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So, when are we going to see a fix to Combat Maneuvers?


Pathfinder RPG General Discussion

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Silver Crusade

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Someone pointed this out to me yesterday from my Monk build with regards to Combat Maneuvers and the numbers for CMD's of monsters is just way too inflated. I was going to have my Monk use Disorienting Maneuver to do an Acrobatics roll, move though an enemy square, and gain a +2 to hit. Well I noticed that a good few monsters have a CMD score that isn't too bad but then you see more monsters with ridiculously high scores. You have to have a class that uses an increasingly high dex, a race that gains a plus on Acrobatics and feat investment just to pull this off against monsters with an equal CR to your level.

Now was this meant to be something that requires a heavy investment or is there a mistake with the math? If you are required to invest that heavily then I feel like there should be a bigger gain.


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The way Acrobatics is opposed by CMD has always been wonky. Since something like this won't be fixed until perhaps a Pathfinder 2nd Edition, I suggest houseruling that Acrobatics is opposed by some number that doesn't scale out of control, such as DC 10+BAB+Dex, in the style of how Intimidate and feinting work.

-Matt

Silver Crusade

Mattastrophic wrote:

The way Acrobatics is opposed by CMD has always been wonky. Since something like this won't be fixed until perhaps a Pathfinder 2nd Edition, I suggest houseruling that Acrobatics is opposed by some number that doesn't scale out of control, such as DC 10+BAB+Dex, in the style of how Intimidate and feinting work.

-Matt

That does sound like a better solution. what makes matters worse is that when you try and move through a creature's space it's the creature's CMD + 5.


It's a 'mistake' in the math. Scaled to what players are expected to have, CMD increases faster than CMB since CMD uses two attribute bonuses while CMB uses only one. It is probably just a holdover from attributes not being raised to the levels they are now in early 3.0, attribute bonuses weren't so large & feats could keep CMB up with CMD. It would be a good idea in PF2.0 to rescale combat manuvers, but because of the way PF evolved from 3.X we're stuck with it for now.


Slight correction: CMB and CMD are new to Pathfinder. 3.X had different resolution mechanisms for different maneuvers. The Acrobatics thing is also new: it used to be against a set value, becoming a given pretty quickly.

But ya, for now, using the 10+BaB+Dex thing works much better. You can also offer the option of 10+Acrobatics modifier for those creatures trained in it, much like a feint can be opposed by either 10+BaB+Wis or 10+Sense Motive. The current system can be made to work, but only by investing heavily through feats and magic items.


shallowsoul wrote:
That does sound like a better solution. what makes matters worse is that when you try and move through a creature's space it's the creature's CMD + 5.

Totally IMO, the +5 to DC for moving through a space isn't that big of a deal. It's a nontrivial DC increase for doing something you just can't do normally. Avoiding an AO for moving by someone is one thing, moving through an enemy's space is something else. So, +5 is a fine amount.

However, it's the -10 penalty for moving full-speed that's overly punishing. This is especially painful when dealing with Large-size or larger enemies, as their threatened areas (and own spaces) are much larger than with Medium-size enemies. It's also worth noting, if my memory is correct, that when using Acrobatics, if you don't have enough movement to get all the way through the other side of the enemy's space, you can't do it at all.

Consider the case of a Large-sized opponent with 10' reach. Let's say I want to use Acrobatics to get by it without suffering an AO. Even if I start off at the edge of his reach, I'm looking at spending 40' of movement to travel the four squares required to get to other side of the enemy. Even after spending a full 60' to move six squares, I'm still within 5'-then-full-attack range.

So, unless my speed is at least 40', Disorienting Maneuver just isn't going to work, unless I take a suicidal +15 to the DC. Yowch.

But a DC of 10+BAB+Dex or 10+Acrobatics before adjustments is a bit nicer. Good idea on the 10+Acrobatics call; it reminds me of the Oriental Adventures "counter-Tumbling" rules.

If that houserule won't fly, Shallowsoul, I have a couple of suggestions for your monk. Both of which involve multiclassing as a ninja, though, because they are both ninja tricks:

-Acrobatic Master, for the ability to spend 1 ki to add +20 to an Acrobatics check. Suddenly, moving at full-speed and through an enemy's space is viable.

-Vanishing Trick, in order to avoid AOs entirely. This does not solve the full-speed and through-the-space issues, but brings other benefits with it.

That being said, the 10+BAB+Dex / 10+Acrobatics houserule is probably the most elegant solution, though. I am interested in hearing from players and GMs who use that solution.

-Matt


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
cnetarian wrote:
It's a 'mistake' in the math. Scaled to what players are expected to have, CMD increases faster than CMB since CMD uses two attribute bonuses while CMB uses only one. It is probably just a holdover from attributes not being raised to the levels they are now in early 3.0, attribute bonuses weren't so large & feats could keep CMB up with CMD. It would be a good idea in PF2.0 to rescale combat manuvers, but because of the way PF evolved from 3.X we're stuck with it for now.

It has a lot to do with the size modifier then anything else. You can keep pretty close to the two stats with feats and the like, it is once the size mods get added that the difficulty starts to set in.


We're not going to see fixes because the devs aren't really interested in that as long as people keep buying their stuff.

