Wild Watcher

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LeapingShark wrote:

Why is his face blank and featureless? Why is he a skinny toothless albino?

Considering the dungeon is full of other freaks, why does he wear this mask?

Where did he come from? Did he ever have a name? Who is the man behind the mask?

Anybody come up with an interesting backstory?

If you check out the Monster Manual V (2007), there's something called a "god-blooded" template. The Vecna example sounds a LOT like TFO.

Riddle me this:

Your group has been playing through a series of published adventures. Halfway through the series, one player admits he has been "reading ahead."

I personally think this is cheating. Even if a player is only curious and tries his best not to use the knowledge he's gained, it's impossible to completely separate player knowledge from character knowledge. Furthermore, it sends a bad message to one's fellow players, and makes one appear untrustworthy.

Does anyone consider such behavior to not be cheating? If so, why?

Greg A. Vaughan wrote:
It is indeed rhymed with cow there as it is written phonetically as "drow" rather than "dro" or "droe"

So we've been pronouncing "crow" wrong all this time? :)

Zanderias wrote:
Anyone know the story behind Tigran Gellner moving to the Militia and Sir Gavin Ambus's promotion from guildmaster of the Nightwatchmen?

Tigran Gellner has been part of Greyhawk's militia at least since 582 CY, when he appeared in the City of Greyhawk boxed set as cCommander of the Cairn Hills Force. With the death of Sental Nurev in 583, Gellner was promoted to Captain-General of the Watch, the highest military rank in the Domain of Greyhawk, which seems to automatically guarentee a chair on the Directing Oligarchy.

Ambus really didn't get "promoted," seeing as the Guild of Nightwatchmen is a private organization. The Chief Constable is second-in-command to the Captain-General; however, whereas the C-G oversees the military forces of the entire Domain, the sources imply that the Chief Constable's power and responsibilities lie chiefly within the City of Greyhawk itself. The Chief Constable seems to be another office that automatically gains a Director's chair.

Of course, since the sources state that a director who leaves office need not be replaced, granting a chair to the occupants of certain offices is likely due to the fact that it's always a wise choice to have the heads of the watch & military involved in the decision-making process.

Zanderias wrote:
A post on Canonfire led me to "The Directing Oligarchs of Greyhawk" - http://www.wizards.com/default.asp?x=lg/lgpg/20080418a - which answers most of my questions :)

There's also http://www.canonfire.com/wiki/index.php?title=Directing_Oligarchy . Keep in mind that this article & the one above concern the Directing Oligarchy circa 598 CY.

In 595 CY, when AoW begins (and assumed to end in 596 CY), the Directing Oligarchy consists of the following:

Lord Mayor Nerof Gasgal
Carmen Halmaster
Dernan Nathane
Glodreddi Bakkanin
Kieren Jalucian
Org Nenshen
Ravel Dasinder
Stakaster Villaine
Vesper Lafanel
Cariel Mansharn
Tigran Gellner
Torrentz Hebvard
Gerda Hollardel
Stimtrin Cannasay
Etin Derecs (replaced sometime the following year by Sir Gavin Ambus)
Jerome Kasinkaia, priest of Rao (retires sometime in 596)
Sir Anton Palmirian
Eritai Kaan-Ipzirel

Unfortunately, I forgot to use the following team:

A human paladin in gold chainmail, his coat of arms bearing a symbol resembling an arrowhead.
A half-elf wizard/psionicist/bard with a lyre.
A human cleric in blue robes.
A human fighter wielding a claymore & wearing a kilt.
A female drow bard with ranks in Perform (singing).
A youthful human diviner in yellow robes.
A shirtless, human rogue with a rapier.
A red-skinned goblin with 1 hp.

The Snorting Tip-sniffer wrote:
Did the 'dwarf barbarian' have a cohort? A teenage girl in a yellow coat, casting dancing lights and colour spray?

No, but the team did also include a one-eyed evoker who summoned an ice paraelemental, an avariel, and a half-fiend/half-drow who smelled of brimstone.

That team was Final Phoenix. There was another strangely familiar team was well, consisting of:

An assimar paladin in blue chainmail, with a winged helm & round shield with a star device.
A half-celestial Suel barbarian with a long red cape, winged helm, & wielding a powerful magic warhammer.
A tiefling sorceress clad in red.
And elven ranger clad in violet & blue, using a variety of magic arrows, with a black panther animal companion.
A strange humanoid in full plate who uses winged boots & a ring of the ram.
A female halfling wizard, who harries her opponents by using reduce person & fly on herself, then several magic missles.
A massive half-ogre fighter on whom the halfling often casts enlarge person.

