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Anyone else think 5' steps are silly?


Suggestions/House Rules/Homebrew

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Now, I don't really think 5 foot steps ARE silly, but were I to believe they were, I would have to consider this:

What really makes them "silly" is turn based combat.

The way I see it, the issue behind "why can't I move when someone else moves without a feat?" isn't really anything to do with the five foot step, it's that no one can act out of turn except in extremely specific circumstances (attacks of opportunity--which represents an EXTREMELY quick swipe, not careful movement--and certain feats). Really, if you COULD immediately follow someone along via a five foot step, you should also be able to do so if they take their full movement or withdraw or run. And then that starts to really futz things up.

Turn based combat is NOT realistic. But is IMO a rather necessary "evil" for this kind of tactical play.

Remember that a turn only represents 6 seconds. I roll my initiative, and it's higher than yours. What this represents is I am quicker on the uptake than you. In my scant six seconds I have to act, I manage to carefully pivot to an adjacent spot without leaving myself open for an attack (does not provoke AOO). The guy can and will probably follow me if he thinks it's a good idea---it's just that he can't do in a quick instant if he's not trained to react quickly to that kind of move (i.e., he doesn't have Stand Still or Step Up). If it's his turn next--he follows you six seconds later, on his turn. So he does follow you, he just does it a little slow on the uptake, because you are just a more highly reflexed individual to begin with. This is actually probably as realistic as you can get with this kind of abstraction of combat. In "real life" this is happening nearly instantaneously, it's just hard to bear this in mind when you're breaking things down into turns.

THAT SAID, if you don't like the 5 foot step, what I would do is eliminate it completely, and simply force anyone who wishes to make a short move as their movement without provoking an AOO is to make an Acrobatics check to do so, since Acrobatics already provides a similar mechanic.

(I bet, however, this will simply result in a lot more spellcasters dropping ranks into Acrobatics.)


Dragonslie wrote:
Wizards don't own the game until around 15th level........So the wizard player often has to play through 11 + levels before owning fighters anyway... ( or at least being as effective against critters) ... this is a PVE game not a PVP game.

I totally disagree. We could do another thread about this.

Taldor

If I was to adjust the 5-foot step rule, what I'd be inclined to do (though playtesting would be good to do) is to make 5-foot step something that by default no one can do.

Then you spend a feat to get 5-foot step, with a +1 BAB prerequisite as a possibility, though that causes problems.

The idea here is that 5-foot steps are something that is more of a skilled part of knowing how to fight. You know how to "float like a butterfly and sting like a bee" and so can shift confidently around in combat.

Those that aren't martially trained can't easily pull this off and end up exposing themselves in melee and the potential for getting hit.

What I'm mulling over is the issue of a prerequisite. You could do +1 BAB, thus opening it up to the direct martial characters at level 1. However, classes like Rogues and Monks, who are also martial characters, would be shut out till 3rd level, and their theme is mobility so it makes even less sense.

Another option would be for it to have a prerequisite that is Dex 13, that overall would fix the issues. If you want to have that level of maneuverability in combat then you just need to be dexterous. I guess though that at least from my own experience with Dagorhir and Darkon (boffer style LARPS) a lot of the ability to shift in combat seemed have a lot to do with gaining skill in fighting over raw dexterity.

But if you shifted things this way, making 5-foot step a feat, and even if you did not make any prerequisites, then it would emphasize how some people are simply better at being able to maneuver in combat to their own advantage. A wizard could take it, and the barbarian that is trying to cave in his skull just finds that the wizard really knows how to get out of the way, and the barbarian, lacking any feats that pump up his mobility, finds that he's just too slow and lumbering to prevent the wizard hopping back and blasting him.

The other problem I see with this approach is that it does make the game even more static, since most people won't have this feat (at least immediately) and so there will be even less dynamism on the battle grid, which in my mind is bad.

Attacks of Opportunity just shut down a lot of movement, people just don't want to risk them at all, save for your odd gutsy player who just says the heck with it and plows through.

In answer to that, making movement still have a sense of fluidity, I'd consider toning down Attacks of Opportunity, such as making a rule that Attacks of Opportunity can't crit. It's the threats of crits that really leave people from taking risks, because depending on the opponent, it can be a chance to get one-shotted just from your own actions. If AoO were toned down enough so that they are disruptive, not always risking KO's or out right death, then you'd balance the scale enough to get some fluidity on the battlefield.


Xyll wrote:

Every good tactical game I have played had rules for movement, then action with everything being resolved simultaneously. I could play pathfinder as a tactical game but that would require to many modified rules. :)

I have no problem with 5' step as long as they do not enter a threatened area or withdraw from combat. If they do then the opponent deserves an attack of opportunity. Or they could stand there accept the attack of opportunity and cast there spell or whatever.

That is the only point of a 5 ft step, otherwise I may as well take a regular move to avoid a full round attack next round when the opponent 5 ft steps up and starts to stab me in the face. Now most casters cast defensively anyway, and the check becomes trivial at higher levels so it is not the 5 ft step that is saving them anyway. It does however help the archers out. All such a rule might do is make archers take skill focus(acrobatics) the same way casters take combat casting.


Xyll wrote:

No offense to anyone be we are in the house rules section of the messageboards. He was looking for opinions and options on how to make the game better for his players and his game.

It is a game with well thoughout arbitrary rules that sometimes have fixes built into the game (Step-up)for issues that may arise.

