Vital Strike, Deadly Strike, Spring Attack and Cleave


Rules Questions

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tejón wrote:
...from "stupidly broken" to "reasonably good?"

From "reasonably good" to "waste of six feats," in my opinion.


Kirth Gersen wrote:
tejón wrote:
...from "stupidly broken" to "reasonably good?"
From "reasonably good" to "waste of six feats," in my opinion.

When all you have is the option of making a single attack, it's still a bigger bonus to damage than power attack (and there's no reason you can't stack it with power attack).

Admittedly, it could be better, and honestly, I'd probably house rule it a bit and make it compatible with Charge, Spring Attack, any single attack, but it's definitely not a "waste of a feat"


-Archangel- wrote:
Actually with Vital Strike and +x weapons ignoring all kinds of DR, DR has become useless now. Maybe we should just give monsters extra 40-50 hp instead of DR now :D

I had to look this up in the PRD because I wasn't sure what you were talking about. (Hadn't read about changes to damage reduction yet.)

Looking at the rules for damage reduction, I don't particularly like the +3/+4/+5 weapons overcoming damage reduction as though made of specific materials. It kind of breaks damage reduction for higher level creatures because it reduces 10/silver to 10/+3 or silver and 10/cold iron to 10/+3 or cold iron. There's no more reason for characters to own any silver or cold iron weapon above +2, no more reason to own an adamantine weapon above +3 and no more reason to own an aligned weapon above +4. So it really does kind of kill special materials for any kind of mid- and high-level play, unless the intent is to make new special materials that +3/+4/+5 weapons don't replicate.

I have to say I much preferred the way DR worked in 3.5e over how it worked in 3e. This change to DR makes it much more similar to 3e DR.

Overcoming DR (copied from the PRD for convenience):

Spoiler:
Overcoming DR: Damage reduction may be overcome by special materials, magic weapons (any weapon with a +1 or higher enhancement bonus, not counting the enhancement from masterwork quality), certain types of weapons (such as slashing or bludgeoning), and weapons imbued with an alignment.

Ammunition fired from a projectile weapon with an enhancement bonus of +1 or higher is treated as a magic weapon for the purpose of overcoming damage reduction. Similarly, ammunition fired from a projectile weapon with an alignment gains the alignment of that projectile weapon (in addition to any alignment it may already have).

Weapons with an enhancement bonus of +3 or greater can ignore some types of damage reduction, regardless of their actual material or alignment. The following table shows what type of enhancement bonus is needed to overcome some common types of damage reduction.
DR Type Weapon Enhancement Bonus Equivalent
cold iron/silver +3
adamantine* +4
alignment-based +5
* Note that this does not give the ability to ignore hardness, like an actual adamantine weapon does


I thought of a good way of explaining the difference between the Attack action and making an attack, hopefully this will help people sort it out.

Ok, so during combat, everything you do has to be an action or part of an action, and the specific actions that are available are, usually, listed on the Actions in Combat table. The specific actions we're interested in for this are Attack and Full Attack which are a standard and a full round action, respectively.

Melee, ranged, and unarmed attacks don't actually have an action of their own, instead, they're always made as part of another action. The part that makes it confusing is that they chose to name the standard action that allows you to make a melee, ranged, or unarmed attack the Attack action. But it could really be easily named anything else, so, lets rename it Strike, just temporarily, to show exactly why certain things do or do not work together.

So with the change, the wording on Vital Strike would be:

Benefit: When you use the "strike" action, you can make one attack at your highest base attack bonus that deals additional damage. Roll the damage dice for the attack twice and add the results together, but do not multiply damage bonuses from Strength, weapon abilities (such as flaming), or precision-based damage (such as sneak attack). This bonus damage is not multiplied on a critical hit (although other damage bonuses are multiplied normally).

Which makes it a lot clearer why Vital Strike would not work with something like ray/orb attack spells, Attacks of Opportunity, Full Attacks, or Claeve. They all involve making an attack, but they do not involve the "strike" action.


Wolf Munroe wrote:
-Archangel- wrote:
Actually with Vital Strike and +x weapons ignoring all kinds of DR, DR has become useless now. Maybe we should just give monsters extra 40-50 hp instead of DR now :D

I had to look this up in the PRD because I wasn't sure what you were talking about. (Hadn't read about changes to damage reduction yet.)

Looking at the rules for damage reduction, I don't particularly like the +3/+4/+5 weapons overcoming damage reduction as though made of specific materials. It kind of breaks damage reduction for higher level creatures because it reduces 10/silver to 10/+3 or silver and 10/cold iron to 10/+3 or cold iron. There's no more reason for characters to own any silver or cold iron weapon above +2, no more reason to own an adamantine weapon above +3 and no more reason to own an aligned weapon above +4. So it really does kind of kill special materials for any kind of mid- and high-level play, unless the intent is to make new special materials that +3/+4/+5 weapons don't replicate.

Agreed, I much preferred one of the suggestions from the Beta, which was to have each point of enhancement on a weapon negate a set amount of DR, something like, each +1 lowers the effective DR of your opponent by 2.

That makes special materials slightly less of a must have (which solves the golf bag full of swords problem 3.5 had) but still makes them valuable if you know what to prepare for.

