CMB and Channel Energy Playtested with my Group


Alpha Release 3 General Discussion


I tried posting this here earlier, but I don't think it went up.

My group playtested CMB and Channeling this past weekend. They're 6 4th level characters. We have a Spirit Shaman, a Warblade, a Generalist Wizard, a multiclassed dwarf cleric 2/totemist 2 (from Incarnum), a ranger, and a rogue.

The current adventure that the party is on is gruelling for a low level group. They have several encounters in excess of the standard CR and encounter number recommendations, and are on a clock so cannot get rest. For this reason, it seemed like a good opportunity to test out Channel Energy and see if it extended the group's durability. In addition, I wanted to include the CMB rules and see how they worked during combat, and whether it increased the likelyhood that they would be used.

Overall, I found that even as a lvl 2 cleric, Channel Energy was good at extending party durability without toodirectly changing the outcomes of individual battles. Since he didn't have the Selective Channeling feat, he couldn't use it in combat without benefiting his opponents. Instead it was a good way to heal up the party after the fighting was over, thus extending the overall length of time they could go before needing rest.

The party didn't utilize CMB, though one person did discuss using it at one point, which is more then they've ever talked about doing in the past. I had several NPCs attempt different maneuvers, mostly bull rushing, all to failure. CMB DCs seem to be very dificult for low level characters to overcome, especially for the DM's NPCS, as they tend to have lower HD on average then the PCs, which makes it a much more difficult DC to overcome.

The one question I have: can other characters use Aid Another to affect Combat Maneuvers?

-Steve


My playtest group also uses channel energy, which I really like bbcause it gives some extra healing to the cleric without making him sacrifice his spells.

But my group is only level 6, I would really like to hear how channelling and CMB fares at higher levels.

My prediction: CMs will get easier, Channelling will get worse.

Why?

CMs: Basically, little bonuses will start to matter. Base Attack will start to matter because the score difference will be much greater than just a +1 or +2. Stregths on fighters will increase, while strengths on non-fighters will remain the same or not increase as much. Feats will be taken or not taken with predictale effects. The result at high level play, I believe, will be that fighters and monks particularly, will be very effective at tripping/disarming rogues (primarily), sorc/wiz (lets grab that wizard's wand/staff/rod...), and possibly druids/clerics, assuming neither are too insanely buffed at the moment. At the same time, to disarm a fighter of equal level to you is going to be *really* hard, and tripping a monk just isn't going to happen. IMO that's the way it should be. If I'm a 20th level fighter and I'm facing off against a 20th level fighter, I don't *want* to have a 50-50 shot of taking his weapon away! (as most people propose 10+cmb!) It should be harder than that.

Channeling: 20th level 10d6 isn't that much healing. An average of 35. I think it will still be pretty good outside of combat, but it's in-combat usefulness to heal allies will not be what it once was at low level. The other thing is that the DC will probably be easily passable for most undead. Undead have good will saves, which does not shine at low level, but will at high level. The cleric may be interested in keeping his charisma high for the DCs, may even pick up the headband of +6 to two mental stats, but in the end, his stat points are going to go to wisdom, and his starting high score was probably wisdom, and when you're going against a monsters good save, that much less of a DC is going to hurt you. Improved Channelling would help, but not solve the problem I think.


awp832 wrote:

CMs: Basically, little bonuses will start to matter. Base Attack will start to matter because the score difference will be much greater than just a +1 or +2. Stregths on fighters will increase, while strengths on non-fighters will remain the same or not increase as much. Feats will be taken or not taken with predictale effects. The result at high level play, I believe, will be that fighters and monks particularly, will be very effective at tripping/disarming rogues (primarily), sorc/wiz (lets grab that wizard's wand/staff/rod...), and possibly druids/clerics, assuming neither are too insanely buffed at the moment. At the same time, to disarm a fighter of equal level to you is going to be *really* hard, and tripping a monk just isn't going to happen. IMO that's the way it should be. If I'm a 20th level fighter and I'm facing off against a 20th level fighter, I don't *want* to have a 50-50 shot of taking his weapon away! (as most people propose 10+cmb!) It should be harder than that.

Channeling: 20th level 10d6 isn't that much healing. An average of 35. I think it will still be pretty good outside of combat, but it's in-combat usefulness to heal allies will not be what it once was at low level. The other thing is that the DC will probably be easily passable for most undead. Undead have good will saves, which does not shine at low level, but will at high level. The cleric may be interested in keeping his charisma high for the DCs, may even pick up the headband of +6 to two mental stats, but in the end, his stat points are going to go to wisdom, and his starting high score was probably wisdom, and when you're going against a monsters good save, that...

Regarding CM, I basically agree with your assessment, and it actually makes me a little worried for the rogue's combat durability as a striker, though I'm sure they'll have enough other options available to them. Of course, unless the NPC has the appropriate feat, a rogue gets an AOO on them, and assuming their flanked, that increases the DC to perform a disarm by quite a bit.

Of course, they could just invest in locking guantlets for their mithril medium armor. +10 to resist Disarm is no joke...

In regards to Channeling, I actually like that it's largely a non-combat option. Of course dealing 35 damage and will save or flee as a burst effect is nice even at those levels, but a half-decent cleric will probably have better options available by then. I wonder if you can have an Improved Channeling feat chain to allow for greater efficacy at high levels.

