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At what point does reskinning become gamebreaking?

If a player desperately wants to swap out a Force keyword for Fire, is that going to destroy the combat system? I know there's a precedent for it regarding monsters (heck, it's outright encouraged) but PCs are a whole different matter.

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If it's changing the mechanics at all, it's no longer "refluffing". – SevenSidedDie Oct 24 '13 at 0:05
You may be thinking of "reskinning". That's a broader term for using the basic math of a creature or power as the basis for homebrewing something mechanically different, but similar. (No, these terms aren't obvious. That's totally not your fault. :) – SevenSidedDie Oct 24 '13 at 0:05
@SevenSidedDie, thanks. I changed it. – NinthNova Oct 24 '13 at 0:23
Cool, glad to help. It's a good question! – SevenSidedDie Oct 24 '13 at 0:28
up vote 6 down vote accepted

If they're not gaining significant bonuses from the fire keyword, it's not going to break anything at all.

If they're a maxed out uberpyromancer: make them choose a power that actually is Fire (or use a magic item/feat that changes it to fire).

Damage types on their own are mostly even (although Radiant is the best, as so many undead are weak to it, and Poison is the worst as so many things are immune); it's when you start adding in feats that it becomes significant.

So, if they're doing it just for the flavour let them: it won't break anything.

If they're doing it because they get bonuses for that damage type: make them pay for the boost. They can use Flaming weapons as implements (staves can be flaming, as can swords/daggers) if the power was originally untyped or take an arcane admixture feat to change that one power.

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What makes those the best or worst damage types? Is it just the amount of monsters vulnerable or resistant to them? – doppelgreener Oct 24 '13 at 0:13
"make them pay for the boost" - How? – doppelgreener Oct 24 '13 at 0:23
Yes, Radiant is the most commonly vulnerable (all undead) and the most rarely resisted (mostly angelic beings and gods). Poison is the opposite, almost never something things are vulnerable to, and most undead are immune. – Stephen Coffey Oct 24 '13 at 0:25
If a player wants a power to be fire they can get a flaming sword, or a summer blade(IIRC), and learn to use it as an implement; by adding fire damage to the attack it becomes a fire attack. Or they can take an arcane admixture feat or item to allow it to be a fire power. I used to play a fire-based bard, who got massive bonuses with fire. She was willing to spend her weapon slot on a level 5+ flaming weapon, because it was well worth it. – Stephen Coffey Oct 24 '13 at 0:27
@StephenCoffey What's a common vulnerability/resistance is highly dependent on the scenario. An experienced game master should be able to choose their encounters in a way which balances the usefulness of the parties elemental damage abilities. – Philipp Oct 24 '13 at 10:30

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