Monday, January 25, 2010

Math Problem for NADs

It's no secret that the math behind 4e's non-AC defenses (or NADs, as they're commonly referred) is a little wonky. There's a great post on the blog Square Fireballs that describes the problem. Of course, without a solution, discussion of the problem (while interesting from a theoretical point of view) is meaningless for all practical purposes. Hence, here is the proposed fix from Square Fireballs. Seeing as masterwork armor was already a math fix for AC, a system for masterwork neck items isn't too far-fetched. Instead of conceptualizing it as an item with better craftsmanship (as is presumably the case with MW armor), it makes more sense to envision it as an intrinsically different type of enchantment. Or, alternatively, perhaps you could fluff it as a sort of "lucky charm," the magic of which is separate (but stacks with) the enhancement bonus of the enchantment. Depending on the character concept, divine protection and/or protection of the Primal Spirits might make more sense than "luck."

In any case, I plan on incorporating this house rule into my Talamhlar campaign. And seeing as this is the first deviation from RAW that I've taken for Talamhlar, I might as well add another houserule to fix a feat tax that's always bothered me: Weapon/Implement/Focused Expertise.

So, to recap, here are the new Talamhlar House Rules:

  1. NAD fix (see post above), which includes masterwork neck slot items, lucky badges, and the banning of certain NAD boosting feats (the "tax" ones).
  2. Addition of an "Expertise bonus, which is an intrinsic bonus to attacks that functions as if you have Implement/Weapon/Focused Expertise as a bonus feat. Except that it's not tied to a specific weapon type (want to use an axe and a sword? The bonus works for both! By RAW, you'd have to take both weapon expertise heavy blades, and weapon expertise axes). And so you don't have to look up the feat yourself, the bonus is +1 which you recieve at level 5, it increases to +2 at level 15, and it becomes +3 at level 25.
So players in my Talamhlar campaign can rejoice, as they no longer have to worry about certain "must-have" feats and can instead focus on more flavorful options that help differentiate their characters!

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