I had one group that included a dwarf barbarian wielding twin punch daggers, a drow druidess specializing in weather spells, a female, red-haired human psionicist, & an iron golem.

Kirth Gersen wrote:
EDIT: Heh. Mr. Gygax's endorsements lost much of their credibility when I read the unarmed combat rules in the AD&D Dungeon Master's Guide, in which you were vastly better off "pummeling" with a quarterstaff than striking with it -- to the point where every character wanted to abandon their swords, and switch them out for staves to pummel with, until we all cried "foul!" and discontinued using those rules.

See Dragon #67, p. 66: "Speaking of tables and charts, I do

have one severe problem with my own game system. I got talked into doing the complicated and time-consuming series for grappling, pummeling, and overbearing in a weak moment. I have regretted them ever since. I tend to use a very simple system which we initially developed
for such close-quarters combat in about 1974." --EGG

Jeremy Mac Donald wrote:
I'm sceptical that THE MAN himself ever actually endorsed the model though he may have mentioned it in passing. If he had, you know, gone on the record as saying its better, I think a lot more of us would have used it.

See Gygax's "From the Sorcerer's Scroll" in Dragon #69 & Frank Mentzer's "Falling Damage" article in #70.

Kirth Gersen wrote:
Mothman wrote:
Was this a standard rule in an earlier edition? Some of the guys I play with (who've been playing longer than I have) use this rule, but I'm not sure where it came from.
I seem to recall that Gygax mentioned in Dragon that he'd originally intended it that way, but the rules were edited and published without the clarification, reading "1d6 per 10 feet" without his added "cumulative". Or I might be misremembering. Anyway, it was in Dragon back around the time that Def Leppard was recording their first album -- too far back for me to remember clearly, but the rule stuck with us.

That is correct--I've been using that rule for years. The article still capped falling damage at 20d6, however.

pres man wrote:
Rob Bastard wrote:
I think my point about AOO's what you're addressing here, and yes, reach weapons do "do that." My point about more chances to dish out AOO's refers to the number of squares threatened: 8 for "normal" melee weapons vs 16 for reach weapons. Not to mention anyone who wants to close & attack the pole fighter from an adjacent square will have to leave one of those 16 threatened squares (unless they're taking a 5' step, of course).
Except it doesn't cover any more angles than a regular weapon. And as you point out, only 8 opponents can get adjacent to you with regular weapons, which means that at most you are going to have 8 opponents moving in on you (assuming they were equally divided around you). Yes a reach weapon allows you the chance to get an AoO as they come in, the first time.

You're assuming that every opponent will go for the pole fighter. Those 8 extra squares can also be passed through by an opponent going for an ally. And in regard to your last sentence--yes, the first time, which is one more than those with shorter weapons get.

pres man wrote:
Don't get me wrong, there are certainly advantages to reach weapons. But they are not so overpowered that they need to be gimped. Making it impossible to carry them and use a bow is just needless gimpage, which adds nothing to the fun of the game and just makes unusual weapon choices less likely. . . .

As I said before, disallowing a PC to stash a weapon twice his size on his back only unbalances the most fragile of games. And in my experience, few PCs regularly alternate between melee and ranged weapons, especially if they're able to move in on hard to reach opponents via flight.

pres man wrote:
[rant]No ruling by a DM is too terrible if the players have time to adjust to it or decide not to play. But rulings where DMs just pull stuff out of the rear . . .

I don't think using real-world references is "pulling something out of one's rear." Most reasonable people would agree that it's silly to think that someone could sheathe a pole weapon across his back without some sort of magical aid.

pres man wrote:
and then screw up the player's character concepts, the only thing in the entire game world they actually have control over, that is just bad DMing. I don't really personally care if a DM wants to make impossible to use a reach weapon in anything other than large formations of NPCs. I just hate to see bad DMing, because it just makes it that much harder to get those players to try again later.[/rant]

Allowing players to ignore common sense in order to game the system is bad DMing. What's next? They want to hold a sword by its blade so they can do bludgeoning damage?

pres man wrote:

Rob Bastard wrote:
& more chances for you to dish out AOO's more than makes up for an average of 4-8 points less damage per round for a character with a high BAB.
Except reach weapons don't do that. At best it allows an AoO once as they pass through it. But then when they are 5 ft away it is no different than any other weapon, except you have to keep taking 5 ft steps to use it (which they can then take a 5 ft step to close the gap again). I do hope you made this ruling clear before the player invested any money into a reach weapon. "Sorry you have to toss your +3 ghost touch flaming glaive if you ever want to do anything with more than one hand, like use a non-throwing ranged weapon."

