Combat Expertise


Pathfinder First Edition General Discussion

301 to 337 of 337 << first < prev | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | next > last >>

Enchanter Tom wrote:
Combat Expertise caps out at -6, and yes, that does make a difference because you're looking at a 30% less chance to hit. Someone with 20 Dexterity, on the other hand, should be more than 25% better than someone with 10 Dexterity. You're looking at the difference between Joe Schmoe on the street and the peak of non-magical human capability.

Remember it's the peak of untrained human capability. I don't think it's unreasonable that the best person with no training whatsoever will only succeed on tasks 25% more often than an average novice.

As soon as you start taking a look at actual applications of dexterity, you're dealing with people who have training. At that point, there's more than a 25% difference (and a much greater chance of success at tasks the average untrained person can't even perform), which can be accounted for by skill ranks and the like.


Donovan Lynch wrote:


To summarize:

A fighter's ability to survive is meaningless if he is not contributing otherwise.

I know I'm only quoting a snippet here, but may I tease out the line of reasoning I see here? Please correct me if I'm wrong, but does not your argument run along the lines of:

1) "A fighter's ability to survive is meaningless if he is not contributing otherwise." [Claim]
2) A fighter's main purpose in combat is doing damage/"drawing aggro" (so to speak) [Premise]
3) Using combat expertise significantly reduces a fighter's ability to do damage/"draw aggro" because it trades off to-hit bonuses for AC bonuses at a rate of 1:1 [Premise]

Might I reasonably infer, then, that you would critize any fighter who ever exercised the option to Fight Defensively or use the Total Defense action as "not contributing" to the party? I ask because both of those options are actually worse in terms of interfering with a fighter's ability to dish out damage and draw enemy attention (Fighting Defensively, even if you have ranks in Acrobatics, is still a less efficient trade-off of to-hit for AC, and you cannot even take any opportunity attacks if you use Total Defense). This might well be your actual position, I just want to be clear on this.


AvalonXQ wrote:
Enchanter Tom wrote:
Combat Expertise caps out at -6, and yes, that does make a difference because you're looking at a 30% less chance to hit. Someone with 20 Dexterity, on the other hand, should be more than 25% better than someone with 10 Dexterity. You're looking at the difference between Joe Schmoe on the street and the peak of non-magical human capability.

Remember it's the peak of untrained human capability. I don't think it's unreasonable that the best person with no training whatsoever will only succeed on tasks 25% more often than an average novice.

As soon as you start taking a look at actual applications of dexterity, you're dealing with people who have training. At that point, there's more than a 25% difference (and a much greater chance of success at tasks the average untrained person can't even perform), which can be accounted for by skill ranks and the like.

Exactly - raw talent only takes you so far.


princeimrahil wrote:
Might I reasonably infer, then, that you would critize any fighter who ever exercised the option to Fight Defensively or use the Total Defense action as "not contributing" to the party? I ask because both of those options are actually worse in terms of interfering with a fighter's ability to dish out damage and draw enemy attention (Fighting Defensively, even if you have ranks in Acrobatics, is still a less efficient trade-off of to-hit for AC, and you cannot even take any opportunity attacks if you use Total Defense). This might well be your actual position, I just want to be clear on this.

Its actually pretty close to mine. Never used either. I rush the enemy squishies and make them explode instead. If those are the best tactics for the gm why not us?

Then you just turn around and focus down the juggernauts together


GâtFromKI wrote:
Bob_Loblaw wrote:
GâtFromKI wrote:
What does CE exactly do except changing some numbers?
It gives options.
What option except changing some numbers?

At this point this conversation is going nowhere. I know you are smart enough to be able to follow along. You are intentionally being obtuse. That's fine. I'll let RD and others explain things to you. I have better things to do with my time. I've already spent too much time in a self-professed troll thread. Happy gaming.


The only reason someone with a strength of 20, despite it being technically 4 times stronger than 10, offers an extra 25% chance is because humans (and other humanoids) aren't the only thing in this game. The same is for dexterity. There are monsters that are literally thousands of times stronger than the average person, so I don't think the game could realistically represent too much when comparing smaller scores.

