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Mordokai
2009-08-24, 05:26 PM
Today, after some time, I finally started DMing my first 3.5 campaign. Yay me and everything. And as one might imagine, I already ran into a small problem.

One of my players is playing a half aberation(he has feats from Lords of Madness) water orc with spinning sword(Secrets of Sarlona) and a belt of enlarge person. Which, effectively, lets him have 30 feet reach. Combined with Improved Trip, Knock Down and Combat Reflexes feats makes him real pain in the ass for the monsters. He can single handedly control pretty much the entire playing field around him and with 18 DEX(16 base + 2 gloves of DEX) and four AOO.

And now I'm wondering... is there a way for me to avoid these AOOs and his reach? I imagine Tumbling would work, but can one Tumble in and over 30 feet area? Are there any other ways? Feats, for example. I'm running Expedition to Demonweb pits, in case it matters/anybody's interested.

Let me state that I'm not looking for TPK or even single player death. I like this character(even if he is a munchkin) and I wouldn't want to see him dead just because. However, one session was enough to convince me that if we continue down this road he will probably pretty much be taking the spotlight from other players. And, most likely, make everything too easy. So once again, I'm asking this not to make him useless, but to, hopefully, spice things up. For him and everybody else.

Thanks in advance.

Myou
2009-08-24, 05:31 PM
Well, he can't trip anything that doesn't have legs or wings. :3

Sinfire Titan
2009-08-24, 05:34 PM
Fly speed>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>Improved Trip. Good luck tripping something with Perfect maneuverability. A 30ft jump is relatively easy depending on the level (Thri-Kreen can pull it off), Warblades can make such jumps as a Swift action.

Gnaeus
2009-08-24, 05:45 PM
Big multi-legged creatures can be almost impossible to trip.
Unless he takes Mage-Slayer, casters can still rock his world. Even IF he takes Mage Slayer, well built casters can pop out of his range.
Most creatures with ranged attacks, especially creatures which combine range attacks and high move speed, to stay out of his range.

Anklets of translocation are good for a quick 10 foot jump, to either get closer to range on him or to pop away. Armbands of elusive action let you ignore an AOO once/day.

He can't AOO anything he can't see, so obscuring mist or its older brothers, or invisibility, will get things into range.

Drow are very capable of advanced tactics, and they have certainly encountered chain trippers before. Imagine a dozen goblins, a couple of high level drow fighters, and a low level drow wizard. Goblins rush the tripper, and some of them die, but most of them make it. Then the wizard casts benign transposition to swap the locations of the high level fighters with the goblins.

Don't many demons have teleport?

Dark Herald
2009-08-24, 06:04 PM
Invisible enemies.

Target his bad saves with spells.

ranged attacks.

Glimbur
2009-08-24, 06:46 PM
Throw five goblins at him. He trips them. Then the real challenge of the fight comes out of invisibility/around the corner/out of the shadows/down an elevator/etc.

ColdSepp
2009-08-24, 06:47 PM
Archers? You know. Ranged attacks. Glitterdust - blindness hurts. Dispel his enlarge person.

Eldariel
2009-08-24, 07:50 PM
Spellcasters in general. Ranged opponents in general. Too-Big-To-Trip opponents in general (it's impossible to trip things two categories larger than you so no matter what he does, Gargantuans ignore his trips). Opponents with insane reach of their own (many plants such as Ironmaw [Fiend Folio], and some Aberrations, have insane reach courtesy of tentacles) also work, as do things that are hard to Trip (and items such as Steadfast Boots [MiC] that give +4 to resisting Trip-type attacks; also ToB Stances help).

Oh, and Dragons. So much Dragons. "Nice 30' reach you've got, my breath goes a BIT further" And yeah, Dispel. Belt of Enlarge Person has CL of 1. So anyone with access to Dispel Magic can weave a hand and away it goes. But don't take away the one thing other than "I full attack" that is doable in non-ToB melee; I'm not sure your players would appreciate that. Let him do some tripping.


Though the one thing about his build is that he has Aberrant Blood and Inhuman Reach. That means he basically has extra joints in hand. Have you ever THOUGHT about what that looks like? He would never be accepted in any humanoid society as anything but a freak of nature.

