SNEAK ATTACK minor tweak proposition


New Rules Suggestions

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Silver Crusade

KaeYoss wrote:
Nope, works fine as it is now, too much unnecessary bookkeeping (all bookkeeping is too much if it is unnecessary)

Amen to that, I don't see anything wrong, if your players can't figure out that they shouldn't be cheesing like you mention, then there is no point in having that player at the table.

Let cheese be it's own punishment, not the rules.

Liberty's Edge

3rdnail wrote:

Amen to that, I don't see anything wrong, if your players can't figure out that they shouldn't be cheesing like you mention, then there is no point in having that player at the table.

Let cheese be it's own punishment, not the rules.

I'd actually rather have tweaks that reduce the benefits of cheesy tactics in the core rules or in the variants presented along with the core rules.


Locworks wrote:
3rdnail wrote:

Amen to that, I don't see anything wrong, if your players can't figure out that they shouldn't be cheesing like you mention, then there is no point in having that player at the table.

Let cheese be it's own punishment, not the rules.
I'd actually rather have tweaks that reduce the benefits of cheesy tactics in the core rules or in the variants presented along with the core rules.

I completely agree with Lockworks. Better to have it in the rules than have arguments about it being cheese but legal according to Rules As Written ([sarcasm]All power to the infallible RAW![/sarcasm]). Especially when these arguments happen in the middle of the game.

Not everyone has a perfect (or sometimes even regular) group. Even if you do, real life can easily break that group apart (with regard to gaming).

Silver Crusade

Oh I'll be honest, I don't have this issue at my table. My players leave all final rulings to me, we don't dispute things unless I say "maybe".

I suppose I am just spoiled, they have all accepted and expect any new members to also accept that I am "god" when it comes time to sit at the table.

I'm of the opinion that the tweek would be too much book keeping, but it's only because I don't encounter obstacles like you've mentioned.


3rdnail wrote:


I'm of the opinion that the tweek would be too much book keeping, but it's only because I don't encounter obstacles like you've mentioned.

What do you mean: "too much book keeping"?

The tweak is only this:
You hit, drop one D6 next time you hit on your turn.

(remember, it all resets at the end of round, like iterative attacks and AoO...)

Players can figure out attack modifier and damage on iterative attack, after being buffed by the cleric, fighting with two-weapon and flanking, while attacking a prone foe in a fog area, with power attack and confirming a crit with a bane and shocking burst weapon, all this with the smite evil ability.

huh... Book keeping?

This is not a good argument for something as simple as this tweak.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
YULDM wrote:


huh... Book keeping?

This is not a good argument for something as simple as this tweak.

You have an idea of it being much simpler in your mind than some of the rest of us do.

I'm not saying I'm gonna need a scratch piece of paper to work all this out, but it is extra work. Extra work that I just don't want to have to think about.

This is not laziness, this is simplification. I just don't even want to bother with a mechanic that tries to stop a rare occurring abuse.

So this is a good arguement for something like this tweak. This tweak includes some mental work for the player with what should be just a simple damage roll. A lot of my players roll several times due to not having a full 10 d6 dice bag. So when you're rolling 3d6 at a time and adding up damage and counting dice it just feels better not to have to keep track of what you're new number of d6 are.

The rules CANNOT prevent every abuse. Mostly because every abuse is actually a well built class to its strengths that a lot of the other classes then envy. You know what? I think clerics need a tweak because a 20th level cleric in a room with 20 undead is dealing almost 20*10d20 damage! OMG, that could be almost 4000 damage, way more than a rogue can do. NERF!!!

Seriously, I think this build has enough problems already as I stated above. Locworks counted a number of words, but anyone please tell me Glitterdust, a 2nd level spell, doesn't rob the rogue of this advantage. There are plenty of things still out there to spot rogues, believe me. I've been spotted by all of them.


Brit O wrote:


[...]
So this is a good arguement for something like this tweak. This tweak includes some mental work for the player with what should be just a simple damage roll. A lot of my players roll several times due to not having a full 10 d6 dice bag. So when you're rolling 3d6 at a time and adding up damage and counting dice it just feels better not to have to keep track of what you're new number of d6 are.

Still not buying it... To roll 5D6 or 4D6 or 3D6, a player have to count them up. If the D6 are already counted, just drop 1D6. A kid could do this... I would even go as far as saying that the mental work required to remove 1D6 from a pool of dice is *less* than the mental work required to add the number of this D6 to a pool of dice.

Brit O wrote:


The rules CANNOT prevent every abuse. Mostly because every abuse is actually a well built class to its strengths that a lot of the other classes then envy. You know what? I think clerics need a tweak because a 20th level cleric in a room with 20 undead is dealing almost 20*10d20 damage! OMG, that could be almost 4000 damage, way more than a rogue can do. NERF!!!

