Tweaking 4E: Beefing up the basic attack

I’m still throwing the idea around of at least doing a one-shot of 4E once in a while. Maybe do another campaign if I can get some interested in giving it a go. So far they’ve been enjoying another setting and another game. One thing that I want to do is bring back the idea of using a basic attack or at the very least have it in place of an at-will.

Face it, a lot of at-will attacks have that generic option of a single target attack that simply uses a high ability score aligned with a certain class. As I mentioned way back in an old post, there is even a PHB2 feat that does something similar. So why not make a go of it and go full out? I think this actually might open up some classes to being able to focus on other abilities and not lag too behind other builds. Now I could have that CON-based fighter which could still be able to reliably roll out the basic attack damage. So here are my thoughts for a different basic attack-like ability.

All players at level 1 gain a trained basic attack. The player must select one option when this power at character generation. This power cannot be re-trained.

A) The player picks a weapon group they are proficient with (ex. axes, bows, light blades, etc.). The player can use one ability score of their choice to be applied to that weapon group. If this ability replaces the default strength (melee) or dexterity/strength (ranged/heavy thrown) modifiers for that weapon, then the chosen ability score bonus is applied to both to hit and damage rolls. The power retains the martial keyword and weapon keyword. At 21st level, the power gains [2W] damage (plus appropriate bonuses).

B) The player gains a ranged basic attack that can target 1 creature. The power has a range and damage equivalent to a level 1 At-Will power of choice from their class. The power gains a damage keyword equivalent to the power source of the class (i.e. arcane, divine, primal, etc.) and the implement keyword. The power gains a bonus to hit and damage rolls based on an ability score of choice. At 21st level, the power gains one additional damage die, plus the appropriate bonuses (example, if the trained basic attack power does 1d8 + modifiers, at 21st level it will to 2d8 + modifiers).

Regular basic attacks are still in the game, but the player can have this listed first as their bread-and-butter attack. It’s the go to attack when they aren’t sure to pull out an encounter or daily power. A fall back choice for an attack and be comforted that they aren’t crippling themselves. I’ll have to tweak this some more, but looking forward to trying this in game.


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