Combat Expertise


Pathfinder First Edition General Discussion

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From the perspective of melee classes (and especially fighters):

1. It requires 13 Int. Enjoy sacrificing a number of more important stats so you can burn a feat that you're unlikely to use.

2. It sucks. Both the Pathfinder and 3e versions suck, but the Pathfinder version angers me more. In 3e, you could at least take a -1 penalty to get the benefits of the feat if you wanted. In Pathfinder, you have to suck down the whole penalty. I imagine whoever rewrote this thing looking like this picture except saying, "WE TOLD THEM IT WAS AN OPEN PLAYTEST."

But at high levels, you're looking at a -4 to -6 penalty on your attack rolls. Given that all the fighter does is damage (and even then, he does it poorly), he'd damn well be putting out major hurt every round. Instead, you sacrifice your fighting prowess...to avoid being hit. Good job.

I mean, if you could do something like take a -2 penalty on attack rolls and get a +4 bonus to AC, I'd say it would be decent. That would be nice. But you don't get to do that because you are a fighter and you stupidly thought you would get nice things.

3. It's a feat tax. Not only is it a worthless ability, but you have to go through this junk feat as a sort of gatekeeper. Did you want to trip or disarm an opponent? Haha, piss off, waste another feat that could have been better spent on something mediocre like Iron Will or Lightning Reflexes. Even Skill Focus would be better than this turd.

I hate this feat and every single feat that requires it. I seriously saw a feat that let you shine light in your opponents' eyes to temporarily blind them. Except you dazzled them, not blinded them. And it was for one round. And what feat did that crappy feat have as a prerequisite? COMBAT EXPERTISE.

Every feat that requires CE is junk, prove me wrong.


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Color me shocked, SHOCKED, that to increase your defenses, you need to decrease your offensive capabilities. What a stunning revelation.


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Also, Greater Trip. You've been proven wrong. Goodbye.


The penalty isn't very significant for a fighter, or any of the full base attack classes. It's better than fighting defensively. I know that my players have used it to great effect. Just like any other tactic, you need to know how and when to use it. It's also great for NPCs and monsters that already need to roll high to hit. Giving them a small boost to AC can mean the difference between success and failure.


Bob_Loblaw wrote:
It's better than fighting defensively. I know that my players have used it to great effect. Just like any other tactic, you need to know how and when to use it. It's also great for NPCs and monsters that already need to roll high to hit. Giving them a small boost to AC can mean the difference between success and failure.

If it only works for classes that are only going to hit on a 20 anyway, why would I be so cruel as to force fighters to take it?


Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Maps, Pathfinder Accessories, PF Special Edition Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Superscriber
Enchanter Tom wrote:

...

I hate this feat and every single feat that requires it.

...

Every feat that requires CE is junk..

Wouldnt it be much worse if you hated this feat, but liked some of the ones that needed it? As it is, I dont really see the problem - just dont take it if you dont need it for anything else and dont think the benefit is worth the costs.

.
This seems so obvious, I presume I'm missing something...


Whirlwind Attack+Reach Weapon+Enlarge Person+Lunge
Reach Weapon+Greater Trip
Dirty Trick+Punched in the...prick makes 'em sick
Greater Reposition a foe+Flanking w/rogue
some examples.


Quote:

.

This seems so obvious, I presume I'm missing something...

It enrages me that a fighter who wants to trip or disarm or do anything beyond "I hit it hard" has to jump through hoops to make it work. I was going through the SRD and looking at feats, and I saw rows upon rows of crap. Combat Expertise merely caught my eye.


I had a great clutch experience the other day with this feat. My glass jaw Rogue had to tank for a bit to protect the cleric after our Paladin went down.

I was able to Combat Expertise + Fight Defensively for +7AC.
Then, TWF + Gang Up (to get flank) + Offensive Defense for 1d4+7+6d6 +6AC (I hit twice out of four tries).

Ended the round having dealt decent damage and a 42AC against both monsters to block the gap while the Cleric got the Paladin back up.

Not saying every time is it this useful. But I particularly like Gang Up as a feat for Rogues (it requires Combat Expertise).


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I agree with the OP. It exists solely to be a feat tax and force you to make int 13+ when you otherwise would not want to. And to be a trap option to newbies.