Scarab Sages

We need a new feat, one that allows two feats require a standard attack to be combined in a single attack. So Deadly stroke and Vital strike, or Cleave and vital Strike. (vital strike would only apply to the first target)

What do you think? (similar to the fighter feat allowing two critical effects.)

(Since level 20 fighters will rarely use a single attack that makes them give up all 4 attacks)


Xaaon of Xen'Drik wrote:

We need a new feat, one that allows two feats require a standard attack to be combined in a single attack. So Deadly stroke and Vital strike, or Cleave and vital Strike. (vital strike would only apply to the first target)

What do you think? (similar to the fighter feat allowing two critical effects.)

(Since level 20 fighters will rarely use a single attack that makes them give up all 4 attacks)

You know... I wasn't sure at first, but the more I think about it... as long as it was very carefully worded, that would make a really interesting Fighter only feat.

Dark Archive

Wolf Munroe wrote:

Looking at the rules for damage reduction, I don't particularly like the +3/+4/+5 weapons overcoming damage reduction as though made of specific materials. It kind of breaks damage reduction for higher level creatures because it reduces 10/silver to 10/+3 or silver and 10/cold iron to 10/+3 or cold iron. There's no more reason for characters to own any silver or cold iron weapon above +2, no more reason to own an adamantine weapon above +3 and no more reason to own an aligned weapon above +4. So it really does kind of kill special materials for any kind of mid- and high-level play, unless the intent is to make new special materials that +3/+4/+5 weapons don't replicate.

I have to say I much preferred the way DR worked in 3.5e over how it worked in 3e. This change to DR makes it much more similar to 3e DR.

Well, in 3.5 you were often absolutely screwed without anyone capable of casting 'Align Weapon' and/or lugging around a HUGE pack of magical weapons of different materials ("Oh, this one needs Good/Cold Iron/Magic combination? Gotcha..."). In fact, I remember fighters switching weapons in every room in some dungeons, and it felt like a comedy effect. I also remember encounters in which PCs just didn't have the "right" weapons, and ended up running from supposedly easy encounters (e.g. a group of 16th level PCs defeated by a CR 10 monster).

In my opinion DR in 3.5 worked better than in 3.0 at *lower* levels (DR 5/Bludgeoning, DR 5/Silver and so on) but when you need a Good, Magic, Holy Adamantine weapon or every attack inflicts 15 points less, it's frustrating for everyone (DM included), and may turn level-equivalent combats into TPKs (for example, a 20th level vampire fighter who wiped out a whole 20th level PC party because none of the PCs had a Good weapon).

If you still prefer 3.5 DR, it's easy enough to houserule it in.


"There is one way in which Spring Attack and Vital strike could potentially be used together. IF Spring Attack still had the line "When you use the Attack action, ..." at the beginning of the description, then both it, and Vital Strike could apply, as both would have their conditions met if you were using the attack action with a melee weapon, but Spring Attack has had that line removed in Pathfinder"

I don't read it like that. Vital Strike can be used with Spring Attack as vital strike applies to any attack action. Spring attack is an attack action. Same as Charge. Which does leads me to believe that Vital Strike shouldn't be used with spring attack if you apply the same ruling that Jason gave for Charge. But that ruling only applies to charge so it's still viable for spring attack. Personally I don't see why vital strike shouldn't work with charge but that's just me.

Now Cleave and Spring attack do not work together as both are different attack actions.


Brodiggan Gale wrote:
Admittedly, it could be better, and honestly, I'd probably house rule it a bit and make it compatible with Charge, Spring Attack, any single attack, but it's definitely not a "waste of a feat"

I'm inclined to agree -- whenever you make a single attack, you should be able to Vital-ize it.


I think spring attack mentions melee attack specifically since ranged attacks are supposed to use the shot on the run feat...

I'm inclined to think that vital strike will work with spring attack since it applies to making a move action and an attack, rather than a charge which has it's own unique entry in the combat section, and allows for a double move with an attack.

I'm really hoping Jason will have time soon to go through and clarify things and clean up the language for this new manner of splitting the action hair.

Life certainly would be easier if it only applied when you only make a single attack, and couldn't use it on an attack of opportunity... That sort of definition would pretty much close the book on questions.


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

Until Jason clarifies it I am planning on house ruling that Vital Strike and Spring Attack work together.

RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32

I have no idea why the wording was changed. 3.5's Spring Attack actually made sense by giving you an action cost, while this new one is "you can move and make an attack" without telling us whether it costs a full-round, a standard+move, a special standard, an appended standard (much like how Vital Strike appends)...


Asgetrion wrote:
Wolf Munroe wrote:

Looking at the rules for damage reduction, I don't particularly like the +3/+4/+5 weapons overcoming damage reduction as though made of specific materials. It kind of breaks damage reduction for higher level creatures because it reduces 10/silver to 10/+3 or silver and 10/cold iron to 10/+3 or cold iron. There's no more reason for characters to own any silver or cold iron weapon above +2, no more reason to own an adamantine weapon above +3 and no more reason to own an aligned weapon above +4. So it really does kind of kill special materials for any kind of mid- and high-level play, unless the intent is to make new special materials that +3/+4/+5 weapons don't replicate.