That being said on to Power Attack and why can't everyone do it. It is nothing more then a wild swing. The feat gives you control. Without the feat whatever penalty you took on the attack would also be a penalty on your AC as you are off balance. Discuss and derail. :)

Not really. I see it as a power hit, while not losing as much accuracy as the average player.

Example:
It is easier to hit a baseball when you focus on making than it is when you are trying to knock it out of the park.
Some players are really good at hitting home runs, while still being accurate. In baseball terms they have power attack.

The same logic applies to MMA or any other martial art type event. When some fighters go for the "haymaker" it is easy to see how bad the technique for the punch is, even when it lands.

Grand Lodge

Wildebob wrote:
Suggested solution?

Remove Attacks of Opportunity?

I know that simple answer is completely contrary to what the OP intended but.... this whole thread is an argument about when to AOO.

I have seen plenty of games run just fine without it. Of course there were exceptions.


cranewings wrote:

Pendagast, emulation is half the point. Requiring more team work is the rest.

Another way to word my house rule: all characters must make a cm roll to take a 5' step away from an opponent. Failure means the opponent can choose.to act as if he has step up. If the retreating character has an ally threatening his opponent, no roll is necessary.

What does the combat maneuver roll have to do with the fighter not getting to swing at the wizard? I don't know if you have done the math, but a wizard's cmb sucks and it won't be beating a fighter's cmd enough for this to even be considered a real option. He is better off with the acrobatics check.


cranewings wrote:
stuff

Not sure if you're commenting on 5' steps or the flat-footed rule (where flat-footed characters can't make AoO).

I like 5' steps. In real combat, armed and unarmed, combatants typically move much more than 5' in 6s. The rule is simple and elegant, for what's it's trying to do.

I have no opinion about the flat-footed rule. Maybe all football players have the Combat Reflexes feat or are Barbarians? :)


cranewings wrote:
Dragonslie wrote:
Wizards don't own the game until around 15th level........So the wizard player often has to play through 11 + levels before owning fighters anyway... ( or at least being as effective against critters) ... this is a PVE game not a PVP game.
I totally disagree. We could do another thread about this.

If this is the reason for your ruling then we need too, and no theorycraft or at least as little as possible. We discuss real game moments with real builds to see if it is a playstyle issue, like games where casters can't do anything or just poor tactics and/or building.

edit:about to delete similar post that is right above this one.


cranewings wrote:

If you and I are fighting, I can take a 5' step back from you because you can run forward faster than I can run backwards.

At the very least, I think taking a 5' step back should require a combat maneuver check.

I see two types of 5-foot step:

One that allows you to "step-in" a situation/position with enough care not to provoke AoO. I don't have any problems with those.

And there's another that allows you to "step-back" from melee in order to perform a task that leaves you opened-up and defenseless (like rummage through your bag and drink a potion, cast a spell or reload a heavy crossbow) in all impunity. Indeed, these are silly IMO.

In my book, any withdraw from melee should indeed be an active maneuver (i.e. either restricting what can be performed after or allowing for a chance of failure).

'findel


If 5 foot steps are only allowed at the end of your turn whenever you are in a threatened square, would that solve anything ? Actually no it wouldn't reach weapons and monsters with reach would be very bad.

I'll try to think of some other easy solution ;)


Laurefindel wrote:
cranewings wrote:

If you and I are fighting, I can take a 5' step back from you because you can run forward faster than I can run backwards.

At the very least, I think taking a 5' step back should require a combat maneuver check.

I see two types of 5-foot step:

One that allows you to "step-in" a situation/position with enough care not to provoke AoO. I don't have any problems with those.

And there's another that allows you to "step-back" from melee in order to perform a task that leaves you opened-up and defenseless (like rummage through your bag and drink a potion, cast a spell or reload a heavy crossbow) in all impunity. Indeed, these are silly IMO.

In my book, any withdraw from melee should indeed be an active maneuver (i.e. either restricting what can be performed after or allowing for a chance of failure).

'findel

Thank you sir.


cranewings wrote:
Skeld, I'd agree with you for games full of players that love to read rules and game the system, but the big thick book of counter intuition is terrible for casual gamers.

It is not necessary for new players to read the core rulebook.It is important for people playing a game to follow the rules.

If a player wants to preform a certain action it is the job of the GM to inform the players of there options and there possible consequences. After a few games the players should being understanding. If they still don't understand it is not the rules that are at fault it is the GM.

As a GM you should take pride in reading and fully understanding the rules and why they exist. Research and homework are part of being a GM.

Players often get just as interested in the rules as a GM but it isn't important for players to know all the rules.

When changing the rules you must be sensitive to how that effects the other aspects of the game.

Remember that a group of vary experienced gamers came up with these rules and they put them in the game for a reason.


Because that is the way they like it and that is the way it has been.

Play the game as written or don't play at all because that is what is right.

Since they get paid for it they are experts and professionals.

Your experience will never exceed a professionals. ( Even if you have been playing longer then some of them have been alive.)

Individual thought is not aceptable the machine is finely balanced and optimized. No official rules ever broke a game. Why make different editions at all what is written is perfect no one can deny it.

Come join us. Be one with us. The computer is your friend.

Seriously do what you think is right and have fun. If the people you are playing with it like it so be it.

Peoples adherance to cannon is disturbing at times.

Just my opinion.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Xyll wrote:
Play the game as written or don't play at all because that is what is right.

Ok, I get what you're saying even through the sarcasm. I don't think anyone has said there's anything wrong with houseruling whatever you want to houserule in the game. You're free to change any rule you don't like into something you do like, add mechanics, drop mechanics, ban whole books or whatever else makes the game the way you want it.

