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Combat Expertise


Pathfinder RPG General Discussion

51 to 100 of 335 << first < prev | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | next > last >>

AC: 10 (Base) + 14 (Mithril Full-Plate +5) + 7 (Mithril Heavy Shield +5) + 5 (Amulet of Natural Armor) + 5 (Ring of Protection) + 7 (Maximum Dexterity Bonus with Armor Training IV) + 1 (Dodge Feat) + 6 (Combat Expertise) + 6 (Total Defense Action w/ 3+ Acrobatics Ranks) + 5 (Defending Weapon +5) + 1 (Dusty Rose Ioun Stone) + 2 (Shield Focus and Greater Shield Focus) = 69

If your group allows 3rd Party content, you can add on Agile Defense (from Tripod Machine) for an additional +4 Dodge AC for a grand total of 73 AC.

This is my "Steelguard" build when I tank as a Fighter.

Combat Expertise is good for when you need to tank, be it in an emergency situation or if you can afford to turtle yourself and make virtually nothing able to touch you.

[EDIT] Yeah, you're still succeptible to magic, but I'm looking at this purely from a "being hit with physical attacks" scenario. If you're being pelted with magic, your ranged attackers aren't doing their job.


Doomed Hero wrote:

I agree that it's annoying but there's a bit of a saving grace.

The Threatening Defender trait (which anyone with a build that starts with Combat Expertise should take) effectively turns Combat Expertise into Dodge, at least for the first few levels.

Especially in the early game that +1 to AC makes a big difference.

It's definitely not worth a feat and a trait for a +1 to your AC, but that +1 isn't why you're taking them in the first place. It's just a "bennie" to offset the cost of wanting to make a maneuver based character.

There are some options that decrease the combat expertise penalty even further. For example using a Madu (with ewp) in your offhand.

Thus for a TWF fighter you can take combat expertice, threatening defender and ewp madu to 2 more AC than you lose in +hit and it lets you fight defensively for only -2 to hit, so with acrobatics 3 ranks you net another +1AC if you use both, combat expertise and defensive fighting for +5AC and -2 to hit at BAB4

And you don't loose any of those +5 AC if you attack with your madu, because it is no shield bonus.

Lantern Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Christopher Buckley wrote:

Here's my two cents:

1) CE wasn't invented specifically with fighters in mind, but if you want to build a maneuver-based fighter, the fighter can most afford this "feat tax" (as others have pointed out).

2) In my opinion, if you think CE sucks, you're not good at D&D/Pathfinder.

CE was definitely invented with Fighters in mind, only not the Ugg smash stupid variety, but more the Roy Greenhilt/Bruce Wayne style of fighter. It's the basic foundation of a fighter who uses his mind as well as his muscles.


Bob_Loblaw wrote:
The penalty isn't very significant for a fighter, or any of the full base attack classes.

... And the benefit isn't significant either, since it's exactly the same.

That's the main problem of combat expertise: you pay a feat to gain a non-advantage, the opportunity to apply the same penalty to the same roll for you and your opponent. Oh, and if your opponent decide to do anything else than "hitting you in the face", he doesn't even have any penalty.

Why would anyone pay a feat to gain an option which doesn't give any advantage?

Shadow Lodge

12 people marked this as a favorite.
Enchanter Tom wrote:
Steve Geddes wrote:
I personally find it annoying when my clients try and tell me how to do my job better (they're nearly always wrong). If they began with an opening gambit of wishing me violence, I'd be even less inclined to engage with them.

The hell do I care? It's not like they're going to suddenly learn how to do math or care to produce a quality product.

Also, their forum interface is terrible.

Yeah, and their moderation policies are too lenient.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Donovan Lynch wrote:
His question was, why do you need 13 Int to receive and utilize that training? What is so hard about learning to trip a dude that a regular guy can't learn it? It's not rocket science, it's fairly basic martial arts.

Because it's harder to trip someone than to become invisible, to read the mind of someone or to shoot some fire beams. Tripping is hard, you know, and learning it implies many highly-conceptual theories.

