#RPGaDAY 2016 Day 21

What was the funniest misinterpretation of a game rule in your group?

Do people normally have funny misinterpretations of rules? It doesn’t seem like a real source of comedy to me.

I guess the winner has to be Spirit of the Healing Flood, a shaman daily power from 4E. It’s a burst attack that barely damages every enemy within five squares. Its real function is to give all allies in that burst regeneration 2 when they’re bloodied. It didn’t seem like much until we realized that “bloodied” meant “at half health or lower”, including “at negative hit points”. In 4E, if a character at negative hit points gains any healing at all, he or she goes to zero hit points before the healing is applied. This meant a player at negative hit points at the beginning of their turn would actually start their turn at two hit points, always.

That’s still not too terribly bad, except we were running the intentionally lethal Delve Night, a series of one-shots where players came with overpowered builds and we responded accordingly. Most sessions had at least one character death, sometimes before that player’s first action. A power that made characters largely immune to death changed the meta entirely. It meant monsters had to go around beating on unconscious PCs to kill them before the regeneration kicked in, wasting everybody’s time and turning every session into DPS races against practice dummies. Sessions largely ran like a game of whack-a-mole with PCs continually falling down and popping back up, essentially playing a series of minions with a shared pool of powers.

It turns out regeneration doesn’t work when creatures are below one hit point, unlike how it worked in 3E. But for one month, that shaman and its hermit crab nearly derailed the entire campaign. I guess that’s kind of funny.

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