Let's not compare spells with melee attacks. I think that many unbalanced spells need *major* tweak, but this is another discussion. We can not compare spells (usable a small and fixed numbers of times per day) to an ability that is usable "at-will"...

Brit O wrote:


Seriously, I think this build has enough problems already as I stated above. Locworks counted a number of words, but anyone please tell me Glitterdust, a 2nd level spell, doesn't rob the rogue of this advantage. There are plenty of things still out there to spot rogues, believe me. I've been spotted by all of them.

As I stated in a previous post, Invisibility is not the only situation of possible abuse. But I agree with you that DMs have a lot of options to deny the Rogue his ability to sneak attack. However, DMs can not always deny the Rogue one of his core class ability. It would be like removing all undead from a campaign with clerics, never letting a Ranger encounter his favorite enemy... A more stable sneak attack mechanic would let the Rogue play, without a DM constantly needing to hinder him.

I would like to see a list of all the problems with the tweak.
This is a list of NO problem:

The tweak:
- prevent many abuse
- is easy to implement without changing actual game mechanics
- is simple to use
- removes almost nothing from actual sneak attack power (~10% in worse case)
- prevent many abuse


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
YULDM wrote:

I would like to see a list of all the problems with the tweak.

This is a list of NO problem:

The tweak:
- prevent many abuse
- is easy to implement without changing actual game mechanics
- is simple to use
- removes almost nothing from actual sneak attack power (~10% in worse case)
- prevent many abuse

The tweak problems:

- Does add complexity to the system.
- Affects every character of this class NOT abusing it.
- The abuse of this system already has limitations, and so doesn't NEED tweaking

The simplicity of this system is a matter of Opinion. Adding the value of a d6 to the total is probably as much work as counting the number of d6s rolled I agree with you there, however: I don't want to do both just for fun. You're adding another step to a player's damage roll.

It affects gaming groups that have never had this problem. Some groups don't have a lot of problems with the Min/Maxing mentality and even if some do they may still never encounter this problem, or has a DM ready to counter it often enough to be interesting.

You've admitted there's a lot of options to denying the rogue this advantage. I'm not saying do it every encounter but when he's such a threat to the fun level of the game, be ready to make him think or change tactics. When a player over commits to an idea you can either A) let him do it over and over until the groups sick of it or B) mix it up, and use it to make interesting encounters. Disarm him, glitterdust him, dominate him, and make the group think.

I will agree with you on this one instance when I would want this rule used. Dungeon hacking with zero roleplaying. If you're just throwing encounters at the group penalizing them for combat godliness is contrary to what you're playstyle is. In that one instance, Min/Maxing too good is a real problem. So ask to add this as a variant, but definitely not a core rule.

Core rules are core because everyone following them makes for a good and simple all around balance. The variants are added for players to adapt to different play styles and group dynamic problems. At least then you'd have the option of starting every game saying the rule is in effect, and everyone else is not mandated to follow it.

Liberty's Edge

YULDM, can you contact me at <my alias> @ gmail.com? I'd like to repost the tweak as OGC.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

OGC? Whats that, if you don't mind?


Brit O wrote:
OGC? Whats that, if you don't mind?

I don't know...

Ogre Gastronomy Consortium? Other Guy Crying? Ocus Gopus Cadabra? hehe...

Grand Lodge

YULDM wrote:

*Proposition:

Decreasing the number of D6 of sneak attack on subsequent hit in the same round by 1. (minimum 1D6)

The Rogue is well balanced, but there is always room for amelioration. I propose some fine-tuning to prevent some possible abuses, without removing too much from the actual rule for sneak attacks. My proposition is not a big change in the mechanic, and is easy to implement.

With the new PFRPG sneak attacks rule, rogues get the chance to sneak attack more often. (new type of creatures)
When a Rogue is in a position to make more than one sneak attack in a round (Iterative attacks, Haste, Two-weapon fighting, Flurry of blows from multiclassing, Combat reflexes...), I propose to decrease the number of D6 on next hit by one. (minimum 1D6)

*Proposition example:
A hasted and flanking 9th-level Rogue (3 attacks in a round) will deal extra 5D6 on his first hit, 4D6 on the second hit, and 3D6 on the third (total 12D6 versus 15D6 actual rule). If there is not hit, there is no decrease. In this example, if the rogue hits only on his third attack, the extra sneak damage is the full 5D6.

