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  1. - Top - End - #1
    Dwarf in the Playground
     
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    Default The Slighting of Mundane Characters [3.5]

    I love the 3.5 system, but some of the things that it does just confuse me.

    Take for instance the way mundane (nonmagical) characters get treated. They were given a very small list of special attacks in the PHB, including Trip, Bullrush, Grapple, Disarm, etc. No extra special options were added later, even when it is obvious that something should be a special attack.

    The Lunging Strike feat for instance, requires BAB 6, and allows you to extend your reach five feet in a single attack action per round. This, while useful, would not generally be considered to be worth a feat. But the annoying part is, as anyone trained in combat knows, a lunge is a fairly basic manuever. Anyone who could be considered proficient in a weapon should know how to perform a lunge.

    Another galling example is the feat Short Haft. Requires proficiency in a reach weapon, Weapon Focus with a reach weapon, and BAB +3. This is another basic example of a fighting technique that is so annoyingly basic, but for some reason costs a feat in the 3.5 system.

    So my question to you, good posters, is: Why did things that should easily be considered on par with a Trip or a Disarm attempt suddenly require feats as soon as we left the PHB?

    Where did the mentality that you need a feat to be able to do every single little thing come from?

    After viewing this now, would you change your own games to include things like Lunges, Parries and other basic combat techniques to be special actions like Trips and Bullrushes?
    Last edited by Justin B.; 2009-07-02 at 12:06 PM.

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    Default Re: The Slighting of Mundane Characters [3.5]

    Quote Originally Posted by Justin B. View Post
    After viewing this now, would you change your own games to include things like Lunges, Parries and other basic combat techniques to be special actions like Trips and Bullrushes?
    Yes. In fact, I already let anyone wielding a reach weapon choke up on it with a standard action; I'd consider allowing a feat to make a free action. I hadn't heard of Lunge, but it seems pretty reasonable to allow that as a Special Attack as well.

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    Default Re: The Slighting of Mundane Characters [3.5]

    Hmm. This is a good idea, I'd not really considered all of that before. I think I'll consider adding those feats as special combat options.

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    Default Re: The Slighting of Mundane Characters [3.5]

    Quote Originally Posted by Justin B. View Post
    But the annoying part is, as anyone trained in combat knows, a lunge is a fairly basic manuever. Anyone who could be considered proficient in a weapon should know how to perform a lunge.
    Yes. But that does not mean that, after running 30' in 3 seconds or so from a dead standstill they are able to lunge so deeply that they can strike 10' away from their body with, say, a rapier without advancing one more foot.

    Which is what the feat in question does.

    The feat is poorly named (it represents a much larger movement than an actual fencing lunge). And I do agree with you that it should be a special attack, not a feat. That said, let's not fall into the trap of basing it on real-world martial art mechanics.

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    Last edited by Another_Poet; 2009-07-02 at 03:06 PM.
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    Colossus in the Playground
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    Default Re: The Slighting of Mundane Characters [3.5]

    Quote Originally Posted by Justin B. View Post
    So my question to you, good posters, is: Why did things that should easily be considered on par with a Trip or a Disarm attempt suddenly require feats as soon as we left the PHB?

    Where did the mentality that you need a feat to be able to do every single little thing come from?
    It's mostly that they didn't want to automatically strengthen old classes by just releasing new books, so nothing from splats could come automatically (spells are something you always have to acquire and prepare and so on - maneuvers you always have); therefore every Splat-option had to be Feated to be a workable addition.

    Yeah, it's tarded (I completely agree with you here) and really, you should have such options in melee automatically, but that's not the path our dear Wizards chose. All I can say is Thank WoTC for ToB.

    Quote Originally Posted by Justin B. View Post
    After viewing this now, would you change your own games to include things like Lunges, Parries and other basic combat techniques to be special actions like Trips and Bullrushes?
    This is why I use ToB with homebrew.
    Last edited by Eldariel; 2009-07-02 at 03:10 PM.
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    Default Re: The Slighting of Mundane Characters [3.5]

    Quote Originally Posted by Another_Poet View Post
    Yes. But that does not mean that, after running 30' in 3 seconds or so from a dead standstill they are able to lunge so deeply that they can strike 10' away from their body with, say, a rapier without advancing one more foot.

