Mark of Dice Monkey had a great post today about Analysis Paralysis. That is, when faced with a ton of choices in a D&D combat round, it’s easy to get overwhelmed and freeze up. I never thought myself susceptible to this, but then I read his tip #2:
If playing 4e, organize your powers not by At-Will/Encounter/Daily, but by Move/Minor/Standard
Since I build my character using the D&D Character Builder, each time I level up I print out a new character sheet, cut out the power cards, and put them into either green, red, or black sleeves. During the game, I hold them in my hand like I was playing a card game. I’ve always kept the organized in that pattern: at-will, encounter, and daily! This is silly for two reasons: (1) they’re already distinguished by color so I’m providing redundant information, wasting a dimension of information, and (2) I’m always shuffling through them to plan out my turn’s worth of actions.
No More! Starting my next game, I’m going to use Mark’s advice and sort them by action type. I think this will really speed up my turn because I can just choose from the appropriate column. Since I don’t have move powers, it’s going to just be at-wills, minors, and reactions.
In my hand I also group together cards by usage type. For instance, daily magic item powers and channel divinity powers. Basically anything where I get to choose one of several for an encounter. That way when I use one, I can put the whole bunch together face-down in my “discard” pile.
Since I’m playing a Psion, I also have augmentable powers. This means for one at-will (e.g. Betrayal) I have three cards in my hand. I’ve been grouping them together by power name, but I think I’m going to instead group them by power point cost. We’ll see if that has a benefit or not. Sometimes I choose powers based upon how lethal they are, and sometimes I’m more interested in choosing by area of effect.
To summarize: group your power cards by action type. Sub group by usage (or however you usually make your choice of power). Do this and you’ll have less to flip through when making your action choice each round.