I don't complain too much about feat tax. If I did, my 2 hand Deadly Stroke fighter would have been an idea that I just tossed out the window because hey, dazzling display? Waste of a feat.


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Enchanter Tom wrote:
Quote:

.

This seems so obvious, I presume I'm missing something...
It enrages me that a fighter who wants to trip or disarm or do anything beyond "I hit it hard" has to jump through hoops to make it work. I was going through the SRD and looking at feats, and I saw rows upon rows of crap. Combat Expertise merely caught my eye.

It's rougher on the monk, who can afford the feats and int 13 even less than the Fighter. And the fact that in 3E, he could get "Greater Trip" (it was called Improved Trip back then) at level 6 w/o any pre-reqs, now he has to wait till 9 and buy up ALL of them. That's a pretty massive kick in the junk from 3E.


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Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Maps, Pathfinder Accessories, PF Special Edition Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Superscriber
Enchanter Tom wrote:
Quote:

.

This seems so obvious, I presume I'm missing something...
It enrages me that a fighter who wants to trip or disarm or do anything beyond "I hit it hard" has to jump through hoops to make it work. I was going through the SRD and looking at feats, and I saw rows upon rows of crap. Combat Expertise merely caught my eye.

I see.

It's always seemed to me that fighters arent really feat poor, so that wasting a couple doesnt really matter (to them). I'm not very good at building effective characters, though so I wouldnt want to argue the point.

Having said that, it might be worth noting that there's a halfway decent chance that the person who actually did invent combat experitse (definitely the PF version, but possibly even the 3.5 version) may well see your thread. I personally find it annoying when my clients try and tell me how to do my job better (they're nearly always wrong). If they began with an opening gambit of wishing me violence, I'd be even less inclined to engage with them.


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Martiln wrote:
I don't complain too much about feat tax. If I did, my 2 hand Deadly Stroke fighter would have been an idea that I just tossed out the window because hey, dazzling display? Waste of a feat.

Ummm...

Spoiler:
Deadly Stroke (Combat)
With a well-placed strike, you can bring a swift and painful end to most foes.

Prerequisites: Dazzling Display, Greater Weapon Focus, Shatter Defenses, Weapon Focus, proficiency with the selected weapon, base attack bonus +11.

Benefit: As a standard action, make a single attack with the weapon for which you have Greater Weapon Focus against a stunned or flat-footed opponent. If you hit, you deal double the normal damage and the target takes 1 point of Constitution bleed (see Conditions). The additional damage and bleed is not multiplied on a critical hit.

At the exact same level and for only the cost of 2 feats, you could have had...

Spoiler:
Improved Vital Strike (Combat)
You can make a single attack that deals a large amount of damage.

Prerequisites: Vital Strike, base attack bonus +11.

Benefit: When you use the attack action, you can make one attack at your highest base attack bonus that deals additional damage. Roll the weapon’s damage dice for the attack three times and add the results together before adding bonuses from Strength, weapon abilities (such as flaming), precision-based damage, and other damage bonuses. These extra weapon damage dice are not multiplied on a critical hit, but are added to the total.

3x damage instead of 2x and no situational restrictions or set up time at all.

Hope that 1 con bleed was super helpful to you...


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Steve Geddes wrote:
I personally find it annoying when my clients try and tell me how to do my job better (they're nearly always wrong). If they began with an opening gambit of wishing me violence, I'd be even less inclined to engage with them.

The hell do I care? It's not like they're going to suddenly learn how to do math or care to produce a quality product.

Also, their forum interface is terrible.


I agree that it's annoying but there's a bit of a saving grace.

The Threatening Defender trait (which anyone with a build that starts with Combat Expertise should take) effectively turns Combat Expertise into Dodge, at least for the first few levels.

Especially in the early game that +1 to AC makes a big difference.

It's definitely not worth a feat and a trait for a +1 to your AC, but that +1 isn't why you're taking them in the first place. It's just a "bennie" to offset the cost of wanting to make a maneuver based character.


Except using CE will make your maneuver checks worse.

So if you are making a maneuver-based character you're best off to ignore the feat required as part of your maneuver chain.