I think my point about AOO's what you're addressing here, and yes, reach weapons do "do that." My point about more chances to dish out AOO's refers to the number of squares threatened: 8 for "normal" melee weapons vs 16 for reach weapons. Not to mention anyone who wants to close & attack the pole fighter from an adjacent square will have to leave one of those 16 threatened squares (unless they're taking a 5' step, of course).

Fake Healer wrote:
. . . like making up that the bows in my comparison must of been shot in a straight line . . .

I didn't make that up. See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sling_(weapon)#Combat and http://www.lloydianaspects.co.uk/weapons/sling.html

The later website makes the claim about the greater skill needed to effectively use a sling in combat.

Fake Healer wrote:
Oh goody, one of those 'let me pick you apart, point by point'...


Fake Healer wrote:

In regards to the nutrition part of your post.....

From the SRD-
Characters might find themselves without food or water and with no means to obtain them. In normal climates, Medium characters need at least a gallon of fluids and about a pound of decent food per day to avoid starvation. (Small characters need half as much.) In very hot climates, characters need two or three times as much water to avoid dehydration. . . . .

Very good junior--you can copy & paste! Obviously you didn't understand my point. The SRD does not address proper nutrition--the above only addresses starvation & thirst. Please note that "decent food" is not defined, and shoe leather & tree bark could very well prevent starvation, but wouldn't be very nutritious.

Fake Healer wrote:
. . . A reach weapon does less damage to balance out the reach aspect of the weapon.

Considering the damage varies by only 1-2 points on average, I would argue that keeping your opponent an extra square away, fewer AOO's directed your way, & more chances for you to dish out AOO's more than makes up for an average of 4-8 points less damage per round for a character with a high BAB.

Fake Healer wrote:
If you make so that the weapon doesn't follow the rules laid out for weapons then you are making that weapon less usable, whether you personally wish to admit it or not.

No, I'm ruling on the side of common sense rather than slavish devotion to the rules. As someone pointed out on another thread, the RAW indicate that your average farmer (Commoner 1) would not be able to identify a cow, wolf, skunk, or other animals using Knowledge (Nature). I'm sure you'd houserule on the side of common sense on that one, wouldn't you?

Fake Healer wrote:
A weapon that must be tossed down in order to use a ranged weapon, or that takes longer to stow than normal would be given an increased benefit to be balanced against the other weapons.

All melee weapons must be tossed down in order to use a ranged weapon in the same round. The vast majority of players I know would prefer to make one move-equivalent and an attack rather than 2 move-equivalents. And as I pointed out before, always having a weapon in hand will usually be more beneficial than not being able to sheathe it. Imagine how stupid it would be if a troupe of glaive-wielding caravan guards suprised by a goblin ambush had to waste an action drawing their glaives.

Fake Healer wrote:
You can choose to ignore that and shrug it off as an inconsequential difference if you wish but there is a balance change in doing so.

You must run a fragile game if weapon-sheathing issues are going to unbalance it.

Fake Healer wrote:
On the plate thing, yes I am sure the guy could do better without, however plate in D&D says that everyone has an effective 12(or less) dexterity while wearing it, whether they have a 16 or a 26 to start with. . . . .

It says nothing of the sort--it just limits the dexterity bonus to AC. Just to prove I can also quote the SRD:

"Heavier armors limit mobility, reducing the wearer&#8217;s ability to dodge blows. This restriction doesn&#8217;t affect any other Dexterity-related abilities."

Fake Healer wrote:

A Quote from the site "For comparison, the current World Flight record for a "historically accurate" English longbow and horn/sinew composite bow is 306m and 566m respectively. It should be noted, however, that these ranges were achieved using light-weight flight arrows designed for range, and not for combat."

Jerzy Gasperowicz in 2006 used a Bipointed lead shot with a sling and threw sidearm to a distance of 505m.

Looking over that site and a few others, the distance advantage seems to be chiefly due to bows being shot in a straight line while slings used a high arc of trajectory. Therefore, I would assume that the sling's range increment is smaller because of the greater difficulty in aiming along a high arc.

