fighter, who has to concentrate only on two (strength and constitution) or three (dexterity) skills to gain full benefit of his spells… eh powers or exploits, than a cleric who does not really seem to have any ‘dump stats’

In most of the ‘old school’ games the spells are always equally effective regardless of the spell caster’s abilities. Better abilities might grant more spells to cast per day though. It is same thing with most of the spell point magic systems too. The spells became more potent by gaining more experience casting them (like old-fashioned Magic Missile).

Though I have serious doubts about the latest edition of D&D as anything else but hybrid between tactical level wargame and MMORPG played on tabletop with plastic heroes and monsters, I can still put those doubts aside and have fun with the game as it is played. Besides I like tactical level wargames a lot 😉

Our characters in the campaign are at 5th level on average now and we are right in the middle of the “dullest point of Heroic Tier”. Fortunately the campaign itself is anything but dull in itself so it remedies the flaw of the system and we still have fun. Although I wouldn’t object if that dull point were alleviated a little by some magic items… 😉

The campaign itself is happening at the moment in some large city in the middle of some steaming jungle. The city is ruled over some warring wizard factions who all seem to serve some demonic powers. Our wizard has instantly got some grandiose plans in his head to get in one of those factions (and conquer the world probably). So far we have made enemies of one faction and by helping another a little bit with nothing much gained in reward for trouble. We were brought to the city as slaves from some distant shores after we were thrown into this new world and were still unconscious from the event. My cleric and most of the other party seems more interested to find our way back to lands we were picked up as slaves and find out if we could somehow return to Karameikos. Last night our wizard tried to contact the faction we have angered as he wanted to stir things up some more but things ended in a bloodbath where he almost got killed himself were my cleric not to save him…

I’ll try to recap the story later for all of you to enjoy.

Tomorrow I’ll continue to master my hackmaster thief.

-F-

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Categories: D&D, D&D 4e, RPG
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