    Which is what the feat in question does.

    The feat is poorly named (it represents a much larger movement than an actual fencing lunge). And I do agree with you that it should be a special attack, not a feat. That said, let's not fall into the trap of basing it on real-world martial art mechanics.

    ap
    Actually, the feat does not let you strike 10' away from your body with a rapier after a dead sprint. It lets you strike 10 feet away from your body with a full round action. Meaning, that the lunge takes a whole 6 seconds to complete.

    @ Eld

    Yes, ToB does many things, but I personally dislike it for many straight up warriors, I.E The Warblade. This is about giving anyone who uses melee combat more options for doing the things they should have been able to do in the first place.

    Comparing spells to feats is so insanely idiotic that whoever instituted that design philosophy should be forced to play a PVP match against a Wizard as a lowly fighter for one week straight.

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    Default Re: The Slighting of Mundane Characters [3.5]

    As a general rule, if there's a feat that allows a character to perform some sort of special maneuver, any character should be allowed to do it at a -4 penalty and provoke an Attack of Opportunity. That's in line with how the special maneuvers in the PHB work.
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    Default Re: The Slighting of Mundane Characters [3.5]

    Quote Originally Posted by Justin B. View Post
    Yes, ToB does many things, but I personally dislike it for many straight up warriors, I.E The Warblade. This is about giving anyone who uses melee combat more options for doing the things they should have been able to do in the first place.
    Fix for this? Ban Fighter. You can only play Warblades. Ban Paladins. You can only play Crusaders. Ban Monks and Rogues. You can only play Swordsages.

    You can't miss what doesn't exist.

    Personally, I think thats kinda extreme, since a couple levels of Fighter, Paladin, Ranger, Barbarian, and a number of other classes are very important for some builds, but there you go. You don't have a "stand in one place and swing till it dies" fighter...he just doesn't exist. You have fighters that are cunning, or mobile, or devout, or insightful, or whatever. You remove the lame normal mechanics, and all you are left with are the maneuvers.
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    Default Re: The Slighting of Mundane Characters [3.5]

    Quote Originally Posted by Devils_Advocate View Post
    As a general rule, if there's a feat that allows a character to perform some sort of special maneuver, any character should be allowed to do it at a -4 penalty and provoke an Attack of Opportunity. That's in line with how the special maneuvers in the PHB work.
    So you can Lunge, but you take a -4 to the attack roll. Yes, that makes everything work by RAW, but what about people like me who don't give a good gorram about the rules, but know that a person with even a miniscule amount of weapons training should be able to perform a lunge. This shouldn't take a penalty just because you didn't spend a mechanical token on it to recieve it. It just doesn't make sense.

    Also, how do you justify the Short Haft feat with this system? It still makes absolutely no sense. Choking up on a polearm is as simple a manuever as there can be.

    @Keld

    That idea is awesome for Paladins and Monks, but I personally don't like Warblades. To me, the manuever mechanic just doesn't mesh with someone who has naught but the skill of their swordarm to live by. Why does he need to prep manuevers? Why can he use his skill to break the laws of physics? Mundane fighters can work in a fantasy setting, but it requires them to not be artificially gimped by a silly feat system.

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    Default Re: The Slighting of Mundane Characters [3.5]

    Just like in RL fencing and martial arts, you can't execute every maneuver in every stance. If you have your power foot forward, you can strike straight ahead, but are vulnerable to attacks from the side. After executing a Steel Wind, your stance is wide from attacking 2 targets in one stroke, and you can't execute it again until you fend off your opponent long enough to shift your feet and bring you weapon to bear again, all the while parrying and ducking heavy ogre club swings. Fighting ain't easy!