Granted, same is true of Power Attack, but at least Power Attack is useful, and has a feat to negate the penalty on your first attack each round, too.


Enchanter Tom wrote:
Bob_Loblaw wrote:
It's better than fighting defensively. I know that my players have used it to great effect. Just like any other tactic, you need to know how and when to use it. It's also great for NPCs and monsters that already need to roll high to hit. Giving them a small boost to AC can mean the difference between success and failure.
If it only works for classes that are only going to hit on a 20 anyway, why would I be so cruel as to force fighters to take it?

That's not what I said though. I said that the PCs in my game have found it useful and the NPCs in my game have as well. I gave one example of when the NPCs can find it useful. Put 10 goblins against the party, half with power attack and half with combat expertise and see how well the party performs. Have them flank and the fight will be a bit harder for the party.


I agree with Combat Expertise being an annoying feat tax for pretty much any class except for a fighter who laughs at feat taxes. I also find how it scales like Power Attack but is 1:1 to be pretty meh. If it wasn't a prereq for so many things or gave a 2:1 like Power Attack (but perhaps increasing less often if you'd consider a +4 to AC at 4th a bit too good, like I do) it might not annoy me so much.


StreamOfTheSky wrote:
Martiln wrote:
I don't complain too much about feat tax. If I did, my 2 hand Deadly Stroke fighter would have been an idea that I just tossed out the window because hey, dazzling display? Waste of a feat.

Ummm...

** spoiler omitted **

At the exact same level and for only the cost of 2 feats, you could have had...

** spoiler omitted **

3x damage instead of 2x and no situational restrictions or set up time at all.

Hope that 1 con bleed was super helpful to you...

Improved Vital Strike isn't 3X damage, it's 3X damage dice. If you're packing huge numbers after your rolls, Deadly Stroke isn't bad. It's not great, though. Improved Vital Strike is better for animals anyways, or Titan Maulers if your GM lets you use the suggestions by the author of the archetype.


What? I thought 4E invented feat taxes! All this time I've been lied to!

And yes CE sucks and always has. In 3E we usually houseruled it away (along with a bunch of other feats that existed only to make getting good stuff take longe-....waitaminute - those were feat taxes too!!!!@!12

Scarab Sages

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White Wolf publishing calling for the OP...hello OP.

Seriously, if you don't like the game don't play, and if you like the game but don't like the feat, then don't use it?

I guess I don't get why its such a big deal? Its not that you CAN'T use a combat maneuver, you just provoke and don't get the big uber +2 or +4 bonus to do it? And in the groups I play in, the tank/fighter guy usually has uber AC anyhow so drawing the AoO from the BBEG isn't really that big of a deal anyhow? And even if he gets hit with the AoO, in the games I play, the big uber tank/fighter guy has a boatload more HP than the rest of people, so who the hell cares about getting smacked once more anyhow???

But then, I might be playing the game wrong.

Hell, I think Monks and Rogues are just fine, and I really enjoy playing Bards, so WTF do I know?


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Hehehe, fighters can't deal damage and Combat expertise stinks?

Edited to play nice.


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[flame on]

It enrages you? As in, +4 Str and Con...cause I don't see it helping your Cha any. (Let's leave Int out of it...no need to be nasty.) Don't forget, you're taking that AC hit...might want to cover it with a little Combat Expertise, if you qualify. xP

Really, though...enraged? So there are some rules that work better, and some that maybe don't. Not only is this debatable, but it'd inevitable. Worst case scenario? House rule. Seriously dude, James Jacobs isn't going to show up on your doorstep with a goon squad if you decide you don't want to use Combat Expertise. Come to that, you can minmax, rules-lawyer, and munchkin till your little heart's content, and nobody will stop you.

Me? I like rules; rules describe a game...and rules can be broken, and I like that too. I'm just looking to play a game, which I really enjoy, with other folks who enjoy it. And there are a lot of those. So, you know, thanks Paizo - I'm glad you guys are around.

Also, I love my Duelist, and he totally has Combat Expertise. With a rapier. Why? Because he's an Int-based Fighter - I liked the flavor of it. He's middle-aged, too, so he took the physical stat hit in favor of the mental - and I don't even know whether Pathfinder kept that rule! :D

[/flame]


Bomanz wrote:

White Wolf publishing calling for the OP...hello OP.

