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Why did the whip dagger get nerfed?


Pathfinder RPG General Discussion

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Was the whip dagger an awesome weapon in 3.5? I remember the cheese associated with the spiked chain, but why did the pathfinder whip-dagger equivalent (scorpion whip) get nerfed so bad. It went from 1d6/19-20 to 1d4/20.

That's a hell of a drop.

Andoran

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Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

...exotic weapons aren't supposed to be better, they're supposed to be different?


Yeah don't you know you have to pay a feat to look cool and maybe have an 18-20/x2 threat range.

Unless you want an asian exotic weapon then it's probably worth a feat.


It was not an awesome weapon in 3E, it was balanced and cool. PF nerfed a lot of things that didn't need nerfing. Look at the whack job they did on spiked chain. It's worse than most MARTIAL weapons now! Longspear is arguably better!


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Arguably is pushing it i can get way more use from a longspear.


Yeah. A heavy flail is superior in every single way to a spiked chain. Longspear > spiked chain every day of the week and twice on Tuesdays.

Osirion

I was wondering why spiked chain was nerfed in PF. It didn't have much going for it in 3.5 beyond reach, but with some feats you could make it into a passable and flavorful weapon. Now the only flavor it has is rust.


In 3.5, reach and non-reach tactics were importantly different, and interesting choices could be made on that basis. The spiked chain totally broke the reach rules - every other weapon, as their basic state, you could attack next to yourself or a square away.

A "I break the rules" ability AND excellent stats was (IMO, and most others I played 3.5 with) too much for the spiked chain.

All weapons mentioned (heavy flail, longspear) can NOT, as base weapon abilities, do what the whip can - attack throughout an extended reach.

PF seems to have gone with "you can break the reach rules and attack throughout a great range (15'), but your stats will suffer." That seems like a good choice to me. Other options might've worked, the degree of stat-reduction could be agrued, but overall - they fixed an actual issue.

At least, that's what I'd say.

Andoran

Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

For the spiked chain I dont know why they didnt just make it a reach weapon rather than an adjacent. As a finessable reach weapon it fills a unique niche for combat reflex people.

Whip dagger in 3.5 was fine imo and I still allow them in my games.


I think the spiked chain suffered from the "tall weed" syndrome. It actually let a fighter do it's job, which other fighter weapons/feats didn't. It was also good at controlling wizards. As a result, it looked (and was) more powerful than other options.

(I built an NPC soldier like this in 4e. He didn't mark, he didn't counterattack if anyone hit his buddy, he simply had threatening reach, knocked prone with his at-will and had a reaction to trip anyone who got up. Two PCs spent the entire battle prone, although the spiked chain wielder's archer buddies might have had something to do with that. None of them even bothered to get up, so no triggered attacks. Overall, I'd say he worked as well as a more standard soldier NPC, but was a little frustrating for them too. IMO, the spiked chain let a 3.x fighter act like a 4e defender.)

Unfortunately the spiked chain was still OP in 3.x. When used with feats like Stand Still (in the Psionics Handbook, which for some reason wasn't a psionic feat) and abusing the hell out of the Improved Trip feat (tripping was broken in 3.x, both underpowered against monsters and OP against NPCs) it could be really frustrating for whoever was on the other side of the screen.

Proponents pointed out the costs (MAD, lots of feats, doesn't work well on many monsters) while opponents noted it made classed NPC humanoids pretty unsuitable opponents (this included PCs; a spiked chain wielding fighter NPC is pretty scary, and also frustrating when it keeps tripping you). The math just didn't work right.

I think Paizo's more sensible CMB/CMD rules would keep it from being broken, but I'm assuming core rules, and don't know if there's a Stand Still equivalent in Pathfinder somewhere. It also works worrying well with Combat Reflexes.

Letting the spiked chain hit adjacent opponents was to let fighters "control" wizards. A wizard could literally stand next to a fighter armed with a longspear and cast a spell with no consequences (unless the fighter had Improved Unarmed Strike, in which case making the Concentration check would have been easy).


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Presumably the reason the spiked chain was nerfed was because taking the feat freed up too much money. Clearly they want melee to have to pay to enchant both their reach weapon and their armor spikes instead of just paying a feat.


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Kimera757 wrote:
I think the spiked chain suffered from the "tall weed" syndrome. It actually let a fighter do it's job, which other fighter weapons/feats didn't. It was also good at controlling wizards. As a result, it looked (and was) more powerful than other options.

Nah, it just looked that way. It wasn't the strongest thing on the block. It was just actually worth the loss of a feat. Everyone else just grabbed a cheap pole arm that dealt more damage and saved a feat. The feat was a convenience thing, since being able to strike at distance and adjacently is as easy as having armor spikes or a spiked gauntlet.

Quote:
Unfortunately the spiked chain was still OP in 3.x. When used with feats like Stand Still (in the Psionics Handbook, which for some reason wasn't a psionic feat) and abusing the hell out of the Improved Trip feat (tripping was broken in 3.x, both underpowered against monsters and OP against NPCs) it could be really frustrating for whoever was on the other side of the screen.

