Report on Combat Expertise


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I have found that combat expertise has completely changed its purpose in the PDnD's version.

It is no longer really any use that it was before. I will not take it as any form of fighter, rangers, paladin, barbarian, or Monk, as its bonuses are keyed on what is normally my second or third rated dump stat, some times first for my barbarians.

The one two classes I see this being of any sort of use is the Wizard or the Rogue.

This feat was subpar before but everyone can use it. Now it is useless, as the only classes that can use it don't have a full base attack bonus.

It would be nice if this feat keyed off of dex or int, and gave double bonus if you were using a shield to paralleled with power attack and two handed weapons.

RPG Superstar 2009 Top 8

I didn't think that Combat Expertise was a great choice for barbarians before since during most combats they wouldn't be able to use it.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Zynete wrote:
I didn't think that Combat Expertise was a great choice for barbarians before since during most combats they wouldn't be able to use it.

This is quite true, but the problem of Combat Expertise remains. The only characters who took it before were those looking at the feats beyond it. Now they still have to take it but it offers nothing besides the feat name.

Dark Archive

Brutesquad07 wrote:
Zynete wrote:
I didn't think that Combat Expertise was a great choice for barbarians before since during most combats they wouldn't be able to use it.

This is quite true, but the problem of Combat Expertise remains. The only characters who took it before were those looking at the feats beyond it. Now they still have to take it but it offers nothing besides the feat name.

Why not key it off ranks in Acrobatics?

Right now, you can fight defensively at -4 to hit, and +2 AC, and if you have 1 rank in Acrobatics, you can fight defensively at an advantage.

If you set Combat Expertise to allow -1 to hit and +1 to AC for every rank in Acrobatics you possessed, would that not be a reasonable scaling ability?

Sovereign Court

Sir Hexen Ineptus wrote:

I have found that combat expertise has completely changed its purpose in the PDnD's version.

It is no longer really any use that it was before. I will not take it as any form of fighter, rangers, paladin, barbarian, or Monk, as its bonuses are keyed on what is normally my second or third rated dump stat, some times first for my barbarians.

The one two classes I see this being of any sort of use is the Wizard or the Rogue.

This feat was subpar before but everyone can use it. Now it is useless, as the only classes that can use it don't have a full base attack bonus.

It would be nice if this feat keyed off of dex or int, and gave double bonus if you were using a shield to paralleled with power attack and two handed weapons.

Um if that was your dump stat then they never took it in the first place since it needed a 13+ int to have. that means at the very least it's good for a +1 to AC. I'm not saying it's a great feat, but you make it sound like it does nothing.


lastknightleft wrote:
Sir Hexen Ineptus wrote:

I have found that combat expertise has completely changed its purpose in the PDnD's version.

It is no longer really any use that it was before. I will not take it as any form of fighter, rangers, paladin, barbarian, or Monk, as its bonuses are keyed on what is normally my second or third rated dump stat, some times first for my barbarians.

The one two classes I see this being of any sort of use is the Wizard or the Rogue.

This feat was subpar before but everyone can use it. Now it is useless, as the only classes that can use it don't have a full base attack bonus.

It would be nice if this feat keyed off of dex or int, and gave double bonus if you were using a shield to paralleled with power attack and two handed weapons.

Um if that was your dump stat then they never took it in the first place since it needed a 13+ int to have. that means at the very least it's good for a +1 to AC. I'm not saying it's a great feat, but you make it sound like it does nothing.

I am sorry but your post seems more like a red-haring than anything. YEAH its a semi dump stat, not usually the best, because most classes don't get a lot of use out of it. While power attack gets strength, which can also be used for combat maneuvers, hit, and damage normally, with combat expertise as is your faced off with int being good for more skill points, knowledge skills which you ether don't get or don't have a lot of as class skills, and for one class as a casting stat, a hole lot of if-s for a feat in comparison. Your faced off of it being good for a rogue (maybe if they have good enough stats), or a suicidal combat wizard.

Combat Expertise should at best be dex or int, highest at chosen feat point, and double for use of real shields.

P.S. In conclusion; this would amount to the feat being entirely useless to the majority of classes.

Sovereign Court

Sir Hexen Ineptus wrote:
lastknightleft wrote:
Sir Hexen Ineptus wrote:

I have found that combat expertise has completely changed its purpose in the PDnD's version.

It is no longer really any use that it was before. I will not take it as any form of fighter, rangers, paladin, barbarian, or Monk, as its bonuses are keyed on what is normally my second or third rated dump stat, some times first for my barbarians.

The one two classes I see this being of any sort of use is the Wizard or the Rogue.

This feat was subpar before but everyone can use it. Now it is useless, as the only classes that can use it don't have a full base attack bonus.

