Gabe’s 4E House Rule

June 24, 2010

Gabe of Penny Arcade has a smart house rule where all skill checks in combat are Minor actions.

One of the core lessons WOTC pulled away from Magic the Gathering and 3.0 was that actions, or turns, was the most valuable resource in play. In the middle of D&D combat which is basically a race to reduce hitpoints, it’s pretty hard for most players to justify giving up an action to win that race instead for something of possibly non-useful value.

Still though, despite the changes in terms of the type of fantasy D&D portrays with this new edition, it’s pretty clear that this design fact plus the shift in imagery hasn’t been fully absorbed yet- doing extra stuff in combat is still a novelty in a lot of the encounters they produce, as opposed to an expectation.

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