If you are a fighter with 11 Int and you want to trip peoples, you should instead take some levels in wizard and cast toppling magic missiles.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

While a few specialized builds can actually make use of Combat Expertise in itself, it is generally no more than a feat tax and Int tax for anyone who wants the subsequent manoeuvre-based feats.

Since Pathfinder improved Toughness and Dodge, Combat Expertise now ranks alongside Endurance as the worst feat in the game.

In Paizo's defence, this feat (and its Int tax) has been around since 3.0. Actually in 3.0 it also had the worst feat name: Expertise, which actually means nothing at all in the context of feats.

I will certainly never create a character that takes Combat Expertise. That prevents me from taking any of the subsequent feats, some of which are potentially quite useful. There are character concepts that I would like to try out such as the trip expert, but I am not prepared to pay the tax.


GâtFromKI wrote:

Why would anyone pay a feat to gain an option which doesn't give any advantage?

I does give an advantage. While it numerically might not, there is a relative significance. Two factors apply:

- Number of attacks: Until high levels, PCs tend to meet enemies with multiple natural attacks and/or larger numbers of opponent. If the character is recieving more attacks than he makes (which a succesful tank is likely to), then there is a relative gain in the higher defense.
- The fighter is better: Given that the fighter is often going to have higher AC and to hit, the relative gains is higher. An example, if your enemy is going from 10%(19+) to 5%(20) chance of hitting due to + 1 AC, you are cutting his expected damage output in half, while if the penalty changes your to hit chance from 50%(11+) to 45%(12+), your damage output will only loose 10 percent. While the difference might not be that much, the numbers is most likely to be in the PC fighters favor.


The OP is right in substance if unideal in his rhetoric. It's poor design. We can all point to exceptional cases where it's helpful, but generally it's super weak and the prereq imposes MAD on already nuanced feat lines that have serious problems of their own. And I don't buy the "fighters can afford the feat tax" bit--that's crap. It's foolish design that incentivizes cookie cutters and discourages leveraging something besides damage with a fighter--and thereby, discourages nifty narration.


Donovan Lynch wrote:
If combat expertise gave a 10% miss chance for every point of BAB you lost, I think fighters would be all over it.

If your opponent would hit you with 11+ then CE gives exactly that.

If your opponent needs to roll higher than 11+ then CE gives even more than that: e.g if he needs a 17+ to hit you then +1 to AC gives a miss chance of 25%.
If he needs a 19+ to hit you then +1 to AC gives a miss chance of 50%.

Shadow Lodge

Let's hope that in Pathfinder Edition 2, Paizo excises most of the feat taxes, trap options, and other "System Mastery" baggage that Monte Cook thought would be such a brilliant idea to saddle the system with.

Osirion

1 person marked this as a favorite.
chaoseffect wrote:
I don't get why someone with normal human intelligence can't possibly have the ability to trip someone without them getting to trip them back.

Int 2 wolves seem to have figured it out.

I'm not a fan of stat requirements anyway. A Str 10 Halfling Fighter should be able to sacrifice accuracy for damage and Power Attack, if he wants to.

Also not a fan of the PF choice to restrict both Power Attack and Combat Expertise the way they did, but, following the advice of posters above, I just stopped playing melee classes, rather than worry about it.

Kthulhu wrote:
Let's hope that in Pathfinder Edition 2, Paizo excises most of the feat taxes, trap options, and other "System Mastery" baggage that Monte Cook thought would be such a brilliant idea to saddle the system with.

Hell yeah. There are dozens of feats that could probably just be standard combat maneuvers, and done away with completely. I don't see the appeal of having a couple hundred feats, when many of them are so marginally useful as to be a waste of page space.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Set wrote:
chaoseffect wrote:
I don't get why someone with normal human intelligence can't possibly have the ability to trip someone without them getting to trip them back.
Int 2 wolves seem to have figured it out.

Speaking of wolves: The wolf domain gives you imp. trip regardless of stats.


Monks don't need CE. They have crane style.