    Its as real as you want it to be. Warblades don't get anything that defies reality (although some Tiger Claw leaps are pretty outrageous, they aren't beyond what you'd see in a wire-fu movie). Its not like they are striking with such speed that the air around them spontaneously ignites (like what often happens with Desert Wind maneuvers).
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    Default Re: The Slighting of Mundane Characters [3.5]

    Quote Originally Posted by Justin B. View Post
    That idea is awesome for Paladins and Monks, but I personally don't like Warblades. To me, the manuever mechanic just doesn't mesh with someone who has naught but the skill of their swordarm to live by. Why does he need to prep manuevers? Why can he use his skill to break the laws of physics? Mundane fighters can work in a fantasy setting, but it requires them to not be artificially gimped by a silly feat system.
    Warblades don't break the laws of physics any more than a vanilla Fighter. What laws of physics do you see them breaking?
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    Default Re: The Slighting of Mundane Characters [3.5]

    Wouldn't a lunge just be a normal attack? Just because the feat is called 'lunging strike' doesn't mean you need it to perform a lunge, just to perform a lunge that stretches so far your shortsword can act like a longspear.
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    Default Re: The Slighting of Mundane Characters [3.5]

    Quote Originally Posted by Dhavaer View Post
    just to perform a lunge that stretches so far your shortsword can act like a longspear.
    That's what she said!
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    Default Re: The Slighting of Mundane Characters [3.5]

    Quote Originally Posted by Justin B. View Post
    Also, how do you justify the Short Haft feat with this system? It still makes absolutely no sense. Choking up on a polearm is as simple a manuever as there can be.
    Choking up so the amount of spear facing the enemy is easy, keeping the rest of the spear no sticking behind you out of the way; however, if MUCH MUCH harder. The feat isn't "you know how to choke up on a spear" its "you know how not to trip yourself when choking up on a spear."

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    Default Re: The Slighting of Mundane Characters [3.5]

    My only problem with the Short Haft feat is that it requires a swift action to use. Should just make it function like the Spiked Chain so there're more viable reach weapons.

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    Default Re: The Slighting of Mundane Characters [3.5]

    Quote Originally Posted by Justin B. View Post
    but what about people like me who don't give a good gorram about the rules
    I recommend playing a freeform game if you don't care for rules.

    If you see rules as a necessary evil because you want a random conflict resolution mechanic, play something rules-light. Definitely not D&D. I don't think that there's any edition of D&D that's good for someone who doesn't like rules.

    This shouldn't take a penalty just because you didn't spend a mechanical token on it to recieve it. It just doesn't make sense.
    Um, if it really bothers you that it's a penalty, take the penalty away and raise the DC by 4 (or give the defender a +4 bonus against the attack, or whatever), and have the feat give the attacker a +4 bonus. Then it's even more straightforwardly in line with the Improved feats. But the results are exactly the same as the way I originally said. Either way, the upshot is that the maneuver is harder than a regular attack for someone untrained in it.

    If you think that that's still too hard for what the maneuver lets you accomplish -- if you think that it should be considered just as easy as wielding a weapon, tripping, bull rushing, disarming, grappling, etc. -- then feel free to forgo giving a penalty to the attacker or a bonus to the defender. But be wary of introducing an uber tactic this way, like the core rules did with Improved Trip.
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    Default Re: The Slighting of Mundane Characters [3.5]

    Quote Originally Posted by Keld Denar View Post
    Just like in RL fencing and martial arts, you can't execute every maneuver in every stance. If you have your power foot forward, you can strike straight ahead, but are vulnerable to attacks from the side. After executing a Steel Wind, your stance is wide from attacking 2 targets in one stroke, and you can't execute it again until you fend off your opponent long enough to shift your feet and bring you weapon to bear again, all the while parrying and ducking heavy ogre club swings. Fighting ain't easy!
    And it ain't THAT hard. Yes, you usually have to reajust to use an attack again. No, you don't need to flourish and full attack to reajust for ALL of your fancy moves.

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    Default Re: The Slighting of Mundane Characters [3.5]

    Well.... for realism, why dont you draw a five foot square out on the playground, in RL. Now draw another one right next to it. Stand in the middle of one square, and note that you have to completely extend your arm to reach the middle of the next square with your standard plastic longsword. Now stand at the back of one square, and imagine your opponent happens to be at the back of theirs. Guess what.. you have to lunge about one quarter to half the time in the average fight where both parties are dancing around in their squares. So lunging is already in.

    Gamewise, while fighters and meleers in general need all the love they can get, if you tack on five feet of range as a free action, you are basically giving everything with a weapon, monsters included, reach. So the advantage just cancels out and the arms race progresses and then we are having twice the AoO headaches when you are suddenly threatening out to fifteen feet with your longspear. And guess what. Wizards will still be flying around invisible in the backlines, well away from the fighters.

