Monday, January 23, 2012

An alternative to AEDU

The 4E Power system has a lot of haters. I am not one of them. As there are a lot of people who are against the AEDU system, I thought I would post some initial thoughts.

AEDU stands for "At-Will, Encounter, Daily, Utility" and sums up in four letters the current power system. There are At-Will powers that can be used every round, Encounter powers that can be used once per fight, and Daily powers that can be used once per day. The Utility powers fall into one of these three categories.

Most of the hatred seems to come from the idea that certain abilities can only be used once a day. Personally I like this for a mechanic, but I understand where they are coming from. While playing 4E I really enjoy the current power system, it is a whole lot more fun when you chose what to do based on what you are fighting and how the battle is going.

But for an alternative how about a system that replaces Daily with Limited. You can use one Limited power per fight, but you can choose which one and use the same power every fight if you want. On big fights where players need to pull out all the stops, the DM adds a time where the players get a second Limited power use. Eg. The boss becomes bloodied, and everyone gets another Limited power usage.

You could do similar for Encounters if you want, maybe starting with 2 per combat and then giving an extra Encounter usage for every 5 levels a character has. Personally I don't like this system as much, but it is a cross between AEDU and the Vancian system. One advantage this system could have us you could introduce preparation of powers at the start of the day, so if you wanted a wizard to have 100 powers in his spell book and only able to learn maybe half a dozen of each type of power in the morning and then select from them in combat for that day.

This would allow for some things that were moved to rituals in 4E to become powers again, which would be good as the current ritual system is flawed. But I am not sure that this single fact makes this suggestion an improvement.

As I said I prefer the current system than this suggestion, but it does start to address some of the concerns lots of people seem to have with AEDU.

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