Orich Starkhart's page

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The "poor" save progression is 1/3 level. Why not start there for everyone? I suppose the answer is because spell DC increases by one for each spell level, which is 1/2 caster level.

Dragonchess - I see that two levels each of fighter and barbarian add up to +6 Fort; how is that "in place of" +2 Ref +1 Will? As I see it, four previous levels of Ranger instead of 2 Fighter and 2 Barbarian bring +4 Fort +4 ref +1 Will, so the character who took the two dips lost +4 Ref and +1 Will in exchange for a gain of +2 Fort.

It is incongruous that switching for 2 levels from one class with a good progression in a certain save to another with a good progression in the same save allows one to have a 5% higher bonus for that save than would have staying in the first class. Seems like an unintended motivator for multiclassing provided by the initial +2 for "good" saves. Without that +2 modifier, the difference in Fort saves between a 2 level Fighter plus 2 level Barbarian versus four level Ranger disappears.

Maybe the convention of starting "good" saves with +2 upon entry to the class as well as advancing at +1/2 levels is too generous.
What if level 1 of any class had +0 for everything (saves, Bab, Ac, damage), and the character won bonuses only upon leveling up?

I suppose we might rationalize the RAW assume a level 0 that we don't play, and martial characters get +1 Bab for making it to level 1. Perhaps the game should tax multiclassing and thereby even things out by requiring one level of level 0 play in the new class. (so the Barbarian 2/Fighter 2/Ranger 1, playing as Barbarian 2/Fighter 2/Ranger 1 has gone through at least two level 0 levels ( Barbarian 2/Fighter 0, and later Barbarian 2/Fighter 2/Ranger 0). In this system, if the player had initially chosen and stayed with Ranger, the single classed character would be in level 7, saves +5/+5/+2, Bab +7/+2 when the multiclassed one reached fighter 2/Barbarian 2/Ranger 1 with saves +6/+2/+0 and Bab +5, while RAW would have the single-classed character at Ranger level 5, saves +4/+4/+1, Bab +5.

The factors affecting players' decisions will differ between the daily pool and pre-round forfeiture mechanic. I imagine with a pool the character's decision-making is around whether to risk using the resource now or save it for possible future need, akin to caster's decisions about using their spells, even with the potential of some replenishment without rest. The forfeiture mechanic makes for decision-making purely with respect to the current encounter, round-by-round. I imagine that for many possible encounters the player may deem the bonus safely expendable.

A further thought related to the idea of increasing damage or damage dice proportional to "margin of success": under Armor as DR, STR bonus "to hit" doesn't help the fighter to the extent it can in the conventional AC system against armored (worn or natural) opponents, because the fighter successfully hits with lower scores, but allowing damage to increase with margin of success of a hit restores some of the help.
Example: Sven needed a 16 to hit the guard in chainmail in the AC system; his total was 20 including his strength bonus(3), then he rolls d8, + 3 for his strength, for 8 damage. In the Armor as DR system Sven needs only a 10 to hit the same guard, but his 8 damage would be reduced to 2 by the Armor's DR. With the suggestion of accounting for the level of success, With his 20 total attack, Sven gets additional dice to roll or some additional points of damage: and all bonuses to hit still matter due to the increased possible damage.

LadyBriar wrote:
@Orich Starkhart - Can you explain "margin of success bonus"?

I mean a bonus to damage keyed on the "success" of the hit - the amount by which the attack exceeded the value needed to hit.

A pretty straightforward way to do this is add the difference between the successful attack and the defender's AC to damage dealt. If your paladin attacking an AC 12 defender achieves 18, that's +6 damage.

An idea I've considered exploring is one multiple of weapon damage dice for every five points or so by which the attack exceeds the value needed to hit. If your paladin attacks an AC 12 creature: for an attack total of 12-16, damage is 1d8+2; 17-21 makes 2d8+2; 22-26 makes 3d8+2, and so on.

I haven't played with this suggestion; at the moment it's just an intellectual exercise.

I think wounds and vigor and armor as DR complement one-another. You might consider adding a margin of success bonus to damage, which will help breaking through DR, as will allowing different damage types to get bonuses or penalties versus armor type. e.g, heavy crossbow (piercing)gets +something against plate armor, or plate armor has less DR against piercing damage such as that from Heavy crossbow than against slashing damage such as from a scimitar.

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Rainzax -
Thoughts on your examples for alternate Bravery helping all saves:

  • for the example reflex case, the reflex save against Dragon's breath allows the character to take half damage. Your "pressing on against the heat" need not depend upon a successful save reducing damage; the fighter's relatively large hit point reservoir (compared to non-martial classes) already reflects his ability to "press on".
  • your description of Bravery providing mental armor suggests that classes with the Bravery ability should have "good" will saves. I believe that the Will save should be better for Fighter, and probably Samurai and Cavalier than for, say, Rogues and Alchemists, but not due to innate bravery, rather because I believe mental discipline is an element of and a consequence of successful rigorous military training.

Question about alternate 3 - that single save to which the fighter can choose to apply a morale bonus - is that *any* save? and is this a per encounter, hour, day, ability?

I appreciate the simplicity of alternative 3, and its directness - the character gets the "good" save progression against fear effects for its levels of Fighter.

regarding alternative 2 - I find the pool mechanic satisfying. I'd suggest recovering a point of bravery for any natural 20 on a save, not only Fortitude ones. I like the pool rather better than the bonus forfeiture of alternative 4. Not sure why - maybe it seems less meta-gamey?

You asked specifically for preferences between 2 and 3, and that I'm on the fence about - I like each for different reasons.

I think alternate 4 loses some flavor, since it applies to *all* saves, and the level-connected abilities (is there a general term or phrase for the additional 6th/10th/14th/18th level abilities?) help across the board. You did characterize the initial and scaling bonus to saves as a "morale" bonus, which somehow fits with my sense of the class, but recognizing this alternate applies to all sorts of perils leads to the conclusion that the name "Bravery" name doesn't fit for the proposed ability: for example, improving a reflex save against some affect seems more about agility than bravery; likewise ability to resist a charm or dominate is also independent of individual courage.

Bravery in our world is about action in the face of fear. Or maybe, seeming absence of fear. I endorse strengthening the Bravery ability in the Pathfinder Fighter class, but I'm reluctant to support diluting its flavor from the start in the name of strengthening the class. I also believe Fighters do deserve a special specific resistance to fear effects.

Continuing along the theme of my comments to your Light Armor specialization feat, the abilities here seem to address agility in combat rather than proficiency with armor.

I think Improved proficiency should take further what the base proficiency provides, and maybe make the armor more effective - the way the shield proficiencies work. So that might be eliminate ACP for STR and DEX skill checks, increase AC by 1, and maybe increase AC further by 1 for each 3, 4, or 5 Bab - or leave the scaling to Light Armor Specialization, make Improved a prereq for Specialization, and have the AC increases for Improved and Specialization stack. Perhaps include an increase to Fortitude saves as well.

I don't see how improving proficiency with armor provides an "Insight bonus" on a DEX skill check, or a take 20 on a reflex save, or all those improvements to acrobatics at Bab/level 16, wearing the armor or not. I think those improvements could be another feat tree and apply when unarmored and unencumbered, then the armor proficiency or specialization feat grants the character those abilities while wearing the armor.


