Tuesday, October 26, 2010

My Sole Contribution to the 4th Edition Rules

As I mentioned earlier, despite having never played or adjudicated 4th edition until last Sunday, I felt compelled to add my own house rule to the system. It was intended to both underline the Wahoo! atmosphere of Gamma World and to address an issue with 4th edition that I have often heard others complain about. I have seen some people bemoan the fact that the encounter powers and other wackiness of limited use turn into little more than a player stating, “I use Incredible Bitch Slap on [X],” intoned with all the excitement of “A-3” in a game of Battleship. Not in my game dammit!

This has probably been addressed by others in similar manner, so forgive my ignorance if that’s the case. In any event, here’s my house rule suitable for use in any D&D Gamma World game (and a few straight D&D ones as well):

“Whenever a character invokes a power or object whose use is limited to once per encounter, they must describe how incredibly cool that effect makes their character look and how awesome a power it is. Failure to do so will result in a -2 penalty to the attack/resolution roll. Thus, don’t tell me “I use fiery flare on this guy,” and point at the counter. Tell me, ‘I roll up my sleeves and ignite my hands. Staring down at the cringing badder, I say “How about a little fire, fuzzy britches?” before hurling a skull-shaped ball of napalm at him.’ Doing so negates the -2 penalty and may even earn you a small bonus.

“This rule may also affect the use of skills at the game master’s discretion (And probably should).”


David Key said...

I think this house rule is a good one. Having run a 4th Ed campaign I did notice a lot of the “I use fiery flare on this guy,” in my games. Should I ever sit behind the screen again for 4th I will use this rule.

Anonymous said...

That's an excellent rule. I might phrase it as a bonus not a penalty though, 'cause those encounter powers miss often enough as it is, and it's always a letdown.