I know you guys were talking about dex, but I thought strength would be easier to put that into perspective.


princeimrahil wrote:
I'm genuinely puzzled why you think a 5pt difference in one category is significant, but a similar difference in a different category isn't pronounced enough - After a playing a lot of DnD, I generally think of a +5 bonus as being pretty major, and while I have no problem with you taking an opposing stance, you haven't really explained the reasoning behind it.

Because there's a difference between taking a -5 penalty on attack rolls and getting a +5 bonus on Dexterity checks?

Quote:
At the very least, I'd like to hear your thoughts about Dex 20 vs Dex 10, because I've always thought that the ability scores were pretty apt in their modeling.

I think that someone so fantastically graceful would have more than a 25% greater chance of success at a Dexterity-related task than the average person. Compare 20 Strength and 10 Strength as an apt comparison. An Olympic lifter versus the average person. Should he have a 25% greater chance of success on Strength-related tasks than Joe Schmoe? What about someone with a 200 IQ (20 Int)? Should he be only 25% better at deciphering scripts than the average shclub? It seems that using the same scale to mdoel Dexterity would have similar results.


Pathfinder Maps, Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

I think you are forgetting other aspects of the characters, Tom, such as base attack bonuses, skill ranks, and class abilities. These all have a DRAMATIC effect on comparative percentages.

Just about anything you look at in a vacuum isn't going to make sense.


princeimrahil wrote:
Donovan Lynch wrote:


To summarize:

A fighter's ability to survive is meaningless if he is not contributing otherwise.

I know I'm only quoting a snippet here, but may I tease out the line of reasoning I see here? Please correct me if I'm wrong, but does not your argument run along the lines of:

1) "A fighter's ability to survive is meaningless if he is not contributing otherwise." [Claim]
2) A fighter's main purpose in combat is doing damage/"drawing aggro" (so to speak) [Premise]
3) Using combat expertise significantly reduces a fighter's ability to do damage/"draw aggro" because it trades off to-hit bonuses for AC bonuses at a rate of 1:1 [Premise]

Might I reasonably infer, then, that you would critize any fighter who ever exercised the option to Fight Defensively or use the Total Defense action as "not contributing" to the party? I ask because both of those options are actually worse in terms of interfering with a fighter's ability to dish out damage and draw enemy attention (Fighting Defensively, even if you have ranks in Acrobatics, is still a less efficient trade-off of to-hit for AC, and you cannot even take any opportunity attacks if you use Total Defense). This might well be your actual position, I just want to be clear on this.

I'm not big into this particular argument, but isn't the criticism being leveled against Combat Expertise as a feat (thus consuming a lifetime-limited resource with a wide variety of possible benefits) rather than the use of defensive tactics? The essential question isn't whether defensive fighting is ever worth doing, but rather whether the gap between non-CE defensive fighting and CE defensive fighting is worth spending a feat on, particularly given how often or rarely it's likely to be a good idea.


Fight Defensively can get +3 AC for -4 to attack a level before Combat Expertise can get +2 AC. A feat is worth +1 to attack or +1 AC. Fighting Defensively without wasting a feat is better than Combat Expertise until level 8. Combat Expertise doesn't actually pull ahead until level 12.


princeimrahil wrote:


Might I reasonably infer, then, that you would critize any fighter who ever exercised the option to Fight Defensively or use the Total Defense action as "not contributing" to the party? I ask because both of those options are actually worse in terms of interfering with a fighter's ability to dish out damage and draw enemy attention (Fighting Defensively, even if you have ranks in Acrobatics, is still a less efficient trade-off of to-hit for AC, and you cannot even take any opportunity attacks if you use Total Defense). This might well be your actual position, I just want to be clear on this.

In general, yes, I feel that Fighting Defensively or using Total Defense is a waste of the fighter's time, unless they are alone. Fighting Defensively CAN be useful, in some situations, if you are optimized for it (Crane style, parrying weapon, Acrobatics 3)...but base Fighting Defensively, -4 for +2? That is crap, and no, fighters should not do it. Total Defense is even worse.

Are there niche situations where these tactics MIGHT be useful? Yes. Fortunately, they are tactics that can be used by anyone, at any time, without spending a feat.

