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Ultimate Combat Preview #2

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

During the preview banquet at PaizoCon this year, I boasted that Ultimate Combat had a gigantic feats chapter, which started off with a seven-page table, summarizing all the feats. While that is impressive, I realized later that I made a mistake—the feats table is nine pages long!

This week we're going to take a look at the feats chapter a bit more closely, since it is such an important part of this book. This chapter contains 256 feats, suitable for characters of every race and class. There are feats to grant bonuses with nets, feats that let you mix a hex with an unarmed strike, and feats that nearly let you rip off your opponents head! While many of them are combat feats, there are a few new feat categories as well. Grit feats modify and amplify the abilities of the gunslinger class, while style feats represent fighting forms and techniques, primarily employed by martial art masters, such as the monk. Take a look at this chain of style feats.

Illustration by Dmitry Burmak

Crane Style (Combat, Style)
Your unarmed fighting techniques blend poise with graceful defense.
Prerequisites: Dodge, Improved Unarmed Strike, base attack bonus +2 or monk level 1st.
Benefit: You take only a –2 penalty on attack rolls for fighting defensively. While using this style and fighting defensively or using the total defense action, you gain an additional +1 dodge bonus to your Armor Class.

Crane Wing (Combat)
You move with the speed and finesse of an avian hunter, your sweeping blocks and graceful motions allowing you to deflect melee attacks with ease.
Prerequisites: Crane Style, Dodge, Improved Unarmed Strike, base attack bonus +5 or monk level 5th.
Benefit: Once per round while using Crane Style, when you have at least one hand free and are either fighting defensively or using the total defense action, you can deflect one melee weapon attack that would normally hit you. You expend no action to deflect the attack, but you must be aware of it and not flat-footed. An attack so deflected deals no damage to you.

Crane Riposte (Combat)
You use your defensive abilities to make overpowering counterattacks.
Prerequisites: Crane Style, Crane Wing, Dodge, Improved Unarmed Strike, base attack bonus +8 or monk level 7th.
Benefit: You take only a –1 penalty on attack rolls for fighting defensively. Whenever you use Crane Wing to deflect an opponent's attack, you can make an attack of opportunity against that opponent after the attack is deflected.

This is one of the easiest style feats to qualify for, but the trick with these feats is that you cannot utilize more than one style feat at a time, and you cannot use the other feats in the chain unless you are using the base style feat as well. While this means you can get some pretty good abilities if you just focus on one chain, getting into multiple chains forces you to make decisions about which abilities you want on a given round.

Of course, the chapter also features some new teamwork feats and a new classification of feats called Performance feats, which give you an edge when fighting in an arena or other theater of blood. Take a look at these two, one from each category.

Shake It Off (Teamwork)
You support your allies and help them recover from crippling effects.
Benefit: When you are adjacent to one or more allies who also have this feat, you gain a +1 bonus on saving throws per such ally (maximum +4).

Murderer's Circle (Combat, Performance)
After savaging your foe, you circle like a hunter ready for the kill.
Prerequisites: Dodge, Acrobatics 4 ranks.
Benefit: When you spend a swift action to make a performance combat check after scoring a critical hit or performing a combat maneuver, and you are adjacent to the target of the critical hit or combat maneuver, you can move to any other space that is adjacent to the target without provoking attacks of opportunity. You must have a clear path to that space and the ability to reach it by spending a move action. If you end this move in any space other than the one where you started, you gain a +2 bonus on the performance combat check.

I must admit, I picked those two to show off due mainly to their awesome names. There are a lot of really great feats in this book and I would love to show off all of them to you, but you'll just have to check them out for yourself when the book releases next week. For our final preview, we're going to take a look at some of the great new rules systems found in this book, including vehicle combat!

Jason Bulmahn
Lead Designer

More Paizo Blog.
Tags: Design Tuesdays Dmitry Burmak Pathfinder Roleplaying Game
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1 person marked this as a favorite.

Wow. I actually want to play a monk.

Contributor, RPG Superstar 2010 Top 4

Vaellen wrote:
Wow. I actually want to play a monk.

This is just the tip of the iceberg!


SCHWING!


Man, Ultimate Combat is gonna be sooooooo rad.


Pathfinder Companion, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Am I the only one who is confused? What is a performance combat check?

Andoran RPG Superstar 2008 Top 32, 2011 Top 16

For Crane Wing, can you activate it after damage is rolled, or do you have to use it before?