However, there are 2 things to keep in mind:
1) Every rule you change may effect other rules in ways you didn't intend.
2) The more houserules you add removes you further from the common frame of reference everyone uses to discuss the game.

-Skeld


The PostMonster General wrote:

However, there are 2 things to keep in mind:

1) Every rule you change may effect other rules in ways you didn't intend.
2) The more houserules you add removes you further from the common frame of reference everyone uses to discuss the game.

-Skeld

This is very true which is why it is tested in play and if it is found wanting it is modified or discarded. Much like Pathfinder did when it modified 3.5.

The common frame is removed when discussing certain rules not the game in general but since the RAW itself is debatable to people adhering to it...

Sarcasm is highly underated. :)


Xyll wrote:

Because that is the way they like it and that is the way it has been.

Play the game as written or don't play at all because that is what is right.

When changing the rules you must be sensitive to how that effects the other aspects of the game.

Xyll wrote:

Since they get paid for it they are experts and professionals.

Your experience will never exceed a professionals. ( Even if you have been playing longer then some of them have been alive.)

Your experience will never exceed a professionals if you change rules without fully understanding them. Yes even if you've been playing longer then they have.

Xyll wrote:

Individual thought is not aceptable the machine is finely balanced and optimized. No official rules ever broke a game. Why make different editions at all what is written is perfect no one can deny it.

Come join us. Be one with us. The computer is your friend.

Resistance is futile! All is one!

Most official rules that are broke are fixed in subsequent printings and in Errata. Other times rules seem broke until you understand them fully.
Many non official rules are broke probably do to a lack of play testing time and an incomplete understanding of the rules.

Xyll wrote:
Seriously do what you think is right and have fun. If the people you are playing with it like it so be it.

I agree but if the people you are playing with don't like your rules change you might think of reverting back.

Xyll wrote:
Peoples adherance to cannon is disturbing at times.

Research has shown that people who play games together builds trust. It takes trust to follow a set of rules. You trust that the other players are going to follow those rules. Here is a you tube video on it.

If you change the rules you risk ruining the trust your group has.

I am not against house ruling something but you must be careful. It can't just make sense to you.


Karlgamer wrote:

If you change the rules you risk ruining the trust your group has.

I am not against house ruling something but you must be careful. It can't just make sense to you.

I agree 100%

How ever the 3.5 wotc complete books are examples of bad decisions that started to break the game. Those are supposed to be tested and professional.


Xyll wrote:


I agree 100%

How ever the 3.5 wotc complete books are examples of bad decisions that started to break the game. Those are supposed to be tested and professional.

I think that I've always had the house rule that anything outside the official core rulebook is subject to GM approval.

Many times when players Thought they had a broken character I discovered that they read the rules wrong.

"Stop nearfing my character"
"the rules state clearly on page..."

I was trying to refer to the official rules. The rules in the combat section are even more important because of how much they effect every game session. The rule in the combat section are also the most play tested rules in the entire game. The rules on movement are even more play tested.

The 5' step has been an official rule since the first printing of 3e players handbook(I own the book.)

If you want to make your game more realistic(even at the cost of fun) there are rules in the unearth arcana book on Facing. but there are no big changes to 5' step because the 5' step already makes sense.


Karl Gamer, the core rules, from 3.0 on, have been one of the most broken parts of the game. It was some of the splat books that game out later that helped balance it.

I'll agree that I generally like the flavor of games that only use core, but it was never balanced.


cranewings wrote:
Karl Gamer, the core rules, from 3.0 on, have been one of the most broken parts of the game. It was some of the splat books that game out later that helped balance it.

This I can't agree with and I don't think you could affectively back it up.

There have been people who've broken the rules by finding loop holes but these were fixed when they came up.

The biggest play test is the players which is why new additions are good.

If the 5' step were broken why weren't they ever changed?

That's the point I was making. It's not broke it makes perfect sense and if you want to change it beware what your doing to your players.


DeathQuaker wrote:

Now, I don't really think 5 foot steps ARE silly, but were I to believe they were, I would have to consider this:

What really makes them "silly" is turn based combat.

The way I see it, the issue behind "why can't I move when someone else moves without a feat?" isn't really anything to do with the five foot step, it's that no one can act out of turn except in extremely specific circumstances (attacks of opportunity--which represents an EXTREMELY quick swipe, not careful movement--and certain feats). Really, if you COULD immediately follow someone along via a five foot step, you should also be able to do so if they take their full movement or withdraw or run. And then that starts to really futz things up.

Turn based combat is NOT realistic. But is IMO a rather necessary "evil" for this kind of tactical play.

Remember that a turn only represents 6 seconds. I roll my initiative, and it's higher than yours. What this represents is I am quicker on the uptake than you. In my scant six seconds I have to act, I manage to carefully pivot to an adjacent spot without leaving myself open for an attack (does not provoke AOO). The guy can and will probably follow me if he thinks it's a good idea---it's just that he can't do in a quick instant if he's not trained to react quickly to that kind of move (i.e., he doesn't have Stand Still or Step Up). If it's his turn next--he follows you six seconds later, on his turn. So he does follow you, he just does it a little slow on the uptake, because you are just a more highly reflexed individual to begin with. This is actually probably as realistic as you can get with this kind of abstraction of combat. In "real life" this is happening nearly instantaneously, it's just hard to bear this in mind when you're breaking things down into turns.

