A Monster for Every Season: Summer 2
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  1. - Top - End - #1
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    Kobold

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    Default Elementals, constructs, undead, plants, oozes sneak attack and game balance.

    Why is it that Rogues are so utterly shafted against certain creature types? I can't think of any other class which has its primary source of damage so utterly negated, Wizards can switch to non SR spells for spell immune creatures and any other immunities are on a monster by monster basis so why the hate against sneak attack?

    It makes certainly makes thematic sense but what can a rogue do in combat against certain creature types immune to sneak attack? There are certain spells that overcome this limitation but in core a rogue is completely SOL, why is this the case?

    I know that pathfinder has done away with the restriction against Undead and Constructs but would it really hurt to let them sneak attack everything? Maybe give them a 50% chance for it to work against Oozes, elementals and plants?

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    Kobold

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    Default Re: Elementals, constructs, undead, plants, oozes sneak attack and game balance.

    In our game, with very few exceptions, we allow sneak attacks on everything. It hasn't seemed to hurt the balance one bit.

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    Eldan's Avatar

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    Default Re: Elementals, constructs, undead, plants, oozes sneak attack and game balance.

    I use the house rule that you deal reduced precision damage to some creatures, depending on type. You probably have to scale it a bit for yourself, but -3d6 for undead, plants and constructs and -5d6 for elementals and oozes worked reasonably well.
    "In dark times, should the stars also go out?"

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    PaladinGuy

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    Default Re: Elementals, constructs, undead, plants, oozes sneak attack and game balance.

    Quote Originally Posted by Eldan View Post
    I use the house rule that you deal reduced precision damage to some creatures, depending on type. You probably have to scale it a bit for yourself, but -3d6 for undead, plants and constructs and -5d6 for elementals and oozes worked reasonably well.
    How would you handle the Daring Outlaw Swashbuckler's Int-to-Damage?

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    Eldan's Avatar

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    Default Re: Elementals, constructs, undead, plants, oozes sneak attack and game balance.

    Hmm. Good question, hasn't come up yet.

    Perhaps change it from "X dice" to a flat out precision damage resistance? Something like 3-4 points per die?

    Round that a bit, and you get:
    Creatures with strange and resistant anatomy (Undead, Plants and Constructs) have Precision Damage Resistance 10.
    Creatures with amorphous anatomy (Oozes, Elementals) have Precision Damage Resistance 20.

    Which allows a rogue who rolls high to actually wound them a bit earlier.
    Last edited by Eldan; 2011-06-07 at 07:05 AM.
    "In dark times, should the stars also go out?"

  6. - Top - End - #6
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    PaladinGuy

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    Default Re: Elementals, constructs, undead, plants, oozes sneak attack and game balance.

    Quote Originally Posted by Eldan View Post
    Hmm. Good question, hasn't come up yet.

    Perhaps change it from "X dice" to a flat out precision damage resistance? Something like 3-4 points per die?

    Round that a bit, and you get:
    Creatures with strange and resistant anatomy (Undead, Plants and Constructs) have Precision Damage Resistance 10.
    Creatures with amorphous anatomy (Oozes, Elementals) have Precision Damage Resistance 20.

    Which allows a rogue who rolls high to actually wound them a bit earlier.
    Hmm...might be more balancing to go 5 and 10. Precision damage doesn't multiply well, like STR damage does. Assuming that you're preserving your 3d6, 5d6 SA reductions. If you lump Precision Damage and SA together, then 10 and 20 seems fair.

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    RogueGuy

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    Default Re: Elementals, constructs, undead, plants, oozes sneak attack and game balance.

    I suggest going with percentile reductions rather than flat ones. Even at 10d6 (L19-20 rogue), SA-resistance 20 will be over 50% on average.
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    PaladinGuy

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    Default Re: Elementals, constructs, undead, plants, oozes sneak attack and game balance.

    What about just using the penetrating strike alternative class feature from Dungeonscape. You trade trap sense for it, but it lets you do half sneak attack damage whenever you're flanking.

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    Metahuman1's Avatar

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    Default Re: Elementals, constructs, undead, plants, oozes sneak attack and game balance.

    Everything including the whole list of stuff that normally has Immunity?

    Undead
    Constructs
    Plants
    Elemental's
    Oozes
    And anything that got a heavy fortified suit of armor or shield?
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    true_shinken's Avatar

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    Default Re: Elementals, constructs, undead, plants, oozes sneak attack and game balance.

    Quote Originally Posted by supermonkeyjoe View Post
    I know that pathfinder has done away with the restriction against Undead and Constructs but would it really hurt to let them sneak attack everything? Maybe give them a 50% chance for it to work against Oozes, elementals and plants?
    I think it was a simulationist aproach rather than worrying about balance. Oozes and elementals have no organs or weak points. The stuff about plants was probably ignorance, though.