-Steve


I'm running a game at around 10th.

Channeling seems to work pretty well. In my experience parties with a cleric simply had enough healing before as well, and now the cleric can both cast spells and heal.

CMB is fine. I've heard a lil bit o' complaining in regards to it, but it's worked out good so far. If you're worried about rogue, then please, by all means feel free to actually read in the feats section where they have created a feat that lets you CMB with your dex.


The Authority wrote:
If you're worried about rogue, then please, by all means feel free to actually read in the feats section where they have created a feat that lets you CMB with your dex.

Well that was a little condescending sounding.

I have read the feats section, and I'm aware that you can sub dex for strength. As for the other poster, I think the concern that the other poster expressed was more related to the BAB being higher for the fighter, leading to problems with disarm for the rogue.

-Steve


Shouldn't it be harder for the rogue to disarm, than for the fighter or barbarian?

That's the very essence of BAB. It separates the main combatants from the middlin combatants from those who should't be combating at all.

A fighter Should be able to disarm the rogue better than the rogue can the fighter. Same goes for those classes verses other critters. All fighters do is fight. Melee is their thing. They should be better at it than those classes who dabble extensively in other things.

-S


Subversive was right about my intent, although it wasn't so much of a 'concern' of mine, as it was me just pointing it out. I agree that rogues should be easier to disarm than fighters, I was trying to say that I liked the way that dynamic worked.


Selgard wrote:

Shouldn't it be harder for the rogue to disarm, than for the fighter or barbarian?

That's the very essence of BAB. It separates the main combatants from the middlin combatants from those who should't be combating at all.

A fighter Should be able to disarm the rogue better than the rogue can the fighter. Same goes for those classes verses other critters. All fighters do is fight. Melee is their thing. They should be better at it than those classes who dabble extensively in other things.

When I said "problems with disarm" my meaning was that the rogue will have problems with being consistantly disarmed going up against a fighter. Naturally, the fighter has a better BAB then the rogue, and fighting is, of course, his thing.

However, the fighter also has other abilities - such as the use of heavy armor - which gives him an advantage in melee combat. During a combat situation, a rogue's primary role is as a mobile striker: a fast, lightly armored, high damage outputter. If he is immediately disarmed, that largely negates his primary role.

I'm not really here to argue the details of the situation, but I do think it might warrant some attention.

Or at least a set of locking guantlets.

-Steve

Scarab Sages

The Authority wrote:

I'm running a game at around 10th.

Channeling seems to work pretty well. In my experience parties with a cleric simply had enough healing before as well, and now the cleric can both cast spells and heal.

CMB is fine. I've heard a lil bit o' complaining in regards to it, but it's worked out good so far. If you're worried about rogue, then please, by all means feel free to actually read in the feats section where they have created a feat that lets you CMB with your dex.

i started to see posts from you Authority, alot of them seem to rub people the wrong way, you are new on this board i can see so maybe you should try to play nice first before start stepping on everyones toes. just a thought

Scarab Sages

Subversive wrote:
Selgard wrote:

Shouldn't it be harder for the rogue to disarm, than for the fighter or barbarian?

That's the very essence of BAB. It separates the main combatants from the middlin combatants from those who should't be combating at all.

A fighter Should be able to disarm the rogue better than the rogue can the fighter. Same goes for those classes verses other critters. All fighters do is fight. Melee is their thing. They should be better at it than those classes who dabble extensively in other things.

When I said "problems with disarm" my meaning was that the rogue will have problems with being consistantly disarmed going up against a fighter. Naturally, the fighter has a better BAB then the rogue, and fighting is, of course, his thing.

However, the fighter also has other abilities - such as the use of heavy armor - which gives him an advantage in melee combat. During a combat situation, a rogue's primary role is as a mobile striker: a fast, lightly armored, high damage outputter. If he is immediately disarmed, that largely negates his primary role.

I'm not really here to argue the details of the situation, but I do think it might warrant some attention.

Or at least a set of locking guantlets.

-Steve

O been playtesting with opposed rolls for CMT and i like that alot better and players are bull rushing and tripped and even grappling all over the place, one every try to grapple a golem, praying to the dice gods to give him a good roll. I think it need to be taken away as a DC and made a contest of skill.


Steven Hume wrote:
O been playtesting with opposed rolls for CMT and i like that alot better and players are bull rushing and tripped and even grappling all over the place, one every try to grapple a golem, praying to the dice gods to give him a good roll. I think it need to be taken away as a DC and made a contest of skill.

An opposed skill roll, statistically, would average out to the same result over time, and would slow down the speed of the game as both rolls were performed. What you're proposing here reminds me of the optional rules mentioned in the DMG where you could take away Armor Class, and instead turn an attempt to attack into an opposed roll where one person rolled to hit and added his melee or ranged bonus, and the other person rolled to defend and added an AC modifier. It's a nice idea, but it slows the game down a LOT, creates a lot more swinginess, and in the end, averages out to the same result.

-Steve


Subversive wrote:
Steven Hume wrote:
O been playtesting with opposed rolls for CMT and i like that alot better and players are bull rushing and tripped and even grappling all over the place, one every try to grapple a golem, praying to the dice gods to give him a good roll. I think it need to be taken away as a DC and made a contest of skill.