It would be nice if this feat keyed off of dex or int, and gave double bonus if you were using a shield to paralleled with power attack and two handed weapons.

Um if that was your dump stat then they never took it in the first place since it needed a 13+ int to have. that means at the very least it's good for a +1 to AC. I'm not saying it's a great feat, but you make it sound like it does nothing.

I am sorry but your post seems more like a red-haring than anything. YEAH its a semi dump stat, not usually the best, because most classes don't get a lot of use out of it. While power attack gets strength, which can also be used for combat maneuvers, hit, and damage normally, with combat expertise as is your faced off with int being good for more skill points, knowledge skills which you ether don't get or don't have a lot of as class skills, and for one class as a casting stat, a hole lot of if-s for a feat in comparison. Your faced off of it being good for a rogue (maybe if they have good enough stats), or a suicidal combat wizard.

Combat Expertise should at best be dex or int, highest at chosen feat point, and double for use of real shields.

I actually agree that it should be doubled with shield use. I have no problem with it being based on int, but I do think it would be nice if it synergized with sword n board.


Archade wrote:
Brutesquad07 wrote:
Zynete wrote:
I didn't think that Combat Expertise was a great choice for barbarians before since during most combats they wouldn't be able to use it.

This is quite true, but the problem of Combat Expertise remains. The only characters who took it before were those looking at the feats beyond it. Now they still have to take it but it offers nothing besides the feat name.

Why not key it off ranks in Acrobatics?

Right now, you can fight defensively at -4 to hit, and +2 AC, and if you have 1 rank in Acrobatics, you can fight defensively at an advantage.

If you set Combat Expertise to allow -1 to hit and +1 to AC for every rank in Acrobatics you possessed, would that not be a reasonable scaling ability?

You know that is a really good idea. I would be OK with that, because then that would still be off something you would get other uses from.


lastknightleft wrote:
Sir Hexen Ineptus wrote:
lastknightleft wrote:
Sir Hexen Ineptus wrote:

I have found that combat expertise has completely changed its purpose in the PDnD's version.

It is no longer really any use that it was before. I will not take it as any form of fighter, rangers, paladin, barbarian, or Monk, as its bonuses are keyed on what is normally my second or third rated dump stat, some times first for my barbarians.

The one two classes I see this being of any sort of use is the Wizard or the Rogue.

This feat was subpar before but everyone can use it. Now it is useless, as the only classes that can use it don't have a full base attack bonus.

It would be nice if this feat keyed off of dex or int, and gave double bonus if you were using a shield to paralleled with power attack and two handed weapons.

Um if that was your dump stat then they never took it in the first place since it needed a 13+ int to have. that means at the very least it's good for a +1 to AC. I'm not saying it's a great feat, but you make it sound like it does nothing.

I am sorry but your post seems more like a red-haring than anything. YEAH its a semi dump stat, not usually the best, because most classes don't get a lot of use out of it. While power attack gets strength, which can also be used for combat maneuvers, hit, and damage normally, with combat expertise as is your faced off with int being good for more skill points, knowledge skills which you ether don't get or don't have a lot of as class skills, and for one class as a casting stat, a hole lot of if-s for a feat in comparison. Your faced off of it being good for a rogue (maybe if they have good enough stats), or a suicidal combat wizard.

Combat Expertise should at best be dex or int, highest at chosen feat point, and double for use of real shields.

I actually agree that it should be doubled with shield use. I have no problem with it being based on int, but I do think it would be nice if it synergized with sword n board.

Int is way too limited use stat for the people who would be taking the feat, especially in comparison to power attack. This focus on an otherwise useless stat makes the feat useless. I can see a person putting their highest stat and all their points into strength for the use of that feat. I can not see this with combat expertise. Unless you have some personal build that you like it this way for, there is no reason it should be off of int.

You have yet to give me a WHY. Why can't you agree that it should be off of int or dex, which ever is higher?


Brutesquad07 wrote:
Zynete wrote:
I didn't think that Combat Expertise was a great choice for barbarians before since during most combats they wouldn't be able to use it.

This is quite true, but the problem of Combat Expertise remains. The only characters who took it before were those looking at the feats beyond it. Now they still have to take it but it offers nothing besides the feat name.

That is another matter. I think that all the combat maneuvers shouldn't have any requirement feats any more. All the combat maneuvers only give a +2 and use strength as their base stat, so why should they be required to get a feat that uses another stat to get it. With K.I.S.S. in mind they should just be stand alone.

Sovereign Court

Sir Hexen Ineptus wrote:
Brutesquad07 wrote:
Zynete wrote:
I didn't think that Combat Expertise was a great choice for barbarians before since during most combats they wouldn't be able to use it.

