Author Topic: X per [Encounter] abilities outside of combat?  (Read 1918 times)

Machine Gun Batman

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X per [Encounter] abilities outside of combat?
« on: July 27, 2015, 04:52:40 AM »
What's the best practice on handling those? So far, I've ruled that per encounter abilities do not reset between encounters at all unless an actual new encounter starts. The rulebook says something like once every few minutes though, as long as it's appropriate for pacing, which my players are arguing is essentially at will.

The track in question is Virtue. I feel like it could be potentially unbalancing to allow it as a full heal between encounters, as I feel like its strong burst heal and superior action economy are supposed to be a tradeoff for its limited nature. Without the limitation, it seems like it vastly outclasses other healing tracks.

How unbalancing would it be to allow Virtue to heal a group fully between encounters, assuming they have a few minutes to rest?

rejectedreality

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Re: X per [Encounter] abilities outside of combat?
« Reply #1 on: July 27, 2015, 05:11:01 AM »
It's not really unbalanced. There are several tracks that offer unlimited healing. For example, force of will lets a character to AoE healing as a move action at will. Incantation offers it at will as well, but with a standard action. Every campaign I've run has had a character with this track, and it still turns out fine. The per-encounter limitation is meant to limit the ability's restriction WITHIN combat, not in-between and out of combat.

As for the actual question regarding per-encounter abilities, a rule of thum that I use is every 5 minutes. An encounter is not necessarily a combat. It could also be a room of traps, a negotiation, or basically any challenge. Restricting them to 1 use per stretch in between combats is indeed more limiting than it should be.

Machine Gun Batman

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Re: X per [Encounter] abilities outside of combat?
« Reply #2 on: July 27, 2015, 05:44:14 AM »
I am fine with at will healing in between encounters, as long as the appropriate investment has been made. And I am not sure Virtue fits said investment. The thing is: Every other healing track that offers unlimited healing has significantly weaker burst healing and requires a heavier action investment.
  • Force of Will is in a tight radius around your character, requires a move action, and heals KDM+Level.
  • Incantation requires a standard action, provokes AoOs and heals (Level+1)d4+KOM.
  • Virtue requires one swift action per font, with one font being free and all subsequent heals requiring no actions. It even continues after the Virtue user is incapacitated. Each font heals 2+Level+Ability mod.

I feel like those other tracks become less attractive if Virtue was allowed to heal fully between encounters.
« Last Edit: July 27, 2015, 06:42:44 AM by Machine Gun Batman »

rejectedreality

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Re: X per [Encounter] abilities outside of combat?
« Reply #3 on: July 27, 2015, 06:36:28 AM »
There is another way to look at it: Virtue is THE healing track. I mean, sure, other tracks have healing, but all of Virtue's circles have something to do with healing, healing more, and maybe removing the occasional status effect, which is another type of healing. Meanwhile, Force of Will gives force pushes, bonus attacks to allies, and other stuff on top of the healing ability. Incantation has the healing, sure, but it can also be used to damage, and later on, gives d20 roll management, spell effect tagalongs, and other such things.

Also, I feel like Incantion has more of a burst, super heal, while virtue is just a steady stream of healing to allies with a "fire and forget" mechanism. 21d4+ability mod is likely considerably more than 22+ability mod, but it takes more significant action investment. Force of Will's healing is the smallest with KDM+20, but has the bonus of being area of effect. Each healing effect has its own niche, and none of them really step on the others. At least, the way I see it.

Mystify

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Re: X per [Encounter] abilities outside of combat?
« Reply #4 on: August 05, 2015, 12:21:35 AM »
4Legend basically assumes you will heal to full between encounters, and will fall apart if the players don't have that capability. You are far better off allowing parties that don't even have healing to do it that deciding the healing they do have isn't adequate.
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