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PC Roles & Death in 4e

Last night we played in z45tu7 's 4e adventure Throne of the Gorilla King and got into a big scrap with some, well, gorillas. There were four PCs: a half-elf warlock (me), a warforged fighter (Jeff), a human fighter (evilmonkey8472 ) and a half-elf paladin of the Raven Queen (ninthcouncil ), so three defenders and one striker. The party's cleric and wizard were both unable to make the game.

My warlock, Inge d'Amberville had used her Dilettante feature to pick up scorching burst as an encounter power so I was able to take down several minions in an area, filling in for the absent wizard, but we really missed not having a cleric or other leader. The paladin went down early and there was no one able to heal him by triggering his healing surges at a distance through healing word, say. Instead, he started bleeding to death; he was down for four rounds, failed three out of four death saves and died. Thinking about it now I should have tried to get to him to attempt a DC 10 Heal check but I think I was still in the 3.x mindset of PCs being able to drop to -10hp (or -Con as a house rule) before they actually die. I was thinking "if I can kill the gorilla I've cursed, I can get over to the paladin using my misty step and avoid going in the slippery grease" but it was too late!

There are two morals here,  I think:

1. Always have a leader in the party

2. If you're unconscious, make sure everyone knows how many death saves you've failed.



( 6 comments — Leave a comment )
Oct. 7th, 2008 09:05 am (UTC)
...and the Third Moral is...
...there are perhaps situations that you can stop being snooty about healing potions in 4e. ;)

Oct. 7th, 2008 12:45 pm (UTC)
Re: ...and the Third Moral is...
Yes, although unconscious people can't drink them without help!
Oct. 7th, 2008 10:18 am (UTC)
Triggering surges
I didn't understand at the time what you meant by not having anyone to trigger a healing surge at a distance. But had we had such a character then I think it must be quiet hard for anyone to die in 4E. So in that respect I think we were just unlucky.

Now we just have to convince Graham to play either a Warlord or a Cleric!
Oct. 7th, 2008 10:29 am (UTC)
Re: Triggering surges
I think I will generate a warlord. Another cleric would be treading on Lucy's toes a bit when she returns from the People's Republic.
Oct. 7th, 2008 10:26 am (UTC)
I don't know about point 2. It sets my metagaming sense tingling; how could another PC tell this?

Anyway, some people (no names, no pack drill!) already have enough trouble noticing that other characters are even unconscious, let alone keeping track of their death state... ;)
Oct. 7th, 2008 12:47 pm (UTC)
You're right, they couldn't. However, at least this is metagaming in a (literally) life or death situation.
Deciding to use area spells on minions or using Cleave to finish them off is also metagaming. And tactically astute...
( 6 comments — Leave a comment )

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