As someone noted, Fighting Defensively is almost as good as Combat Expertise pre-level-8...if you use a parrying weapon (like a tonfa) and have 3 Acrobatics, you're getting +4 for -4...the equivalent of using CE at level 12. WITHOUT spending a feat, and without having Int 13. So how is CE worth it?

If you want to burn a feat for defensive fighting...take Crane style. That gives you a -2 penalty to attack, and a +3 (+4 with 3 Acro) to AC. For the same cost as CE. At 1st-2nd level. AND it serves as a prereq for Crane Wing, which is an awesome defensive feat.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I dunno about this...Fighters have to go up front and personal. Sometimes they have to block a path. And they take the most hits anyway. Giving them such a major typed bonus to AC is not exactly groundbreaking, but it isn't as bad as the OP made it out to be. I agree that the Int 13 prerequisite has annoyed me often in the past, but otherwise I don't see too much wrong with CE.

Tripping is very nice, however. I've seen a fighter do so to tremendous effect. And since CE is a prerequisite...well, you gotta do what you gotta do.


Fighting defensively is something you do situationally.

For instance, at higher levels you're going to hit most of the time with your first blow anyway. If you have to move and attack anyway, that's going to be your only attack -- so you move up, make your one attack, and fight defensively. The monster's first attack will probably still hit you -- but secondary attacks, or iterative attacks, are going to see a notable decline in efficiency. You'll still hit with the only attack you're going to make.

Also, touch attacks are very dangerous at high levels -- CE and fighting defensively may boost your AC high enough that miss chances for low-BAB foes (like, oh, wizards throwing rays) get noticeable again.


I think combat expertise should give +1 AC compared to what it does now. That's enough. I don't think it's horribly bad, I've seen it used to good effect especially for half-warriors to survive for a round or two. My issue with it is that before BAB +4 it's basically a much worse Dodge.

So with +1 AC compared to now, I think it'll do fine.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
stringburka wrote:

I think combat expertise should give +1 AC compared to what it does now. That's enough. I don't think it's horribly bad, I've seen it used to good effect especially for half-warriors to survive for a round or two. My issue with it is that before BAB +4 it's basically a much worse Dodge.

So with +1 AC compared to now, I think it'll do fine.

I'd compare it to Power Attack, personally...perhaps give +3 AC per -2 penalty, or +2 per -1 if using a shield. Progression would go something like...

1 BAB: +1 for -1 (+2 for -1 with shield)
4 BAB: +3 for -2 (+4 for -2)
8 BAB: +4 for -3 (+6 for -3)
12 BAB: +6 for -4 (+8 for -4)
16 BAB: +7 for -5 (+10 for -5)
20 BAB: +9 for -6 (+12 for -6)

Of course, I'm given to understand that Paizo has some sort of policy against high AC bonuses (I mean, they nerfed Elaborate Parry of all ridiculous things...).

If you don't want the bonus to get outrageous, perhaps instead of cranking up the bonus as the penalty steadily gets bigger, simply increase the bonus modestly but the penalty more slowly?


Enchanter Tom wrote:
I think that someone so fantastically graceful would have more than a 25% greater chance of success at a Dexterity-related task than the average person. Compare 20 Strength and 10 Strength as an apt comparison. An Olympic lifter versus the average person. Should he have a 25% greater chance of success on Strength-related tasks than Joe Schmoe? What about someone with a 200 IQ (20 Int)? Should he be only 25% better at deciphering scripts than the average shclub? It seems that using the same scale to mdoel Dexterity would have similar results.

You must have missed what I wrote above about ability versus training.

It is totally reasonable that an olympic lifter was only 25% more likely to complete the same Strength-related task before he'd ever practiced any lifting; totally reasonable that a 200 IQ person is only 25% better at deciphering scripts before he's studied any languages.


How can you say that CE is useless and that trading attack bonus for AC for a fighter is bad?
Have you ever played a role play game? There is an infinitive number of situations in which CE is useful. If not for the 13 Int requisite, almost every full-BAB character would take it.
There is a time for smashing DR with PA; there is a time to hold the line with CE.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Frustaro wrote:

How can you say that CE is useless and that trading attack bonus for AC for a fighter is bad?

Have you ever played a role play game?