This is quite true, but the problem of Combat Expertise remains. The only characters who took it before were those looking at the feats beyond it. Now they still have to take it but it offers nothing besides the feat name.

That is another matter. I think that all the combat maneuvers shouldn't have any requirement feats any more. All the combat maneuvers only give a +2 and use strength as their base stat, so why should they be required to get a feat that uses another stat to get it. With K.I.S.S. in mind they should just be stand alone.

I don't understand what a 70s rock band has to do with combat expertise


Combat feats should all be scaled to BAB -- not to Int (or other melee-guy dump stats), and not to Acrobatics (which fighters and paladins lack the skill points to keep maxed out). Really, either combat feats are meant to be useful to combat-oriented characters, or they're not. Keying them to anything other than BAB (in terms of scaling and prerequisites) implies that they're not.

In the specific case of Combat Expertise, maybe allow a base +/-1, +/-1 per 3 points of BAB, so that an 18th level fighter could take up to -6 to attacks and gain up to +6 to AC. No intelligence cap, and no Int prerequisite. No Acrobatics cap or prereq., either.


Sir Hexen Ineptus wrote:
Brutesquad07 wrote:
Zynete wrote:
I didn't think that Combat Expertise was a great choice for barbarians before since during most combats they wouldn't be able to use it.

This is quite true, but the problem of Combat Expertise remains. The only characters who took it before were those looking at the feats beyond it. Now they still have to take it but it offers nothing besides the feat name.

That is another matter. I think that all the combat maneuvers shouldn't have any requirement feats any more. All the combat maneuvers only give a +2 and use strength as their base stat, so why should they be required to get a feat that uses another stat to get it. With K.I.S.S. in mind they should just be stand alone.

I think you are correct maneuvers should just be available to whoever wants to use them, but keep the feats and have them grant a modifier to the attempt, a +2 for example. This would make it easier for non strength based characters to be designed that can accomplish some of these maneuvers. Right now it is terribly difficult to build a dex based character than can use cmb as intended.


lastknightleft wrote:
Sir Hexen Ineptus wrote:
Brutesquad07 wrote:
Zynete wrote:
I didn't think that Combat Expertise was a great choice for barbarians before since during most combats they wouldn't be able to use it.

This is quite true, but the problem of Combat Expertise remains. The only characters who took it before were those looking at the feats beyond it. Now they still have to take it but it offers nothing besides the feat name.

That is another matter. I think that all the combat maneuvers shouldn't have any requirement feats any more. All the combat maneuvers only give a +2 and use strength as their base stat, so why should they be required to get a feat that uses another stat to get it. With K.I.S.S. in mind they should just be stand alone.

I don't understand what a 70s rock band has to do with combat expertise

Your opinion is void sense you can't possibly be serious about this. It is one thing not to to know what K.I.S.S. is, it is another to just bring it up to disrupt a thread.

Edit: Your failure to even answer the simple question

Sir Hexen Ineptus wrote:
You have yet to give me a WHY. Why can't you agree that it should be off of int or dex, which ever is higher?

just makes you look more like an annoyance than anything else.

Fail.

FYI

K.I.S.S. means

Keep
It
Simple
For the Stupid mistake we all make.

Dex makes more sense than int, but we still need int to keep things some what backwards compatible.

Simple.
Power attack gives damage, so does the stat it works.

Combat expertise give AC, so does dex.

So for simplicity combat expertise works off DEX....


Kirth Gersen wrote:

Combat feats should all be scaled to BAB -- not to Int (or other melee-guy dump stats), and not to Acrobatics (which fighters and paladins lack the skill points to keep maxed out). Really, either combat feats are meant to be useful to combat-oriented characters, or they're not. Keying them to anything other than BAB (in terms of scaling and prerequisites) implies that they're not.

In the specific case of Combat Expertise, maybe allow a base +/-1, +/-1 per 3 points of BAB, so that an 18th level fighter could take up to -6 to attacks and gain up to +6 to AC. No intelligence cap, and no Int prerequisite. No Acrobatics cap or prereq., either.

You know I agree with you, I just don't see that happening.

However I do like it that the barbarian can power attack better than any other.


WarmasterSpike wrote:
Sir Hexen Ineptus wrote:
Brutesquad07 wrote:
Zynete wrote:
I didn't think that Combat Expertise was a great choice for barbarians before since during most combats they wouldn't be able to use it.

This is quite true, but the problem of Combat Expertise remains. The only characters who took it before were those looking at the feats beyond it. Now they still have to take it but it offers nothing besides the feat name.