Grand Lodge

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JrK wrote:
We're not going to see fixes because the devs aren't really interested in that as long as people keep buying their stuff.

The devs aren't all that interested because it's not reallu an issue.

10 ranks+5 stat+3 in class+6 skill focus+5 magic item = +29 acrobatics. And that is nowhere near what you raise the skill up to if you really wanted to...this is just one feat and one 2500 GP item and having a decent relivant stat. That can more then handily deal with a CR 10 critter that SS monk is having issues with.

The CMB/CMD disparity is actually a lot harder to deal with...but not as much as you would think if you make use of all the various bonuses available to you (UMD is your friend here).

The issue with lowering the CMD is that as it stands now, those who have even the basics of system mastery would utterly destroy those numbers with what is available now. As it stands now, you need just the basics for a skill or about mid levels for the CMB...but a system can't be balanced for somebody who has no idea what the hell they are doing (and it can't be balanced for people who have the system mastery of a god either). So honestly I think the CMB requires a bit more system mastery then I am happy with (but that should be adjusted by raising CMB...not lowering CMD) but for skills...yeah it's still a joke how easy it is to get skill values up there.

Silver Crusade

Cold Napalm wrote:
JrK wrote:
We're not going to see fixes because the devs aren't really interested in that as long as people keep buying their stuff.

The devs aren't all that interested because it's not reallu an issue.

10 ranks+5 stat+3 in class+6 skill focus+5 magic item = +29 acrobatics. And that is nowhere near what you raise the skill up to if you really wanted to...this is just one feat and one 2500 GP item and having a decent relivant stat. That can more then handily deal with a CR 10 critter that SS monk is having issues with.

The CMB/CMD disparity is actually a lot harder to deal with...but not as much as you would think if you make use of all the various bonuses available to you (UMD is your friend here).

The issue with lowering the CMD is that as it stands now, those who have even the basics of system mastery would utterly destroy those numbers with what is available now. As it stands now, you need just the basics for a skill or about mid levels for the CMB...but a system can't be balanced for somebody who has no idea what the hell they are doing (and it can't be balanced for people who have the system mastery of a god either). So honestly I think the CMB requires a bit more system mastery then I am happy with (but that should be adjusted by raising CMB...not lowering CMD) but for skills...yeah it's still a joke how easy it is to get skill values up there.

Look at the investment you had to make to get that +29. We all know it's possible to do it but look at what you have to put into it for such a small return.

I could see needing to do this with certain monsters because of what they are but a lot of monsters just have a high CMD almost for the hell of it.

Star Voter 2013

it is not combat maneuver issue, i do not want to open a can of worms but is more a monk issue.

Full BAB classes could have very good CMB.

Grand Lodge

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shallowsoul wrote:


Look at the investment you had to make to get that +29. We all know it's possible to do it but look at what you have to put into it for such a small return.

I could see needing to do this with certain monsters because of what they are but a lot of monsters just have a high CMD almost for the hell of it.

WHAT heavy investment? Having a +5 to a stat for something you wanna be good at by level 10 is not unreasonable. The other investments is one feat and one 2500GP item...seriously, that is too much of an investment to be good enough at acrobatics to tumble THROUGH somebody elses square with a reasonable chance of success? Oh and skill points in a skill you want to use. I'm sorry, do you wanna be able to do any and everything you want no matter how you decide to use your feats, skills and stats?

Grand Lodge

Nicos wrote:

it is not combat maneuver issue, i do not want to open a can of worms but is more a monk issue.

Full BAB classes could have very good CMB.

Not even a CMB issue as he is talking about acrobatics skill (which is even easier to deal with).

Silver Crusade

Cold Napalm wrote:
shallowsoul wrote:


Look at the investment you had to make to get that +29. We all know it's possible to do it but look at what you have to put into it for such a small return.

I could see needing to do this with certain monsters because of what they are but a lot of monsters just have a high CMD almost for the hell of it.

WHAT heavy investment? Having a +5 to a stat for something you wanna be good at by level 10 is not unreasonable. The other investments is one feat and one 2500GP item...seriously, that is too much of an investment to be good enough at acrobatics to tumble THROUGH somebody elses square with a reasonable chance of success? Oh and skill points in a skill you want to use. I'm sorry, do you wanna be able to do any and everything you want no matter how you decide to use your feats, skills and stats?

Disorienting Maneuver is another feat that is going to cost you a feat slot and you already need to be a class that relies on a high dex. 2500 gp is a lot of gold when you don't have it because you needed to spend money on something else.

Moving through an enemy's space is good but it's not all that. Needing to invest like that in order to tumble through someone's space is a bit much and needing to invest further to get a +2 to attack rolls until the beginning of your next turn is even more. Now if it was a +2 until the "end" of your next turn then it may be worth it because a monk could tumble in, land a Stunning Fist, then on his next turn throw a flurry at +2 to attack.

Grand Lodge

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shallowsoul wrote:


Disorienting Maneuver is another feat that is going to cost you a feat slot and you already need to be a class that relies on a high dex. 2500 gp is a lot of gold when you don't have it because you needed to spend money on something else.

