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Vital Strike + Spring Attack: Why the decision to not allowing them to stack?


Pathfinder RPG General Discussion

Silver Crusade

Does anyone know why the designers decided to not allow Vital Strike and Spring Attack to work together?


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

JB explaining it here.

If you click on his name, go to the Posts tab and then type "Vital Strike" in the search box, you'll find a few more posts about him talking about Vital Strike.


Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

As long as you're not looking at PFS just houserule it. I understood the reasoning behind the restriction I just disagreed with it so at my table you can use them in combination.


Robert Jordan wrote:
As long as you're not looking at PFS just houserule it. I understood the reasoning behind the restriction I just disagreed with it so at my table you can use them in combination.

Agreed. Properly house-ruled, Vital Strike is a very solid but difficult to abuse feat... RAW its basically worthless.

It absolutely should be usable anytime you can make a single attack and only then - Spring Attack, Fly-By Attack, Charging, etc. is all good.

I've also seen it suggested that the feat line be condensed, allowing you to get 1 extra damage die per iterative attack (i.e. at BAB +1, +6, +11, +16). That might be a bit of overkill and if ruled in that fashion, it would become the 'must take' feat the designers were hoping to avoid.


I do not at all like what has become of the Vital Strike line. It does not work with Spring Attack, and it works best on a creature with a big honkin' weapon than it does with a skilled light skirmisher, as I imagine it was envisioned for. A while ago I came up with what I think would work better. Given more time to think about it now, I am inclined to just let Spring Attack work with any standard action, rather than making a special exception for Vital Strike, and place BAB caps on the VS feats.

So, changes would be:

Spoiler:

Spring Attack (Combat)

You can deftly move up to a foe, strike, and withdraw before he can react.

Prerequisites: Dex 13, Dodge, Mobility, base attack bonus +4.

Benefit: You can take a move action and use a standard action at any point during the move, without provoking any attacks of opportunity from any target(s) if your standard action is an attack action. You can move both before and after the attack, but you must move at least 10 feet before the attack and the total distance that you move cannot be greater than your speed. You cannot use this ability to attack a foe that is adjacent to you at the start of your turn.

Normal: You cannot move before and after an attack.

Vital Strike (Combat)

You make a single attack that deals significantly more damage than normal.

Prerequisites: Base attack bonus +6.

Benefit: When you use the attack action to make a single attack at your highest base attack bonus, it deals additional damage equal to your Base Attack Bonus, up to +10. This extra damage, unlike most non random damage bonuses, is not multiplied on a critical hit or in any other circumstance (such as against a charge with a brace weapon), but is merely added to the total.

Special: A monster with this feat can only gain bonus damage up to its CR, if its CR is lower than its BAB, to a maximum of +10 damage.

Improved Vital Strike (Combat)

You make a single attack that deals significantly more damage than normal.

Prerequisites: Base attack bonus +11, Vital Strike.

Benefit: When you use the attack action to make a single attack at your highest base attack bonus, it deals additional damage equal to twice your Base Attack Bonus, up to +30 at BAB +15. This extra damage, unlike most non random damage bonuses, is not multiplied on a critical hit or in any other circumstance (such as against a charge with a brace weapon), but is merely added to the total.

Special: A monster with this feat can only gain bonus damage up to 2x its CR, if its CR is lower than its BAB, to a maximum of +30 damage.

Greater Vital Strike (Combat)

You make a single attack that deals significantly more damage than normal.

Prerequisites: Base attack bonus +16, Vital Strike, Improved Vital Strike.

Benefit: When you use the attack action to make a single attack, you can make one attack at your highest base attack bonus that deals additional damage equal to three times your Base Attack Bonus, up to +60 at BAB +20. This extra damage, unlike most non random damage bonuses, is not multiplied on a critical hit or in any other circumstance (such as against a charge with a brace weapon), but is merely added to the total.

Special: A monster with this feat can only gain bonus damage up to 3x its CR, if its CR is lower than its BAB, to a maximum of +60 damage.

The special line is to try and prevent game balance issues with monsters with lots of HD for their CR.

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