Opinion: Power Attack


General Discussion (Prerelease)

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In the tradition of "If it's not broke, don't fix it"...what was so wrong with Power Attack that it needed a change?

I vote for leaving it as is (3.5 version).


Magenta's Cat wrote:

In the tradition of "If it's not broke, don't fix it"...what was so wrong with Power Attack that it needed a change?

I vote for leaving it as is (3.5 version).

It needs to be altered so that sword 'n' board fighters don't get screwed.

Aside from this, yes, it should be reverted.


Psychic_Robot wrote:

It needs to be altered so that sword 'n' board fighters don't get screwed.

Aside from this, yes, it should be reverted.

Would you care to elaborate? Why are single weapon fighters screwed by the 3.5 power attack rules?


Chef's Slaad wrote:
Psychic_Robot wrote:

It needs to be altered so that sword 'n' board fighters don't get screwed.

Aside from this, yes, it should be reverted.

Would you care to elaborate? Why are single weapon fighters screwed by the 3.5 power attack rules?

Because you add twice your power attack bonus when whielding a two-handed weapon (in addition to the 1 1/2 Str bonus).

So if you want to make use of the power attack feat effectively, you just have to use a two-handed weapon.

That´s one reason why using a shield isn´t as effective as it should be.

Grand Lodge

I have to disagree with the only way to use Power Attack effectively is to use it two-handed. Using PA is a trade off on what you want.

If you use it 1-handed, almost always with a shield in the other hand, you get less damage output but you keep your AC bonus. You will deal less damage, but be damaged less often.

If you use PA 2-handed, you have to sacrifice your shield. You get more damage at the expense of lower AC so you are damaged more often.

I have two Fighters I play now. One is 1 Sword and Board and he uses PA a LOT and it is extremely effective. The new I am playing uses a Great Sword and is using PA a LOT and is extremely effective.

It is a difference of style. One is not better than the other, just different.

Now, I would definitely say the new PA is nerfed big time compared to the old one. However, I think I would like to see PA divided into two feats. The Pathfinder PA should use STR modifier, subtract up to your STR modifier from the attack roll, and add double that number to damage. The traditional PA should use BAB and subtract a number up to your BAB and add double that to damage.

I would split the two because one uses POWER in all capitals to achieve its effect and the other uses skill and Precision to do the same.

Mechanically though I would keep them like they were other than the source of the modifier. Could they satck? I suppose so... you seriously reduce your chance to hit for a massive damage modifier. Sounds like an acceptable trade off to me.


That's the trade off you make: better armor class versus better damage (at the expense of accuracy I might add). Sword and shield fighters are better served by Combat Expertise and Two-Weapon fighting (leading in to Improved Shield Bash, etc).

Two-handed weapons mostly do more damage anyway. A sword and shield fighter who follows the shield bash tree and two-weapon fighting options can easy catch up with the damage output of the moose with the greataxe who is Power Attacking with reckless abandon.


Sword and board is screwed anyways.

First of all, AC is not a numerical stat. It is a yes/no stat. In other words, you get hit 95% of the time, and hit 95% of the time regardless. Compare to hit scaling vs AC, and you can easily see why. Meanwhile, one handed weapon guy does less damage, and if he's TWFing he still does less damage, just with more attacks which means DR messes him up more for obvious reasons.

Second, this is not World of Warcraft where the 'tank' gets his defenses up high, insults the enemies' mom and flips them off from behind his shield, and gets them to attack him instead of his buddies. This is D&D, where enemies are intelligent enough to go after who is actually threatening them. Hint: It's not the guy with the one handed weapon or weapons. It might be the guy with the two handed weapon, which means Mr. Greatsword is a tank in D&D. If they do attack the guy with a Greatsword, it means they aren't chewing on the Wizard instead, so he's doing his job. But the guy with a Longsword just isn't dangerous enough. He gets ignored, which means even if his higher AC was relevant it doesn't matter because he is not being attacked, and he is difficult terrain for the enemies to bypass on the way to the real threats.

Just to head off some of the expected replies here:

"It works great in history!" History is low level humans fighting other low level humans in formation. Formation fighting stopped being relevant the moment these neat things called Area of Effect magics came to be. Not to mention the various non human creatures in the world you will fight, and that the default is small groups attacking other small groups, not large scale faceless warfare. Lastly, low level is only relevant at... you guessed it, low level. Just about anything works at low levels, so saying x works at low levels is not a meaningful distinguishing factor.

"AC does matter!" Maybe at the first few levels. After that, it becomes a yes/no stat because to hit scales much faster than AC for both you and your enemies such that you only need to worry if you roll a 1, or are using your Hail Mary secondary attacks instead of I dunno... Vital Strike or something. Likewise, the enemies hit you on a 2, and probably have room for Power Attack.

"You'll get mauled if you don't have a shield!" And you'll get mauled if you do have a shield. Just this way, you might kill it before it kills you, and do something useful while you're alive even if you fail. Also, shields do nothing against touch attacks without a non core feat, and do nothing against spells which are the real threats.

We're still pretending a +2 property doesn't give the THF a shield anyways, as do one of several other methods. We're also ignoring miss chances, which due to AC being a yes/no stat are always relevant.

