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    Default two initiative feats (3.5)

    Mercurial Skirmisher
    You have the reflexes and speed of a viper, and can run circles around slower opponents, slicing them to pieces in short order.
    Prerequisites: 22 Dexterity, Improved Initiative, +9 base attack bonus
    Benefit: Against any foe that has a lower initiative score than you do, you deal extra melee or ranged damage equal to your initiative modifier.

    Heavy-Handed Colossus
    You are not as dazzlingly fast or as graceful as a cat, but you are immensely strong, and you know how to hit the faster, generally weaker foes hard enough that you only need to hit them once.
    Prerequisites: 22 Strength, Power Attack, +9 base attack bonus
    Benefit: Against any foe that has a higher initiative score than you do, you double your Strength bonus to melee or thrown weapon damage.
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    Default Re: two initiative feats (3.5)

    no one sees any glaring issues with this?

    note that initiative is rarely used as anything except initiative in normal games. my games have adopted a new houserule though, that gives initiative a bit more importance, in the game. these feats are meant to augment the new mechanics.

    http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=119745
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    Default Re: two initiative feats (3.5)

    The glaring flaw is the massive requirements for them; Str or Dex 22 requires an 18 investment and to be level 16, so it's a level 18 feat for them. Heavy Handed could get out of hand fast (Girallon's Blessing so that you can power attack for 4:1 while getting a grand total of 5x your strength bonus to damage while four-handing your weapon), while Mercurial Skirmisher, unless you are a spellcaster who's boosting initiative with nerveskitter and such, probably isn't that great.

    I mean, with racial boosts, you could pick both of them up at level 9... but also, a lot of dex based classes don't get full BAB, so it's a very late entry feat for something that is meh.

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    Default Re: two initiative feats (3.5)

    Yeah, I think you should drop it much lower. The other thing you need to consider is there are alot of ways to increase Initiative. For example, get a Warning weapon. That's effectively +5 to damage.
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    Default Re: two initiative feats (3.5)

    Mercurial Skirmisher would be nice for a Factotum, provided they could manage to qualify for it (probably with a tome to boost dexterity), since they tend to have fairly silly initiative modifiers. With a relatively small investment, you can get an initiative modifier of +30 or so, and one feat for +30 damage is nice, even at a relatively high level.

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    Default Re: two initiative feats (3.5)

    Mercuial skirmisher looks fine, but Heavy-Handed Colossus can get out of hand fast by virtue of being able to lower initiative with delayed and readied actions. Also, the strength doubling is powerful.

    The ability score requirements, are, however too high. To take the feats at 9th level would require racial boosts, a 16-18 base stat, and/or magic items. Knocking those down to 19 or 17 would probably be in order.
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    Default Re: two initiative feats (3.5)

    all right. thanks for the responses.

    Quote Originally Posted by Milskidasith View Post
    The glaring flaw is the massive requirements for them; Str or Dex 22 requires an 18 investment and to be level 16, so it's a level 18 feat for them.
    i don't think i've ever seen someone have to wait until level 16 to be able to get their primary stat up to 22.

    still, i see what you are saying, and i think it would be reasonable to lower it to 18. i'm not going lower than that though, because it is specifically supposed to be about being ridiculously fast or strong.

    Heavy Handed could get out of hand fast (Girallon's Blessing so that you can power attack for 4:1 while getting a grand total of 5x your strength bonus to damage while four-handing your weapon),
    this is a valid concern that i will have to think about. right off the bat i am just thinking about giving an unnamed bonus equal to your strength mod. that ends up having the same effect as doubling the strength modifier, but doesn't allow 4-handed increases.

    while Mercurial Skirmisher, unless you are a spellcaster who's boosting initiative with nerveskitter and such, probably isn't that great.
    the npc that i am working on that inspired the creation of these feats has a +18 initiative without nerveskitter.

    high initiative isn't that hard to come by at all. let's imagine a simple 22 dex and improved initiative alone. that is already a +10, which means +10 damage per hit. that seems pretty darn juicy to me, and that is just with two sources of income. now throw on a few weapon enchantments, the guerilla scout and blooded feats, and suddenly you are dealing quite a bit of extra damage to anyone slower than you.

    I mean, with racial boosts, you could pick both of them up at level 9... but also, a lot of dex based classes don't get full BAB, so it's a very late entry feat for something that is meh.
    with the examples that i just gave, doing +10 damage by mid levels seems pretty attractive. if it still seems like too small of a benefit, then i think we are doing it wrong. the point of this feat is to reward ridiculously high initiative scores; characters with a mediocre +6 initiative might find it useful once or twice in their careers, but the feat slot would be better spent elsewhere for them.