As you can see, my proposition don't penalyze the Rogue very much. But, let's just take a look at this hypothetical situation (which may comes up only once in a lifetime) where it shows how crazy actual sneak attacking can get:

A VERY lucky 15th-level Rogue with greater invisibility and hasted, using Greater Two-Weapon fighting (Rapier and Shortsword), has 7 sneak attacks in a round. Assuming that all attacks hit (lucky rogue!) this is 7x 9D6 of damage.... 63D6! With my proposition, this number goes down to 35D6 "only". hehe...

Some players (not all!) often find ways to combine rules to put themselves in very advantageous situation, to the point of sometimes making the rules *seem* unbalanced. Flanking + Two-Weapon Fighting = lot of D6 of sneak!

Overall, I think that a Rogue (given his lower BAB), will not hit the target that often in a round, but I prefer something solid in the rule to prevent those...

Ok joining in the discussion a bit late... but the scenario you presented as once in a lifetime... dude, our rogue makes sure that happens almost every single fight. Now, in all the years she has played that rogue it has almost never been an issue.

In your example the level 15+ bad guys tend to have some massive defenses, and LOTS of HP.

I just do not see it as a problem. As the cleric in that party I am all for her doing a of damage. heck I would rather she add an extra d6 for every successful Sneak Attack, in that scenario earning an extra 7d6 :)

But that is just me :)


I still like the original proposition (D6 decrease on next hit), but I have maybe a new proposition.

Instead of reducing the number of D6 of SA, I propose to increase this amount to 1D6/level (similar to some spells). The SA ability is then usable only once per round (similar to some spells), but not as a standard action. A Rogue Talent can give the Rogue a second SA in a round (similar to a quicken spell).

Tweak #2
Sneak extra damage is 1d6 per level. Once a rogue have dealt sneak attack damage in a round, he can not sneak attack again on this round.

What do you think about this tweak?


YULDM wrote:

I still like the original proposition (D6 decrease on next hit), but I have maybe a new proposition.

Instead of reducing the number of D6 of SA, I propose to increase this amount to 1D6/level (similar to some spells). The SA ability is then usable only once per round (similar to some spells), but not as a standard action. A Rogue Talent can give the Rogue a second SA in a round (similar to a quicken spell).

Tweak #2
Sneak extra damage is 1d6 per level. Once a rogue have dealt sneak attack damage in a round, he can not sneak attack again on this round.

What do you think about this tweak?

The numbers end up close to your original proposal with the talent that gives a second sneak attack per round. Otherwise it drops the damage by almost half from your original proposal. Personally I can live with that considering I was originally proposing something similar but without upping the number of d6. I still love your original proposition.

Frankly, I doubt you will get as positive a response as you are hoping for. Most just don't see the problem, even if a member of their group uses this to their advantage. Players generally don't complain much if the party is winning. The only way they will understand is if DMs start using the exact same optimizing tactics against the party resulting in TPK (Total Party Kill). Few DMs are willing to upset their players in this manner to make a point.


YULDM,

I think everyone DOES appreciate you caring enough to make a suggestion about changing a rule you think is broken and a potential abuse factor.

That being said, please consider me in the camp of keeping the sneak attack abilities as is (no change).

I have played a two-weapon fighting rogue myself before and believe me, you hardly ever hit enough to get the amount of sneak attack damage you think you're going to get. Even with the addition of undead and constructs to the list of sneak attackable creatures, many creatures have high AC. Iterative attacks at lower to hit rolls get negated by high AC since it takes rolling a 20 to actually hit.

I think we can all argue about theoretical situations regarding the rules but until they are truly play-tested though a series of modules or an entire adventure path, that's all we are doing - arguing about theoretical possibilities. I doubt that most folks will find the sneak attack issue a problem during actual play. I sure didn't. My two-weapon fighting rogue died twice (and nearly died a dozen other times). Ultimately he didn't make it to the end of the campaign. The fighter and wizard did. The cleric did. So don't think that having a lot of attacks and sneak attack can make a rogue *that* powerful.

I agree with Robert in that a DM should just adjust the adventure if a player is reaping too much from cheese. The goal is for the entire table to have fun. It may take some encounter adjusting or removal of a player if that player is spoiling all the fun of the other players. This is an extreme but as a DM I have a rule that the table can vote someone off the island. This leaves the door open for the players to remove a problematic player who is sucking all the fun out of the game. And face it, would you rather remove one player who is problematic or lose 2 other players who stop having fun because of that player? My point is that the DM has a lot of power to fix the problem via a number of possible solutions (including house rules - see below).

Remember that anyone can utilize house rules. If you want to decrease the effectiveness of sneak attack, you can do so in house rules. It looks like to me that there are enough folks that want to keep sneak attack as is and I am adding my name to the list.

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