Moving through an enemy's space is good but it's not all that. Needing to invest like that in order to tumble through someone's space is a bit much and needing to invest further to get a +2 to attack rolls until the beginning of your next turn is even more. Now if it was a +2 until the "end" of your next turn then it may be worth it because a monk could tumble in, land a Stunning Fist, then on his next turn throw a flurry at +2 to attack.

None of that is an issue with acrobatics or the CMD system...that is an issue with YOU AND YOUR MONK. The system should not be adjusted for YOU AND YOUR MONK. Here's a great idea...lets see the acrobatics vs CMD system works...so the issue is the monk...hey could it possible be that all of us who kept pointing out how the monk class doesn't work was right and we should maybe...jusy MAYBE fix the monk class instead of every single other system in the game instead of the monk? Doesn;t working on one class sound more reasonable then the ENTIRE BLOODY SYSTEM?


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See that's what I mean. Why cater to the client base who wants fixes when you can cater to the client base who will defend your product no matter the actual problems.

Grand Lodge

JrK wrote:
See that's what I mean. Why cater to the client base who wants fixes when you can cater to the client base who will defend your product no matter the actual problems.

Because in this case, the issue isn't the CMD...it's actually the monk. And the issue with the CMB vs CMD...once again, the issue isn't the CMD...it's the CMB. They should have honestly added dex to CMB as well as str. Not that it has anything to do with what SS is having a problem with.


JrK wrote:


See that's what I mean. Why cater to the client base who wants fixes when you can cater to the client base who will defend your product no matter the actual problems.

Because, apparently, most of their client base doesn't find it an issue. Or a significant enough issue to require a "fix". Rule 0 is the solution if you, as GM, think their is a problem. I don't use the system myself, I houseruled / homebrewed my own. I don't expect them to fix everything in the game to my complete satisfaction. *shrug* But hey, to each their own.

*edit* I do peruse threads about it, obviously, to keep up on issues / proposed fixes on the theory that at some point I may switch to it.


Cold Napalm wrote:
Because in this case, the issue isn't the CMD...it's actually the monk. And the issue with the CMB vs CMD...once again, the issue isn't the CMD...it's the CMB. They should have honestly added dex to CMB as well as str. Not that it has anything to do with what SS is having a problem with.

To be fair, it isn't just the Monk that has this issue. Rogues probably have it even worse, given their lack of a speed bonus and greater reliance on flanking. As does any other character who wants to make use of Acrobatics for this purpose, such as a support Bard. While magic items and Skill Focus can provide a bandage for the problem, the issue of CMD advancing faster than Acrobatics. While I do not agree with JrK's negative statements, especially his assumption that the developers in any way care more about selling product that making a good game, that does not mean that an issue does not exist here. It is even something that is more fixable than some other issues, given that only a mechanics change in the target DC is needed, rather than changes in a wide range of abilities.

R_Chance wrote:
Because, apparently, most of their client base doesn't find it an issue. Or a significant enough issue to require a "fix". Rule 0 is the solution if you, as GM, think their is a problem.

I do not think it is apparent at all that the developers do not find this to be a problem, nor that their client base does not find it an issue. Rather, they I would say they are hesitant to make substantial changes to the system for fear of disturbing back compatibility and created issues with their previous published products. Asking for errata (even in an overly direct fashion like this thread) still serves the purpose of bringing attention to the issue to the developers, who may or may not act upon it (either in this edition or in Pathfinder v1.5).

Essentially any problem can be solved with the invocation of Rule 0, and saying that there is not a problem because one can invoke it does not hold water. Just because one can fix the issue oneself does not mean it does not exist, any more than a flaw in an engine design that can be fixed at home means the engine is fine. Likewise, it may not be worthwhile for the company to "rework their production line" and fix the issue, but that does not mean it is unimportant. While we can argue about the extent of the problem and the necessity of a fix, saying "Rule 0" doesn't really matter one way or the other.


Mort the Cleverly Named wrote:


R_Chance wrote:


Because, apparently, most of their client base doesn't find it an issue. Or a significant enough issue to require a "fix". Rule 0 is the solution if you, as GM, think their is a problem.

I do not think it is apparent at all that the developers do not find this to be a problem, nor that their client base does not find it an issue. Rather, they I would say they are hesitant to make substantial changes to the system for fear of disturbing back compatibility and created issues with their previous published products. Asking for errata (even in an overly direct fashion like this thread) still serves the purpose of bringing attention to the issue to the developers, who may or may not act upon it (either in this edition or in Pathfinder v1.5).

Essentially any problem can be solved with the invocation of Rule 0, and saying that there is not a problem because one can invoke it does not hold water. Just because one can fix the issue oneself does not mean it does not exist, any more than a flaw in an engine design that can be fixed at home means the engine is fine. Likewise, it may not be worthwhile for the company to "rework their production line" and fix the issue, but that does not mean it is unimportant. While we can argue about the extent of the problem and the necessity of a fix, saying "Rule 0" doesn't really matter one way or the other.

So, what you're saying is, for a variety of reasons, they don't find it a significant enough problem to "fix". They are messing with stealth, so obviously at some point, they will do "fixes" that mess with things. Not there, yet anyway, for CMB / CMD. Judging by past threads, I think they are aware that some people have issues with various aspects of CMB / CMD. Me for instance.