Let's put it this way. What build can manage AC 64 at level 20 while still being a relevant offensive threat? That automatically disqualifies any 'turtling' tactics such as Combat Expertise and Defending. Turtling, by definition means you are not a threat. You are hiding in your shell. It also requires you to keep your weapon up as opposed to even more expensive AC boosters as they do get increasingly expensive starting around the time you hit AC 25. Those are the numbers required to make a CR 20 melee brute type enemy miss you 50% of the time. It's not even a perfect defense. It's just average. Good luck getting it though.

By the way, anything lower than 55 means it hits on a 2 with every attack, and you'd need AC 77 (!) for max defense against it. The other CR 20 enemies are not primary melee threats. Compare bruisers to bruisers.

As a lower example, try AC 35 at level 9. It's easier than the above, but still pretty much not happening which illustrates the scaling nature nicely.


Crusader of Logic wrote:

Sword and board is screwed anyways.

First of all, AC is not a numerical stat. It is a yes/no stat. In other words, you get hit 95% of the time, and hit 95% of the time regardless. Compare to hit scaling vs AC, and you can easily see why. Meanwhile, one handed weapon guy does less damage, and if he's TWFing he still does less damage, just with more attacks which means DR messes him up more for obvious reasons.

I can see where you're comming from. Still, this sounds more like a problem with the AC mechanic than with the way power attack works. And I'm not convinced two weapon fighters are allways screwed. In a combat that lasts only a few rounds hedging your damage output makes sense.

Same goes for AC. Not getting hit one extra round is pretty significant if combat only lasts a few rounds.

Sovereign Court

PA was broken. It was the only way you can do 1300 damage per round or even just 300 per round on other character builds.

I don't like the PF PA, I like a very simple PA -5 to hit and +5 damage and with a two-handed weapon it is +7 damage. In this way, it is automatic (usually) and you don't have to calculate odds and all the garbage math that PA, used to cause.

For reference:

BloodStorm Thrower (or BS Thrower for short)

The BS Thrower is a cute little guy that can throw up to 16 daggers a round that are all touch attacks and fully power attacked.

Halfling
Warblade 1/Swordsage 4/Bloodstorm Blade 10/Master Thrower 5

STR13/DEX22/CON14/INT8/WIS14/CHA8 (Starting Stats w/ Halfling mod and +5 stat boost to dex)
STR19/DEX28/CON20/INT14/WIS20/CHA14 (w/ belt)
STR19/DEX32/CON20/INT14/WIS20/CHA14 (w/ book)

FORT +21 (2+1+7+1+5+5)
REF +29 (0+4+3+4+5+11+2)
WILL +18 (0+4+3+1+5+5)
HP 12 + 4d8 + 10d12 + 5d8 + 100 = ~227
AC 42 (10+11dex+5wis+8 bracers+4 ring+4amulet)
BAB +19
Initiative +12
Skill Points 77 at least 8 in balance

Feats
1 Point Blank Shot (+1 to hit and damage within 30’)
3 Rapid Shot (-2 to hit but +1 attack)
6 Power Attack (-1 to hit for +1 damage)
9 Two-Weapon Fighting (Gain an additional off hand attack at -2 to all)
12 Improved Two-Weapon Fighting (Gain an additional off hand attack at -5)
15 Iron Heart Aura (+2 to your allies near you)
18 Shadow Blade (Use Dex for shadow hand weapons including damage)
BSB3 Precise Shot (ignore -4 to fire into melee)
BSB6 Weapon Specialization (+2 damage)
BSB9 Stormguard Warrior (don’t take AoO gain +4 hit and damage, swap 1 or more attacks to do a touch attack each that hits allows +5 damage next turn, and some other lame ability)

Class Features
Battle Clarity (INT to Reflexes)
Weapon Aptitude (Use fighter only feats and alter weapon based feats to different weapons)
Quick to Act (+1 Initiative)
Discipline Focus: Shadow Hand (Weapon focus: Dagger, Short Sword, Sai, Siangham, Unarmed Strike, Spiked Chain, Wisdom bonus to damage with discipline strikes)
AC Bonus (Wisdom to AC while in light armor)
Returning Attack (not used: gets over written w/lightning ricochet)
Throw Anything (Throw any melee weapon w/ 10’ range increment)
Martial Throw (Use Iron Heart Strikes with a thrown weapon)
Thunderous Throw (Treat thrown weapons as Melee attacks (can use strength and power attack))
Lightning Ricochet (Thrown Weapons Return as a Free action (so full Attack))
Bloodwind Ricochet (Full round of attacks that can bounce each attack around obstacles)
Eye of the Storm (While in an Iron Heart stance alter it as a swift action to give you +4 dodge bonus +2 competence to Reflexes, and make a free melee attack against someone that makes an AoO against you)
Blood Rain (While in an Iron Heart stance alter it as a swift action to cause an opponent hit 3 points of bleeding damage at the start of your round every round until they make a DC 15 heal check)
Blade Storm (Attack everyone within 100’ once with your highest BAB)
Quick Draw (Draw weapons as a free action)
Evasion (as normal)
Snatch Arrows (Grab one ranged weapon per turn out of the air; throw it back as a free action)
Critical Throw (Improved Critical with all weapons you have Weapon focus)
Weak Spot (Thrown weapons are touch attacks no strength to damage)
Palm Throw (little thrown weapons throw two with one attack roll instead of one)
Deadeye Shot (Critical Multiplier increases by 1 (Dagger does x3 crit))