Only for 20 years. I'm assuming that was an honest request for information, not a veiled insult (i.e. "STFU NOOB, U don't know what ur talking about").

Have I made characters that took CE? Sure. But not many, and in all honesty, I just started playing PF recently, so I'm less familiar with their version. The only time I've seen it used to good effect is combined with Deadly Defense from Complete Scoundrel (which was an awesome feat).

Quote:
There is an infinitive number of situations in which CE is useful. If not for the 13 Int requisite, almost every full-BAB character would take it. There is a time for smashing DR with PA; there is a time to hold the line with CE.

"Infinite".

And no, there aren't. There are an extremely finite number of situations in which CE is useful. Most of the time, you will save yourself more HP by simply smashing your enemy harder (and thus rendering him incapable of killing you) than by trying to reduce how hard he hits you (defensive).
But people have gone back and forth on this for this entire post.

If you seriously think that "every full BAB character would take it", I can only assume you're trolling me. With the incredible variety of feats available, I don't think I can name any that "every full BAB" guy would take. Not even Power Attack, which is much better than CE.


Benly wrote:

I'm not big into this particular argument, but isn't the criticism being leveled against Combat Expertise as a feat (thus consuming a lifetime-limited resource with a wide variety of possible benefits) rather than the use of defensive tactics? The essential question isn't whether defensive fighting is ever worth doing, but rather whether the gap between non-CE defensive fighting and CE defensive fighting is worth spending a feat on, particularly given how often or rarely it's likely to be a good idea.

Quite the contrary; the "inefficiency" of CE has been a major part of the criticism leveled against it so far. I refer you back to the original statement that I quoted:

"A fighter's ability to survive is meaningless if he is not contributing otherwise."

This is not (unless I'm grossly mistaken) a statement meant to suggest that taking a SINGLE sub-optimal feat ruins a fighter's chance of "contributing" to the party; rather, it is (as Donovan acknowledged) a critique of the general tactic of trading off offensive power in favor of defensive power (and that's a totally valid perspective, I just wanted to be clear).

The way you phrase your own point ("the essential question ... is whether the gap between [CE and non-CE] is big worth spending a feat on given how often or rarely it's likely to be a good idea") can also be applied to feats like Iron Will, which provide a small SITUATIONAL bonus by trading off (as you phrase it) "a lifetime-limited resource." In a campaign that featured fey as frequent enemies, Iron Will is of HIGH value. In a campaign that frequently deals with orc warriors, it is of LOW value; similarly, there are certain types of campaigns that would make combat expertise a worthwhile feat (e.g. one that features lots of enemies with touch attacks, or a campaign that does not make heavy armor practical, etc).

I don't think anybody on the pro-CE side is saying that it's a feat that everybody should take, all the time. On the other hand, I get a general vibe from the anti-CE crowd that CE is a terribad feat that is so rarely worthwhile as to make it essentially pointless.


princeimrahil wrote:


Quite the contrary; the "inefficiency" of CE has been a major part of the criticism leveled against it so far. I refer you back to the original statement that I quoted:

"A fighter's ability to survive is meaningless if he is not contributing otherwise."

This is not (unless I'm grossly mistaken) a statement meant to suggest that taking a SINGLE sub-optimal feat ruins a fighter's chance of "contributing" to the party; rather, it is (as Donovan acknowledged) a critique of the general tactic of trading off offensive power in favor of defensive power (and that's a totally valid perspective, I just wanted to be clear).

I appreciate your desire for clarity, as I share it. Thank you.

That said...it is not that taking one sub-optimal feat ruins the fighter's contributing forever...but USING that feat lessens his ability to contribute rather than enhancing it, in (IMO) the vast majority of circumstances. It was a criticism of the use of defensive tactics at the expense of offense.

This ties in with what Benly said...because if using CE is not worthwhile (as I believe it generally is not), then you ARE more or less wasting a feat if you take it. Add to that the fact that a.) it serves as a feat tax for several other feats (which I feel are worthwhile, notwithstanding Enchanter Tom's comments), and b.) it requires you to pump your Int which you otherwise would not, it is a very poor feat.