There's a reason I personally steer the hell away from those feats for almost all games - they make you like an alien to other members of your race. I wouldn't be surprised if important people wouldn't speak to him and if commoners threw rocks at him. Same with Willing Deformity.


Short version:
- The feats he's got are bad news for him anyways. I think he's going to suffer quite a bit out of combat.
- Ranged flyers in particular are extremely potent against characters such as him. Things flying by magic ignore trips, by the way. And ranged attackers in general are good.
- Spellcasters still rule the roost. Dispel Magic, Glitterdust, Web, Entangle (note that any degree of cover also blocks AoOs, as does total concealment which is what Glitterdust gives), etc.
- Good ol' Tumble and Hide/Move Silently for smaller types.
- Items help melee opponents. Also, naturally big things and magically augmented things can match him in terms of reach.
- Huge Quadropeds are tough to trip. Anything Gargantuan is impossible.
- Don't invalidate him entirely. That's not nice, especially for something so easy to rein in, and as that's pretty much the only good alternative to "I full attack" in melee, it'd just make melee less fun to play.

Woodsman
2009-08-24, 07:54 PM
Pardon me, but what level is he, exactly?

Person_Man
2009-08-24, 07:57 PM
There's no reason for you to nerf or specifically counter a particular type of build, especially a one trick pony like a Trip build. Just go through your campaign as you normally would. Have your enemies use magic, psionics, Incarnum, and/or just ranged attacks. Trip builds have no real advantage over non-melee builds, and even then, they can be situationally worse off then Grapple builds, Charge builds, Knights, etc.

ericgrau
2009-08-24, 09:38 PM
Well, I see three main problems. Mostly you allowed a belt of enlarge person. You allowed water orc at the written LA +0; plus it's a non-PH race. Finally it seems you allowed a high stat array; he has a 18 base dex and I'm assuming an 18 base strength. On average the high stat is 15-16 by normal rules. All together that adds up to +7 more on his trip attempts than what's normally possible. That translates into ~50% more successful trips. And it makes a bigger difference against harder enemies. Plus he gets two extra AoO's. And what weapon is he using to reach 30 feet? A large creature with a spiked chain only reaches 20 feet, and I don't know any humanoids bigger than medium. Enlarge person only targets humanoids.

If you're not going to remove those things, I see a good reason to throw enemies at him that are likewise boosted. An accelerated tumble, by taking a penalty to the check, could let you move 30 feet. There's no reason you couldn't use an accelerated tumble it to charge since your movement speed isn't reduced (and the FAQ says it's fine IIRC), so that'd boost it to a double move. Large creatures, high strength creatures, dwarves or duergar could work too. For example an ogre. And if you're gonna give the players high stats, please boost the monsters as well. Also try ranged attackers. Read up on combat modifiers (in combat section of PHB) so they can use cover, arrow slits, kneeling, etc. If his reflex save is lousy, you could have an enemy caster try to grease his weapon. I mean after it becomes apparent to the caster that the weapon is causing trouble. And you might as well give the monsters arbitrary bonuses to all these things balance things out. I mean you are counter-balancing a mother-friggin' +7.

ColdSepp
2009-08-24, 09:55 PM
And what weapon is he using to reach 30 feet? A large creature with a spiked chain only reaches 20 feet, and I don't know any humanoids bigger than medium. Enlarge person only targets humanoids.
.

Ericgrau is correct.... Whirling Blade is Reach 10, Enlarge doubles that to 20... how is he getting thirty?

Edit: Abberent Reach, I am guessing.

Seffbasilisk
2009-08-24, 10:01 PM
As others have said, does he even qualify as a humanoid for Enlarge Person?

Sinfire Titan
2009-08-24, 10:18 PM
As others have said, does he even qualify as a humanoid for Enlarge Person?

