Thursday, March 5, 2009

Ignoring Unnecessary Rules

I'm taking a short hiatus from building the Shadow's Apex campaign setting today for a mini-rant and to ask some advice.

I don't like game rules that make me think about nit picky mechanics when I should be thinking about the storyline or about my overall strategy in combat. The most glaring example I can think of that bothered me was the "choose an opponent each round" crap that was included in the Dodge feat in 3rd edition. There just wasn't a big enough payoff for the mental energy it took to remember to choose an opponent, not to mention the energy it took for my players to keep reminding me, "My armor class is 19 against that guy, but 18 against everybody else." It didn't take long to houserule the Dodge feat into a static +1 to AC that you lost whenever you lost your Dex bonus.

In 4e, there was a deliberate attempt to remove rules, feats, and powers that were irritating in that regard. However, looking ahead a few levels, I foresee having the same gripe about the restriction on the number of item daily powers you can use (PHB 226). Right now, no PC has more than one or two magic items so this isn't an issue in the least, but I'm dreading having to keep up with (or reminding my players to keep up with) whether or not they can use an item power due to their tier and the number of milestones they have completed.

I'm considering eliminating that rule completely ahead of time just to avoid the irritation. However, since no 4e campaign we have run has reached higher than 4th level (and our current campaign is only at 2nd), I don't have the experience with the system to know whether or not this will seriously unbalance things.

For those of you more experienced with the system, has this rule been beneficial to you at all? Is it as big of a pain to keep up with as I think it will be? Does anyone else ignore it?
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