Now, I am quite curious (for everyone): let's assume that either you don't need any of the CE feat chain, or you houserule it so that CE is not a prereq for those feats.
Do you take CE, or do you take Crane Style? Explain your answer.

Quote:
I don't think anybody on the pro-CE side is saying that it's a feat that everybody should take, all the time.

Ahem. *points upward to Frustaro*

Frustaro wrote:
If not for the 13 Int requisite, almost every full-BAB character would take it.


Quote:
That said...it is not that taking one sub-optimal feat ruins the fighter's contributing forever...but USING that feat lessens his ability to contribute rather than enhancing it, in (IMO) the vast majority of circumstances. It was a criticism of the use of defensive tactics at the expense of offense.

CE is supposed to be used in situations when defense is more important than offense. It's obvious that it might seem useless or subpar if you use it in a wrong way.


ImperatorK wrote:
Quote:
That said...it is not that taking one sub-optimal feat ruins the fighter's contributing forever...but USING that feat lessens his ability to contribute rather than enhancing it, in (IMO) the vast majority of circumstances. It was a criticism of the use of defensive tactics at the expense of offense.
CE is supposed to be used in situations when defense is more important than offense. It's obvious that it might seem useless or subpar if you use it in a wrong way.

If you're a fighter, WHY is defense more important than offense? Offense ends the threat. One might say "defense lets you live longer to end the threat", but since it comes with a corresponding loss of offense, it takes longer to end the threat and your chances of dying therefore increase as well.

I've heard anecdotes of "well, without CE I would have died"...but that's a specific situation where random chance made it matter (the die rolls were such that CE made the difference between life and death). I would prefer a demonstration of how it is a tactically preferable choice in a general (not specific) situation, based on math.

Bonus points if you can explain why taking and using CE was better than having a different feat in the same situation (like say, Crane Style and fighting defensively).


Quote:
If you're a fighter, WHY is defense more important than offense?

Because sometimes, even good offense is not enough and you get mauled at and you have to somehow survive to even think about contributing later (not to mention playing at all)?

And please, don't strawman me. I clearly said that there are situations where defense is more important than offense. Offense isn't everything.

Quote:
Offense ends the threat. One might say "defense lets you live longer to end the threat", but since it comes with a corresponding loss of offense, it takes longer to end the threat and your chances of dying therefore increase as well.

Your offense can fail. your offense might be not sufficient. Your offense might be not useful. And there will be no offense when you're dead.

Quote:
I've heard anecdotes of "well, without CE I would have died"...but that's a specific situation where random chance made it matter (the die rolls were such that CE made the difference between life and death).

Well, and I heard anecdotes of "I hit him so hard in 1st round that he died instantly" and yet I see it being talked about only on forums as theoretical discussions.

Always going full offense isn't "The One And Only True Way".

Quote:
I would prefer a demonstration of how it is a tactically preferable choice in a general (not specific) situation, based on math.

Please, read again the post you quoted. I say that CE is useful in specific situations, and you demand that I show you how it is useful in general? Seriously?


Donovan Lynch wrote:
I would prefer a demonstration of how it is a tactically preferable choice in a general (not specific) situation, based on math.

...and you won't have this demonstration, you will instead have responses like "CE is not about numbers, it's about roleplay".

And maybe one or two responses implying some metagaming before you use the feat ("if your opponent has +X to hit and Y AC, and you somehow know it, then...").


BTW, if we're on the topic of "Why even use defense, offense is much better", let me ask: "Why even play Fighters, Wizards are much better"?


GâtFromKI wrote:
Donovan Lynch wrote:
I would prefer a demonstration of how it is a tactically preferable choice in a general (not specific) situation, based on math.

...and you won't have this demonstration, you will instead have responses like "CE is not about numbers, it's about roleplay".

And maybe one or two responses implying some metagaming before you use the feat ("if your opponent has +X to hit and Y AC, and you somehow know it, then...").

How is this different to the metagame calculations that are the basis of the 'CE sucks, because offense is more important than defense'-arguments?

BTW, you don't need to know the precise statistics of the monster you are facing to get a fairly good idea of how difficult it is to hit, or how good it is at hitting you, in the first couple of rounds of combat.