Yes. Orcs are Humanoid, so Enlarge Person will affect them. Aberrant Blood does not change the character's type or subtype, so there should be no foul here.

erikun
2009-08-24, 10:20 PM
A Tower Shield (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/equipment/armor.htm#shieldTower) can be used to provide total cover (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/combat/combatModifiers.htm#cover), granting them immunity to Attacks of Opportunity. Any heavily armored fighter can simply pull up their Tower Shield and walk right up to him. Your tripper will just be whacking on the shield, unable to get around it to his legs as he approaches.

As others have said, though, you don't even need this specialized build. Magic of any sort renders the Enlarge/Tripper useless, as flying can't be tripped and ranged combat doesn't need to get close. Plus, you're basically taking his entire build and throwing it out the window in such situations - take care about turning Fighters (or anyone else in the party) into worthless observers in the fights you throw at the party.

Curmudgeon
2009-08-24, 10:30 PM
This is, as others have pointed out, a very specialized melee-only build. Ranged attacks, traps, and skilled (full speed) tumblers will prove difficult for the character to overcome.

NEO|Phyte
2009-08-24, 10:47 PM
Quoth the SRD: (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/combat/combatModifiers.htm#cover)

To determine whether your target has cover from your ranged attack, choose a corner of your square. If any line from this corner to any corner of the targetís square passes through a square or border that blocks line of effect or provides cover, or through a square occupied by a creature, the target has cover (+4 to AC).

When making a melee attack against an adjacent target, your target has cover if any line from your square to the targetís square goes through a wall (including a low wall). When making a melee attack against a target that isnít adjacent to you (such as with a reach weapon), use the rules for determining cover from ranged attacks.

Cover and Attacks of Opportunity
You canít execute an attack of opportunity against an opponent with cover relative to you.

tl;dr
Use cover, he can't AoO through it.

Mongoose87
2009-08-24, 11:08 PM
Throw a character at him with a combination of massive size/strength, improved Grab and leap attack.

Ernir
2009-08-24, 11:34 PM
I agree with Person_Man, little reason to specifically counter him. He is very good at stopping a horde of humanoids from charging in. Why shouldn't he be allowed to be? He has to be good at something.

Making things show up with concealment, tumble ranks or massive bonuses vs. tripping when your instinct says they shouldn't have it should not be necessary. Just vary the encounters, even with 30' reach and a strength check modifier of +infinity, tripping is just not the solution to some (or even most) kinds of encounters.

Skorj
2009-08-24, 11:53 PM
Kudos to anyone who can make a melee class troubling. That shouldn't last too many levels. :smallannoyed:

Someone tell me: you can't actually trip spiders in 3.5, right? Right?

erikun
2009-08-25, 12:06 AM
Someone tell me: you can't actually trip spiders in 3.5, right? Right?
You can trip a spider, yes. They get an extra +4 on their check to avoid, because they have more than two legs.

Sendal
2009-08-25, 12:26 AM
someone should point out the dodge-mobility-spring attack feat tree. Its pretty much there to deal with these sorts of tactics, though its a bit expensive for anyone except a fighter to invest in it.

Sstoopidtallkid
2009-08-25, 12:59 AM
someone should point out the dodge-mobility-spring attack feat tree. Its pretty much there to deal with these sorts of tactics, though its a bit expensive for anyone except a fighter to invest in it.Also, it sucks. Spring Attacking is pretty bad for avoiding attacks, since without major focus on boosting speed, your enemy can always charge or move up to you, meaning all you've done is go from trading full-attacks to trading single hits.

lsfreak
2009-08-25, 01:14 AM
Also, it sucks. Spring Attacking is pretty bad for avoiding attacks, since without major focus on boosting speed, your enemy can always charge or move up to you, meaning all you've done is go from trading full-attacks to trading single hits.
Not to mention Spring Attack does basically nothing to prevent trip attacks; even the +4 versus AoO's from mobility doesn't help much when the guy is only making touch attacks anywho.

Best-case with Spring Attack, you trade single blows instead of full attacks. Worst case, you run in, are utterly ineffective at doing any damage, and the next round the guy leap-attack-pounces you for 2d6+dead.

Sendal
2009-08-25, 01:21 AM
but this build isn't leap-attack pounce, its an AOO tripper. If you build something with a high touch AC, its another way to deal with it. As a DM, you need as many different ways to do it so encounters don't all become the same.

