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Thread: Opinion on Abilities that Slide, Push or Pull Opponents

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    Post Opinion on Abilities that Slide, Push or Pull Opponents

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    Wizard recently posted a preview of the new Druid coming out with the Players Handbook II, which got my blood-a-boiling a'bit since they introduced yet another ability that slides opponents, and this time it is an at will. Abilities that push, pull, or slide opponents really grate on me as DM. If you play 4e, I'm interested to hear what you think. Am I alone in this?

    Quote Originally Posted by Maelstrom View Post
    An At-will power and many of the encounter/dailies do all sorts of slides and pulls.
    I got to be honest, abilities that slide, push, or pull enemies are the most annoying thing about 4e to me. I'd do away with it if I could.
    Last edited by Farcaster; 12-03-2008 at 12:22 AM. Reason: Moved from Gaming News Druid Preview Thread...
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    Quote Originally Posted by Farcaster View Post
    I got to be honest, abilities that slide, push, or pull enemies are the most annoying thing about 4e to me. I'd do away with it if I could.
    Heh, I've got the opposite view. These kind of abilities lead to strong positioning and tactics, especially when there are hazards such as cliffs around. It's nice to see the players planning out how to manipulate their opponents, or try to avoid it when the opponents are the ones with those abilities. It seems to add to the battlefield collaboration.

    3.5e combat seemed to often devolve into multiple players having individual fights, so the elements that encourage them to work together are nice IMO.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Maelstrom View Post
    Heh, I've got the opposite view. These kind of abilities lead to strong positioning and tactics, especially when there are hazards such as cliffs around.
    The cliff example perfectly illustrates why I don't like it. The new druid level one at will has a 50/50 chance of killing a monster outright by "sliding" it off a cliff. It gets a simple "save" and that's it. And even assuming it saves, it is still hanging off the side of a cliff. Further, there doesn't seem to be a wide selection of monsters that have abilities to slide opponents. Even worse, most of the powers they made up to move opponents seem pretty arbitrary and don't make that much sense to me. Even the warlock's "Curse of the Dark Dream" -- which makes sense as to why the opponent would "slide" around aimlessly -- isn't an ability that controls the opponent, so technically it should be random and not a choice of the player's.
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    Funny that someone mentioned Curse of The Dark Dream... My new Warlock Mortimer has a spell called Dark Requiem. It basically forms a black talon around the opponent and you can drag the target around. I think spells like that are meant for more items or heavy things. However players just seem to be tactful enough to use them in other ways.

    I was once in a dungeon and was fighting this knight with all of these poison weapons and he was mounted on top of a GIANT sized Acid spewing Beetle. I casted Curse Of The Dark Dream on the beetle and my DM said "Ok The Beetle starts bucking out of control and starts stomping random things. Suddenly he comes charging at you." So I managed to dodge and the thing did a complete and utter header right into a stone wall that had no give whatsoever. The best part was Acid spewed out of it's mouth and got on the rider melting his armor. So after a while and it looked like the battle was coming to a close The rider jumped on the beetle and started to climb up the wall to try and get away. I was like "Oh hell no! You get back down here!" And with that I casted Dark Requiem on the rider and pulled his ass off the beetle and he did a complete face plant into the floor knocking him unconcious. I proceeded to slay the knight with ease and got 2 Poison Spears, 1 Poison Scimitar, and a weird Poisoned weapon that almost is like a Halberd except the blade is shaped like a lightning bolt. It almost is like a weapon for a Tiefling.
    Last edited by Grandore The Giant Killer; 12-03-2008 at 07:47 AM.

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    The only thing I don't like about them is the fact that it kind of eliminates the suspension of disbelief factor for me and turns the game more into a miniature combat game.

    Which I don't mind because my enemies thus far have had powers that really hamper the PCs.

    I don't know... its annoying yeah, but it doesn't really bother me I guess.
    "I'm afraid it is you who are mistaken. About a great, many things."