I have to say I much preferred the way DR worked in 3.5e over how it worked in 3e. This change to DR makes it much more similar to 3e DR.

Well, in 3.5 you were often absolutely screwed without anyone capable of casting 'Align Weapon' and/or lugging around a HUGE pack of magical weapons of different materials ("Oh, this one needs Good/Cold Iron/Magic combination? Gotcha..."). In fact, I remember fighters switching weapons in every room in some dungeons, and it felt like a comedy effect. I also remember encounters in which PCs just didn't have the "right" weapons, and ended up running from supposedly easy encounters (e.g. a group of 16th level PCs defeated by a CR 10 monster).

In my opinion DR in 3.5 worked better than in 3.0 at *lower* levels (DR 5/Bludgeoning, DR 5/Silver and so on) but when you need a Good, Magic, Holy Adamantine weapon or every attack inflicts 15 points less, it's frustrating for everyone (DM included), and may turn level-equivalent combats into TPKs (for example, a 20th level vampire fighter who wiped out a whole 20th level PC party because none of the PCs had a Good weapon).

If you still prefer 3.5 DR, it's easy enough to houserule it in.

I already did :)

As for Vital Strike, as was mentioned here, Improved Feint, Sneak attack and Vital Strike work great together. I think players in my campaign are going to meet some Mr. Fighter/Rogues with Greatswords doing one attack per round :)


Brodiggan Gale wrote:
ShadowChemosh wrote:

You defiantly have good points. So going by the next step with this logic does this mean I can't feint a target and next round use Vital Strike against them? The wording of Feint in the combat section reads "If successful, the next melee attack you make against the target does not allow him to use his Dexterity bonus to AC (if any)."

The highlighted section says melee attack so then I couldn't use vital strike as I am already using my standard action for the melee attack?

You could indeed feint, then use vital strike to make the attack the following round (or this round if you have improved feint). Vital Strike may only be used when you use the Attack action, but it does still involve "making a melee attack" so you get the bonus from feint. But since it's an Attack action (which happens to be a standard action, seriously, top the Actions in Combat table in the Combat chapter) you can't just substitute it anywhere a feat or ability says "a melee attack."

ShadowChemosh wrote:
Melee attack I take to be the generic wording for doing an attack and that is what the wording in Spring Attack has. So just like you could use Vital Strike after you feinted a target you should be able to combine Spring Attack and Vital Strike.
I'm sorry, but you're mistaken, "melee attack" and "attack action" both have specific defined meanings, which can be found in the Combat chapter. An Attack Action can involve a melee attack (or a ranged attack, or an unarmed attack) but a melee attack cannot just be replaced by an Attack Action, otherwise you could replace all the attacks in a full attack with Attack Actions (which would have allowed you to spring attack multiple times in 3.5, and would allow you to vital strike with each attack in Pathfinder, both of which are clearly illegal and have been stated as such). You'll...

think you are wrong. all attack action means is that it can either be a melee attack, a range attack, a range touch attack etc.

vital attack can be a melee attack, or a range attack etc

merely because spring attack excludes range attacks, it therefore does not follow that it excludes vital attack.

Jason words were that vital attack was just a standard action, as opposed to a full round action.

so i don't understand were you are deriving this limitation from. if cleave works with spring attack, then vital attack should also work. vital attack unlike cleave has to use the words "attack action" because it applies to all attacks. cleave only applies to melee attacks.

I think you are not understanding that the greater includes the lesser. there is nothing special about an attack action, other than it be ANY type of attack, while a melee attack must be a melee attack, there is no other distinction to made between them, if jason is correct in calling an Attack action a standard action.

So long as an attack action is a considered a standard action, you can use a spring attack and vital attack, so long as the vital attack takes the form of a melee attack.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I, too, am interested in knowing if the whole Scorpion Style feat chain is compatible with Vital Strike. It'd finally make a Monk skirmisher useful at higher levels if that'd be the case.


Was there ever a word of god (FAQ or Jason or something?) on Spring Attack and Vital Strike?

The Exchange Owner - D20 Hobbies

Requia wrote:
Was there ever a word of god (FAQ or Jason or something?) on Spring Attack and Vital Strike?

Other than they absolutely don't work together?


James Risner wrote:
Requia wrote:
Was there ever a word of god (FAQ or Jason or something?) on Spring Attack and Vital Strike?

Other than they absolutely don't work together?

(reference needed)

"Charging is a special full-round action" whereas Spring Attack is just reordering when you can make a melee attack (action) with respect to a split move. So, the ruling regarding vital strike and charge shouldn't apply to spring attack. I will secure delete (since I can't burn it) my copy of the Pathfinder rulebook if there ever is an official ruling that they don't work together.

The Exchange Owner - D20 Hobbies

addy grete wrote:

(reference needed)

I will secure delete (since I can't burn it) my copy of the Pathfinder rulebook if there ever is an official ruling that they don't work together.

Get ready to delete then, since Spring Attack doesn't say "take a standard action" it says "melee attack" and a Vital Strike is a Standard Action, not a "melee attack."