That is another matter. I think that all the combat maneuvers shouldn't have any requirement feats any more. All the combat maneuvers only give a +2 and use strength as their base stat, so why should they be required to get a feat that uses another stat to get it. With K.I.S.S. in mind they should just be stand alone.
I think you are correct maneuvers should just be available to whoever wants to use them, but keep the feats and have them grant a modifier to the attempt, a +2 for example. This would make it easier for non strength based characters to be designed that can accomplish some of these maneuvers. Right now it is terribly difficult to build a dex based character than can use cmb as intended.

CMBs should be off of dex or strength IMHO, at the very least DEFENCE in a CMB should DEFINATLY be off of dex or strength, which ever is better.

P.S. I think the best should be -1 to hit, for +1 to x, and double for situation.
Power Attack Situation: Two handed weapon
Combat Expertise Situation: Shield

Sovereign Court

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
Kirth Gersen wrote:

Combat feats should all be scaled to BAB -- not to Int (or other melee-guy dump stats), and not to Acrobatics (which fighters and paladins lack the skill points to keep maxed out). Really, either combat feats are meant to be useful to combat-oriented characters, or they're not. Keying them to anything other than BAB (in terms of scaling and prerequisites) implies that they're not.

In the specific case of Combat Expertise, maybe allow a base +/-1, +/-1 per 3 points of BAB, so that an 18th level fighter could take up to -6 to attacks and gain up to +6 to AC. No intelligence cap, and no Int prerequisite. No Acrobatics cap or prereq., either.

This.

Really, in the interests of disparate power in tiers at high levels for casting classes versus martial classes, I think this is absolutely necessary. All combat based feats should increase in effect with relation to the character's BaB, as most spells increase in power as the character's caster level increases. Improved (Whatever) feats should only exist if they offer a significant change in the mechanics of the feat - not just to add another +1.


There's a pretty good CMB discussion is going on over HERE.

Sir Hexen Ineptus wrote:


CMBs should be off of dex or strength IMHO, at the very least DEFENCE in a CMB should DEFINATLY be off of dex or strength, which ever is better.

As stated in the thread I linked... I think CMB should use BOTH STR & DEX, it fixes all of the problems of CMB favoring one or the other.


Sir Hexen Ineptus wrote:

I have found that combat expertise has completely changed its purpose in the PDnD's version.

It is no longer really any use that it was before. I will not take it as any form of fighter, rangers, paladin, barbarian, or Monk, as its bonuses are keyed on what is normally my second or third rated dump stat, some times first for my barbarians.

The one two classes I see this being of any sort of use is the Wizard or the Rogue.

This feat was subpar before but everyone can use it. Now it is useless, as the only classes that can use it don't have a full base attack bonus.

It would be nice if this feat keyed off of dex or int, and gave double bonus if you were using a shield to paralleled with power attack and two handed weapons.

As much as I don't like Intelligence as the stat used with Combat Expertise it does make sense. I see combat expertise as fighting intelligently to gain a defensive bonus. Only problem I see is Intelligence is hard to get high enough for decent bonus with most if not all melee classes.

I do like the idea of doubling the shield bonus when using a shield. Just the shield AC not any magical bonuses. That would at least make this feat useful. So you have fighter with a 13 Int using a large steel shield. They'd get +1 AC -1 to hit and the shield would now provide +4 AC. As well I'd apply the defense doubling for two weapon Defense so instead +1 you get +2.

Also if you had just the minimum 13 prerequisite you could spend stat boost to bump it 14 getting -2/+2.

Sovereign Court

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
voska66 wrote:
As much as I don't like Intelligence as the stat used with Combat Expertise it does make sense. I see combat expertise as fighting intelligently to gain a defensive bonus. Only problem I see is Intelligence is hard to get high enough for decent bonus with most if not all melee classes.

This is the issue, though. You can make sense of the intelligence prerequisite, but the important thing is to examine the feat concept for the following information:

  • Who is supposed to use this feat?
  • What feats are dependent on this feat?
  • Does the feat do what its name and intended use suggests it should do?
  • Do the prereqs for the feat make sense?
  • Do the prereqs for the feat help or hurt its goal to accomplish what it is meant to accomplish for the character it is meant to assist? Hurt or help for dependent feats?

Feats that start a feat chain are especially important - they need to make sense for themselves and the feats that depend on them.

Combat Expertise is set up so it is only going to significantly help intelligent characters. The only characters for whom intelligence is important is wizards for spellcasting, and rogues and bards for skill monkey business. The only characters for whom intelligence is the most important stat is wizards.

Looking at the prereqs, this would indicate this feat shoudl be used primarily by wizards, with some usefullness for rogues and bards.

Looking at the effect of the feat and the feats farther down the chain, this feat's effect is meant to be used by monks, fighter types (least likely to meet the prereqs), then secondary fighters and then casters. Oops. Opposite of what the prereqs are made for.