As Mudfoot wrote, it's a bit good; moreover, none of three abilities granted have any association with armor, they all have to do with movement/reflexes.

I figured armor specialization would grant increased protection (increased armor bonus or added DR) and/or reduced penalties (increasing maximum DEX, reducing/eliminating ACP, reducing encumbrance).

In a system where this feat exists, the unmodified Dodge feat becomes worthless, except for the classes that don't get Light Armor Proficiency free, and for them the benefits probably often appear worth spending the feat to get the prerequisite as well.

I find the idea of scaling feats attractive, but introducing them does alter the feat economy, as does adding into a single feat additional abilities. Both together makes a dramatic change.

Tvarog wrote:
Interestingly enough, the very name "Vital Strike" implies that it would work very well with Sneak Attack. Yet another case of flavor and mechanics not matching.

Agreed on the implication, and I expect the assertion that flavor and mechanics don't match is because Vital Strike affects only the weapon damage, not the Sneak attack damage?

Tvarog wrote:
The only way Vital Strike is good (in this case, good = worth taking) right now is if you have Mythic Vital Strike and a multiple-die weapon (greatsword, etc), and even that is probably unintentional.

What makes the feat not worth taking in all other circumstances? I suppose it's that in your view there is always another feat that is more valuable?

(N.B., you cannot take Mythic Vital Strike unless you also take/have taken Vital Strike; Vital Strike is prerequisite to Mythic Vital Strike.)

I do find the idea of armor specialization intriguing. However, as proposed, it seems that the proposed light armor specialization feat provides abilities in connection with armor that associate with avoiding being hit altogether rather than increasing the effectiveness of the armor.

I'm feeling that there ought to be ways that the unarmored character gets the dodge bonuses, reflex saves, and additional five foot moves, and the light armor specialization would allow getting the same bonus - or, better, only most of it - while wearing light armor.

Please describe your rationale for the numbers:

  • multiples of 3 Bab for earning dodge bonuses,
  • +2 dodge at each of those multiples
  • bab +6 for applying dodge to the reflex save,
  • bab+11 for the additional 5 foot moves.

Regarding those additional five foot moves:
showzilla wrote:
a number of times

is that times per round, encounter, day?


showzilla wrote:
You may combine total defense or fighting defensively with combat expertise.

(emphasis mine) I believed the benefit of Total Defense was in return for choosing not to attack at all, so I don't see that the dodge bonuses from the feat Combat Expertise and the action Total Defense can combine. Is there any official/published material that supports this combination?

N.B.- I question only the suggestion of combining Total Defense with Combat Expertise; I already thought the dodge bonuses of fighting defensively complemented those of Combat Expertise. Is there a ruling somewhere that they should not combine by default?

I find sudden jumps in capability jarring and fuel for argument against actually playing lower level characters; I suggest phasing in the additional five foot moves you introduce at Bab +11: that might be 1 per some increment of Bab, up to the limit of dexterity or wisdom bonus, whichever is higher. At Bab +11, a single additional five foot move (as dex AND wis prerequisites already provide modifier +1 or more), plus one per 2, 3 , 4, or 5 Bab additional up to the maximum modifier associated with the higher of the two abilities. With this throttle, would it be reasonable to add this ability at a lower level/Bab, making the feat more attractive to partial Bab classes?

My simulationist bent prefers to track increases in capability against the point at which the feat was gained, but that drives additional book-keeping, which is not fun. (e.g., a Rogue who chose this proposed feat at level 9/Bab+6 would be entitled to more benefit from it at level 18/Bab +13, than one who chose it at level 15/Bab +11)

MC Templar -
I like this idea, though like Ciaran Barnes I think the +2 for a recent scuffle and +2 for dead guard is too lenient. Perhaps, though, your numbers are intended to reflect the likelihood that any given set of guards that might be encountered know about the scuffle and the injuries, and you would modify the DC further due to circumstances. (e.g., increasing DC dramatically due to, say, the relatively small size of the particular town and/or the guard contingent; perhaps there is almost 100% chance a given guard will regard the particular PC suspiciously, and a significant chance the guard was involved and recognizes the PC).

For the purpose of iteratives, I would not count strength bonuses (or penalties) under the rationale that these modifiers have to do with force of the blow, not skill as reflected by Bab, Weapon Focus, Fighter Weapon Training, etc. I would count the Weapon Finesse bonus.

I do appreciate

DonDuckie wrote:
the idea of "born strong" makes better warriors.

but for me, that's not inspiration for increasing iteratives due to strength bonus.

I would extend the benefit to ranged attack as well. I'd appreciate some elaboration on why some (DonDuckie, Gherrick) think that's inadvisable.

N.B.: I lean toward undoing some of the abstraction of Armor Class, wanting to separate the hit and the damage, either adopting Armor as DR, maybe complicated with varying effectiveness of weapons against armor (e.g., heavy crossbow bolt punches through plate armor more effectively than a thrown dagger) or something like this proposal for breaking AC into accuracy and impact components

regarding crossblooded and disadvantage - is the -2 to will saves suffered by the crossblooded sorcerer negated by the dip case you are asking about, or considered inconsequential in general?

I like the 5 levels, especially that there is a "native" level.

Regarding the language checks -
a) the higher difficulty tasks have a degree of affinity with cultural knowledge more than knowledge of linguistics. Perhaps the implication for me is that there must be a limit on how much linguistics skill can help - perhaps up to language proficiency level. So for a DC 18 Avoid Rudeness check, the bonus for a character with proficiency 3 and Linguistics 6 would be +6.
I think it would be interesting to explore ways to factor in regional variation, where culture, manners, idiom varies among areas of common language.

b) perhaps DC ought to vary depending on mode (spoken/written) - generally, for example, I know I'll find it easier to recognize written words than spoken ones in languages I am not proficient with, as long as the alphabet corresponds closely to the alphabet I know, and the languages share common roots - as English does with both the Germanic and Romance languages. With Thai, Mandarin, Korean, I'm equally lost with both verbal and written, with Japanese i'm slightly better verbally as I can recall a few words but have no idea how they are represented in writing.

I suppose this is a variation on the question of related languages. So perhaps Pathfinder's DC 20 check to decipher a simple message in an unknown language gets a bonus if the language is related, sharing at least some word roots as well as writing system with a language the character has proficiency with, and that DC13 check suggested above to pick out important words at least gives the requisite broken proficiency when one has fluency in a related language with the same writing system and some roots in common.

regarding beginning play - I suggest requiring a minimum of 3 ranks, corresponding to "Proficient", in at least one language, chosen from the list the race has access to at the start.

I don't agree with the limit:

Hodge Podge wrote:
you may only raise the rank of a given language by 1 per level

I think if a character reaching third level elects to put 2 ranks into Linguistics, raising that skill to 3 ranks, and pick up, say, Orc, they should be allowed to put two ranks into Orc. A character who starts with three ranks in a language ought to be able to add two at third level to max out that language proficiency. The limit on any skill to character level number of ranks will limit the growth of language proficiency because imrpoving language proficiency depends on Linguistics ranks.

Regarding the optional rule for related languages: I think a single step in proficiency between speakers of related languages is too small. I doubt a "native" speaker in one language should be automatically considered "fluent" when conversing in another related language, in which the character has no ranks; perhaps "proficient" is reasonable: if the speaker is trying to compensate for the listener's limited skill, two "native" speakers of closely related languages might be able to converse at a "proficient" level by relying on the similarities in their languages.


