[RPG] How to read the Attack line on power cards in D&D 4e


I've just recently started playing D&D 4e through the Red Box, and I am confused about how to fill in the power cards.

So, take Nimbus of Holy Shielding for instance. I understand the Target and Hit components as well as the effect, but my question is about the Attack component. It reads:

Attack: Wisdom vs Will.

Does the mean whatever my Wisdom score is, without the modifier, is compared to the Will score of the enemy? Would I then not even have to roll a d20 to see if it works?

Best Answer

It means you roll your d20, add your Wisdom modifier, and compare it to the enemy's Will. You don't just compare your Wisdom score to their Will - that isn't what's used here.

On Scores and Modifiers

If you have 20 Wisdom, that's your wisdom score. 20 wisdom gives you a wisdom modifier of +5. The wisdom score is not used in the roll at all. Aside from being used to calculate the modifier, ability scores are very rarely used directly. If anything ever actually uses your wisdom score, not just the modifier, it will explicitly say so with the words "Wisdom score" or something similar.

On Attack lines

In an Attack line, the "X vs Y" is, in general, an ability (Strength, Intelligence, etc) vs a defence (AC, Will, Fortitude or Reflex). You always roll the d20, add the specified ability's modifier to the roll's result, and compare it to the specified defence. If the result is equal to or higher than the defence, the attack succeeds.

I'm sure somewhere your Red Box's books should explain how to read a power card and explain the nature of all lines that will show up on one, though not possessing the Red Box myself, I couldn't tell you where or whether it does. The regular (non-Red Box) Player's Handbook does at the very least, and I imagine the Rules Compendium does too.

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