THAT SAID, if you don't like the 5 foot step, what I would do is eliminate it completely, and simply force anyone who wishes to make a short move as their movement without provoking an AOO is to make an Acrobatics check to do so, since...

While I agree with your assessment of what a turn looks like, I wanted to point out that your opponent is actually acting in the SAME 6 seconds as you. A round is six seconds. A turn happens within that round. Minor disagreement, but an important one for the verisimilitude.


Karlgamer wrote:
cranewings wrote:
Karl Gamer, the core rules, from 3.0 on, have been one of the most broken parts of the game. It was some of the splat books that game out later that helped balance it.

This I can't agree with and I don't think you could affectively back it up.

There have been people who've broken the rules by finding loop holes but these were fixed when they came up.

The biggest play test is the players which is why new additions are good.

If the 5' step were broken why weren't they ever changed?

That's the point I was making. It's not broke it makes perfect sense and if you want to change it beware what your doing to your players.

Oh, I'm not worried about my players. The only caster in my group I'm running is a sorcerer with a fly speed. This will mostly hammer my NPC wizards, which I use as bad guys fairly often.

With regards to the core rules being broken - I'm not an optimizer myself, so you are right, I can't back it up. I can't prove it too you but it has been proven countless times on several other RPG forums, including RPGnet and the WoTC forums. I've read all their reviews and number crunching. I know I'm right on this fact.

As far as my players, I always ask, but they always side with me. Most of them hate pathfinder and D&D but will play it as long as I house rule all of the crap that doesn't make sense.


Other people have mentioned this before (rpgsavant and DeathQuaker to name two), but it's worth saying again...

The entire round is six seconds long. The best thing to do is to take a round of actions and compress them into a six second scene. Everyone acts in order but their actions always overlap, they're all acting within the same six seconds after all.

The wizard steps back five feet and casts a spell, at the same time (in reality) as the fighter moving in and attacking. The only difference here is one of timing. If the wizard moves back and you don't have Step Up, then (in reality) you step up anyway but miss out on an Attack of Opportunity because you are fractionally too slow. Important word that - "fractionally". We're talking a second or two tops - in reality this is all the wizard would need.

Imagine if you were toe to toe with someone beating seven bells out of you. He steps back (for whatever reason). You didn't know he was going to, so it will take you a second or two to react - that might be all he needs. If you are highly trained you may be able to react instantly, but that's what Step Up is for.

In my opinion nothing is broken here. I don't know about you but we're always replaying combats in our minds just seeing what happened and when - it lends a cinematic feel to it all.

Of course though, your mileage may vary.


I think I need to add this in:

I don't think 5' steps out of melee are broken -- I think they are stupid.


BabbageUK wrote:
In my opinion nothing is broken here

... or stupid.


brassbaboon wrote:

Just a minor point here in comparing a melee attack to a spell cast, both of which take a "standard action."

The melee attack is not intended to be visualized as a single swing of a sword. This used to be well explained in the old DMG and PHB. A single melee attack represents a discrete chunk of an ongoing battle between two melee combatants in an abstract way. The actual attack should be visualized as a series of combat maneuvers where swords and shields clash back and forth, at some point during which a single opening presents itself which the attacker takes advantage of to attempt to deal some damage.

In that sense it's quite reasonable to compare it to quickly mumbling a few words and tossing a bit of arcane flotsam into the air to get a spell off.

That was the rationale back in those versions to explain why you only made 1 or 2 attack rolls over the course of a round... which was 1 minute long back then. Spells took a number of segments to cast typically anywhere from 1 to 9... a segment was 6 seconds long back then too. That's 6 to 54 seconds for most spells.

It doesn't translate well as an explanation when the round is now 6 seconds. Especially when you consider that dual wielders and archers easily get 5+ attacks in those 6 seconds. Or how a caster manages to pull out just the right components from a pouch and utter the right phrases and perform the right patterns... all while flipping through the air with an acrobatics check if he wants... while a guy with 3 feet of steel standing a mere 5 feet away is trying to cut him in half. 5-foot stepping to do this and denying the dude with the sword any opportunity to prevent such obviously hazardous behavior is quite unreasonable.


cranewings wrote:
Oh, I'm not worried about my players. The only caster in my group I'm running is a sorcerer with a fly speed. This will mostly hammer my NPC wizards, which I use as bad guys fairly often.

Removing 5' step hurts more then wizards. It hurts anyone who wants to make an adjustment in combat. It hurts flankers, it hurt skirmishers, it hurts clerics, it hurts bards and it hurts monks. It might not hurt Fighter and Barbarians as much but it still hurts them too.

Changing 5' step to a combat maneuver makes it useful only to those who need to use it the least. Character who probably have enough ranks in acrobatics to take a move action away.

cranewings wrote:
With regards to the core rules being broken - I'm not an optimizer myself, so you are right, I can't back it up. I can't prove it too you but it has been proven countless times on several other RPG forums, including RPGnet and the WoTC forums. I've read all their reviews and number crunching. I know I'm right on this fact.

You probably shouldn't make statements that you can't back up. Why aren't you an optimizer? Not that I'm entirely sure what that means but if it means that you can optimize a character then isn't that part of the job of GMing?

Incidentally breaking something and broken are two different things. You don't have to break something if its already broken. Most of the time you break things using information in (as you call them)splat books.

Additional rules books add rules. Adding rules to the game increased options. The more options you give players the more they can optimize there characters. Break them.

Breaking there character is the players job. Breaking the monsters is your job.

cranewings wrote:
As far as my players, I always ask, but they always side with me. Most of them hate pathfinder and D&D but will play it as long as I house rule all of the crap that doesn't make sense.