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    I think there's a section in the DMG about moderating falling damage to make it level-appropriate- basically PCs should never see a fall high enough to kill one of them instantly. I think this goes for monsters too- basically make pits deep enough to do some damage, but like all other threats that you throw out, make sure they can't insta-kill anything. Unrealistic, sure, but every other challenge is level-appropriate, so it's reasonable to moderate things like cliffs and lava pits to make them not insta-kills.

    Also note that Chill Wind is only Slide 1- compare that to Thunderwave (Wizard At-Will), which is Push 3 or so (depending on wisdom mod). Further, it's a Hit effect, so no slide on a miss. Also, a save is 10+, which is 55 percent (minor nit-pick) rather than 50, so it's less than half the time.


    Previous to 4e, battles were very static- charge attack->full attack-> full attack. Push, pull, and slide powers make the battle a lot more dynamic.

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    I find the new movement effects as results for abilities an interesting dynamic to the game, and one of the things done mostly well for the new system. I do enjoy the additional aspect it adds to combat; while the system becomes more miniature dependent because of that, I think it is an acceptable price to pay. I think some of the abilities that allow such effects are a bit exaggerated, and/or overpowered, but I think affecting movement ability, and terrain and such is a good aspect to have added to the game.

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    I don't mind those powers. When it comes to the suspension of disbelief I just describe it as though the target stumbles in shock as they try to regain their balance (from the melee attack). Sure that gets a bit tough when the powers start flinging people about four squares or more, but then I just change it up to hitting the with force and the target flying through the air. The spells are easier, what with the shift being part of the spell.

    Overall the powers add some strategy into the combat which can be fun (or frustrating). I have used such attacks to nearly kill a PC that was trying to flee a collapsing tunnel. Guards at the exit to the tunnel had an encounter power that also recharged when bloodied that was push 3. The majority of the group zipped through taking what AOO's the enemy had to offer but the combersome Paladin come up on the low end of initiative. He reached the guards, they used their powers and shoved him back into the tunnel. The party turned and unleashed on the guards which ended up making them bloodied. That mean that after the paladin reclosed the gap the gaurds used the attacks again and pushed him back into the tunnel again. Thankfully the guards were killed that round cause the tunnel was set to collapse at the end of the third round.

    So I guess that means I am in a position that is all in favor of these attacks. They are fun and strategic powers that I like to use to build tension.

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    I really enjoy the strategies these powers lend to the game and have enjoyed seeing how my players put them to use. I've yet to find anything that felt horribly abusive, but that's only a matter of time and solved by GM's Fiat (which isn't a car).

    Even going without miniatures, I could see how the concepts could be abstracted and used even in an IRC game. It's about being descriptive and finding ways to make it work.
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    Thumbs up

    I love them. Another poster mentioned it: it makes combat dynamic. Things move around. Old combats used to be just enough movement in order to get in your attacks, then just sit there till someone died. Here, you have to watch out for environmental tricks (cliffs, pits, pools, etc.).

    All in all, a great addition to combat in order to make it feel more lively, imo of course.

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    Hmm. Sounds like this is a Farcaster-Exclusive annoyance.
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    As an addendum, now that the preview is out, we're letting our Cleric morph over to Bard. One of the things she's most excited about is the ability to push, pull, and slide targets, since she finds that the status ailments and conditional bonuses she hands out as a Cleric get forgotten all the time, making her abilities as a leader useless (beyond straight healing, which gets boring after a while). Push, pull, and slide powers create an immediate effect that gets recorded on the battle map for eveyone to see and take into account with their tactics. And with two controllers in the party (our Warlock is similarly morphing to Druid as best as she can with the 3-level preview), slide powers will synergize nicely with area, zone, and aura powers for some good teamwork potential...

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    This does little to convince me. I don't play D&D for the strategy side of things. I do like combat, but I want it to make sense. I want to be able to picture the scene in my mind's eye. There are a number of powers that WotC made up that just don't seem to make much sense when you try to rationalize them.
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    The Push, Pull, Slide is something that made me truely enjoy 4e. Now rooms with pits truely become a danger.

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    You could have always used Bull Rush in 3.x to push an opponent into a pit or other hazard. At least that one had some kind of opposed check for the movement.
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