4e errata update: Wizards and Rogues do happy dance

Wizards of the Coast have posted the a fresh batch of errata…. I mean Updates,  to Fourth Edition D&D and the big winners this time around are the Wizards and Rogues in your team. There’s other changes including a bunch for the Cleric, but frankly they don’t interest me. Clerics. Bah!

For the Rogues, the Tumble second level Utility now lets the Rogue Shift up to their full Speed once per Encounter (it was previously half-speed). That’s a terrific boost – picture an Elf Rogue (Speed 7 ftw!) moving into combat on the surprise round (and ignoring Difficult Terrain, because that’s what Elves do) doing a buttload of Sneak Attack damage then doing the same again the next round and Tumbling back out before the poor guy even knows what’s hit him. Oh yes!

Wizards get two major changes, most controversial of which is a complete re-write to Magic Missile. In keeping with the good old Magic Missile of old, it now automatically hits, but only does a teensy amount of damage (2 + INT modifier in the Heroic Tier). That’s enough to auto-kill a fleeing Minion or take down a Villain down to his last Hit Points in the most insulting way possible (expect “I finished Orcus with a Magic Missile!” T-Shirts at a store near you), and not much else.

Except……..

Dude! It’s an auto-hitting At-Will Power! The potential for serious abuse at the game table is vast. Or it would be, if I could think up specific examples. But I’m sure there are some out there. Vast, I say!

There’s also the inevitable changes to the Staves and Wands of Magic Missile to bring them in line with the new-slash-old spell. The Staff lets you target two opponents with your teensy tiny auto-hitting spell, while the wand pushes them back 1 square. Simple, really.

Secondly, Dispel Magic changes from being a Daily to being Per Encounter. That’s a great improvement, and one which makes it much more worthwhile selecting from the list of available 6th level Utility Spells.

Beyond that, I’m still digesting the errata (figuratively speaking), but these are the items which stand out on first read through.

If there’s anything show stopping I’ve missed, just holler.

Overall, it’s one sweet little set of updates and improvements.

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16 Responses

  1. David says:

    Holy crap! I will have to inform my players post haste!

  2. metaDM says:

    I’m still on the fence about magic missile. Someone made a great tweet earlier. They asked why gregbilsland didn’t just add a Miss: 2 + Int mod damage so that crits and implement bonuses were not negated. Seems like a more even handed approach to me.

    • greywulf says:

      Minions take no damage on a Miss though, so that wouldn’t work for Magic Missile.

      After my initial surprise at the change, I think they’ve got it right.

  3. Dennis says:

    “For the Rogues, the Tumble second level Utility now lets the Rogue Shift up to their full Speed once per Encounter (it was previously half-speed).”

    The fact that I have been playing D&D for 26 years and have no idea what this sentence is talking about makes me realize how much the game has changed.

    • greywulf says:

      Oddly enough I felt just the same when AD&D came along with all that talk about THAC0, Weapon Speed, Reach and whatnot. Every edition brings it’s own language & terminology to the table.

      The more things change, the more they stay the same, eh?

  4. drow says:

    i’d be happy, except i ignore errata and updates.

  5. Elton says:

    I hate to break it to you all, but I have a nagging feeling that fourth Edition will be the last to come out of Wizards of the Coast. But if my feeling is correct, no one will be able to enforce their copyrights. Which means . . .

    Something terrible is going to happen, pretty soon, before 4th Edition’s term expires in 2014. I think.

    • benpop says:

      Except Hasbro owns WotC and therefor 4e and they have the wherewithal to defend the copyright.

      I’d be interested in knowing what led to this feeling of yours.

    • greywulf says:

      You… you don’t mean…… Wizards of the Coast are going to sell D&D to Kevin Simbeida at Palladium !!!!

      Oh, the horror!

      Seriously, 4e D&D is doing just fine and dandy, thanks very much :D

      • Elton says:

        Oh, but Kevin wishes. Then there would be no sharing of D&D anywhere. :P

        There was a firm that tried to take over Hasbro but they managed to ignore them or slap them away.

  6. Anarkeith says:

    metaDM’s suggestion of damage on miss sounds spot on to me, but are there really enough magic missile users out there to care?

    • greywulf says:

      It is an iconic spell, and this brings it more in line with the original spirit of Magic Missile as a low-powered but darned reliable stand-by.

      The fact that it doesn’t miss means there’s plenty of role-playing potential in there too. Need to hit that button on the far wall to de-activate the trap? Magic Missile the sucker! :D

  7. Anarkeith says:

    I’d agree Robin, if there weren’t other options for the rp’ing (Mage hand, unseen servant). I agree that auto-hit matches the spirit of the original, but I think the damage-on-miss that metaDM proposes is a better solution in the spirit of 4e. But you know what they say about opinions. K|:-)

  8. Swordgleam says:

    That’s awesome. I have a rogue who multiclassed wizard just to take expeditious retreat instead of tumble.

  9. Tourq says:

    I’d have to say that if we didn’t have the Character Builder, I would have abandoned 4e a long time ago. I like it too much. If I had to start worrying about powers being different, I’d eat my gun.

    If they ever make a Character Builder for Star Wars Saga (cough, yeah right), I’d go back to that.

    -Tourq

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