While I don't like the idea of feat taxes, it's not hard to believe that greater combat ability at higher levels needs a foundation to build on. Pathfinder has chose that foundation, in regards to being able to show exterpise in combat is the Combat Expertise feat. There are numerous builds and different choices you can take for a fighter that don't require it. If you want a disarming, sundering fool, you need to take it. I generally make fighters that deal damage to the creature, not their equipment, but to each their own.


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Combat Expertise is a speed bump that serves no better purpose than to drain fun from a "skill"-type melee character's first few levels.


Benly wrote:
Combat Expertise is a speed bump that serves no better purpose than to drain fun from a "skill"-type melee character's first few levels.

Are the people that say this unaware of the various ways to limit (or eliminate) the penalty from combat expertise, and to gain more bonus from it?

Silver Crusade

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

Flag 'n' bag it, folks.

Andoran

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Listen to the wisebag.


Bomanz wrote:

But then, I might be playing the game wrong.

Hell, I think Monks and Rogues are just fine, and I really enjoy playing Bards, so WTF do I know?

This is my new favorite post, dude* you rule.

*Using the word "dude" in a completely gender neutral kind of way.


To the OP, I am surprised at your vehemence.

Do I want it on most of my character? No. But I have actually made enjoyable characters that made effective use of combat expertise. Most especially an EK and a fighter type tank.

I usually give most of my characters at least a 12 int anyway because I dislike not having any skill points. So bumping it up to to a 14 is no hardship. I often do that anyway.

I found that my fighter could usually hit on the first strike even with combat expertise active. So he is still enough of a threat that he can't be ignored. But he became very difficult to hit and take down. That allowed the glass cannon types to pull back and heal, me to move around and absorb the attacks of opportunity, the casters and archers to rain death from afar, etc...


GâtFromKI wrote:
Bob_Loblaw wrote:
The penalty isn't very significant for a fighter, or any of the full base attack classes.

... And the benefit isn't significant either, since it's exactly the same.

That's the main problem of combat expertise: you pay a feat to gain a non-advantage, the opportunity to apply the same penalty to the same roll for you and your opponent. Oh, and if your opponent decide to do anything else than "hitting you in the face", he doesn't even have any penalty.

Why would anyone pay a feat to gain an option which doesn't give any advantage?

How is increasing your AC not a benefit? Also, if you can get your attack bonus high enough, does it matter if you take a small penalty to hit? Fighters don't have any problems hitting things. They have attack bonuses to spare. Taking a small penalty to hit shouldn't be an issue. If it is, then perhaps playing a melee combatant isn't the right choice for you.

Taldor

Enchanter Tom wrote:

From the perspective of melee classes (and especially fighters):

Given that all the fighter does is damage (and even then, he does it poorly),

TLDR if someone else called him out. but still....

really? fighters don't do damage? your argument is invalid.


Abraham spalding wrote:
Benly wrote:
Combat Expertise is a speed bump that serves no better purpose than to drain fun from a "skill"-type melee character's first few levels.
Are the people that say this unaware of the various ways to limit (or eliminate) the penalty from combat expertise, and to gain more bonus from it?

No, but they're aware that it's not worth doing and irrelevant to its use as a speed bump in front of unrelated combat style chains.


It would be better if it required 13 Wisdom instead of 13 Int. At least then you boost a save for investing those points.

Grand Lodge

I've had Combat Expertise since level 1, and I'm doing fine.

Oh, I also do things other than deal damage, like both tripping and disarming two opponents in a single turn, with an AoO to spare.

In fact, there was one fight where I helped keep the party alive by keeping a nasty bad guy on his back every round (-4 to hit for him, which is big when he has Rend; and -4 AC against all of us). And I was in Combat Expertise "mode" the whole time, so he needed a 20 to hit me instead of a 17.

Yeah, I'm fine with Combat Expertise.

Paizo Employee PostMonster General

18 people marked this as a favorite.

Removed some posts. Just because you can type stuff like rapey sexualized "metaphors" into the little box and hit "submit post" doesn't mean it's OK. I've also edited the thread title. Wishing violence on actual human beings is not cool here, ever.