Always? You said they hate Pathfinder. Which means they only sided with you when you made the changes? Did you make these changes all at once or did you slowly develop them? How did you balance that fact that wizards can't take a 5 foot step back?


cranewings wrote:

I think I need to add this in:

I don't think 5' steps out of melee are broken -- I think they are stupid.

So this is an arbitrary decision?

Do you think 5' steps lacking interest or a point?

Do you think 5' steps are marked by or resulting from unreasoned thinking?

Is it unreasonable to think that a wizard could take a step back and cast a spell?

I would like to get at the heart of this.

Show me on the doll where the 5' step touched you.


Karl, thanks (:

Honestly, the conversation is over at this point. No one on here managed to give me a solid reason for why I shouldn't make the change other than the boogieman of potential side effects.

As far as making claims I can't prove -- my attitude about game balance, or lack thereof, in the Caster Edition of Dungeons and Dragons is pretty typical and based on running it / playing it for two years, and reading the piles of threads on the topic. The data is there for you if you want. Also, I check this board pretty regularly, so if you want, go to general discussion and make a thread about how balanced you think the fighter is verses the wizard, I'm sure a couple of people will stick their head in to disagree with you.

Quote:
Breaking there character is the players job. Breaking the monsters is your job.

Clearly we have different ideas on the point of the game. To each there own. Obviously I'm offending some of your specialty builds with this. Sorry (:

Quote:
Show me on the doll where the 5' step touched you.

I'm not the one displaying a really weird need to be offensive about another person's GMing. What is the source of your severe problem with authority - that you can't deal with the fact that a GM on a house rules forum is talking about changing a rule?


cranewings wrote:

I think I need to add this in:

I don't think 5' steps out of melee are broken -- I think they are stupid.

Which is where you have stood all along, in my opinion. You were less about trying to understand where people were coming from, or what could be done about them (ie players actually buying the right feats etc) and all about getting a cheer squad to justify your arbitrary and deliberate decision.

We aren't required to 'justify' anything, we have the instant win button "Because its RAW", the onus is on YOU to convince US.

Your end state was always going to be to take this out of your home games.

Go ahead, its your game to run, and your players game to like or dislike, I just object to cheezy threads that pop up in the guise of 'discussion' when there is no intention of doing anything of the sort.


Shifty wrote:
cranewings wrote:

I think I need to add this in:

I don't think 5' steps out of melee are broken -- I think they are stupid.

Which is where you have stood all along, in my opinion. You were less about trying to understand where people were coming from, or what could be done about them (ie players actually buying the right feats etc) and all about getting a cheer squad to justify your arbitrary and deliberate decision.

We aren't required to 'justify' anything, we have the instant win button "Because its RAW", the onus is on YOU to convince US.

Your end state was always going to be to take this out of your home games.

Go ahead, its your game to run, and your players game to like or dislike, I just object to cheezy threads that pop up in the guise of 'discussion' when there is no intention of doing anything of the sort.

I'm pretty sure the thread title, asking for people that agreed with me already, should have tipped you off.

Seriously, I appreciate the ideas on why not to do it - I like using this place to look for reason why not to make a change. The reasons here boiled down to:

I don't like how that changes the dynamic of group combat. - Fair enough.

Step Up covers your problem with the RAW - To which I said, not well enough.

There could be unforeseen effects on other rules - To which I said, ok, I'm good with that.

Quote:

If you and I are fighting, I can take a 5' step back from you because you can run forward faster than I can run backwards.

At the very least, I think taking a 5' step back should require a combat maneuver check.

It is just like rolling initiative and letting the winning character do all of his movement while the other characters stand still -- letting the first guy walk all the way behind his enemies, getting to flank or grab something they were protecting. It isn't realistic -- ever watch football? Sometimes, you get by, sometimes not, but you never get more than a step or two before people are after you.

See - there wasn't anything in the OP, or the thread title, that said I was really interested in being disproven - absolutely no guise of looking for a counter discussion. I was more looking for people to bounce rules ideas off of, and I got enough of that while entertaining an argument.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
cranewings wrote:
No one on here managed to give me a solid reason for why I shouldn't make the change...

I our defense, you pretty much showed up to the thread with your mind already made up. I have a feeling that no amount of reasoning would have convinced you otherwise because you think the entire idea of the 5' step is "stupid" from the get-go.

It's your game though, so if you're having fun, play on!

-Skeld


cranewings wrote:
Honestly, the conversation is over at this point. No one on here managed to give me a solid reason for why I shouldn't make the change other than the boogieman of potential side effects.

Well, I really see it as you haven't give any solid reason why it should be change?

cranewings wrote:
As far as making claims I can't prove -- my attitude about game balance, or lack thereof, in the Caster Edition of Dungeons and Dragons is pretty typical and based on running it / playing it for two years, and reading the piles of threads on the topic.

Well, as you have said previously this isn't really about balance. Its about you changing a rule because you think its silly.

cranewings wrote:
Clearly we have different ideas on the point of the game. To each there own. Obviously I'm offending some of your specialty builds with this. Sorry (:

Actually no, all of my character use 5' steps bards, wizards, rogues. It's a basic part of combat.

me wrote:
Show me on the doll where the 5' step touched you.

I am sorry if this offended you.

cranewings wrote:
I'm not the one displaying a really weird need to be offensive about another person's GMing.

