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    Oct 2011
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    Default Re: Feat Chains- THF, SnB, Reach, & Single-Weapon [PEACH]

    Quote Originally Posted by AmberVael View Post
    I find your prerequisites somewhat... disconcerting. The way you allow either a high ability score or a certain base attack bonus doesn't seem quite right.

    Generally, a BAB prerequisite fixes a feat at a certain level. "You must be this tall to ride," essentially. It allows you to make a more powerful feat that wouldn't entirely be appropriate at low levels, and ensures no one below a certain level can get it, barring absurd shenanigans.

    None of the ability scores you list are anywhere near out of reach for a first level character though.

    Therefore, I find it rather confusing and inexplicable that say, a first level human fighter with 17 strength could pick up Improved Two Handed Fighting, Decisive Strike, and Crippling Strike... but a fighter with 16 strength would have to wait all the way to level 11 to pick up those same feats. What's the purpose of this?
    I was experimenting with ways to allow melee classes to have a wider variety of choices for fighting styles. Under the RAW, the feat-chains that had an ability score requirements tended to preclude a character from taking anything BUT those feats. You might be a near-epic fighter or barbarian, but unless you chose to stack Dexterity it was completely impossible for you to learn two-weapon fighting.

    The idea with this was that a player could focus on one feat chain at a time, starting with the feats that had the an ability score that matched whatever the character's focus was. Once they where a few levels in, they could start picking up other feats outsider thier one specialty as well.
    Fluffwise, it's easy for some one who is naturally tough or strong or dextrous to learn some styles, but once you are the veteran warrior, with dozens or hundreds of battles under your belt, that experience ALSO allows you to learn different forms of combat.

    When I originally did two-weapon fighting I had prerequisites like: BAB+7 or "Dex 13 and BAB+3"; but that seemed very complicated. I was trying to simplify things.
    If you think the 13/15/17 setup is not high enough, I could change it to 13/16/19 or even 13/17/21 I guess, but I really don't like forcing melee classes to make such huge sacrifices to achieve basic levels of competency.

    I recognize that with feat-mongering you can get deep into some of the feat chains (especially since they are really less like chains and more like trees) but the point of making the feats scale is that even then you don't get a ton of benefits. If there was a feat that said "get +5 damage on attacks", I'd change it to read "get 1 damage per 2 HD on attacks". That way anyone who shenanigan'ed themselves into it early on wouldn't be OP, and it would retain some signifigance later.

    Going by the example you listed, a level one player wouldn't get anything from Decisive Strike (because 1/2 of BAB +1 rounds down to 0) and most weapons at low levels don't give more than x3 OR 19-20 for criticals. While I'm certain that some one might come up with a workaround, but they would be pigeonholing themselves right at the start. Plus, I've always played the game such that the DM needs to give initial approvement for character ideas, so there should be at least some warning of what the player is trying to do.

    Edit: Also, in your example the fighter with 16 strength could still pick up the first 2 feats; he just couldn't get Crippling Strike right away.

    Roar of Challenge- I do not like this feat one bit. The effect you grant is all kinds of difficult.
    The phrase "attack to the best of their ability" is not my original idea; it shows up in the Summon Monster line of spells, and probably a few other places. Also, some conditions like frightened and panicked include a phrase "flee to the best of their ability". It is not intended to drag the game to a halt while players spend 20 minutes debating if a full-round melee attack would be "better" than a lightning bolt spell.

    The way I've always seen it interpreted is that there really isn't a change in battle strategies, just a difference in who they focus on. So if the enemy would normally employ spells, magic items, or other tactics, he still uses them. He can summon up hordes of dire badgers, but then he needs to send them all to attack the tank. Most players won't demand that your BBEG disengage from battle and run off to activate the self-destruct feature on his own base, just because that has the best chance of killing the tank. (or something like that)
    At it's heart, it really is a judgement call, and you need to rely on the gentleman's unwritten agreement to play it fair. If you are still upset by the wording, I could change it too something like "must focus all their attacks on the tank".

    The requirement for a shield was because this was supposed to be the "Sword 'n Board" setup, and I was wary of players using unintended weapon and feat combinations. But the reason I post is for feedback, so if people think that this isn't necessary, I'll consider removing the weapon-specific requirements.

    Shield Strike- So... if I full attack with a shield, I can make multiple attacks every round, all of which have a great chance of dazing my opponent? Enemy fortitude saves are high and all, but with the DC based on my BAB plus my strength, well... that's a better DC than the wizard can put out.
    Is the DC really that much worse? I know that there are lots of methods to improve caster-level, and casters tend to be able to boost their one relevant stat much higher. My reasoning for making it full progression instead of 1/2 was that I've read complaints about the save DC for the monk's stunning fist being too low. What formula does ToB use?

    What about instead I make it 5+BAB+Str? Also, I'd really rather stick with BAB than HD, because BAB is supposed to represent combat proficiency. With HD, a wizard could cast Bull's Strength on himself and be almost as good at this as the fighter.

    Also also, I changed shield bash so that rather than being 2WF, it just replaces normal attacks, meaning you can't do this multiple times a turn until at least level 6.
    The "two shields" argument is...and odd one, certainly. It's one of those things where game-mechanics and reality don't get along so well. I'd rather alter the rules for shields so that there is some penalty for trying to use two of them at once (since, realisticly, they would probably get in each other's way somewhat).