Kelazan wrote:
but why would a player put one point in linguistic in opposition of any knowledge

My answer: For the create/detect forgery and decipher unknown/incomplete/archaic texts aspects of the skill, which are the parts that involve skill checks in the current rules, plus for the bonus it gives for language checks in this proposed system.

On first read, this seems appealing. But...

I share Mr. Pitt's concern, REACT becomes an attractive choice for characters that believe they'll often lose out in initiative checks, so might as well wait to go after the agile characters and instead take the bonus. The REACTing character chooses to do something akin to a Delay initiative action, though giving up control of when precisely to act in return for a bonus to attack, defend, or save, and making the choice before anyone rolls for initiative - in contrast to the character who gets initiative but chooses to Delay or Ready.

Perhaps a REACTOR has to give up more to balance the bonus - say, they can only accomplish a standard or move ation, not both and not a full-round action - though they could start one, except of course for full attack, charge, run, or withdraw.

What's the interaction between the ACTOR/REACTOR choices and the rule about being flat-footed until one has taken action? I presume the flat-footed condition governs, and the character doesn't receive its REACTor bonus until is is acting (for offensive bonus) or has acted (for defensive bonus).

Marthkus wrote:
Orich Starkhart wrote:
We'll just have to agree to disagree. You see this as a problem. I don't.

As a response to my post about the movement rules and whether they have characters move faster in combat than overland, this doesn't make sense to me. This originated from your suggestion that I think of the speed of a monk, that this is an intended ramification of your proposed Mobile Assault technique, I asked you to clarify. Maybe the "problem" you refer to is the potential to do more moves with Mobile Assault in a full attack than the double move a character can do as a full round action? Yes, we can agree to disagree.

Marthkus wrote:
I'm against the idea that you can't perform certain actions out of combat that you could in combat.

Generally, I sympathize with this point of view. But I don't understand what you're getting at with your question "what is the purpose of run outside of combat?". It's a form of movement, at a higher rate than walk or hustle. Gets you where you want to go faster, at a cost.

Commenting on Weirdo's interesting post about Mobile Assault's effect on the "action system", and the OP Marthkus's response:

Weirdo wrote:

As you describe it, Mobile Assault causes as many problems as an overhaul of the skill and feat systems. Maybe more.

  • The Run action becomes obsolete as early as level 6, when a character with GTWF can, by "full attacking" and trading all their attacks sprint at 4x speed without provoking AoO or moving in a straight line.

You must mean Improved Two Weapon Fighting, through which the character would have four attacks; Greater allows six, starting at Bab +11. Trading four attacks for movement would give 4X base movement in a full round, indeed a sprint and not possible RAW when in heavy armor. It also breaks the assertion that characters move at "hustle" in combat. Not sure that's a problem, as it's still movement, still provokes AoO, but does the character get treated as Running, which also eliminates dexterity bonus to AC and eventually starts requiring Constitution checks?

The character using GTWF and converting all attacks to moves could move at 6X, beyond what anyone can do per the movement rules.
Marthkus, if
Marthkus wrote:
running is for 1/2 and 3/4 Bab characters

,. I guess your answer to my question about running is "no", I suppose it means the martials who train this skill becomes so awesome at moving fast that they retain their dodge bonuses when running too.

Moving on:
Weirdo wrote:
  • The move + standard action attack combo becomes obsolete as early as level 1 for TWF characters who can do the same thing by "full attacking" (and obsolete for all noncasters by level 8).
  • I imagine this is part of why the Mobile Fighter's Rapid Attack sacrifices the highest Bab attack to add a move to a full attack action.

    Personally, though I agree that the concept of trading attack for mobility is not a problem, I do think that the trade in Mobile Assault gives too much for the least valuable attack.
    Weirdo wrote:
  • Charges become near-obsolete a few levels later when you can double move and still make more than one attack (a few fun effects will still activate "on a charge")
  • I wouldn't say the charge becomes obsolete; everyone not restricted to only a standard action can can do a move and single attack; I thought the significant benefits of charge are the bonuses to hit and bull rush, which Mobile Assault does not provide. So I believe I agree with Marthkus this isn't a problem - though I don't understand why
    Marthkus wrote:
    Pounce turns into an extra attack ability from an extra full attack ability.

    Pounce allows a full attack in a full round charge action, replacing the default single attack; I don't see the interaction with Mobile Assault.

    Moving on:
    Weirdo wrote:
  • Full BAB becomes much more important since extra attacks can be traded for move actions. Among other things this will put rogues at a mobility disadvantage - counterproductive since rogues ought to be mobile and need a power boost.
  • The full Bab classes get access to the resource of extra attacks that can become moves earlier than others; I suppose this is granting a mobility or action economy advantage to the full Bab martials over everyone else. I like that. Too bad for the Rogue, but maybe their other benefits from skill techniques do compensate.

    Weirdo wrote:
  • Move actions (such as starting bardic music at level 7, feinting using Improved Feint, loading a crossbow or firearm, or standing from prone) become less costly, since they only require you to sacrifice one attack rather than a full attack.
  • I see this as a problem too. Would following the precedent of Mobile Fighter's Rapid Attack that I mentioned above make this more balanced, requiring the character to sacrifice the highest bab attack to add a move action? Looks like this would lead to engaging decision making when facing an opponent with high dodge bonuses: Do I attempt feint them to eliminate those bonuses, and attack at Bab-5 (and Bab-10, with Greater Feint) against their flat-footed AC, or do I attack at full Bab against their full AC? When the character can sacrifice the Bab-10 attack, they're giving up their most-likely to miss attack to further ensure their very best one(s) hit. Looks like a bargain!

    Weirdo wrote:
  • Standard actions (such as intimidating a single opponent, feinting without a feat, starting a grapple, or using Pinpoint Targeting) and full-round actions other than full attacks become more costly, since they require you to forgo not only a full attack but a more flexible "full attack action" that consists of attacks and moves/move-equivalent actions.
  • Yes, but I'm not sure that's a significant problem. Though I also do not understand, Marthkus, how this increase in cost is a "reason for" the full-round action Wounding Strike. Rather, that technique is too powerful to be available for just any melee attack.

    Weirdo wrote:

    Basically, Mobile Assault as you describe represents an overhaul of the action system starting as early as level 6 for full-BAB TWF characters.

    Yes. Frankly, the idea of overhauling the system somewhat does appeal. I think, however, I would want to move away from any actions-per-round system.

    Marthkus wrote:
    You can full-attack out of combat

    For what purpose will a character declare a full-attack when not engaging in combat?

    Marthkus wrote:
    ASIDE: You always move faster in combat than marching. See overland travel speeds and rules.

    No. It looks like more until you examine the assumption of movement in combat:

    prd wrote:
    A character who moves his speed and takes some action is hustling for about half the round and doing something else the other half.

    So the human with base (walking) speed 30 gets to move 30 feet with a move action, and 60 in a double move. He moves twice base rate while in combat. Sure - because he's moving at his hustle rate, not his base rate. Hustle for a minute would be 600 feet, as indicated in the table "Movement and Distance", and for an hour 36000 feet, 6.81 miles by extrapolation, but 6 miles per the table. So we see a difference, not between in combat and overland, but between minutes and hours of continuous travel.