An opposed skill roll, statistically, would average out to the same result over time, and would slow down the speed of the game as both rolls were performed. What you're proposing here reminds me of the optional rules mentioned in the DMG where you could take away Armor Class, and instead turn an attempt to attack into an opposed roll where one person rolled to hit and added his melee or ranged bonus, and the other person rolled to defend and added an AC modifier. It's a nice idea, but it slows the game down a LOT, creates a lot more swinginess, and in the end, averages out to the same result.

-Steve

I think you're off the mark a little. CMs aren't something that gets done multiple times round after round like attacking is. Personally I love the opposed roll aspect of CMs. Facing-off with the DM, giving him an icy glare while we both rolled. It had that 1-2-3-shoot feeling. And for something that happens maybe once an encounter (granted, more if grappling), I don't see the opposed roll adding more than a few seconds each time it is done. You can both roll at the same time and then announce your result; not much different then rolling and the DM saying pass/fail.


JBSchroeds wrote:
I think you're off the mark a little. CMs aren't something that gets done multiple times round after round like attacking is. Personally I love the opposed roll aspect of CMs. Facing-off with the DM, giving him an icy glare while we both rolled. It had that 1-2-3-shoot feeling. And for something that happens maybe once an encounter (granted, more if grappling), I don't see the opposed roll adding more than a few seconds each time it is done. You can both roll at the same time and then announce your result; not much different then rolling and the DM saying pass/fail.

I'm not off the mark, but certainly you're free to apply your own modifications to the game. It's an easy change to make one way or the other.

Disarm, Sunder, and Trip are all actions that can be made as part of a single attack, close to half of the listed CMs. At the higher end of the game, these can happen multiple times in a round, and it is a lot more likely to happen in Pathfinder then it was back during 3.5. This will statistically result in exactly the same average result as just rolling against a DC.

If one of the goals of Pathfinder is to speed up the game, stick with a DC roll.

-Steve

Dark Archive

Subversive wrote:
JBSchroeds wrote:
I think you're off the mark a little. CMs aren't something that gets done multiple times round after round like attacking is. Personally I love the opposed roll aspect of CMs. Facing-off with the DM, giving him an icy glare while we both rolled. It had that 1-2-3-shoot feeling. And for something that happens maybe once an encounter (granted, more if grappling), I don't see the opposed roll adding more than a few seconds each time it is done. You can both roll at the same time and then announce your result; not much different then rolling and the DM saying pass/fail.

I'm not off the mark, but certainly you're free to apply your own modifications to the game. It's an easy change to make one way or the other.

Disarm, Sunder, and Trip are all actions that can be made as part of a single attack, close to half of the listed CMs. At the higher end of the game, these can happen multiple times in a round, and it is a lot more likely to happen in Pathfinder then it was back during 3.5. This will statistically result in exactly the same average result as just rolling against a DC.

If one of the goals of Pathfinder is to speed up the game, stick with a DC roll.

-Steve

The only problem in your logic is that the DC is 15+CMB and the average roll on a d20 is 10.5.

But thing is the DC needs to be set at 10+CMB. Right now the DC is to high to be able to defeat without a +5 or greater advantage in CMB, and once that PC/NPC/Monster has a +5 advanage to CMB, you never going to be able to beat them without a natural 20. Add in a feat where two otherwise equals face off where one takes Defensive Maneuvers and the other doesn't leads to a case where the one who took Defensive Maneuvers can only be beaten 10% of the time, and the other can be beaten 30% of time. And can't even agrue that the other could take a feat to improve his CMB as the Improved Combat Maneuver Feats only give a +2 vs Defensive Maneuver's +4 so the guy still loses.

I also say keep it a static DC. Its simpler and follows the precedent set by AC.

Right now, CMB greatly favors the defender and has some math problems.

Scarab Sages

Subversive wrote:
JBSchroeds wrote:
I think you're off the mark a little. CMs aren't something that gets done multiple times round after round like attacking is. Personally I love the opposed roll aspect of CMs. Facing-off with the DM, giving him an icy glare while we both rolled. It had that 1-2-3-shoot feeling. And for something that happens maybe once an encounter (granted, more if grappling), I don't see the opposed roll adding more than a few seconds each time it is done. You can both roll at the same time and then announce your result; not much different then rolling and the DM saying pass/fail.

I'm not off the mark, but certainly you're free to apply your own modifications to the game. It's an easy change to make one way or the other.

Disarm, Sunder, and Trip are all actions that can be made as part of a single attack, close to half of the listed CMs. At the higher end of the game, these can happen multiple times in a round, and it is a lot more likely to happen in Pathfinder then it was back during 3.5. This will statistically result in exactly the same average result as just rolling against a DC.

If one of the goals of Pathfinder is to speed up the game, stick with a DC roll.

-Steve

its not the same as a DC 15 check though and in my games it hasnt slowed down combat but if you want to keep DC make it a 10 at least.


BM wrote:

The only problem in your logic is that the DC is 15+CMB and the average roll on a d20 is 10.5.

