Low Strength Coup De Grace


Advice

Sovereign Court

I've been brainstorming a halfling sorcerer build that will greatly feature Ghoul Touch, a touch-attack spell that paralyzes an opponent and sickens anyone that comes near. I realized that even if I had a few turns alone with a helpless opponent, a 6 str character really does not have a lot of options for finishing off an opponent. Coup De Grace using even a x4 small weapon (and simple weapons only go up to +3) with 6 strength only does at best (1d6 - 2)*4 damage, or 6 on average.

Now, I know I could simply increase strength and he'd be better at coup de grace-ing, and that crossbows don't take a strength damage penalty. However, as a touch attack sorcerer he'll be slightly MAD already, and crossbows have to be reloaded. Considering I don't want to poison my teammates accidentally if they go in and coup de grace, what are good ways for the little people to finish helpless enemies off?


Fun fact, you don't actually need to be proficient in the weapon you coup de grace with. That being said, Katana sounds like a good choice.


probably you do not need to spend time thinking about this. Just get your friend to finish off paralyzed foes. Its a fort save to negate the sicken effect, melee types should be fine. Even if they are not, a -2 for a few rounds isn't the end of the world, it's something they can live with.

You could always use Hold Person instead, which has more or less the same effect, with no area sickening.


Here's another question for you: How successful do you think you're going to be as a 1/2 BaB character with 6 Str doing a melee attack, even a Touch Attack?

At 4th level (when you get it), you'll have a whopping +0 to-hit. How are you planning to get these guys with it in the first place? And without getting your face ripped off in the attempt?

What happens if you succeed is the LEAST of your problems...

This is assuming you don't have high Dex and Weapon Finesse either since you called out using crossbows as not being an option because you're already MAD.


In our first pf adventure i had an 8 str witch. We had some npc who was a made man for a criminal group tied up. He wouldt give us any info so i stabbed him with a chizzel for.... 1 damage on the CDG. Anyhow he rolled a 1...

But generally youll need help i think or touch spells.

Sovereign Court

Rynjin wrote:

Here's another question for you: How successful do you think you're going to be as a 1/2 BaB character with 6 Str doing a melee attack, even a Touch Attack?

At 4th level (when you get it), you'll have a whopping +0 to-hit. How are you planning to get these guys with it in the first place? And without getting your face ripped off in the attempt?

What happens if you succeed is the LEAST of your problems...

This is assuming you don't have high Dex and Weapon Finesse either since you called out using crossbows as not being an option because you're already MAD.

He'll be an Aberrant sorcerer with a very high dex, Acrobatics (including the trait to make it a class skill), and weapon finesse. (Mirror Image is a fantastic spell, too.) Although it is worth noting that any invisibility effect lets you make a touch attack against a flat-footed touch AC, which usually isn't much higher than 10.

I did forget about the katana +4 to fort save DCs, that does indeed help. Are there any spells or magic items that help in this situation?


Rynjin wrote:

Here's another question for you: How successful do you think you're going to be as a 1/2 BaB character with 6 Str doing a melee attack, even a Touch Attack?

At 4th level (when you get it), you'll have a whopping +0 to-hit. How are you planning to get these guys with it in the first place? And without getting your face ripped off in the attempt?

What happens if you succeed is the LEAST of your problems...

This is assuming you don't have high Dex and Weapon Finesse either since you called out using crossbows as not being an option because you're already MAD.

That seems to be a problem with inflation and gishing. I mean, wasn't the point of touch attacks in the first place was to make it possible for a caster to use attack rolls? What has happened?


If availiable, firearms is your best bet.

Using both shots of double-barreled musket deals 8d10 on a CDG, averaging 45 damage and a pretty difficult fortitude save.

Even if firearms are unavailiable, you might be allowed to use a Fire Lance, which is basically gunpowder in a tube propelling a javeling. However ignoring your bad strength, and quadrupling on crits, it could be nice with deadly aim or other damage boosters.


Reynard_the_fox wrote:


He'll be an Aberrant sorcerer with a very high dex, Acrobatics (including the trait to make it a class skill), and weapon finesse. (Mirror Image is a fantastic spell, too.) Although it is worth noting that any invisibility effect lets you make a touch attack against a flat-footed touch AC, which usually isn't much higher than 10.

