Revenge of the dailies

Painting walls, hauling furniture and chatting with ChattyDM for the better part of a day can yield some interesting discussions.

While I’ve been planting the seeds of a return to DnD within my old gaming group, my DM (let’s call him Steve, because that’s his name) is considering selling his collection of 4th ed books, having moved over to Pathfinder. Seems like none of his other gaming groups liked 4th ed.

ChattyDM was wondering what his other players didn’t like about 4th ed. While I didn’t really press the matter with Steve, it got ChattyDM to tell me *gasp* one thing that… let’s say itches him from 4th ed.

Daily powers.

  1. Not hitting with a daily power is frustrating.
  2. Using a daily power makes the players want to take an extended rest instead of a short rest. Always.

Not hitting with a daily power is frustrating Alot


Yes. While some dailies have a miss effect, some don’t and missing becomes an even more frustrating event.

I’ve play-tested this house rule in the game I played yesterday night in my head and it worked perfectly:

A missed daily that has no « miss » effect is automatically regenerated after a short rest.

Using a daily power makes PCs want to take extended rests.

I know of this – this is why I collect scroll and potions and never use them. In computer RPGs, I hoard them and use them just in the fight with the final boss.

At the end of Dragon Age, my bard chugged down so many potions, it had to ask the dragon to wait while she went peeing.


Scarcity of resources make them more valuable – I tend not to use them, in case a better opportunity to use them present itself.

I do have a clever house rule here… but first, I need to say that most of the times, players can take an extended rest after a fight. I take an extended rest after every day at work. I don’t have a problem with players always taking extended rests.

I love the idea of creating situations where it is not a good idea to take an extended rest – it enhances the stress of using dailies (or of extended resting).

Back to the clever house rule. If you can, remember your first level wizard in 2nd ed, when it missed its only spell and was scared of taking out its sling in case a monster would notice him, spit on his face from a distance, removing the last of his 1d4 worth of HP?

My house rule builds on the same mechanisms we used back then to deal with it:

Suck it up

What are your feelings on 4th ed and dailies?

Original Alot, from Hyperbole and a Half, which you should be reading.
Red Dragon from Dungeon and Dragon’s 3rd Edition Player’s handbook. Wuss adventurer added on it by an artist I don’t know.



Les commentaires de 22 sur “Revenge of the dailies

  1. I go by what I said here… :

    That’s another common complaint (and myth) about 4e D&D – the game isn’t fun because missing with a Daily Power sucks. Yes it does, but if it misses that’s because you’re doing it wrong (unless you roll really, really badly). These are your big showpiece attacks, so do all you can to make sure they don’t miss! Ask another player to use Aid Another on their turn to set you up for the attack – or better yet, move into position to Flank then roll Aid Another. In role-playing terms the other guy is distracting and harrying the poor victim so you’re set up to sucker punch him. This gives you a total +4 on your attack roll. If you miss with those odds, it’s time to microwave your dice.

  2. I’ve found the problem with dailies is significantly reduced at mid to upper paragon levels (where my campaign is) since there’s more options to choose from that are still powerful. In fact, I tend to gauge the difficulty of the first 1-2 combats of a session from how many dailies I can coax out of them before the final encounter, and even if they miss with those they have more to unleash.

    However, I like your house rule a lot and would definitely consider it for a lower level campaign. In fact, I’d probably go further and allow it to recharge even if it had a miss or effect. A missed daily usually isn’t as good as an encounter, so it’s just like an extra encounter power (that might be lost- that’s the only weird part.)

  3. @Dave & Chatty:
    I think I get your point.
    I remember once using a daily and banking on the miss effect that crippled the monster we were fighting.
    Simply adding the recharge to dailies that can be missed would probably be the way I’d go about this… and it simplifies things a bit.
    So, to rephrase Chatty’s rephrasing:

    All daily powers that can miss gain:
    Miss: Power becomes available after a short rest

  4. Yes, I agree missing with a Daily is frustrating. Which is why its important to use them intelligently. I often play leader classes (2 Tactical warlords, 1 Str cleric) and if you tell me you plan to use a Daily power, then I’ll do my best to make sure you hit by giving you an attack bonus and/or working with you to get flanking.

    However, even if you do miss there are very, very few Daily powers which do not have one of the following: a Miss effect, an Effect of the power, or the Reliable keyword.

    That being said, your idea is interesting. I would probably balance the party as slightly more powerful than normal. But thats a matter of preference and what your party enjoys.

  5. Speaking as a rogue who missed with a daily against a wererat the first time I used it at first level: a daily that would have seriously frotzed up that wererat’s chances of living past the second round, I heartily support this house rule.

  6. @Greywulf:
    (Your comment was detected as spam? What did you do?)

    RE: what you wrote : that makes a ton-and-a-half of sense.

    What you say goes in the same vein as @Greywulf’s comment : if you’re going to use a daily, you and your group should do all it can to help make it happen.

    Which makes it all the more frustrating when it misses… in which case, you still can apply rule #2: « suck it up ».

    I still like how simple and friendly the rechargeable daily idea feels.

