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alexi
2007-10-08, 12:31 PM
Say I have improved trip+improved grapple + a d8 bite attack. What's the best way to use them together?

Person_Man
2007-10-08, 01:36 PM
Pick up Knock-Down (http://www.systemreferencedocuments.org/35/sovelior_sage/divineFeats.html) and Scorpion's Grapple (Sandstorm). Knock-Down gives you a free Trip Attempt when you deal 10+ points of damage. Now your enemy is Prone, and you get a +4 to hit them. Scorpion's Grapple gives you a free Grapple attempt whenever you hit an enemy. Once your enemy is grappled, you can always finish out your iterative attacks (under the normal grapple restrictions). Now your enemy is immobilized, and has restriction on hitting you. If done with the right build, it's a pretty good way to utterly lock down and maul your foe without giving up any attack actions to do so.

alexi
2007-10-09, 01:37 PM
ok let me rephrase this:

how can I trip, then grapple then bite in 1 turn

alexi
2007-10-09, 01:46 PM
why is the knock down feat listed under divine, but not the regular feats?

DraPrime
2007-10-09, 01:51 PM
You don't need to bite with what Person_Man gave you.

alexi
2007-10-09, 01:59 PM
well my prime attack is bite... so uhh yeah I do. I also don't want to have to wait another 4 lv's to pick up 2 more feats.

Darrin
2007-10-09, 02:04 PM
why is the knock down feat listed under divine, but not the regular feats?

Knock-Down was originally printed in Sword & Fist (not included in the SRD) and then reprinted in Deities & Demigods, portions of which were released as part of the SRD. Thus, why you see some general feats in the Divine or Psionic sections.

It's unclear if the S&F errata which prevents Knock-Down from working well with Improved Trip still applies to the Deities & Demigods version. The general consensus is the S&F errata is bogus and no longer applies, but Custserv has been less than forthcoming about it.

dyslexicfaser
2007-10-09, 02:10 PM
If done with the right build,

Would you have an example of such a build onhand? I haven;t seen one in Surreal's CO link thread, which is where I get most of my build info.

Person_Man
2007-10-09, 03:23 PM
well my prime attack is bite... so uhh yeah I do. I also don't want to have to wait another 4 lv's to pick up 2 more feats.

I apologize if my advice isn't helpful. What is your race and build exactly? With more information, perhaps we can be of some use.



Would you have an example of such a build onhand? I haven;t seen one in Surreal's CO link thread, which is where I get most of my build info.

Well, you really don't need Knock-Down and Scorpion's Grasp. Assuming your goal is to lock down and kill your enemy, you only need one or the other.

A Knock-Down build is very strait forward. Human Fighter 6. Combat Expertise, Improved Trip, Knock-Down, Combat Reflexes, Hold the Line, Power Attack, Improved Bull Rush, Shock Trooper. Your next feats should be Leap Attack and Mage Slayer. Use any two handed reach weapon. My preference is a lance from horseback. But if you're indoors, a guisarme works fine. Shift your full BAB into Power Attack, taking the penalty to AC instead of To-Hit via Shock Trooper. Hit enemy for a big pile of damage. If enemy tries to counter attack, beat them down with AoO. Every time you hit an enemy for 10+ points of damage, you get a free Trip attempt, giving you a +4 to hit on your future attacks and seriously hampering their movement. If you're playing at a higher ECL, be a Psychic Warrior instead, and use the Expansion power to increase your size and gain a bonus to your reach and trip modifier.