Stances
Iron Heart- Punishing Stance (+1d6 damage but -2 AC)
Shadow Hand- Child of Shadows (Gain Concealment as long as you move 10’+)
Shadow Hand- Assassin’s Stance (+2d6 sneak Attack)

Maneuvers (ready 8 total)
*Iron Heart- Steel Wind (gain +1 attack)
*Iron Heart- Steely Strike (+4 on one attack opponent gets +4 to attack you)
*Stone Dragon- Stone Bones (if you hit: DR 5/Adamantine for 1 round)
*Shadow Hand- Cloak of Deception (greater invisible for 1 round)
*Shadow Hand- Shadow Jaunt (50’ teleport in shadows)
*Setting Sun- Counter Charge (Opposed dex or str check to redirect a charge 10’ away from you)
*Shadow Hand- Clinging Shadow Strike (Gain 20% concealment for 1 round)
*Shadow Hand- Shadow Blade Technique (Roll two attacks use the lower to deal cold damage)
Shadow Hand- Drain Vitality (Deal 2 con damage)
Shadow Hand- Strength Draining Strike (Deal 4 str damage)
Shadow Hand- Burning Blade
Shadow Hand- Blistering Flourish

Equipment
4 +5 distance daggers (crit 17-20 x3)72K x4 = 288K (need 4; 2 for each hand)
+4 Amulet of Natural Armor 32K
+4 Ring of Protection 32K
+5 Vest of Resistance 25K
+8 Bracers of Armor 64K
10 Divine Favor potion (CL 18) cost 900gp/each 9K [+6 to attack and damage]
+6 Belt of Magnificence 200K
+4 Dexterity Book 110K

Set up
Its simple: take a Divine Favor Potion

The 100’ radius attack
If the BS Thrower doesn’t feel like hitting everyone within a 100’ radius with a +26 touch attack (Each range category will lower this by 2) that deals ~99 damage to each person (I don’t know how many squares are in a 100 foot radius and how many people can be in that radius, but it is a lot) Your saying what??? Yeah me too.

Attacks
The BS Thrower does all touch attacks all the time
bab 19, dex 11, magic 5, pbs 1, wf 1, size 1, Halfling 1, divine favor 6, rapid shot -2, 2-weapon fighting -2
+41/+41/+41/+36/+36/+31/+26
Steel wind adds another +41 attack 1/encounter
+22/+22/+22/+17/+17/+12/+7 w/power attack -19
From other post (didn’t verify) (Average CR20 monster touch AC is 8.75 with a standard deviation of 5.24 and a max of 17.) This guy should be hitting on all 7 or 8 attacks.

Damage
1d3 + 19 pa + 5 magic + 11 dex + 2 specialization +1 pbs + 6 divine favor +1d6 punishing stance
w/ palm throw each hit is two hits for damage so
2d3+2d6+88 ~99
So if he hits with all of his touch attacks and steel wind the BS thrower deal 792 on average

Another neat strategy:
Use greater invisibility and make attacks with the Stormguard Warrior feat hit the 7 times and wow you just tacked on + 490 damage next round (+35 more if you use steel wind that round too). Who is counting… that is just 1,317 measly damage in one round.

Why does this work?
Key abilities:
Power Attack, Thunderous Throw, Dead Eye Shot, Palm Throw, Lightning Ricochet, Shadow Blade, and just a lot of really neat synergy.


A T wrote:

(...

For reference:

BloodStorm Thrower (or BS Thrower for short)

(...)

I'll never complain about my players again after reading that built...


A T wrote:
crazy build

Even with the new power attack, that's still like 596/925 damage if I calculated it correctly. Your halfling could easily get a wish to bring up his STR to 20 so he could PA for 5 instead of 19. That's 14 less PA, but that only brings average hit from 99 to 71, which is still crazy when he's making seven or more attacks a round. So no, PA does not appear to be the main issue with this build, its the touch attack. That's the way it looks to me unless I missed something.


Magenta's Cat wrote:

In the tradition of "If it's not broke, don't fix it"...what was so wrong with Power Attack that it needed a change?

I vote for leaving it as is (3.5 version).

I totally agree, there was nothing wrong with it...please put it back to the way it was before.

OR if you want you could make the current incarnation of it work for anyone, just a combat ability...and the OLD version something you can do with a feat.

Characters should ahve more control over their characters. I SHOULD be able to say that I want to give up X amount of BAB for X damage...that should be my right.

On the flip side the SAME should be true for combat expertise....that feat is FUBAR now :(


A T wrote:
Warblade 1/Swordsage 4/Bloodstorm Blade 10/Master Thrower 5

God @#$%ing @#$%.

@#$%. This is the Pathfinder RPG board. Why not keep this @#$%ing garbage on a wotc board?