    Marthkus wrote:
    Slight problem with your math. TWF only gives 3 attacks.

    Oops. My mistake, Pathfinder doesn't provide a Feat that gives an off-hand attack for each main hand one, like 3.5 does.

    Marthkus wrote:

    Now imagine the speed of a monk.

    This is an intended ramification of the concept.

    What is? That all martials can choose to take training that gives them the ability to move farther/faster than they can outside combat, depending on the resources they spend?

    I know this is fantasy, but I want a sense of verisimilitude. Looking a the Monk at 16th level. That's 7 attacks in the flurry, and fast movement of +50 feet; a human would have 80 feet per move. In a six second combat round in which that human monk made a double move, they would be able to cover 160 feet, which is just under 50 meters, a distance that real-world champion sprinters cover in about five and a half seconds. Now, with your proposed skill to trade attacks for movement, say that monk chooses to forgo two of its seven attacks in a round - it gets to move like a champion sprinter in between making five attacks with deadly melee weapons, in the same six seconds.

    In a nod to the monk's level-related increase in speed, I think the 5 foot step could become longer for them - 10 feet at 10th level, 15 feet at 18th. (figured using the human baseline: the 5 foot step is 1/6 of a move, so the 5 foot increments of the monk's combat step happen when the increase in their move hits a multiple of 30 feet). I don't have a clear idea of how much advantage that might be in play.

    Regarding the number of move actions and two-weapon fighting:
    If a character can convert any number of attacks to move actions, this means that when fighting with two weapons, the 16th level fighter could choose to convert half of their attacks to movement - making four attacks and four move actions in a full round. Meanwhile, if the same character chose to move only, they can take a move and then another move as their standard action. So, they can move twice as far while doing a full attack - striking foes four times - than they can while double moving and not attacking at all.

    The same character using a single weapon has four attacks, converting half of them to move actions means two moves and two attacks. They become half as mobile than when attacking with two weapons, whether they use a two-handed weapon, or they only defend with their shield this round, instead of attack with it as well as their sword.

    On the distinction between the move action and 5 foot step - I understand the special nature of the 5 foot step within the context of the Pathfinder rules, that when Pathfinder discusses a "5 foot step" they refer to that optional movement available as part of a full round action. I was merely suggesting that reducing the movement granted by Mobile Assault to additional 5 foot steps maintains the mobile flavor without producing such incongruities as I mentioned above. Making the moves 5 foot steps also means the moves do not provoke AoO.

    Another solution limiting the incongruous situations is to limit the number of attacks that convert to movement to 2, so movement in a full round attack action with Mobile Assault can be no more than what's possible for a double move full round at the same rate. Still, Two weapon Fighting characters gain more advantage from Mobile Assault, earlier than others.

    Observations on the proposed technique Mobile Assault and discussion of it in this thread:
    a)Question on the definition, Marthkus: is there any limit of opportunities per round, or may a character convert two (or more) attacks to move actions?

    b) Regarding the concern that Mobile Assault is too strong: would it still fit the model of "trained technique" and be considered worth training for if it allowed trading an attack for an additional 5' step rather than for a move action? Here's one place where my question above of how many are allowed per round can become pertinent. Could a 16th level (4 iteratives) fighter make 5 attacks and three moves?

    c) Regarding TWF, perhaps allowing the character to give up an off-hand attack for the move action is too much, because it makes the action cost about half what it does for other martials. So perhaps the move action or 5' step available through Mobile Assault costs one iterative, meaning one set of main and off-hand attacks.

    The monk already has class-associated movement enhancement; perhaps we should assume that for this class the cost of movement is lower, so they spend one attack of a flurry for this movement. Or maybe, one attack for a five foot step, the pair for a move action.

    d) With respect to the observation that the characters will give up their last iterative - I think the order of actions matters and determines which iterative is spent on the move, so I would change the proposed definition to omit "attack of their choosing". If the character has three attacks, and wants to execute:

    • 5 foot step,
    • attack
    • 5 foot step,
    • attack
    , they are giving up their second attack, not their third one, for the second movement.

    Coyote_Ragtime wrote:
    What if you could bypass DR by rolling an attack that exceeds an opponents AC by a number greater than their armor bonus?

    The effect is to make armor wearers a little more susceptible to damage, so when attackers roll not quite well enough to hit in the default AC system, they will still do damage if their roll exceeds the target's non-armor "AC" and the damage total exceeds the armor DR. Thus every combat round presents higher probability of receiving damage.

    showzilla wrote:
    you forgot nigh-invincible

    ah yes, that feat or feature provides another 13 points of Damage Resistance after 16th level, for a total of 50 at 19th, 53 at 20th. If your Damage Resistance stacks with DR, then total protection is 70 at 19th level and 73 at 20th.

    showzilla wrote:
    between the plates might be restricted to only halving Damage resistance from Armor, as you are looking for gaps in armor and thin spots in hide, you can't really remove their physical resilience.

    Understood, but: How to adjudicate? The base Damage Resistance derives from armor as well as CON bonus, and the Damage Resistance from Stand Your Ground depends on armor as well.

    Is this getting too complicated?

    I'd rather see some AC penalty, otherwise this feat costs next to nothing to average Dexterity characters but a lot to characters that invest in Dexterity. The character winding up for a big blow isn't paying as much attention to parrying and dodging, regardless of whether it has a Dexterity bonus, Dodge feat, or anything else.

    I understand about Stand Your Ground, I shouldn't have included it with the abilities that trade offense in favor of defense. However, I still think it should be less effective when using Two handed Momentum as I see Stand Your Ground as partially a dodge-like ability, in which the defender moves skillfully to help his armor take more of the blow.

    With respect to "Arc of Might", I never played Dragon's Dogma, so I can have no opionion on whether it's broken. I see from the wiki that it "requires the protection of one's allies". I don't see a problem with Crit, but I'm also wary of the "add both attacks together before applying defenses," though I understand the purpose this is to get through tough Damage Resistance. Except for the combination of damage and targeting a single opponent, the momentum mechanic of this feat corresponds to the mechanic of Cleave, which could also allow multiple damage on two attacks the same round at the same bab. Note that Cleave calls for a -2 penalty to AC. You are increasing the cost by adding an AoO and reducing Dodge bonuses as well, this might be a fair trade for the additional damage potential.


    showzilla wrote:
    you use 1-1/2 times your strength modifier

    (emphasis mine) I believe you intend bonus here, otherwise you increase the penalty on weak characters when they use two hands!


    showzilla wrote:
    at BAB +12, you may declare to be building up momentum, doing so provokes an attack of opportunity and causes a -10 penalty to your AC until your next turn.
    showzilla wrote:
    at BAB +16, when building up momentum, you may increase the AC penalty to -15

    : these means that if you are an average dex character, without defensive enhancements you are making yourself easier to hit than someone who is helpless per the core rules, which give -4 AC in melee and effective Dexterity 0, for a -5 modifier, total -9 AC against melee attackers. (only the -5 counts against ranged attacks)

    I find it stretching credibility that the average dexterity attacker would make itself more vulnerable while vigorously attacking than someone who is entirely unable to move - though it seems reasonable that someone with high agility could give up that much - they'd still not get all the way down to equivalent to helpless. Neither should protection through mundane armor or magical enchantment be cancelled by use of this feat.