  7. As far as I’m concerned, it’s much ado about nothing, but reasonable minds disagree, so here’s a suggestion: Allow your players to propose an encounter power version of their daily power and take that instead. The change should usually be easy. Reduce 3W damage to 2W damage. Change « until the end of the encounter » to « until the end of your next turn. » No more miss effects. No reliable keyword. It’s not always going to be that formulaic, but it should be easy with a little thought.

  8. @Eric Maybe it thinks I’m an evil spammer because I included a link in the comment. Bad, bad me.

    Another thing I’ve considered (but it’s yet not come into play) is to allow a missed Daily or Encounter Power to recharge if the player spends an Action Point. This replaces them using it to gain an extra action. The way if the PC really needs to use that big Daily he can keep an Action Point in reserve just in case he needs a second try. I’m all for new uses for Action Points!

  9. @Frylock
    Its an interesting concept, but it would remove the « awesome » that the dailies have… which makes them so annoying to « lose » in the first place.

    I think the house rule fits very well with low-level PC or less experienced (better yet – less ‘crunchy’) players.

    If I remember well, there are some higher-level (paragon or epic) powers that do just that.

  10. Some follow up: My suggestion was intended to be respectful of the class structure. Allowing easy recharges removes the benefit of the reliable keyword that makes Fighters special. Allowing recharges upon the use of action points (below paragon level at least) removes the benefit that makes Warlords special. Also, making a daily like an encounter (or even at-will) while not reducing their strength will have everyone just using dailies constantly. You might as well start your campaign on day 1 by making the players 30th level and congratulating them on a wonderful career of adventuring. 🙂 I’m not sure what I’ve read from others would balance at all within the current structure of 4e, but then again, I’ve never (really) played beyond the heroic tier, so what do I know? 🙂

  11. The fact that missing with a daily is full of suck, and hitting is full of win, does two things: 1) it creates dramatic tension whenever you’re rolling for one, and 2) it encourages strategic thinking and teamwork to stack up those to-hit bonuses. Making a daily less daily makes them less special.

    — Cameron McNary, Artistic Director, Critical Threat Theatre

  12. @Frylock:
    Yeah – the Warlord! This is the class that has the daily recharge power that is so awesome!

    The house rule, as it stands (even in its rewrite in the comments), aims not to overpower or step over its bounds : if you miss your daily, you miss it.

    Regaining it after a short rest instead of an extended rest – only if it missed in the first place – is meant more as a soothing bounds. Makes dailies more powerful, yes, but encourages their use.

    I think the end result will be subtle, as most encounters give time enough for an extended rest if needed anyways.

    In the few games we played (always low-level), I remember only a handful of times dailies have been used. I want us to use them more.

    (How many dailies fit in a hand anyway?)

  13. @Eric: And don’t forget the Artificer! Recharges your item dailies!

    I definitely feel for you when you say that players don’t use their dailies enough. I’m guilty of it myself as well unless I make a conscious effort to use them. However, it just feels to me like your suggestions come from wanting your cake and eating it too.

    If you can’t handle the risk of dailies, you shouldn’t get the reward. Either have dailies that (almost always) are available daily, or don’t.

    That being said, it’s a game, and a game should be fun. One of my DM philosophies well-known among the Gamers’ Syndicate is that if you want to cheat, I won’t stop you. If you actually are capable of having fun rolling critical hits every single time, then have your fun. The most impressive feat of game design for 4e is that it insulates non-powergamers from powergameres, and cheaters are essentially just super-effective (and lazy) powergamers (min/maxers, whatever). What you (and others) have suggested certainly doesn’t rise to this level, so I could accept that as well, even if I’m a player on your table and didn’t give myself that benefit.

    I’m not the slightest bit frustrated by the mechanics of 4e but hold nothing against those that are.

  14. @Frylock:
    I’ve almost always eaten the cake I’ve had *grin*. (Seriously – if you don’t want to eat cake, you shouldn’t have any!)

    I don’t think the house rule handicaps the dailies all that much: you still get a chance to miss. If you do, you still can’t try again during the encounter.

    In the same vein, another « house rule » I used when playing with kids that was popular was allowing them to re-roll a roll they missed.

    I equipped them with a each with a « magic luck stone ». When they were displeased with a roll, they could invoke the magic within the stone and re-roll.

    The stone then crumbled to dust.

    Made for very interesting scenarios where a player gave his stone to another player who had missed his power (they had not yet unlocked their daily powers – a simplified DnD intro game).

    I feel strongly that reducing frustrations greatly enhance the game.

    Reducing – not eliminating….

    After all, triumph without peril brings no glory.

  15. I honestly never build my characters to rely on my dailies, I use them for escape routes and some finesse to combat, but they deal about the same damage as my sly florish.

  16. One of the cards in my player reward deck allows the holder to spend one action point plus a healing surge to recover a daily power. Players are more than willing to give up an AP, but it’s the HS that makes them think « Hmm, is getting the attack back worth the sacrifice? »

    Of course, I do make it hard for the group to take extended rests, so those surges are precious.

  17. I used to be the house-rule king, until I got to 4E. Since then, the dailies are the only thing that have bothered me.

    If I were to house-rule it, I’d say that you can opt for your daily to go off anytime you roll a natural 20 (but keep it a non-natural 20 result). cringe Roll again to confirm the critical.

    I don’t know, it was just a thought.


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