Recently I’ve been thinking about ways to spice up combat in my Dungeons & Dragons campaign. My players are reaching the high heroic tier levels right now, but after a few rounds combat has a tendency to start getting more repetitive because encounter powers have been used up. One idea that I’ve had is to allow encounter powers to recharge during a fight, and I’ve been brainstorming a few potential recharge mechanics.
My first was to introduce limit breaks inspired by the Final Fantasy video games. This mechanic would allow a character to recover a previously used encounter power after taking a certain amount of damage. I think tracking an amount of damage in hit points would probably be too involved, so instead my thought is that it would kick in after spending a number of healing surges in a single encounter.
Another idea is to introduce a Refocus power that allows a character to spend a standard action to recover a power. The action could also require a class appropriate skill check in order to make power recovery less certain. For example, a character using the arcane power source might need to make an Arcana check with a DC equal to the recommended hard DC for a character of the power’s level (DC 19 for a level 1 power, DC 39 for a level 27 power).
My third recharge idea was to allow spending a healing surge as a minor action in order to recover a used power. This allows the player to choose to pull off another cool move, but at the cost of a daily resource. I think this mechanic has the potential of causing shortened work days, but that’s something that I think could balance out with the options it offers players.
Has anyone else implemented a power recharge mechanic? If so, how did it work out?