    I think there should be a milder AC penalty plus reduction or outright denial of Dodge bonuses. In addition, there can be synergy with your proposed Damage Resistance feature as well. Instead of -10 AC, maybe the Bab +12 feature is activated with -4 AC, no (or 1/2) DEX and Dodge bonuses, and halve Damage Resistance, and the Bab +16 feature activates with -4 AC, no DEX or Dodge bonus, no Damage Resistance. Furthermore, in the round the attacker would use Two Handed Momentum they cannot also use any ability that improves their defense in exchange for reduced attack bonus or damage, and Uncanny Dodge and similar abilities do not function.
    (e.g., once cannot use this feat while Fighting defensively, or simultaneously use your Stand Your Ground feat(described in post 9 of the thread Defensive Abilities))

    Arkady Zelenka wrote:
    So how would this interact with the monk or the unarmed fighter?

    Good question Arkady. The damage progression in showzilla's proposed Improved Unarmed Strike advances faster than the Pathfinder Monk's unarmed damage, but the Monk is defined as receiving Improved Unarmed Strike at 1st level, so in a system using this definition the Monk benefits. Perhaps showzilla will tell us this was intended.

    showzilla wrote:
    and if the property called piercing doesn't sound right..how about penetrating?

    Better. Privately, I wanted a name that doesn't seem to relate to armor, as I'm intrigued with Armor as Damage Reduction; finally I realize what you're talking about is a form of Armor as DR.

    showzilla wrote:
    and your point about the cost of between the plates is a good one. originally the cost was up to 3d6 of you sneak attack damage dice. but the name might stick. the reason for reducing the sneak attack damage was because your having to adjust your blow to strike the weak spot, so it loses some momentum as it has to work its way around the armor.

    Ahh. Now that I internalized that your Damage Resistance derives from Armor bonus, it makes sense that your Damage Resistance is, or can be made, less effective against Sneak Attack.

    showzilla wrote:

    in the previous example, there wasn't going to be any difference to the damage getting through because our fighter wasn't that geared towards his own defense. lets fix that and see if there is a benefit?


    Stand your ground
    prereqs: toughness,con 15

    benefits: you have traded out avoiding a blow altogether for the easier goal of making sure the blow doesn't strike a soft spot, you back this up by bracing for impact and generally just being a tough SOB. While wearing medium armor, you may take -1 to AC and gain a +2 to damage resistance. This bonus become +1 in light armor and +3 in heavy armor. at BAB+4 and every +4 there after, your penalties increase and the benefits scale accordingly. (it's the defensive power attack, besides stalwart and improved stalwart)

    Cool feat.

    showzilla wrote:
    item: battle plate: this massive suit of armor offers much more protection than standard full plate. Armor bonus of +14 with a max dex of +0 and a 50% spell failure rate. Adamantine battle plate provides an armor bonus of +16 and DR 5/- instead of DR 3/-

    Very powerful. More than 50% better bonus than PF standard full plate. How much heavier? What ACP? only 1 point worse in max dex than Full Plate?

    and both +2 AC and +2 additional DR for Adamantine? Wow.

    showzilla wrote:

    so, here we go....as a Barbarian invulnerable rager

    con 30 (+10)

    +16 armor

    DR 10/-

    DR 5/-

    +9 from toughness

    +15 from SYG

    DR 20/- from improved Stalwart

    total protection of 75 from one of the tankiest tanks possible

    "Total Protection"? are you combining AC, DR, and Damage Resistance? that's what it looks like.

    Can you go over the components? What I think I understand is:

    • con 30 is +10 modifier, giving 5 Damage Resistance given your Damage Resistance feature of Damage Resistance = (Armor Bonus + CON)/2
    • +16 Armor Bonus from the fantastic Adamantine Battleplate, gives 8 Damage Resistance per Damage Resistance = (Armor Bonus + CON)/2 as well as 5 DR/-.
    • DR 5/- from the Barbarian Class ability, at 19th level.
    • "toughness variant" you asserted earlier provides "+3 damage resistance and +1 damage resistance for every 3 HD" for total 9 Damage Resistance. Where is this variant documented/discussed?
    • +15 Damage Resistance from Stand Your Ground, which I calculate is correct for 19th level; at 20th it would be +18, right?
    • DR 10/- from Improved Stalwart, where you stated DR 20/-. Limit of 10 is documented in d20pfsrd.

    So I see:
    AC 10+16-5(SYG)=21
    DR 5+5+10=20
    Attack bonus subtracts 6 to support the DR from Improved Stalwart.

    Damage Resistance 5+8+9+15=37 at 19th level, 40 at 20th (losing another point of AC), including the "toughness variant",
    and I don't know if DR and Damage Resistance should stack always; if they do total protection is 57 by my reckoning.

    Shadowfax7 wrote:

    I also can't find where it says the rogue needs to meet the prerequites for rogue talents that give feats or if he gets to bypass them.

    I even looked at the Fighter, and it says nothing about his combat feats needing prereqs, but I know I have been playing that they do all along.

    Seems clear to me that the exception is the ability to take a feat without meeting its prerequisites. There are specific situations where that is explicitly supported, for instance, the feats a Ranger has access to through its chosen Combat Style. Therefore, my interpretation is that unless otherwise excepted or overridden (e.g., through the statement that some other ability "counts as" the prerequisite), prerequisites must be met.

    showzilla wrote:
    I'd be amazed if our 1st level goblin could hurt him. it's like expecting a kid with a rock to actually deal damage to an oncoming Abrams.

    Indeed! I am no fan of auto hit on a 20, or auto-fail on a 1. A fighter with AC bonus over 30 should be more vulnerable to a foe with total attack bonus 20 than one with bonus 1, but both of those have the same 5% chance to do damage and 0.25% chance for a confirmed critical (both needing a natural 20 for the hit and another for the confirm). The higher attack bonus foe probably does more damage per hit, or delivers a more debilitating effect with its touch attack (the discrepancy still applies, just less so, for the lower touch AC of an armored fighter); this isn't enough to mitigate the disparity for me.

    I'm not sure about the piercing property to halve damage resistance, but that's because I'm looking for a rationale, a real-world analogue to your Damage Resistance, plus I get stuck on "piercing" as a type of damage a weapon can do. Is there another name that could be used?

    between the plates doesn't work as the name for circumventing or reducing Damage Resistance, unless that DR is really analogous to Damage Reduction from Armor - where we can rationalize that it's possible for an attacker to target weak points or for an attack to chance hit on a weak spot or gap "between the plates", thus circumventing some or all of the protection, perhaps at the cost of reducing the magnitude of damage.

    An interesting aspect of the between the plates feat/talent/ability is the choice of whether to use it - at low levels, there's a meaningful choice: one significantly reduces one's SA damage potential (e.g, by 1/2 or 1/3) in order to make opponents more vulnerable. The trade off has progressively smaller effect on potential damage as the character increases in level, so at some point in its advancement, the wise sneak attacker would probably always choose to reduce sneak damage by a die in case the target has significant Damage Resistance.

    showzilla wrote:

    prereqs: dex 13, str 13

    benefits: when wielding a shield, you may repel a number of attacks as though you were wielding two weapons (1 extra base, 2 extra bab +6,3 extra BAB+11),sans the penalty. at BAB+3 and every three there after, your weapon's damage increases by one step and your shield gains a +1 to AC and repels.

    bab+ 6, dex 15 and str 15, you gain an additional repel attempt per round equal to your dex modifier.you may also repel whilst flat footed.

    bab +11, dex 17 and str 17, add your shield bonus to reflex saves.

