Q: is there a way to taunt or provoke enemies into attacking me?


Advice

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I play as my party's defender and I've found that if the GM ignores me and attacks my fellow party members, then I become mostly useless. I'm wondering if there's a feat or action I can take that will force the enemy to attack me. Any suggestions?


Combat reflexes and a reach weapon will give you many attacks of opportunity against enemies moving around you, if you have the Dex for it.

Have your party position themselves better if possible. If there is a rogue have him be second so that any enemy that passes you is now flanked and gets sneak attacked. (Snuck attacked?)

As far as taunting, with a high charisma score and diplomacy you could try and taunt your enemies into attacking you, should work on low intelligence enemies but it's not a standard thing so if your gm wants the enemies to run by you then there is not much you can do.


Take levels in Paladin and get these spells:
Compel Hostility
Knight's Calling
Paladin's Sacrifice
Shield Other

If you are a Tiefling, you could also use the Suicidal trait.


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Try Lower AC and higher Constitution/HP so your GM actually enjoys attacking you! I ignore the group I GM's turtle all the time. Then he gets mad at the Witch.


Sadly there is no real way to fully "tank" like in an MMO.


If you're going to turtle, you're going to get ignored.

And that's a good thing.

Squishies get hit first. As it should be.

(To answer the question: Doesn't the Antagonize feat do something along the lines of what the OP is hoping for?)

Silver Crusade

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Antagonize


As you've just discovered, 'tanking' doesn't exist in pathfinder, because there is no aggro mechanic or easy way to lock down an enemy. This is why most guides recommend boosting DPS over survivability, past a certain point.

As for actual advice:

If you have intimidate, you can use antagonise to force enemies to attack you. The DC isn't difficult to make and it can trivialise some types of encounters.

If you are a fighter, there's a bunch of feats like pin down as well as using combat reflexes + trip to lock down enemies who attempt to move past you.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
planex wrote:
I play as my party's defender and I've found that if the GM ignores me and attacks my fellow party members, then I become mostly useless. I'm wondering if there's a feat or action I can take that will force the enemy to attack me. Any suggestions?

It's called using your environment, and putting yourself bodily in the enemy's way. Otherwise, not so much. There are feats and tricks for giving an ally cover or taking a blow for an adjacent.


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you can also hold an action to intercept an enemy who tries to go around you and put yourself in their path. "I hold my action to charge into anyone who tries to pass me and get to my healer or (Wizard/Sorcerer/squishy)

RPG Superstar Season 9 Top 16

Besides what has been mentioned (spells, antagonize), there isn't anything to directly cause enemies to stop ignoring you.

You can:
A: Buff your allies AC so that the monster isn't much better off attacking them than you. This is only accomplished by Blundering Defense (which is a halfling feat), and requires your allies to stand with you, generally poor positioning for squishies. 4e did this with marks and 3.5 had a martial stance that gave enemies -4 to hit people other than you I believe.

B: Deal enough damage that enemies which ignore you die. This is pretty much all you've got in PF. If you're being ignored, put the shield away for the next few encounters and 2hand your blade. Retrain to power attack. Etc.

C: Status conditions. Martials are pretty bad at this, because you usually have to choose between doing a combat maneuver and doing damage (doing 2 things of this list is better than one). However, a lore warden or maneuver master monk could do a pretty good job of it. Grapple is the most effective single target (however it also leaves you occupied), but Trip and Dirty Trick are both effective at reducing your opponent's combat options. With Trip you can even follow it up with a few attacks, if you've got Greater Trip and Vicious Stomp. Won't work against opponents much bigger than you however, Dirty Trick can.


Vandarial wrote:
you can also hold an action to intercept an enemy who tries to go around you and put yourself in their path. "I hold my action to charge into anyone who tries to pass me and get to my healer or (Wizard/Sorcerer/squishy)

Only if you have the feat Rhino Charge as you ordinarily cannot ready a charge since it's a full round action. Otherwise it would be a delay and you'd go after they moved in and possibly attacked said ally.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

If you have the prerequisites, this feat can help.
You won't force people to come to you, but you can attack them when they try to bypass you.