Still wasn't OP in 3.x. About the only thing it was useful against was humanoids. In Pathfinder tripping is worse than it used to be, because you can only trip people on the ground. At least in 3.x you knocked them prone, so you could disrupt someone's flight and make them plummet for a round (possibly hitting the ground and suffering falling damage).

It wasn't the spiked chain's fault though. You say it was the spiked chain's fault, but then you list several feats, some developed later than the spiked chain, which were more responsible for any perceived overpowered-ness. For example, a spiked chain vs caster is laughable if you're not sporting some anti-caster feats from Complete Arcane (mageslayer, I believe), because the caster could still escape you easily enough, or just keep blasting your face while they lie on the ground.

Incidentally, Stand Still was just as bad with pole-arms. It was nearly as easy to create a lockdown with a polearm as it was with the chain.

Quote:
Proponents pointed out the costs (MAD, lots of feats, doesn't work well on many monsters) while opponents noted it made classed NPC humanoids pretty unsuitable opponents (this included PCs; a spiked chain wielding fighter NPC is pretty scary, and also frustrating when it keeps tripping you). The math just didn't work right.

If you think spiked chains are bad, you should see my pole-arm wielding NPCs, or the ones who toss nets on people. Muahah, non-magical nets that entangle unless you waste rounds to escape from it (not even guaranteed escape) while the enemy beats you to death, and potentially limits your movement (ok, you move at 1/2 speed and can't move beyond X distance without winning an opposed Str check).

Quote:
I think Paizo's more sensible CMB/CMD rules would keep it from being broken, but I'm assuming core rules, and don't know if there's a Stand Still equivalent in Pathfinder somewhere. It also works worrying well with Combat Reflexes.

Let's not also forget Stand Still is basically worthless in PF, and that all those other feats like Mage Slayer aren't in PF (nor were they in core 3.x, which is where the spiked chain came from). Instead, we have a dumbed down weapon that is a pale imitation of a weapon that wasn't overpowered or exceptionally special to begin with.

Quote:
Letting the spiked chain hit adjacent opponents was to let fighters "control" wizards. A wizard could literally stand next to a fighter armed with a longspear and cast a spell with no consequences (unless the fighter had Improved Unarmed Strike, in which case making the Concentration check would have been easy).

Yeah, sure. First off, the Concentration check to simply not provoke while in the threat range was easy in 3.x. Secondly, there's no "control the wizard" since being prone on your back has no effect on spellcasting. Thirdly, it's not the damage you have to worry about with Fighters being in your face as a wizard, it's the fact they can effortlessly sunder or disarm your spell components with an opposed attack roll, which was less likely for the Wizard to overcome than an opposed Str vs Dex check. Same with druids and clerics (no divine foci for you, silly casters).

Of course, I mean, how dare a rampaging juggernaut of melee combat put a far inferior foe in no armor in a pinch. I mean, the sheer fact in 3.x casters were like "Oh, darn..." when in melee with a Fighter in 3.x and not "Quick, Fighter, Cleric, somebody! Saaaaaave meeeeee!" *scrambles to activate his dimension door magic item* speaks volumes.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Maps, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Ashiel wrote:
Yeah. A heavy flail is superior in every single way to a spiked chain. Longspear > spiked chain every day of the week and twice on Tuesdays.

That's not true. Neither the heavy flail nor the longspear are finessible. What's more, the longspear isn't a disarm or trip weapon.

Andoran

Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

What do we care about finesse qualities for?


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

The spiked chain is one of very few two-handed finessible weapons.

If I want to play a hihg dexterity character with Power Attack, spiked chain's not a bad option. If I also want to be a trick fighter who frequently uses disarm and trip to control battles, it suddenly becomes a pretty rockin' weapon as nothing else out there lets me use all of those feats effectively.

Sure I could use a heavy flail, but then I can't benefit from my high Dexterity. I could use an Elven Curve Blade, but then I don't get the cool disarm/trip bonuses. I could use a rapier, but then I can't get full use out of Power Attack.

I've actually made, and played, characters like this. It's a niche weapon to be sure, but it does have a place. People underestimate it greatly.


Who do you think you're telling?


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

Everyone who dismisses the spiked chain out of hand.

Shadow Lodge

*psst* Click on his profile.


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

Like I said, every ONE.


seems to me the whip is an exotic weapon, why have it exist if whip daggers exist...


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Ravingdork wrote:
The spiked chain is one of very few two-handed finessible weapons.

I'll tell you how many low-Strength high Dex characters I've seen using a spiked chain with Weapon Finesse even back when it had reach and didn't suck as an exotic weapon. You have three guesses, and one hint. The hint is, it's less than 3.

Quote:
If I want to play a hihg dexterity character with Power Attack, spiked chain's not a bad option. If I also want to be a trick fighter who frequently uses disarm and trip to control battles, it suddenly becomes a pretty rockin' weapon as nothing else out there lets me use all of those feats effectively.