And yes, any problem the individual DM / GM has can be fixed with Rule 0. As likely as not this is the only fix this will recieve any time in the near future. Discussing it in the Homebrew / House Rules section, the living breathing home of Rule 0, is quite reasonable. We're not in that section Toto. Er, Mort. So the suggestion of doing it via Homebrew (and talking about it) seems pertinent. In short, while I probably agree with you, I think pointing out Rule 0 to someoen (JrK) is useful.

My post was in reply to the aptly pseudonymed "JrK" btw on the off chance that they were being serious. The OP seems to have realized that Houseruling it was the obvious, short term, fix already.

*edit* Apologies if I'm coming off as flipant / dismissive. 15 hours at work Friday, a nice new cold, cold medicine, and piles of papers to grade have that effect on me.

Silver Crusade

It's called the Oberoni Fallacy.


R_Chance wrote:
So, what you're saying is, for a variety of reasons, they don't find it a significant enough problem to "fix". They are messing with stealth, so obviously at some point, they will do "fixes" that mess with things. Not there, yet anyway, for CMB / CMD. Judging by past threads, I think they are aware that some people have issues with various aspects of CMB / CMD. Me for instance.

I think the Stealth semi-playtest was a one time thing. According to James Jacobs there are no plans to officially implement it, and he personally considered the blog-playtest experiment to be a failure. Not getting CMB/CMD in the same way doesn't mean they don't think there are sufficient issues to deal with, but rather that they decided that form of playtesting did not work for them and decided not to repeat it.

R_Chance wrote:
So the suggestion of doing it via Homebrew (and talking about it) seems pertinent. In short, while I probably agree with you, I think pointing out Rule 0 to someoen (JrK) is useful.

I think I just took your tone wrong. I thought you meant "it is a not a problem because people can homebrew it" rather than you "they do not find it a sufficiently important problem, so you can homebrew it." My bad.

R_Chance wrote:
*edit* Apologies if I'm coming off as flipant / dismissive. 15 hours at work Friday, a nice new cold, cold medicine, and piles of papers to grade have that effect on me.

Ugh. I understand, and have threatened the life of more than one roommate because of grading related stress. All is understood.


shallowsoul wrote:


It's called the Oberoni Fallacy.

That assumes you accept the opinion of a poster on the Wizards' boards (Oberoni) that it is a fallacy :) Personally, I think pretty much everything everything is flawed to a greater or lesser extent and perfection is an illusion. Imperfection is pretty much the state of things. The real question is, practically speaking, can you live with it, and, if not, how and when it can be (or will be) "fixed". To the extent it can be. Rule 0 is good for the quick, local fix. The other option being to wait, and wait... and so on.


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shallowsoul wrote:

Someone pointed this out to me yesterday from my Monk build with regards to Combat Maneuvers and the numbers for CMD's of monsters is just way too inflated. I was going to have my Monk use Disorienting Maneuver to do an Acrobatics roll, move though an enemy square, and gain a +2 to hit. Well I noticed that a good few monsters have a CMD score that isn't too bad but then you see more monsters with ridiculously high scores. You have to have a class that uses an increasingly high dex, a race that gains a plus on Acrobatics and feat investment just to pull this off against monsters with an equal CR to your level.

Now was this meant to be something that requires a heavy investment or is there a mistake with the math? If you are required to invest that heavily then I feel like there should be a bigger gain.

It has already been fixed, strangely enough before pathfinder.

CMs in 3.5 worked. If you took the feats, you got the +4, you were actually good at them, and the numbers for the checks were pretty low (so +4 was good sauce).

I've tried doing it pathfinders way, ended up going back to 3.5 and it is smooth sailing.

You can take the 3.5 Cm rules, some 3.5 feats and mix it to pf classes and the more general pf ruleset. It is no trouble.


Acrobatics does seem to have a tough time with CMD's. Of course I have also not tried it for a long time. I think the question is how much effort should be needed to bypass CMD on a consistent basis.

Grand Lodge

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Mort the Cleverly Named wrote:
To be fair, it isn't just the Monk that has this issue. Rogues probably have it even worse, given their lack of a speed bonus and greater reliance on flanking. As does any other character who wants to make use of Acrobatics for this purpose, such as a support Bard. While magic items and Skill Focus can provide a bandage for the problem, the issue of CMD advancing faster than Acrobatics. While I do not agree with JrK's negative statements, especially his assumption that the developers in any way care more about selling product that making a good game, that does not mean that an issue does not exist here. It is even something that is more fixable than some other issues, given that only a mechanics change in the target DC is needed, rather than changes in a wide range of abilities.

Are you kidding me? My rogue had +38 acrobatics at level 13 at the end of council of thieves. Even with the -10 for normal speed, I am looking at +28 acrobatics. And this was with just skill focus. With a trait, racial and acrobatic feat, that would be +35 (and there is STILL room for more). +35 to move at normal speed means I can bypass the horned devil on a 9 or better...that is something 3 CR above mt level. This becomes a none fail if I move at half speed...which isn't a big deal if your under the effects of haste or exp retreat. Seriously, I mean seriously, if you can't get a skill to outpace CMD, you really lack even the BASIC system mastery.

