Combat Maneuvers - Waste of Time for non-fighters?


Advice


With non-fighter classes, would having improved and greater <insert combat maneuver of choice> be a useful addition to the bag of tricks. Given that BAB is lower than fighting classes, wouldn't being able to trip and loading on the hurt on a prone opponent make sense? Same with things like feints or dirty tricks. All these combat maneuvers seem tailor made to level the playing field somewhat. This seems even more true given that most builds discussed are about damage maximization and not necessarily increased chance to hit. Any thoughts?


A bard using a whip and having the trip feats to be a better supporter/battlefield controller is not a waste.
However, yeah, it's probably not so awesome for most classes.

Wolf animal companions are really awesome trippers too :)

Grand Lodge

Improved Feint is a worthy manuever

Liberty's Edge

SandyHill wrote:
With non-fighter classes, would having improved and greater <insert combat maneuver of choice> be a useful addition to the bag of tricks. Given that BAB is lower than fighting classes, wouldn't being able to trip and loading on the hurt on a prone opponent make sense? Same with things like feints or dirty tricks. All these combat maneuvers seem tailor made to level the playing field somewhat. This seems even more true given that most builds discussed are about damage maximization and not necessarily increased chance to hit. Any thoughts?

I feel like building for Combat Maneuvers is not worth it if I do not meet the following two prerequisites.

1) full BAB progression for CMB
2) primary stat used for CMB

However, there are a large number of classes which can achieve those two items. Additionally the second is not really necessary as long as you maintain a good score your CMB stat or have some bonuses to make up for the loss.

Personally, I avoid using anything other than class features or free feats to gain those prerequisites, but you could get them using your feats if you wanted to do so. The point is you are building your character to use the combat maneuver. If you want to focus on other things you should take a full BAB class with primary stat STR (Fighter and to a lesser extent Paladin, Ranger, and Barbarian). Fighter is the easiest to build for combat maneuvers due to the extra feats, but plenty of classes and builds are very viable using combat maneuvers.


Casters get spells that can do simular manuver, Hydralic push for example. Fient was mentioned and that is great for charisma casters, though it is not a manuver, remeber you have the option to go full defense. Sometimes that +4 To ac is a big differance.

The Exchange

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True strike + Combat maneuver for the win.

-or-

quickened true+strike + magical lineage + Combat Maneuver.

-or-

Eggnog Monk (quiggnog) monk + true Strike +combat maneuver

Or

True Strike + Share spell with familiar + Combat maneuver (if you want action efficiency)

-or-

human Cleric with Saurian domain + luck domain with boon companion with
lesser quicken rod + TRex animal companion with true strike on the grab...

There are .. lots of ways to make combat maneuvers useful...


Sure, you want to be as combat optimized as possible if you want to go down the path of dedicating your Feats to Combat stuff, but whether or not you have 3/4 BAB or Full BAB just isn`t that much of a difference IMHO.

Imagine if any enemy has Dodge, giving +1 AC/CMD. That`s the same effect at low-levels for Full BAB vs. 3/4 BAB.
Would you consider it no longer worthwhile to try and Trip/etc such an enemy, given their +1 CMD bonus?
No, I didn`t think so. The number scales up at higher levels, but not drastically so, especially when you consider the number of attack bonuses you will have at higher level... In fact, those bonuses easily outweight the difference between the BAB factors.

Now, CMD can often be hard. Not so much against humanoid/non-bulky monsters, but against the tough melee brute monsters. You will want every attack bonus you can get... But that goes for Full BAB classes just as much. The difference is not so much the Full BAB, but that many of those classes can ALSO get additional attack bonuses. Of course, non-Smiting Paladins and non-Favored Enemy-attacking Rangers pretty much don`t get anything besides Full BAB. And plenty of 3/4 BAB classes DO get attack bonuses - Alchemists, Inquisitors, etc.

The thing is if you are facing non-mook enemies with signifigant CMDs, you will want every bonus you can find - so look for Flank situations, higher ground, delay so an ally can get an extra buff started, use a Companion/Familiar for Aid Another, etc.

The real issue is not whether you can do it at all or not, but whether that`s the best usage of your Feats... and that depends much more on the character, and the party they`re in. What is the over-all benefit of being better enough at these maneuvers/combat in general vs. other things you could be doing with your turn? Given that, how worth it is the feat investment to make the most of that combat approach?


Monks, barbarians and druids are just as well off as fighters when it comes to grappling.

Here's some calculations I did regarding it a year and a half ago.


Battle Oracles are pretty good at maneuvers as well, for the cost of 1 feat they get Full BAB for one maneuver and both feats eventually, they also don't need to bother with prereq's.

Liberty's Edge

SandyHill wrote:
With non-fighter classes, would having improved and greater <insert combat maneuver of choice> be a useful addition to the bag of tricks. Given that BAB is lower than fighting classes, wouldn't being able to trip and loading on the hurt on a prone opponent make sense? Same with things like feints or dirty tricks. All these combat maneuvers seem tailor made to level the playing field somewhat. This seems even more true given that most builds discussed are about damage maximization and not necessarily increased chance to hit. Any thoughts?

Battle Oracles are great for a chosen combat maneuver. Maneuver Mastery Revelation puts the Battle Oracle on or near par with other classes. I am currently using a Battle Oracle with Maneuver Mastery (Disarm) + Heavy Flail and he succeeds a good amount on his disarm attempts. I also plan to take imp trip to give my character another combat option.


Maguses (magi?) are surprising good at combat maneuvers. With their high Int, they can get Combat Expertise and then the maneuvers off that chain really easily, or they can go the Power Attack route. Magus sunder-monkeys are terrifying.


cp wrote:


There are .. lots of ways to make combat maneuvers useful...