Power attack is fine in it's new incarnation by the way. "If I can't do the MAX damage with power attack I'm getting SCREWED OVER and it's NOT USABLE." Here, let me wipe your tears.


Lich-Loved--err, I mean, THE AUTHORITY--the benefit of the old Power Attack was that a player could choose how much accuracy he wished to sacrifice. Taking away player control from the Power Attack and Combat Expertise feats is a very poor choice.

To make Power Attack truly viable, it needs to be reverted and then altered so that characters get +2 on damage rolls for every -1 they take on their attack rolls.

Paizo Employee Senior Software Developer

The Authority wrote:

@#$%. This is the Pathfinder RPG board. Why not keep this @#$%ing garbage on a wotc board?

Power attack is fine in it's new incarnation by the way. "If I can't do the MAX damage with power attack I'm getting SCREWED OVER and it's NOT USABLE." Here, let me wipe your tears.

OK, The Authority. I've warned you twice elsewhere on these boards. This kind of posting harms the conversation here and doesn't help you make whatever case you're advocating. Take a couple days off, please.


Magenta's Cat wrote:

In the tradition of "If it's not broke, don't fix it"...what was so wrong with Power Attack that it needed a change?

I vote for leaving it as is (3.5 version).

I agree.

If it stands like it does in Beta, only high STR fighters are ever going to take it. I prefer more diversity in character builds, not less.

BTW, Cleave and Greater Cleave should be reverted too. An extra attack at highest BAB if you hit your first target for a full round action? Might be useful before you get your iterative attacks. But you have to hit to get the 2nd attack, and you have to have 2 targets within reach and adjacent to each other.

Bah, get Whirlwind Attack and get an attack on everyone in reach at your highest BAB.


The Authority wrote:
A T wrote:
Warblade 1/Swordsage 4/Bloodstorm Blade 10/Master Thrower 5

God @#$%ing @#$%.

@#$%. This is the Pathfinder RPG board. Why not keep this @#$%ing garbage on a wotc board?

Ignoring your abyssal choice of words I might want to add that backward compatibility is high on the list of Pathfinder RPG, so he might have a point.

Imho Power attack as it is now is still only a choice for a 2h combatant. Personally I'd like to see more love for sword and board and two weapon fighters. Maybe not even in terms of damage output but in staying power and/or versatility.


Daidai wrote:
Chef's Slaad wrote:
Psychic_Robot wrote:

It needs to be altered so that sword 'n' board fighters don't get screwed.

Aside from this, yes, it should be reverted.

Would you care to elaborate? Why are single weapon fighters screwed by the 3.5 power attack rules?

Because you add twice your power attack bonus when whielding a two-handed weapon (in addition to the 1 1/2 Str bonus).

So if you want to make use of the power attack feat effectively, you just have to use a two-handed weapon.

That´s one reason why using a shield isn´t as effective as it should be.

Making a shield user to par with a two weapon fighter in damage seems odd and backwards to me. While two weapon fighting needs to be fixed, they need to instead make feats that increase AC and other bonuses for them to be unique.

I would suggest feats like the ones in PH2 but nearly double the bonuses! Also increasing the bonuses for shields would also be great.

1 AC for buckler
2 AC for light
4 AC for Heavy
6 AC for Extreme Shields
8 AC for Tower Shield

Give Extreme Shield cover (not total) option activated just like the tower shield, but still able to shield bash.

Make Spiked shields do piercing and bludgeoning, not or, not just piercing. Same for shield razors.

Sovereign Court

The Authority wrote:
A T wrote:
Warblade 1/Swordsage 4/Bloodstorm Blade 10/Master Thrower 5

God @#$%ing @#$%.

@#$%. This is the Pathfinder RPG board. Why not keep this @#$%ing garbage on a wotc board?

Power attack is fine in it's new incarnation by the way. "If I can't do the MAX damage with power attack I'm getting SCREWED OVER and it's NOT USABLE." Here, let me wipe your tears.

If you think that characters like this are not a part of D&D you are just sticking your head in the sand. By the way the highly touted Bo9S is the most broken book I have ever seen. Almost anything you do with it you wind up with a broken character - (PF should ban that book ;p).

PA should not be that good. -20 to hit, +30 damage from a a feat?

As far as touch attacks go, wraith strike spell is a very common way to abuse PA. There are several psionic powers and even a quickened true strike or the class feature of the duskblade to cast a spell as a quickened action.


I would also like to say that power attack would be purifier as was (3.5). This is a key feat for dealing damage as a melee type.

Two things though needed to be changed.

1. Make it usable only a -1, in sets of 5, or everything. Example: Base attack of 7 could power attack for 1, 5, or 7. One with a power attack of 13 could power attack for 1, 5, 10, or 13. This would reduce complexity and meta gaming (that I hear has been happening).

2. Make using power attack with one handed weapons do 1.5 instead of 1.

If you find this too powerful then I suggest making it an improvement feat on the current power attack with a higher strength requirement, but I think that my listing above should be enough.


A T wrote:


(PF should ban that book ;p).

Yea, absolutely.