A Scorpion's grasp build is more complex. Basically, you want to maximize your unarmed strike damage, which is tricky. I think a Shifter Monk 6/Fist of the Forest 3/Warshaper 1/Psionic Fist X with a Monk's Belt, Improved Natural Attack, and Superior Unarmed Strike will deal 6d8 damage or more per hit. Punch your enemy. Get a free Grapple attempt from Scorpion's Grasp. When you establish a grapple you deal unarmed damage (again). Then you can finish out your Flurry attacks by making opposed grapple checks, again dealing 6d8 points of damage every time you beat your foe. And since he's grappled, he's essentially immobile, and he's flat footed, which is great if you can tag team with a Rogue. At higher levels, use Expansion to increase reach and your Grapple mod. You can also trade out Psionic Fist (which progresses unarmed strike damage) for Psychic Warrior (which gives you bonus feats). With the bonus feats, you can pick up Combat Focus, Combat Vigor, and Combat Stability (PHBII). When taken together, you get +4 to your Will Save, Fast Healing 4, and a +8 bonus on checks or rolls to resist bull rush, disarm, grapple, overrun, and trip attempts made against you - when used with Expansion, its now virtually impossible for your enemy to break free or win any grapple check he attempts against you on his turn. This shouldn't really be necessary though, since he'll probably be dead. Some variant of my Frozen Dwarf Hulk Smash (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=50588) build might also work, though it requires a higher ECL to work effectively. Also, you need to read the Rules Compendium excerpt on Grapple (http://www.wizards.com/default.asp?x=dnd/4ex/20071009a). It clears up a lot of confusion on the subject.

At low levels (or at any level, if you don't use psionics) have a friendly caster use Enlarge Person on you. Buy them a wand if you have to. Note that Enlarge Person does not stack with Expansion. Enlarge Person is available at level 1. But Expansion can potentially give you 2 size increases at higher levels, making it the superior long term option.

dyslexicfaser
2007-10-09, 05:16 PM
For the Scorpion's Grasp build, would it be better to go Monastic Training/Talashtora and take straight PsyWar, instead of warmind and psionic fist?

That would keep improving not just unarmed strike damage, but Flurry of Blows and monk AC, plus give me psywar feats. Then I could lock him down and REALLY pummel him.

Shhalahr Windrider
2007-10-09, 05:26 PM
It's unclear if the S&F errata which prevents Knock-Down from working well with Improved Trip still applies to the Deities & Demigods version. The general consensus is the S&F errata is bogus and no longer applies, but Custserv has been less than forthcoming about it.
The chapter of Deities and Demigods references the fact that the feats were reprinted from other sources exactly as they originally appeared in those sources. The wording is done in such a way as to imply a suspension of the usual "Last printed is most official" rule.

(Not sure how you're generating concensus anyway, as my experience implies the other way around.)

Person_Man
2007-10-09, 06:30 PM
For the Scorpion's Grasp build, would it be better to go Monastic Training/Talashtora and take straight PsyWar, instead of warmind and psionic fist?

That would keep improving not just unarmed strike damage, but Flurry of Blows and monk AC, plus give me psywar feats. Then I could lock him down and REALLY pummel him.

You know, that's an excellent idea.

Shifter Monk 2/Psychic Warrior 4/Fist of the Forest 3/Warshaper 1/Psychic Warrior X

With your Monk/Psychic Warrior levels, Fist of the Forest, Superior Unarmed Strike, Monk's Belt, Warshaper, Improved Natural Attack, and two size increases from Expansion, you should be able to deal 12d8 unarmed damage by ECL 13. Not shabby. Also, I'm not sure how damage increases past that point. You could probably drop Superior Unarmed Strike and the Monk's Belt, maybe even the Fist of the Forest levels.

If you're willing to delay your Warshaper level until a higher level, you can use Expanded Knowledge (Metamorphosis) to gain access to it instead. Maybe be a Goliath (using LA buyoff) instead?

Darrin
2007-10-09, 09:37 PM
(Not sure how you're generating concensus anyway, as my experience implies the other way around.)

When one of the heavy-posters chimes in on a trip build (Person_Man, Fax_Celestus, etc.), my understanding is they ignore the errata from S&F (which is poorly worded in the first place). But that may only be wishful thinking on my part.

