pfs - sundering a good tactic?


Advice


is sundering a useful tactic during combat? i am trying to figure out if a breaker barbarian would be worth playing for my next pfs character. i envision him breaking the enemy's weapons and armor...or an evil cleric's holy symbol. is sundering action worth not doing damage?

below is the basic build i am sketching out.

half-orc
barbarian (breaker)

str 18
dex 14
con 13
int 12
wis 10
cha 10

gatecrasher alternate racial trait
power attack for first level.
weapon: earth breaker

i would get improved sunder at 3rd level and start picking up strength surge and smasher as my first two rage powers.

i figure at third level i could do the below:
to sunder
1 (breaker)
2 (gatecrasher)
2 (improved sunder)
3 (strength surge) or smasher to avoid the hardness
3 (bab)
6 (rage str)
=
17 to sunder cmb

strength surge and breaker bonuses would keep scaling up as i leveled.

is this a good start or should i go back to the drawing board?


As long as you don't ming collecting a lot of broken treasure...


Just make sure you adventure with someone that can cast Mending and Make Whole as needed.


Mr. Damage wrote:
As long as you don't ming collecting a lot of broken treasure...

From my understanding, that really isn't a problem in society play. The items still show up on the chronicle sheet for purchase at the end of the scenario.


I would think about it in terms of gain vs sacrifice.

Its not ALWAYS going to be useful - enemies without equipment for example.

However its not like you deal no damage with normal attacks. Maybe an aspect rather than the whole focus? But is it viable if its not the whole focus?


Lightbulb wrote:


However its not like you deal no damage with normal attacks. Maybe an aspect rather than the whole focus? But is it viable if its not the whole focus?

That is what I'm trying to decide. I'm trying to come up with a character that can tank and dish out damage , but does something more interesting than swing a weapon.

I figure sundering could help soften up enemies for the other players.


Breaker

Gain +dmg to sunders
Lose fast movement

Gain Improvised weapons
Lose Trap Sense

Gate crasher - there are probably better traits but its not a big loss.

Other than that you're not really giving much up except a feat for Improved Sunder.

----

Going on this guide:
https://docs.google.com/document/pub?id=1im9-alhmNPAIQknkclrrhLupSFb6vmMNnQ mW8BuORBA

Half-Orc vs Human loses you skill points and a feat for Gate crasher - that's a bit more of a blow?

----

You could ditch Half-Orc (Gate crasher) and go Human and use your bonus feat for Improved Sunder (keeping Power Attack)?

You can then Sunder from level 1 which fits the character concept.

Breaker is not regarded as good as Invulnerable Rager but maybe that's not too important.

The Exchange RPG Superstar 2014 Top 32

The most flexible Combat Maneuver for PFS would probably be Trip. Trip can be used against NPCs with equipment as well as creatures using natural attacks. The next useful would be Disarm and Sunder. They aren’t as versatile as Trip since they can’t be used on creatures that don’t use equipment.

Trip and Disarm really don’t mesh well with the brutish meat shield character. Sunder is nice since it can be used to weaken the opponent. If you need to neutralize a threat without killing people breaking their weapons is a good way to go. They can’t fight without weapons. CMD doesn’t scale as quickly as an opponent’s AC. For the badguy with high AC from his gear, you can sunder his armor and shield to make it easier for the rest of the party to hit him.

Depending on your party and the encounter, a downside could be bad guys that die faster than you can sunder their equipment.

You are correct that in PFS sundered equipment does not affect the treasure collected at the end of a scenario. This means you are not throwing away gold every time you break stuff.

Another downside is that at certain level/tier combinations you might not be able to hurt your target, since you need to have a matching or greater enchantment on your weapon to damage your target. If you have an Mw weapon and they have a +1 item your sunders will do no damage to their equipment. On a good note once you are able to get a furious weapon. Your weapon’s enhancement bonus will be 2 higher while you Rage.

If you do go with a sunder build make sure to pick up Sundering Strike from APG which grants a sunder attempt on a critical hit when you have a +9 BAB.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Your sundering actions won't affect what you can purchase from the Chronicle, if that helps.

Sovereign Court

As mentioned already.. you won't bust up your treasure if you sunder it.