I did forget about the katana +4 to fort save DCs, that does indeed help. Are there any spells or magic items that help in this situation?

So what's the problem with a crossbow, in that case?

lemeres wrote:


That seems to be a problem with inflation and gishing. I mean, wasn't the point of touch attacks in the first place was to make it possible for a caster to use attack rolls? What has happened?

They can still use attack rolls just fine. They just need to not have a -2 bonus in their relevant attack stat.


Just roll a 20 for a touch attack, that's all you need to do. It's simple :P


If I go for a paralyze+Coup de grace build then I usually carry around a great-axe for the hell of it.
If the enemy survives 36 damage AND makes the 46 fort save to not die then I'm already in trouble. Then again, I can just coup de grace again until he rolls badly.

Monster: YOU are paralyzed!
PC: YOU being a coup de grace!
Monster: YOU fail your will save VS hold monster!
PC: YOU coup de grace Monster!
Monster: YOU take 36 damage!
Monster: YOU FAIL your fort save!
Monster: YOU DIE!
PC: YOU level up!
PC: Shouts: "DING!"

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Reynard_the_fox wrote:
Coup De Grace using even a x4 small weapon (and simple weapons only go up to +3) with 6 strength only does at best (1d6 - 2)*4 damage, or 6 on average.

This is actually an 8 average.

An 18 Fort save isn't trivial for some.

How about using a crossbow? 1d10 x2, gives an 11 average, so a 21 Fort save.


Get a pistol or pepperbox maybe pistol dagger or my favorite as has 2 shots and worn anyway - a buckler gun (if you use a mitheral buckler) - just for head shots !

http://paizo.com/pathfinderRPG/prd/ultimateCombat/combat/firearms.html


Taku Ooka Nin wrote:

If I go for a paralyze+Coup de grace build then I usually carry around a great-axe for the hell of it.

If the enemy survives 36 damage AND makes the 46 fort save to not die then I'm already in trouble. Then again, I can just coup de grace again until he rolls badly.

Monster: YOU are paralyzed!
PC: YOU being a coup de grace!
Monster: YOU fail your will save VS hold monster!
PC: YOU coup de grace Monster!
Monster: YOU take 36 damage!
Monster: YOU FAIL your fort save!
Monster: YOU DIE!h
PC: YOU level up!
PC: Shouts: "DING!"

Erm, coup de grace is an automatic crit, not a crit with maxed damage dice. So that 3d12 is an average of 19 damage. With a -2 str modifier (as in the OP) the damage would fall to 13, resultating in a DC 23 fortitude save, which is difficult at lower levels, but not much more than that.

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HaraldKlak wrote:
Taku Ooka Nin wrote:
Stuff
Erm, coup de grace is an automatic crit, not a crit with maxed damage dice. So that 3d12 is an average of 19 damage. With a -2 str modifier (as in the OP) the damage would fall to 13, resultating in a DC 23 fortitude save, which is difficult at lower levels, but not much more than that.

I figure that average as 14.25. d12 - 2 has an average of 4.75.

It's also important to keep in mind that a character with a 6 STR is unable to haul around a bunch of situational gear, like greataxes.


Does anything prevent using Shocking Grasp or Scorching Ray for a coup de grace?

I'd certainly allow it as a DM, but I don't know if there's some RAW argument that forbids performing coup de graces with spells that can critically hit.

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Zhangar wrote:

Does anything prevent using Shocking Grasp or Scorching Ray for a coup de grace?

I'd certainly allow it as a DM, but I don't know if there's some RAW argument that forbids performing coup de graces with spells that can critically hit.

Coup de grace specifically requires a melee weapon, bow, or crossbow.


Reynard_the_fox wrote:
what are good ways for the little people to finish helpless enemies off?

Contract out.

-James


HaraldKlak wrote:


Erm, coup de grace is an automatic crit, not a crit with maxed damage[.]

I hath been coup de graceing wrong for a while then, I shal change anon!

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Zahir ibn Mahmoud ibn Jothan wrote:
Zhangar wrote:

Does anything prevent using Shocking Grasp or Scorching Ray for a coup de grace?