  11. - Top - End - #11
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    Yuki Akuma's Avatar

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    Default Re: Elementals, constructs, undead, plants, oozes sneak attack and game balance.

    Sneak attack immunity has absolutely nothing to do with game balance. It's to make it more "realistic".

    Just like Paladin and Monk alignment and multiclassing restrictions. Nothing to do with game balance there, either.
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    true_shinken's Avatar

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    Default Re: Elementals, constructs, undead, plants, oozes sneak attack and game balance.

    Quote Originally Posted by Yuki Akuma View Post
    Sneak attack immunity has absolutely nothing to do with game balance. It's to make it more "realistic".

    Just like Paladin and Monk alignment and multiclassing restrictions. Nothing to do with game balance there, either.
    Try simulationist instead of realistic. That's how we roll these days.

  13. - Top - End - #13
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    MonkGuy

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    Default Re: Elementals, constructs, undead, plants, oozes sneak attack and game balance.

    For simulationists( lol I like that word) enough ranks in craft metal working might theoretically allow a rouge to deal full SA damage to machine constructs ( but not golems) since machines have important stress points and even minor damage to these might cause it's leg to come off on it's next step). Ditto plants and nature/survival. Oozes, elementals and undead have no business being vulnerable to anything but magic.
    Last edited by marcielle; 2011-06-07 at 10:22 AM.

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    Veyr's Avatar

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    Default Re: Elementals, constructs, undead, plants, oozes sneak attack and game balance.

    Knowledge (Architecture & Engineering) seems more appropriate for that.

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    Eldan's Avatar

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    Default Re: Elementals, constructs, undead, plants, oozes sneak attack and game balance.

    That could be another idea, yeah. Make a knowledge check, as if to identify the creature, to sneak it. With appropriate modifiers, of course.
    "In dark times, should the stars also go out?"

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    true_shinken's Avatar

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    Default Re: Elementals, constructs, undead, plants, oozes sneak attack and game balance.

    Quote Originally Posted by marcielle View Post
    For simulationists( lol I like that word) enough ranks in craft metal working might theoretically allow a rouge to deal full SA damage to machine constructs ( but not golems) since machines have important stress points and even minor damage to these might cause it's leg to come off on it's next step). Ditto plants and nature/survival. Oozes, elementals and undead have no business being vulnerable to anything but magic.
    Well, most undead still depend on bones and muscle tissue to keep going, so I could see a Rogue sneak attacking them.

  17. - Top - End - #17
    Colossus in the Playground
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    Default Re: Elementals, constructs, undead, plants, oozes sneak attack and game balance.

    There's precedent for allowing precision damage to be dealt to "immune" types. Yeah, appropriate Knowledge-checks are a fine way to model it; beat certain Knowledge-DC of the appropriate type to SA something you normally couldn't.

    The other option is using magic to bypass the immunities; said spells exist in various sources.
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  18. - Top - End - #18
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    PairO'Dice Lost's Avatar

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    Default Re: Elementals, constructs, undead, plants, oozes sneak attack and game balance.

    Honestly, I think the only creatures that should be immune or highly resistant to precision damage and crits are incorporeal creatures and gaseous creatures. You can hit an ooze or creature made of water in a thinner portion of their body and send more of whatever composes their body flying, or put out more of the fire of a fire elemental with a particularly forceful swing. You can smash skeletons particularly hard just like you can smash humanoids with skeletons particularly hard, and you can find a weak spot in an earth elemental or stone golem just like miners can find weak spots in regular rock formations. And of course plants are actually alive, with sap and stems and other sorts of critical areas, so they should obviously be crittable.

    This isn't to say that some creatures shouldn't be resistant to precision damage or crits, but it should be relatively rare and shouldn't be done on a type-wide basis, or once again you have the issue of having the same crittability factor for ghosts and skeletons and everything in between. The idea that you can't possibly find any weaker-than-normal point whatsoever is ridiculous unless you're talking about something that's not solid or liquid, something that's not even physically there, or a perfectly spherical perfectly uniform object...and as the latter don't tend to come up much in D&D, it's only the ghosts and air elementals that we really need to worry about.
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    Lizardfolk

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    Default Re: Elementals, constructs, undead, plants, oozes sneak attack and game balance.

    Modrons; the they laugh at your crits :P
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    Default Re: Elementals, constructs, undead, plants, oozes sneak attack and game balance.

    Eh, they still have eyes and kneecaps, at least.
    "In dark times, should the stars also go out?"

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    Lizardfolk

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    Default Re: Elementals, constructs, undead, plants, oozes sneak attack and game balance.

    Quote Originally Posted by Eldan View Post
    Eh, they still have eyes and kneecaps, at least.
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