Fake Healer wrote:

... Doesn't say anything there about polearms following different rules.

... Nothing here about different rules for Polearms either.

... Nothing in the weapon description either.

The rules also don't cover proper nutrition. If one of your players decides that his character will subsist a diet of tree bark and shoe leather, I suppose you'd be okay with it? Common sense should prevail over slavish devotion to the rules.

Fake Healer wrote:
If you decide to make the weapon more cumbersome with houseruled restrictions you need to keep in mind that the weapon is no longer balanced against the un-restricted weapons.

I seriously doubt refusing to allow a polearm to be slung across ones back is going to unbalance the game. In fact, always having the weapon at ready could likely provide an advantage--he has his weapon in hand while everyone else has to take a move action to draw.

Fake Healer wrote:
... Slings have a higher distance record in real life than a longbow and can blast through a sheet of 3/4" plywood with ease leaving a 3-4" round hole.

Source, please.

Fake Healer wrote:

If you go for realism you are gonna end up with everyone trying to inject their own personal ideals for realistic options.

People claim that they can do cartwheels and back hand springs in platemail in real life and I saw a video of it once. So do we change the maximum dex bonus for Plate? If you do you start messing with the game mechanics and balance.

No, because the same guy you saw in the video could likely do it better without the platemail. That's why the armor check penalty applies to skills like Tumble.

A friend of mine once said "there's suspension of disbelief and then there's suspension of disbelief." I can, for example, accept the fact that Superman can fly; but I can't buy him reversing the Earth's rotation to go back in time.

Seldriss wrote:
creating a double D symbol

Then everyone's gonna think they're strippers.

Ixancoatl wrote:
Rob Bastard wrote:

As an aside, could you refer me to a reputable source on polearm lengths? I write up detailed descriptions on the appearance of all my player's major magic items, & wasn't able to find anything online about guisarme lengths--thus, I assumed a 10' haft (with 2' blade) was appropriate for reach purposes.
Heck, there were tons of these types of things during 1e. Some old Dragon mags had articles on polearms. THe 1e Unearthed Arcana had a section on them. If I was nearly my old Dragons at the moment, I cold tell you where to look. I'll see what I can pull up.

Yes, I have "The Nomenclature of Polearms" (in an issue of Dragon, & reprinted in "Best of Dragon" & UA) but I think it mainly talked about the uses and head shapes of the various polearms, not actual length.

Jeremy Mac Donald wrote:
I have no idea what the OPs situation is like but I'd not be too sympathetic until after he explains that his players are doing this all for the role playing opportunities.

The player is actually pretty new to D&D. He was sold on the character concept by a fellow player who plays in several other games, and from what I know and have heard about his other groups, they tend to focus heavily on using & trying out new rules. I was fine with letting the new player play a pole-wielding scout with a level of ranger (for the martial weapon proficiency, of course), & even helped him develop a backstory to explain why he'd use a pole in the first place, but I sure as hell wasn't going to allow any "I'm carrying it on my back" shenanigans.

The Black Bard wrote:
I'm playing a glaive wielding cleric in a Pathfinder game, and I basically just always walk around with my polearm "drawn". One might say that holding the polearm in one hand, either over the shoulder, or just next to the body, and then switching to a "combat" stance, could equate the move action for drawing,

IMO, if the polearm is in your hand, it's drawn--I wouldn't make you take a move action to assume a "combat stance."

SmiloDan wrote:
I once had a DM who almost didn't let my elf carry a longbow in one hand and a longsword in the other. He said I needed 2 hands to carry a longbow.

Two hands to use it, but only one to carry it.

SmiloDan wrote:
He made a lot of ridiculous rulings, like Fire Resistance doesn't apply to heat or hot weather.

It does apply. However, I would not let fire resistance protect someone from suffocation, such as spending several minutes in a burning building or submerged in molten lava.

SmiloDan wrote:
That said, why is it such a big deal to let a PC stow his weapon like every other weapon? If they had rules to make polearms more difficult to use, then no one would use them, and everyone would use either a greatsword or greataxe. Boring.

Then why not let PCs use polearms in close combat, "like every other weapon"? If I wanted to store a weapon twice my size on my back, I'd play Final Fantasy. And in case you haven't noticed, 3x is pretty much set up to give melee fighters using greatswords & greataxes the advantage, ala Power Attack.