    You arent fixing anything with this "fix."
    Last edited by daggaz; 2009-07-02 at 06:39 PM.

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    Default Re: The Slighting of Mundane Characters [3.5]

    Quote Originally Posted by Hat-Trick View Post
    And it ain't THAT hard. Yes, you usually have to reajust to use an attack again. No, you don't need to flourish and full attack to reajust for ALL of your fancy moves.
    The game is an abstraction. The flourish and full attack are mearly representative of this. You don't need to RP it as a flourish, it could be a Morpheous-like taunt, a subtle shift in weight, a quick step that gives you an advantage of position, angle, or momentum. Anything. Its just there to consume resources to add balance over just executing the same maneuver over and over and over again, turn after turn. That activity is one of the reasons ToB is so popular. You have more to do than "I full attack again", so why should you replace that with "I Ancient Mountain Hammer again"?
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    Default Re: The Slighting of Mundane Characters [3.5]

    Quote Originally Posted by Keld Denar View Post
    The game is an abstraction. The flourish and full attack are mearly representative of this. You don't need to RP it as a flourish, it could be a Morpheous-like taunt, a subtle shift in weight, a quick step that gives you an advantage of position, angle, or momentum. Anything. Its just there to consume resources to add balance over just executing the same maneuver over and over and over again, turn after turn. That activity is one of the reasons ToB is so popular. You have more to do than "I full attack again", so why should you replace that with "I Ancient Mountain Hammer again"?
    To add to this, "attacks" represent actual chances of damaging your opponent. One "attack" is 6 seconds of combat (or 3 in case of standard action attack); you strike and parry and so on, and get that 1 (or with iteratives, more) chance of damaging your opponent in lieu of the combat (yes, even with natural weapon-using opponents and primary spellcasters).

    Strikes really just gives you more control on what kind of a damaging maneuver you're going for and Boosts and Stances give you more control over how you perform the other parts of the fight leading up to the damaging hit. Because the attack is more than just one hit, ending up in a position where your last offensive sequence wasn't usable (maybe just because your opponent adjusted, maybe because you are out of position or so on) isn't really hard to imagine at all.

    The swift action and a round of standard combat (as opposed to using the combat round to lead into one specific strike) allow you to adjust position so that you are in a position to use one of your strikes again, or subtly shift your offensive patterns so that your opponent is vulnerable to the same strikes again or so on; basically, you need that periodic 6 seconds of "down-time" from your most technically demanding attacks and defenses - 6 seconds of standard combat - to enable the specific offensive and defensive patterns and techniques you're using.
    Last edited by Eldariel; 2009-07-02 at 07:12 PM.
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    Default Re: The Slighting of Mundane Characters [3.5]

    Quote Originally Posted by daggaz View Post
    Well.... for realism, why dont you draw a five foot square out on the playground, in RL. Now draw another one right next to it. Stand in the middle of one square, and note that you have to completely extend your arm to reach the middle of the next square with your standard plastic longsword. Now stand at the back of one square, and imagine your opponent happens to be at the back of theirs. Guess what.. you have to lunge about one quarter to half the time in the average fight where both parties are dancing around in their squares. So lunging is already in.

    Gamewise, while fighters and meleers in general need all the love they can get, if you tack on five feet of range as a free action, you are basically giving everything with a weapon, monsters included, reach. So the advantage just cancels out and the arms race progresses and then we are having twice the AoO headaches when you are suddenly threatening out to fifteen feet with your longspear. And guess what. Wizards will still be flying around invisible in the backlines, well away from the fighters.

    You arent fixing anything with this "fix."
    Nobody mentioned anything about giving 5 foot reach with a free action. Simply that this was a manuever that could be performed without the use of specialized training. Which it is. I would probably make it a standard action. A lunge of that severity would definately take some effort (and movement), but it is possible.

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    Default Re: The Slighting of Mundane Characters [3.5]

    Quote Originally Posted by Justin B. View Post
    Nobody mentioned anything about giving 5 foot reach with a free action. Simply that this was a manuever that could be performed without the use of specialized training. Which it is. I would probably make it a standard action. A lunge of that severity would definately take some effort (and movement), but it is possible.
    I would actually tie the ability to lunge to BAB, going from standard action to part of an attack action on your turn to as a non-action whenever you could attack. (BAB 1, 6, 11 respectively).

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