The burden of proof in this case in on you. I am arguing for an established rule. A rule that is in every version of every D20 system that I have ever seen. A rule that I have never seen an official FIX for. A rule that I have been playing with for over a decade. Even in the Unearthed Arcane book(which is a book chuck full of rules fixes for realism purposes) the 5' step still exists. If you can't defend your position then stop trying or change your opinion. Its that simple.

cranewings wrote:
What is the source of your severe problem with authority - that you can't deal with the fact that a GM on a house rules forum is talking about changing a rule?

I didn't make a post telling you that you couldn't make your house rule. I'm just pointing out that your reasons for making your house rule are undefendable.

Because you think something is silly or stupid is not a good reason.

Honestly, I'm trying to help you.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion Subscriber
PRD wrote:
When you make a concentration check, you roll d20 and add your caster level and the ability score modifier

Concentration checks are DC 15+(2xSpell level).

at 4th level a caster can easily have a +13 to Concentration (assuming Combat Casting and a 20 stat). That caster is pretty likely to get off their 2nd level spell (needs a 6 or better)

At 8th level, that caster is adding +17. Safe to assume a +4 Stat Item by now? +19 That's any first or second level automatically and third lvl on a 2+, and their 4th levels on a 4+.

at 12th Level, assume a +6 Item: +25 to Concnetrate. Event thier top tier (6th level) is good to go on a 2+.

My Point:
Changing 5' Step becomes irrelevant. With as easy as it becomes to Concentrate to prevent AoO, 5' back, or no, the caster is still turning a brain to jello. The only real purpose to 5' step at this point is to change the geometry of the fight. (back to the wall, into a corridor, etc)

I also found it very frustrating that any archer or caster you scuffled with could just step back and giggle about your impotence. To such an extent that my sounding board and I (thank you Nate) discussed at length ideas for modifying the step/point/laugh manuever. What did we come up with? Something very similar to Step-Up. IIRC, (this was about 8 years ago!) it required a +4 BAB and allowed you to use your 5' step from your next turn to 'follow' one bad guy's 5' step. I think Step Up resolves the 5' Step just fine. :)

The problem I see with locking a fight down once it has gotten to the melee phase is that it encourages, almost enforces a fight or die mentality. Why would Mook #3 run away if he will never ever get away? may as well go down fighting. I think that limits options in game (ie, GMs have to RP, too :) ) and is not cool. Straight "Lock Down" is a bad idea and I strongly disagree with it.

If you think it's appropriate to CMB/CMD the 5' Step, it may be a fair compromise. Let us know how it works in playtest :)

GNOME


FireberdGNOME wrote:

The problem I see with locking a fight down once it has gotten to the melee phase is that it encourages, almost enforces a fight or die mentality. Why would Mook #3 run away if he will never ever get away? may as well go down fighting. I think that limits options in game (ie, GMs have to RP, too :) ) and is not cool. Straight "Lock Down" is a bad idea and I strongly disagree with it.

If you think it's appropriate to CMB/CMD the 5' Step, it may be a fair compromise. Let us know how it works in playtest :)

GNOME

On a side note, one rule I've always wanted to change was the concentration check rule. I'm fond of the days when wizards automatically lost their spell when they got hit. That one would be more of a hard sell on the group, and I understand, because no one likes losing their turn.

As far as making it difficult for bad guys to decide to run away, yeah, I think that is pretty emulative. Most of the casualties in any group on group fight happen during the rout, which can happen pretty early on. I don't make enemies wait a long time to decide to run - pretty much when they realize that they can die and do little more than "use up 25% of the enemy's resources," they break unless they have a REALLY good reason to fight.

That said, most of the time when you run and survive after getting into melee, it is because your opponents aren't inclined to stab you in the back. If the winners are good guys, the fleeing characters should probably just hear, "don't show your face around Solace or Palanthas or you will get more of the same," rather than receiving more stabbing. My players usually won't stab people in the back unless the people they are fighting give them no choice.

I think the combat maneuver thing will prove pretty fair. You can still successfully 5' step away, then turn and run. Also, no one seems to think it counts that I'm allowing the 5' step to automatically work if you have an ally threatening your opponent. I guess implying teamwork isn't cool.

But thanks, I'll probably put this rule in my next game, and then post afterwards. The players will be fighting some germlin and or goblin groups with shamans mixed in, so I'm sure it will come up.


Pathfinder Modules Subscriber
cranewings wrote:
It isn't realistic -- ever watch football? Sometimes, you get by, sometimes not, but you never get more than a step or two before people are after you.

That's a reasonable argument, but those football players have undergone years of intense training specifically to be good at intercepting other players. They are masters of reading an opponent's movement and accurately predicting his next action.

It takes a lot of training to be good at that. In other words, those football players have all taken the Step Up feat.


Orc T&@+ wrote:
cranewings wrote:
It isn't realistic -- ever watch football? Sometimes, you get by, sometimes not, but you never get more than a step or two before people are after you.

That's a reasonable argument, but what you fail to acknowledge is that those football players have undergone years of intense training specifically to be good at intercepting other players. They are masters of reading an opponent's movement and accurately predicting his next action.

It takes a lot of training to be good at that. In other words, those football players have all taken the Step Up feat.

Those guys can catch each other, not because of a step up feat, but because they are equals. That's why they got picked to play the game together. I can't catch them, but there are plenty of people I can catch in a fight, and plenty of people that can't catch me.

If I was going to make a game system that modeled real people the best, the size of your die would change with the size of your bonus. I roll 1d10+6. Another guy might roll 1d4+2. A pro football player might roll 2d20+30 when doing what they do. There are a lot of levels in between, and it is really hard for someone at one level to catch a guy from the next level.