Andoran RPG Superstar 2013 Top 16

4 people marked this as a favorite.

This one sure got flametastic fast. Must be the GIFT.

My bard in CoCT uses Combat Expertise almost all the time. I have to have a good reason to "turn it off." I also hit most of the time and very rarely get hit in return. I wonder how much CE hate is theorywank and how much is based on actual play experience.

Grand Lodge RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

Charlie Bell wrote:
I wonder how much CE hate is theorywank and how much is based on actual play experience.

You do? I sure don't. ;)


Borthos wrote:
I did actually. It's for the strategist, as I said. It's for the fighter who's not just about hitting stuff but about controlling his enemies. A fighter with this feat can still hit hard, but he has a clearer view of the battlefield and how to win. Field officers, both today and in ages past? Combat expertise to lead their troops to victory, not just head in guns blazing.

Again: you make statements, but they are not supported by anything. WHY is tripping 'for the stragegist'? Why can't it be for a dude of perfectly ordinary (not good, not bad) intelligence who spends a lot of time practicing jujutsu? You don't need to be a genius (or even of above average intelligence) to learn jujutsu.

All your stuff about 'having a clear view of the battlefield' and field officers has nothing at all to do with tripping.

Chris Buckley wrote:

Upping one's AC by 1 is essentially making it 5% harder to be hit by one's opponent, all things being equal. You're decreasing the odds that your opponent can hit you. By "all things being equal," I mean let's assume your opponent is an equal match and must roll an 11 or better to hit you without any circumstance modifiers (cover, flanking, etc.).

Essentially, under this assumption, you always have a 50% miss chance in a sense because your opponent has a 50% chance to hit you. If you added a 10% miss chance for Combat Expertise for every -1 to attack, your opponent's chance to hit would become 45% (50% chance to hit in the first place X 90% chance to not miss due to miss chance). Thus, a +1 to AC is already tantamount to a 10% miss chance per -1 attack.

The difference is that while they are equal at exactly 50% chance of hitting, a flat AC bonus becomes more valuable if that chance of hitting decreases, and a miss chance becomes more valauable if that chance of hitting increases.

Against a monster that hits only on a 16+, an AC bonus is better.
Against a monster that hits on a 6+, the miss chance is better.

Under which of these circumstances does the fighter REALLy need a defensive boost?

GatFromKI wrote:

Because it's harder to trip someone than to become invisible, to read the mind of someone or to shoot some fire beams. Tripping is hard, you know, and learning it implies many highly-conceptual theories.

If you are a fighter with 11 Int and you want to trip peoples, you should instead take some levels in wizard and cast toppling magic missiles.

Win. :)

Liam ap Thalwig wrote:

If your opponent would hit you with 11+ then CE gives exactly that.

If your opponent needs to roll higher than 11+ then CE gives even more than that: e.g if he needs a 17+ to hit you then +1 to AC gives a miss chance of 25%.
If he needs a 19+ to hit you then +1 to AC gives a miss chance of 50%.

See my response to Christopher Buckley above.

And listen to yourself..."if your opponent needs a 17+ to hit you...". Is that the circumstance where you really want/need to use Combat Expertise?

Grand Lodge

Donovan Lynch wrote:
And listen to yourself..."if your opponent needs a 17+ to hit you...". Is that the circumstance where you really want/need to use Combat Expertise?

I alluded to this upthread, but I was once facing a nasty... thing (can't remember what it's called) with claw/claw/rend plus some extra damage (like fire or something). Going toe-to-toe, he'd have needed something like a 13+ to hit me. But I kept tripping him (-4 to attacks) and using Combat Expertise (+3 AC) so that instead he needed a 20 to hit me.

Made a HUGE difference.


Donovan Lynch wrote:


Again: you make statements, but they are not supported by anything. WHY is tripping 'for the stragegist'? Why can't it be for a dude of perfectly ordinary (not good, not bad) intelligence who spends a lot of time practicing jujutsu? You don't need to be a genius (or even of above average intelligence) to learn jujutsu.