Doug Sundseth wrote:

2) Polearms other than spears or pikes were commonly about 6-8' long, not 12' long. A 12' long polearm is almost impossible to use other than as a thrusting weapon.

Even so, no one 5' tall will be carrying a 6-8' weapon on his back.

The length is based on the guisarme being a reach slashing weapon--considering that at least 2-3' of the haft will be taken up by hand space, it's hard to justify a reach weapon being 6'-8' long using the 5' spacing rules.

As an aside, could you refer me to a reputable source on polearm lengths? I write up detailed descriptions on the appearance of all my player's major magic items, & wasn't able to find anything online about guisarme lengths--thus, I assumed a 10' haft (with 2' blade) was appropriate for reach purposes.

Moff Rimmer wrote:
Rob Bastard wrote:
SmiloDan wrote:
Deathedge wrote:
Ultimate two-weapon fighting? Have I missed something?
You know, 2-WF, I2-WF, G2-WF, plus haste, is 8 attacks a round.
Add Perfect 2WF, throw in 2 weapons of speed, & you can have 10 attacks/rd.
I'm confused (when I thought that I wasn't). Haste gives the wielder (according to the SRD) "One additional attack with any weapon he is holding". It doesn't say that he gets one additional attack with "each" weapon he is holding. In addition, it says very specifically in both the descriptions for haste and weapons of speed that the effects of both are not cumulative. So in the first case "plus haste" gives a total of 7 attacks a round while speed doesn't grant any additional attacks. (Unless I'm totally missing something.)

I was ignoring Haste. Perfect 2WF gives the same # of attacks with the off as with the primary. A speed weapon allows one extra attack with that weapon, so using 2 will get you 2 extra attacks. Thus, a 21st level 2-hand fighter with all those feats & weapons can get 10 attacks/ round.

SmiloDan wrote:
Deathedge wrote:
Ultimate two-weapon fighting? Have I missed something?
You know, 2-WF, I2-WF, G2-WF, plus haste, is 8 attacks a round.

Add Perfect 2WF, throw in 2 weapons of speed, & you can have 10 attacks/rd.

pres man wrote:
Rob Bastard wrote:
Except drawing a weapon is another move action. He could, I suppose, shoot the following round, drop the bow & grab the polearm, but this only works if he hasn't moved & isn't airborne (both of which applied in his situation).
Was he mounted or flying under some other means?

Winged boots.

skinnyfat wrote:
I don't know... It shouldn't be that big of a deal really. Polearms have been the weapon of choice for most soldiers throughout history, no matter how tall they are and with a little bit of training I highly doubt the weapon inhibited them that much at all.

They weren't so much a weapon of choice as a weapon of economy & convenience. I'm sure most would choose bows or crossbows, if given the chance. And I know of no soldier that would have willingly strapped his polearm to his back rather than carry it. Find some period examples of such a practice if you think that's practical.

skinnyfat wrote:
Instead of having your player sheath his weapon, have him take the same move action it takes to sheath a weapon and instead have him jam it into the ground. He should then be able to draw his bow, fire off a shot, and then grab his polearm again with no problem. After all it's standing upright directly next to him and shouldn't take anything more than a free action to grab it again and go.

Except drawing a weapon is another move action. He could, I suppose, shoot the following round, drop the bow & grab the polearm, but this only works if he hasn't moved & isn't airborne (both of which applied in his situation).

Ross Byers wrote:
Doesn't the Efficient Quiver (aka Elhonna's quiver) have a space to hold a spear/staff/polearm?

For bows & similar-sized objects, which I read to be about 6' of space.

pres man wrote:
Why couldn't a polearm have a strap on it that was meant to allow it be slung over the back of someone?

Try getting into melee or drawing arrows with 5-7' of stick jutting above your head, then get back to me.

Kelvar Silvermace wrote:

It sounds like your players want the game to feel more like a videogame than a roleplaying game. Nothing wrong with that, I suppose, but I do prefer a little more realism and it sounds like you do too.

Not sure if it's a video game thing (though I know 2 of them play WoW), or if it's the fact that the 3 don't really have any experience with earlier editions. First, second, and original D&D seem to have relied a lot more on DM interpretation than 3x, whereas the later's level of detail seems to result in some players cleaving to the letter of the rules rather than the spirit of them.

