Saturday, May 16, 2009

Tempus, the mightiest god of the Realms.

I tend to forget about the Realms. I don't own any of the Campaign Setting books, and haven't played a game in that setting since 3rd Edition. Still, thanks to the magic of DDI, parts of the Realms trascend their plane of existance, and turn up in our setting-agnostic, Points of Light games. That is how I came to know the Swordmage, of which I discussed recently. Today we'll talk about other piece of the Realms that is quickly becoming universal, one god with countless followers, whose might is unmatched. Bow before Tempus, god of Critical Hits!

For those not versed in religion, Tempus is a god of war who knows REALLY well what his worshippers need. And he gives it to them: his Channel Divinity feat (Righteous Rage of Tempus, or just RRoT) turns your next melee attack into a critical hit, provided it hits. There have been plenty of teological debates on whether this is a fair reward or the most overpowered feat ever. I tend to sympathize with the latter - I'm tempted to convert to Tempus, and I don't even play a divine character!
I proposed a house rule to fix this in the WotC forums, which Ill shamelessly quote:

How about keeping the auto-crit effect, but somehow restricting its use? There's plenty of precedent - we have CD feats that trigger on killing foes, fighting undead or even rolling natural 20s on saving throws.

The following change still allows you to have an extra critical hit almost every encounter, but you will have no choice in when or where to use it. Change range to "Close burst 5", and add the line:

"Target: An enemy that has critically hit you or one ally since your last turn".

Now you get a random chance at a guaranteed critical hit, if that makes any sense. It's kind of karmic, and compares favorably with Armor of Bahamut (which I always thought of as a decent feat), so it shouldn't be too bad. The most abusive uses, like one-shotting someone on the surprise round or always using it with encounter or daily powers, should become unlikely, if not impossible.

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