Well for one, PCs that are trained in martial arts are typically monks, who can get the trip feats without pre-reqs.

Secondly you don't need a to be a genius to use your jujiutsu skills to try and trip a guy without retaliation. But without being a very skilled one (like a monk, or someone trained at defensive fighting with combat expertise and imp trip) you are going to get in trouble trying to trip a guy wielding a sword.
The rules of a fight changes when a weapon is being drawn, and eventhough you are trained in martial arts, running away should be considered.

Cheliax Bella Sara Charter Superscriber

I don't see what the problem is. You can always just house rule it in your game if you don't like the way Combat Expertise works.


HaraldKlak wrote:
Donovan Lynch wrote:


Again: you make statements, but they are not supported by anything. WHY is tripping 'for the stragegist'? Why can't it be for a dude of perfectly ordinary (not good, not bad) intelligence who spends a lot of time practicing jujutsu? You don't need to be a genius (or even of above average intelligence) to learn jujutsu.

Well for one, PCs that are trained in martial arts are typically monks, who can get the trip feats without pre-reqs.

Secondly you don't need a to be a genius to use your jujiutsu skills to try and trip a guy without retaliation. But without being a very skilled one (like a monk, or someone trained at defensive fighting with combat expertise and imp trip) you are going to get in trouble trying to trip a guy wielding a sword.
The rules of a fight changes when a weapon is being drawn, and eventhough you are trained in martial arts, running away should be considered.

One more time: no one is arguing that tripping is a super-easy thing everyone should be able to do.

What is being argued is that a person of average (not dumb, not smart) intelligence should be able to acquire the training to do this. Basically, to learn jujutsu.

I agree, you should be very skilled. What I disagree with is that you need to be a math whiz to get the training to BECOME very skilled (i.e. take 2 feats).

And no, monks are not the only ones trained in the martial arts. Western martial arts (including swordfighting) have always included grappling and takedown moves.

Grand Lodge RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

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Donovan Lynch wrote:
What is being argued is that a person of average (not dumb, not smart) intelligence should be able to acquire the training to do this. Basically, to learn jujutsu.

Based on non-heroic NPC stat arrays, one in six Commoners has sufficient INT to qualify for Combat Expertise, before racial modifiers. Once you start adding in racial mods, the number goes up as one sixth of humans/half-humans have their +2 in INT. Additionally, fully half of Elf Commoners meet the requirement.

A human farmer could easily have Improved Trip at first level.

I'm sorry, what was your argument again?


Charlie Bell wrote:
I wonder how much CE hate is theorywank and how much is based on actual play experience.

I find myself wondering that a lot on these boards.


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Cledwyn the Steadfast wrote:

I've had Combat Expertise since level 1, and I'm doing fine.

Oh, I also do things other than deal damage, like both tripping and disarming two opponents in a single turn, with an AoO to spare.

See, the thing is that the stuff you're talking about (Improved Trip and Improved Disarm) is just fine and is interesting, but also has nothing to do with Combat Expertise and Combat Expertise itself contributes little to nothing of interest to play. You can have exciting, fun characters with Combat Expertise, but all that Combat Expertise is doing is serving as a speed bump in front of the exciting, fun combat styles you actually were building the character towards.

Grand Lodge

Benly wrote:
Cledwyn the Steadfast wrote:

I've had Combat Expertise since level 1, and I'm doing fine.

Oh, I also do things other than deal damage, like both tripping and disarming two opponents in a single turn, with an AoO to spare.

See, the thing is that the stuff you're talking about (Improved Trip and Improved Disarm) is just fine and is interesting, but also has nothing to do with Combat Expertise and Combat Expertise itself contributes little to nothing of interest to play. You can have exciting, fun characters with Combat Expertise, but all that Combat Expertise is doing is serving as a speed bump in front of the exciting, fun combat styles you actually were building the character towards.

The post of mine that you quoted was largely in reply to someone's earlier assertion that even the stuff with CE as a prereq was worthless. It wasn't meant as a defense of CE itself.