The only reference needed is to quote Vital and Spring to see they explicitly do not work together.

If you seek Errata, then Paizo can possibly chime in there. But I doubt this is something that is intended to work together as you hope.


They don't "explicitly not work together".
If Spring Attack was stated to be a Full-Round Action including a melee attack and the movement, THAT would (nearly) explicitly exclude Vital Strike, but Spring Attack DOESN'T say what action it is. Ignoring the moving-before-and-after-attacking bit, the statement "you can move up to your Standard Movement and make a melee attack" does NOT indicate how it is accounted for Action Economy-wise: That statement could be accounted for by EITHER a Move Action and an Attack Action (which Vital Strike WOULD apply to), or just a Standard Action (Partial Charge, which would not work with VS per RAW: though a Standard Action containing one melee attack, it is not the "Attack Action").

3.5 Spring Attack explicitly referenced the (Standard) Attack Action. It didn't actually say you split up your Move Action, and COULD be read as the Movement before and after the attack becomes a 'free' part of such Attack Action (i.e. allowing an additional un-splittable Move Action), but it seems to be the general consensus that such Movement is accounted for by your normal Move Action.
Pathfinder Spring Attack lost the specific Attack Action terminology, but DIDN'T actually replace it with a specific action typing. As written, Spring Attack COULD be a Full-Round Action (excluding VS), OR a novel way to combine a Move Action and (Standard) Attack Action/ aka equivalent to 3.5's implementation (allowing VS), OR "it's own" Standard Action (no VS but additional Move Action), OR even a Swift Action (excluding VS but allowing an additional Move + Standard: unlikely, obviously).

Whatever the case, it needs to indicate the Action Type:
I'm unaware of any "default to Full-Round Action if not specified" precedent, so as written, both 3.5's Standard+Move typing OR an 'all encompassing' Full-Round Action are plausible interpretations of Spring Attack (I'm excluding the fringe interpretations above). This missing information should be included even if VS wasn't a factor.

Note: I SUSPECT the intent IS for Spring Attack to be a Full-Action - not working with VS - since the approach to VS other-wise seems to be 'only when a Spellcaster could Move + Standard Cast'. I disagree with that approach, so I'll be pleasantly surprised if the 3.5 'splitting your Move Action around a Standard melee Attack' approach ends up being verified in the Errata.

The Exchange Owner - D20 Hobbies

Quandary wrote:

If Spring Attack was stated to be a Full-Round

Pathfinder Spring Attack lost the specific Attack Action terminology

You and I disagree. You seem to worry about what type of action the Spring Attack is but 3.p doesn't care.

In 3.p, you must make a "Single Melee Attack" in the middle of the Spring Attack. This refers to p. 182 "Melee Attack" action which is itself a standard action.

If we used your interpretation, then you could also Vital Strike on AoO and other situations.


I'm not claiming VS applies to AoO's (or Partial Charge attacks, if you read my post)
VS only applies to the Attack Action (by definition only on your turn)

My point is we *DON'T KNOW* what Action Type Spring Attack actually is, and the current wording *IS* actually compatible with the 3.5 "Attack Action + Move Action" Spring Attack - I'm not saying that reading is 100% proscribed by the RAW, just that it's an equally viable possibility. If the intent was to CHANGE 3.5's functionality here, you would expect this change to be spelled out: instead, it has become undefined.

Your interpretation (which I agree is likely the intent) is basically assuming that Spring Attack is a Full-Round Action, right? That should be spelled out, other wise why couldn't you take an additional Move Action, Standard Action, or even Full-Round Action in addition to the Spring Attack? Disregarding VS completely, if Spring Attack were "it's own" Standard Action ala Cleave (not allowing VS) it would work during Surprise Rounds or with various debilitating Conditions, while Full-Round Action Spring Attack would not. PRPG *DOES* still care about what action type you're using, and that matters for alot more than VS.

This is obviously going to be Errata'd sooner or later.

EDIT: Totally mixed up using Vital Strike when I meant Spring Attack. Fixed, I think.

The Exchange Owner - D20 Hobbies

Quandary wrote:

1) I'm not claiming VS applies to AoO's

2) My point is we *DON'T KNOW* what Action Type Spring Attack actually is

3) If the intent was to CHANGE 3.5's functionality here

4) Your interpretation (which I agree is likely the intent) is basically assuming that Spring Attack is a Full-Round Action, right?

1) But I am. If Spring Attack works the way you suggest, then VS would be usable with AoO also.

2) We do, it uses an Attack Action. The same as Spring Attack used in 3.5 rules.

3) Nothing changed between 3.5 and 3.p in so far as how Spring Attack is used.

4) Full-Round uses the whole round, but Spring Attack uses a Standard (for the melee attack) and a Move Action. That isn't exactly a Full-Round Action, but is very similar.


#@$(%&@@#(*%^&()#@*%&@#&!!)(*@&#!

(I'll wait for the Errata)


James Risner wrote:
addy grete wrote:

(reference needed)

I will secure delete (since I can't burn it) my copy of the Pathfinder rulebook if there ever is an official ruling that they don't work together.

Get ready to delete then, since Spring Attack doesn't say "take a standard action" it says "melee attack" and a Vital Strike is a Standard Action, not a "melee attack."