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Last night I had a disagreement with some of my players that I found surprising. One of them plays a 5' tall wood elf ranger/scout who wields a guisarme, and for some reason seemed to think that he could sheathe his polearm across his back while he drew his bow. My refusal to allow him to do so drew protests from two other players as well--they all felt that despite the fact that traveling around with a 12' weapon on a 5' elf's back defies all logic, he should be allowed to do so because the rules as written don't seem to prevent it. They grudgingly accepted my ruling, but felt I was being unreasonable. They also felt he should be able to store it in his handy haversack instead, but I argued that such items aren't generally made to house something that long (not to mention the fact that the blade would rip & destroy the bag).

I did tell the player that he could have a special sheath created, along the same lines as a quiver of Ehlonna, & he was fine with that.

Anyone else have similar experiences on this matter? Has such a situation ever been addressed via Sage Advice or the like? Or is this just a result of me having not grown up playing Final Fantasy and other games where characters use and carry vastly oversized weapons?

drsparnum wrote:
Hastur do you still have the pics, or pic suggestions, that you used for the characters at the feast that don't have a picture in the module (Hoff, Mitchwillow, Toris, V'juss and Vulras)?

There's a pic of Vulras in "Dawn of a New Age."

hogarth wrote:
Seriously, there's already a DC for tasting spoiled food. Does anyone really know what polio (say) tastes like? Where did that idea come from?

In certain ancient professions, I can see where where tasting a disease might come in handy. By then, however, it's probably too late.

seekerofshadowlight wrote:
Fly skills has been in my game for well over a year now. I like the way its done in pathfinder.It always bugged me one little spell or cap and you became the red baron of D&D.

Ummm, the Red Baron was shot down. By some Australian--or possibly Canadian--at that (not, as previously has been reported by the press, Snoopy).

Allen Stewart wrote:
Turin, having a Freedom of Movement ability will not be affected by Mother worm's most potent special ability, so I've got to either quickly subdue the rest and drive him off, or pummel him to death with her many attacks (which I can do Turin, so don't try to be a friggin hero, alright:)

I ran the Mother Worm encounter last night, & the party used FoM to avoid paralysis. However, re-reading the description of FoM today, I see the following:

This spell enables you or a creature you touch to move and attack normally for the duration of the spell, even under the influence of magic that usually impedes movement, such as paralysis, solid fog, slow, and web.

Note that the Mother Worm's paralysis is an extraordinary ability, & thus could not be circumvented with FoM (unless there's errata I'm missing). In retrospect, I'm glad this escaped my attention, as 8 attacks with DC 41 paralysis, combined with SR 29 & DR 15/Epic (how can a CR 20 creature have epic DR, btw?), I would've ended up with a TPK.

lastknightleft wrote:
Rob Bastard wrote:
I still think it's assinine that barbarians get acrobatics as a class skill and rangers don't. hell, look at two of the best-known archetypes for the classes: Conan & Robin Hood--which of the two is it easier to envision tumbling in combat?
Where did that come from? Have you seen the alpa 3 before the rest of us?

No. But I have seen Table 5-4 on page 37. Perhaps you've seen it? Or not.

I still think it's assinine that barbarians get acrobatics as a class skill and rangers don't. hell, look at two of the best-known archetypes for the classes: Conan & Robin Hood--which of the two is it easier to envision tumbling in combat?

pres man wrote:
Samuel Weiss wrote:
No, it is hyperbole to illustrate a minor loophole in the rules as written that becomes a somewhat bigger flaw with some creatures.

It is not a loophole. The RAW covers a farmer identifying his livestock. We have quoted the RAW to you. Read it, know it, play it.

As for the ranger, well his insight into his favored enemy need not be conscious. He may not even be aware of it. You'll notice the bonus damage in 3.5 is no longer precision based (hitting in a vital spot). You could say it is "mystic" damage and insight into the favored enemy. Remember that a ranger is a holy warrior, similiar but not identical to the paladin. His abilities need no logical explanation, they are just "divine".

The only thing "divine" about rangers is that they cast divine spells. All of their other class abilities are extraordinary. To quote the rules, "extraordinary abilities do not qualify as magical, though they may break the laws of physics," which casts serious doubt on your claims about "mystic damage" and "holy warriors."

fliprushman wrote:
Same with the ranger. He would know what common undead look like, Zombies and Skeletons are clearly the undead. A Bodak or Vampire are a little harder to discern but you can tell that they too are undead because they are not breathing. Just because he doesn't have ranks in Knowledge(Religion) doesn't mean he can't discern that. This goes along the lines of saying that a dwarf that trains himself to battle Orcs and Goblins and takes no Ranks in Knowledge(Local) wouldn't know what one of those were.