Shadow Lodge

Golden-Esque wrote:
Am I the only one who is confused? What is a performance combat check?

There is a section on optional rules. Performance combat is in that section. Think running gladiatorial combat and trying to win the favor of the crowd.

Contributor, RPG Superstar 2010 Top 4

Kabump wrote:
Golden-Esque wrote:
Am I the only one who is confused? What is a performance combat check?
There is a section on optional rules. Performance combat is in that section. Think running gladiatorial combat and trying to win the favor of the crowd.

Correct.


Golden-Esque wrote:
Am I the only one who is confused? What is a performance combat check?

Sounds like a quasi-new mechanic. Hopefully built on the bones of Combat Maneuvers. Do some stuff then make a roll against a DC to do some extra cool stuff.

Cheliax

You guys may or may not have based the Crane Style tree/picture on the Karate Kid, but that's what it reminded me of... One of my favorites! I just restructured my next character to include those feats. :)

Paizo Employee Lead Designer

2 people marked this as a favorite.
malebranche wrote:
You guys may or may not have based the Crane Style tree/picture on the Karate Kid, but that's what it reminded me of... One of my favorites! I just restructured my next character to include those feats. :)

C'mon now, don't make me sweep the leg!

Jason Bulmahn
Sensei
Cobra Kai Dojo


1 person marked this as FAQ candidate.
Quote:

Murderer's Circle (Combat, Performance)

After savaging your foe, you circle like a hunter ready for the kill.
Prerequisites: Dodge, Acrobatics 4 ranks.
Benefit: When you spend a swift action to make a performance combat check after scoring a critical hit or performing a combat maneuver, and you are adjacent to the target of the critical hit or combat maneuver, you can move to any other space that is adjacent to the target without provoking attacks of opportunity. You must have a clear path to that space and the ability to reach it by spending a move action. If you end this move in any space other than the one where you started, you gain a +2 bonus on the performance combat check.

What does the latter bolded part MEAN? Is it trying to say that the first bolded part functions as a Move Action (in a wierd indirect way)? Or is it saying that you must have a Move Action available, even though this movement doesn´t use any action (since it´s triggered by the stated events, and says ´you can move´ when those occur)? Or that this movement must be within your normal move speed/distance? Or something completely different?

Since it uses a Swift Action, it sounds like this Performance check is something that must happen on your turn (i.e. not AoO´s) ...?

Otherwise/Overall, this book seems very cool... :-)

Grand Lodge

Jason Bulmahn wrote:
malebranche wrote:
You guys may or may not have based the Crane Style tree/picture on the Karate Kid, but that's what it reminded me of... One of my favorites! I just restructured my next character to include those feats. :)

C'mon now, don't make me sweep the leg!

Jason Bulmahn
Sensei
Cobra Kai Dojo

Mercy is for the weak! :p

C'mon Johnny!

You're the best... around!


Quandary wrote:
Quote:

Murderer's Circle (Combat, Performance)

After savaging your foe, you circle like a hunter ready for the kill.
Prerequisites: Dodge, Acrobatics 4 ranks.
Benefit: When you spend a swift action to make a performance combat check after scoring a critical hit or performing a combat maneuver, and you are adjacent to the target of the critical hit or combat maneuver, you can move to any other space that is adjacent to the target without provoking attacks of opportunity. You must have a clear path to that space and the ability to reach it by spending a move action. If you end this move in any space other than the one where you started, you gain a +2 bonus on the performance combat check.

What does the latter bolded part MEAN? Is it trying to say that the first bolded part functions as a Move Action (in a wierd indirect way)? Or is it saying that you must have a Move Action available, even though this movement doesn´t use any action (since it´s triggered by the stated events, and says ´you can move´ when those occur)? Or that this movement must be within your normal move speed/distance? Or something completely different?

Otherwise/Overall, this book seems very cool... :-)

I would say it's analogous to something like using the Ride skill to Fast Dismount: you have to have a move action available to try it, but if you succeed it's only a free action.

In the case of Murderer's Circle, you couldn't do a full attack, hit with your last iterative, and then move ten feet to the other side of your enemy, nor could you move up to your foe, smack him, and then gain an extra 10 feet of movement for the round.

Edit: or what that Jason guy said. He seems to know what he's talking about.