Well, beyond simply having Str 13+ and Weapon Finesse. But wielding a crappy weapon just for the +2 and the option to drop your weapon when you fail a trip is pretty lousy. This comes back to "specializing in sucking". You're basically trying to revolve around Dexterity, which barring the Agile weapon property means having crappy damage (oh yay), even with Power Attack (2d4+6 maybe, costing 2 feats? A 1st level NPC warrior can d0 that with 0 feat investment without even eating the power-attack drawback).

Quote:
Sure I could use a heavy flail, but then I can't benefit from my high Dexterity. I could use an Elven Curve Blade, but then I don't get the cool disarm/trip bonuses. I could use a rapier, but then I can't get full use out of Power Attack.

Since you can disarm/trip with any weapon, there is very little reason to not use your elven curve blade. The spiked chain has no reach, the blade deals superior damage, has a superior critical rate, and you might even get it as a martial for being an elf or something; which would even save you a feat. Problem is, that specializing in suck thing again. You're spending feats like you're in a drunken revelry (EWP, Combat Expertise, Improved Trip, Improved Disarm, Weapon Finesse and/or Agile Maneuvers, Power Attack), and you're splitting your ability score requirements 3 ways (Str 13+ for PA, 14 is best for the +1 damage, Dex prime for Weapon Finesse to mean anything at all, Int 13+ for maneuver feats, etc).

I'm not really a fan of traps. Now if weapon finesse + agile maneuvers stacked with each other, then there might be a use for the spiked chain again, assuming there were no other finesse-able reach weapons that would take it's place (whips look better due to their reach, IMHO) for a dedicated maneuver character. Unfortunately, it doesn't, so you're still better off with good ol' fashioned STRENGTH *flex* for all your to hit, to damage, to maneuver, and to awesome needs.

Quote:
I've actually made, and played, characters like this. It's a niche weapon to be sure, but it does have a place. People underestimate it greatly.

Under estimating it and saying it's a pale imitation of its former self are two very different things. I don't have to estimate, I've seen the mechanics.

Quote:
That's not true. Neither the heavy flail nor the longspear are finessible. What's more, the longspear isn't a disarm or trip weapon.

Also, wanted to chime in here. No one really cares. You can disarm and trip with a longspear. What do you lose? Oh, well nothing actually. The only benefit a disarming weapon gives is a +2, but the reach is worth that in spades. The only thing a trip weapon gives is the ability to drop a weapon so you don't trip yourself.

Incidentally, characters who have any business doing either (warriors) are also proficient with the longspear's cousins the glaive, ranseur, and guisarme. The ranseur gives the +2 disarm, trip at reach, and has the same damage as a spiked chain, and it's a martial weapon so you don't have to spend a feat.

That should be a new Pathfinder slogan.
Pathfinder!: Spend feats to suck!


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

Or, you know, spend feats to be versatile, since fighters have them in spades anyways. You don't have to focus/minmax ALL the time. You don't have to be (pokemon announcer voice) SUPER EFFECTIVE! Just be viable and hold your weight in the party. I can get away with a 13 or 14 strength thanks to things like Weapon Training and Weapon Specialization making up for the slack.

I found that my trick fighter was a hell of a lot more fun to play because he was able to disarm and trip effectively when needed, tank if in trouble, or lay the smack down. He didn't just stand there like a boring sod making full attacks all the time.


Glutton wrote:
seems to me the whip is an exotic weapon, why have it exist if whip daggers exist...

Yeah, that's what really made me scratch my head about the pre-Ultimate Combat version of the scorpion whip, which was like a whip except better, and it even used the same proficiency.

It looks like it got changed in Ultimate Combat, though.


I think alot of the 3x problems with both the spiked chain and the various whip incarnations actually stemmed from the prestige classes built for them. I don't have the actual details infront of me at the moment, but I remember if you took fighter into those PrC's you pretty quickly got a very powerful character.

Not in all situations it was true, but in enough that people would just groan and pull out their hair as soon as anyone started talking about their amazing whipmaster.


Spiked chain aside, I am not sure this is a nerf. I am pretty sure the whip dagger is not open content. It was what in the arms and equipment guide? Its not in the ogl is it? It didnt get nerfed, the scorpion whip is based off the whip, not a nerf of the whip dagger. It isn't as good for sure, but a new option that isn't as good is not the same thing as nerfing the old one. There isn't any reason you cant use a whip dagger in a pathfinder game, just use the old rules.


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There were no problems in 3E with the spiked chain. Only people who had a problem with melee being able to do something almost competently. The prestige classes...which ones? The Lasher from 3.0? The Exotic Weapon Master from 3.5? Powerful?!

BWAHAHAHAHA!

Also, everything Ashiel said. Getting a spiked chain just to 2H it and finesse with power attack is flipping stupid. PA requires Str 13, you 2H for the extra str to damage...why the hell are you finessing? To throw feats away, right.

