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  1. - Top - End - #1
    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    Mighty_Chicken's Avatar

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    Default [Request] Alternate, free options against flat-flooted targets

    There are so many feats and opportunity to get your opponent flat-flooted out there! Investing in initiative, lurking in the shadows, feinting... but it isn't worth it, because unless you're a Rogue, you're doing for nothing more than a potential better hit chance, that can be too low or none if the target doesn't have a a high Dex score.

    Shouldn't embushing town guards, dragons and giants be more advantageous than that?

    It would add a subtle, but consistent level of strategy to the game if there were more advantages against flat-flooted targets. Options that did not need feats, so everyone could use them, and reflect that being caught flat flooted is never a good thing, specially if you're slow.

    I'm honestly requesting ideas, but here's an idea of my own: the cost of using any of those alternate options would be using the total AC instead of the flat-flooted AC to hit the target. It's both for balance, and to reflect that since you're using your advantage in a different manner than the usual.


    Some suggestions would be:

    * +1d4 precision damage

    * No penalty to apply nonlethal damage

    * The smaller of your Dex or Int mod as a damage bonus (makes special sense for feinting, and could have some sort of weapon or armor limitation)

    * +2 to perform combat maneuvers

    * the chance to try to demoralize the enemy as a free action, but with a -10 penalty

    * +1 to stunning fist's save DC

    * +1 to ranged weapon's threat range, or a +3 to confirm criticals

    And so on... anything that could add a just a little more depth to combat, and reward players for using deception and strategy.

    On a related note, I think D&D has no reward for archers that snipe their targets, regardless of being hidden or not. Having an archer on a protected spot, patiently aiming at you, should be more scary than having an unprotected archer shooting at you while he moves 30 feet per turn to run away from your blows.

    I believe that after three rounds of undisturbed aiming, an archer should get a +2 bonus to the weapon thread range, stackable with other bonuses like the one I described just above. Aiming like this would cause attacks of opportunity. And this really isn't enough to mimic the effect of sniping the guards to lurk into a castle... this would never work in D&D.

    So, what do you think? How can 3.x give better rewards to sneaky, lurky, lying and feinty types?
    Last edited by Mighty_Chicken; 2013-05-24 at 05:24 PM.
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  2. - Top - End - #2
    Halfling in the Playground
     
    Griffon

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    Default Re: [Request] Alternate, free options against flat-flooted targets

    Default 3.5 rule is that if something gives you an advantage, you get a +2 for it. So if you take the time (as a non-rogue) to sneak up on an enemy, and that enemy doesn't have at least +2 Dex to his AC, might as well give the PC +2 to attack anyway. Just make sure that whatever you give doesn't outshine the Rogue's abilities, and probably shouldn't be cooler than a feat.

    A surprise attack from an archer can be considered an Invisible attack, so the archer would ignore the enemy's Dex to AC, and get another +2 to his attack roll. If that's not deadly enough for you, bend the adjacent-to-target rule and allow a coup-de-grace, but only for the very first arrow fired.

  3. - Top - End - #3
    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    Mighty_Chicken's Avatar

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    Default Re: [Request] Alternate, free options against flat-flooted targets

    Yeah, I forgot about the advantage of being "invisible". Remembered about it just a few hours ago...

    The +2 advantage is substantial, don't get me wrong, but it lacks... something. I's also numerically superior to most low level feats, so I wouldn't take the "no better than a feat" guideline as a dogma.

    Quote Originally Posted by DMMike View Post
    A surprise attack from an archer can be considered an Invisible attack, so the archer would ignore the enemy's Dex to AC, and get another +2 to his attack roll. If that's not deadly enough for you, bend the adjacent-to-target rule and allow a coup-de-grace, but only for the very first arrow fired.
    Wow, that's a simple and yet great idea.

    Though I think an attack roll would probably be fair, at least during nighttime... which would make the option be basically the Assassin's class feature.