The problem with rangers is more than mere identification. The ranger should have far more than "common" knowledge of the society, habits, environment, diet, ecology, etc, of his favored enemies. A ranger with a +6 favored enemy bonus against gnolls, for example, should not have to turn to the party's city-dwelling rogue for this information just because he doesn't have any ranks in Knowledge (Local).

Epic Meepo wrote:
Rob Bastard wrote:
It just seems pointless.

It's pointless right up until your opponent sunders one of your two weapons. Then you can't two-weapon fight at all without it.

And spellcasters usually need one hand free to cast spells, so if you're a fighter with a few spellcaster levels, the ability to two-weapon fight with only one weapon could come in rather handy.

Except that it says "swap your weapons." Now, if this feat was intended to be used the way you describe, it should be worded differently, & perhaps even renamed (Weapon Transfer would be better). Of course, if the designer had intended for Weapon Swap to be used this way, I doubt he would have made its use a requirement for Two-Weapon Rend (in the initial release).

I'd re-word it something like this:

You may take advantage of your two-weapon fighting skills by tranfering a single weapon from hand-to-hand.
Prerequsites: Dex 17, Improved Two Weapon Fighting, Two-Weapon Fighting, BAB +6
Benefit: When wielding a single weapon, after making an attack with it one hand, you can transfer the weapon to your other hand, allowing you to make an attack using the weapon in that hand. You may continue to transfer the weapon until you run out of attacks with both hands. All penalties for fighting with two weapons apply to both hands.
Normal: You normally would not be able to use two-weapon fighting with a single weapon."

Note that I don't use the term "off-hand," allowing the PC to begin with the weapon in either hand. I also don't require the PC to make all of his attacks with a single hand before switching (though doing so isn't prevented), adding a bit of realism--rarely would someone fighting Florentine in real life (with 4 attacks in each hand) do R/R/R/R & L/L/L/L; they'd more likely do R/L & R/L & R/L & R/L.

As for sundering, if my DM threw sundering opponents at me so often that I'd have to waste a feat on WS (not to mention always worrying about my magic weapons getting damaged), I'd find another DM.

Another identification problem involves rangers & their favored enemies. Abiding by the RAW, a ranger who has undead as a favored enemy who does not take any cross-class ranks in religion can't make any knowledge checks regarding his favored enemy, yet gets bonuses on spot, survival, and other skills?

A work-around would be to let the ranger use his level + int + favored enemy bonus as a modifier on all knowledge checks regarding favored enemies, so a 1st level cleric won't have more undead knowledge than a 10th level ranger.

I think it's silly for barbarians to get Acrobatics & not rangers. Preferably, it will be removed from the barbarian's list.

Those wishing to play a tumbling barbarian should either:
A) Take a level in rogue, or
B) Work something out with your DM.

Bradford Ferguson wrote:
Rob Bastard wrote:
So, unless my primary weapon is light, I'm going to take an extra -2 on my attack roll to use it in my off hand!
The way I read it is that you wouldn't be taking negatives for having a non-light primary weapon, so the feat is an additive for damage and if you are more specialized/trained in the primary weapon it would help out too.

Except for the fact that it doesn't read that way. If that's how it's supposed to work, it should say so in the text. Of course, removing such penalties will mean we'll start seeing a bunch of PC's using bastard swords with their TWF feat. . . .

No feat at all is better than a useless, or broken feat.

Thraxus wrote:
That said, I still like the feat. I can picture a swashbuckler attacking with a rapier and then switching it to the off-hand for the final attack.

Except for the fact that mechanically, he'll suffer a -2 penalty for using his offhand (that's assuming he has TWP, of course).

David Foster wrote:

Weapon Swap? What the heck?!?!?!?!??! Either it is cheese on a stick or exceptionally poorly worded.

Example: I fight with a bastard sword in one hand and a dagger in the other and, mid-attack, I switch hands so I am essentially attacking with two bastard swords at no penalty!

Read it again. The words "no penalty" do not appear in the feat description, making it the opposite of cheese--useless.

With the chaining removed (which I am happy for) Weapon Swap becomes even more useless. In effect, the PC is punished by wasting a feat on something he'll probably never use.