I wish people would stop treating feats like such a disposable resource. Fighter gets 11 bonus feats over twenty levels. A specialist Wizard gets how many spells per day, BEFORE bonus from int?
Just think: If you want to make any claim AT ALL that those two classes are remotely balanced, Fighter's 11 feats have to be about equal in power to the sum total of all of the wizard's spells per day.
I'll wait for you to finish laughing.
*waits*
Ok then. So why is it the Fighter has to throw away his precious resources just to get some other ability that's STILL weaker than spells, AND has less of those resources to spend than the wizard does with his spells (And I've never seen a single wizard feat or spell that said "must have these 5 completely worthless spells prepared in order to use this" type requirements), exactly?

EVERY FEAT A FIGHTER SPENDS SHOULD BE DIRECTLY GIVING HIM SOMETHING SUPER AWESOME. EVERY SINGLE FEAT.


StreamOfTheSky wrote:

There were no problems in 3E with the spiked chain. Only people who had a problem with melee being able to do something almost competently. The prestige classes...which ones? The Lasher from 3.0? The Exotic Weapon Master from 3.5? Powerful?!

BWAHAHAHAHA!

Also, everything Ashiel said. Getting a spiked chain just to 2H it and finesse with power attack is flipping stupid. PA requires Str 13, you 2H for the extra str to damage...why the hell are you finessing? To throw feats away, right.

I wish people would stop treating feats like such a disposable resource. Fighter gets 11 bonus feats over twenty levels. A specialist Wizard gets how many spells per day, BEFORE bonus from int?
Just think: If you want to make any claim AT ALL that those two classes are remotely balanced, Fighter's 11 feats have to be about equal in power to the sum total of all of the wizard's spells per day.
I'll wait for you to finish laughing.
*waits*
Ok then. So why is it the Fighter has to throw away his precious resources just to get some other ability that's STILL weaker than spells, AND has less of those resources to spend than the wizard does with his spells (And I've never seen a single wizard feat or spell that said "must have these 5 completely worthless spells prepared in order to use this" type requirements), exactly?

EVERY FEAT A FIGHTER SPENDS SHOULD BE DIRECTLY GIVING HIM SOMETHING SUPER AWESOME. EVERY SINGLE FEAT.

Preach it sister! :P


StreamOfTheSky wrote:
EVERY FEAT A FIGHTER SPENDS SHOULD BE DIRECTLY GIVING HIM SOMETHING SUPER AWESOME. EVERY SINGLE FEAT.

Hear, hear.

Shadow Lodge

Let's see, I predict people are going to respond 'but the fighter can use his feats all day and the wizard cannot' as their retort.


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

But the wizard can use his cantrips all day...


TOZ wrote:
Let's see, I predict people are going to respond 'but the fighter can use his feats all day and the wizard cannot' as their retort.

Probably... =.=


A player at my table uses a scorpion whip build for a witch and a cleric he likes it and has never mentioned it being nerfed from a whip dagger.

I would think a whip dagger main damage doing part would be the dagger.

So keeping that in mind i do not see a problem with the scorpion whip(whip dagger) being 1d4 a normal thrown dagger does 1d4.

But i have never played anything other than pathfinder and 1 session of 4e so idk if i can appropriately comment on this and i dont have much knowledge on other games to base an accurate opinion on.


StreamOfTheSky wrote:

Getting a spiked chain just to 2H it and finesse with power attack is flipping stupid. PA requires Str 13, you 2H for the extra str to damage...why the hell are you finessing? To throw feats away, right.

There are such things as +STR items, and 2H a weapon with power attack adds +3 per -1 rather than +2.

what are you talking about wasting feats....


Deyvantius wrote:
StreamOfTheSky wrote:

Getting a spiked chain just to 2H it and finesse with power attack is flipping stupid. PA requires Str 13, you 2H for the extra str to damage...why the hell are you finessing? To throw feats away, right.

There are such things as +STR items, and 2H a weapon with power attack adds +3 per -1 rather than +2.

what are you talking about wasting feats....

Primarily because you are already rewarded more for Strength. Strength naturally improves hit, damage, combat maneuvers, qualifies for power attack, furious focus, etc. Arguing that a spiked chain in Pathfinder is appealing for dextrous maneuvers is bizarre since it gets no special reach, and the only thing it has going for it is the +2 to Disarm, as the Trip quality is basically useless since you can preform trips without Trip weapons (the quality merely allowing you to lose your weapon instead of falling down if you really biff your maneuver).

If you were actually going to make a dexterity focused maneuverist who wasn't wielding some sort of reach weapon like a whip or the like, you'd be better off with a swordbreaker dagger (also an exotic finesseable weapon) which gives +4 to Disarm (and Sunder) checks.

Essentially, you're spending feats to be sub-par next to people who spent no feats at all. And we're talking quite a few feats here. Just using the few that were mentioned we have...

Exotic Weapon Proficiency (Spiked Chain)
Combat Expertise
Improved Disarm
Improved Trip
Power Attack
Weapon Finesse
Agile Maneuvers

Which forces you to have a minimum of 13 Str, and 13 Int, but assumes you are going to be Dex-prime. That's bizarre, basically. Fighters are the only class that could pull that off in a timely fashion, and they would just be weaker than Fighters who didn't. Compare to...