Person_Man
2007-10-09, 11:22 PM
When one of the heavy-posters chimes in on a trip build (Person_Man, Fax_Celestus, etc.), my understanding is they ignore the errata from S&F (which is poorly worded in the first place). But that may only be wishful thinking on my part.

I'm not exactly sure what the issue is. Are people worried that Knock-Down isn't a 3.5 feat? Or are people worried about how Knock-Down works?

To answer the first question, its in the 3.5 SRD. I don't know what else you can ask for. Many DMs will ban material from a variety of sources (Psionics, Incarnum, the Races books) and that's fine. So its reasonable to ban a given feat, just like I ban retarded uses of the Polymorph spell. But clearly the SRD is 3.5 D&D. And since its a meatshield feat, and not a ridiculously powered spell, I really don't see the need to ban it.


To answer the second question, I use refer you to the Sword and Fist FAQ (http://www.wizards.com/default.asp?x=dnd/er/20030221a):



Does the fighter with the Knockdown feat get a free attack from Improved Trip against a creature that he trips due to a knockdown?

No.

If you just use Improve Trip, you must first make a melee touch attack, and then win an opposed check, and then you get to make an attack roll to potentially deal damage.

If you use Knock-Down, you just attack. And when you deal 10+ points of damage, you then get to make a Trip attack as a free action against the same target. And If your Trip attempt fails (because you roll poorly, or because your enemy is sufficiently strong and/or big) you haven't missed out on any damage. It's a much more efficient way of accomplishing the same goal.

That's how my group has always used the feat. I don't really know anyone who plays it the other way (getting a free attack after the Trip attempt), but obviously I can't speak for other posters.

Darrin
2007-10-10, 08:09 AM
I'm not exactly sure what the issue is. Are people worried that Knock-Down isn't a 3.5 feat? Or are people worried about how Knock-Down works?


There's an argument that because Deities & Demigods was released after S&F, and there is no errata for Knock-Down in Deities & Demigods, therefore the errata from S&F does not apply to the newer version. Thus, you could Attack for 10 pts, get a free Trip Attack, and then get a Free Attack on a prone opponent.

To further muddle the issue, some people think the version of Knock-Down printed in Deities & Demigods is 3.5 material, or that it is worded differently than the S&F version. Deities & Demigods is a 3.0 book, and the wording is exactly the same as S&F.

Now, I'm not arguing it's still 3.0 material. It has subsequently been released in the 3.5 SRD, which then makes it 3.5. The real issue is does the S&F errata still apply, preventing a free attack after using Knock-Down to trip?



To answer the second question, I use refer you to the Sword and Fist FAQ (http://www.wizards.com/default.asp?x=dnd/er/20030221a):


That's not an exact quote from the S&F FAQ. The actual response isn't entirely clear once you get past the "Nope" part:



Q. If I use the Knock-Down feat to trip an opponent, can I get a free attack from my Improved Trip feat?

A. Nope. You have to use an attack to trip an opponent and then get an attack. You get a free action to trip your opponent with this feat (ie - you haven't given up an attack to trip them, you have already taken it, so you do not get another one).


I'm not entirely sure what the reasoning is here, but this was back in 3.0 and the mechanics of what constitutes an "attack action" may have changed since then. I believe the current understanding is whenever you're given an opportunity to attack (regardless of how you were granted the attack), you may use it for a trip/sunder/grapple/etc. attempt. I'm not sure what it means here by "you haven't given up an attack to trip them", "you have already taken it", "so you do not get another one". My understanding of how trip works is Improved Trip gives you +4 and if you're successful, you get a free attack. How you got the opportunity to trip, be it from a standard/full attack action, AoO, or a feat like Knock-Down or Cleave, it shouldn't matter.

Sage Advice (which isn't exactly the same thing as errata or RAW) would appear to agree:

http://www.wizards.com/default.asp?x=dnd/ask/20070726a



Q: Dear Sage
If I use Mighty Throw (Tome of Battle p73) or another maneuver that allows me to trip a foe, does the Improved Trip feat grant me an extra attack against that opponent?
--Gerald

A: Yes. The Improved Trip feat applies any time you trip a foe in melee combat, even if that trip comes from a special power.