    Is this one feat, that scales with Bab and ability prerequisites, or three feats? What's the logic - for the game or verisimilitude - for the Strength prerequisites on the two higher levels?

    The increase in repel per round, damage step increase, and shield AC and repel increase all scaling with Bab seem like a lot for one feat, especially adding something like Combat Reflexes for Repels (which by itself might compare in power to other useful feats) at Bab+6.

    showzilla wrote:
    first: making AC kinda useful...and slightly irrelevant...though AC is useless after like level 10...so who gives a damn.

    Why do you say this? I expect that judgement is based on your experience and expectations of gameplay.

    showzilla wrote:


    either parrying with your weapon or blocking with your shield, you are being slightly more confrontational with your defense.

    when you are targeted by an attack, you may spend an immediate action and make an attack roll, if your attack equals or exceeds that of your attacker, the attack misses. if you posses a shield, you may add it's AC bonus to the roll. once this immediate action is spent, you can not take any other immediate actions this round, this immediate action kinda covers the whole round as you may block a number of attacks equal to the amount of attacks you would get in a full round action. So, a level 6 fighter can block 2 attacks per round. now, what if your attack roll is lower than your AC? easy, the defender takes the higher of the two defensive numbers...I'm not that damn mean, the tactical side of this comes in when you start having to choose which attacks you block and which you attempt to side step.

    That's one roll as an immediate action, blocking/repelling the number of attacks that the character can make? Why not one roll per attack you would block up to the number of iteratives, or even to the limit imposed by DEX modifier, like AoO with the Combat reflexes feat?

    showzilla wrote:
    you may also repel ranged attacks, but you must first make a reflex save equal to 10+half the attackers HD+relevant stat (most likely dex)...yes, this applies to spells because it is totally bad ass to knock a smug tier 2 sorcerer down a peg by baseball batting his fire balls and light bolts to the side

    Hmmm. I don't think that can work for Area-of-Effect spells like Fireball, unless the defender in question is between the caster and the center of the Area of Effect, and we stipulate that the energy that will be the fireball travels visibly between caster and its chosen center of AoE. I do find appealing the idea that a successful save grants the opportunity to make a repel/block roll.

    showzilla wrote:

    Damage Resistance

    he's siting at (10+6)/2=8+3+2=13, which stacks on top of his DR 3/- when he gets his by swords,mace,lances,ect.

    Where's that DR3/- come from, exactly?

    You have the issue here many point out in the discussions in this forum on Armor as DR that you are making this guy nigh invulnerable to low level enemies, unless there are attacks that ignore this Damage Resistance. Small enemies with d4 (e.g., dagger) cannot hurt him except if that have large damage modifiers, and then only on a crit. An army of archers cannot hurt him. I might address these by adding critical effects, and/or exploding damage dice (so even a non-crit with a dagger could do more than 4 points before damage modifiers).

    The Beard, Bizbag, Cap. Darling,
    Dryder has already clarified that the proposal is to leave the feat as is, but add to the Fighter class a feature that gives them the ability without taking the feat. Essentially, give them an additional feat. So not other class loses access to Power Attack.

    Remco Sommeling wrote:
    If you want to play a dex-based fighter with a longsword for example you would need weapon finesse, weapon focus and Sword Dancer, meaning characters without bonus feats would have to wait till level 5, before they can even hit reliably with a longsword since strength will not have high priority

    You wrote "fighter", and then "characters without bonus feats". I guess you mean martial classes in general, and you want to improve the appeal of focusing on DEX in place of STR for such classes, not only the core Fighter, and provide dexterity advantage to a larger array of weapons.

    Perhaps the heavier weapons by their nature aren't as amenable to finesse use as the light ones, meaning I doubt the full +5 to hit and damage should apply for the longsword at 3rd level for your no-bonus-feat character with Sword Dancer the way it would for the rapier if the character took Deadly Finesse instead.

    ryric wrote:
    Of course, now you've got the problem where an army of 5000 NPC archers can't touch your PC ever

    No player ever will think that's a problem :). Except one leading the army, I suppose.

    ryric wrote:
    I'm not saying armor as DR can't work, it's just full of unintended consequences.

    Indeed. The escalation of both hit points and damage with level makes problematic the notion of grafting on an Armor as DR system to replace Armor as AC bonus in which the DR does not scale with level at a rate similar to the escalation of damage; this leads to either to low level foes that can cause no damage or high level foes that blow through DR, or both.

    Among changes I contemplate for a 3.5/Pathfinder/d20 fantasy campaign are using the combat rules of d20 Warheart, Ken Hood's Grim-n-Gritty, or Codex Martialis, each of which calls for a form of Armor as DR and "Defense" replacing AC and incorporating bonuses for level akin to Bab.

    N.B. Grim-n-Gritty and Codex Martialis are each available at Drive Thru RPG; d20 Warheart can be downloaded from the site linked above.

    a thread last month in this forum covered some of the same ground, might be interesting to some of you.

    Remco Sommeling wrote:
    Thanks for the feedback Orich, I should not have typed 5' step. I meant to say move at least 5 foot, so it can be combined with a 5' step or a normal move action.

    Thanks for clarifying; I believe you're taking the Feint as a standard action in this case, to subject your opponent to denial of dex in the next round.


    Remco Sommeling wrote:
    The intention is to replace dervish dance by these two feats, adding weapon focus seems a bit much, they ought to get started on their fighting style fairly soon instead of giving them multiple levels of suck beause they can't use dexterity to hit yet and then suddenly get a +5 bonus to hit. This way they can take the feat at 2nd lvl as a fighter, 3rd lvl otherwise.

    I'm not following something. For each of your proposed feats, Weapon Finesse, providing dexterity to-hit, is required, so I do not understand how you assert they "have multiple levels of suck beause[sic] they can't use dexterity to hit yet" under my suggestion that they need Weapon Focus too before qualifying for Deadly Finesse. I figured anyone making a primarily melee character would take Weapon Focus on the weapon they expect to use most as soon as possible, for the bonus to hit independent of STR or DEX. What's potentially missing until they have an additional prerequisite feat under my proposal compared to yours is the DEX modifier to damage supplied by your Deadly Finesse. Remember, a fighter starts with two feats - could be Weapon Focus and Weapon Finesse - three if it's human.

    Remco Sommeling wrote:
    I am not going to focus more on deadly finesse, it is in itself already focused on light weapons, I find it somewhat silly to be deadly with a kukri but useless with dagger.

    Yes, I agree that requiring separate Weapon Focus for very similar weapons seems silly, and I could see including treating Kukri as a Dagger for the purpose of Weapon Focus and maybe your Deadly Finesse. However, the clear implication here ("deadly with ... but useless with ...") is that lack of damage bonus due to ability modifier renders one useless. I know the point of these feats is to increase consistent damage capability for DEX-based characters in melee, but without the boost they are "useless" in melee, really? How much damage bonus is enough not to be considered useless?