I'd certainly allow it as a DM, but I don't know if there's some RAW argument that forbids performing coup de graces with spells that can critically hit.

Coup de grace specifically requires a melee weapon, bow, or crossbow.

I have always allowed any spell with an attack roll to be utlized in a coup de grace. There is no reason not to.

I am sure someone will yell at me that this isn't RAW, sue me.


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Zahir ibn Mahmoud ibn Jothan wrote:
Zhangar wrote:

Does anything prevent using Shocking Grasp or Scorching Ray for a coup de grace?

I'd certainly allow it as a DM, but I don't know if there's some RAW argument that forbids performing coup de graces with spells that can critically hit.

Coup de grace specifically requires a melee weapon, bow, or crossbow.

Touch attacks ARE weapons.

Scorching Ray, no, because as a ranged touch attack it doesn't fall into "melee weapon, bow, or crossbow", but "armed unarmed attacks" (including touch attacks) are melee weapons.


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Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
lemeres wrote:
Rynjin wrote:

Here's another question for you: How successful do you think you're going to be as a 1/2 BaB character with 6 Str doing a melee attack, even a Touch Attack?

At 4th level (when you get it), you'll have a whopping +0 to-hit. How are you planning to get these guys with it in the first place? And without getting your face ripped off in the attempt?

What happens if you succeed is the LEAST of your problems...

This is assuming you don't have high Dex and Weapon Finesse either since you called out using crossbows as not being an option because you're already MAD.

That seems to be a problem with inflation and gishing. I mean, wasn't the point of touch attacks in the first place was to make it possible for a caster to use attack rolls? What has happened?

Nothing happened; touch attacks are still viable for casters...a strength of 6 is the strength of a small child. If you dump a stat that hard, you should be reaping some consequences.


Shell out the money for an agile light pick (and go mithril to help with weight)?
(Hand it to your monkey or mephit familiar so they can finish them on the same round?)


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
Rynjin wrote:
Zahir ibn Mahmoud ibn Jothan wrote:
Zhangar wrote:

Does anything prevent using Shocking Grasp or Scorching Ray for a coup de grace?

I'd certainly allow it as a DM, but I don't know if there's some RAW argument that forbids performing coup de graces with spells that can critically hit.

Coup de grace specifically requires a melee weapon, bow, or crossbow.

Touch attacks ARE weapons.

Scorching Ray, no, because as a ranged touch attack it doesn't fall into "melee weapon, bow, or crossbow", but "armed unarmed attacks" (including touch attacks) are melee weapons.

Touch attacks are not weapons; you simply count as being "armed" if you have a touch spell ready. It's not the same thing.


spectrevk wrote:
Touch attacks are not weapons; you simply count as being "armed" if you have a touch spell ready. It's not the same thing.

We'll use the easy example.

Crane Wing deflects melee weapon attacks. Crane Wing can deflect touch attacks (as per a FAQ on whether touch attacks are triggered upon deflections).

It logically follows that touch attacks are melee weapons.

Silver Crusade

Reynard_the_fox wrote:
Rynjin wrote:

Here's another question for you: How successful do you think you're going to be as a 1/2 BaB character with 6 Str doing a melee attack, even a Touch Attack?

At 4th level (when you get it), you'll have a whopping +0 to-hit. How are you planning to get these guys with it in the first place? And without getting your face ripped off in the attempt?

What happens if you succeed is the LEAST of your problems...

This is assuming you don't have high Dex and Weapon Finesse either since you called out using crossbows as not being an option because you're already MAD.

He'll be an Aberrant sorcerer with a very high dex, Acrobatics (including the trait to make it a class skill), and weapon finesse. (Mirror Image is a fantastic spell, too.) Although it is worth noting that any invisibility effect lets you make a touch attack against a flat-footed touch AC, which usually isn't much higher than 10.

I did forget about the katana +4 to fort save DCs, that does indeed help. Are there any spells or magic items that help in this situation?

The wakizashi also carries the deadly property, if you want something lighter.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Never apply logic Rynjin, you will be beaten down by absurdity*.