PRD wrote:

Combat Patrol (Combat)

You range across the battlefield, dealing with threats wherever they arise.

Prerequisites: Combat Reflexes, Mobility, base attack bonus +5.

Benefit: As a full-round action, you may set up a combat patrol, increasing your threatened area by 5 feet for every 5 points of your base attack bonus. Until the beginning of your next turn, you may make attacks of opportunity against any opponent in this threatened area that provokes attacks of opportunity. You may move as part of these attacks, provided your total movement before your next turn does not exceed your speed. Any movement you make provokes attacks of opportunity as normal.


lucky7 wrote:
Antagonize

Caustic Slur


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Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
planex wrote:
I play as my party's defender and I've found that if the GM ignores me and attacks my fellow party members, then I become mostly useless. I'm wondering if there's a feat or action I can take that will force the enemy to attack me. Any suggestions?

"Tanking" in Pathfinder doesn't work like "Tanking" in a traditional MMO. Instead, it works more like "Tanking" during teamfights in a MOBA such as DOTA2 or League of Legends. You can't just sit back and wait for stuff to attack you. You have to give them no other choice.

- Use your positioning, and that of your party, to force enemies to get through you before they can reach your party's squishier members.

- When possible, be the one to "initiate" contact with the enemy, so that you can control where and when the fight begins.

- Make tactical use of feats and combat manuevers to control the battlefield. Reach weapons, attacks of opportunities, feats like Stand Still, and Trip Attacks are all useful tools to protect your party and control where the enemy can go.

RPG Superstar Season 9 Top 16

Draco18s wrote:
lucky7 wrote:
Antagonize
Caustic Slur

I'm pretty sure you're joking, but the TC might think you're serious.


LazarX wrote:
planex wrote:
I play as my party's defender and I've found that if the GM ignores me and attacks my fellow party members, then I become mostly useless. I'm wondering if there's a feat or action I can take that will force the enemy to attack me. Any suggestions?
It's called using your environment, and putting yourself bodily in the enemy's way. Otherwise, not so much. There are feats and tricks for giving an ally cover or taking a blow for an adjacent.

Or, have your parties spellcaster do battlefield control spells, that funnel the foes into you. Even a simple Create Pit or Grease spell can do this.


Blakmane wrote:

As you've just discovered, 'tanking' doesn't exist in pathfinder, because there is no aggro mechanic or easy way to lock down an enemy. This is why most guides recommend boosting DPS over survivability, past a certain point.

"Tanking" was a D&D term long before it was a WoW term, so yes, you could always be a "tank" in D&D.

But yes, you can't force them to attack you except by tactics.

Do note that D&D was usually played in narrow corridors, so the 'tank" simply stood in the way.


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You could just get the GM angry enough at you so that s/he decides to send the monsters after you*

*Results may vary. This is actually a pretty awful idea.


Taunts mechanics are silly, antagonize should die in fire.

If you want the enemies to not ignore you just focus in doing more damage or maneuvers/special abilities that remove the threat for your party members (like bull rush from shield slam or touch of serenity)


Blakmane wrote:
If you are a fighter, there's a bunch of feats like pin down as well as using combat reflexes + trip to lock down enemies who attempt to move past you.

Stand Still is a perfect companion feat for pindown (and other similar abilities). Stand Still allows you to use a maneuver instead of an AoO if it was drawn from movement, and if you succeed then you stop that movement.

Pindown allows you to use AoO against movement that normally would nor draw them. Together, this means that you could ....well...pindown certain opponents. Of course, due to the way CMD and CMB scales, this is best to keep casters from getting away from you so they could safely cast spells.

...of course, there are a couple of archetypes that can change that situation. Lore Warden is fairly obvious, since it gets scaling bonuses to CMB, thus making it possible for you to get the Stand Still maneuver off against even beefier foes. Similarly, the brawler archetype focuses more solely on the standstill maneuver, and it gets an ability that is its own version of pindown that comes online a few levels earlier.


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Tried roleplaying?