Seriously, if you don't like the game don't play, and if you like the game but don't like the feat, then don't use it?

That's pretty weak. If you don't like it don't play it? Please. Far better to smash, mash and batter a game into something you do like.

Besides then you prove all of *them* wrong.

You know who i mean...

The Exchange

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It is much harder to increase your ac in this game than to increase your att. There are better ways of making yourself difficult to hit i.e. concealment, blur and so on. But this feat has its place. You can’t just have one required feat lead to all of the combat maneuver feats that would make things too easy to specialize in multiple things. I love tripping and disarming I figure it is much better than sundering so it makes since that I have to take a feat that is not as impressive as power attack to gain access to feats that are (situationally) more useful than sunder.

I will however point out your way of handling yourself online leaves much to be desired. Try approaching it from a different angle. From your first 2 posts I honestly placed you in the age bracket of 12-16. Complaining to mom and dad that you don’t want to eat your dinner to get desert and that it was stupid because desert has nothing to do with dinner. Or even better I don’t want desert so I refuse to eat dinner also. Have your tantrum in Microsoft word. Wait 10 minutes read it out loud and if you come across as a snide jerk hit that old backspace key until you get to a point you feel you can functionally build from.

I’m not trying to be rude and I’m not trolling. I will agree there are several "feat taxes" in this game but as most tax paying adults know we pay taxes so we can have the things we want.


Here's my two cents:

1) CE wasn't invented specifically with fighters in mind, but if you want to build a maneuver-based fighter, the fighter can most afford this "feat tax" (as others have pointed out).

2) In my opinion, if you think CE sucks, you're not good at D&D/Pathfinder.


Christopher Buckley wrote:

Here's my two cents:

1) CE wasn't invented specifically with fighters in mind, but if you want to build a maneuver-based fighter, the fighter can most afford this "feat tax" (as others have pointed out).

2) In my opinion, if you think CE sucks, you're not good at D&D/Pathfinder.

IMO if you think I'm not 'good at D&D/Pathfinder' your opinion is crap.


StreamOfTheSky wrote:


Ummm...

** spoiler omitted **

At the exact same level and for only the cost of 2 feats, you could have had...

(improved vital strike)

3x damage instead of 2x and no situational restrictions or set up time at all.

Hope that 1 con bleed was super helpful to you...

Learn to read, please. Improved Vital Strike is +10/+14 to damage depending on weapon. Deadly Stroke is somewhere in the +25 to +30 range at level 11, approximately.


People who don't care about getting hit by sharp objects are not good players (unless you have significant DR or some other special mechanic that lets you not have to care about hit points).


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I agree that its kind of lame requiring this feat to perform advanced combat maneuvers. However, more than that, I find annoying that someone can't afford a 13 in a "non-essential" stat. Diversify and enjoy. An 18 is not worth buying for ANY class, so spread it around. You like skill points, right?


Christopher Buckley wrote:
People who don't care about getting hit by sharp objects are not good players (unless you have significant DR or some other special mechanic that lets you not have to care about hit points).

Maybe they have a miss chance or some mechanic that lets you not care about AC? Y'know, like casters?

If combat expertise gave a 10% miss chance for every point of BAB you lost, I think fighters would be all over it.


Ciaran Barnes wrote:
I agree that its kind of lame requiring this feat to perform advanced combat maneuvers. However, more than that, I find annoying that someone can't afford a 13 in a "non-essential" stat. Diversify and enjoy. An 18 is not worth buying for ANY class, so spread it around. You like skill points, right?

I don't get why someone with normal human intelligence can't possibly have the ability to trip someone without them getting to trip them back.


chaoseffect wrote:
Ciaran Barnes wrote:
I agree that its kind of lame requiring this feat to perform advanced combat maneuvers. However, more than that, I find annoying that someone can't afford a 13 in a "non-essential" stat. Diversify and enjoy. An 18 is not worth buying for ANY class, so spread it around. You like skill points, right?
I don't get why someone with normal human intelligence can't possibly have the ability to trip someone without them getting to trip them back.

