Brash Assault is a 1st level Warlord at-will power, the Hit line is equivalent to a melee basic attack, but the Effect is more interesting:

Effect: The target can make a melee basic attack against you as a free action and has combat advantage for the attack. If the target makes this attack, an ally of your choice within 5 squares of the target can make a basic attack against the target as a free action and has combat advantage for the attack.

I always play the enemies as intelligent/cunning, even animals. While a wolf can not count to 10, it has enough intelligence to attack only if it thinks it can win. It will not fall for an obvious faint. Even if it does for the first time, it will not on the second try. What is an at-will worth if it can only be used once per encounter?

In practice this means it can only be used against mindless undead. So nobody takes it. I would not either.

How would you houserule it?
Making the attack compulsory would make this overpowered, especially combined with Harlequin Style.

  • \$\begingroup\$ What if the monster is confident that the ally will miss (despite the CA)? In that case, from the monster's POV, the monster is getting a free MBA with no real consequence. \$\endgroup\$
    – Brian S
    Jul 25 '14 at 15:42
  • \$\begingroup\$ After the Rogue hits it once, the confidence is gone. \$\endgroup\$
    – András
    Jul 26 '14 at 15:51
  • \$\begingroup\$ I'm not sure I'd consider this power overpowered. Assuming they have equal accuracy to the other attacker, it just gives the two characters one more basic attack than they would otherwise. The advantage goes to the team with fewer party members. I'd consider this power underpowered. \$\endgroup\$ Aug 15 '14 at 23:00
  • \$\begingroup\$ This might be easier to answer with a fuller explanation of why you play your enemies like this. From my perspective this looks both less realistic and less fun. \$\endgroup\$
    – DCShannon
    Aug 25 '14 at 21:30

High Risk, High Reward Power

Brash Assault is one of those things where you can justify it with game-world logic, not using "player" logic. What the monsters / enemies of the PCs see is someone with a lowered guard. The more reckless (perhaps less wise) individuals would jump on someone as soon as soon as a weakness is exposed, not considering what position it puts them in.

Essentially, this power is trying to set up a gamble. The player is essentially saying "I bet we can do more damage to your side than you can to ours."

How to Use This as a DM

As implied above, low wisdom may mean more recklessness and less awareness of their surroundings, position in combat, and ramifications of their actions. A low wisdom character would, therefore, take that attack in an effort to kill something, ignoring the potential consequences.

Even some of the wiser enemies may even elect to get the free attack. Their logic would go as this: if the person who would attack me does less damage than what I do to the warlord, and I can take that less damage, I would totally attack them. The person attacking me may even miss! Also, if my basic melee attacks can trigger other powers, then I'm totally going to hit that warlord and make that attack hurt!

Also, the desperate creature would take that attack. Starving creatures, who just want a mouthful of warlord, could take this attack. Creatures who have a hive mentality would also take this attack, because their goal is to do as much damage as they can before they die. This can be especially true if the creature does something upon being bloodied or killed; I even know players that specifically want their characters to get bloodied to take advantage of things.

I'd look a short look at your monster's motivation for being in combat. This would give you a good idea as to why they're attacking and what their goals are. True, some wolves would generally not be so aggressive, but a starving one would. You may disagree with me, but I find that combat is more fun with opponents who don't always make the tactically best choice. Fun is the reason why we DM and play, right?

In Summary

Enemies of the warlord should take advantage of this power because: 1) it is actually a good deal for them (free or low-risk damage), 2) they really don't know it's a bad deal for them (requires them to be unwise), 3) their goal isn't survival, but damage or something else (perhaps due to "bloodied" or other effects).

  • \$\begingroup\$ Only number 3 matters, after the Rogue hits the careless enemy once. This is what I said in the question. \$\endgroup\$
    – András
    Jul 26 '14 at 15:58
  • \$\begingroup\$ @András You'd be surprised how unwise some people or things are. For instance, a golem could fit in #2 very easily. If one enemy got hit by this, it doesn't mean the other enemies were taking notes. Also, if the rogue isn't available to take advantage of this, and a leader is there instead, I'd take advantage of this power. \$\endgroup\$
    – PipperChip
    Jul 26 '14 at 18:45
  • \$\begingroup\$ The warlord would be extremely stupid to use this power if no ally is around. \$\endgroup\$
    – András
    Jul 26 '14 at 21:22

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