Lots of people and things aren't appreciative of creative criticisms of their progenitors. As well, the devout probably won't take well to their divine patrons being slandered. Arrogant fighters and Kung Fu guys might not like you comparing their skills and to children or the elderly. Wizards are known to be overconfident and arrogant.

Knowledge skills should help with the above. More than anything, talk to your dm about it!


If the enemy is intelligent and your character speaks their language... insult their mother. Imply their mother is a prostitute. Insult them. Just keep rattling off the insults until they give up all logic and attack you.


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Or you could always Call their mother a certain species of rodent and that their father smelled of a certain type of berry...


Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path Subscriber
MagusJanus wrote:
If the enemy is intelligent...

That's just it. If an enemy is intelligent - and not all monsters are - they should realize they're getting nowhere attacking X and should move on to try to take out Y and Z.

The OP's GM isn't necessarily "ignoring him"... he may just be playing the bad guys intelligently. I can't tell. But as a GM I am very, very careful to vary the tactics I use based on a} intelligence and b} knowledge.

The big reason why the game doesn't have an aggro system is because that denies a creature its intelligence, coupled with what's-good-for-the-goose meaning that such a thing would be used against PCs as well.


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Anguish wrote:
MagusJanus wrote:
If the enemy is intelligent...

That's just it. If an enemy is intelligent - and not all monsters are - they should realize they're getting nowhere attacking X and should move on to try to take out Y and Z.

The OP's GM isn't necessarily "ignoring him"... he may just be playing the bad guys intelligently. I can't tell. But as a GM I am very, very careful to vary the tactics I use based on a} intelligence and b} knowledge.

The big reason why the game doesn't have an aggro system is because that denies a creature its intelligence, coupled with what's-good-for-the-goose meaning that such a thing would be used against PCs as well.

What, you've never gone after an NPC first just because you didn't like him, or he was a jerk, or because he insulted your characters mother?

What's good for the players is fair for the NPC's in this case, IMO.


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Petty Alchemy wrote:
Draco18s wrote:
lucky7 wrote:
Antagonize
Caustic Slur
I'm pretty sure you're joking, but the TC might think you're serious.

Caustic Slur is actually a feat. It gives anyone who attacks you the Power Attack feat. So....yeah.


KrispyXIV wrote:
Anguish wrote:
MagusJanus wrote:
If the enemy is intelligent...

That's just it. If an enemy is intelligent - and not all monsters are - they should realize they're getting nowhere attacking X and should move on to try to take out Y and Z.

The OP's GM isn't necessarily "ignoring him"... he may just be playing the bad guys intelligently. I can't tell. But as a GM I am very, very careful to vary the tactics I use based on a} intelligence and b} knowledge.

The big reason why the game doesn't have an aggro system is because that denies a creature its intelligence, coupled with what's-good-for-the-goose meaning that such a thing would be used against PCs as well.

What, you've never gone after an NPC first just because you didn't like him, or he was a jerk, or because he insulted your characters mother?

What's good for the players is fair for the NPC's in this case, IMO.

Yeah, it's pretty standard at my table for PCs and NPCs to taunt each other. And sometimes attack each other because of the taunts.


MagusJanus wrote:
KrispyXIV wrote:
Anguish wrote:
MagusJanus wrote:
If the enemy is intelligent...

That's just it. If an enemy is intelligent - and not all monsters are - they should realize they're getting nowhere attacking X and should move on to try to take out Y and Z.

The OP's GM isn't necessarily "ignoring him"... he may just be playing the bad guys intelligently. I can't tell. But as a GM I am very, very careful to vary the tactics I use based on a} intelligence and b} knowledge.

The big reason why the game doesn't have an aggro system is because that denies a creature its intelligence, coupled with what's-good-for-the-goose meaning that such a thing would be used against PCs as well.

What, you've never gone after an NPC first just because you didn't like him, or he was a jerk, or because he insulted your characters mother?

What's good for the players is fair for the NPC's in this case, IMO.

Yeah, it's pretty standard at my table for PCs and NPCs to taunt each other. And sometimes attack each other because of the taunts.