*Absuridty is both a melee and ranged weapon

Me and my group, we are absurd. We coup de grace with acid splash! True story by the way... have an Arcane Trickster in my Rise of the Runelords game and he went around hitting trolls with coup de grace acid splash sneak attacks. Loved it! ;)

Sovereign Court

I think touch attack coups de grace are probably GM fiat, but it makes sense to me - if you can take your Shocking Grasp and stick it up your opponent's nostrils, that's probably an auto crit. Same for a Scorching Ray at point-blank. (Maybe even an acid splash in the ear?) I think that's probably my best bet for this character; thanks guys!

Oh, and to address previous comments:

(1d6 - 2)*4 is going to be 6 on average. 1d6 deals 3.5 on average; 3.5 - 2 = 1.5; 1.5*4 = 6.

The issue with crossbows is that it requires at least a move action to load one, and using a coup de grace is a full-round action. And if you don't walk around with loaded crossbows in your bag, that's a little more time than you have when your opponent may break paralysis in only a few rounds.

An agile weapon certainly solves the problem, but if anything as a sorcerer I'd want a spell-storing weapon first.

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Reynard_the_fox wrote:

Oh, and to address previous comments:

(1d6 - 2)*4 is going to be 6 on average. 1d6 deals 3.5 on average; 3.5 - 2 = 1.5; 1.5*4 = 6.

Unfortunately that's not how it works.

1d6 does indeed average to 3.5.

1d6-2 does not average to 1.5

In order, the possible results of 1d6-2 are: 1, 1, 1, 2, 3, 4. Adding those together provides 12. Dividing by 6 gives 2.

Thus 1d6-2 averages to 2.

(1d6-2)x4 therefore averages to 8.


Handle Animal, have a dog trained to Coup De Grace?


Zahir ibn Mahmoud ibn Jothan wrote:
Reynard_the_fox wrote:

Oh, and to address previous comments:

(1d6 - 2)*4 is going to be 6 on average. 1d6 deals 3.5 on average; 3.5 - 2 = 1.5; 1.5*4 = 6.

Unfortunately that's not how it works.

1d6 does indeed average to 3.5.

1d6-2 does not average to 1.5

In order, the possible results of 1d6-2 are: 1, 1, 1, 2, 3, 4. Adding those together provides 12. Dividing by 6 gives 2.

Thus 1d6-2 averages to 2.

(1d6-2)x4 therefore averages to 8.

Nope.

You don't do the minimum 1 for each die, but rather you do it all out and THEN do the minimum 1.

That is you do 4d6-8. Now some of these will go below 1, and you will need to look at a special rule for that which I believe Pathfinder changed from 3e.

-James

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

Weapon Finesse.

Agile Weapon.

Done.

Silver Crusade RPG Superstar 2014 Top 16

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james maissen wrote:
Zahir ibn Mahmoud ibn Jothan wrote:
Reynard_the_fox wrote:

Oh, and to address previous comments:

(1d6 - 2)*4 is going to be 6 on average. 1d6 deals 3.5 on average; 3.5 - 2 = 1.5; 1.5*4 = 6.

Unfortunately that's not how it works.

1d6 does indeed average to 3.5.

1d6-2 does not average to 1.5

In order, the possible results of 1d6-2 are: 1, 1, 1, 2, 3, 4. Adding those together provides 12. Dividing by 6 gives 2.

Thus 1d6-2 averages to 2.

(1d6-2)x4 therefore averages to 8.

Nope.

You don't do the minimum 1 for each die, but rather you do it all out and THEN do the minimum 1.

That is you do 4d6-8. Now some of these will go below 1, and you will need to look at a special rule for that which I believe Pathfinder changed from 3e.

-James

We may have to just disagree on this. The CRB states damage is minimum 1, yes, for multiples, it says to figure it multiple times and add it together. I interpret that to mean that each multiple has a minimum of 1, not the total.

I don't accept that (1d6-2)x4 does between 1 and 20 damage. If the base attack has a minimum of 1, then the Crit has a minimum of 4.


1d6-2*4 would have a minimum of 1.

But I'm 90% sure crits don't work by multiplying the one roll. They work by rolling multiple times.

So if you have a x4 crit it would be 4d6-8 total, but each 1d6-2 in there has a minimum of 1 damage. So minimum of 4.

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