    Shield Wall- Scaling is cool, giant bonuses are not.
    Ok, that's a fair point. How to fix it though....
    *think think think* ...need...inspiration....
    Oh! What about something like granting cover? now where did THAT idea come from? :P
    And since I like things that scale, I can tweak it a bit...

    How's about this... Shield Wall grants cover, with the AC bonus equal to the AC bonus of the defender's shield. The bonus to reflex saves depends on what kind of shield it is: Buckler or Light Shield +1, Heavy Shield +2, Tower Shield +4.

    Perhaps let players who are directly behind the shielding character gain total cover. Would that work better?

    Two-Handed Fighting- It's a pretty dry feat, and outside of some absurd strength bonuses, I'm not even sure it's very worthwhile.
    The lead in feats for every feat-tree are supposed to be a little weaker and a little less interesting; that was intentional. It's supposed to be evaluated along with the fact that it's a requirement for everything else.
    Plus it makes the math easier

    I kind of want to keep the THF feats maybe half a step simpler than the other stuff, because while damage has it's limits, it is very effective and very fun. I think it's appealing for new D&D players if they can be given a set of instructions that are basically "You have big muscles, hit stuff with your axe".

    Armor Buster- While I'm all for negating damage reduction, there are a lot of creatures without it, and the way you addressed making it useful against them is... well, I'd probably be taking this feat to fight against them. Adding 50% to my BAB is a hefty bonus.
    I think I did mean to limit it to the armor bonus, instead just AC in general; I'll fix that.
    I'll also try to think of a way to reduce the effect that doesn't require breaking out the calculus books...
    What about something like: "If this value exceeds the amount of DR your target has, then you may ignore AC (including from natural armor) equal to 1/2 the remaining difference."
    That way it's 1/2 of 1/2, or 1 in 4 (a 25% increase instead of 50%).

    Also, I listed this as only functioning when you charge; is that overly limiting? Would it be too powerful if it simply functioned all the time?

    The "no reach weapons" clause is because pretty much all reach weapons are ALSO two-handed weapons by default, and I didn't want players stacking 2HF on top of the Reach feats.

    Crippling Strike- So if you achieve a critical hit with a keen kaorti resin falchion, you can deal 8d4 ability damage to basically any stat?
    What kind of creature can you hit with 8 times your normal damage and not have it explode into chunky little bits anyway? At worst, this seems like a melee version of Save or Die spells, except it's based on the attacker's roll instead of the target's.

    It was actually intended as a way to stop an enemy WITHOUT killing them, because once they are paralyzed you can always spend another action to CDG them anyhow if you want, but ocasionally players want to capture some one alive.

    I like having it apply to crits in some manner; I want to reward players for cohesive builds, compared to just slapping things together willy-nilly. If the ability damage is overly abusable, I can either reduce it to something like 1d2 or 1d3 instead of 1d4, or I can link it to BAB or level. How does 1+ 1d3 per 4 HD look?

    Alternatively, I could reduce the value of the damage and have it apply to every stat. So for example, instead of 5d4 to Str or Int, it might be 5 ability damage to Str, Dex, Int, Wis, AND Cha.

    Please let me know what seems favorable.

    Harrier- That's a lot of unavoidable penalty to a lot of things.
    Yes, yes it is, but it's only a penalty. It makes things harder but it doesn't really "stop" very much.

    How would you rate the following changes: reduce the progression of the penalty to -1 each step up instead of -2, and limit the number of targets you can affect to a maximum of 1+1/2 HD.

    Lockdown- Using AoOs to stop movement is good. Disrupting spells or certain actions, okay. But having a high chance to completely turn off someone's turn? With all the ways there are to get AoOs out there... probably best stay away from that. Ratchet down that effect a bit more.
    For the saves, I really REALLY like counting on full BAB; I think it makes BAB more important, which certainly helps melee-heavy classes. What if I took out the +10 part? That means its a little low at low levels, but you where worried about the feats being OP anyway.

    Also, AoO are triggered by a lot of things, but to my knowledge the easiest and most generally available method of being able to make an AoO more than once per round relies on Combat Reflexes and a Dexterity score. And since reach weapons are 2-handed, there's no real other benefit for a Reach-build to stack dexterity.

    What if instead of ending the turn, it just stops that action? For example, if some one provokes the AoO by moving, they can't move but they still have their standard action? Or if you interupt a spell or grapple attempt or something, they can still move?
    And would you want me to limit it to once per character per round, so that you couldn't, for instance, interupt a spell AND stop the caster from fleeing.

    I can understand your concern, but I WANTED these feats to be significant and powerful. A lot of the ones in the published sources, particularly core, are kinda "meh".

    Stepping back and taking an overall look at things, I like what you're going for in a lot of these places, but I think you're consistently overshooting here, at least with all the non-entry feats.
    That's a valid criticism; I don't want my melee characters to be game breaking any more than I want my casters as such. I'll go through and make a few of the changes we discussed; if you want to give further feedback I'd be happy to have it, but don't feel the need to go into such exhaustive detail.
    Last edited by Deepbluediver; 2013-02-01 at 02:10 PM.
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