The only reference needed is to quote Vital and Spring to see they explicitly do not work together.

If you seek Errata, then Paizo can possibly chime in there. But I doubt this is something that is intended to work together as you hope.

1. Vital Strike doesn't exactly say that it's a Standard Action, rather it is a subclass of the Standard Action, the Attack Action:

"Benefit: When you use the attack action, you can make
one attack at your highest base attack bonus that deals
additional damage. "

2. Spring Attack specifies a single melee attack, and an Attack Action can be a single melee attack:
"Benefit: You can move up to your speed and make a
single melee attack... "

So, what we have is A allows B, and C allows D, and B and D intersect. I argue that A SHOULD work with C (if necessary rewriting the rules). You can argue as much as you want that the rules don't specifically allow that, I don't care.

And yes, I've been ready to delete the pdf, because I'm tired of this incessant arguing over poorly written rules and lack of self-consistency. I just disliked Pathfinder, now I'm starting to hate and despise it. The problem becomes what to play instead and how to convince my friends to switch. Maybe it's as hopeless as a Mac vs Windows vs Linux discussion and I'll just have to deal with not playing RPGs with them anymore. It's like your favorite restaurant changing the recipe on your favorite dish and adding spices you hate but that your friends like, or forcing you to eat it with only one chopstick. Whatever.

The Exchange Owner - D20 Hobbies

addy grete wrote:
And yes, I've been ready to delete the pdf, because I'm tired of this incessant arguing over poorly written rules and lack of self-consistency.

I thought you were kidding on the delete the book.

Frankly, it is my opinion, 3.p rules are more clear (better written) than WotC/3.5 rules.

The reason this was a massive problem is during 3.5 rules, WotC would publish FAQ but would never assert those FAQ questions are to be considered the rules.

We can hope, that in a 3.p world, Paizo will learn from WotC's mistake. If so, they will release a monthly FAQ and officially make it errata instead of "suggestions."

I hate debates over rules, personally. I'd much prefer having known rules.

I'm curious, what your friends are playing now? Why wouldn't they want to switch to 3.p?

Dark Archive

Honestly, I think Spring Attack is meant to be a "special" kind of Full-Round Action... that's how it reads to me, at least. Until we get an official ruling, I'm going to rule that unless a feat can be used as part of an attack, full attack or full-round action, it won't work with Spring Attack. I also suspect that this "incompatibility" may be a design decision, i.e. trying to keep the "feat trees" separate so that you couldn't abuse certain mechanics.

However, in general, I'm disappointed at the vague wording in so many feats (as I've said before, we brought it up during the playtest process). Not only did many feats retain their vagueness; in my opinion some of the "most popular" combat feats are now even *more* obscure than their Beta versions.


I agree, Asgetrion,
I think the OVERALL wording ISN'T especially worse than 3.5, but that's hardly a high standard to set.

3.5 essentially REQUIRED a multitude of FAQs to clearly understand the "intended" interpretation (or even intent that wasn't enunciated in the rules at all). Even for passages that most any player COULD reach the correct interpretation from, 3.5's wording was often NOT the clearest/most consise way to phrase things. So accepting the same 'standard' as 3.5 (in terms of editing) is definitely NOT the way to the best possible product.

I REALLY REALLY hope that Paizo does not go down the same road and say that FAQs are sufficient:
They need to update the rules themselves, editing for missing info AND optimal clarity.
It's ultimately an issue of whether PRPG is a game targeted at those who don't mind flipping thru multiple conflicting rules sources and interpreting difficult prose, or if it's aimed at as broad a market as possible. While personally I'm probably CAPABLE of juggling Errata and the like, I don't see why a rule-set that's supposed to SUPPORT immersive role-playing should demand such effort on my part.

Updating future printings (& the online PRD/PDF) doesn't directly help anybody with the original printing (vs. just issuing Errata), but it really seems the right decision to make, ultimately. Those with the original printing(s) WILL of course need Errata - besides specific Errata sheets, I've suggested highlighting changes to the online PRD in a different text color. I suppose if you have both book + PDF, you could print out any changed sections from the PDF to paste over the matching parts in your real book.

I'm optimistic that Paizo WILL do the right thing here:
Just because they haven't confirmed every issue people bring up doesn't mean they're ignoring them;
They're probably working hard on just these issues (besides their other products).

The Exchange Owner - D20 Hobbies

Quandary wrote:
I'm optimistic that Paizo WILL do the right thing here

If they are smart, they will update the original books every printing. They will get poor saps like me to buy new copies of the core books every time they are reprinted.

No, I'm not kidding. I'd buy the same book just to get the updates if they actually made updates to the books.

RPG Superstar 2010 Top 32

James Risner wrote:


1) But I am. If Spring Attack works the way you suggest, then VS would be usable with AoO also.

You seem to understand the "move- Standard Attack- move" interpretation, so I'm not sure why you think this.

A Standard Attack would trigger Vital Strike, while other melee attacks (such as AoOs, charges, full attacks, etc) do not.

The Exchange Owner - D20 Hobbies

Hydro wrote:

You seem to understand the "move- Standard Attack- move" interpretation, so I'm not sure why you think this.

