Author Topic: Infinite Damage Loop? (Via Playtest Artificer)  (Read 7815 times)

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AlterFrom

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Infinite Damage Loop? (Via Playtest Artificer)
« on: July 19, 2008, 02:53:56 AM »
Reposted from here. Not my work, but I thought it would be worth crossposting.

Quote from: Cranston
Meet Springer McGee.  Springer is a 19th level Arificer and overall friendly fellow.  He's got a pretty good suite of powers, a good AC, and is a generally well-rounded character.  He also keeps a nasty surprise up his sleeve, which may be 4e's first true infinite-damage combo.  I haven't seen this anywhere else, so this is hopefully a CharOp exclusive :)

THE COMBO: BASICS
1) Set up an infinite movement loop.
2) Place a "damage upon entering" zone inside of the loop.
3) If possible, move an enemy into the loop, otherwise....
4) Use an effect which deals a portion of the damage you take to an enemy, and
5) Move yourself into the loop, and
6) Use Soulforged Armor to avoid dying when your hit points spiral down to negative infinity.

THE COMBO: IMPLEMENTATION
Character[/B]:  Springer McGee, Tiefling Artificer 19/Doomsayer

Feats Used[/B]: 
Pact Initiate (star pact), Ritual Caster (for making required magic items), Chain Armor Proficiency, Scale Armor Proficiency, Plate Armor Proficiency. 
*Note that of all these, only Pact Initiate is technically required.  Star Pact lets Springer go Doomsayer and get Fates Entwined for his damage-sharing power, but you could take another pact/paragon path and just wait until level 25, when Curse of the Twin Princes becomes available.  Ritual Caster is nice, but you can in theory just find/buy/commission the items required.  Soulforged Armor is required for this trick, but you don't technically need to be proficient in it for the trick to work, since the Soulforged power is an always-on property.  But I go ahead and pay for proficiency because it's much more awesome that way.  Tiefling is also not required, but has good ability synergy for an Artificer/Warlock (INT/CHA).

Powers Used[/B]:
Arcane Springboard (daily, utility, Artificer 2)
Hunger of Hadar (daily, attack, Warlock 5)
Fates Entwined (encounter, attack, Doomsayer 11)
*Arcane Springboard is the broken power that makes this combo possible, thanks to enabling infinite movement.  Hunger of Hadar can be replaced with any zone-creating power capable of damaging you.  Fates Entwined can be replaced with any power that shares your damage with an enemy.

Class Features Used[/B]: 
Healing Infusion: Restorative Formula (Artificer)
*Just so you can restore yourself after going down to negative infinity hit points.  Thankfully, healing automatically "brings you to zero" no matter how far in the negatives you were, and then adds hit points on top of that.

Magic Items Used[/B]:
Catstep Boots
Soulforged Armor
*Soulforged Armor is obviously necessary.  Catstep boots might not be, depending on whether you think it's possible to use Arcane Springboard when you're prone.  But hey, better safe than sorry, and Catstep Boots ensure you're always on your feet when you hit the springboard.

Rounds Required[/U]: 2

Assumptions[/U]:
1) If I'm wearing Soulforged Armor, I can take any amount of damage in a round without suffering any consequences thereof until the end of the next round.


2a) I can jump straight up.
2b) If I end my jumping movement in the air, I fall.
2c) If I fall and land on my feet in a square, I am "entering that square."
2d) Therefore, I can bounce straight up and down an infinite number of times in a single round on my Arcane Springboard.

Now, I know that all the balance-obsessed people are going to get all huffy and aloof about this one, but the way the power is written it is just ripe for abuse.  The solution to the "problem" (if you consider infinite damage a problem, you boring, boring person) is obviously to fix Arcane Springboard, either by saying that any character can use it only once per round, or by limiting the amount of extra move it can give you, or something. 

And if you think you can argue out of it with some not-in-the-rules assumption about falling automatically ending your turn, or ending your move, or some such, I cooked up another version of this trick that uses horizontal jumping through an Arcane Gate, and avoids falling altogether.  And you can alternately drop 2 Arcane Springboards and bounce horizontally back and forth between them, enabling yet another infinite movement loop (there are several ways to regain a Daily power, or you could have 2 Artificers working together, etc).  The problem originates with the way Arcane Springboard is written, and that's what will certainly be changed when Eberron comes out in 2009. 