    Quote Originally Posted by Tavar View Post
    Yeah, I think you should drop it much lower.
    drop what? the strength req?

    The other thing you need to consider is there are alot of ways to increase Initiative. For example, get a Warning weapon. That's effectively +5 to damage.
    case and point. this is who i am building the feat for. for this and other reasons, i've been thinking that i actually need to raise prereqs to level 15 or so; at that level, a +15 damage modifier isn't so enormous.

    also by that level, optimized players are going to be dealing +20 or +25 damage with this, but by that level, chargers are killing dragons in one shot, wizards are changing the laws of reality, etc. but those are optimized players in optimized games, where a +25 would probably fit in nicely.

    Quote Originally Posted by Eurus View Post
    Mercurial Skirmisher would be nice for a Factotum, provided they could manage to qualify for it (probably with a tome to boost dexterity), since they tend to have fairly silly initiative modifiers.
    that and other dex-heavy characters are my primary goal.

    With a relatively small investment, you can get an initiative modifier of +30 or so, and one feat for +30 damage is nice, even at a relatively high level.
    i would be very interested in seeing the breakdown of this and how you consider it to be a small investment. either way, that would probably be considered optimized, which refers to my above statement.

    Quote Originally Posted by Thrice Dead Cat View Post
    Mercuial skirmisher looks fine, but Heavy-Handed Colossus can get out of hand fast by virtue of being able to lower initiative with delayed and readied actions. Also, the strength doubling is powerful.
    i also hadn't considered readied and delayed actions, so this is helpful. in my initiative system (linked in my second post), readied and delayed actions don't change your initiative order, so that is not even a concern to me.

    everywhere else though, this applies. i have been thinking of a penalty that could be active during any round in which these two feats are used, but i haven't really decided on it yet. maybe i ought to brainstorm a good one though, and apply it to the feats.

    The ability score requirements, are, however too high. To take the feats at 9th level would require racial boosts, a 16-18 base stat, and/or magic items.
    that was the intent.

    Knocking those down to 19 or 17 would probably be in order.
    this could still be reasonable. i might drop it to an 18 ability score and a +15 bab or something.

    either way, thanks for the input, guys. you brought up issues that i hadn't even thought of.
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    Default Re: two initiative feats (3.5)

    given the prerequisites and the damage that you're handing out for no real penalty, these are pretty much Epic feats.

    That or the latter one turns Hulking Hurlers into the best class ever...
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    Default Re: two initiative feats (3.5)

    Heavy-Handed Colossus doesn't make any sense at all. They have a higher initiative than you, and so they're probably weaker than you? You have a low initiative, and so you're probably strong? Strength and initiative really don't have anything to do with one another, unless you choose to build a stereotypical character. Which is fine, but you don't need a feat for it. It would make more sense to have a feat that doubled your Strength bonus to damage without having anything to do with initiative, and bulky characters would be the ones likely to take it.

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    Default Re: two initiative feats (3.5)

    Quote Originally Posted by Mulletmanalive View Post
    given the prerequisites and the damage that you're handing out for no real penalty, these are pretty much Epic feats.
    baloney. more powerful than some of the pansy epic feats out there? yes. more powerful than epic should be, especially considering the actual power level of most moderately well-built 18th level characters? no.

    also, i don't know if you read my last post or not, but we were just entertaining the idea of penalties.

    That or the latter one turns Hulking Hurlers into the best class ever...
    wait, and this changes what, exactly?

    Quote Originally Posted by Baron Corm View Post
    Heavy-Handed Colossus doesn't make any sense at all. They have a higher initiative than you, and so they're probably weaker than you?
    statistically, yes. yeah, it plays on stereotypes. i'm ok with that. if you don't like it, but want to use the feat anyway, change the fluff.

    it is about slow and methodical (tortoise), beating quick and energetic (hare). again, stereotypes. i'm still ok with it.

    You have a low initiative, and so you're probably strong? Strength and initiative really don't have anything to do with one another, unless you choose to build a stereotypical character.
    no kidding? yeah, i'm aware of that. this here is the new connection.

    Which is fine, but you don't need a feat for it.
    to do this much extra damage, yes you do. proof: check my first post. that is the feat for it.