OT: While he is at it he should also revisit the 3.5 FAQ and change some of the blunders, like the ruling of Divine Metamagic. Of cource this can be complicated since he must put it in a more general context, avoiding actual references to copyrighted stuff.


A T wrote:


Halfling
Warblade 1/Swordsage 4/Bloodstorm Blade 10/Master Thrower 5

I am sorry but if I add enough splat books I can pun-pun too....

Sovereign Court

A T wrote:
The Authority wrote:
A T wrote:
Warblade 1/Swordsage 4/Bloodstorm Blade 10/Master Thrower 5

God @#$%ing @#$%.

@#$%. This is the Pathfinder RPG board. Why not keep this @#$%ing garbage on a wotc board?

Power attack is fine in it's new incarnation by the way. "If I can't do the MAX damage with power attack I'm getting SCREWED OVER and it's NOT USABLE." Here, let me wipe your tears.

If you think that characters like this are not a part of D&D you are just sticking your head in the sand. By the way the highly touted Bo9S is the most broken book I have ever seen. Almost anything you do with it you wind up with a broken character - (PF should ban that book ;p).

PA should not be that good. -20 to hit, +30 damage from a a feat?

As far as touch attacks go, wraith strike spell is a very common way to abuse PA. There are several psionic powers and even a quickened true strike or the class feature of the duskblade to cast a spell as a quickened action.

If it wasn't for Master Thrower (not Bo9S) then that build wouldn't be nearly so crazy.

I've played non-broken Bo9S characters; mostly they just watch the casters do their thing, much like all of the other martial classes, but occasionally they get to join in - praise be!

Sovereign Court

Sir Hexen Ineptus wrote:
A T wrote:


Halfling
Warblade 1/Swordsage 4/Bloodstorm Blade 10/Master Thrower 5
I am sorry but if I add enough splat books I can pun-pun too....

This uses two books complete warrior and Bo9S. It is not way out there.


A T wrote:
Sir Hexen Ineptus wrote:
A T wrote:


Halfling
Warblade 1/Swordsage 4/Bloodstorm Blade 10/Master Thrower 5
I am sorry but if I add enough splat books I can pun-pun too....
This uses two books complete warrior and Bo9S. It is not way out there.

Point still stands, it goes to say that Bo9S is broken. I have yet to play a game that has allowed it after 1 person has tried. It goes to show that the problem here is a single book, not the feat.


Chef's Slaad wrote:
Crusader of Logic wrote:

Sword and board is screwed anyways.

First of all, AC is not a numerical stat. It is a yes/no stat. In other words, you get hit 95% of the time, and hit 95% of the time regardless. Compare to hit scaling vs AC, and you can easily see why. Meanwhile, one handed weapon guy does less damage, and if he's TWFing he still does less damage, just with more attacks which means DR messes him up more for obvious reasons.

I can see where you're comming from. Still, this sounds more like a problem with the AC mechanic than with the way power attack works. And I'm not convinced two weapon fighters are allways screwed. In a combat that lasts only a few rounds hedging your damage output makes sense.

Same goes for AC. Not getting hit one extra round is pretty significant if combat only lasts a few rounds.

AC mechanics directly tie into sword and board, as it's the only thing it offers. TWFing is screwed because of lots of low damage attacks. It's decent if you can get bonus damage, but that's almost always precision damage which means it doesn't matter much anyways, due to the large amounts of immunities that turn it off. SAB is screwed because of fewer low damage attacks, a defense boost that does little to nothing for them, and getting ignored a lot which defeats the whole point of having defense.

Keep in mind we're still pretending the THF cannot get his defenses as good, or better while still posing a credible threat.

Speaking of posing a credible threat, that is why Bo9S exists so you don't have to super power dip just to get a usable melee character. Warblade 20, Crusader 20, Swordsage 20. All perfectly viable, yet not overpowered.

For fun, have a look at Big T. It's the only CR 20 melee brute. If your AC is less than 64, it's going to likely 2 round you due to more than half (or more likely 95%) of its attacks hitting, despite some PA. More likely you have something like AC 44 (which is pretty good, actually) meaning it one rounds you on average rolls, or at best leaves you with 10-20 HP left. Then what? Even if the Cleric can get in there to Heal you, you're taking over 150 a round, and dead on round 2 anyways. Even if you get it into the 50s, you're still at Heal every round to stay alive (and if it chews on your healbot instead, you're in trouble).

You kill it in one round, you fly and do nothing while the casters abuse its complete lack of non melee abilities, or you die. What's more, Big T is supposed to be a routine encounter for you. In other words, you are expected to deal with 4 Big Ts without being truly threatened in a day, rest, repeat ad infinitive. Do you think this is infinitely repeatable? I don't.

In that context, the 'uber build' posted isn't so bad once you get past the shock factor of big numbers.

Sovereign Court

Here is the character using just complete warrior and adventurer. Have fun. Note the PA differences on the end...

