As I was afraid of. Here’s a preview of the Succubus and Malebranche from 4e. Like “marking”, they’ve layered up the malebranche with a bunch of powers that are very hard to describe or explain from a true role-playing point of view – what do these mean in the game world? They’re just ‘move the minis’ powers.
(r) Besieged Foe (minor; at-will)
Ranged sight; automatic hit; the target is marked, and allies of the war devil gain a +2 bonus to attack rolls made against the target until the encounter ends or the war devil marks a new target.
(r) Fiendish Tactics (minor; recharge 5 6 )
Ranged 10; affects up to 2 allied devils of the war devil’s level or lower; each target can take a move action or make a basic attack.
I can explain a charm, a teleport, a fireball. But now everything has random powers designed not to make sense in a RP setting but instead to maximize things minis can do on a game board.
And malebranche were always horned devils – now they’re “war devils.” Why? Is that a kewler name? What in the world is the motivation to change things like that? And the language they speak – “Supernal.” May as well call it “teh ghey.”
I like the sidebar of “pit fiends through the ages,” the progression is telling. 1e, 2e, 3e, “Miniature,” and 4e. I guess 4e really is a post-minis game.
OK, I’m officially off any semblance of a fence – 4e sucks donkey balls.