In short, Weapon Swap is one of the most useless feats ever.

I'd like to know what the thinking behind this feat is. It just seems pointless.

I'll copy & paste the text for those unfamiliar:
With an acrobatic twist, you can swap your weapons from one hand to another.
Prerequisites: Dex 17, Improved Two-Weapon Fighting, Two-Weapon Fighting, base attack bonus +6.
Benefit: After making all of your attacks with your primary hand, you can swap your primary weapon to your off hand and make attacks using that weapon in your off hand."

So, unless my primary weapon is light, I'm going to take an extra -2 on my attack roll to use it in my off hand!

Ex: let's say I'm a 8th level fighter w/ dex 17 & Str 12 & weapon finesse, & a +1 rapier & +1 short sword.

My attacks should be: Rapier, +10/+5 (1d6+1) & Short Sword, +10/+5 (1d6+0).

So on my first full attack, I use my rapier in my primary hand for +10/+5 (1d6+0), then I do Weapon Swap, attacking with my rapier in my off hand for +8/+3 (1d6+0).

Of course, one can argue that WS is a gateway feat for Two Weapon Rend. Even so, it's a stupid gateway feat--being able to juggle your weapon has little to do with being able to hit with both weapons at once. If balance is a concern, make the damage for TWR 1d8 or 1d6--just don't punish the player by making him take an impotent feat he'll never use.

Had I not done weapon swap, I'd be in better shape.

DudeMonkey wrote:

If you read the designers' articles on WotC website a few years back, you'll see that Save or Die basically means "any time the outcome of one die roll takes the PLAYER out of the game for hours on end". So, see also: Confusion, Dominate Monster, et al.

I, personally, hate these. These effects basically mean that the player's choice is to sit around and watch everyone else play D&D for the rest of the night or head home early.

In my AOW campaign, during the Champion's Games, Khellek led off with a confusion spell, which all but two characters failed. Had I not HR'd then and there that an unaffected character can take a full-round action to shake a confused character out of it, the party would've lost the games over a single 4th level spell, & I would've had some very disappointed players.

Sothrim wrote:

I house rule it that death effects drop you to -1 and bleeding out. Basically I just replace "dead" with "dying." I find it leads to an increase of tension for the players rather than a sudden and final disappointment of "Oh. Well that stinks." Allies have to rush to stabilize the character, or finish off the baddie. Player decision, at least for the allies, has a hand in whether the affected character lives or dies.

This rule would still be pretty backwards-compatible; if someone wanted to go for -10 hp rather than -1 hp, no problem.

I also houseruled save-or-die death effects. IMC, characters don't die at -10 hp, but instead die at -Con (ie, a character with a 15 Con dies at -15 hp).

Instead of killing instantly, the character is dropped to negative hp equal to the save DC-10 (ex: a character with a 15 con who fails to save against an assassin's DC 20 death attack is dropped to -10 hp). Simultaneously, the character also suffers con damage equal to the DC-10, but does not lose any additional hp due to this loss--he just can't heal up to his full amount w/o repairing the con damage (so in the above example, the character's Con drops from 15 to 5).

Skyscraper wrote:

I don't like having to use a combat feat in the round preceding the use of another combat feat (e.g. power attack before cleave). At all.

First off, power attack has been nerfed enough as it is.

I actually agree with nerfing power attack--this may hinder the PCs, but also benefits them (esp at high levels--high str+high BAB+power attack+crit=death). Also, it makes more sense to tie it to Strength instead of BAB.

I do agree that combat feats are an unneccessary pain. IHR'd Dodge in 3.5 to allow an all-around +1 dodge bonus to AC. "Declaring" it was silly, as is making it last for one turn. A +1 AC bonus will no more imbalance the game than will the +1 attack bonus from Weapon Focus.

As for other combat feats, Weapon Swap seems pointless, other than as a set-up for Two-Weapon Rend. The later requires 3 feats (2 if you drop Weapon Swap), a high dex, & a +11 BAB as prereqs, so just drop the Weapon Swapping anyway. Besides, once you've swapped weapons, unless your off-hand weapon is light, you're gonna have a -4/-4 on your attacks. Weapon Swap needs to go--reduce the damage for 2-Weapon Rend if you feel it's necessary.

Other combat feats are equally unecessary or complicated to use (Shield Master, I'm thinking you). Drop them altogether, or improve the benefits of the final feat in the chain.

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