But thing is the DC needs to be set at 10+CMB. Right now the DC is to high to be able to defeat without a +5 or greater advantage in CMB, and once that PC/NPC/Monster has a +5 advanage to CMB, you never going to be able to beat them without a natural 20. Add in a feat where two otherwise equals face off where one takes Defensive Maneuvers and the other doesn't leads to a case where the one who took Defensive Maneuvers can only be beaten 10% of the time, and the other can be beaten 30% of time. And can't even agrue that the other could take a feat to improve his CMB as the Improved Combat Maneuver Feats only give a +2 vs Defensive Maneuver's +4 so the guy still loses.

I also say keep it a static DC. Its simpler and follows the precedent set by AC.

Right now, CMB greatly favors the defender and has some math problems.

Well that's not a problem with my logic. I'm not arguing in favor of the base 15 DC. I'm arguing in favor of a DC roll as opposed to an opposed roll.

-Steve


Steven Hume wrote:
ts not the same as a DC 15 check though and in my games it hasnt slowed down combat but if you want to keep DC make it a 10 at least.

I feel like two different arguments are being blended together here. One argument is in favor of keeping the base DC at 15 (which, in the case of an opposed roll, would be a +5 to a roll. Though I could be wrong). The other is an argument in favor of moving to an opposed roll, away from a DC roll.

Personally, I'm in favor of a DC roll at the time being. I haven't seen enough high-level playtesting on the board to know how often CMs are done in a round, and I personally feel that it takes a little bit longer to have two people roll, add up the modifiers, and compare their results than to roll against a DC. YMMV.

-Steve


Subversive wrote:
Steven Hume wrote:
ts not the same as a DC 15 check though and in my games it hasnt slowed down combat but if you want to keep DC make it a 10 at least.

I feel like two different arguments are being blended together here. One argument is in favor of keeping the base DC at 15 (which, in the case of an opposed roll, would be a +5 to a roll. Though I could be wrong). The other is an argument in favor of moving to an opposed roll, away from a DC roll.

Personally, I'm in favor of a DC roll at the time being. I haven't seen enough high-level playtesting on the board to know how often CMs are done in a round, and I personally feel that it takes a little bit longer to have two people roll, add up the modifiers, and compare their results than to roll against a DC. YMMV.

-Steve

I think you just nailed it. I enjoy the opposed roll aspect, but if it does take too long at higher levels with a fighter desperately trying a disarm four times in a round, then I'm all for finding an appropriate DC.


JBSchroeds wrote:
I think you just nailed it. I enjoy the opposed roll aspect, but if it does take too long at higher levels with a fighter desperately trying a disarm four times in a round, then I'm all for finding an appropriate DC.

The other reason it works for me as it is right now is because in effect, the CM roll becomes a replacement for rolling against AC, which is logical because it's a form of attack. Yes, In some respects it's more challenging then rolling against AC, but that's probably something that you want.

You don't want a fighter to be able to disarm someone as often (or moreso) as he could just hit them, because disarming/sundering/tripping can be *much* more advantageous during combat then causing damage, and they would actually replace the standard attack. Combat would devolve to a match to see who could out-destroy the opponent's weapons first.

That's also why I don't like having it be an opposed roll, because if that's the opposed roll, why not make a standard attack an opposed roll? They're in effect the same thing. The defender's CMB is - in essence - their armor class against combat maneuvers. It's a static defense.

-Steve


I might add that I could stare steelily (is that a word?) across my DM's screen at a player, roll a D20, and add +15 every time he fires one of his umpteen iterative attacks at me instead of just comparing his attack to an Armor Class 25, but I've got things to do, players to kill, and the challenge of opposed rolls in combat when you've got five other players and 9 NPCs gets old after a while.

-Steve


Subversive wrote:

The other reason it works for me as it is right now is because in effect, the CM roll becomes a replacement for rolling against AC, which is logical because it's a form of attack. Yes, In some respects it's more challenging then rolling against AC, but that's probably something that you want.

You don't want a fighter to be able to disarm someone as often (or moreso) as he could just hit them, because disarming/sundering/tripping can be *much* more advantageous during combat then causing damage, and they would actually replace the standard attack. Combat would devolve to a match to see who could out-destroy the opponent's weapons first.

That's also why I don't like having it be an opposed roll, because if that's the opposed roll, why not make a standard attack an opposed roll? They're in effect the same thing. The defender's CMB is - in essence - their armor class against combat maneuvers. It's a static defense.

-Steve

What do you think of making disarming/sundering/tripping something that requires a standard action just like grappling? I'd like that because they are the kind of actions that require more thought than just swinging around a sword, and it would also bring it more in line with how grappling now functions. If we are worried about slow down, then this would remove the diminishing-returns issue with making D/S/T attack actions. Do we really need to make that fourth dissarm attempt at -15?

Setting a static DC for CMs does make sense from a mechanics standpoint. I think some of the reasoning for people insisting on opposed rolls is that the math of DC 15+MOD creates some problems where a lot of situations result in a natural 20 being the only winning roll. I agree with your point of CMs needing to be harder than just wacking someone, but I don't know if 15+ is the right number. I have fond memories of the opposed roll for these types of things, but if we can find the right math for the DC and CMB then I'd be all for setting a static DC.