A Standard Attack would trigger Vital Strike, while other melee attacks (such as AoOs, charges, full attacks, etc) do not.

I believe it is move - single melee attack - move, which excludes Vital during Spring Attack. If we allow Vital to work during Spring Attack then you can't prohibit someone from doing the same with the identical wording during an AoO.

RPG Superstar 2010 Top 32

James Risner wrote:
I believe it is move - single melee attack - move, which excludes Vital during Spring Attack.

That's nice, but that's not what Quandry was saying.

He was saying that you move, and then take a Standard Attack action (the kind that triggers Vital Strike), and then move again.

This is explicitly how it worked in 3.5, which would have explicitly worked with Vital Strike.

"Single melee attack" is not an action keyword and does not indicate that you aren't making a Standard Attack action.


Hydro wrote:
James Risner wrote:
I believe it is move - single melee attack - move, which excludes Vital during Spring Attack.

That's nice, but that's not what Quandry was saying.

He was saying that you move, and then take a Standard Attack action (the kind that triggers Vital Strike), and then move again.

This is explicitly how it worked in 3.5, which would have explicitly worked with Vital Strike.

"Single melee attack" is not an action keyword and does not indicate that you aren't making a Standard Attack action.

I've read about 10 threads where Jason made coments on this.

I think you are wrong.
Spring attack is either a standard attack or a full attack action.
Either way it can't be used with cleave or vital strike because you can't combine a standard action with a full round action or with another standard action.

As Jason put it: "Vital Strike is an attack action, btw, which is a standard action. You cannot use it as part of a full-attack action."

As for charge jason said this:
"As of the current rules, you cannot use Vital Strike as part of a charge. Vital Strike is an attack action, which is a type of standard action. Charge is a special full-round action (excluding partial charge). You cannot currently combine the two. The preview was in error. Alas I did not catch it until weeks later, and by then, there was no point in digging up old topics."

I wonder, what is a partial charge? Some sort of stadard action but not really a standard action?


Zark wrote:
Hydro wrote:
James Risner wrote:
I believe it is move - single melee attack - move, which excludes Vital during Spring Attack.

That's nice, but that's not what Quandry was saying.

He was saying that you move, and then take a Standard Attack action (the kind that triggers Vital Strike), and then move again.

This is explicitly how it worked in 3.5, which would have explicitly worked with Vital Strike.

"Single melee attack" is not an action keyword and does not indicate that you aren't making a Standard Attack action.

I've read about 10 threads where Jason made coments on this.

I think you are wrong.
Spring attack is either a standard attack or a full attack action.
Either way it can't be used with cleave or vital strike because you can't combine a standard action with a full round action or with another standard action.

As Jason put it: "Vital Strike is an attack action, btw, which is a standard action. You cannot use it as part of a full-attack action."

As for charge jason said this:
"As of the current rules, you cannot use Vital Strike as part of a charge. Vital Strike is an attack action, which is a type of standard action. Charge is a special full-round action (excluding partial charge). You cannot currently combine the two. The preview was in error. Alas I did not catch it until weeks later, and by then, there was no point in digging up old topics."

I wonder, what is a partial charge? Some sort of stadard action but not really a standard action?

Yes you are correct, and I saw this coming back in beta. This is the ultimate purpose for nerfing the cleave, keeping you from stacking it with other useful feats, making it actually do something significant. But that is my opinion. So many things now take up one action or another. I can't complain too much though, alpha was way worse, where point blank didn't stack with precise shot, and you could not power attack with a shield bash.


Could anybody link me to an actual post of Jason (or James) specifically ruling out Vital Strike from working with Cleave? I've only found specific reference to Charge, but I'm PRETTY sure I saw a post barring VS + Cleave, as well. This is for a DM of a game I have a PC in :-)


Quandary wrote:
Could anybody link me to an actual post of Jason (or James) specifically ruling out Vital Strike from working with Cleave? I've only found specific reference to Charge, but I'm PRETTY sure I saw a post barring VS + Cleave, as well. This is for a DM of a game I have a PC in :-)

Edit: I sure can. Link.

Quote
Jason Bulmahn wrote:

Hey there everybody,

Let me see if I can clean this up a bit.

Cleave is a standard action, which means you can use it anytime you can take a standard action. It cannot be used as part of a full-attack action, which is a full round action. You cannot use Cleave as part of a charge, since that is a special full-round action (partial charge not withstanding). The same applies to Great Cleave.

Vital Strike can be used in place of an attack action. This means that whenever you take an attack action, you can use Vital Strike instead. An attack action is a type of standard action. While this is nearly identical to Cleave, there are a few subtle differences. Anything that applies to an attack action would apply to a Vital Strike attack, whereas it would not, necessarily, apply to Cleave. The two feats cannot be used in conjunction.

I am not sure that answers all the questions here.. but I will check back later to see if there is anything I have missed.

Jason Bulmahn
Lead Designer
Paizo Publishing

And yes, He is contradicting himself. I don't think he care about PF anymore. He has other focuses.