Halfling Monk 7/Fighter 8/Master Thrower 5

28 point buy
STR15/DEX15/CON14/INT8/WIS14/CHA8 --> base
STR13/DEX17/CON14/INT8/WIS14/CHA8 --> halfling
STR13/DEX22/CON14/INT8/WIS14/CHA8 --> level
STR19/DEX32/CON20/INT14/WIS20/CHA14 --> stat boost item

Feats
1 Point Blank Shot
M1 Stunning Fist
M2 Combat Reflexes
3 Precise Shot
F1 Weapon Focus: Shuriken
F2 Rapid Shot
6 Power Attack
F4 Two-Weapon Fighting
9 Brutal Throw
MT1 Quick Draw
MT4 Snatch Arrow
12 Power Throw
15 Improved Two-Weapon Fighting
18 Greater Two-Weapon Fighting
F6 Specialization: Shuriken
F8 Greater Weapon Focus: Shuriken

Class Features
Unarmed Strike 1d6
Evasion
Still Mind
Ki strike (magic)
Slow Fall 20ft.
Palm Throw
Deadeye Shot
Weak Spot

Equipment
+6 Belt of Magnificence
+4 Dex Book
+5 Adamantine Holy Returning Shuriken (50)

Touch Attacks
18/13/8/3 --> BAB
29/24/19/14 --> dex
31/26/21/16 --> halfling and size
36/31/26/21 --> magic shuriken
38/33/28/23 --> weapon focus and greater weapon focus
32/32/32/32/27/27/22/22/17 --> two-weapon fighting, rapid shot, flurry of blows
14/14/14/14/9/9/4/4/-1 --> power attack 18

Damage
w/ power attack: 52 damage (9x52=468) [+36d6 holy]
w/ no power attack: 16 (9x16=144) [+36d6 holy]


Power Attack only affects melee attack rolls; Rapid Shot is for ranged attack rolls. It seems like you're trying to have your cake and eat it too.


A T wrote:

Here is the character using just complete warrior and adventurer. Have fun. Note the PA differences on the end...

Halfling Monk 7/Fighter 8/Master Thrower 5

28 point buy
STR15/DEX15/CON14/INT8/WIS14/CHA8 --> base
STR13/DEX17/CON14/INT8/WIS14/CHA8 --> halfling
STR13/DEX22/CON14/INT8/WIS14/CHA8 --> level
STR19/DEX32/CON20/INT14/WIS20/CHA14 --> stat boost item

Feats
1 Point Blank Shot
M1 Stunning Fist
M2 Combat Reflexes
3 Precise Shot
F1 Weapon Focus: Shuriken
F2 Rapid Shot
6 Power Attack
F4 Two-Weapon Fighting
9 Brutal Throw
MT1 Quick Draw
MT4 Snatch Arrow
12 Power Throw
15 Improved Two-Weapon Fighting
18 Greater Two-Weapon Fighting
F6 Specialization: Shuriken
F8 Greater Weapon Focus: Shuriken

Class Features
Unarmed Strike 1d6
Evasion
Still Mind
Ki strike (magic)
Slow Fall 20ft.
Palm Throw
Deadeye Shot
Weak Spot

Equipment
+6 Belt of Magnificence
+4 Dex Book
+5 Adamantine Holy Returning Shuriken (50)

Touch Attacks
18/13/8/3 --> BAB
29/24/19/14 --> dex
31/26/21/16 --> halfling and size
36/31/26/21 --> magic shuriken
38/33/28/23 --> weapon focus and greater weapon focus
32/32/32/32/27/27/22/22/17 --> two-weapon fighting, rapid shot, flurry of blows
14/14/14/14/9/9/4/4/-1 --> power attack 18

Damage
w/ power attack: 52 damage (9x52=468) [+36d6 holy]
w/ no power attack: 16 (9x16=144) [+36d6 holy]

1st, could you clarify how these are touch attacks?

2nd, This is a lot of damage, but its just pre-epic. This sort of damage is expected, and not every one of them is going to hit ether. By your own build you wouldn't even be able to apply power attack to your thrown weapons till 12th level. I personally see nothing wrong with this build, I have seen casters to far worse. I have seen quicken, maximized spells done in repetition in a round that are just killer.


Arakhor wrote:
Power Attack only affects melee attack rolls; Rapid Shot is for ranged attack rolls. It seems like you're trying to have your cake and eat it too.

Power throw allows thrown weapons to power attack, but he doesn't get it till level 12. So I have to wounder how survivable this character really is.


I have no idea why he needs 50 returning shuriken when, even with this extensively "optimised" build, he's only throwing nine a round.

Sovereign Court

Arakhor wrote:
I have no idea why he needs 50 returning shuriken when, even with this extensively "optimised" build, he's only throwing nine a round.

Actually 18. :)


Uhhh...back to our regularly scheduled program. Power attack: 3.5 version or Pathfinder version?

Shadow Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Sir Hexen Ineptus wrote:
A T wrote:


Lots of stuff here

1st, could you clarify how these are touch attacks?

Palm Throw allows your attacks to be made as touch attacks.

*Edit, just saw I was beaten to it


The OP wrote:
Uhhh...back to our regularly scheduled program. Power attack: 3.5 version or Pathfinder version?

Pathfinder version !!!

I'm tired of seeing players hesitating one minute on how much PA he will put on his attacks and then spend 2 minutes just to recalculate his attack bonus and damage, just to see him fail all his attacks.