Sovereign Court

Subversive wrote:

I might add that I could stare steelily (is that a word?) across my DM's screen at a player, roll a D20, and add +15 every time he fires one of his umpteen iterative attacks at me instead of just comparing his attack to an Armor Class 25, but I've got things to do, players to kill, and the challenge of opposed rolls in combat when you've got five other players and 9 NPCs gets old after a while.

-Steve

It's not a word, try Steely-eyed...

But I agree, give me a DC over an opposed roll any time.


I think something people are overlooking is that disarming someone in current 3.5 is actually easier than the current pathfinder RAW.

3.5:
Its simply an opposed attack roll. If the person has improved disarm the don't provoke AoO and get a +4. You also get +4 for a two handed weapon and a -4 for a light weapon. So that fighter with Imp Disarm will likely have anywhere from a +4 to +17 advantage over that rogue depending on how the characters are set up.

PRPG:
In PRPG that rogue has a major defensive advantage in comparison to 3.5. The fighter would only have a +2 from Imp Disarm, and they have the uphill battle of DC15+CMB. Not to mention the bonuses for two handed and light weapons don't apply anymore. This would diminish their advantage from +4 to +17 down to -3 to +2 using the same characters from above.

I don't remember every rogue in existance being imediately disarmed in 3.5.


JBSchroeds wrote:

What do you think of making disarming/sundering/tripping something that requires a standard action just like grappling? I'd like that because they are the kind of actions that require more thought than just swinging around a sword, and it would also bring it more in line with how grappling now functions. If we are worried about slow down, then this would remove the diminishing-returns issue with making D/S/T attack actions. Do we really need to make that fourth dissarm attempt at -15?

Setting a static DC for CMs does make sense from a mechanics standpoint. I think some of the reasoning for people insisting on opposed rolls is that the math of DC 15+MOD creates some problems where a lot of situations result in a natural 20 being the only winning roll. I agree with your point of CMs needing to be harder than just wacking someone, but I don't know if 15+ is the right number. I have fond memories of the opposed roll for these types of things, but if we can find the right math for the DC and CMB then I'd be all for setting a static DC.

I think that turning them into standard actions would reduce their utility to the point where it wouldn't make much sense to use them during combat. It would also further hanstring the Monk class, which seems to have CMs as one of the few things going for it.

Regarding "just swinging a sword," remember that an attack isn't a single thrust of a blade. An attack roll represents a single concerted effort to penetrate the opponent's defenses. It's an abstraction of an effort, not one strike.

I'm not sure if a base 15 is the right starting number, but if it's base 10, I think it's going to be no different from an attack.

Then again, generally, an attack is amplified by several other effects, such as magic weapons, buffs, etc. I think that playtesting will determine the ultimate outcome of what the proper base number should be.

-Steve


JBSchroeds wrote:

I think something people are overlooking is that disarming someone in current 3.5 is actually easier than the current pathfinder RAW.

3.5:
Its simply an opposed attack roll. If the person has improved disarm the don't provoke AoO and get a +4. You also get +4 for a two handed weapon and a -4 for a light weapon. So that fighter with Imp Disarm will likely have anywhere from a +4 to +17 advantage over that rogue depending on how the characters are set up.

PRPG:
In PRPG that rogue has a major defensive advantage in comparison to 3.5. The fighter would only have a +2 from Imp Disarm, and they have the uphill battle of DC15+CMB. Not to mention the bonuses for two handed and light weapons don't apply anymore. This would diminish their advantage from +4 to +17 down to -3 to +2 using the same characters from above.

I don't remember every rogue in existance being imediately disarmed in 3.5.

That's actually a really good point. Though you could also say that part of the reason a rogue wasn't immediately disarmed in 3.5 was because it's a huge freaking pain in the ass to do combat maneuvers in 3.5... :p

-Steve


Subversive wrote:

I think that turning them into standard actions would reduce their utility to the point where it wouldn't make much sense to use them during combat. It would also further hanstring the Monk class, which seems to have CMs as one of the few things going for it.

Regarding "just swinging a sword," remember that an attack isn't a single thrust of a blade. An attack roll represents a single concerted effort to penetrate the opponent's defenses. It's an abstraction of an effort, not one strike.

I'm not sure if a base 15 is the right starting number, but if it's base 10, I think it's going to be no different from an attack.

Then again, generally, an attack is amplified by several other effects, such as magic weapons, buffs, etc. I think that playtesting will determine the ultimate outcome of what the proper base number should be.

-Steve

Do you think grapple should be changed back into an attack action from a standard action as well? I always felt grappling was one of the things monks should be good at, and if you think turning the other CMs into standard actions would be a big drawback wouldn't letting grapple stay as a standard action also be a problem? My issue with letting them all remain attack actions is that each additional roll you make in a round is at an additional -5 (25% less of a chance to succed or therabouts). You've mentioned opposed rolls as being a slowdown issue: isn't letting someone make a third CM attempt in a round almost as bad? Regardless of whatever base number for the DC ends up being chosen, it's still the same as the problem with iterative attacks at higher levels and why feats like vital strike are going to be so popular.

ps. I'm not trying to be confrontational with any of this. I know it can hard to tell with just a lump of text. I think debates like this will help us all fix this issue and make a better game.