13 is within the bell curve for normal intelligence (which for a human without magic ranges from 3~25 theoretically).

However I've always felt that the fighter should have the following ability:

Practice makes perfect wrote:


Choose one attribute, when picking your fighter bonus combat feats you may ignore prerequisites that require that attribute. The feats you gain from normal leveling do not gain this benefit.

That way a fighter can choose his bonus feats based on constant practice. So you could have a strong but average dexterity fighter with two weapon fighting. The fact your normal feats don't gain this benefit helps keep people from simply dipping fighter to gain this ability and move on.


chaoseffect wrote:
Ciaran Barnes wrote:
I agree that its kind of lame requiring this feat to perform advanced combat maneuvers. However, more than that, I find annoying that someone can't afford a 13 in a "non-essential" stat. Diversify and enjoy. An 18 is not worth buying for ANY class, so spread it around. You like skill points, right?
I don't get why someone with normal human intelligence can't possibly have the ability to trip someone without them getting to trip them back.

Maybe because they're not combat trained to do something like that? I have normal human intelligence but no formal combat training so I'd probably be tripped if I failed a trip against someone. Maneuvers are for the combat strategists, not for the BSFs out there, so that's why it requires Int 13+. It makes sense. If all your training amounts to how to hit stuff hard, you probably won't know proper ways to trip someone while keeping your own trip guard up.


Abraham spalding wrote:
chaoseffect wrote:
Ciaran Barnes wrote:
I agree that its kind of lame requiring this feat to perform advanced combat maneuvers. However, more than that, I find annoying that someone can't afford a 13 in a "non-essential" stat. Diversify and enjoy. An 18 is not worth buying for ANY class, so spread it around. You like skill points, right?
I don't get why someone with normal human intelligence can't possibly have the ability to trip someone without them getting to trip them back.

13 is within the bell curve for normal intelligence (which for a human without magic ranges from 3~25 theoretically).

However I've always felt that the fighter should have the following ability:

Practice makes perfect wrote:


Choose one attribute, when picking your fighter bonus combat feats you may ignore prerequisites that require that attribute. The feats you gain from normal leveling do not gain this benefit.
That way a fighter can choose his bonus feats based on constant practice. So you could have a strong but average dexterity fighter with two weapon fighting. The fact your normal feats don't gain this benefit helps keep people from simply dipping fighter to gain this ability and move on.

I kinda like that rule, but I'm afraid it'll make fighters more damage-worthy. A dex based fighter (massive AC) chooses str and you have a juggernaut waiting to level. Could be just armchair design, though.


Borthos Brewhammer wrote:
chaoseffect wrote:


I don't get why someone with normal human intelligence can't possibly have the ability to trip someone without them getting to trip them back.
Maybe because they're not combat trained to do something like that? I have normal human intelligence but no formal combat training so I'd probably be tripped if I failed a trip against someone. Maneuvers are for the combat strategists, not for the BSFs out there, so that's why it requires Int 13+. It makes sense. If all your training amounts to how to hit stuff hard, you probably won't know proper ways to trip someone while keeping your own trip guard up.

That didn't answer his question at all.

If you're not combat trained, it's because you don't have the feat...the feat literally IS the training.

His question was, why do you need 13 Int to receive and utilize that training? What is so hard about learning to trip a dude that a regular guy can't learn it? It's not rocket science, it's fairly basic martial arts.


Borthos Brewhammer wrote:
Abraham spalding wrote:
chaoseffect wrote:
Ciaran Barnes wrote:
I agree that its kind of lame requiring this feat to perform advanced combat maneuvers. However, more than that, I find annoying that someone can't afford a 13 in a "non-essential" stat. Diversify and enjoy. An 18 is not worth buying for ANY class, so spread it around. You like skill points, right?
I don't get why someone with normal human intelligence can't possibly have the ability to trip someone without them getting to trip them back.

13 is within the bell curve for normal intelligence (which for a human without magic ranges from 3~25 theoretically).