That said, in my opinion, EVERYONE effectively has Step Up, and its inverse Step Back, when dealing with people in the same category, while being functionally useless against greater men and functionally awesome against lesser men.

Cheliax

cranewings wrote:

If you and I are fighting, I can take a 5' step back from you because you can run forward faster than I can run backwards.

At the very least, I think taking a 5' step back should require a combat maneuver check.

It is just like rolling initiative and letting the winning character do all of his movement while the other characters stand still -- letting the first guy walk all the way behind his enemies, getting to flank or grab something they were protecting. It isn't realistic -- ever watch football? Sometimes, you get by, sometimes not, but you never get more than a step or two before people are after you.

Paizo probably kept the system because 1) it works fine as a game mechanic and 2) maintain backwards compatibility.


joela wrote:
cranewings wrote:

If you and I are fighting, I can take a 5' step back from you because you can run forward faster than I can run backwards.

At the very least, I think taking a 5' step back should require a combat maneuver check.

It is just like rolling initiative and letting the winning character do all of his movement while the other characters stand still -- letting the first guy walk all the way behind his enemies, getting to flank or grab something they were protecting. It isn't realistic -- ever watch football? Sometimes, you get by, sometimes not, but you never get more than a step or two before people are after you.

Paizo probably kept the system because 1) it works fine as a game mechanic and 2) maintain backwards compatibility.

And there isn't anything wrong with it if it doesn't irritate you.


Pathfinder Modules Subscriber
cranewings wrote:


That said, in my opinion, EVERYONE effectively has Step Up, and its inverse Step Back, when dealing with people in the same category, while being functionally useless against greater men and functionally awesome against lesser men.

I explained how the Step Up feat is a truly exceptional ability that requires specific training to master (i.e. a feat). A Linebacker will be good at stopping any person--not just other, "equal" football players--because he has trained (i.e. taken the feats) to do just that. Step Up would be one of those feats.

From a gameplay perspective, you can prevent a caster from taking his 5 foot step by grappling or tripping him on your turn. A grappled caster is practically crippled, and a tripped caster has no choice but to eat an AoO if he wants to cast a spell.

(It doesn't say so in the rules, but I would never let a player cast defensively while prone in a threatened square)

In terms of realism, the 5 foot step is good enough for a system that translates real-time combat into an abstract, turn based set of rules. A character that takes a 5 foot "step" is devoting his entire move action to dodge, feint, or otherwise elude his opponent just enough to move out of his reach for a few precious moments. It's actually fairly easy to do this IRL, and practically the only way to prevent some one from doing it is to grab and hold them.

That's why Step Up is exceptional enough to require a feat.


Orc T$#+ wrote:
cranewings wrote:


That said, in my opinion, EVERYONE effectively has Step Up, and its inverse Step Back, when dealing with people in the same category, while being functionally useless against greater men and functionally awesome against lesser men.

I explained how the Step Up feat is a truly exceptional ability that requires specific training to master (i.e. a feat). A Linebacker will be good at stopping any person--not just other, "equal" football players--because he has trained (i.e. taken the feats) to do just that. Step Up would be one of those feats.

From a gameplay perspective, you can prevent a caster from taking his 5 foot step by grappling or tripping him on your turn. A grappled caster is practically crippled, and a tripped caster has no choice but to eat an AoO if he wants to cast a spell.

(It doesn't say so in the rules, but I would never let a player cast defensively while prone in a threatened square)

In terms of realism, the 5 foot step is good enough for a system that translates real-time combat into an abstract, turn based set of rules. A character that takes a 5 foot "step" is devoting his entire move action to dodge, feint, or otherwise elude his opponent just enough to move out of his reach for a few precious moments. It's actually fairly easy to do this IRL, and practically the only way to prevent some one from doing it is to grab and hold them.

That's why Step Up is exceptional enough to require a feat.

It is easy to do in real life because all the people in all the situation in all the examples given are taking the five foot step back while either providing a credible defense or continuing to retreat. What they aren't doing is taking a five foot step back to answer a call, get a canteen out and take a drink, perform sign language while speaking different words, or anything else.

If the person has the assistance of an ally that can threaten their opponent, it should be easy. If they are as good as the person they are escaping from, they should be able to do it half the time without any help at all, and if they are a weakling that can't provide a credible physical offense, and are without anyone providing teamwork or support, it should be just about impossible.


Pathfinder Modules Subscriber
cranewings wrote:
It is easy to do in real life because all the people in all the situation in all the examples given are taking the five foot step back while either providing a credible defense or continuing to retreat. What they aren't doing is taking a five foot step back to answer a call, get a canteen out and take a drink, perform sign language while speaking different words, or anything else.

You describe it as if the caster takes a step back, stops, and then casts a spell. In "reality" a character only comes to a complete stop if he goes an entire round without moving at all. So when the caster takes a 5 foot step he is in fact "continuing to retreat" as you said.


cranewings wrote:
On a side note, one rule I've always wanted to change was the concentration check rule. I'm fond of the days when wizards automatically lost their spell when they got hit. That one would be more of a hard sell on the group, and I understand, because no one likes losing their turn.

Why are you fond of those days? I'm not joking. Why? I think it would be a hard sell because it would make the game less fun to play. Incidentally concentration is usually used to prevent attacks.

cranewings wrote:
As far as making it difficult for bad guys to decide to run away, yeah, I think that is pretty emulative. Most of the casualties in any group on group fight happen during the rout, which can happen pretty early on. I don't make enemies wait a long time to decide to run - pretty much when they realize that they can die and do little more than "use up 25% of the enemy's resources," they break unless they have a REALLY good reason to fight.