This should be tied to BaB, with monks getting that bonus they get for CMB, from a purely gamist perspective.

From a simulationist perspective, my understanding of Japanese training techniques in swordwork is the first goal of a great swordsman is to remove his thinking self from the equation in battle - train so hard his actions are natural and require no thought on his part - the thinking self will only get you killed in battle as you waste time analyzing what your muscles should already be doing in order to keep you alive. So in that sense, BaB is a better measure of Combat Expertise, in my opinion, anyway.


Jess Door wrote:
voska66 wrote:
As much as I don't like Intelligence as the stat used with Combat Expertise it does make sense. I see combat expertise as fighting intelligently to gain a defensive bonus. Only problem I see is Intelligence is hard to get high enough for decent bonus with most if not all melee classes.

This is the issue, though. You can make sense of the intelligence prerequisite, but the important thing is to examine the feat concept for the following information:

  • Who is supposed to use this feat?
  • What feats are dependent on this feat?
  • Does the feat do what its name and intended use suggests it should do?
  • Do the prereqs for the feat make sense?
  • Do the prereqs for the feat help or hurt its goal to accomplish what it is meant to accomplish for the character it is meant to assist? Hurt or help for dependent feats?

Feats that start a feat chain are especially important - they need to make sense for themselves and the feats that depend on them.

Combat Expertise is set up so it is only going to significantly help intelligent characters. The only characters for whom intelligence is important is wizards for spellcasting, and rogues and bards for skill monkey business. The only characters for whom intelligence is the most important stat is wizards.

Looking at the prereqs, this would indicate this feat shoudl be used primarily by wizards, with some usefullness for rogues and bards.

Looking at the effect of the feat and the feats farther down the chain, this feat's effect is meant to be used by monks, fighter types (least likely to meet the prereqs), then secondary fighters and then casters. Oops. Opposite of what the prereqs are made for.

This should be tied to BaB, with monks getting that bonus they get for CMB, from a purely gamist perspective.

From a simulationist perspective, my understanding of Japanese training techniques in swordwork is the first goal of a great swordsman is to remove his thinking self from the equation in battle -...

Totally agree with you Jess. Combat Expertise should be linked to BAB. NOT to INT. This is probably one of the first thing we house ruled. Players didn't like it and i (DM) didn't like it.

The feat was already a pretty average feat so being based off INT makes it considerably worse. A lot of players already aren't too pleased with HAVING to take Combat Expertise to gain access to bunch of other feats so now it'll just make things even more frustrating for them.

I really don't see why this feat was changed in the first place and from reading the forum i think the number who doesn't agree with the change is pretty damn large. (same for the PA change. boo i say. boooooo...but that's another subject).

Musky Musk


I'd like to add that being an entry level feat to gain access to others, it should be fairly simple to obtain by most, if not all characters. I think that this should be taken into consideration for all entry level feats in general.


Jess Door wrote:

Combat Expertise is set up so it is only going to significantly help intelligent characters. The only characters for whom intelligence is important is wizards for spellcasting, and rogues and bards for skill monkey business. The only characters for whom intelligence is the most important stat is wizards.

Looking at the prereqs, this would indicate this feat shoudl be used primarily by wizards, with some usefullness for rogues and bards.

Looking at the effect of the feat and the feats farther down the chain, this feat's effect is meant to be used by monks, fighter types (least likely to meet the prereqs), then secondary fighters and then casters. Oops. Opposite of what the prereqs are made for.

Actually when I made wizards in 3.5 I almost always picked CE. It was the "uh-oh out of spells need some defense" ability. The annoying thing was that at level 1 wizards couldnt use it at all. If anything I would key it off Wis as that makes sense to me. But I'm quite happy with the Int stat powering it. Also it works against npcs who dont have the stats my characters do anyway, so I know that orc captain doesnt have trip, LoL


I've recently downloaded the PF pdf and I like what I see from the skimming.

When I saw the forum I just had to look at what was the hubbub on Combat Expertise.

Didn't like what I saw.

In my present game, I house ruled that Combat Expertise works like Improved Combat Expertise. Basically you can drop as many attack bonus up to your BAB to add to your AC.

The reasoning. Power Attack drops the attack bonus to add to damage. They never limited it and didn't need to create a Improved Power Attack the way they did for Combat Expertise.

How does it work for my players? They have taken it to add to their ac. I've house ruled that you have to have at least BAB +1. Since the 3.5 seems to plateau on the AC, the combat expertise made it a strategic move to choose if they want to hit more or defend more.

Scarab Sages

Jess Door wrote:

Looking at the effect of the feat and the feats farther down the chain, this feat's effect is meant to be used by monks, fighter types (least likely to meet the prereqs), then secondary fighters and then casters. Oops. Opposite of what the prereqs are made for.