Fighter, Str-prime, Dex/Int secondary
Power Attack
Combat Expertise
Improved Trip
Improved Disarm

Now this Fighter doesn't spend a feat (because a Heavy Flail is strait up better than the chain), deals more damage (1d10+6+3:1 Power Attack), has strong Combat Maneuvers, has plenty of Dex for AC + Combat Expertise, +4 to Disarm, and a Trip weapon (near worthless), and has more feats for other stuff.


I agree about the spiked chain in general, but I don't think power attacking with finesse weapons is necessarily wasting feats. Ihat's the only part of the statement I was seeking clarification on. I had a half-elf with an elven curved blade. I took power attack but it was a dex build so I was trying to figure if it was a wasted feat.

I was still getting better damage from the 2H.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Maps, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Ashiel wrote:
Essentially, you're spending feats to be sub-par next to people who spent no feats at all.

Spending feats on versatility rather than raw power is not subpar, it is a design choice. I may not be able to kill a dragon in round one, but I'll be able to tank with higher AC, be able to disarm the evil archmage's arcane bonded staff, or trip the thief trying to get away. Thanks to having Power Attack and a two-handed weapon, I might still be able to kill said dragon in round 2.

Other guys might be able to do these things too, but they can't do ALL OF THEM as well as I can. I'm versatile. They are not.


Ravingdork wrote:
Ashiel wrote:
Essentially, you're spending feats to be sub-par next to people who spent no feats at all.

Spending feats on versatility rather than raw power is not subpar, it is a design choice. I may not be able to kill a dragon in round one, but I'll be able to tank with higher AC, be able to disarm the evil archmage's arcane bonded staff, or trip the thief trying to get away. Thanks to having Power Attack and a two-handed weapon, I might still be able to kill said dragon in round 2.

Other guys might be able to do these things too, but they can't do ALL OF THEM as well as I can. I'm versatile. They are not.

Well, the biggest problem I see here is that you're not likely to gleam more AC because Fighters can get all the AC from Dex they need beginning with a 14-17 Dex. Killing a dragon in 2 rounds, god forbid 1 round, means the GM is spoon-feeding the PCs. Nothing else you mentioned actually receives benefit from your proposed Dex-focused build, and you're actually less defensive 'cause you could have sunk those other feats into saving throw boosters, dodge, and mobility.

For example, 16, 14, 14, 13, 11, 7 is a legal 15 PB fighter build.
By 20th level, you should have around 30, 26, 26, 24, 22, 18.
That's +8 Dexterity to AC. That's more than Armor Training IV in Mithral Plate can handle. You have to go up to Mithral Celestial Plate Mail, or Celestial Plate Mail and Armor Training to handle that Dex modifier.

None of your combat maneuvers are suffering at all. Str applies to all combat maneuvers, and with your 2 handed weapon. You get +15 damage from Strength, +18 from Power Attack, +6 from Weapon Training, +4 from Specialization, +5 from Enhancement; so your damage is top notch. No problems there.

Where is your versatility coming from? I'm a very, very strong believer in options = power. I'm not seeing your options here. I'm watching you go the same route through a less efficient means, like trying to climb a building when you could have taken the elevator and got their faster and less exhausted.


Equipment trick rope gives you spiked chains and whips if you have rope, and for a half orc, that's free if you use the apg racial stuff.

I wonder if that swashbuckler rogue's charge would work with a rope user, there is a grappling rope trait i think.


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Spiked chain and whip dagger were nerfed because they were considered ridiculous by James Jacobs. He said it himself.

I stick by the 3.5 rules on them.


glandis wrote:

In 3.5, reach and non-reach tactics were importantly different, and interesting choices could be made on that basis. The spiked chain totally broke the reach rules - every other weapon, as their basic state, you could attack next to yourself or a square away.

A "I break the rules" ability AND excellent stats was (IMO, and most others I played 3.5 with) too much for the spiked chain.

All weapons mentioned (heavy flail, longspear) can NOT, as base weapon abilities, do what the whip can - attack throughout an extended reach.

PF seems to have gone with "you can break the reach rules and attack throughout a great range (15'), but your stats will suffer." That seems like a good choice to me. Other options might've worked, the degree of stat-reduction could be agrued, but overall - they fixed an actual issue.

At least, that's what I'd say.

Yeah reach could be great, but you had to take something like short haft to use the reach AND in close for polearms. Except of course the spiked chain which could do it all. The awlpike had the two squares of reach, so attack 15 away, 5ft longer than the longspear, a great charging weapon, then taking the AOO after, but you couldn't attack anything within 10.


Wouldn't a spiked gauntlet or the Improved Unarmed Strike feat pretty much handle the no-adjacent problem? Or just taking a five foot step back?


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Maps, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Ashiel wrote:

Well, the biggest problem I see here is that you're not likely to gleam more AC because Fighters can get all the AC from Dex they need beginning with a 14-17 Dex. Killing a dragon in 2 rounds, god forbid 1 round, means the GM is spoon-feeding the PCs. Nothing else you mentioned actually receives benefit from your proposed Dex-focused build, and you're actually less defensive 'cause you could have sunk those other feats into saving throw boosters, dodge, and mobility.