Great way to reward a knowledge check.

Want to know how to upset that cleric? Imply he does something extra taboo per Knowledge (religion) .

Knowledge Local or Nobility might tell you a local celebrities sore spot or delicate secret.

True or not, the Noble Playboy might not take it kindly that you've just let everyone know how unsatisfactory the ladies find his performance...


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Draco18s wrote:
Petty Alchemy wrote:
Draco18s wrote:
lucky7 wrote:
Antagonize
Caustic Slur
I'm pretty sure you're joking, but the TC might think you're serious.
Caustic Slur is actually a feat. It gives anyone who attacks you the Power Attack feat. So....yeah.

Thats actually brilliant, you cant reliably force an enemy to attack you but build for AC and tempt them with a super power attack against you. Thats probably the best attempt at perma-tanking that the game has. Just need a GM to take the bait...

Scarab Sages

IT is also terribly written. I assume it's bluff vs will save, but it never actually says what the DC for the Bluff is or what the DC of the save. Skill rank + FE Bonus vs Will bonus is terribly broken. It's trivial to have a high enough bluff check to reliably affect Wis primary clerics.

It's only limiting factor is that it has to be against a FE. Oh, but instant enemy is a spell.

Grand Lodge

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Cavalier Class is actually moderately focused on this. Things like challenges might force enemies to pay attention to you (level 1 and better at 12) and and free feats like stand still (order of the shield, level 8) really let you control the enemies access past you. Take some of the combat reflexes chain and you can set up a patrol with a reach weapon, hitting everyone that comes close.


lucky7 wrote:
Antagonize

This is EXACTLY what I was looking for, but I can't find it in any of the books... What book is this in?


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planex wrote:
lucky7 wrote:
Antagonize
This is EXACTLY what I was looking for, but I can't find it in any of the books... What book is this in?

Ultimate Magic.


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Your best bet to be a tank is to be so dangerous that the enemy would have to be an idiot to turn his back on you.

There's a reason the Barbarian is the closest thing to a tank this game has, despite a generally fairly low AC. Because if you don't deal with him, he can and will f#&% your day up irreparably.

There's also a reason your 50 AC Monk with uber saves is the least useful member of the party, and it's because of the inverse of the above. Why waste your time hitting the wind when you can shrug off its light breeze with no problems?


Agreed with Rynjin. Barbarian is one of the best "tanks". Tank in Pathfinder is not an invincible turtle. Tanking is about having DR, and lots of hit points. If the enemy can't hit they're going to ignore you. Short of a few spells that let you step in the way of any attack, and the antagonize feat which will work against 1 opponent for at most 2 rounds doesn't help a whole lot.

High damage (not necessarily the highest but high), lots of health, ability to inflict debuffs (or other things that can't be ignored) are really the only methods of getting someone to focus on you instead of an ally.

Scarab Sages

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Arnwyn wrote:

If you're going to turtle, you're going to get ignored.

And that's a good thing.

Squishies get hit first. As it should be.

(To answer the question: Doesn't the Antagonize feat do something along the lines of what the OP is hoping for?)

Combine turtling with battlefield control: Stand Still, Combat Patrol, Combat Reflexs, Staggering Critical, Bodyguard, etc.

Deny your opponent the option to attack others. It effectively compels opponents to attack you, lacking the ability to reach the rest of the party.

The Exchange

agreed with Rynjin (thirded?) dealing damage and being able to deal with the repercussions that follow is often enough to attract the attention of a BBEG also hitting the target with trip attacks or grappling can effectively "force" the target to have to deal with you.


Artanthos wrote:
Arnwyn wrote:

If you're going to turtle, you're going to get ignored.

And that's a good thing.

Squishies get hit first. As it should be.

(To answer the question: Doesn't the Antagonize feat do something along the lines of what the OP is hoping for?)

Combine turtling with battlefield control: Stand Still, Combat Patrol, Combat Reflexes, Staggering Critical, Bodyguard, etc.

Deny your opponent the option to attack others. It effectively compels opponents to attack you, lacking the ability to reach the rest of the party.