WALKING THROUGH THE COMBO[/U]:

On Round 1, Springer McGee uses Fates Entwined or another damage-sharing power to target the poor, unfortunate god/demon/whatever whom he wishes to disintegrate.  Fates Entwined will last until the end of round 2.

On Round 2, Springer uses Arcane Springboard, tossing the resulting artifice on the ground, 1 square in front of him.  He then uses Hunger of Hadar, centering the burst on himself.  Hunger of Hadar is a Burst 1, and encompasses the square in which the artifice lies, as well as (although it doesn't matter) the squares directly above both Springer and his artifice.  Don't forget to think in 3D! :)  Springer may or may not hit himself, and may or may not take damage from Hunger of Hadar.  If he does - great!  The unfortunate being who is the object of Springer's wrath takes damage too.
Springer then walks 1 square forward.  He isn't entering hindering terrain, so he doesn't have to make a save here.  Walking forward puts him on the Springboard, which means that he can now jump his Con modifier in squares without it counting against his speed (his speed being how much he can move in a round).  Springer's Con modifier is 2, so he jumps 2 squares, straight up into the air, in this case.  At 2 squares above the ground, Springer is now outside of the Hunger of Hadar.  How nice!  But uh oh!  Now he's reached the top of his jump and isn't on solid ground, which means he falls straight back down again.  The rules are very clear about you reaching the ground before the end of your turn.  As soon as Springer falls 1 square, he is back in the zone of Hunger of Hadar.  Because he entered the zone, he immediately takes 2d10 necrotic damage.  Thanks to Fates Entwined, his target takes half that amount in psychic damage.  Springer now fall the rest of the way to the ground.  When he arrives there, he would normally be prone, but his Catstep Boots ensure that he lands on his feet.  Humorously, Catstep Boots don't obviate the falling damage, so he probably takes another d10 damage from hitting the ground.  As soon as he lands, on his feet, he's entered the artifice's square.  Which means he can now jump his Con modifier in squares, thanks to this foolishly unlimited power.  Beta test for a reason, right?  So up he goes, out of the cloud.  And down he comes, back into the cloud, taking damage as he enters it.  And the enemy takes damage whenever Springer takes damage. 

Jump, exit, fall, enter, ouch, share damage, land, repeat. 

Soon, Springer has got negative 800 billion hit points, but he doesn't care, because as long as he hasn't finished his move, his turn isn't over.  And as long as his turn isn't over, his Soulforged Armour insulates him from actually having to suffer the consequences of the truly limitless damage he is enduring.  The poor enemy, we may assume, is not so lucky.

Once Springer's target has been reduced to leptons, quarks, and ambient energy, he voluntarily ends his move by not taking the free jump when he lands.  Note that the power says you can jump, not that you must.  He then uses a quick Healing Infusion on himself, bringing him from negative infinity hit points to somewhere in the bloodied range. 

Then, he watches as time and space and reason and logic reassert themselves, probably in a very visually appealing fashion.

And there you have it.  As far as I know, the first true infinite-damage loop in 4th Edition.

Do I get a cookie?

Objections and Responses[/U]:
Obj1) He gets a save before entering hindering terrain, eventually ending his move.
Response A:  First off, he doesn't get a save, since it isn't technically forced movement.  If forced movement would cause you to enter hindering terrain, you get a "catch yourself" saving throw (see DMG, page 44), but again, this isn't forced movement.
Response B:  He's in mid-air.  Even if he did get a save, which he doesn't, passing it would leave him prone "in the square before entering the hindering terrain" - which in this case is the square directly above the hindering terrain...which would mean he would immediate resume falling again, make another save, etc.  Eventually, he will pass, and the loop resumes.

Obj2) Falling ends his movement/turn/falling doesn't work that way in general.
Response A:  I see nothing in the rules that says that falling either counts against your movement for the round or ends your movement.  Jumping down counts as part of your movement, but you'd have to have something to jump down from.  Landing and being prone would effectively end your move (since you'd have to spend a new action to stand up from prone), but the Catstep Boots mean that he never lands prone.  (see PHB, page 246)
Response B: As I said, it's easy to duplicate this trick without the need for falling at all.  One way is to use an Arcane Gate that loops you around back to the springboard.  Another way is to have an ability that lets you regain daily powers (or a second Artificer) and set up 2 springboards that you can bounce back and forth between.