Also, if it is a weak stratagy to use, then you can use it with higher level characters. As the DM, its the overall effect you need to regulate, not individual aspects such as ECL.

I agree its not a good way to go building a PC, but thats not what this thread is about.

Curmudgeon
2009-08-25, 01:28 AM
Best-case with Spring Attack, you trade single blows instead of full attacks.
That's not the best case; that's the pathetic case of someone who's not trying to make the feat work.

The only reason I would suggest taking Spring Attack is if you've already met the prerequisites by taking a 1-level dip into Shadowdancer for Supernatural Hide in Plain Sight. Then you're always going to Hide as you Spring away, rendering a reprisal charge impossible.

The Snap Kick feat gives you an extra unarmed attack with any melee attack, which means two whacks on every Spring Attack. With Hide in Plain Sight, add sneak attack damage twice, too. That's a lot closer to the best case, and I'm not pushing for feats or class abilities that would let me double that number -- but it is possible.

FinalJustice
2009-08-25, 09:28 AM
And please, please, don't be a jerk about his aberrant feats. It may be a pleonasm, but he paid the price of the feats expending the feats. Ok, he is an orc with freakish long alien arms, with extra joints tacked on. On some level, he must know people will not accept him, and he is probably expecting to face prejudice. But you, as a DM, should strive to find a balance between verossimilitude and fun, even discussing such issues with him if necessary. I had a DM who went waay overboard with this, having cityfolk looking at my Deathtouched Human Sorcerer character ugly after he spent almost a year helping rebuilding their freaking town and serving, alongside with my party, as the town's main defense. That's cityfolk a charisma 30 sorcerer could not win over (granted, the guy was more intimidating than friendly, but still...).

If he does not envision his character suffering from prejudice, try refluffing the feats as a very exotic combat technique, such as attaching chains to the end of a weapon, Kratos style. If you are not ok with refluffing and feel he has to 'pay the fluff price', then ask him politely to either suck it up or remove the feats.

As for his schtick, well, he is good at something other than trading full attacks. Freakishly good, he clearly powergamed, but he's good at something, very limited, as our fellow playgrounders already explained. My only advice is that he'll probably grab Stand Still as soon as he can. Then, he won't need to Trip to stop people on their tracks. Be prepared in advance (or ban the feat).

Curmudgeon
2009-08-25, 10:25 AM
My only advice is that he'll probably grab Stand Still as soon as he can. Then, he won't need to Trip to stop people on their tracks. Be prepared in advance (or ban the feat).
I think banning the feat would be unwarranted. That would just be more of the same melee focus, and is counterable by the same techniques: ranged attacks, characters good at Tumble, & c.

boomwolf
2009-08-25, 10:56 AM
No need for exotic abilities, anti-character builds, or even magic/ranged attacks.

Just send higher numbers of lower level opponent.

Say you got an encounter of 3 hobgobs and 5 goblins

Replace with 5 goblins and 10 dire rats.




Heck, one of the hardest encounters I ever made to my players was masses of rats. little buggers are hard to kill when they come in 3 digits.

lsfreak
2009-08-25, 11:26 AM
Lots of small things will eat up his AoO's. So will illusions. Throw 10 "goblins" at him with 6 of them illusory and his effectiveness will drop dramatically.

Do make sure you're using AoO's correctly; it's a common mistake to do it incorrectly. A single move action only triggers ONE attack of opportunity, not one for every square they move out of. So if something charges this guy, he gets a single AoO, not a total of 5 for the threatened squares the charger moved out of. (Note that things like Hold the Line allow additional attacks of opportunity, but this isn't because of the movement. The movement itself will still only provoke ONE AoO).

(And yes, I was using hyperbole with Spring Attack. As Curmudgeon said, with the right build it's passable, but it's still no Pounce/Shadow Pounce. And in the situation relevant to the thread, it's unlikely that Spring Attack would even get someone out of range of the player in question without being quadrupedal or without a good amount of speed-boost-stacking)

Mordokai
2009-08-25, 05:28 PM
Ericgrau is correct.... Whirling Blade is Reach 10, Enlarge doubles that to 20... how is he getting thirty?