For example, 16, 14, 14, 13, 11, 7 is a legal 15 PB fighter build.
By 20th level, you should have around 30, 26, 26, 24, 22, 18.
That's +8 Dexterity to AC. That's more than Armor Training IV in Mithral Plate can handle. You have to go up to Mithral Celestial Plate Mail, or Celestial Plate Mail and Armor Training to handle that Dex modifier.

None of your combat maneuvers are suffering at all. Str applies to all combat maneuvers, and with your 2 handed weapon. You get +15 damage from Strength, +18 from Power Attack, +6 from Weapon Training, +4 from Specialization, +5 from Enhancement; so your damage is top notch. No problems there.

Where is your versatility coming from? I'm a very, very strong believer in options = power. I'm not seeing your options here. I'm watching you go the same route through a less efficient means, like trying to climb a building when you could have taken the...

You're not taking into account the feats. Your proposed strength fighter likely doesn't have Combat Expertise, and thus can't pump his AC if needed. Mine can. What's more, your strength fighter probably put everything in "to hit" and "damage" whereas my versatile trick fighter likely pursued the disarm and trip feat trees, allowing him to do cool things like send weapons flying away, or get all of his allies AoO's against a fallen foe (which, incidentally, may well allow his damage to keep up with your fighter in many instances).

My fighter is also less likely to be disarmed or tripped thanks to his feats. If you happen to be playing a two-handed archetype fighter, and lose your greatsword, you're not going to be terribly effective until you're able to get it back.


Ravingdork wrote:


You're not taking into account the feats. Your proposed strength fighter likely doesn't have Combat Expertise, and thus can't pump his AC if needed. Mine can. What's more, your strength fighter probably put everything in "to hit" and "damage" whereas my versatile trick fighter likely pursued the disarm and trip feat trees, allowing him to do cool things like send weapons flying away, or get all of his allies AoO's against a fallen foe (which, incidentally, may well allow his damage to keep up with your fighter in many instances).

My fighter is also less likely to be disarmed or tripped thanks to his feats. If you happen to be...

Actually, he can with Fighting Defensively, he just can't use Expertise.


Ravingdork wrote:


You're not taking into account the feats. Your proposed strength fighter likely doesn't have Combat Expertise, and thus can't pump his AC if needed. Mine can.

Um...Ravingdork,

Look at the post of mine you just quoted. Notice he has 13 Intelligence? That wasn't an accident. I even listed the feat difference in my previous post. See?

Ashiel wrote:

Essentially, you're spending feats to be sub-par next to people who spent no feats at all. And we're talking quite a few feats here. Just using the few that were mentioned we have...

Exotic Weapon Proficiency (Spiked Chain)
Combat Expertise
Improved Disarm
Improved Trip
Power Attack
Weapon Finesse
Agile Maneuvers

Which forces you to have a minimum of 13 Str, and 13 Int, but assumes you are going to be Dex-prime. That's bizarre, basically. Fighters are the only class that could pull that off in a timely fashion, and they would just be weaker than Fighters who didn't. Compare to...

Fighter, Str-prime, Dex/Int secondary
Power Attack
Combat Expertise
Improved Trip
Improved Disarm

Ravingdork wrote:
What's more, your strength fighter probably put everything in "to hit" and "damage" whereas my versatile trick fighter likely pursued the disarm and trip feat trees, allowing him to do cool things like send weapons flying away, or get all of his allies AoO's against a fallen foe (which, incidentally, may well allow his damage to keep up with your fighter in many instances).

Um, again;

My fighter has the exact same thing, only with less cost in feats. How do you figure he doesn't? I even have 2-3 extra feats to grab some extra stuff to boost my CMB, CMD, and defenses (like Weapon Focus, Dodge, Mobility). All of this is in addition to damage being business and business being good.

Quote:
My fighter is also less likely to be disarmed or tripped thanks to his feats. If you happen to be playing a two-handed archetype fighter, and lose your greatsword, you're not going to be terribly effective until you're able to get it back.

I don't see how you figure. Our CMD will be roughly the same because High Str + Med Dex is the same as Med Str + High Dex for the purposes of CMD. Unlike you, I'm not wasting feats, so I can enjoy feats like Dodge (+1 to AC/CMD), Mobility (+4 dodge to AC vs AoOs, which applies to CMD against AoO trips), and so forth. I never said anything about a 2 handed fighter, so that's entirely irrelevant. Why would I want a "2 handed fighter" when I can use a normal Fighter, do everything you are talking about - better than you - while also being able to swap to a bow if needed and murder everything in sight, while having better defenses, etc?

Also, who said anything about a greatsword? Naturally I'd be using a heavy flail, since it's flat out superior to the spiked chain in every way; y'know, for the +2 bonus to trip (we're talking about versatility, right). I'm just not following you, because you're not making any factual statements here. Your statements have no backing. I'm sorry for saying so, but it is true. You haven't demonstrated anything that your Fighter can do, any feats or tactics your Fighter sports, that my Fighter can't do just as well while also being better at damage and other fighting combat forms (including tanking and defense).