Paizo Employee Lead Designer

Quandary wrote:
Quote:

Murderer's Circle (Combat, Performance)

After savaging your foe, you circle like a hunter ready for the kill.
Prerequisites: Dodge, Acrobatics 4 ranks.
Benefit: When you spend a swift action to make a performance combat check after scoring a critical hit or performing a combat maneuver, and you are adjacent to the target of the critical hit or combat maneuver, you can move to any other space that is adjacent to the target without provoking attacks of opportunity. You must have a clear path to that space and the ability to reach it by spending a move action. If you end this move in any space other than the one where you started, you gain a +2 bonus on the performance combat check.

What does the latter bolded part MEAN? Is it trying to say that the first bolded part functions as a Move Action (in a wierd indirect way)? Or is it saying that you must have a Move Action available, even though this movement doesn´t use any action (since it´s triggered by the stated events, and says ´you can move´ when those occur)? Or that this movement must be within your normal move speed/distance? Or something completely different?

Since it uses a Swift Action, it sounds like this Performance check is something that must happen on your turn...?

Otherwise/Overall, this book seems very cool... :-)

It means that the space you wish to reach must be one that you could reach if you spent a move action to do so. In other words, it might not allow you to reach the opposite side of a colossal creature, since you do not have the move to get all the way around it. The movement itself is still free.

Jason Bulmahn
Lead Designer
Paizo Publishing


OK, that makes sense (Move Speed limiting ability to move around Colossal creature), the ´You must have... the ability to reach it by spending a move action´ wording was just confusing, i.e. appearing to require having a Move Action remaining (thus implying the movement spends that action).

I would have phrased it without any intimation of ´ability to... spend a move action´, and just restricted it to ´within the distance allowed by your move speed / a move action´. 20/20 hind-sight and all.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

There's just so much love I can pre-emptively feel for Ultimate Combat. Go go warehouse team!

Andoran

Holy $%*^! Nine-page-table. That's huge. Cant wait for this book!


1 person marked this as a favorite.
JoelF847 wrote:
For Crane Wing, can you activate it after damage is rolled, or do you have to use it before?

If do right, no can defense.


Can you use Crane Style while grappling or being grappled? Can you use it when you're prone?


2 people marked this as a favorite.
Maerimydra wrote:
Can you use Crane Style while grappling or being grappled? Can you use it when you're prone?

Can you use it in the dark? Can you use it on an Ark?

(Sorry been reading Dr. Seuss to the kids.)


3 people marked this as a favorite.

Would you, could you, with a goat?

...


2 people marked this as a favorite.

Floating on a Moat


Abraham spalding wrote:
Maerimydra wrote:
Can you use Crane Style while grappling or being grappled? Can you use it when you're prone?

Can you use it in the dark? Can you use it on an Ark?

(Sorry been reading Dr. Seuss to the kids.)

Yes and yes.

Yes because you can fight defensively in the dark, so you can use Crane Style. However, you cannot use Crane Wing against an attack that you're not aware off.

Yes because you can make a melee attack on an Ark. :)


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Nice #2 Preview and last since...

I am happy just got my notice that this book has shipped.


Dragon78 wrote:

Nice #2 Preview and last since...

I am happy just got my notice that this book has shipped.

Me too, serious joy joy


monks rock. This is just more reason to love them


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
GM Hands of Fate wrote:
monks rock. This is just more reason to love them

I agree, this book made monks awesome!


Paizo Charter Superscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Deluxe Comics Subscriber
Kryzbyn wrote:

Would you, could you, with a goat?

...

I just hope that if you do, I'm not there to see it.

And yes, this book is 100% awesome. I won't be using the optional rules, but I'm *really* looking forward to having a big 'ol gladatorial combat using the performance rules.

Oooooh ... sounds like the kind of thing that would be right up the alley of certain Lords of the Nine ...


Do you need a crowd to use Performance feats or no? It'd be kinda silly to master fighting maneuvers that only work when a crowd is watching, but they mysteriously stop working on enemies when the crowd isn't there


Wow, super cool idea!!!! I hope and pray all 5 of the classic animals are represented (crane, tiger, dragon, leopard, snake). I really like that picture, aside from one thing ... his crane stance is pretty bad! The raised foot should be angled in to protect the family jewels; with that stance, his gro-in is wide open!!