Subversive wrote:

That's actually a really good point. Though you could also say that part of the reason a rogue wasn't immediately disarmed in 3.5 was because it's a huge freaking pain in the ass to do combat maneuvers in 3.5... :p

-Steve

How true. Just like the OP mentioned, someone actually considered using it instead of dismissing it out of hand! I can't wait for this mechanic to be refined, I think its going to be a great boon for the game.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

It sounds like, and I hope we're all in agreement, that the 15 DC is too high. If I can't change your minds about a flat DC, then please at least let me agree with you that 15 DC is impossibly high.

But I really don't think the new system is any better than the old one though. I'll admit that your proposal will make each roll a bit faster to calculate but how much faster, and is it really worth what you're doing to the probabilities of success?

A flat DC hinders success because its a flat 5% chance per modifier that a player will not succeed or succeed on a task. When we rolled opposed rolls there were still the possibilities of one rolling high and the other rolling low.

It also hurts the defenders. When they changed it to a flat DC they introduced a natural 20 being an auto success. The old way, even with a natural twenty, if its a tiny pixie trying to trip a colossal dragon I don't care what you rolled.

At least with opposed rolls the difference in modifiers needed to be 20 to make a difference, not 5.

I've personally never had any problems with special maneuvers slowing the game down, and when special maneuvers were used it was a moment of suspense, not annoyance.

Finally, the reason I'd be for opposed rolls for special maneuvers and not AC is that AC has very flat bonuses and already suffers for stagnant growth. BAB progression makes AC look like a low CR zombie. Based on this idea, we're not comparing two similar numbers we're comparing two numbers that are mildly associated with each other.

With CMB rolls, we're comparing two scores that were calculated using the same rules and that should be treated equally. Giving one advantage over the other is saying "This guy deserves to win" but I don't think that's fair. Opposed rolls is completely fair from my point of view.

Scarab Sages

Subversive wrote:
JBSchroeds wrote:
I think you just nailed it. I enjoy the opposed roll aspect, but if it does take too long at higher levels with a fighter desperately trying a disarm four times in a round, then I'm all for finding an appropriate DC.

The other reason it works for me as it is right now is because in effect, the CM roll becomes a replacement for rolling against AC, which is logical because it's a form of attack. Yes, In some respects it's more challenging then rolling against AC, but that's probably something that you want.

You don't want a fighter to be able to disarm someone as often (or moreso) as he could just hit them, because disarming/sundering/tripping can be *much* more advantageous during combat then causing damage, and they would actually replace the standard attack. Combat would devolve to a match to see who could out-destroy the opponent's weapons first.

That's also why I don't like having it be an opposed roll, because if that's the opposed roll, why not make a standard attack an opposed roll? They're in effect the same thing. The defender's CMB is - in essence - their armor class against combat maneuvers. It's a static defense.

-Steve

i look at CMT as their skill at using special moves in combat, not their AC, so its a test of skill to be able trip someone in combat, less of a test to smack them with a sword. The opposed rolls dont slow down my game as each PC has CMT calc and ready to add to the roll, we roll and sometimes know my just looking who wins(crap i rolled a 4 and u rolled a 15 u won). I agree having a static number to roll again means you assume some sort of defence on the part of the defender, so even a untrained mage should have a base of X(be it 15 10 12 or whatever number) i disagree as well, now some classes get bonuses(monk) but shouldnt other classes take negs to the base as their lack of training? A mage being grappled with a static DC is just as good denfending against then say a fighter? not the oppsed roll gives a wide range so if that mage rolls a 15 and the figher rolls a 15 the mage is going to lose, but if the mage rolls high and fighter low, he resists out of sure luck of the roll. Which system is better, I dont know i have been testing the opposed rolls and its working great for my group(who BTW play online so the time it take to add anything up is nothing as we have CMT roll programmed in)


Brit O wrote:

It sounds like, and I hope we're all in agreement, that the 15 DC is too high. If I can't change your minds about a flat DC, then please at least let me agree with you that 15 DC is impossibly high.

But I really don't think the new system is any better than the old one though. I'll admit that your proposal will make each roll a bit faster to calculate but how much faster, and is it really worth what you're doing to the probabilities of success?

A flat DC hinders success because its a flat 5% chance per modifier that a player will not succeed or succeed on a task. When we rolled opposed rolls there were still the possibilities of one rolling high and the other rolling low.

It also hurts the defenders. When they changed it to a flat DC they introduced a natural 20 being an auto success. The old way, even with a natural twenty, if its a tiny pixie trying to trip a colossal dragon I don't care what you rolled.

At least with opposed rolls the difference in modifiers needed to be 20 to make a difference, not 5.

I've personally never had any problems with special maneuvers slowing the game down, and when special maneuvers were used it was a moment of suspense, not annoyance.

Finally, the reason I'd be for opposed rolls for special maneuvers and not AC is that AC has very flat bonuses and already suffers for stagnant growth. BAB progression makes AC look like a low CR zombie. Based on this idea, we're not comparing two similar numbers we're comparing two numbers that are mildly associated with each other.

With CMB rolls, we're comparing two scores that were calculated using the same rules and that should be treated equally. Giving one advantage over the other is saying "This guy deserves to win" but I don't think that's fair. Opposed rolls is completely fair from my point of view.