    It would make more sense to have a feat that doubled your Strength bonus to damage without having anything to do with initiative, and bulky characters would be the ones likely to take it.
    except that i specifically want this to be about initiative. i want a feat that gives something to the strength-based character that has made dex his dump stat and for who initiative is his worst roll. this is it.

    as already mentioned, this is specifically for a game with a homebrewed initiative mechanic.
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    Default Re: two initiative feats (3.5)

    It's not just that it plays on stereotypes. The flavor text you put up there assumes that your opponent is weaker. You can't take a feat to assume things about your opponent, unless you're somehow making them weaker.

    Furthermore, just because you have a high initiative does not make you fast or graceful. Initiative is just reaction time. There isn't really any reasonable way of giving a bonus for being lower in the initiative count unintentionally. If you made the feat so that you got double your Strength bonus to damage if you purposely lowered yourself in initiative, that would make sense. Focusing on delivering your attacks harder, instead of attacking first or wildly. A feat like that seems like it might be an attack bonus rather than a damage bonus, though.

    None of this has to do with balance, so if you just want to rule 0 it all into working I'll just shut up now.

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    Default Re: two initiative feats (3.5)

    Quote Originally Posted by Baron Corm View Post
    It's not just that it plays on stereotypes. The flavor text you put up there assumes that your opponent is weaker.
    show me where i said in the feat description that your foe has to be weaker than you. you're not gonna find it.

    i did mention once or twice about the tortoise and the hare effect, and in the fluff text, i mentioned that generally the faster ones are weaker. i never mentioned anything about this feat not working against faster foes that are also stronger than you.

    the point is not that you are stronger than him, but that you are strong, that once you get moving, you are a battering ram. who cares if your target might be another battering ram; that doesn't stop you from being one too.

    You can't take a feat to assume things about your opponent, unless you're somehow making them weaker.
    refer to the above. this has nothing to do with you needing to be *stronger* than the other guy, just strong.

    Furthermore, just because you have a high initiative does not make you fast or graceful. Initiative is just reaction time.
    i'm aware of that. but generally speaking, those with high dex (more graceful), have higher init. if you disagree, feel free to compile a list of monsters and show me all of the low-dex, high-initiative ones and the high-dex, low-init ones out there.

    either way, again, this has nothing to do with being faster or stronger than the other guy, except for the initiative roll itself. other than that, it is about being fast, or strong. period.

    There isn't really any reasonable way of giving a bonus for being lower in the initiative count unintentionally. If you made the feat so that you got double your Strength bonus to damage if you purposely lowered yourself in initiative, that would make sense. Focusing on delivering your attacks harder, instead of attacking first or wildly. A feat like that seems like it might be an attack bonus rather than a damage bonus, though.
    who says that you can't intentionally screw your initiative roll? even if you can't take a 1, you can still ready and delay. how is that not intentional?

    None of this has to do with balance, so if you just want to rule 0 it all into working I'll just shut up now.
    the point of all of this is that the mercurial guy is so flipping fast that he can run right over his foes. if you read the linked initiative system homebrew (post #2), i referred to it as "violence of action," a marine corps term.

    violence of action basically means that whoever gets the ball rolling fast enough is going to crush his enemies soonest. sounds like an initiative roll to me.

    the collossus, on the other hand, is about the stalwart behemoth that might take a moment to get swinging, but once he does, the world is going to tremble.

    now, the mechanics are still mutable. i am not dead set on any of the mechanics. i toyed earlier with the idea of a penalty, but never fleshed it out. i also toyed with different modifiers (half the initiative modifier, and half the strength bonus), and some other things.

    eventually, i settled on this. but this is still the rough draft. so i want ideas about the mechanic. the fluff is already set in stone; it's not changing.

    thanks for the input though. i appreciate seeing what others think.

    EDIT: also, i realize that the colossus feat is clumsy, especially since the mercurial feat has *no* drawbacks. the colossus feat does; you have to fail initiative compared to your targets. this means you act after them in normal games, and that you take hefty penalties in my game.

    as it stands though, it is so far the best way that i have found to tie slow initiative to the hulking giant theme though. i'm still open to ideas about this part in particular.
    Last edited by Stycotl; 2009-10-30 at 11:17 PM.
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    Default Re: two initiative feats (3.5)

    Quote Originally Posted by Stycotl View Post
    i would be very interested in seeing the breakdown of this and how you consider it to be a small investment. either way, that would probably be considered optimized, which refers to my above statement.
    Off the top of my head: in order to take the feat you need a base dexterity (possibly including an inherent bonus) of at least 22, plus Improved Initiative. So at minimum, that's +10, already a nice bonus against most things. Then assume gloves of dexterity (which you'll probably want anyway, since you're presumably a dex-focused character) and you'll probably be getting another +3. Factotums add intelligence to dexterity checks, including initiative, so provided that your intelligence is as high as your dexterity you're getting another +9 or so from that. Then you have an eager weapon of warning for another +7, the aggressive trait for another +2, and nerveskitter (which can be cast with the factotum's Ardent Dilettante) for another +5.