Grand Lodge

I've played a group that had a monk up through level 17. Without getting all number crunchy and stuff, I can attest to the fact that ya can get some pretty high CMB's with the right investments (and they aren't that expensive). Clearly, this is a deal of "If you want to cross the bridge you're going to have to pay the toll." Obviously if the campaign being played is very tight with gold, or only allows characters very limited access to magic items, it can be significantly harder than it was meant to be. YMMV.


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#1 You must be new to the party. The whole Combat Maneuver thing IS an improvement. If you haven't played 3.5, perhaps now is the time to be locked in a closet and forced to grapple all day under that system.

#2 That your personal build has run up against some monsters against which it is not 100% guaranteed effective is called "challenge," not "broken."

But I suppose if people have begun tearing everything down and reconstructing whatever we want anytime we are dissatisfied, then now is the time for me to turn in my official list of complaints about what is wrong with the world.

I expect an answer as to when it will all be fixed, written in the OP's hand, in triplicate, in my mailbox by Tuesday morning.


Cold Napalm wrote:
Mort the Cleverly Named wrote:
To be fair, it isn't just the Monk that has this issue. Rogues probably have it even worse, given their lack of a speed bonus and greater reliance on flanking. As does any other character who wants to make use of Acrobatics for this purpose, such as a support Bard. While magic items and Skill Focus can provide a bandage for the problem, the issue of CMD advancing faster than Acrobatics. While I do not agree with JrK's negative statements, especially his assumption that the developers in any way care more about selling product that making a good game, that does not mean that an issue does not exist here. It is even something that is more fixable than some other issues, given that only a mechanics change in the target DC is needed, rather than changes in a wide range of abilities.
Are you kidding me? My rogue had +38 acrobatics at level 13 at the end of council of thieves. Even with the -10 for normal speed, I am looking at +28 acrobatics. And this was with just skill focus. With a trait, racial and acrobatic feat, that would be +35 (and there is STILL room for more). +35 to move at normal speed means I can bypass the horned devil on a 9 or better...that is something 3 CR above mt level. This becomes a none fail if I move at half speed...which isn't a big deal if your under the effects of haste or exp retreat. Seriously, I mean seriously, if you can't get a skill to outpace CMD, you really lack even the BASIC system mastery.

How did yo do that?

13 level
+3 class skill
+6 dex mod<--can probably get higher than this at level 13 in many games.
+10 skill focus
+1 normal trait.
+2 MW item to boost acrobatics.

35=ok, never mind

The storm giant with a CMD of 42 is the only one with a high CMD, which is about 8 higher than the others.


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I never have a problem doing acro with my bard.

Dance 7 ranks: +7
Trained: +3
Cha: +4
Boots: +5
Circlet of Persuasion: +3
Good Hope: +2

Total: +24 @ lv7

Good times. And yes, I cast Good Hope in virtually every relevant combat. Too good a buff to not cast, when the sorcerer already covers haste. Never even intended to get good at Acro. All of the items were found in-game, and I took Versatile Performance: Dance because it had suited the image of my character. When I tallied everything and soared far over the head of the Ninja/Monk, I was kinda surprised. So was the GM when he called "Acro DC25" and I replied "Don't need to roll. Cannot fail."

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32 , Dedicated Voter 2013, Star Voter 2014, Star Voter 2015

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In 3.5, we had a grapple-happy goliath monk, and we eventually got the rules for grappling mastered. He also mastered grappling, since he had +4 from his size modifier and +4 for his Improved Grapple feat.

But the Pathfinder rules are a lot easier to run.

Scarab Sages

Since its apparently a dirty word anymore, I have an Onk-may build that relies on mobility, panther style, and fast movement to get around the battlefield and generally make a complete nuisance of myself for the bad guys.

Between hitting back with AoO and the ripostes I get from Panther Style and purposely generating an AoO by moving through enemy squares, its all gravy baby.

I use a pretty stupid high Acrobatics skill to avoid being hit by things I either can't hurt or could hurt me too bad to take the hit.

Between the extra AC from mobility, and ki-defense, so far through lvl 7, other than a nat 20 very very few things have touched me.

I set up flanks, charges, trip/grapple and essentially play as a walking buff for my comrades.

Its fun, easy, and stunningly effective.

But then, I'm one of those guys that doesn't think the Onk-may is broken, and enjoy playing the game.

I must be doing it wrong.

Star Voter 2013, Star Voter 2015

Bruunwald wrote:

#1 You must be new to the party. The whole Combat Maneuver thing IS an improvement. If you haven't played 3.5, perhaps now is the time to be locked in a closet and forced to grapple all day under that system.

#2 That your personal build has run up against some monsters against which it is not 100% guaranteed effective is called "challenge," not "broken."

But I suppose if people have begun tearing everything down and reconstructing whatever we want anytime we are dissatisfied, then now is the time for me to turn in my official list of complaints about what is wrong with the world.

I expect an answer as to when it will all be fixed, written in the OP's hand, in triplicate, in my mailbox by Tuesday morning.

+1!


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SmiloDan wrote:

In 3.5, we had a grapple-happy goliath monk, and we eventually got the rules for grappling mastered. He also mastered grappling, since he had +4 from his size modifier and +4 for his Improved Grapple feat.