Ok, everybody clear as mud?

Person_Man
2007-10-10, 08:44 AM
I'm not sure where you're getting the more elaborate explanation, "You have to use an attack to trip an opponent and then get an attack. You get a free action to trip your opponent with this feat (ie - you haven't given up an attack to trip them, you have already taken it, so you do not get another one)." I assume one of the boards. But when I follow the link I posted to the link I posted (http://www.wizards.com/default.asp?x=dnd/er/20030221a) to the official Sword and Fist FAQ, I get the shorter quote. "No." To me, the "No" answer only applies to Knock-Down, not other feats that might give you a bonus Trip attack.

In the rock paper scissors of D&D, FAQ beats Sage. So either way, Knock-Down doesn't give you an extra attack. Though I will admit that this is another case of poor writing on behalf of WotC.

Darrin
2007-10-10, 09:58 AM
I'm not sure where you're getting the more elaborate explanation, "You have to use an attack to trip an opponent and then get an attack. You get a free action to trip your opponent with this feat (ie - you haven't given up an attack to trip them, you have already taken it, so you do not get another one)."

Whoever wrote the original S&F FAQ (posted in the gleemax forums somewhere, I currently don't have access to the zip) appears to be under the impression that when you use Improved Trip, "you immediately get a melee attack against that opponent as if you hadnít used your attack for the trip attempt." As in, you have an attack action, you give that up to make your trip attempt, and if successful, you get that original action back. With Knock-Down, that original attack action was used to attack your opponent and caused damage, thus it's already been used and Improved Trip can't give it back to allow you to use it a second time.

The sticking point appears to be Improved Trip assumes that any trip attempt you make was possible because you gave up an attack action to do so. The possibility of getting a free trip attempt from some other feat/ability/effect (without an attack or without giving up an attack) may not have occurred to them. I believe back in 3.0, when you got a free attack via Cleave or AoO, you couldn't use it for a trip/disarm/sunder/grapple attempt, while in 3.5 that's now allowed. If the S&F FAQ is still RAW (and it's not entirely clear if something released with the 3.5 SRD *without* the 3.0 errata supercedes the 3.0 errata), then you could not use Improved Trip to get a free attack from Cleave or an AoO, but I believe both of those are possible under 3.5 rules.

Another argument might be that the "trip attack" granted by Knock-Down is just as valid an attack as any other standard attack, and you should be able to "use" it for an Improved Trip attempt. For example, if you say the Knock-Down attack is "Attack #1", and it gives you the trip attack as "Attack #2", you could argue that you give up "using" Attack #2 to make your trip attempt via Improved Trip. Improved Trip then gives you back Attack #2 as if you hadn't used it. The FAQ apparently disagrees, and is either arguing that Attack #1 is the only thing Improved Trip can give back for re-use, and it's already been used for an attack, or that Attack #2 isn't the same thing as an attack action and thus can't be given back either... or if it could be given back, it couldn't be used for a non-trip attack. Knock-Down specifies Attack #2 must be a trip, and if you're opponent is already tripped, then you can't trip again.

The Sage ruling suggests that either 1) at some point the rules changed and RAW/FAQ/Errata just hasn't quite caught up with the current understanding of how Improved Trip works, or 2) the Sage wasn't aware of or didn't understand the RAW/FAQ/Errata. Unfortunately, both options are equally likely and could even both be true.

One might hope the Rules Compendium would help clarify this, but all work on rules updates and errata for 3.5 appears to have completely ceased somewhere around June 2006. I haven't seen the Rules Compendium, but I suspect that all of the existing contradictions between the FAQ/Errata/Sage will be largely intact.

alexi
2007-10-16, 12:51 PM
ok here is my character concept:
http://www.thetangledweb.net/addon.php?addon=Profiler&page=view_char&cid=2258