This should be tied to BaB, with monks getting that bonus they get for CMB, from a purely gamist perspective.

From a simulationist perspective, my understanding of Japanese training techniques in swordwork is the first goal of a great swordsman is to remove his thinking self from the equation in battle - train so hard his actions are natural and require no thought on his part - the thinking self will only get you killed in battle as you waste time analyzing what your muscles should already be doing in order to keep you alive. So in that sense, BaB is a better measure of Combat Expertise, in my opinion, anyway.

I agree.

Who are the experts at combat?

The melee-dedicated classes, of course. The ones with full BAB.

And a character with BAB +10 has more 'combat expertise' than a character of BAB +9, regardless of INT.

Plus, I am sure many of the posters on these boards, who practice martial arts or fencing, know someone in real life who is frighteningly proficient at trips, throws, disarming, etc, but dumb as a box of rocks.


Snorter wrote:
Jess Door wrote:

Looking at the effect of the feat and the feats farther down the chain, this feat's effect is meant to be used by monks, fighter types (least likely to meet the prereqs), then secondary fighters and then casters. Oops. Opposite of what the prereqs are made for.

This should be tied to BaB, with monks getting that bonus they get for CMB, from a purely gamist perspective.

From a simulationist perspective, my understanding of Japanese training techniques in swordwork is the first goal of a great swordsman is to remove his thinking self from the equation in battle - train so hard his actions are natural and require no thought on his part - the thinking self will only get you killed in battle as you waste time analyzing what your muscles should already be doing in order to keep you alive. So in that sense, BaB is a better measure of Combat Expertise, in my opinion, anyway.

I agree.

Who are the experts at combat?

The melee-dedicated classes, of course. The ones with full BAB.

And a character with BAB +10 has more 'combat expertise' than a character of BAB +9, regardless of INT.

Plus, I am sure many of the posters on these boards, who practice martial arts or fencing, know someone in real life who is frighteningly proficient at trips, throws, disarming, etc, but dumb as a box of rocks.

Agreed


I agree, currently its so broken its a joke. I'm about to play a paladin in our campaign and I set her up as a defender. I always play heavy damage fighters, I wanted to do something different. Combat expertise appeared to be the way to go in this situation.

BUT now that it keys of int, it's absolutely useless and here is why:

We use a point by system, so the characters are equally powerful. For every 2 points I put in to int, I can use combat expertise and get a +1 ac with a -1 to hit. I could have instead put those points in to dexterity and get all the bonuses of combat expertise with none of the detriments ...all the time, without using a feat. Not to mention dexterity also helps reflex saves and ranged attacks.

This feat is useless for anyone who might use it in melee combat period and I don't know anyone who wouldn't houserule in the old 3.5 rule, which we did instantly with no discussion to the contrary.

If everyones going to houserule it, I think that's a sure sign the rule should changed. The least they could change it to, "prerequisite feat #1" so that way we know it doesn't confer any benefits other than a placeholder.

Otherwise pathfinder is good, but this one just screams, "Let's change things cause we can"


And this is worse than the Power Attack change how?

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

Only in the use of the respective stats. Both PA and CE changes are equally bad.


IMO, just make it +1/4 BAB as a dodge bonus when fighting defensively or using the total defense action.
Combat Expertise is just a better way to fight defensively, after all.
This way, it effectively caps at -4/+8 at BAB +20 (+11 using total defense), and keeps total defense worthwile even for someone that's invested in CE.


voska66 wrote:
I see combat expertise as fighting intelligently to gain a defensive bonus.

Actually, combat training is just like learning to ride a bike. You're not training your intellect, you train your -body- and your -reactive ability-, which has nothing to do with your I.Q, but with creating new, conditioned reflexes in your brain based on sensory stimulus. The first thing I was taught on my first Muay Tai class was to condition myself to duck and sweep my opponent's foot if he ever started spinning to aim a high kick to my head (I never learned to do it properly, but then I'm not claiming to be any good... also I'm a mathematician, which proves I.Q has little to do with it).

Yes, creating new conditioned reflexes requires the ability to learn, but as long as your I.Q is higher than 10 no human should have any problems (again I.Q 10, not Int 10).

Wizards already have more ways to avoid damage than you can shake a stick at, so I'd love for the powers that be to give Combat Expertise back to the classes that actually have a use for it.


Njall wrote:
Combat Expertise is just a better way to fight defensively, after all.

Yes! It just shifts the attack penalty : AC bonus ratio from 2:1 to 1:1. I'd propose:

Defensive Fighting: Any character can fight defensively by taking an attack penalty (maximum equal to half his or her BAB). He or she gains a dodge bonus to AC equal to half the attack penalty (round down).
This would supercede total defense: take a high enough attack penalty, and that's pretty much what you're doing, after all).