But the Pathfinder rules are a lot easier to run.

The 3.5 grapple section is awfully written. When you edit it/break it down (as I have had to do, for a player that insisted it was incomprehensible), it is with the improved grapple feat simply: touch attack, yes? If so move on. Make the opposed checks with all multipliers, if a success, they are grappled. In future rounds they can try to take them to pinned, and there are a few other options, they can also keep inflicting damage, or attack with light weapons on -4 (as can the target being grappled). As the rounds go on, the hold will have to be defended against, again, use the opposed checks to determine how it goes.

I did this with all combat manoeuvres, I got them all on one page, when you cut through the bull and poor wording.

Having done some juijitsu, 3.5 grapple always made sense to me. You must get a hold (touch) to start a grapple. I explained this to a player through a demonstration (judo drills begin with both targets holding eachother, so that martial art often goes past the first step). Sometimes your grabs are pushed off, or you don't get control/you get hit (which is discouraging). When you do have them, you steadily work that advantage, move into a better position (pinned, take them prone) and keep inflicting what damage you can. Wrestling/jui is often slow, with a lot of back and forth, but a fine grappler can shut down an opponent less skilled in grappling, it just takes some time. Less swing a greatsword and more you try to knock them out with a headlock, as they resist and try not to pass out (slowly their hp ebbs away).

Dedicated Voter 2013, Star Voter 2014

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

This is not a problem. Skill-based bonuses are readily increasable making the acrobatics check vs CMD generally succeed (usually automatically).

CMB vs CMD is not an issue either - there are just so many ways with which to increase your CMB.

Level 10 full-BAB class specializing in disarming:
Bonus to attack: 17 (10bab + 5strength + 1weaponfocus + 1magicweapon)
Bonus to disarm: 29 [ooc]10bab + 5strength + 1weaponfocus + 1magicweapon + 2disarming-weapon-quality + 2dueling(magic)weapon + 2gauntlets-of-the-skilled-maneuver + 2resonating-dusty-rose-prism + 2improved-disarm + 2greater-disarm

Increase both attack and disarm by +2 if it is a character with Improved Unarmed Strike that can make use of a brawling armor.

Dark Archive

I don't think I am playing the same game as some of you... We do a 20 point buy in for most our games and CMD's are ridiculously easy. If you have to want to specialize in something (feats intensive) it is hard to fail.

Silver Crusade

wraithstrike wrote:
Cold Napalm wrote:
Mort the Cleverly Named wrote:
To be fair, it isn't just the Monk that has this issue. Rogues probably have it even worse, given their lack of a speed bonus and greater reliance on flanking. As does any other character who wants to make use of Acrobatics for this purpose, such as a support Bard. While magic items and Skill Focus can provide a bandage for the problem, the issue of CMD advancing faster than Acrobatics. While I do not agree with JrK's negative statements, especially his assumption that the developers in any way care more about selling product that making a good game, that does not mean that an issue does not exist here. It is even something that is more fixable than some other issues, given that only a mechanics change in the target DC is needed, rather than changes in a wide range of abilities.
Are you kidding me? My rogue had +38 acrobatics at level 13 at the end of council of thieves. Even with the -10 for normal speed, I am looking at +28 acrobatics. And this was with just skill focus. With a trait, racial and acrobatic feat, that would be +35 (and there is STILL room for more). +35 to move at normal speed means I can bypass the horned devil on a 9 or better...that is something 3 CR above mt level. This becomes a none fail if I move at half speed...which isn't a big deal if your under the effects of haste or exp retreat. Seriously, I mean seriously, if you can't get a skill to outpace CMD, you really lack even the BASIC system mastery.

How did yo do that?

13 level
+3 class skill
+6 dex mod<--can probably get higher than this at level 13 in many games.
+10 skill focus
+1 normal trait.
+2 MW item to boost acrobatics.

35=ok, never mind

The storm giant with a CMD of 42 is the only one with a high CMD, which is about 8 higher than the others.

Skill Focus is only a +6.

Silver Crusade

I think some of you are really missing the point here.

It's not about getting the skill that high, we all know it can be done and it doesn't take system mastery at all to do it. Just skim through the books and you will find what you need.

It's about the investment for such a small gain. Grapple is a different story because that can lead to the encounter ending quickly but just tumbling through a creatures shouldn't require so much of an investment.

Silver Crusade

Also, instead of just throwing up a partial build with really high skill totals, how about throw up the rest of that build so we can have a look at it.


Increased investment to continue to remain relevant at higher levels is a natural part of the game. You might as well be complaining that you need feats, additional class abilities, and magic items to maintain good chances of hitting as your levels rise. That is effectively what this is.

Acrobatics used in this way is outright denying your foe the option to take an Attack of Opportunity for something that is normally expected to be punished in the rules. Even at half speed is entirely possible to completely escape all but the largest of creatures' reaches and that's before you consider things like double-move. Everyone else in the game has to use the far, far more limited Withdraw action (and you can even use Acrobatics as part of a withdraw.

That means with a single skill check you are not simply doing something that affects your character, but are denying your opponent a natural combat right (smacking you for moving around in their threatened areas). And you complain that at high levels it becomes more difficult without investment in your ability score, some cheap items, and/or possibly feats.