As to your own stance, I've mentioned in later posts that I actually do make use of the feat itself, not just the later feats. Sometimes my odds of hitting are high enough that I'd rather have the AC bonus. In fact, CE actually synergizes well with Improved Disarm/Trip, as I can get my maneuver bonuses much higher than my attack bonus, and I'm often aiming at a lower target number as well. Sometimes I only fail on a 1, and then only fail on a 3 or worse with CE, so I go for it.

Hence why I think an earlier poster was spot on with the "theorywank versus play experience" comment.


Abraham spalding wrote:

Because the work of tripping is more mechanical and mental than it is physical. Yes it's fairly basic martial arts, but doing it correctly requires an understanding of physiology and body mechanics that implies more intelligence than base.

Disarming even more so, while dirty tricks probably not as much.

Obviously you and the creator of Combat Expertise never took a martial arts class in their life.

I sparred with people that were dumb as bricks but they were damn good at tripping, grappling and throwing.

Grand Lodge RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

Gignere wrote:
Abraham spalding wrote:

Because the work of tripping is more mechanical and mental than it is physical. Yes it's fairly basic martial arts, but doing it correctly requires an understanding of physiology and body mechanics that implies more intelligence than base.

Disarming even more so, while dirty tricks probably not as much.

Obviously you and the creator of Combat Expertise never took a martial arts class in their life.

I sparred with people that were dumb as bricks but they were damn good at tripping, grappling and throwing.

Keep in mind, though, that Improved Grapple does not require Combat Expertise or any mental stat threshold.


Benly wrote:
Cledwyn the Steadfast wrote:

I've had Combat Expertise since level 1, and I'm doing fine.

Oh, I also do things other than deal damage, like both tripping and disarming two opponents in a single turn, with an AoO to spare.

See, the thing is that the stuff you're talking about (Improved Trip and Improved Disarm) is just fine and is interesting, but also has nothing to do with Combat Expertise and Combat Expertise itself contributes little to nothing of interest to play. You can have exciting, fun characters with Combat Expertise, but all that Combat Expertise is doing is serving as a speed bump in front of the exciting, fun combat styles you actually were building the character towards.

Or maybe he's actually using CE and flavoring it a certain way that it helps or even augments his build, *Gasp!*

@Donovan Lynch, toppling spell blows. Ask RavingDork. Loss.


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Jiggy wrote:

Based on non-heroic NPC stat arrays, one in six Commoners has sufficient INT to qualify for Combat Expertise, before racial modifiers. Once you start adding in racial mods, the number goes up as one sixth of humans/half-humans have their +2 in INT. Additionally, fully half of Elf Commoners meet the requirement.

A human farmer could easily have Improved Trip at first level.

I'm sorry, what was your argument again?

That I don't understand why a guy with 12 Int can't learn jujutsu. I still don't.

If your point was simply that "a lot of people have above average Int"...I'm really not sure what you're arguing. My question is why only those people can learn how to trip guys.

Borthos wrote:
@Donovan Lynch, toppling spell blows. Ask RavingDork. Loss.

*shrug* Haven't looked at Toppling spell. My "win" was mainly that people think you need to be a genius to stick a guisarme between somebody's legs, but someone dumber than that can learn to make fire come out of their hands. It's a bit absurd.

Cheliax

Surely learning Jujutsu is a monk thing, don't monks get to learn improve trip without the requirements?

Grand Lodge RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

ulgulanoth wrote:
Surely learning Jujutsu is a monk thing, don't monks get to learn improve trip without the requirements?

Already brought up, already ignored.

Grand Lodge RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

Donovan Lynch wrote:
My question is why only those people can learn how to trip guys.

Anyone can perform a Trip maneuver. It just takes extra know-how to do it so smoothly and seamlessly that you don't leave yourself open for even a second.

So when you say "how come it takes brains/training to trip someone?" you either aren't aware that you can perform those maneuvers without feats or you're trying to make the issue look bigger than it is. Which is it?

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