However, sundering in PFS suffers from the same problem that sundering has in the core rules..

It's so hideously inferior compared to disarming. Only takes 1 success to disarm, and will often take multiple successes to break a weapon.. particularly a magical or metal weapon.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
deusvult wrote:

As mentioned already.. you won't bust up your treasure if you sunder it.

However, sundering in PFS suffers from the same problem that sundering has in the core rules..

It's so hideously inferior compared to disarming. Only takes 1 success to disarm, and will often take multiple successes to break a weapon.. particularly a magical or metal weapon.

Unless of course, you CAN hit for a hideous amount of damage.

Sovereign Court

LazarX wrote:


Unless of course, you CAN hit for a hideous amount of damage.

Granted.. but it does take alot of (reliable) damage in order to sunder in 1 round.

A nonmagical rapier... 'notorious' for being easily sundered, takes at least 15 points of damage in 1 hit. Not necessarily reliable at low levels, even with a 2h weapon and raging.

With the character idea in the OP, he'll do on average 13.5 damage at 1st level, assuming a greataxe and raging. Assuming I'm missing a bonus and we'll be generous and say he's got a 50% chance of a 1 round sunder, on the easiest thing you can expect to sunder. Most things will be harder.

Get up a few levels, and do more damage, but you'll aslo eventually be factoring in magical enhancements, and a +1 rapier requires at least 25 points of damage in one hit. And that's among the easiest of things to sunder.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
deusvult wrote:
LazarX wrote:


Unless of course, you CAN hit for a hideous amount of damage.

Granted.. but it does take alot of (reliable) damage in order to sunder in 1 round.

A nonmagical rapier... 'notorious' for being easily sundered, takes at least 15 points of damage in 1 hit. Not necessarily reliable at low levels, even with a 2h weapon and raging.

Get up a few levels, and factor in even a +1 magical enhancement, and that same rapier requires at least 25 points of damage in one hit. And that's among the easiest of things to sunder.

A lot of viable tactics don't start as viable at first level.

Sovereign Court

LazarX wrote:


A lot of viable tactics don't start as viable at first level.

Is this an argument?

Whatever, you win.

But, with regards to the OP.. keep in mind that you retire after 11th level.. so don't necessarily 'give a pass' at being effective in the early levels.. they count more than outside PFS :)

Liberty's Edge

To be honest, while it doesn't affect gold earned or access granted in PFS, Sunder, as mentioned above, is not a terribly cost-effective way to deal with armed and armored opponents. It also means that any sundered equipment is not going to be available for your party's use during the rest of the scenario.

Trip, when successful, grants everyone attacking the tripped opponent in melee a +4 to hit. That enemy also provokes Attacks of Opportunity when standing up after the trip.

Disarm, when successful, leaves an opponent without one, possibly both, of their hand-held/arm-worn items (Yes, you can disarm a shield, and if you get +10 above their CMD you can disarm two items instead of just one). In addition, unless they have multiple weapons, they will provoke an Attack of Opportunity when picking up their fallen weapon or shield.

Sundering, on the other hand, doesn't do much until damage accrued to the item sundered equals the items hit points. And remember that, especially early on, Hardness makes it that much harder to do that damage. Not that Sundering is bad, but it would work much better in a party with multiple members doing the sunders. Equally, and at the same time, that same damage applied to the bad guy will probably take them out in about the same time.

If you are worried about killing an opponent that you want to capture instead, choose a bludgeoning weapon, and take the feat that lets you use it for non-lethal attacks without any penalties.


Callarek wrote:
Insightful stuff

looks like its back to the drawing board then. i might look at a tripping or disarming build then.

Ultimately I am trying to make a build to help draw enemies off of everyone else. While a lot of people I play with have good damage dealing characters, they generally are on the glass cannon end. I was hoping to make something that can be a punching bag, but still do something fun.

Liberty's Edge

HowlingWolf wrote:
Callarek wrote:
Insightful stuff

looks like its back to the drawing board then. i might look at a tripping or disarming build then.

Ultimately I am trying to make a build to help draw enemies off of everyone else. While a lot of people I play with have good damage dealing characters, they generally are on the glass cannon end. I was hoping to make something that can be a punching bag, but still do something fun.

