January 13, 2010

4E Power Interactions

Currently in 4E there are few interactions between powers. There are interrupt actions and reaction actions, but they are used in very specific circumstances. What I have in mind is a basic system for allowing more utilization of powers to interact/interrupt powers in a broader manner.

For example:
If a power allows a character to cause rocks to fly from the ground into the face of an opponent, and another character has a power that allows him to move earth, it makes a certain logical sense that the second character should be able to prevent himself from being hit in the face with a rock.

I fully understand that the powers in 4E are very specific as to what you can do with them and what you can not. I generally do not believe a power should grant abilities beyond what they are meant to provide. A fire attack does not always cause the target to catch on fire for ongoing damage. There are other powers that a player can choose to do that. However, sometimes it just makes sense from a thematic viewpoint for something to work differently.

The concept of this article is that you can use a power to negate another power, if they can interact with each other. This can be done to cause a power to fail as it is being used (during the attack roll) or to remove an ongoing effect.

For instance, your ally has ongoing fire damage. You have a power that shoots water or ice. You can use your power to remove/end the ongoing fire damage on your friend.

I would place restrictions on this method. To keep things balanced and fair a character would have to give up resources to negate the power of an opponent. Allowing an at-will power to negate a daily power is unbalanced.

-An at-will power can only be negated by an encounter or daily power.
-An encounter power (or monster encounter power with a recharge) can only be negated by a daily power.
-Daily powers (or monster encounter power without recharge) can not be negated.
-The power being used can only be used to negate a power and loses all its other abilities.
-If the character is causing a power to fail as it is being used, he has to have held his action.

What do you think? Too liberating of 4E powers? Too hard to manage? Too easy to abuse?
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