With Pathfinder, it is all or nothing, so you just have to make the calculations once and the decision to use it is faster !!

Oh and I'm also tired of the now-my-barbarian-can't-do-752-damage-in-a-round whinings ...


My group does not use Pathfinder Power-Attack. In fact, we hardly use any of their feats. They weren't broken, so we use normal 3.5 Feats.


I was going to quote and dispute a couple of posts but then I realized it had no bearing on the topic at hand.

In my opinion neither. There's obviously a presence out there that thinks power attack is too bulky and over powered at higher levels and one that doesn't. Why not compromise rather than go one way or the other? I'd say set a cap for Power Attack, maybe even go back to the dreaded days of 3.0 (I know, *gasp* anything but that! Hell, I still say Spell Focus didn't need to be nerfed...) and set a limit to Power Attack. Keep it as written but say a limit of 6 points. Then make a feat called improved PA that lets you go to 12 and available only to those with a +12 BAB. Then you're good. You still have the flexibility. You still have the option of someone who's not a strength monkey putting a little more oomph into their attack and it's fine.

Power Attack [General]
Prerequisite:
Str 13.
Benefit
On your action, before making attack rolls for a round, you may choose to subtract a number from all melee attack rolls and add the same number to all melee damage rolls. This number may not exceed your base attack bonus or 6 whichever is lower. The penalty on attacks and bonus on damage apply until your next turn.
Special
If you attack with a two-handed weapon, or with a one-handed weapon wielded in two hands, instead add twice the number subtracted from your attack rolls. You can’t add the bonus from Power Attack to the damage dealt with a light weapon (except with unarmed strikes or natural weapon attacks), even though the penalty on attack rolls still applies. (Normally, you treat a double weapon as a one-handed weapon and a light weapon. If you choose to use a double weapon like a two-handed weapon, attacking with only one end of it in a round, you treat it as a two-handed weapon.)

and

Improved Power Attack [General]
Prerequisite:
Str 16, BAB 12
Benefit
On your action, before making attack rolls for a round, you may choose to subtract a number from all melee attack rolls and add the same number to all melee damage rolls. This number may not exceed your base attack bonus or 12, whichever is lower. The penalty on attacks and bonus on damage apply until your next turn.
Special
If you attack with a two-handed weapon, or with a one-handed weapon wielded in two hands, instead add twice the number subtracted from your attack rolls. You can’t add the bonus from Power Attack to the damage dealt with a light weapon (except with unarmed strikes or natural weapon attacks), even though the penalty on attack rolls still applies. (Normally, you treat a double weapon as a one-handed weapon and a light weapon. If you choose to use a double weapon like a two-handed weapon, attacking with only one end of it in a round, you treat it as a two-handed weapon.)
A fighter may select Power Attack as one of his fighter bonus feats.

I think that would work to solve issues on both sides. Can it still be abused with proper use of splat books and obscure 3rd party supplements? Of course it can. That's what supplements do. That's what they're for. A responsible GM will learn what he can and cannot handle and make calls as to what is and isn't available. Is PA over powered as written above? I sure as hell don't think so, take a look at the damage a straight 20th level wizard can dish out combined with what a straight 20th level fighter can dish out with these two feats and I imagine the numbers will show the fighter needs all the help he can get.

If the feat above is seen as too weak perhaps change it to the max being STR bonus+BAB or 6 points whichever is lower or a solid max 6 points. Or just go back to 3.5 I'm fine either way with it and have never come across any problems with Power Attack since 3rd edition came out. As for game delays, I think the most of those come from the spell caster, watching a player of a high level spell caster sift through his magic items and spells and figuring out what to do has always been more torture than a melee based character spending time on PA. Thankfully most of my players know basic arithmetic but not all of them are organized (sadly) and I'd like to think that that holds true for most gamers.

Either way, if it came down to one or the other I'd say 3.5 hands down.

I have been upset about the change to Power Attack for some time now and would really love to see what Jason has to say on the matter. I've yet to see a thread on the topic where he's discussed or commented on it. I understand he's busy and all, I'm just saying I'd like to hear his take.


I still wonder if all the people pushing for PA nerfs are aware just how much raw HP damage is required to deal with equal level enemies. Nothing has been done to the MM after all.


A few observations on that build:

-As shuriken are considered ammunition, they are enchanted in groups of fifty. This also means that they're automatically destroyed when they hit their target (PHB 113)

-You forgot your Boots of Speed.

-This is a level 20 build, which means it needs a way to deal with miss chances. All the attack bonus in the world does nothing against Displacement.

But anyways, what's at issue is Power Attack. What this build shows is that a primary objective for a Power Attacking PC is to get his attack bonuses or lower his enemies' ACs to the point where he can fully Power Attack and still hit.

The Pathfinder Beta Power Attack is a bad way to adjust it. A static attack penalty and damage bonus not only takes away the fun tactical decisions a melee characters gets to make (and with spellcasters in the game, melee PCs need to have something to do), it also exacerbates the problem of needing to two-hand a weapon and focus on Strength to deal damage. In 3.5, both a 13-Str PC Power Attacking with his rapier and a 24-Str PC Power Attacking with his greataxe could make use of it. Sure, the greataxe-wielder got more damage out of it, but the Pathfinder version makes it entirely unusable to non-Str-focused PCs. It needs to be put back to where it was. Perhaps adjusting it so that two-handing a weapon leads to the damage bonus being 1.5x the number sacrificed instead of 2x would be more on the right track.