HaraldKlak wrote:
BTW, you don't need to know the precise statistics of the monster you are facing to get a fairly good idea of how difficult it is to hit, or how good it is at hitting you, in the first couple of rounds of combat.

Yes, you do.

Especially to know how difficult it is to hit you.

I remember a game, PCs were level 5, and they were fighting CR 1/2 monsters. I rolled almost only 19s and 20s for the attacks of the monsters (and more 20s than 19s: CE wouldn't even have divided their DPR by 2). Had I used a screen, the PCs would have thought "oh, those monsters are very good at hitting us!" (or "you're cheating, aren't you?"). You need far more than 10 attacks to have an idea of the hit probability, because that's how probabilities work.

Anyway, I don't justify my choice for not taking CE by "CE sucks, [blah]", but by "I take the XXX feat" (eg XXX = Dodge). Even if I used some "CE sucks" argument, it's not really "metagaming" to see that CE gives the same penalty to the character and his opponent - ie the character pays a feat to gain no advantage when he uses it.

Sovereign Court RPG Superstar 2011 Top 32

2 people marked this as a favorite.
GâtFromKI wrote:

Even if I used some "CE sucks" argument, it's not really "metagaming" to see that CE gives the same penalty to the character and his opponent - ie the character pays a feat to gain no advantage when he uses it.

Your conclusion doesn't follow. Yes, everyone gets the same penalty. The impact of that penalty is relative to the attack bonuses of each individual affected by it.

Here's an example:
Side one: +26 to hit, AC 31 (PC fighter guy)
Side two: +20 to hit, AC 25 (hoard o' monsters)

So side one hits on a 2, and side two hits on a 11.
Give everyone a -4 to hit - now side one hits on a 3, side two on a 15. Advantage goes to side one and they should opt for the -4 every time.

This example isn't terribly extreme when you look at a moderately well-built fighter vs. the standard AP mook encounter at level 10-12 or so.

Example aside, my point is that CE is not an identical effect if there is a disparity between the two sides of an encounter - it works better for the side with better numbers. Side one fighter up there would be foolish to use CE when fighting something above his CR with better numbers like a big dragon.

So I can see a point that CE is "useless" in the same sense that blasting is "useless"; if you never fight hordes of lower levels foes. If every battle is a desperate "boss fight" against stuff bigger than you, I'd want to pass on CE as well.


ImperatorK wrote:
BTW, if we're on the topic of "Why even use defense, offense is much better", let me ask: "Why even play Fighters, Wizards are much better"?

Nope, not really. :P

More on topic, speaking as someone who has never taken Combat Expertise without grumbling... Yeah, I think ryric has the right of it. Thanks for helping me see the light, fella.

The Exchange

Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

In games I play in a fighter with less than 12 int is going to be napping most of the time. Skills are good.

Finding 3 points in a build is not that difficult and showing martial superiority is always fun.


ryric wrote:
[blah]

Great. You have proven that CE require metagaming during play to be efficient. May I leave, or do you actually disagree with any statement I made?


GâtFromKI wrote:
ryric wrote:
[blah]
Great. You have proven that CE require metagaming during play to be efficient. May I leave, or do you actually disagree with any statement I made?

No sir you may not. That is not allowed.


I'll be here if you need me, my liege.


GâtFromKI wrote:


Yes, you do.

Especially to know how difficult it is to hit you.

I remember a game, PCs were level 5, and they were fighting CR 1/2 monsters. I rolled almost only 19s and 20s for the attacks of the monsters (and more 20s than 19s: CE wouldn't even have divided their DPR by 2). Had I used a screen, the PCs would have thought "oh, those monsters are very good at hitting us!" (or "you're cheating, aren't you?"). You need far more than 10 attacks to have an idea of the hit probability, because that's how probabilities work.

Anyway, I don't justify my choice for not taking CE by "CE sucks, [blah]", but by "I take the XXX feat" (eg XXX = Dodge). Even if I used some "CE sucks" argument, it's not really "metagaming" to see that CE gives the same penalty to the character and his opponent - ie the character pays a feat to gain no advantage when he uses it.

Firstly, specific game experiences can be illuminating, but we can really base our discussion on outliers. Rolls might fall out one way or the other, so that we don't know much about to-hit or being-hit rate. But most often they will be more spread out than that. (Conversly you example could be used to argue that CE would be great for your monsters, since they hit anyway).