    Remco Sommeling wrote:

    slightly modified then:

    Deadly Finesse

    peequisites: dex 13, weapon finesse

    When you are wielding a weapon that benefits from weapon finesse in one hand and nothing in the other, or a single weapon in both hands, you can choose to deal your dexterity modifier as a bonus to damage rather than your strength bonus, strength penalties still apply.

    If you are wielding multiple weapons instead you can deal half your dexterity modifier as bonus to damage.

    You do not add +50% to your dex bonus for wielding a weapon two-handed, though you could use your strength bonus on damage instead if desired.

    You might consider further focusing this feat, in making it apply to a specific weapon (or weapon group, per another comment you made), like the 3.5 feat Improved Weapon Finesse. In this case, Weapon Focus becomes a sensible prerequisite, just as it is for that 3.5 feat.

    Remco Sommeling wrote:

    EDIT: Any thought on the Sword Dancer feat ? I am thinking the bonus should be scaled down a bit somehow.

    1) Pick one weapon to finesse *

    Yes, just as I suggest for Deadly Finesse; then Weapon Focus may be a logical prerequisite. I'm not sure about extending the weapons available for this feat to the non-finesse weapons, though there is the precedent of Dervish Dance. Also like Dervish Dance and MaxAstro's Improved Weapon Finesse, it's probably advisable to add the requirement of an open off-hand (no second weapon or shield)

    Remco Sommeling wrote:
    2) Use perform to feint

    I've often thought feint should rely also on a more physical skill than bluff, which in other real-world contexts is about avoiding physical "tells" and using words to manipulate. Even the description in the PRD implies the skill is about verbal bluffing.

    Remco Sommeling wrote:
    3) a +2 bonus to feint if you move at least a 5' step before you do **

    I suppose the extra +2 is part of an effort to make the feat attractive, and give practical reason to take ranks in Perform(Dance), which otherwise is probably less generally useful than Bluff. It's interesting to consider how the move requirement interacts with the Feint action and the Improved/Greater Feint feats. If I understand the relevant rules: Without Improved Feint, the Feint is a standard action, so the required move could occur in the same round. With Improved Feint, the Feint can be a move action, in which case a 5 foot step would be required in conjunction with the attack that would be made the same round, but a 5 foot action cannot be made in the same round as any movement. Does that forbid the feint as a move action to enable a Sword Dancer attack in the same round? The description of 5 foot action does also state that one cannot take two five foot steps in a round or take a 5 foot step when one has moved any distance; maybe that's a full clarification of the restriction against movement, not simply examples, so the other move actions, such as feint, manipulate an item, draw or sheathe a weapon, direct a spell, do not violate the restriction. But there are other moves not mentioned in the 5 foot step description that do seem to realistically preclude a 5 foot step: mount or dismount (when it can't be a free action), stand up.

    kaisc006 wrote:
    The point I'm trying to make is you have to do a complete overhaul of the system to get it to work not just a few simple fixes here and there.

    I agree with you. I was pointing out that the issues you identified with the system, beyond questions of healing magic, do not depend on either that system's implementation of magic, or on the magic content of the default Golarion setting, thus those issues do not support your contention that gritty combat is only for a low magic setting.

    kaisc006 wrote:
    For instance critical threat range was mentioned and in a true VP/WP system a critical hit deals damage instantly to WP regardless of how much VP are left (weapon damage is not multiplied on a critical hit).

    What's a "true VP/WP system"?

    I take it that you're not discussing the Wound and Vigor system in the PRD, or you are assuming changes that seem necessary to combine that optional rule with Armor as DR. Indeed, the Wounds and Vigor rule that crits apply the crit multiplier in WP damage seems incompatible with Armor as DR: crits would never affect WP of armored characters until VP are exhausted, unless one also rules that the crit multiplier damage bypasses DR.

    kaisc006 wrote:
    Armor only provides DR against damage for WP, not VP. If you don't play with this concept then why play with VP/WP at all because you're turning the abstract HP into two different pools that mean the same thing.

    I like this suggestion; since VP/WP moves real physical damage to its own pool, all hits that do not deal WP damage can be interpreted as glancing blows, scratches, near misses, bruises, and mostly the toll that the physical exertion takes on the combatant.

    What I don't like is that the chance to do real damage outside of crits is nil until VP are depleted - which means for high level characters combat is usually no more gritty than without the VP/WP change. It's not much different than characters able to fight at full effectiveness right up until they go to 0 hit points.

    kaisc006 wrote:
    If you do play with this concept then you need to change all weapons so they crit only on a 20 with maybe, maybe a few on 19-20.

    Not if crits do only the crit multiplier in damage to WP, or only that part of the crit damage bypasses Armor DR.

    kaisc006 wrote:
    This also makes critical effect feats pretty useless since your opponent will most likely die on a critical hit.

    That may be likely if crits multiply damage, or fully bypass DR.

    kaisc006 wrote:
    Since armor only protects WP now you must develop a balanced scaling Defense with class level.

    I do favor scaling defense with level in conjunction with implementing damage-reducing armor.

    kaisc006 wrote:
    Also, as Ryric points out simply changing armor to DR can throw off game balance. And this is just one change.

    Yes, I find tat considering DR leads me to want to look altering the growth of hit points and per-attack damage as level increases

    kaisc006 wrote:
    Grittier combat with more realistic armor representations is really for a low magic setting...

    Kais006, except for a question about healing magic, your observations about Armor as DR or Vitality/Wound Points do not lead to this conclusion. The number of rolls per turn, the ability of a certain armor to block all damage from a certain weapon, the coverage of piecemeal armor, critical threat range, adjudication of bleed damage, all have no evident connection to the level of magic in the campaign, while still raising reasonable questions about the playability, impact on enjoyment of the game, and potential need to adjust other rules brought by such proposals.

    This question seems inappropriate for the Homebrew subforum. Maybe General Discussion?

    rando1000 wrote:
    Cranky Dog wrote:
    Going way back to 1st ed. AD&D, you had weapon vs armor types bonuses. i.e. piercing were better against certain types of armor, bludgeoning against other, etc. I don't know of anyone who actually used those rules.
    Yeah, I remember that. Never used it.

    The group I first played in used those rules, and I did when I ran a game in the early '80s.

    Another way to help low damage weapons have some chance against DR outside critical hits is to increase damage with margin of success, as contemplated in the recent thread Scaling successful hit / damage range. I'm thinking of adding dice, maybe every 4 points of success wins an additional d6 of damage.

    One I found is Look Out, a teamwork feat - so it requires an ally. When both the character and its ally can act in the surprise round, the text of the feat stipulates the character can take a full-round action.

    regarding my earlier post - in light of Look Out I might be willing to rule that the Bandit's Ambush also provides the full-round action, since Lookout suggests move + standard is worth a full round action.

    Broken Zenith wrote:
    There is an archetype: Bandit

    But its Ambush ability does not explicitly give a full round action. If the OP hopes for, say, iterative attacks in the surprise round, they'd have to convince their DM that this ability's move + standard + immediate means it gives a full-round action. Me, I think if a full-round action was meant, it would be stated.

    The notion of Armor providing deflection also supports the basic idea in the established system in Pathfinder and its ancestors, that armor of increasing "armor class" makes the target harder to hit, where a "hit" correlates to a meaningfully damaging blow.