5' steps are not really that useful for running away. Your opponent can always take a 5' step back towards you on his turn and use a full attack. A Withdraw action is useful for running away and the Acrobat skill is also useful.

cranewings wrote:


I think the combat maneuver thing will prove pretty fair. You can still successfully 5' step away, then turn and run.

Not in one turn? You do know that a 5' step can't be use on a turn that you move and that you can't move on a turn you took a 5' step right?

cranewings wrote:
I guess implying teamwork isn't cool.

You guess wrong. Changing a rule without a rational reason isn't cool.


cranewings wrote:
Karlgamer wrote:
cranewings wrote:
Karl Gamer, the core rules, from 3.0 on, have been one of the most broken parts of the game. It was some of the splat books that game out later that helped balance it.

This I can't agree with and I don't think you could affectively back it up.

There have been people who've broken the rules by finding loop holes but these were fixed when they came up.

The biggest play test is the players which is why new additions are good.

If the 5' step were broken why weren't they ever changed?

That's the point I was making. It's not broke it makes perfect sense and if you want to change it beware what your doing to your players.

Oh, I'm not worried about my players. The only caster in my group I'm running is a sorcerer with a fly speed. This will mostly hammer my NPC wizards, which I use as bad guys fairly often.

With regards to the core rules being broken - I'm not an optimizer myself, so you are right, I can't back it up. I can't prove it too you but it has been proven countless times on several other RPG forums, including RPGnet and the WoTC forums. I've read all their reviews and number crunching. I know I'm right on this fact.

As far as my players, I always ask, but they always side with me. Most of them hate pathfinder and D&D but will play it as long as I house rule all of the crap that doesn't make sense.

Every post I have seen on the subject says the opposite. I wish I had links, but I don't. I figure if it was a real issue it would come up as much as fighter and monks do. It would show up at least as much as the psionics threads. Of all the years and all the time I have wasted online I have seen it come up less than 5 times which is really small.


Karlgamer wrote:


Not in one turn? You do know that a 5' step can't be use on a turn that you move and that you can't move on a turn you took a 5' step right?

Evidently not... would be hillarious to find out that the frustration all stems from a rule that has been used incorrectly.


Shifty wrote:
Karlgamer wrote:


Not in one turn? You do know that a 5' step can't be use on a turn that you move and that you can't move on a turn you took a 5' step right?
Evidently not... would be hillarious to find out that the frustration all stems from a rule that has been used incorrectly.

A 5' step and a move would be broken. It's good that we have this rule then.


cranewings wrote:

Karl, thanks (:

Honestly, the conversation is over at this point. No one on here managed to give me a solid reason for why I shouldn't make the change other than the boogieman of potential side effects.

That is because you moved the goalpost. Earlier you said something about wizards are too good, or full casters. I cant remember which. Now you are saying balance is not a part of it, and you just think it is silly. How can anyone debate a point if they don't know what the point. If you take the time to say whatever the reason is that you don't like then we can discuss that, but not until you give the real reason(s).


Orc T&*@ wrote:
cranewings wrote:
It isn't realistic -- ever watch football? Sometimes, you get by, sometimes not, but you never get more than a step or two before people are after you.

That's a reasonable argument, but those football players have undergone years of intense training specifically to be good at intercepting other players. They are masters of reading an opponent's movement and accurately predicting his next action.

It takes a lot of training to be good at that. In other words, those football players have all taken the Step Up feat.

@CW because I am too lazy to track his post down. If you get a running back(quick one) or a wide reciever in the open field with a defensive player 90%+ of the time the defender gets left looking. The only reason the defense has such a high percentage is because the guy on offense has to account for where every defender might be, and the would be-easy route is often cut off.


Orc T@&# wrote:
cranewings wrote:
It is easy to do in real life because all the people in all the situation in all the examples given are taking the five foot step back while either providing a credible defense or continuing to retreat. What they aren't doing is taking a five foot step back to answer a call, get a canteen out and take a drink, perform sign language while speaking different words, or anything else.
You describe it as if the caster takes a step back, stops, and then casts a spell. In "reality" a character only comes to a complete stop if he goes an entire round without moving at all. So when the caster takes a 5 foot step he is in fact "continuing to retreat" as you said.

True enough. My issue is that I don't think they should be able to avoid "casting defensively" by taking the 5' step. I've seen the numbers on Concentration, how easy it is, and I don't have that big of a problem with it. My issue is strictly with the idea that you can disengage automatically during a 6 second round long enough to take complicated non-combat actions without fear.

I know the system provides a lot of other options.

Something else I've been thinking about is an alternate grappling like condition i would call "Harried."

Harried

By making a standard action, a fighter can harry his opponent. The attacker makes a combat maneuver check against his opponents CMD. If successful, the defender gains the Harried condition.

Each round, the attacker must make a roll to maintain the condition, though he gains a +5 bonus to do so, blah blah blah, just like grappling.

Condition - Harried
A harried character's opponent automatically moves with him, so long as he has enough movement to do so. They are always considered adjacent.

Harried characters receive a -4 penalty to their concentration checks. This penalty stacks with any other penalties.

I don't know, something along those lines. You could make up feats to go with it and apply some kind of grappling like penalties to both people. The main thing that separates it from grappling is that the target can still move, but if he doesn't, the attacker can make full attacks.

I'd have to work on it.

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