Furthermore, as I argued earlier in the thread, it is my experience that well-built fighter is likely to have higher to-hit bonus and AC than most equivalent monsters (which the numbers also suggest).

Secondly, arguing that CE can be a benefit in certain situations doesn't require metagaming. But illustrating it is just the more simpler just actual numbers.
The same could be said about Power Attack (which I don't think many disbutes the value of). The fact that the extra damage is a great tradeoff for the loss of to-hit for most fighters, doesn't mean that each and every melee character should go for it if they have trouble actually hitting enemies.


Came to this tread, to learn more about Combat Expertise. For use with a Elvin Druid.

Still trying to figure out between Combat Expertise vs Improved Initiative. Am able to take either at 1st level, but have to wait till 3rd level to take Power Attack or Deadly Aim, due to BAB requirements.

Can see CE ( combat Expertise ), being taken by Elves ( or any race that gets a +2 race bonus to Int ), by anyone who wants extra skill points for Int bonus, like bards or Rogues. Any class that has Int as base stat.

..................

Still think the feat might be worth it, when you are up against a group, and being flanked. Switch to CE, and up your AC, till help arrives, while fighting defensively. After all, your only losing -1 to attack, but your gaining +1 AC vs all Attack till your next turn come back around. The more enemy you are facing off against, the more us-full the AC becomes. Also, when cough in close quarter fighting, and can not get off the AoE stufF.

..................

Anyway, was looking at this as a way to up my AC, ( Druid in Hide +4, with +2 dex bonus.... :) got to love elves :). Combat Expertise, sounded like it would fit in nicely, .... but still leaning toward Improved Initiative, :-? ... still can not make up my mind. In long run, think improved initiative would help you get off, power attack/Deadly aim/Combat expertise activation off faster ;-?


I think it's underwhelming too.So much that I've house ruled a fix.
Combat Expertise: This feat now provides a +2 dodge bonus to AC for every point of attack bonus sacrificed.
A character that is only wielding a light weapon in one hand instead gains +3 dodge bonus to AC per point of attack bonus sacrificed.
This bonus does not stack with 'Fighting defensively'.

I just made it scale like Power attack,seemed fair.
@Oliver-I've seen regular old Combat expertise save alot of characters lives..but it really depends on the DM.Alot of enemies with very high to-hit bonuses make it not worth it because they will likely hit you anyway.


Harrison wrote:

AC: 10 (Base) + 14 (Mithril Full-Plate +5) + 7 (Mithril Heavy Shield +5) + 5 (Amulet of Natural Armor) + 5 (Ring of Protection) + 7 (Maximum Dexterity Bonus with Armor Training IV) + 1 (Dodge Feat) + 6 (Combat Expertise) + 6 (Total Defense Action w/ 3+ Acrobatics Ranks)+ 5 (Defending Weapon +5) + 1 (Dusty Rose Ioun Stone) + 2 (Shield Focus and Greater Shield Focus) = 69

If your group allows 3rd Party content, you can add on Agile Defense (from Tripod Machine) for an additional +4 Dodge AC for a grand total of 73 AC.

This is my "Steelguard" build when I tank as a Fighter.

Combat Expertise is good for when you need to tank, be it in an emergency situation or if you can afford to turtle yourself and make virtually nothing able to touch you.

[EDIT] Yeah, you're still succeptible to magic, but I'm looking at this purely from a "being hit with physical attacks" scenario. If you're being pelted with magic, your ranged attackers aren't doing their job.

Note: to anyone else reading this. Total Defense Action does not work with Fighting Defensively or with the benefit of the Combat Expertise Feat. page 186 CRB

Fighting Defensively with / +3 acrobatics Ranks = +3 bonus to AC.

...................

Saw a few other thread's, were people were using Total Defense, ( or even combing Total Defense with Fighting defensively ). Which was messing me up, on how good Combat Expertise was, when i thought they would combined together.

301 to 337 of 337 << first < prev | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | next > last >>
Community / Forums / Pathfinder / Pathfinder First Edition / General Discussion / Combat Expertise All Messageboards

Want to post a reply? Sign in.