You have basically tried to justify flushing several feats down the toilet with "because I say so". Show us some of that famous Ravingdork mechanical mind. Demonstrate how flushing 2-3 feats (EWP: Spiked Chain, Weapon Finesse, maybe Agile Maneuvers) and making yourself more MAD is going to make you better at CMB, CMD, and also register on the damage radar by chasing the Power Attack pony.


Starbuck_II wrote:
Ravingdork wrote:


You're not taking into account the feats. Your proposed strength fighter likely doesn't have Combat Expertise, and thus can't pump his AC if needed. Mine can. What's more, your strength fighter probably put everything in "to hit" and "damage" whereas my versatile trick fighter likely pursued the disarm and trip feat trees, allowing him to do cool things like send weapons flying away, or get all of his allies AoO's against a fallen foe (which, incidentally, may well allow his damage to keep up with your fighter in many instances).

My fighter is also less likely to be disarmed or tripped thanks to his feats. If you happen to be...

Actually, he can with Fighting Defensively, he just can't use Expertise.

Why does everyone keep saying this? 16, 14, 14, 13, 11, 7 has the prerequisites already set out at 1st level. If you're human, you can grab Combat Expertise, Improved Trip, and Dodge at 1st level, without even bothering with EWP, Weapon Finesse, etc. Right out of the gate we're talking 1d10+4 damage with a flail, and a +8 bonus to disarm (BAB+1, +3 str, +2 disarm, +2 feat), and a 19 AC unbuffed (chainmail, +2 dex, +1 dodge). 2nd level, you grab Power Attack. 3rd level, Weapon Focus (Heavy Flail) for another +1 to hit and CMB, 4th level you can grab Specialization if you want or get something else if you desire (you already qualify for Mobility, or you could grab some archery feats or Iron Will). Put your +1 ability mod where you want it (I'd recommend +3 Str, +1 Dex, +1 Con over your 20 levels, which after +5 inherent mods and +6 ability items leaves good results).

EDIT: Did I mention that my CMD would be 17 at 1st level, also?


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

I saw your Intelligence score, but you never said anything about the your "superior" fighter taking many of the same feats. Stop moving the goal posts.

My fighter will benefit from higher touch AC than yours, while wearing his mithral Tatami-Do. What's more, I can wear lighter armors without losing out on as much AC as yours. That can be handy if I'm expecting to fight spellcasters/monsters who specialize in touch attacks, or when I want to be able to move faster with certain fighter archetypes.


Ravingdork wrote:
I saw your Intelligence score, but you never said anything about the your "superior" fighter taking many of the same feats. Stop moving the goal posts.

You're the one moving goal posts, or creating them. I said you can do the same thing, better, without spending the excess feats and making yourself more MAD. Don't add stuff and claim that I did. You are the one making all these claims. You're the one talking about 1 rounding vs 2 rounding a dragon. YOU are the one who came in starting an argument Ravingdork.

I respect you, I do. My patience, however, wears thin for these games. I'm bloody sick and tired of people putting words in my mouth, twisting what I say, and trying to make everything into an unreasoned argument. I could stand it if the arguments had some sort of point, or even actual basis to them, but they're just stupid. So I'm going to address this once. You, my peer Ravingdork, said:

Ravingdork wrote:

Spending feats on versatility rather than raw power is not subpar, it is a design choice. I may not be able to kill a dragon in round one, but I'll be able to tank with higher AC, be able to disarm the evil archmage's arcane bonded staff, or trip the thief trying to get away. Thanks to having Power Attack and a two-handed weapon, I might still be able to kill said dragon in round 2.

Other guys might be able to do these things too, but they can't do ALL OF THEM as well as I can. I'm versatile. They are not.

You have claimed that by spending these extra resources would give your fighter versatility that others lack. Yet, you did nothing except state it. I showed why I didn't believe you, and asked you to show me. Instead, you whine about goalposts and ignore that I gave a list of the feats you'd need to do the exact same thing, and then said I didn't call out the feats after I had even quoted them to you in my previous post. I have the respect to treat your posts with some dignity and not try to twist your words or play these stupid games, so show some respect too, damn it.

Now I'm going to try this again. Please, Ravingdork, respond not with dishonesty but with actual effort to sustain your words.

Quote:
My fighter will benefit from higher touch AC than yours, while wearing his mithral Tatami-Do. What's more, I can wear lighter armors without losing out on as much AC as yours. That can be handy if I'm expecting to fight spellcasters/monsters who specialize in touch attacks, or when I want to be able to move faster with certain fighter archetypes.

A mithral Tatami-do has a max Dex of +5. +9 with Armor Training IV. While the maximum Dexterity bonus is +2 higher, the regular armor bonus is -2 lower than standard plate mail, and it's not something you can effectively rely on at lower levels before you have 10,000 gp floating around to get that sweet armor with (and won't until after 6th level). In the meantime, you're stuck with poorer armors, lower damage, wasted feats, multi-ability dependency, and so forth.