I notice they pretty much all involve True Strike.

I don't know, it's situationally useful but 90% of the time it seems like it's way too costly (either in terms of actions or wealth or both) to pull off -- and depending on what you are, enemies with CMDs so high that even a +20 to the roll isn't a sure thing aren't that rare.

The Exchange

Dire Mongoose wrote:
cp wrote:


There are .. lots of ways to make combat maneuvers useful...

I notice they pretty much all involve True Strike.

I don't know, it's situationally useful but 90% of the time it seems like it's way too costly (either in terms of actions or wealth or both) to pull off -- and depending on what you are, enemies with CMDs so high that even a +20 to the roll isn't a sure thing aren't that rare.

No, there are other options that don't involve true strike. I just didn't bother writing them up.

Agreed that there are many things that no PC will touch due to ridiculous CMD. (which is why I don't recommend combat maneuvers).

But the question wasn't how to make CMB based characters useful - it was can non martial characters be equivalently (un)useful as martial characters.

Grand Lodge

cp wrote:


But the question wasn't how to make CMB based characters useful - it was can non martial characters be equivalently (un)useful as martial characters.

But thats the paradigm - Martial characters have the schtick of being good at combat maneuvers. Non martial ones have spells and so on.

The one think that would be a good addendum to help those poor rogues is to giving them (apart from feint which is bluff based) access as full BAB to another maneuver of choice. It may already be a rogue trick, I am just not familiar with them.

That said the assumption that non martial characters shouldn't attempt combat maneuvers is flawed. You just never know when its going to be needed and some caster buffs can make (for instance) a cleric full BAB or improve Str and Dex, making the augmented caster close to or equal to a full BAB character with the same feats.


Problem with Combat maneuvers is theytake a lot of feats to just be good at 1.

Eg Trip- Combat Exp
Imp Trip
Gtr Trip

Sure you are good at tripping but that's not always the best option.
A fighter may have enough feats to master 2 of them.

Really Barbarians are by far the best at maneuvers because they only need 2 things. Strength Surge and Lunge means any Barb can land any maneuver without suffering the AOO.


Combat Maneuvers can still be situationally useful. But they won't be useful against the most dangerous physical types you face. CMDs get really high for combat maneuvers to be useful to less than +20 BAB classes and monks in my opinion.

Even a rogue with Dirty Trick has an extreme problem trying to hit a fighter. Another thing the game designers should have corrected for rogues: CMB for maneuvers that fit the rogue class.

Grand Lodge

Maddigan wrote:


Even a rogue with Dirty Trick has an extreme problem trying to hit a fighter. Another thing the game designers should have corrected for rogues: CMB for maneuvers that fit the rogue class.

I may house rule that in - good idea.


STR Ranger wrote:

Problem with Combat maneuvers is theytake a lot of feats to just be good at 1.

Eg Trip- Combat Exp
Imp Trip
Gtr Trip

Sure you are good at tripping but that's not always the best option.
A fighter may have enough feats to master 2 of them.

Really Barbarians are by far the best at maneuvers because they only need 2 things. Strength Surge and Lunge means any Barb can land any maneuver without suffering the AOO.

a) Combat Expertise is the prerequisite for a whole host of CM feats. So is Power Attack. Most people will have one or the other anyway, and usually build their CMs towards that feat. So for Str-based fighters the PA doesn't really count.

b) You really only need Imp CM feat to be able to use it without risking an AoO.
c) Yes the Greater feat makes it even better, but you don't actually NEED it.


Maddigan wrote:

Combat Maneuvers can still be situationally useful. But they won't be useful against the most dangerous physical types you face. CMDs get really high for combat maneuvers to be useful to less than +20 BAB classes and monks in my opinion.

Even a rogue with Dirty Trick has an extreme problem trying to hit a fighter. Another thing the game designers should have corrected for rogues: CMB for maneuvers that fit the rogue class.

I guess if you can convince your GM that you perform your Dirty Trick with oyur weapon, you'd get the Finesse bonus on it and use Dex for your CMB.


Allia Thren wrote:
STR Ranger wrote:

Problem with Combat maneuvers is theytake a lot of feats to just be good at 1.

Eg Trip- Combat Exp
Imp Trip
Gtr Trip

Sure you are good at tripping but that's not always the best option.
A fighter may have enough feats to master 2 of them.

Really Barbarians are by far the best at maneuvers because they only need 2 things. Strength Surge and Lunge means any Barb can land any maneuver without suffering the AOO.

a) Combat Expertise is the prerequisite for a whole host of CM feats. So is Power Attack. Most people will have one or the other anyway, and usually build their CMs towards that feat. So for Str-based fighters the PA doesn't really count.

b) You really only need Imp CM feat to be able to use it without risking an AoO.
c) Yes the Greater feat makes it even better, but you don't actually NEED it.

You really do need the Imp CM feat. Try landing a maneuver after taking an AOO (remember the damage penalizes your roll)


if you have Reach advantage/your opponent can`t take AoO`s for whatever reason (including Flatfooted on Surprise Round) you DON`T have to worry about AoO`s and the Improved Manuver Feats ARE somewhat superfluous if you don`t worry about the extra +2 to hit they grant. Lunge kind of approximates the no-AoO aspect of ALL the Improved Maneuver Feats in that sense.


For non fighters, if you have a high dex, just pick up agile maneuvers to replace your str to dex for your cmb.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Disarm, trip, dirty tricks function with weapon finesse.
Using a whip and greater whip mastery lets you grapple with a whip.
Take equipment trick rope, use the rope as whip and then just hogtie them.
Done.

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