Well boo-hoo. People have already shown that without excessive specialization it's not hard to have numbers that easily deal with most over-APL opponents' CMD. With overspecialization it could become trivial. And if moderate specialization is already fine and you make it easy to do with little more than a few skill points and an unimpressive Dexterity, then moderate specialization renders it trivial and everyone does it.

One of the problems with Tumble in 3.5 was simple. The DC didn't change except based on environmental conditions. The DC was also 15, which allowed about a 55% chance for someone with a +1 dex and +4 from skills to succeed at 1st level. Of course, because this DC didn't scale, it became incredibly trivial (if you put 1 rank / level, you get 60%, 65%, 70%, 75%, 80%, 85%, 90%, 95%, 100%, etc). With virtually no specialization at all a little investment in Tumble meant never provoking again.

They fixed this in Pathfinder. It's still easy to do at low levels, and gets easier just as fast relative to 1st level. The catch is dealing with enemies that are a higher level is more difficult. No longer is it just a DC 15 to tell the giant that his reach, combat skill and so forth doesn't matter. Now you might actually need to think as to if you will succeed. This is a good thing.

As your level rises, the % chance of overcoming enemies you were fighting before becomes significantly easier. By 6th level you may be quite able to completely avoid AoOs by mooks without heavy investment (6 ranks, +3 class skill, +2 Dexterity = +11 before items or buffs). However, pointing and laughing at a skilled opponent more appropriate for your level will be harder, and you will find yourself back to those same swingy chances.

Now as it gets to be a higher level, it requires more investment to stay relevant vs higher level foes. This is the way the game works. This is the way the game has always worked, and should continue to work, because if you did not need to improve anything beyond your level, then improving anything beyond your level returns it to triviality.

What if enemy AC didn't scale and become significantly harder as levels rose? Your base attack bonus continued to rise at 1 per level, 3/4 per level, or even 1/2 per level, but AC didn't increase. It would not take long before even wizards with paltry stats were kung-fu fighting and beating up all the badguys with their sticks. Imagine yet again, that AC did rise but only as fast as BAB (so let's say AC typically goes up by +3/4 per level). This might give the same % chance relative to their foes hitting them, but then ability scores rise, magic weapons are used, someone invests in weapon focus, or someone casts a buff. Suddenly AC is trivial again.

And yet, while there are a few people who seem to utterly detest that you might need a magic weapon to deal with supernatural nightmares, or may need to continue investing in your capabilities and options to deal with greater threats (often complaining that PCs are expected to have magic items), it seems that the majority of us are pretty willing to accept that investing in something to deal with even greater challenges is not only acceptable but expected.

Now let's return to Acrobatics for a moment. Acrobatics to avoid an AoO is effectively a form of combat skill. Much like a combat maneuver. I don't see Fighters, Rangers, and so forth complaining that they need to have magic swords, or invest feats into fighting to get the most out of their fighting (even as a class that excels in fighting). I don't see how it is unfair to expect the same to have to be done to get the most out of Acrobatics; especially since Acrobatics effectively can be used against anything (whereas most combat maneuvers only work on a tiny subset of creatures) and stacks it in your favor (you can get +1 Acrobatics per level, +2 stat, a "free" +3 if it's a class skil, skill focus provides a +3 then later +6 more, which is less than the investment of a feat like "Improved Disarm" and provides a larger benefit against a wider range of foes, and is cheap to improve with +2 for a 50 gp mwk tool, and bonuses to skills via magic items being 100 gp * bonus squared).

I'll be blunt. You sound like your whining and have an unfair sense of entitlement. Just because your monk sucks does not mean that the system should be re-written to accomodate you and your sucky monk. Especially when you won't even invest less than most people do to be even mildly competent.

Anyway, going to get breakfast now. Toodles.

Silver Crusade

Ashiel wrote:

Increased investment to continue to remain relevant at higher levels is a natural part of the game. You might as well be complaining that you need feats, additional class abilities, and magic items to maintain good chances of hitting as your levels rise. That is effectively what this is.

Acrobatics used in this way is outright denying your foe the option to take an Attack of Opportunity for something that is normally expected to be punished in the rules. Even at half speed is entirely possible to completely escape all but the largest of creatures' reaches and that's before you consider things like double-move. Everyone else in the game has to use the far, far more limited Withdraw action (and you can even use Acrobatics as part of a withdraw.

That means with a single skill check you are not simply doing something that affects your character, but are denying your opponent a natural combat right (smacking you for moving around in their threatened areas). And you complain that at high levels it becomes more difficult without investment in your ability score, some cheap items, and/or possibly feats.

Well boo-hoo. People have already shown that without excessive specialization it's not hard to have numbers that easily deal with most over-APL opponents' CMD. With overspecialization it could become trivial. And if moderate specialization is already fine and you make it easy to do with little more than a few skill points and an unimpressive Dexterity, then moderate specialization renders it trivial and everyone does it.

One of the problems with Tumble in 3.5 was simple. The DC didn't change except based on environmental conditions. The DC was also 15, which allowed about a 55% chance for someone with a +1 dex and +4 from skills to succeed at 1st level. Of course, because this DC didn't scale, it became incredibly trivial (if you put 1 rank / level, you get 60%, 65%, 70%, 75%, 80%, 85%, 90%, 95%, 100%, etc). With virtually no specialization at all a little investment in Tumble meant never provoking again....