-Matt


Mattastrophic wrote:

A few observations on that build:

-As shuriken are considered ammunition, they are enchanted in groups of fifty. This also means that they're automatically destroyed when they hit their target (PHB 113)

-You forgot your Boots of Speed.

-This is a level 20 build, which means it needs a way to deal with miss chances. All the attack bonus in the world does nothing against Displacement.

But anyways, what's at issue is Power Attack. What this build shows is that a primary objective for a Power Attacking PC is to get his attack bonuses or lower his enemies' ACs to the point where he can fully Power Attack and still hit.

The Pathfinder Beta Power Attack is a bad way to adjust it. A static attack penalty and damage bonus not only takes away the fun tactical decisions a melee characters gets to make (and with spellcasters in the game, melee PCs need to have something to do), it also exacerbates the problem of needing to two-hand a weapon and focus on Strength to deal damage. In 3.5, both a 13-Str PC Power Attacking with his rapier and a 24-Str PC Power Attacking with his greataxe could make use of it. Sure, the greataxe-wielder got more damage out of it, but the Pathfinder version makes it entirely unusable to non-Str-focused PCs. It needs to be put back to where it was. Perhaps adjusting it so that two-handing a weapon leads to the damage bonus being 1.5x the number sacrificed instead of 2x would be more on the right track.

-Matt

Interesting point. I missed the ammunition point good catch. However I still never found that power attack damage output was that much of a problem with the exception of To9S and the frenzy berserker. The only problem I see here is complexity and meta gaming. I played a barbarian with leap attacking, shock trooper, brut combatant, with improved crit falchion. My GM didn't have a problems with that at all and he found ways around my massive damage output all the time. One of my favorites is the spell that makes you explode after death, area effect, no save, no miss chance. So while I might kill him, he gets you in the end any way.

So my suggestion has been to make power attack usable in three ways.

1. For -1 to hit
2. In segments of -5 to hit
and
3. Everything they got equal to base attack bonus.

This limits the freedom, but doesn't stack everything into an almost guaranteed miss.


Crusader of Logic wrote:
I still wonder if all the people pushing for PA nerfs are aware just how much raw HP damage is required to deal with equal level enemies. Nothing has been done to the MM after all.

Then perhaps that is the issue? Perhaps the problem is not so much with the classes but with the CR system and the way monsters are rated. I think a lot of value could be brought by re-evaluating monsters and the CR system.


Aaron Whitley wrote:
Then perhaps that is the issue? Perhaps the problem is not so much with the classes but with the CR system and the way monsters are rated. I think a lot of value could be brought by re-evaluating monsters and the CR system.

Bingo. I made a similar point in the Save or Die thread. Fixing individual rules items might be a worthy cause, but there's a hard limit to the amount of improvement to 3.5 that can be accomplished without looking at how the monsters work.

-Matt

Liberty's Edge

I like 3.5 Power Attack (but think it could be modified).

I think the adjustment for 2-handed-weapon fighting is too generous. -1/+1 for 1-handed and -1/+1.5 for 2-handed weapons would work for me as well.

Or make it -1/+2 for both, if we want to keep the math easy.


DeadDMWalking wrote:

I like 3.5 Power Attack (but think it could be modified).

I think the adjustment for 2-handed-weapon fighting is too generous. -1/+1 for 1-handed and -1/+1.5 for 2-handed weapons would work for me as well.

Or make it -1/+2 for both, if we want to keep the math easy.

How about -1/+1.5 for one handed and -1/+2 for two handed?

Scarab Sages

DeadDMWalking wrote:

I like 3.5 Power Attack (but think it could be modified).

I think the adjustment for 2-handed-weapon fighting is too generous. -1/+1 for 1-handed and -1/+1.5 for 2-handed weapons would work for me as well.

Or make it -1/+2 for both, if we want to keep the math easy.

I like that. It matches the relative Str bonus to each weapon. Heck, go even further and say 0.5 for off-hand attacks for consistency. Actually, why not just make it a flat penalty (always equal to Str bonus) and have it double the Str bonus to damage?


I might as well post here, since it seems the CharOp'ers are gathered:

Someone mentioned 2WF, but how do you deal with STR when using a Double Weapon?
(I'm speaking generally, Power Attack would be on top of this)

I have a Barbarian character (Yalka, on my profile) who has a Double Greatspear.

I figured the main-hand attack would be at 1.5x STR DMG bonus (for 2h)
and the off-hand would be at .75x STR DMG bonus (1.5(2h)*0.5(o-h))

...Thoughts?


The math you guys are suggesting is too cumbersome.

Seriously: -1 for +2. It's that easy.


Gonna have to say ya -1 for +2 is simple and not to cumbersome as PR put it.

The issue with sword and board fighters is not that twohanders out damage them[they should] its that they don't get enuff use out of the shield

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