    I easily envision deflection for certain attacks against plate armor, where the contours of the metal plates may deflect a crossbow bolt, arrow head, spear or sword thrust, or chopping blow from an axe or a sword, even (to a lesser extent, I think) the crushing blow of a mace: the blow doesn't damage the target and perhaps not even the armor due to the deflection, while a similarly forceful blow at a slightly different angle or point of impact by the same weapon punches through or at least significantly dents the armor, potentially damaging the target directly as well as the armor.

    I suppose the rigid armors inherently may provide some amount of deflection of blows, perhaps different levels for piercing, slashing and bludgeoning damage. The non-rigid armors probably cushion damage from bludgeoning without taking damage themselves, while the piercing and slashing/chopping attacks that plate would defect will damage the armor and then its wearer.

    With this:

    Darkfire142 wrote:
    So if you have armor as DR, you either have to adjust the BAB of monsters & NPC's or give some kind of Defensive AC bonus for classes.

    are you asserting that when considering rule changes, it's vital to avoid increasing the danger to a PC from what a given encounter would provide in the unmodified system? Why?

    If a particular foe gains a significantly greater chance to grievously harm a given PC under a proposed change, that foe's CR could be increased under that change, right? This is a low-intensity activity; unless one wants to publish a complete modified system, the game master can put off evaluating a monster until preparing a session in which the party may face it.

    If the DR absorbs the full attack damage, I expect the drain that would accompany the hit would be defeated as well. E.g., a thulgant's sting does 1d6+8. If the system is the Armor as DR optional rule and the PC is a 16th level fighter in Mithral FullPlate +3, that character has DR 15/Armor (9 for plate, 3 for levels, 3 for enhancement). The sting gets through only on a critical and that's true for *any* roll that hits, so on balance the fighter probably gains against that opponent by using the DR system.(unless plate armor provides less protection against piercing attacks, which is one of the ideas Blaeringr wants to consider incorporating in a revision of Armor as DR)
    The Shemhazian Demon's bite does 2d6+12, so this opponent's draining attack will get through my example fighter's protection more often under the DR rules than the default AC rules.

    Blaeringr does suggest the concept of adding a defensive bonus in his Revision notes on the Armor as DR optional rule. I've thought about the same thing (a bonus to defense related to class level in conjunction with Armor as DR). Presumably foes get defense increasing with HD too.

    Tormsskull wrote:
    Remco Sommeling wrote:
    Say one rogue and a fighter is in melee with a BBEG, eagles are summoned and everyone gets +4 to +8 to hit, including the eagles. Meaning you either can't miss or can't hit without them. It's too much..
    In practice, double-flank was the most we usually saw. More than double-flank was very rare. You could limit it to double-flank if you're worried about getting beyond +4.

    I think Remco Sommeling was responding to Bunnyboy's alternative, reducing dexterity modifier to AC by 1 for each opponent beyond the first within 5 foot range - or, I would say, each opponent threatening, so as to account for reach. This isn't really akin to flanking, but would reflect a notion that facing multiple foes at once, even when they don't surround you, is more dangerous than a single foe of the same calibre.

    So, if you face 2 opponents, your AC is reduced by 1 toward each of them. Three opponents - even if all adjacent to each other and no pair meeting the requirement of PF flanking, your AC is reduced by 2 toward each of them.

    I think proposals like these must account for practical limitations as well - how many attackers can realistically engage a given defender in a combat round? Does some law of diminishing returns apply as well? (so adding two attackers to the first lowers effective AC more than adding two more attackers to those three)

    DragGon7601 wrote:
    A Two-Handed Sword swinging knight whos AC is only Base(10)+Full Plate(9) is fighting two rouges, one gets round him and he is now flanked; How does this give a +2 to hit to both Rouges, The armour is still going to get in the way and he is still moving (swinging his sword at one of them) so getting into the joints isn't going to be much if at all easier. Any bonus gained would be due to facing not team work...

    The flanking bonus in the rules gives 10% advantage to each flanker, rather than 20% to one as in the old (e.g. AD&D 1e) backstab rules. It's an abstraction. Certainly if the knight is essentially ignoring the second assailant, that second assailant has an easier time landing an effective blow on the knight than the first one does (assuming the two rogues have equal Bab). One way to rationalize this is that since the rules don't handle the target deciding to pretend one attacker doesn't exist, the rules divide the bonus among the attackers equally.

    Tormsskull wrote:
    DragGon7601 wrote:
    A Flanking condition makes more sense to me, so long as their is a clause stating that it cant drop AC lower than flat footed AC
    I understand the logic of that, but I think it over complicates it. Being flanked makes it more difficult to defend yourself from both sides. I don't like the idea of a flat-footed AC 19 fighter surrounded by 8 opponents not suffering any penalties or granting any benefits to his attackers.

    I agree with Tormsskull however that's partly because I think flat-footed RAW doesn't disadvantage defenders consistently enough. Flat-footed says the target cannot react normally, but for an average dexterity character, per RAW that effectively means only that such character cannot make AoO, while the high dex character also becomes significantly easier to hit. I think the flat-footed target should be easier to damage than the same target without flat-footed, independent of whether the target normally has a dexterity bonus. I'm thinking maybe -2 AC and halve the dexterity bonus (round down) to AC, better implementing the condition's affect of making the target unable to "react normally" - reflecting that "normally" for the 17 dexterity defender is different and more effective than normally for the 10 dexterity character, and assuming that the flat-footed character is able to react somewhat.

    If one takes flat-footed as total surprise, inability to react meaningfully - something worse than PF's flat-footed, the AC penalty should be larger: -4 or more along with losing dexterity bonus, or maybe even reducing dex to 0 (-5 penalty to AC and of course no dexterity or dodge bonus), and I would agree with DragGon7601 that flanking attackers regardless of number shouldn't reduce AC further than this, under the logic that the bonus for flanking is about the defender dividing attention and thus reaction, which are by this definition already negligible.

    hmtavares wrote:
    The flat-footed condition does not apply to you unless you are immobilized.

    That looks like a less than strict reading, for the rule specifically indicates only that character with Uncanny Dodge still loses their dexterity bonus to AC when immobilized.

    However, I think it would be foolish to argue the immobilized character is not flat-footed due to having Uncanny Dodge.

    I found another feat to consider. Catch Off-Guard. This one I believe Uncanny Dodge does address.

    I also find the idea of a flanked condition appealing.

    I think +4 to hit may be about as high as it should go, at least for attackers and defenders of the same size class. That has a satisfying correspondence to the Total Defense action, allowing the character surrounded by 4 enemies to increase its defense to compensate for the advantage the attackers gain by their number and position, at the expense of losing its attacks.

    I would probably make this finer grained and give three surrounding allies +3 each against their common foe.

    I do see that conditions generally affect the character's Armor Class rather than grant attackers bonuses on their rolls, so consistency with existing rules suggests that having the flanked condition applies -2 to AC, being flanked by 3 a -3, and by 4, -4.

    Perhaps weapon reach should play a factor as well - I expect fighting defensively in reality works better for the one with the longer weapon, though perhaps the need for 360 degree maneuverability when flanked in the way the rules require eats up that advantage.

    Regarding Gang Up, one difference is that Gang Up works if the allies are all on one side - say, attacking a foe in a hallway.

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