Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Broken Bits: War Chanter

Broken Paragon Paths, Part Nine
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Most Paragon Paths in the game follow a very predictable pattern, with three class features and a bunch of powers. Of these features, one (gained at level 11) is always related to action point spending, with effects ranging from worthless to moderately interesting - but it is typically the other two that carry the weight, and make players choose a path over the rest. Enter War Chanter.

War Chanter, a Bard paragon path, has what is possibly the strongest action point related feature of the game in Inspire by Example. And, I’m sorry to say, it is too much. Inspire by Example provides a huge (typically between +4 and +8, depending on level), Con-based bonus to all attack and damage rolls of the bard’s allies for a full round after the bard spends an action point. With a moderate investment in constitution (a must-have for valorous bards, anyway), this usually means that the party will be automatically hitting with its attacks that round, and dealing much more damage than usual. Consider that these allies can spend their own action points during that turn, and that the bard (who isn’t affected by the bonus) has several ways to grant attacks to them, and madness ensues.

I opened a thread to discuss this paragon path on the official errata forums a while ago. You can find it here.

A fix

I toyed around with the idea of halving the bonuses provided by Inspire by Example, but this merely delayed the problem, rather than fixing it - bonuses of +4 were still possible at epic levels, and that was still problematic. Instead, I considered that the paragon path was already rewarding high constitution scores with Inspire by Word (an amazing temporary HP granting feature which more than justifies taking the path, by itself), so I could eschew reliance on Con to use flat modifiers with the values I considered fair:

Inspire by Example (11th level): When you spend an action point to take an extra action, each ally within 5 squares of you gains a +2 bonus to attack rolls and damage rolls until the end of your next turn.

A small bonus, but when you apply it to most attacks from your party over a whole round, it adds up to quite a bit.

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