Fighter (Lore Warden)

Gains Combat Expertise at 2nd level as a bonus feat.
Gains all Int-based skills as class skills, plus 2 skill points per level that must be spent on Int-based skills
Loses some of the heavier armor feats
Still has the Fighter d10 hit die

I have one built as a Strength build, with enough Int (13) to get the Disarm & Trip feats if he needs them. So far, he has played amusingly without them, because I am going through the Whip Mastery feat chain.

EWP: Whip, Combat Reflexes and Weapon Focus: Whip at first level (Human); wielding a whip in one hand and a dagger in the other to take Attacks of Opportunity with.
Whip Mastery at second level, which lets him do lethal or non-lethal damage, and ignore the "not versus heavy armor or natural armor" limitation.
Power Attack at third
Weapon Spec: Whip at 4th
Improved Whip Mastery at 5th, when he puts the daggers away, and two-hands the whip. He can take AoOs with the whip,and it is not a light weapon, so it gets the 1.5 Str and 3x PA damage bonuses. 1d3+12 damage, not counting weapon enhancement (and his whip was already masterwork at 2nd level)

Since it is a Trip weapon, you can, once the information from the Combat Maneuvers blog is properly FAQed, also use it for Drag and Reposition maneuvers. Pull that caster out of their tree blind, which I did during a scenario last weekend (changed a potentially frustrating encounter into something manageable).


HowlingWolf wrote:
Callarek wrote:
Insightful stuff

looks like its back to the drawing board then. i might look at a tripping or disarming build then.

Ultimately I am trying to make a build to help draw enemies off of everyone else. While a lot of people I play with have good damage dealing characters, they generally are on the glass cannon end. I was hoping to make something that can be a punching bag, but still do something fun.

Look at the summoner. They spawn punching bags, cast buffs, and get to play different types of monsters. What's not to love?


Black_Lantern wrote:
Look at the summoner. They spawn punching bags, cast buffs, and get to play different types of monsters. What's not to love?

already got a master summoner running right now.


Overrun and bullrush have some uses as well. Overrun gets often overlooked even though it can offer a free attack and leave a target prone with the greater version.


Father Dale wrote:
Overrun and bullrush have some uses as well. Overrun gets often overlooked even though it can offer a free attack and leave a target prone with the greater version.

I really like Overrun. With Charge Through, you basically get a free trip attempt every time you charge.


Quantum Steve wrote:
Father Dale wrote:
Overrun and bullrush have some uses as well. Overrun gets often overlooked even though it can offer a free attack and leave a target prone with the greater version.
I really like Overrun. With Charge Through, you basically get a free trip attempt every time you charge.

Yeah Charge Through is icing on the cake so to speak, and really lets overrun be the ability it is supposed to be. i.e. close in real fast on the main guy by busting through his wall of minions. Charge Through lets you do that and still get the charge attack off in the same round.

I think this fits well with a barbarian build, especially with fast movement. Is there anything that lets a creature change directions during a charge? There were a couple things in 3.5 that would let you do that, but I'm not aware of any in PF? That would really open up some tactical opportunities.


hmmm...i will look into overrun and bullrush. while disarm seems fun, i am looking for a more brutish character. running over/through people could be interesting.

Dark Archive

There is of course the relatively cheap +4 4315GP sundering weapon Shatterspike

Liberty's Edge

deusvult wrote:

However, sundering in PFS suffers from the same problem that sundering has in the core rules.

It's so hideously inferior compared to disarming. Only takes 1 success to disarm, and will often take multiple successes to break a weapon.. particularly a magical or metal weapon.

Agreed -- and mooks don't care about protecting their bling, meaning they never switch to a cheaper, less effective weapon to protect their investment (as would a PC).

= = = =

Most common ways to die in PFS:

1) killed by a multi-legged monster with multiple natural attacks
2) back-to-back crits from enhanced weaponry
3) back-to-back "dice-bomb" touch-attack spells (or blown reflex saves)
4) traps, and their consequences (e.g., eaten by a swarm in a pit)

Combat maneuvers generally only help save your hide in the case of #2.

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