Grand Lodge

Razz wrote:
Do you need a crowd to use Performance feats or no? It'd be kinda silly to master fighting maneuvers that only work when a crowd is watching, but they mysteriously stop working on enemies when the crowd isn't there

While I agree to a point, I would also equate some of them to an adrenaline rush that a gladiator feeds off of from the roar of the crowd.

Now, I haven't actually seen these performance feats yet, but if they work like I imagine, I am sticking with that! ;p

Grand Lodge

Denim N Leather wrote:
Wow, super cool idea!!!! I hope and pray all 5 of the classic animals are represented (crane, tiger, dragon, leopard, snake). I really like that picture, aside from one thing ... his crane stance is pretty bad! The raised foot should be angled in to protect the family jewels; with that stance, his gro-in is wide open!!

Don't forget Mantis! Good for catching bugs, but not Tigers! Gosh, I love that movie!!!!


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Razz wrote:
Do you need a crowd to use Performance feats or no? It'd be kinda silly to master fighting maneuvers that only work when a crowd is watching, but they mysteriously stop working on enemies when the crowd isn't there

There's a feat that lets you get around this.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Two points of discussion:

1. No Panda style? :( ;p

2. Will the precedents set by Ultimate Combat be supported in other products? For example, will there be new Golarion-specific styles in the Tian Xia/Dragon Empires companion?

Osirion RPG Superstar 2008 Top 4; Contributor; Publisher, Legendary Games

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Vaellen wrote:
Wow. I actually want to play a monk.

In that case, mission accomplished! :)

Osirion RPG Superstar 2008 Top 4; Contributor; Publisher, Legendary Games

LoreKeeper wrote:

Two points of discussion:

1. No Panda style? :( ;p

2. Will the precedents set by Ultimate Combat be supported in other products? For example, will there be new Golarion-specific styles in the Tian Xia/Dragon Empires companion?

I can't speak for that product in particular, but my magic 8-ball says that yes, some future products may build on things in Ultimate Combat. Not that I'm currently working on such a product or anything... :)

Osirion

I'm not sure I see any mechanical use to taking Murderer's Circle, but a group of ragged-robed dire corby rogues circling you in the half-darkness as they slash away, softly chanting 'doom, doom' is kind of a neat visual.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Maps, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Screw the monk. I'm going to make a fighter with this style. They have oodles of attack bonus to spare. Suck up -1 attack penalty in exchange for +3 AC AND negate 1 melee attack each round AND can counter attack? HELL YES!

Heck, I'll combine it with a shield basher build. Using the shield as his primary weapon means he can do some SERIOUS tanking AND still keep a hand free for Crane Style. Woohoo!

Shadow Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Jason Bulmahn wrote:
malebranche wrote:
You guys may or may not have based the Crane Style tree/picture on the Karate Kid, but that's what it reminded me of... One of my favorites! I just restructured my next character to include those feats. :)

C'mon now, don't make me sweep the leg!

Jason Bulmahn
Sensei
Cobra Kai Dojo

There fixed for the better :)


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Ravingdork wrote:
Screw the monk. I'm going to make a fighter with this style. They have oodles of attack bonus to spare. Suck up -1 attack penalty in exchange for +3 AC AND negate 1 melee attack each round AND can counter attack? HELL YES!

I can just imagine the post you'll make when you discover Panther style and the Dervish Dancer bard.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Ravingdork wrote:

Screw the monk. I'm going to make a fighter with this style. They have oodles of attack bonus to spare. Suck up -1 attack penalty in exchange for +3 AC AND negate 1 melee attack each round AND can counter attack? HELL YES!

Heck, I'll combine it with a shield basher build. Using the shield as his primary weapon means he can do some SERIOUS tanking AND still keep a hand free for Crane Style. Woohoo!

Keep in mind that with at least 3 ranks in Acrobatics that is +4 AC; but on the other hand, there are loads of styles - maybe there's something even sexier for you in there. Then what?

Osirion RPG Superstar 2008 Top 4; Contributor; Publisher, Legendary Games

Ravingdork wrote:

Screw the monk. I'm going to make a fighter with this style. They have oodles of attack bonus to spare. Suck up -1 attack penalty in exchange for +3 AC AND negate 1 melee attack each round AND can counter attack? HELL YES!

Heck, I'll combine it with a shield basher build. Using the shield as his primary weapon means he can do some SERIOUS tanking AND still keep a hand free for Crane Style. Woohoo!