    That comes out to a +36, for the cost of a feat, a trait, three levels in a fairly good class, and three items of moderate price, two of which are useful in other ways as well. Not that big of an investment, since it applies in pretty much all situations. A 13th-level Factotum can take this feat, and smash some serious face.

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    Default Re: two initiative feats (3.5)

    Quote Originally Posted by Eurus View Post
    Off the top of my head: in order to take the feat you need a base dexterity (possibly including an inherent bonus) of at least 22, plus Improved Initiative. So at minimum, that's +10, already a nice bonus against most things. Then assume gloves of dexterity (which you'll probably want anyway, since you're presumably a dex-focused character) and you'll probably be getting another +3. Factotums add intelligence to dexterity checks, including initiative, so provided that your intelligence is as high as your dexterity you're getting another +9 or so from that. Then you have an eager weapon of warning for another +7, the aggressive trait for another +2, and nerveskitter (which can be cast with the factotum's Ardent Dilettante) for another +5.

    That comes out to a +36, for the cost of a feat, a trait, three levels in a fairly good class, and three items of moderate price, two of which are useful in other ways as well. Not that big of an investment, since it applies in pretty much all situations. A 13th-level Factotum can take this feat, and smash some serious face.
    for some reason i thought that you had said that you can get an item for a small price that would give you a +30 initiative. i completely read that wrong. my bad.

    so, now we are talking about heavy optimization. despite the fact that this is all fairly cheap (monetarily, anyway), this is still heavy optimization. though the numbers are pretty darn high, this is still nothing compared to the rest of the tricks in a heavy optimization game.

    that said, i wouldn't mind toning it down some. i had mentioned earlier that 1/2 the bonus had crossed my mind, but that seemed too low for anyone that doesn't seriously optimize. that makes a moderately optimized character (+15 or so), get only a +7 or so bonus. that can add up quick, but...

    maybe i ought to cap the bonus by BAB. something like:

    Against any foe that has a lower initiative score than you do, you deal extra melee or ranged damage equal to your initiative modifier, though no higher than your base attack bonus.

    and same for the colossus.

    how's that sound?
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    Default Re: two initiative feats (3.5)

    I'd have just said make it add your Dex modifier to damage. Still optimizable but keeps it closer to equal with the Strength one, or else half initiative modifier.
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    Default Re: two initiative feats (3.5)

    There are a many feats very similiar to this in one of the Rokugan OA books (although those are 3.0). I believe its "way of the daimyo" in the example for the "firefly clan" in "make your own minor clan." There's also information on it near the end of "Fortunes and Winds" in the "Ningen-do" section under the "Rolling Thunder/Kenku School Feats."

    They mostly deal with adding modifiers equal to the difference in initiative, which is cumbersome since the DM has to look up intiaitive modifiers all the time.

    These are much nicer.

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    Default Re: two initiative feats (3.5)

    Quote Originally Posted by Zaydos View Post
    I'd have just said make it add your Dex modifier to damage. Still optimizable but keeps it closer to equal with the Strength one, or else half initiative modifier.
    duh. dex mod to damage didn't even dawn on me. in my defense, it is because they are incomparable (strength and dexterity), since there are generally so many more ways to raise strength than there are dex.

    that is a good option, though. plus, that could mitigate the lack of penalties for the dex build. no penalties (high initiative): lower bonus damage. more penalties (low initiative): higher bonus damage.

    Quote Originally Posted by KitsuneKionchi View Post
    There are a many feats very similiar to this in one of the Rokugan OA books (although those are 3.0). I believe its "way of the daimyo" in the example for the "firefly clan" in "make your own minor clan." There's also information on it near the end of "Fortunes and Winds" in the "Ningen-do" section under the "Rolling Thunder/Kenku School Feats."

    They mostly deal with adding modifiers equal to the difference in initiative, which is cumbersome since the DM has to look up intiaitive modifiers all the time.

    These are much nicer.
    thanks. i'll have to check that out. i hardly ever touch those books because i can't ever find anything in them. i hate the layout. but, maybe i will here.

    i did think about using the difference between intiative rolls as the bonus, but decided that it would get too muddy. i already have that going on for normal bonuses, so i didn't want more.
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