This is another option, but it's sort of campaign dependent. It's somewhat reliant on the terrain being kind of close, though Reach weapons help a LOT with that. It can be very effective with the right build, but simply being too dangerous to ignore is a lot easier.


DrDeth wrote:


"Tanking" was a D&D term long before it was a WoW term, so yes, you could always be a "tank" in D&D.

Actually, 'tanking' originated from MUDs in the 90's, and jumped across to DnD later after it had become a popular videogame term. So... I guess you're technically right on the WoW count, which I didn't even mention? And wrong otherwise.


Blakmane wrote:
DrDeth wrote:


"Tanking" was a D&D term long before it was a WoW term, so yes, you could always be a "tank" in D&D.

Actually, 'tanking' originated from MUDs in the 90's, and jumped across to DnD later after it had become a popular videogame term. So... I guess you're technically right on the WoW count, which I didn't even mention? And wrong otherwise.

Origins go back further than that. The MUD usage of it was an adaptation of military usage describing the actual vehicles (which tended to come to the rescue of trapped infantry). That's because the original MUD tanks were characters with high health who came to the rescue of those who had lower health.

Thus, they were literally comparing those characters to mobile siege engines.


MagusJanus wrote:
Blakmane wrote:
DrDeth wrote:


"Tanking" was a D&D term long before it was a WoW term, so yes, you could always be a "tank" in D&D.

Actually, 'tanking' originated from MUDs in the 90's, and jumped across to DnD later after it had become a popular videogame term. So... I guess you're technically right on the WoW count, which I didn't even mention? And wrong otherwise.

Origins go back further than that. The MUD usage of it was an adaptation of military usage describing the actual vehicles (which tended to come to the rescue of trapped infantry). That's because the original MUD tanks were characters with high health who came to the rescue of those who had lower health.

Thus, they were literally comparing those characters to mobile siege engines.

I uh... know you're being silly, but I felt obliged to point out that 'tanking', IE 'to tank' (a verb) isn't a military term at all. 'tank' (a noun) certainly is, but we aren't talking about the noun which the adjective spawned from :p.


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Antagonize should work on vermin/swarms assuming you have a beam of sunlight and a magnifying glass......


Blakmane wrote:
MagusJanus wrote:
Blakmane wrote:
DrDeth wrote:


"Tanking" was a D&D term long before it was a WoW term, so yes, you could always be a "tank" in D&D.

Actually, 'tanking' originated from MUDs in the 90's, and jumped across to DnD later after it had become a popular videogame term. So... I guess you're technically right on the WoW count, which I didn't even mention? And wrong otherwise.

Origins go back further than that. The MUD usage of it was an adaptation of military usage describing the actual vehicles (which tended to come to the rescue of trapped infantry). That's because the original MUD tanks were characters with high health who came to the rescue of those who had lower health.

Thus, they were literally comparing those characters to mobile siege engines.

I uh... know you're being silly, but I felt obliged to point out that 'tanking', IE 'to tank' (an adjective) isn't a military term at all. 'tank' (a noun) certainly is, but we aren't talking about the noun which the adjective spawned from :p.

You mixed up your parts of speech there :P

"Tanking" is a verb, not an adjective; it is actually a verbified noun, to be specific.

"Tank" in MUDs, when describing those who do tank, actually started as a noun; classes that tanked were described as being "like tanks" in how they handled enemies. This was a clear comparison to the military usage of the word, and some of the actions tanking classes took in MUDs were similar to what the real-life military vehicle actually does. And these comparisons and strategies were intentional.

So, no, I wasn't being silly. I was pointing out that the word itself and some of the associations had an older origin than MUDs, but not disagreeing that the usage as we understand it today comes from MUDs.


MagusJanus wrote:
Blakmane wrote:
MagusJanus wrote:
Blakmane wrote:
DrDeth wrote:


"Tanking" was a D&D term long before it was a WoW term, so yes, you could always be a "tank" in D&D.

Actually, 'tanking' originated from MUDs in the 90's, and jumped across to DnD later after it had become a popular videogame term. So... I guess you're technically right on the WoW count, which I didn't even mention? And wrong otherwise.