Shield attack can't be done as a primary weapon. Check out the Core Rulebook weapons chapter: "You can bash an opponent with a shield, using it as an off-hand weapon."

It says what it does and it does what it says.

You can use your primary hand for Crane Style though.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Maps, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Cheapy wrote:
I can just imagine the post you'll make when you discover Panther style and the Dervish Dancer bard.

There are better styles? Squeee! :D

LoreKeeper wrote:

Keep in mind that with at least 3 ranks in Acrobatics that is +4 AC; but on the other hand, there are loads of styles - maybe there's something even sexier for you in there. Then what?

I was already taking that into account. Fighting Defensively normally gets you +2, having 3 ranks in Acrobatics makes it into a +3.

I could get even more with full defense, but then I can't attack at all.

So...either I'm misremembering, or you are.

Jason Nelson wrote:

Shield attack can't be done as a primary weapon. Check out the Core Rulebook weapons chapter: "You can bash an opponent with a shield, using it as an off-hand weapon."

It says what it does and it does what it says.

Developers have already debunked that one. You are likely right when using the shield in conjunction with another weapon, but if I ONLY attack with the shield in a round, it is considered my primary weapon.


Aeshuura wrote:
Don't forget Mantis! Good for catching bugs, but not Tigers! Gosh, I love that movie!!!!

Me, too! Jackie Chan plays the old school sifu to a T; I'm guessing he had lots of firsthand experience! :)

I agree with Yu Lan, tho; Mantis is cool but doesn't really have a 'gimmick' beyond perhaps trapping and disarming ... would still like to see these ideas in their final form, of course.

(Also curious to see how Jade Oath approaches the animal/elements)


I thought of Karate Kid first too when I read "Crane Style." After reading Crane Riposte, I thought of the monk Lei Fei from Virtua Fighter 4, as the feat perfectly duplicates one of my favorite counter-moves from that game.

While it is quite clear what the RAI is for the pre-reqs of the Crane Style tree, I get a little confused on the first reading of pre-reqs that use an "or" to seperate the last two items in a series of more than two. The RAW (at least using the common usage of "or" in a series) would mean that any one of the pre-reqs listed would satisify it. Paizo does a good a job of being consistent with their formatting though, so what's meant is usually decipherable.


Denim N Leather wrote:


Me, too! Jackie Chan plays the old school sifu to a T; I'm guessing he had lots of firsthand experience! :)

It helps that he was a natural to the drunken fist fighting style.

Grand Lodge

Denim N Leather wrote:
Aeshuura wrote:
Don't forget Mantis! Good for catching bugs, but not Tigers! Gosh, I love that movie!!!!

Me, too! Jackie Chan plays the old school sifu to a T; I'm guessing he had lots of firsthand experience! :)

I agree with Yu Lan, tho; Mantis is cool but doesn't really have a 'gimmick' beyond perhaps trapping and disarming ... would still like to see these ideas in their final form, of course.

(Also curious to see how Jade Oath approaches the animal/elements)

I also liked that he kind of reprised his role as Drunken Master... There was so much in that movie that I see in Jade Regent too. Especially when you read the description for Jade Regent #4...


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Ravingdork wrote:


LoreKeeper wrote:

Keep in mind that with at least 3 ranks in Acrobatics that is +4 AC; but on the other hand, there are loads of styles - maybe there's something even sexier for you in there. Then what?

I was already taking that into account. Fighting Defensively normally gets you +2, having 3 ranks in Acrobatics makes it into a +3.

I could get even more with full defense, but then I can't attack at all.

So...either I'm misremembering, or you are.

Fighting defensively gets you +2 AC already, then the feat:

Quote:
While using this style and fighting defensively or using the total defense action, you gain an additional +1 dodge bonus to your Armor Class.

Adds +1

Then acrobatics at 3+ ranks adds another +1.

Total of +4 ;)

Osirion RPG Superstar 2008 Top 4; Contributor; Publisher, Legendary Games

Ravingdork wrote:
Jason Nelson wrote:

Shield attack can't be done as a primary weapon. Check out the Core Rulebook weapons chapter: "You can bash an opponent with a shield, using it as an off-hand weapon."

It says what it does and it does what it says.

Developers have already debunked that one. You are likely right when using the shield in conjunction with another weapon, but if I ONLY attack with the shield in a round, it is considered my primary weapon.

Have they now? I don't comb the boards as thoroughly as a lotta folks do, so I must've missed that clarification.

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