Some of the answers he gives just seems to be ad-hoc.
I'm not saying it's intentional but I have seen at least 10 threads were he has been active were he has helped out. Some of his answers have been vague, some contradict other answers, some just create more confusion and some are decent.
Neither Vital strike nor Cleave is of any problem to me or my friends. We don't use those feats and if we did DM/GM will house rule. But I just can't see the point in letting the same debate start over again and again in threads all over the messageboard. And why answer them again and again instead of just creat an official FAQ. even if it is very small and only deals with vital strike, Cleave, Spring Attack, patial charge, etc.

The Exchange Owner - D20 Hobbies

Zark wrote:
And yes, He is contradicting himself.

I've seen that comment made multiple times, this is the first time I've cared enough to question it. Can you point out where he is contradicting himself because I don't see it.


James Risner wrote:
Zark wrote:
And yes, He is contradicting himself.
I've seen that comment made multiple times, this is the first time I've cared enough to question it. Can you point out where he is contradicting himself because I don't see it.
Jason Bulmahn, for example, wrote:
You cannot use Cleave as part of a charge, since that is a special full-round action (partial charge notwithstanding).

Basically, he constantly monkeys with what counts as a "standard action" or a "full round action" from feat to feat, so that they become muddied to the point of having no meaningful defintions anymore. When you have to resort to saying things like "that's a SPECIAL full-round action," or "well, they're kind of both like standard actions, but not really," you're basically in a nebulous realm of null-definitions.


I completely sympathize, but over-stating the situation doesn't help anything.

After reading Jason's multiple explanations of the topic, I feel *I* completely understand his thinking behind the topic and see how the wording he chose IS consistent with that intent. That said, 99%+++ of people just reading the book or PRD WILL NOT MAKE THE LEAP to Jason's intended interpretation, #1 because 'attack action' does not pop out to a normal reader as a signifigant "Rules Term", i.e. distinct from other attacks in general, much less from "as a Standard Action..." attacks like Cleave.

The situation IS such that even though I now feel I completely understand the rules-as-intended, I was recently UNABLE to convince a DM of a game I'm in that VS and Cleave were not compatable (Large Giant Barbarian with Great Club + VS + Cleave = OUCH) I was just now pointed to this thread which didn't show up in Search or Jason's post history, but without that info (only Jason's post saying VS =/= (Full) Charge), the DM was literally like "I'm looking at the RAW and can't see ANY way VS + Cleave would NOT work together". All I could say was "the Errata will clear this up in the way I'm trying to explain, but I can't fault you for not seeing this because the RAW *IS* a mess on this."

Errata is sorely needed: Otherwise, how are people supposed to play this game?
I honestly think Jason needs to take the rules to a bunch of people who haven't yet heard his explanation, see how they interpret them, and keep repeating this with his wording changes until he can take the new wording to a gamer not yet familiar with Jason's "Messageboard FAQ's" and they will 100% pick up on the intended functionality. That's what the standard should be. Why shouldn't it?

EDIT: Of course, PRPG's Spring Attack NOT MENTIONING what Action Type it uses is the other major thing that needs to be fixed. The current wording COULD BE compatable with Vital Strike (if it's an Attack Action sandwiched between Movement, i.e. same as 3.5), COULD BE compatable with Cleave (if it allows a Standard Action that is a melee attack), COULD BE compatable with neither (if it's "it's own" Full-Round Action), or could be a Swift Action for all we know, allowing other Actions before/after the Spring Attack. It's pretty bad that this was over-looked in an edition of the game that made these subtle distinctions between action types EXTREMELY important.


(from general discussion thread)

voska66 wrote:
Since you can start a full round attack and make one attack then decide to use you move action why not the other way around. So basically a full attack action only happens if you decide to use you move action to attack with you remaining attacks...

This is seriously an open question.

I look forward to future editing updates clarifying this situation - the current RAW isn't remotely clear as to what kind of attack the 1st attack is classed if you don't continue with a Full Attack: Attack Action (I would assume)? Why not a Cleave? If you must choose, it should be spelled out that you must choose, not left as a hanging 'undefined' no man's land. PRPG has made all of these distinctions suddenly MATTER where they didn't really in 3.5, so every area these distinctions come into play needs to be tightened up to reflect the new approach.

A big can of worms has been opened, and it needs to be cleaned up 100% or there will be a big stink.


Hydro wrote:
James Risner wrote:
I believe it is move - single melee attack - move, which excludes Vital during Spring Attack.

That's nice, but that's not what Quandry was saying.

He was saying that you move, and then take a Standard Attack action (the kind that triggers Vital Strike), and then move again.

This is explicitly how it worked in 3.5, which would have explicitly worked with Vital Strike.

"Single melee attack" is not an action keyword and does not indicate that you aren't making a Standard Attack action.

I think you are right.

Perhaps we make a to big issue out of this.
Could it be spring attack only tell us we can move make an attack and move again. Perhaps the resaon it doesn't tell us what we can or can't do is because we decide.
Move + trip + move
Move + vital strike + move
Move + cleave + move
Move + disarm + move
Move + sunder + move
Etc.
As for Jason. What I meant was he probably got other stuff on his mind than messageboards and messageboards is probably nothing he prioritizes right now. He seem to be a very enthusiastic person, so he probably cares but his focus is elsewhere right now.