Origins go back further than that. The MUD usage of it was an adaptation of military usage describing the actual vehicles (which tended to come to the rescue of trapped infantry). That's because the original MUD tanks were characters with high health who came to the rescue of those who had lower health.

Thus, they were literally comparing those characters to mobile siege engines.

I uh... know you're being silly, but I felt obliged to point out that 'tanking', IE 'to tank' (an adjective) isn't a military term at all. 'tank' (a noun) certainly is, but we aren't talking about the noun which the adjective spawned from :p.

You mixed up your parts of speech there :P

"Tanking" is a verb, not an adjective; it is actually a verbified noun, to be specific.

"Tank" in MUDs, when describing those who do tank, actually started as a noun; classes that tanked were described as being "like tanks" in how they handled enemies. This was a clear comparison to the military usage of the word, and some of the actions tanking classes took in MUDs were similar to what the real-life military vehicle actually does. And these comparisons and strategies were intentional.

So, no, I wasn't being silly. I was pointing out that the word itself and some of the associations had an older origin than MUDs, but not disagreeing that the usage as we understand it today comes from MUDs.

Caught it before I could edit :-(.

I think we're arguing about nothing now - i'm pretty sure most people know that 'tank' comes from 'tank' without you pointing it out.

Or should we continue to be pedantic and go back even further? The military vehicle isn't the original usage of the word after all.


Blakmane wrote:
MagusJanus wrote:
Blakmane wrote:
MagusJanus wrote:
Blakmane wrote:
DrDeth wrote:


"Tanking" was a D&D term long before it was a WoW term, so yes, you could always be a "tank" in D&D.

Actually, 'tanking' originated from MUDs in the 90's, and jumped across to DnD later after it had become a popular videogame term. So... I guess you're technically right on the WoW count, which I didn't even mention? And wrong otherwise.

Origins go back further than that. The MUD usage of it was an adaptation of military usage describing the actual vehicles (which tended to come to the rescue of trapped infantry). That's because the original MUD tanks were characters with high health who came to the rescue of those who had lower health.

Thus, they were literally comparing those characters to mobile siege engines.

I uh... know you're being silly, but I felt obliged to point out that 'tanking', IE 'to tank' (an adjective) isn't a military term at all. 'tank' (a noun) certainly is, but we aren't talking about the noun which the adjective spawned from :p.

You mixed up your parts of speech there :P

"Tanking" is a verb, not an adjective; it is actually a verbified noun, to be specific.

"Tank" in MUDs, when describing those who do tank, actually started as a noun; classes that tanked were described as being "like tanks" in how they handled enemies. This was a clear comparison to the military usage of the word, and some of the actions tanking classes took in MUDs were similar to what the real-life military vehicle actually does. And these comparisons and strategies were intentional.

So, no, I wasn't being silly. I was pointing out that the word itself and some of the associations had an older origin than MUDs, but not disagreeing that the usage as we understand it today comes from MUDs.

Caught it before I could edit :-(.

I think we're arguing about nothing now - i'm pretty sure most people know that 'tank' comes from 'tank' without you pointing it out.

Or should we continue to be pedantic and go back even further? The military vehicle isn't the original usage of the word after all.

You would be surprised how many people I've known who were not aware of the connection. They thought it came from "tanked," as in "drunk." Mainly because they thought you had to be drunk to willingly tank for the group.


planex wrote:
I play as my party's defender and I've found that if the GM ignores me and attacks my fellow party members, then I become mostly useless. I'm wondering if there's a feat or action I can take that will force the enemy to attack me. Any suggestions?

You could scout ahead of the party.

Maybe try 70 ahead (so they use a round, maybe 2 if they decide to rush past you) so that you are all they initially see. If they keep going then definitely charge into their exposed backs.

I had a quick bowman that drew a lot of aggro, and then could run it into the waiting party and skate around to get a charge or some shots off. He was brilliant against dumb undead, made it very easy for the party.