Using the same ability array and feats as noted before, I begin the game with the following:

Str 16, Dex 14, Con 14, Int 13, Wis 11, Cha 7.
Combat Expertise, Improved Disarm, Dodge.
AC 19, touch 13, flat-footed 16 (+6 armor, +2 dex, +1 dodge)
By 4th level, I will have a +3 maximum Dexterity bonus, and I will move at full speed in said armor. I am generally more effective, as I am not 2-3 feats behind, nor MAD. Assuming you prioritized Dexterity instead of Strength, then our touch AC is 5% different. I can live with that since I didn't waste 2-3 feats and make myself Multi-Abiity-Dependent, especially since it will matter little to none as money becomes more readily available. It is reduced less since I have a head start on Dodge, since again, I didn't waste feats to do what I can already do without those feats (it's kind of like having 2-3 free feats over you).

By 6th level, I should be looking into some better gear. Maybe a masterwork +1 breastplate and an armored kilt, which would bring me to maximum Dex +4 and +8 AC for 1,370 gp. My armor counts as heavy now as long as I have the kilt attached, but at 7th I don't care anymore since my maximum Dexterity grows to +5 and I get full movement speed again, while in heavy armor. Cheap-sauce. I figure I've got a +4 Dex allowance at the moment (soon +5), and I use the spare cash to deck out in a Ring of Protection +1, Cloak of Resistance +1, Amulet of Natural Armor +1, and grab a +2 Strength and +1 Dex item (having dropped 1 point into Dex at 4th level). That brings me to Str 18, Dex 16, and grabbed another +3 AC, 2 of which is touch AC. For the same cost of mithral tatami-do; which you can only actually fit into if you sank your ability scores for an 18 Dex at 1st level (requiring a 16 + 2 racial). Then I'll drop a grand for a +1 wisdom item.

From 1st - 20th, you'll have only a 1-2 difference in AC/touch AC, and yet the Str fighter will have better hit, damage, combat maneuvers, more feats, less multi-ability dependency, and so forth. The better hit also means getting more out of Combat Expertise, which provides a +X dodge bonus to your AC which also applies to touch attacks. AC will be fine. Especially with mobility for a +4 dodge vs AoOs, which is very good for a character who plans to be tripping and disarming with a non-reach weapon; because you're probably going to have to eat some AoOs regularly to do that (polearms are cool, afterall).

That sets my stats around the following at 6th.
- AC 24, touch 15, flat 20 (+3 dex, +1 dodge, +8 armor, +1 deflection, +1 natural)
- AC 26, touch 17, flat 20 (adding combat expertise)
- AC 29, touch 20, flat 20 (adding fighting defensively)
- AC 33, touch 24, flat 20 (adding mobility)
- CMD 25 (+6 BAB, +4 Str, +3 Dex, +1 dodge, +1 deflection)
- CMD 28 (fighting defensively)
- CMD 30 (fighting defensively w/ expertise)
- Melee (Mwk Heavy Flail) +13/+8 (+6 BAB, +4 Str, +1 enhancement, +1 focus, +1 weapon training); Damage 1d10+15/19-20/x2 (Power Attack, Specialization)
- CMB (Disarm) +17 (+6 BAB, +4 Str, +1 enhancement, +1 focus, +1 training, +2 disarm quality, +2 improved disarm)
- CMB (Trip) +13 (+6 BAB, +4 Str, +1 enhancement, +1 focus, +1 training)
- 4-5 skill points per level.
- Feats: Combat Expertise, Improved Disarm, Dodge, Power Attack, Weapon Focus (H. Flail), Weapon Specialization (H. Flail), Furious Focus, Mobility
- Saving throws: Fort +7, Ref +5, Will +4

Considering Iron Will and Lightning Reflexes, perhaps.

==================================

The floor is yours, Ravingdork.

Andoran

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

You know there is an old saying. "Melees can't have nice things"


I once had a melee char that had a fireball shooting jagged longsword (and a back-up short sword that s+#* little tiny fireballs) It was nice.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Maps, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
ashiel wrote:

Feats: Combat Expertise, Improved Disarm, Dodge, Power Attack, Weapon Focus (H. Flail), Weapon Specialization (H. Flail), Furious Focus, Mobility.

...

Considering Iron Will and Lightning Reflexes, perhaps.

Isn't that too many feats for a 6th-level fighter? Even if you're human, you're not going to be able to also pick up iron will or lightning reflexes.

In any case, I think part of our disagreement stems from differing assumptions. You are operating under a lesser point buy, whereas I typically play under 25-point buy, where spreading abilities out (and still starting with a base 18) isn't considered all that costly.

In a 15-point buy game, you probably have a point. I'm sure you do even in a 25-pont buy game, if less so.

What's more, I typically build for the long-term, sometimes only getting the really awesome benefits at higher level. Delayed gratification and all that. You obviously build towards more immediate benefits.

I don't believe either of us are wrong, or that either of our builds are superior to the other. It's simply different play/build styles.

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