However I've always felt that the fighter should have the following ability:

Practice makes perfect wrote:


Choose one attribute, when picking your fighter bonus combat feats you may ignore prerequisites that require that attribute. The feats you gain from normal leveling do not gain this benefit.
That way a fighter can choose his bonus feats based on constant practice. So you could have a strong but average dexterity fighter with two weapon fighting. The fact your normal feats don't gain this benefit helps keep people from simply dipping fighter to gain this ability and move on.
I kinda like that rule, but I'm afraid it'll make fighters more damage-worthy. A dex based fighter (massive AC) chooses str and you have a juggernaut waiting to level. Could be just armchair design, though.

A bit of both -- yes you could have a two weapon fighting juggernaut... but he's going to take longer to get there since he has to spend only his bonus combat feats on it, and honestly he could have done it already easily enough. A 'stock' damage dealing fighter can already stay at the overkill damage point already, and he can do so while completely qualifying for two weapon fighting with maximum strength.

Of course you could have a very agile character bull rushing and power attacking too, or the village idiot that's figured out how to prevent people from kicking him as easily, and how to perform dirty tricks or steal from them in combat.

The idea was to allow a greater range of versatility akin to what the monk and ranger get for their bonus feats (since they don't have to meet prerequisites for them) as well as several other classes (magus has a few he can take as arcana, and barbarian can get a couple as rage powers).


Borthos Brewhammer wrote:


Maybe because they're not combat trained to do something like that? I have normal human intelligence but no formal combat training so I'd probably be tripped if I failed a trip against someone. Maneuvers are for the combat strategists, not for the BSFs out there, so that's why it requires Int 13+. It makes sense. If all your training amounts to how to hit stuff hard, you probably won't know proper ways to trip someone while keeping your own trip guard up.

13 intelligence being necessary to understand how to competently do a basic maneuver seems a bit much. It's just a matter of being shown how, which the feat would represent, but it seems to be more a matter of muscle memory at that point.


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The feat system basically grants us 3 types of fighting (apart from the 2-handed, sword and board, and twf options):

Int fighting: When fighting smart, you can use combat expertise to avoid being hit by your opponents. Trip and disarm makes sense as options for the clever fighter, as you need to be able to understand the enemy and adjust to his/her behaviour.

Dex fighting: When fighting agile, you move around or exploit the opportunities that arises. Both the Combat Reflexes feat-line and the Dodge-Mobility feat-line is in this category.

Str fighting: When fighting hard, raw str is your preferred tactics. Power attack makes your hits count. A lot of feats grant a lot of options, but the maneuvers among them each require your forcing the opponent away.


Donovan Lynch wrote:
Borthos Brewhammer wrote:
chaoseffect wrote:


I don't get why someone with normal human intelligence can't possibly have the ability to trip someone without them getting to trip them back.
Maybe because they're not combat trained to do something like that? I have normal human intelligence but no formal combat training so I'd probably be tripped if I failed a trip against someone. Maneuvers are for the combat strategists, not for the BSFs out there, so that's why it requires Int 13+. It makes sense. If all your training amounts to how to hit stuff hard, you probably won't know proper ways to trip someone while keeping your own trip guard up.

That didn't answer his question at all.

If you're not combat trained, it's because you don't have the feat...the feat literally IS the training.

His question was, why do you need 13 Int to receive and utilize that training? What is so hard about learning to trip a dude that a regular guy can't learn it? It's not rocket science, it's fairly basic martial arts.

Because the work of tripping is more mechanical and mental than it is physical. Yes it's fairly basic martial arts, but doing it correctly requires an understanding of physiology and body mechanics that implies more intelligence than base.

Disarming even more so, while dirty tricks probably not as much.

RPG Superstar 2013 Top 32

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Enchanter Tom wanted to hit Jason Buhlman. Jason Buhlman used Combat Expertise to improve his AC. Enchanter Tom failed.


Donovan Lynch wrote:
Borthos Brewhammer wrote:
chaoseffect wrote:


I don't get why someone with normal human intelligence can't possibly have the ability to trip someone without them getting to trip them back.
Maybe because they're not combat trained to do something like that? I have normal human intelligence but no formal combat training so I'd probably be tripped if I failed a trip against someone. Maneuvers are for the combat strategists, not for the BSFs out there, so that's why it requires Int 13+. It makes sense. If all your training amounts to how to hit stuff hard, you probably won't know proper ways to trip someone while keeping your own trip guard up.