It has of course been done a lot of places, but for me this goes back to Baldur's Gate 2, and using a main monk character to get attention while the ranged heavy party just reaped the xp corn.

Another one is just a bit in front of the party, but the rest are invisible. So everything comes to splat you, then your Klingon allies drop the cloak and unleash the ranged/spells.

I would also recommend communicating to the dm that you are trying to fulfil a role to help the others, how would he best do it? Listen to what they have to say.


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Tanking doesn't exist in worlds with sentient beings. The video game concept of tanking is based on enmity generation and a class capable of over riding the enmity of others. Antagonize completely does do this, but for a single attempt and then you cannot use it on a creature again that day.

You can say a barbarian tanks by being a threat through things like pounce, but this is still not true as much as a turret archer or a spell caster is a tank. A creature is free to do as it likes. If anything the reverse is true in a table top RPG setting as it attempts to mimic life through role playing. A creature that is overly threatening will be avoided as instinct would cater to survival unless there's a method of dealing with it. Using a run action to steer clear of a barbarian or even just a withdraw if your movement is greater is a more likely course of action than telling yourself the barbarian is THE threat that must be dealt with in a manner that removes it from it's threatening position.

Creatures that think for themselves are smart enough to know when they're losing or their lives are in jeopardy and wouldn't stand around to fight. They'd carry tools to aid in escape measures like smoke sticks

Your best choice at a defensive character build is to talk with your group and play tactics. It can be hard as most groups, my own included, like to be the solo hero. Charging off alone to wreak havoc and hoping others will be there to help when things go wrong. An armored melee that hangs back with the archer firing volleys or the wizard casting is truly how an adventuring party would work IMO. Have a ranged weapon to hang back and when monsters close in quick draw your melee and get in the way of the advancing creatures. Provided your team focus fires down some creatures and the group maneuvers with you to force creatures to provoke AoOs, you should be able to get in the way of the bulk of the attacks.


"Tanking doesn't exist in worlds with sentient beings".

Surely you have heard of the Roman legionary? Putting up a shield wall and daring the enemies of Rome to have a go at it. Tanking is old in combat. The Assyrian bow and shield teams did it, which is why they were so effective at sieges. Steadily take the ranged hits with the shield, return fire, soak and slowly choke the enemy as they waste their shots and get picked off. The shield-bearer was all "tank".

http://www.civfanatics.net/uploads6/AssyrianSiege.jpg

Back to the game, there are a lot of ways to do it. It is really easy to do in tight corridors. Clerics and pallies do it the best with great ac and hp (barbs are a different, more offensive type of tank in my mind). Exposing themselves and their hp pool (which they can replenish) so that others are injured less.


DM Under The Bridge wrote:

"Tanking doesn't exist in worlds with sentient beings".

Surely you have heard of the Roman legionary? Putting up a shield wall and daring the enemies of Rome to have a go at it. Tanking is old in combat. The Assyrian bow and shield teams did it, which is why they were so effective at sieges. Steadily take the ranged hits with the shield, return fire, soak and slowly choke the enemy as they waste their shots and get picked off. The shield-bearer was all "tank".

http://www.civfanatics.net/uploads6/AssyrianSiege.jpg

Back to the game, there are a lot of ways to do it. It is really easy to do in tight corridors. Clerics and pallies do it the best with great ac and hp (barbs are a different, more offensive type of tank in my mind). Exposing themselves and their hp pool (which they can replenish) so that others are injured less.

And now you're just discussing tactics used by a team like I mentioned. The Testudo formation was a brilliant tactic. Unfortunately it was very slow moving, restricted combat, and was susceptible to skirmishers throwing pilum which weighed down the shields and made them ineffective.

Tanking does not exist in worlds with sentient beings. It's a mechanism of video games where the system doesn't allow free thought. A tank rolling onto a battle field doesn't demand everyone's attention. It's just another threat as capable of killing you as a soldier with a rifle.

Real life tanks also had nothing to do with the term as it's come to be known. Tanks were secretly manufactured during WWI and to avoid being leaked the manufacturers listed plans as water tanks which eventually became shortened or became slang as a tank.

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