Obj3) You have to spend a move action each time you jump.
Response A:  Nope.  You spend a move action to "move a number of squares up to your speed."  (PHB, page 292).  Jumping is "part of a move action."  (PHB, page 182).  In this case, the move action is a walk.  On arriving in the square, Springer can make a jump as part of the move action.  He is effectively walking, vertically, except that the movement doesn't count against his speed thanks to the Arcane Springboard.

Obj 4) I know there is something wrong in here somewhere.  This isn't supposed to happen, and it is absurd and ridiculous.  No sane DM would ever allow you to make an infinite number of jumps in a finite amount of time.
Response A:  That is entirely true.  However, D&D does not always model time and distance according to realism or sanity.   There is no real-physics engine crunching numbers for us during our games.  Yet.  And yes, no sane DM (including myself) would ever allow this.  But no sane DM ever would have allowed Pun-Pun, or the Omniscifier, or anything like any of them.  They're made for fun and giggles and as mental exercise.

So....I think I did it!  Infinite damage, yeah!
Quote
Springer's Stats:

Level 1:
STR 13
CON 13
DEX 10
INT 18
WIS 8
CHA 17

Level 11:
STR 14
CON 15
DEX 11
INT 21
WIS 9
CHA 19

Level 19:
STR 15
CON 15
DEX 11
INT 23
WIS 9
CHA 20

More optimal stats can be obtained by being a Warlock who multiclasses Artificer, enabling you to maximize CHA and pay less attention to INT, as you really only need the Artificer for Arcane Springboard.

It looks legit to me. But I can't help but notice something.

This is using the playtest version of the Artificer. And it was used in CharOp. So... CharOp playtested official material, and... ZOMG THEY FOUND BORKENNESS.  :lol  It's like letting CharOp playtest stuff actually helps balance it.
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X-Codes

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Re: Infinite Damage Loop? (Via Playtest Artificer)
« Reply #1 on: July 19, 2008, 08:39:11 AM »
ZOMG!  Playtest material is broken!  :o

No, not impressed.  :eh

Eepop

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Re: Infinite Damage Loop? (Via Playtest Artificer)
« Reply #2 on: July 21, 2008, 05:28:19 PM »
I imagine we will get errata sometime that a creature can only be effected by an "upon entering this zone" effect once per turn per zone.

That alone will fix this and greatly limit the "I push you in and out of a wall of fire" trick.

AlienFromBeyond

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Re: Infinite Damage Loop? (Via Playtest Artificer)
« Reply #3 on: July 21, 2008, 09:40:37 PM »
ZOMG!  Playtest material is broken!  :o

No, not impressed.  :eh
The whole point of releasing playtest material is so stuff like this can be found, reported, and fixed in the final version.

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Re: Infinite Damage Loop? (Via Playtest Artificer)
« Reply #4 on: July 22, 2008, 12:14:16 AM »
ZOMG!  Playtest material is broken!  :o

No, not impressed.  :eh
The whole point of releasing playtest material is so stuff like this can be found, reported, and fixed in the final version.
That's kinda why I posted.  This is the wrong audience for this thread because the Artificier isn't real rules yet.

Squirrelloid

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Re: Infinite Damage Loop? (Via Playtest Artificer)
« Reply #5 on: July 22, 2008, 12:22:37 AM »
ZOMG!  Playtest material is broken!  :o

No, not impressed.  :eh
The whole point of releasing playtest material is so stuff like this can be found, reported, and fixed in the final version.
That's kinda why I posted.  This is the wrong audience for this thread because the Artificier isn't real rules yet.

On the one hand, this is a good demonstration of why open beta-tests are good for the game.

On the other, it is official rules, because its in Dragon and everything in Dragon is official now.
The ignorant shall fall to the squirrels. -Chip 4:2

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Re: Infinite Damage Loop? (Via Playtest Artificer)
« Reply #6 on: July 22, 2008, 12:29:50 AM »
ZOMG!  Playtest material is broken!  :o

No, not impressed.  :eh
The whole point of releasing playtest material is so stuff like this can be found, reported, and fixed in the final version.
That's kinda why I posted.  This is the wrong audience for this thread because the Artificier isn't real rules yet.

On the one hand, this is a good demonstration of why open beta-tests are good for the game.

On the other, it is official rules, because its in Dragon and everything in Dragon is official now.
Ok, it's official Playtest rules.  Playtest rules are not real, and this thread is a prime example of why they're not.