Monday, August 16, 2010

An in-depth analysis of the status condition: Daze

Daze. The player only gets one action of any type, excepting free actions, during their turn. They may not take any opportunity actions, including immediate interrupts and immediate reactions.

That seems like it sucks. The first experience with it sucked, that's for sure. I never took the time to really think about WHY it sucked though. Recently, I encountered being dazed again. This time though, I didn't even care. I was too busy bashing faces in and trying to complete the objective to really notice, honestly. That got me thinking, why was the first time so bad?

The answer is pretty simple, positioning. If you are in position already, daze doesn't matter. You don't spend movement most of the time, anyway, save for maybe a shift. If the enemy moves away from you, you can't smack them, but you can then charge them. That's not so bad. Ranged has similar concerns, coupled with a greater need to move, should an enemy decide to encounter them.

When daze is really awful is when something else makes it bad. A persistent zone, fantastic terrain, or movement due to some sort of trap or obstacle. It's also bad if you need your minors consistently. Leaders suffer the most from this, with defenders being right behind them. If the defender doesn't care about the punishing portion, depending on the defender, and they just want the mark, as was my particular case last session, it matters less.

So what do to with daze? Try not to use it while characters are taking damage from a zone or something, unless it's a take damage at the end of their turn zone. If that's the case, sure, no problem. Try not to plan it around stopping healing, or making healing the only thing a leader can do. It's not a great time. Use it at the beginning of combat, or on a surprise round, make movement and strategy a commodity early on, without locking down a class entirely. Daze melee. They can have the option of using charges or other basic abilities if need be. It impacts them a lot, but still less than others. Use daze to cover a retreat. It's a great way to make a bad guy into a villain.

So what's my opinion? I don't hate it as much as I used to hate it. It has a place, but hopefully we don't visit that place too often.

1 comment:

  1. I felt that, on the receiving end, an attack that sets me up for a daze is far less grumble-inducing than attacks that just flat out daze. The draconians who used a follow-up attack on me while I was poisoned to do just that were not nearly as aggravating as, say, a persisting zone that dazes or an at-will attack that can daze.

    Being aware of the incoming possibility of a daze can cause me to change my tactics when I am in position to receive one, rather than being victim to either an unavoidable daze condition or the whims of the Random Number Gods. Though I opted to press the attack rather, it was extremely liberating to have the option to either find cover or actively purge the poison somehow, rather than just suck up a daze for a turn.