Improved Defensive Fighting (Combat Feat)
Benefit: When fighting defensively, your AC bonus is equal to your attack penalty.
Normal: Your AC bonus is equal to half your attack penalty when fighting defensively.


Sounds great, Keith!


Kirth Gersen wrote:
Njall wrote:
Combat Expertise is just a better way to fight defensively, after all.

Yes! It just shifts the attack penalty : AC bonus ratio from 2:1 to 1:1. I'd propose:

Defensive Fighting: Any character can fight defensively by taking an attack penalty (maximum equal to half his or her BAB). He or she gains a dodge bonus to AC equal to half the attack penalty (round down).
This would supercede total defense: take a high enough attack penalty, and that's pretty much what you're doing, after all).

Improved Defensive Fighting (Combat Feat)
Benefit: When fighting defensively, your AC bonus is equal to your attack penalty.
Normal: Your AC bonus is equal to half your attack penalty when fighting defensively.

Yeah!!! This is perfect!

Please Jason use this!


Bard-Sader wrote:
And this is worse than the Power Attack change how?

Actually a bit worse with this one. You actually might have a half decent strength, and have a use for the feat, however crappy a use it was.

This is a stat that no one would have a decent about of and still make a half decent use. However I feel for you on power attack too, and wish they change it back.


Well given how much houseruling that usually went on in 3.X games anyways, I'm sure many people wouldn't mind houseruling the old PA and CE back in.

There's just something I don't get. Is Paizo trying to nerf Fighter-types? I mean, I understand that 2-handed PA was by far the best combat style, but the solution to that is to boost TWF and S&B and even archery, not nerf PA into oblivion.

And CE was already an underused feat, since offense is better than defense usually, and with this change, I don't see anyone taking it as anything but a prerequisite feat (much like Endurance, Mobility, etc)


Only a few things to consider Kirth. It would be good to include a line or word it in a way that doesn't require a character to actually make an attack to fight defensively. Improved defensive fighting can't be used until 2nd (good), 3rd (average), and 4th (poor) level. Not saying that's a bad thing, kind of makes sense in a way since it is about expertise and combat skill.


Dorje Sylas wrote:
Only a few things to consider Kirth. It would be good to include a line or word it in a way that doesn't require a character to actually make an attack to fight defensively. Improved defensive fighting can't be used until 2nd (good), 3rd (average), and 4th (poor) level. Not saying that's a bad thing, kind of makes sense in a way since it is about expertise and combat skill.

I wanted to keep it defensive fighting, though, not defensive spellcasting, etc. That's why I kept "attacks" in there -- to make this specifically a fighting style. And, yes, not being able to use the Improved form until higher BAB makes perfect sense to me, too.


Bard-Sader wrote:
There's just something I don't get. Is Paizo trying to nerf Fighter-types?

3.0 already nerfed high-level fighter-types. Paizo is just finishing them off.


Then you'd still want to kept Total Defenses around as a standard action option. In my group I've had players use total defense while prone(tripped) in melee until another party member can clear some standing space.


Kirth Gersen wrote:
Bard-Sader wrote:
There's just something I don't get. Is Paizo trying to nerf Fighter-types?
3.0 already nerfed high-level fighter-types. Paizo is just finishing them off.

I thought Pathfinder is supposed to fix things like the Fighter-Wizard achievement gap?


Bard-Sader wrote:
There's just something I don't get. Is Paizo trying to nerf Fighter-types? I mean, I understand that 2-handed PA was by far the best combat style, but the solution to that is to boost TWF and S&B and even archery, not nerf PA into oblivion.

I'm not convinced with this approach. There is already enough power bloat and Monster lifespans in combat are brutally short as it is. Bringing everyone up to the level of the best classes/combos/styles decreases the chance of challenging parties with typical encounters.

I think it's better to strive toward the "middle" levels of power whether we are talking about classes, spells, fighting styles, or what have you.


Seriously folks,
Jason has clearly indicated that SOMETHING to split the difference between the 2nd/3rdEd Melee/Casting dichotomy will make it into Pathfinder. (i.e. Standard Attack scaling, high level spells Full Round Action to Cast vs. low levels @ Standard, AoO/Casting Defensively changes have all been mooted by Jason)

I'm definitely hoping Power Attack/C.E. stays as useful as it's old self...
On the other hand, if it's less UNIVERALLY effective, there's plenty of good new Feats to base a build on now!

And re: Power Level, obviously there's a whole Pathfinder Bestiary coming up.
I'm FAIRLY certain Paizo intends their future adventures to be "level appropriate" challenges. If they end up advising "with legacy 3.5 adventures/ monsters, PF characters can be considered 1-2 levels higher", so be it.


