September 23, 2009

Collaborative What?

So the DMG2 is out, and while I haven't gotten my hands on it, a friend of mine was sharing with me the inclusion of some material on how to use collaborative story-telling. It's a great idea, and a great way to get players involved in a story. As a player, I hope that my next campaign starts that way, with everyone sharing ideas and writing a story collaboratively about the party and the world. It's one thing that has started to kick into high gear in my current game that I play in. We've hit paragon tier, and we're starting to make feat and power selections that take into account the feats and powers that the others in the group are selecting. When we started, we all showed up with our freshly minted first-level 4th edition characters, we didn't even know each other. Now, we've become a team, and one that works well together. Our fighter is taking powers that allow him to draw the enemy to him, which opens up flanking possibilities for the rogue and avenger. The avenger took Power Attack, so that flanking is now highly advantageous, which promotes cooperation with the fighter and rogue. It got me thinking. What could we do to integrate the process of character building into this collaborative story-telling approach?

In D&D 3.5, there was a feat: Swarm-fighting. The feat had a bonus which increased for every character in the group who had it. But the feat was very specialized, the odds of an entire party, or even the melee members of a party all dropping a feat for this benefit were pretty low. So I thought maybe there is a way to bring this idea, synergized feats, into 4th edition. Adventurer's Vault 2 brought us item sets, which give benefits when multiple party members possess pieces of the set. Now, let's examine the idea of feat sets. Below, I've sketched out a feat set. Each feat has a small advantage on its own, with additional benefits if other characters in the party have other feats from the set. I've tried to keep them broad, because obviously, the composition of each party is going to be different. Try them out, if you get the chance, and let me know what you think. If you come up with another feat set, post it here and we'll all try to do the same for you.

Feat Set: Wolf-Pack Tactics

Protector of the Pack
Gain a +1 to Fortitude, Reflex, and Will defenses against attacks from enemies marked by you. If an enemy adjacent to you is flanked by you and an ally with a Wolf-Pack Tactics feat, that enemy does not count toward flanking for you or the ally you are flanking with.

Cull the Prey
When you designate a target using oath of enmity, hunter's quarry, warlock curse, or ardent vow, you gain +1 to damage rolls when you apply extra damage from your class feature. If the enemy you designate is adjacent to an ally with a Wolf-Pack Tactics feat, you can choose to treat that enemy as marked by that ally.

Corner the Weak
When you are applying extra damage through a class ability, you can choose to apply half the normal damage or dice, and your attack immobilizes the target. If you and another ally with a Wolf-Pack Tactics feat are adjacent to, but not flanking, the same enemy, that enemy grants you both combat advantage.

Incite the Pack
When you restore hit points to an ally, that ally gains a +1 to attack rolls until the end of your next turn. If that ally has any Wolf-Pack Tactics feat, they can also choose to receive a +2 to saving throws until the end of your next turn, or shift one square as a free action.

Disorient the Prey
When you use a power that forces an enemy to move, any enemy that you hit with that power grants you combat advantage until the end ofyour next turn. If the power already causes the target to grant combat advantage until the end of your next turn, it is instead save ends. The target also grants combat advantage to any allies who have a Wolf-Pack Tactics feat while they grant it to you.

There's the crunch, as promised. Let me know how it works if you give it a shot! See you next week.

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