See, if SA allows just an attack as part of a full round action, like Shot On The Run, then you could substitute trip and disarm and sunder (since they can replace an attack, like an iterative in a Full Attack Action), but not VS, since you can only apply that to an Attack Action, and not Cleave, since that's its own type of Standard Action.

If it allows a Standard Action to be taken at any point during their Move, like Flyby Attack, then you could use that Standard to Cleave or Deadly Stroke, you could use that Standard as an Attack to VS, and the attack done with that special Standard or Attack could be a trip/etc.

If it allows an Attack Action to be taken at any point during their Move, then they get to apply VS, subsitute a maneuver for the attack granted by the Attack Action, but not use an alternate Standard Action to cleave or deadly stroke.


Brodiggan Gale wrote:
Kirth Gersen wrote:
tejón wrote:
...from "stupidly broken" to "reasonably good?"
From "reasonably good" to "waste of six feats," in my opinion.

When all you have is the option of making a single attack, it's still a bigger bonus to damage than power attack (and there's no reason you can't stack it with power attack).

Admittedly, it could be better, and honestly, I'd probably house rule it a bit and make it compatible with Charge, Spring Attack, any single attack, but it's definitely not a "waste of a feat"

When it comes to crits, gaurenteed damage, vs monster standard ACs etc power attack still wins. You could get both but I recon few would and they would miss in other areas.


Wolf Munroe wrote:
-Archangel- wrote:
Actually with Vital Strike and +x weapons ignoring all kinds of DR, DR has become useless now. Maybe we should just give monsters extra 40-50 hp instead of DR now :D

I had to look this up in the PRD because I wasn't sure what you were talking about. (Hadn't read about changes to damage reduction yet.)

Looking at the rules for damage reduction, I don't particularly like the +3/+4/+5 weapons overcoming damage reduction as though made of specific materials. It kind of breaks damage reduction for higher level creatures because it reduces 10/silver to 10/+3 or silver and 10/cold iron to 10/+3 or cold iron. There's no more reason for characters to own any silver or cold iron weapon above +2, no more reason to own an adamantine weapon above +3 and no more reason to own an aligned weapon above +4. So it really does kind of kill special materials for any kind of mid- and high-level play, unless the intent is to make new special materials that +3/+4/+5 weapons don't replicate.

I have to say I much preferred the way DR worked in 3.5e over how it worked in 3e. This change to DR makes it much more similar to 3e DR.

Overcoming DR (copied from the PRD for convenience):
** spoiler omitted **...

Had an argument about this and I had to conceed that really by high level play in 3.5 NO PC really had DR issues nearly as much as NPCs so it weighted combats towards PCs.

Nevermind the story stealing/undermining/non heroic nonsense of all warriors having a golf bag of weapons.

Or the inevitable addition of 'BANE' onto specific ones of the myriad of weapons adding +2 hit/dam and +2d6 dam for PCs.

Argue and let the dopey PCs whine enough that they don't think too deep because their busy getting all defensive saying the new way is balanced when they THINK its free candy.

Its really not and you get thru their stone skins and DR prestige classes easier and their not getting bane bonuses on every 2nd DR beastie.


Wolf Munroe wrote:
Looking at the rules for damage reduction, I don't particularly like the +3/+4/+5 weapons overcoming damage reduction as though made of specific materials.

An awful lot of people didn't, but after about a hundred pages of VERY heated argument about it, some excellent reasons for it emerged from the discussion, and in the long run it started to look good. Rather than recap all that, let me drop the words "50K gp" and "greater magic weapon" here, and then move on.


Christopher Vrysen wrote:

See, if SA allows just an attack as part of a full round action, like Shot On The Run, then you could substitute trip and disarm and sunder (since they can replace an attack, like an iterative in a Full Attack Action), but not VS, since you can only apply that to an Attack Action, and not Cleave, since that's its own type of Standard Action.

If it allows a Standard Action to be taken at any point during their Move, like Flyby Attack, then you could use that Standard to Cleave or Deadly Stroke, you could use that Standard as an Attack to VS, and the attack done with that special Standard or Attack could be a trip/etc.

If it allows an Attack Action to be taken at any point during their Move, then they get to apply VS, subsitute a maneuver for the attack granted by the Attack Action, but not use an alternate Standard Action to cleave or deadly stroke.

This quote can be found here

James Jacobs wrote:
James Risner wrote:
To move, yes. Was the design goal to allow it during Move->Vital->Move say from Spring Attack?
I'd certainly let my players do that in games I run.

The Exchange Owner - D20 Hobbies

Zark wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:
James Risner wrote:
To move, yes. Was the design goal to allow it during Move->Vital->Move say from Spring Attack?
I'd certainly let my players do that in games I run.

I am SO glad this nugget was finally answered, I'd rather see it answered in a "this is the official interpretation" rather than "I'd run a game this way" form. But I'll take what I can get.


James Risner wrote:
I am SO glad this nugget was finally answered, I'd rather see it answered in a "this is the official interpretation" rather than "I'd run a game this way" form. But I'll take what I can get.

I Agree. Thank you for putting the question to James.

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