There's certain limiters already put in. You can't trip someone over 1 size category bigger than you, nor can you overrun them, though I do agree that a pixie should not be able to grapple a great wyrm either. Perhaps putting size limits in for this is also the answer. Bull rush too, actually (images of Mighty Mouse dance in my head).

I'd also point out that in your situation, the idea of a pixie grappling an ancient dragon is still not fully averted. All you need is for the dragon to roll a 1, the pixie to roll a 20, and the appropriate modifiers to add up right. It's less frequent, but still a potential. Thus the basic dilemna is not mitigated.

I'm not arguing against the base DC being moved down. Not at all. In fact, I'm not sure I ever have; not fully at least. I do think that there needs to be a balance between CMs and standard attacks, so that CMs don't become the default action of choice in any encounter, but as I mentioned in one of my last post, that's probably balanced out by the relatively flat increase in AC (as you mentioned), combined with combat abilities and bonuses that improve on one's ability to hit someone else. Overall, I'm not opposed to having a base 10 DC. On pondering over it, I think that it might already balanced out by adding damage done during the AoO to the DC. This should probably be playtested.

Let me state that one more time for everyone so they stop trying to argue with me about it. I'm not opposed to bringing it down to a base 10 DC

I still really don't think it needs to be an opposed roll. The fact that it's got a higher progression doesn't really factor into whether it should be considered a type of AC or not. It's still a form of static defence. At core your argument about differing progression curves is a straw man. I don't think you've effectively made your argument as to *why* the rolls should be opposed except that it's dramatic. First of all, the drama will quickly wear off after upteen rolls during combat. Second, you've already stated that its a little faster, and that's important to 3.5. The. Slowest. Game. In the World. At high level. Third, you can accomplish the drama without an opposed roll. Just stare at him with a steely-eyed (woo!) glare after he makes his roll.... and after a few moments of dramatic tension, announce if he's succeeded or not.

-Steve


Steven Hume wrote:
i look at CMT as their skill at using special moves in combat, not their AC, so its a test of skill to be able trip someone in combat, less of a test to smack them with a sword.

Personally, I think it takes a fair amount of skill to smack a trained opponent effectively with a sword. Both represent attacks. They just represent different types of attacks.

Steven Hume wrote:
The opposed rolls dont slow down my game as each PC has CMT calc and ready to add to the roll, we roll and sometimes know my just looking who wins(crap i rolled a 4 and u rolled a 15 u won). I agree having a static number to roll again means you assume some sort of defence on the part of the defender, so even a untrained mage should have a base of X(be it 15 10 12 or whatever number) i disagree as well, now some classes get bonuses(monk) but shouldnt other classes take negs to the base as their lack of training? A mage being grappled with a static DC is just as good denfending against then say a fighter? not the oppsed roll gives a wide range so if that mage rolls a 15 and the figher rolls a 15 the mage is going to lose, but if the mage rolls high and fighter low, he resists out of sure luck of the roll. Which system is better, I dont know i have been testing the opposed rolls and its working great for my group(who BTW play online so the time it take to add anything up is nothing as we have CMT roll programmed in)

A mage gets a disadvantage to their CM Defence due to their poor BAB increases and low strength, which becomes even more pronounced and detrimental over time. This is a good thing, since it shouldn't be too easy to take down the mage at first level, where it would be just unfair, and easier as they gain higher levels and get more resiliancy in general.

If the base DC is made to be a 10 (which I'm not opposed to), then this represents the character "taking 10" on his defence. It makes sense for the lower BAB classes to use this, since the last thing they want is to roll low, and it standardizes results. In general, it will reduce swinginess, and keep the results fairly predictable within the limits of the different classes and ability scores.

-Steve


JBSchroeds wrote:
Subversive wrote:

That's actually a really good point. Though you could also say that part of the reason a rogue wasn't immediately disarmed in 3.5 was because it's a huge freaking pain in the ass to do combat maneuvers in 3.5... :p

-Steve

How true. Just like the OP mentioned, someone actually considered using it instead of dismissing it out of hand! I can't wait for this mechanic to be refined, I think its going to be a great boon for the game.

Erm. I am the OP...

But yeah, I think it's going to see a lot more use. :)


JBSchroeds wrote:

Do you think grapple should be changed back into an attack action from a standard action as well? I always felt grappling was one of the things monks should be good at, and if you think turning the other CMs into standard actions would be a big drawback wouldn't letting grapple stay as a standard action also be a problem? My issue with letting them all remain attack actions is that each additional roll you make in a round is at an additional -5 (25% less of a chance to succed or therabouts). You've mentioned opposed rolls as being a slowdown issue: isn't letting someone make a third CM attempt in a round almost as bad? Regardless of whatever base number for the DC ends up being chosen, it's still the same as the problem with iterative attacks at higher levels and why feats like vital strike are going to be so popular.

ps. I'm not trying to be confrontational with any of this. I know it can hard to tell with just a lump of text. I think debates like this will help us all fix this issue and make a better game.

That's an interesting and good point. For something like grapple I think changing to a standard action ended up being a bit of a nerf, since you can only do one thing with it a round (pin, move, damage, etc), but I like how the actions reduce the number of attacks in a round at the higher levels. I don't think you can turn trip into a standard action without eliminating it's whole point, and I like sunder and disarm as attack actions since they're usually something you're doing with your weapon - an attack by definition. What's nice is that, in all these cases, there's not too much slowdown from a standard attack. The only additional thing is the AoO, which happens in combat anyway, and can be negated with the right feat selection.

