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Hello Community! I'm a bit of an eccentric. As a long-time fan of both D&D, Warhammer40k, and all variety of other gaming influences... you'll probably see a bit of mixing of the genres from this humble tech-priest. I'm particularly drawn to the more artificial aspects of the default Dungeons & Dragons universe: undead, constructs, soul-powered doomsday devices. I can be a bit of a perfectionist and get a little wordy, but hopefully we'll still get along. Let's become good friends! Please post any notes you have for me on my talk page rather than here. Thanks in advance for your interest!

Disclaimer: I intend no criticisms to be in any way condescending or offensive. I will try my best to state opinion as opinion and provide hard facts and evidence where approprite, but please forgive me if I slip now and again. I'll do my best to offer the same courtesy and grant the Benefit of the Doubt to all who oppose me. O.o

Note to Self: Don't forget your secret project.

Obsession I: Zerg[edit]

Hydralisk (4e Monster)
Zergling (4e Monster)
Baneling (4e Monster)
Infestor (4e Monster)

In Progress:
Queen, Roach, Broodling

Zerg Tactics[edit]

The Swarm oftentimes employs tactics that seem simplistic on the outside, leading to the belief that they are little more than an incarnate wave of mindless destruction, however, there is more often than not a method to the madness -- a cunning plan that only becomes apparent after it is far too late. The zerg often favour ambushes, multi-pronged assaults, and counter-attacks that leave their victims blinking stupidly in complete surprise. Those who have experience with the Swarm know that the obvious attack may very well be a diversion, as the zerg care nothing for their own lives, if it serves a greater purpose. Below are outlined some of the tactics that might be employed by the Swarm to catch their prey off guard.

Burrowing: Zerg are fond of lying in wait to burst forth from shallow burrows when prey stumbles into their trap. Careful scrutiny of an area may reveal these would-be ambushers, however, the Swarm can act with greater coordination, routing their prey into a waiting trap or luring them into a crossfire with a feigned retreat. A very few strains even possess the ability to tunnel through the ground, swimming through earth and stone with ease to strike in the most seemingly secure locations.

Overlords: To a novice, overlords are little more than the eyes of the zerg. They guide and direct the Swarm's minions on the battlefield, but if none of the more dangerous breeds are to be seen, it is deemed ultimately harmless. Such a mistaken conculsion is never reached twice, as overlords are often evolved in such a way as to carry several of their earthbound siblings with no outward indication of such deadly cargo. In this way, a single ignored overlord can cause a great deal of chaos.

Nydus Worms: An extablished hive cluster often has access to the genetic material and resources needed to create a Nydus network -- a vast labyrinth of giant tunneling worms whose intestines act as living corridors to transport the minions of the Swarm. Like the zerg creep, Nydus canals help any zerg within them along, speeding up travel by an incredible degree. The worst feature of the network, for the foes of the Swarm, is the extreme stealth of the tunneling worms. The only warning of an inbound Nydus worm is a slight tremmor mere seconds before its gargantuan head busts from the ground, unleashing a torrent of zerg from it's lamprey-like maw.

Obsession II: 4e Balance Analysis[edit]

The following table shows the current standards for monster defenses and player attack rolls, taking the influence of magic items and optimized ability scores into account. I'm assuming 16 + 2 racial bonus for ability scores, because 18 + 2 racial is rarely practical. For magic items, I'm going by the item level rather than when players might start to find them, because at that level the whole party is likely equipped thanks to purchases or the Enchant Magic Item ritual. It culminates in the theoretical attack roll needed to hit the average monster at that level.

Level Standard Defense Typical Attack Bonus From Ability From Level From Magic Roll to Hit
1st 13 +5 +4 +0 +1 8 or more
2st 14 +6 "" +1 "" 8
3rd 15 "" "" "" "" 9
4th 16 +7 "" +2 "" 9
5th 17 "" "" "" "" 10
6th 18 +9 "" +3 +2 9
7th 19 "" "" "" "" 10
8th 20 +11 +5 +4 "" 9
9th 21 "" "" "" "" 10
10th 22 +12 "" +5 "" 10
11th 23 +13 "" "" +3 10
12th 24 +14 "" +6 "" 10
13th 25 "" "" "" "" 11
14th 26 +16 +6 +7 "" 10
15th 27 "" "" "" "" 11
16th 28 +18 "" +8 +4 10
17th 29 "" "" "" "" 11
18th 30 +19 "" +9 "" 11
19th 31 "" "" "" "" 12
20th 32 +20 "" +10 "" 12
21th 33 +22 +7 "" +5 11
22th 34 +23 "" +11 "" 11
23th 35 "" "" "" "" 12
24th 36 +24 "" +12 "" 12
25th 37 "" "" "" "" 13
26th 38 +26 "" +13 +6 12
27th 39 "" "" "" "" 13
28th 40 +28 +8 +14 "" 12
29th 41 "" "" "" "" 13
30th 42 +29 "" +15 "" 13

Note: the Standard Defense indicates the level apropriate AC minus weapon proficiency bonus (typical +2) and non-AC defenses as suggested in the DMG. I'll look into actual monster statistics as well, to make sure this is practical.

I have included neither class features, nor sundry items' and powers' effects above. I'll try to get to them later on in the article. Feel free to submit anything I've missed as the point of the analysis is definitely accuracy.

As you can see, the necessary roll to hit (given the factors included in this analysis) gradually increases from 1st to 30th levels. This hike in difficulty might be simply expected, otherwise, it might need to be forstalled. This gives us two approaches to game balance: gradual curve and linear progression.