That didn't answer his question at all.

If you're not combat trained, it's because you don't have the feat...the feat literally IS the training.

His question was, why do you need 13 Int to receive and utilize that training? What is so hard about learning to trip a dude that a regular guy can't learn it? It's not rocket science, it's fairly basic martial arts.

I did actually. It's for the strategist, as I said. It's for the fighter who's not just about hitting stuff but about controlling his enemies. A fighter with this feat can still hit hard, but he has a clearer view of the battlefield and how to win. Field officers, both today and in ages past? Combat expertise to lead their troops to victory, not just head in guns blazing.


StreamOfTheSky wrote:
Martiln wrote:
I don't complain too much about feat tax. If I did, my 2 hand Deadly Stroke fighter would have been an idea that I just tossed out the window because hey, dazzling display? Waste of a feat.

Ummm...

** spoiler omitted **

At the exact same level and for only the cost of 2 feats, you could have had...

** spoiler omitted **

3x damage instead of 2x and no situational restrictions or set up time at all.

Hope that 1 con bleed was super helpful to you...

Maybe I'm reading it wrong, but isn't double normal damage better than triple weapon damage? What does normal damage mean anyway? :\


Donovan Lynch wrote:
If combat expertise gave a 10% miss chance for every point of BAB you lost, I think fighters would be all over it.

Upping one's AC by 1 is essentially making it 5% harder to be hit by one's opponent, all things being equal. You're decreasing the odds that your opponent can hit you. By "all things being equal," I mean let's assume your opponent is an equal match and must roll an 11 or better to hit you without any circumstance modifiers (cover, flanking, etc.).

Essentially, under this assumption, you always have a 50% miss chance in a sense because your opponent has a 50% chance to hit you. If you added a 10% miss chance for Combat Expertise for every -1 to attack, your opponent's chance to hit would become 45% (50% chance to hit in the first place X 90% chance to not miss due to miss chance). Thus, a +1 to AC is already tantamount to a 10% miss chance per -1 attack.

How do you like Combat Expertise now?


Maerimydra wrote:

StreamOfTheSky wrote:

Martiln wrote:

I don't complain too much about feat tax. If I did, my 2 hand Deadly Stroke fighter would have been an idea that I just tossed out the window because hey, dazzling display? Waste of a feat.

Ummm...

** spoiler omitted **

At the exact same level and for only the cost of 2 feats, you could have had...

** spoiler omitted **

3x damage instead of 2x and no situational restrictions or set up time at all.

Hope that 1 con bleed was super helpful to you...

Maybe I'm reading it wrong, but isn't double normal damage better than triple weapon damage? What does normal damage mean anyway? :\

In the vast majority of cases, dealing double damage and 1 Con bleed would be worse for an enemy than triple weapon damage. If the wielder had little bonus damage added on, the the Vital Strike might be close to the Deadly Stroke (if by 12th level the fighter doesn't have at least +7 bonus to damage... unlikely).

You get more damage with Deadly Stroke, but it is feat intensive and situational. You can capitalize on teamwork or archetypes to increase the likelihood of getting your Deadly Stroke ("Interference" from the Free Hand fighter variant works well).

I have to agree that Combat Expertise is a feat tax, but it opens up plenty of useful feat trees. There are situations where a PC with Combat Expertise will use it (going totally defensive), but I've rarely seen it used during the normal course of combat.

The bigger argument here is whether or not it's fair to have to take "worse" feats to open up "better" ones later (Greater Trip, Deadly Stroke, etc). That boils down to whether it's good for the game to sacrifice power early on in a character's career to be more powerful later.

As others have said, fighters get a ton of feats. The feats don't all have to be powerhouses on their own. They can afford a few duds, if those duds open up cool/fun/potent options later.

To the OP: It's ok to not like Combat Expertise. In your games, you should just remove it as a requisite. You should try to convince the friends you play with to do the same. There's not really a need to get on the forums and criticize someone who knows more about the game than you do. As evidenced by the replies, people have had drastically different experiences with Combat Expertise. A game designer isn't going to make everyone happy all the time. That's not his job. He's making an option that will appeal to SOME of the players (not you, obviously).

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