Edit: Abberent Reach, I am guessing.

That is correct.


And please, please, don't be a jerk about his aberrant feats. It may be a pleonasm, but he paid the price of the feats expending the feats. Ok, he is an orc with freakish long alien arms, with extra joints tacked on. On some level, he must know people will not accept him, and he is probably expecting to face prejudice. But you, as a DM, should strive to find a balance between verossimilitude and fun, even discussing such issues with him if necessary. I had a DM who went waay overboard with this, having cityfolk looking at my Deathtouched Human Sorcerer character ugly after he spent almost a year helping rebuilding their freaking town and serving, alongside with my party, as the town's main defense. That's cityfolk a charisma 30 sorcerer could not win over (granted, the guy was more intimidating than friendly, but still...).

If he does not envision his character suffering from prejudice, try refluffing the feats as a very exotic combat technique, such as attaching chains to the end of a weapon, Kratos style. If you are not ok with refluffing and feel he has to 'pay the fluff price', then ask him politely to either suck it up or remove the feats.

As for his schtick, well, he is good at something other than trading full attacks. Freakishly good, he clearly powergamed, but he's good at something, very limited, as our fellow playgrounders already explained. My only advice is that he'll probably grab Stand Still as soon as he can. Then, he won't need to Trip to stop people on their tracks. Be prepared in advance (or ban the feat).

It's not my intetion to punish him for the feats he has taken. He's paying penalty big enough. He suck when there's need for social interactions and that's penalty enough for him. And there are moments in the campaign where he'll wish his diplomacy modifier would be better than -6 :smallbiggrin:

I want to say thank you to everybody who has contributed to this thread, one way or another. I got some pretty neat ideas and will be putting them to good use when the time for it is right. In retrospective, I probably shouldn't have said "all books allowed", but what's there is there and no use in crying over spilt milk. Right now, we're all having fun as it is and by taking a few of the suggestions in this thread, hopefully we'll be having even more of it in following sessions :smallsmile: So once again, a big shout out to all you helpful people out there. You've given me a lot to think about and I can only become a better DM because of it :smallbiggrin:

Hawriel
2009-08-25, 08:31 PM
The guy's size and weapon give him a 30 foot reach? OK dont have to explane it I'll take it at face value that it's mechanicly correct.

PHB pg 150 (the dragon is looking at it) Large or larger creatures with natural reach cannot attack with in that reach if they are using a reach weapon. Once NPCs get with in 25 feet of that trip munky he us screwed. He also cant kill more than maybe three NPCs (depending on their CR) a round, If they are at the 30 foot mark.


EDIT

Oh yeah this guy needs space to work too. He cannot AoO peaple comming in on his flanks. He would be able to old a hall way but if there is more than one way to reach him, IE a T junction or aroom with pillars, a cave system, he connot menuver that spear from one direction to another.

Sinfire Titan
2009-08-25, 08:54 PM
[QUOTE=Hawriel;6797941Oh yeah this guy needs space to work too. He cannot AoO peaple comming in on his flanks. He would be able to old a hall way but if there is more than one way to reach him, IE a T junction or aroom with pillars, a cave system, he connot menuver that spear from one direction to another.[/QUOTE]

Rules check! Where the hell does it say this? 3.5 doesn't use facing rules outside of a variant, and there's nothing stopping him from chocking up on the spear to pull it close to him and then re-angle himself so the point is facing a different part of the intersection both rules-wise and RAI. Hell, the Squeezing rules only apply to creatures, not items used by them, so he can technically attack anyone around him.

Leewei
2009-08-25, 09:54 PM
There are several creatures that tripping simply won't work on. Oozes, swarms and incorporeal creatures are examples of this. Flying creatures may enjoy some protection from this as well.

Want to have some fun? Make a Disarm Monkey or Sunder Monkey evil NPC nemesis for him.

He's humanoid, so hold person will land on him.

Stunning him will cause him to drop his weapon. Several spells and effects can accomplish this.