Personally, I never got the whole connection between monks and wrestling. Where did this come from in the first place? Were the Franciscans really into the whole greco-roman thing? If it's just a holdover from earlier editions, then maybe that's one sacred cow that should be killed.

As a side note...man, I just realized that in my game, it's going to be reeeealy easy to sunder my Ranger's bow. Mheh-heh-heh...

-Steve


Subversive wrote:

That's an interesting and good point. For something like grapple I think changing to a standard action ended up being a bit of a nerf, since you can only do one thing with it a round (pin, move, damage, etc), but I like how the actions reduce the number of attacks in a round at the higher levels. I don't think you can turn trip into a standard action without eliminating it's whole point, and I like sunder and disarm as attack actions since they're usually something you're doing with your weapon - an attack by definition. What's nice is that, in all these cases, there's not too much slowdown from a standard attack. The only additional thing is the AoO, which happens in combat anyway, and can be negated with the right feat selection.

Personally, I never got the whole connection between monks and wrestling. Where did this come from in the first place? Were the Franciscans really into the whole greco-roman thing? If it's just a holdover from earlier editions, then maybe that's one sacred cow that should be killed.

As a side note...man, I just realized that in my game, it's going to be reeeealy easy to sunder my Ranger's bow. Mheh-heh-heh...

-Steve

I don't know exactly where the grappling monk came from, but it makes sense to me. There are two prominant martial arts (Judo and Jiu-Jitsu) that focus entirely on grappling, as well as fighting styles such as pankration and catch-wrestling that have been shown to be effective hand-to-hand styles. I don't think that Franciscans is the right reference, its more of a Shaolin thing. I like the idea of a monk folding someone into a pretzel, but maybe thats just my love of MMA kicking in (yeah, triangle choke that wizard! ooh he transitions to an armbar FTW!)

Back to grapple, the mechanic not the origins: I'd like to see it turn back into an attack action so that you can grab someone and possibly pin them in the same round. It makes sense from a real world standpoint because someone trained in, say, catch-wrestling can grab you, take you down, and choke you out in a six second round if you have no training. If we are going to leave T/D/S as attack actions I think we should also make grapple an attack action as well. They all seem like very offense things to do, unlike fient/overrun/bullrush which are more movement oriented.

As a side note... a Scout in my old campaign got his bow sundered by a character that was his brother under a charm. He also later got an arm severed by the same person (who had also much earlier in the campeign killed him and eaten his heart while transformed as a werewolf), but that's another story all together.


Definetely, the Monk is supposed to be of the Shao-Lin fighting monk type...
Contemplative Catholic/ Christian monks would more fit the 'Cloistered Cleric'.

And I agree that Grapple should get multiple attacks like any other attack form...
I loved it when specializing in Unarmed Attack/Grapple gave you an extra attack per round...

here's for Beta


JBSchroeds wrote:

I don't know exactly where the grappling monk came from, but it makes sense to me. There are two prominant martial arts (Judo and Jiu-Jitsu) that focus entirely on grappling, as well as fighting styles such as pankration and catch-wrestling that have been shown to be effective hand-to-hand styles. I don't think that Franciscans is the right reference, its more of a Shaolin thing. I like the idea of a monk folding someone into a pretzel, but maybe thats just my love of MMA kicking in (yeah, triangle choke that wizard! ooh he transitions to an armbar FTW!)

Back to grapple, the mechanic not the origins: I'd like to see it turn back into an attack action so that you can grab someone and possibly pin them in the same round. It makes sense from a real world standpoint because someone trained in, say, catch-wrestling can grab you, take you down, and choke you out in a six second round if you have no training. If we are going to leave T/D/S as attack actions I think we should also make grapple an attack action as well. They all seem like very offense things to do, unlike fient/overrun/bullrush which are more movement oriented.

Oh yeah, I forgot about Judo.

I'm in favor of making it into an attack action. I surmize that the change was an attempt to streamline the rules and make grapple go quicker in the round. I think it's streamlined enough as it is in its current incarnation, but we'll have to see what they come up with in the Beta iteration.

-Steve


Quandary wrote:

Definetely, the Monk is supposed to be of the Shao-Lin fighting monk type...

Contemplative Catholic/ Christian monks would more fit the 'Cloistered Cleric'.

And I agree that Grapple should get multiple attacks like any other attack form...
I loved it when specializing in Unarmed Attack/Grapple gave you an extra attack per round...

here's for Beta

I guess I get that from the Forgotten Realms sourcebooks. One of the faiths had a real Cistene Chapel feel, and they loved to wrestle. I think it was Ilmater.

-Steve


i prefer an opposed roll...at least then it feels like you might have a chance even if it is a longshot. Woohoo the halfling bard successfully tripped the barbarian..talk about bragging rights. As it is the best thing is to be the defender which doesn't seem accurate to me (unless you are a master of aikido). As for someones concerns about the rogue being disarmed by the more skilled fighter. if the fighter is trying to disarm you, he is not hitting you and if you only have one weapon, more fool you.

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