    Ok, we also have some feats and combat options, like feint, and the combined use of sleight of hand+quick draw, that will deny the target their Dex bonus to AC. How can we make this a little more interesting, specially when I'm feinting dwarven juggernauts?
    Last edited by Mighty_Chicken; 2013-05-25 at 12:17 AM.
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  4. - Top - End - #4
    Titan in the Playground
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    Default Re: [Request] Alternate, free options against flat-flooted targets

    If you use my suggestion for adjusting coup de grace, you might get some better combinations (taking penalties to confirm, for example, in exchange for getting to make a coup de grace attempt against someone who is not completely helpless).
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  5. - Top - End - #5
    Troll in the Playground
     
    GreenSorcererElf

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    Default Re: [Request] Alternate, free options against flat-flooted targets

    I've always thought that if you ambush someone with a fireball they don't see coming, they shouldn't get a reflex save. Sadly, that makes AoE spells way more powerful since it's trivially easy to strike from invisibility or from such range that it's impossible for them to make the spot check if you make a token effort at hiding. I'd also make a note about it being in regards to the spell effect itself: invisibility denies dex but they still know you're out there and the spell itself is not invisible. I'm pretty sure there are a few effects that say "flat footed with regards to you" or similar, but it's not you they have to dodge in this case.
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  6. - Top - End - #6
    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    Mighty_Chicken's Avatar

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    Default Re: [Request] Alternate, free options against flat-flooted targets

    Quote Originally Posted by tuggyne View Post
    If you use my suggestion for adjusting coup de grace, you might get some better combinations (taking penalties to confirm, for example, in exchange for getting to make a coup de grace attempt against someone who is not completely helpless).
    Ok, I think this pretty much fixes sniping. Kudos!

    Just some minor things though... The auto-semi-coup de grace should have some limits. For example, only working on flat-footed opponents, or opponents who fail Perception/Listen/Spot checks, so people can defend themselves as soon as they know there's an invisible threat around; or requiring time to aim so the snipe can work (I suggest 3 full rounds).

    Quote Originally Posted by Fizban View Post
    I've always thought that if you ambush someone with a fireball they don't see coming, they shouldn't get a reflex save. Sadly, that makes AoE spells way more powerful since it's trivially easy to strike from invisibility or from such range that it's impossible for them to make the spot check if you make a token effort at hiding. I'd also make a note about it being in regards to the spell effect itself: invisibility denies dex but they still know you're out there and the spell itself is not invisible. I'm pretty sure there are a few effects that say "flat footed with regards to you" or similar, but it's not you they have to dodge in this case.

    Abou area spells, don't you think a -2 to the Reflex DC would be enough? It would mimic the effect of an invisible enemy. Also, explosive traps allow Reflex saves. And realistically, people can often predict an explosion is about to happen and jump out just in time, or just as the explosion starts - which still can protect them just enough to save their lives. It happened to people I know.

    Yeah, about invisibility, I think even characters without Blind-Fight should be allowed to try to deny at least the flat-flooted condition. It makes more sense and also could potentially add some depth to invisible tactics. Well, SRD does says something about it...

    A creature can use hearing to find an invisible creature. A character can make a Listen check for this purpose as a free action each round. A Listen check result at least equal to the invisible creature’s Move Silently check result reveals its presence. (A creature with no ranks in Move Silently makes a Move Silently check as a Dexterity check to which an armor check penalty applies.) A successful check lets a character hear an invisible creature “over there somewhere.” It’s practically impossible to pinpoint the location of an invisible creature. A Listen check that beats the DC by 20 pinpoints the invisible creature’s location.
    Anyone who can pinpoint an invisible attacker should not be flat-footed, though the +2 bonus for the attacker should remain because you can't see the bastard's sword coming for you. But this DC is too damn high! This way, you'll be flat-flooted against an invisible 1st level warrior in a full plate. I think buff spells should make you good at what you're mediocre, and supreme in what you're good; not supreme in what you're mediocre!

    Anyone who beat the Listen DC by 10 would not be flat-footed againt an invisible attacker, not in my table. Rogues with invisibility wouldn't even notice the change because their Move Silently checks are high enough.



    Any ideas for Feint/Sleight of Hands?
    Last edited by Mighty_Chicken; 2013-05-25 at 12:58 AM.
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  7. - Top - End - #7
    Titan in the Playground
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    Default Re: [Request] Alternate, free options against flat-flooted targets

    Quote Originally Posted by Mighty_Chicken View Post
    Ok, I think this pretty much fixes sniping. Kudos!

    Just some minor things though... The auto-semi-coup de grace should have some limits. For example, only working on flat-footed opponents, or opponents who fail Perception/Listen/Spot checks, so people can defend themselves as soon as they know there's an invisible threat around; or requiring time to aim so the snipe can work (I suggest 3 full rounds).
    If you make it so they have to confirm against normal AC with a -4 penalty as a full-round action, it should be fine. Or something like that. (And, of course, it only works against flat-footed targets, as indicated in your OP.)
    Quote Originally Posted by Water_Bear View Post
    That's RAW for you; 100% Rules-Legal, 110% silly.
    Quote Originally Posted by hamishspence View Post
    "Common sense" and "RAW" are not exactly on speaking terms
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