Source Bonus per Level Bonus per Tier Overall per Tier
Ability Complex +1 1/2 8 1/2
Level 1 per 2 +5
Magic 1 per 5 +2

One factor that I didn't include above was the Expertise feats, which are Heroic tier. In my personal opinion, no one should go without them. At the same time, if they're taken right away, it makes hitting your target absurdly easy in the early levels, then things start getting harder from there, which is consistent with the gradual curve approach. If the linear progression is preferred, I suggest that Implement/Weapon Expertise be made a Paragon Feat instead and be rewritten as follows:

Implement/Weapon Expertise You gain a +1 bonus to attacks with the chosen implement or weapon for each 10 levels above 1st. Special: This feat may be taken multiple times, each time applying to a different implement or weapon.

Even with these changes the equation is still slightly non-linear. The irregularity comes from the ability score increases. They make the mistake, if I may be so bold, of clinging half-way to tradition while introducing the new tier system. They should have thrown out the old way and evened it out, if linear progression was their goal (which is an open quesiton).

The solution: grant ability increases every 3rd level into the tier (3rd, 6th, 9th, then 13th, 16th, 19th, etc.) as well as the usual welcoming bonus at 11th and 21st. This way, the (possible) increase to any one ability score will be 4 points per 10 levels (in agregate), for a +2 bonus increase to dependent rolls. The ultimate results are as follows.

Source Bonus per Level Bonus per Tier Overall per Tier
Ability Complex +2 10
Level 1 per 2 +5
Magic 1 per 5 +2
Expertise 1 per 10 +1

This coincides prefectly with the recommended defenses per level progression in the DMG, thus ensuring that the game can proceed at a predictable challenge level with minimal need for further modification. The climactic and wondrous benefit of this is, theoretically, that gameplay will not become unbalanced, no matter how long you play, so long as these key elements remain in their proper progression. Look forward to contributions reaching into the next several tiers, sometime in the future: the Catastrophic, Apocalyptic and the Cosmic Tiers (names are not set in stone). :P

Other Considerations[edit]

There are, of course, other influences on attack rolls. Below I'll compile a list of class features, powers, feats and items that affect attacks and analyze their impact, making suggestions as appropriate.

Class Features & Powers[edit]


  • Oath of Emnity allows the avenger to roll 2d20 when attacking and use the better die. It's effectiveness depends on how easy or difficult the defense would be to overcome initially. Drawbacks are that you gain no bonus when swarmed and can only pursue one foe at a time until it's dead.
  • Channel Divinity: Divine Guidance allows an ally to gain the benefit of your Oath on an attack once per encounter as an immdediate interrupt.


  • Taneborne Triumph grants a bonus to the next attack the barbarian or an ally makes targeting a creature (s)he just bloodied equal to the babarian's Charisma modifier (secondary).
This is an unlimited, triggered effect that technically does not require any action. In reality, you have to attack and bloody an enemy to grant the bonus. It is limited enough in usage that it shouldn't present problems.


  • Guiding Strike is an at-will attack power that allows the bard to reduce one of the target's defenses by 2 on a hit.
This effectively aids as many allies as can hit the target's chosen defense, the bard included, on his/her next turn. With a good mix of characters though, not all of them may be able to attack that defense. Seems reasonable to me.


  • Channel Divinity: Divine Fortune can, as a free action, grant a +1 bonus to the cleric's next attack. This is an encounter power.
Stacks with power bonuses, but small and limited usage.
  • Lance of Faith is an at-will attack power that, if successful, grants an ally in sight a +2 power bonus to its next attack roll against the target.
  • Righteous Brand is an infamous, at-will attack power that, if successful, grants an ally within 10 squares a power bonus to its next melee attack roll against the target equal to your primary ability modifier.
If attacks and defenses follow a linear progression, advancing bonuses are a no-no. Even with the gradual curve model, this power is a bit excessive, being at-will. I'll come back to it.


  • Pounce is an at-will beastform attack power that causes the target to grant combat advantage to the next attacker.


  • Combat Superiority grants fighters a bonus to opportunity attacks equal to their Wisdom modifier, likely a tertiary ability.
This only applies to opportunity attack, which puts it largely under DM control. A clever DM will make it fun and useful, but never threaten balance.
  • Fighter Weapon Talent grants fighters a static +1 bonus to attacks with either one-handed or two-handed weapons. We can assume this will always be in effect, since a figher ought to always have his/her best tool in hand.
This is pretty typical with similar abilities popping up in other classes.
  • Sure Strike: is an at-will Weapon attack vs. AC that is effectively always rolled with a +2 bonus.
Lower damage balances this well enough, despite at-will usage.


  • Channel Divinity: Preserver's Rebuke you add your Intelligence modifier (secondary) to your next attack roll against an opponent within 10 squares who damaged an ally. Usable once per encounter.
This lies somewhere between Divine Favor and Taneborn Triumph.


  • Valiant Strike is an at-will attack power that gains a bonus of one or more to it's attack roll, depending on how many enemies are adjacent to the paladin.
Variable bonus is somewhat under DM control. The paladin might position himself well and get a good bonus, but a wary DM will protect "important" enemies.


  • Prime Shot works much like the fighter's Weapon Talent, but is more limited. The ranger must be the closest among his/her allies to the target and be using a ranged attack.
  • Careful Attack is almost exactly like Sure Strike, but also ranged.


  • Weapon Talent resembles the fightter's Weapon Talent but is limited to daggers (as far as the attack bonus is concerned).
Vavious weapons count as daggers for this class feature, but generally their damage is low. It mainly serves to encourage the "rogues use daggers" theme and low weapon damage is offset somewhat by Sneak Attack. Still high Template:W powers will suffer a little. Works for me.
  • Piercing Strike is an at-will Weapon attack power against a non-AC defense. This is equivalent to a +2 bonus, in many cases.
Not too scary.