Sir Hexen Ineptus wrote:

I have found that combat expertise has completely changed its purpose in the PDnD's version.

It is no longer really any use that it was before. I will not take it as any form of fighter, rangers, paladin, barbarian, or Monk, as its bonuses are keyed on what is normally my second or third rated dump stat, some times first for my barbarians.

The one two classes I see this being of any sort of use is the Wizard or the Rogue.

This feat was subpar before but everyone can use it. Now it is useless, as the only classes that can use it don't have a full base attack bonus.

It would be nice if this feat keyed off of dex or int, and gave double bonus if you were using a shield to paralleled with power attack and two handed weapons.

Before combat expertise was great, now it's not so great. Before if you actually did the whole defender thing and your dm allowed improved combat expertise a fighter could stand in a hallway, trade in all his BAB and basically be a wall that people could use for cover to cast spells freely behind him.

At least that is over.


Bard-Sader wrote:
Well given how much houseruling that usually went on in 3.X games anyways, I'm sure many people wouldn't mind houseruling the old PA and CE back in.

...and in fact I seriously doubt there are many tables that dare using PF's version of Power Attack or Combat Expertise (Not mine for one).


Zaedus wrote:

We use a point by system, so the characters are equally powerful. For every 2 points I put in to int, I can use combat expertise and get a +1 ac with a -1 to hit. I could have instead put those points in to dexterity and get all the bonuses of combat expertise with none of the detriments ...all the time, without using a feat. Not to mention dexterity also helps reflex saves and ranged attacks.

This right here is the real problem with this feat.

There is absolutely no reason, in a point-buy system, to dump points into INT just to use this feat.

As Zaedus said, put those same points into DEX and get the bonus AC without taking the -1 to hit. You'll also improve your REF save and your +Init, and your + to hit with ranged weapons.

No, the INT requirement on Combat Expertise makes it useless to any melee class, unless you're playing a campaign where you roll for stats and just happed to get at least 4-5 ability scores over a 12, so you can put a decent score in INT.

Now, if we only want this feat to be used by rogues and bards, then it's not too bad as is - those guys usually have a decent INT, and they could benefit greatly from more AC, but they also have lower BAB so they are more likely to miss in combat than melee classes, so taking penalties to hit makes them even more likely to miss. Still, at least they can use the feat.


Bard-Sader wrote:

Well given how much houseruling that usually went on in 3.X games anyways, I'm sure many people wouldn't mind houseruling the old PA and CE back in.

No, no, no!

This is the wrong answer.

If I have to write houserules to make the game playable, then why don't I just write my own game?

As it is, I have over 100 typewritten pages in a .doc for my 3.5 Houserules. Too much!

The point is, I buy a game, pay my good money, for two reasons:
1. I'm not ambitious enough to make my own game.
2. I want to invite new players and have them already know the rules.

Now, if I have to houserule something in the game I buy, I am violating both of my reasons for buying the game.

Even so, a few houserules are manageable enough. Not too much effort, and easy to teach to new players.

But every houserule takes me farther and farther from my two reasons for paying good money for the game.

I don't know where I draw the line. But at some point, I have to say "Woah! The game I'm playing with all these houserules is not the game I paid my good money for. Why did I bother? Why will I continue shelling out for supplements?"

This cannot be the attitude that any game company wants to foster among its players.

Ergo, the goal for a game company, such as Paizo, is to write a game that is so good that we don't need house rules.

Now, you can't please all the people all the time. So they won't get everything right. And even if I think they got everything right, chances are you (by that I mean any of you and maybe all of you) will find some things you think they got wrong - and for each of you it may be different things.

Still, Paizo should want to please the majority of the people with the majority of the ruleset.

Clearly the current version of Combat Expertise does not achieve this reasonable goal.

Hence, the right answer is not for Paizo to assume we will houserule it ourselves, but to actually fix it before the game is released.

Now that would be the right answer.

Scarab Sages

Wow, that sounds like my 2e house-rules, whichis why I stopped playing 2e a few years before 3e came out...

I had a binder full of house rules...luckily with 3,5 I only have a couple pages and charts...

and even less with Pathfinder...


DM_Blake wrote:
Bard-Sader wrote:

Well given how much houseruling that usually went on in 3.X games anyways, I'm sure many people wouldn't mind houseruling the old PA and CE back in.

No, no, no!

This is the wrong answer.

Clearly the current version of Combat Expertise does not achieve this reasonable goal.

Hence, the right answer is not for Paizo to assume we will houserule it ourselves, but to actually fix it before the game is released.

Now that would be the right answer.

So how would you have Paizo fix CE and PA?

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