That's great and all but let's see some builds.

I'm not talking about builds set specifically to do this which is not the problem. Builds that allow you to do this and still be able to do other things relatively well.


Um...shouldn't some opponents be immune to CMBs, just as undead are immune to mind affecting effects? If one runs into that kind of opponent, one does something else. This falls under the auspices of "pure Trip builds run out of gas."

Silver Crusade

Axolotl wrote:
Um...shouldn't some opponents be immune to CMBs, just as undead are immune to mind affecting effects? If one runs into that kind of opponent, one does something else. This falls under the auspices of "pure Trip builds run out of gas."

I do agree with that to a certain extent.


shallowsoul wrote:
wraithstrike wrote:
Cold Napalm wrote:
Mort the Cleverly Named wrote:
To be fair, it isn't just the Monk that has this issue. Rogues probably have it even worse, given their lack of a speed bonus and greater reliance on flanking. As does any other character who wants to make use of Acrobatics for this purpose, such as a support Bard. While magic items and Skill Focus can provide a bandage for the problem, the issue of CMD advancing faster than Acrobatics. While I do not agree with JrK's negative statements, especially his assumption that the developers in any way care more about selling product that making a good game, that does not mean that an issue does not exist here. It is even something that is more fixable than some other issues, given that only a mechanics change in the target DC is needed, rather than changes in a wide range of abilities.
Are you kidding me? My rogue had +38 acrobatics at level 13 at the end of council of thieves. Even with the -10 for normal speed, I am looking at +28 acrobatics. And this was with just skill focus. With a trait, racial and acrobatic feat, that would be +35 (and there is STILL room for more). +35 to move at normal speed means I can bypass the horned devil on a 9 or better...that is something 3 CR above mt level. This becomes a none fail if I move at half speed...which isn't a big deal if your under the effects of haste or exp retreat. Seriously, I mean seriously, if you can't get a skill to outpace CMD, you really lack even the BASIC system mastery.

How did yo do that?

13 level
+3 class skill
+6 dex mod<--can probably get higher than this at level 13 in many games.
+10 skill focus
+1 normal trait.
+2 MW item to boost acrobatics.

35=ok, never mind

The storm giant with a CMD of 42 is the only one with a high CMD, which is about 8 higher than the others.

Skill Focus is only a +6.

Good catch, but I am still at 31, and I can still make it higher. That was off the top of my head before I go and find other methods to make it higher.

I am aware I will have to account for ACP later on, but I can make that really small also with mithral armor.


shallowsoul wrote:

I think some of you are really missing the point here.

It's not about getting the skill that high, we all know it can be done and it doesn't take system mastery at all to do it. Just skim through the books and you will find what you need.

It's about the investment for such a small gain. Grapple is a different story because that can lead to the encounter ending quickly but just tumbling through a creatures shouldn't require so much of an investment.

I made that point earlier when I asked how much should one have to invest, but one thing about the game is that if you want to be really good at something you have to continually invest it in.

edit:ninja'd by Ashiel


cnetarian wrote:
It's a 'mistake' in the math. Scaled to what players are expected to have, CMD increases faster than CMB since CMD uses two attribute bonuses while CMB uses only one. It is probably just a holdover from attributes not being raised to the levels they are now in early 3.0, attribute bonuses weren't so large & feats could keep CMB up with CMD. It would be a good idea in PF2.0 to rescale combat manuvers, but because of the way PF evolved from 3.X we're stuck with it for now.

To make it worse, enemy size and base stats often scale with level. A huge portion of the monsters 10+ are large and many monsters reach sizes, strengths and dexes a player can't reasonably match(Huge Boss with 38 strength and 16 dex for example)


shallowsoul wrote:
Also, instead of just throwing up a partial build with really high skill totals, how about throw up the rest of that build so we can have a look at it.

All I have to do is use a weapon focus_ agile weapon build or an archery build.

The only feat I mentioned was skill focus, boosting dex as my main stat is not hard at all.

Is there a reason you think the build would not be possible?


shallowsoul wrote:

I think some of you are really missing the point here.

It's not about getting the skill that high, we all know it can be done and it doesn't take system mastery at all to do it. Just skim through the books and you will find what you need.

It's about the investment for such a small gain. Grapple is a different story because that can lead to the encounter ending quickly but just tumbling through a creatures shouldn't require so much of an investment.

I don't consider it a small gain. On a rogue it allows for more manueverability when trying to flank or simply ruin past an enemy entirely. I think the issue is you are only thinking of it in terms of a +2 attack bonus.

Silver Crusade

wraithstrike wrote:
shallowsoul wrote:
Also, instead of just throwing up a partial build with really high skill totals, how about throw up the rest of that build so we can have a look at it.

All I have to do is use a weapon focus_ agile weapon build or an archery build.

The only feat I mentioned was skill focus, boosting dex as my main stat is not hard at all.

Is there a reason you think the build would not be possible?

I'm assuming you are going to be using the fighter as the class because of all the bonus feats you get?

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