understanding disarm usefulness


Advice


hi, if I have a lvl 1 fighter with a heavy flail and 18 str, my CMB is 7+(my roll) and I have to beat a (say) 14+10 to disarm. That means I need at least a 17 to disarm. But if it has an AC of say 15 I only need to roll a 10 or more to hit to do damage. The odds are always better to hit than disarm.

So, when is it better to try disarm? is it mainly for monks or lore wardens? should I try it mainly on those non-melee foes like a wizard to get his wand out of his hands? or is it when I start getting more than one attack and try it first and if I fail, then continue on hitting?

Sovereign Court RPG Superstar 2011 Top 32

Er, what are you fighting at level 1 that has a CMD of 24? I think you're adding in a +10 you don't need to - you only need to beat the CMD of the target by 10 if you want them to drop two items, one from each hand. If they are only carrying one thing you care about, usually their weapon, then the DC is much more reasonable.

Disarm is still not a "do it every time" maneuver but it can be very useful with foes that have a very good weapon.

Sovereign Court

If you disarm a 2H barbarian, suddenly he's just a very angry dude with perhaps a dagger. Still dangerous, but not nearly as much.

Also, it can be pretty decent if you have a reach weapon, against people moving in to attack you. If they suddenly need to spend an additional action to obtain a new weapon, that buys you some time.

Also, enemies without weapons don't threaten attacks of opportunity anymore. Meaning your party wizard can cast spells in their face, and you can grapple them and so forth.


I thought I had to beat it's CMD by 10 to drop a weapon, thus the normal 10+dex+str+(the 10).

Dark Archive

The "10" in your example is the base for CMD, much like the "10" that you add to your base armor class. If the enemy is a 3HD creature with a 16 STR and a 14 DEX, their CMD (your target number) is 10+3+3+2=18


The rules directly state "If your attack is successful, your target drops one item it is carrying of your choice (even if the item is wielded with two hands). If your attack exceeds the CMD of the target by 10 or more, the target drops the items it is carrying in both hands (maximum two items if the target has more than two hands). If your attack fails by 10 or more, you drop the weapon that you were using to attempt the disarm. If you successfully disarm your opponent without using a weapon, you may automatically pick up the item dropped."

This means you can force a greatsword-wielding barbarian to drop his weapon. Should you face a sword-and-board fighter you have to choose one or the other. You'd need to exceed the DC by ten in order to get him to drop both.

What you should be more concerned about is the AoO you take should you attempt the disarm without the improved disarm feat which I infer you don't have based on your calculations. Get the feat before you try it unless you're very sure you can tank it.


from the PRD:

Disarm

You can attempt to disarm your opponent in place of a melee attack. If you do not have the Improved Disarm feat, or a similar ability, attempting to disarm a foe provokes an attack of opportunity from the target of your maneuver. Attempting to disarm a foe while unarmed imposes a –4 penalty on the attack.

If your attack is successful, your target drops one item it is carrying of your choice (even if the item is wielded with two hands). If your attack exceeds the CMD of the target by 10 or more, the target drops the items it is carrying in both hands (maximum two items if the target has more than two hands). If your attack fails by 10 or more, you drop the weapon that you were using to attempt the disarm. If you successfully disarm your opponent without using a weapon, you may automatically pick up the item dropped.

If your attack (disarm) hits, so if you beat his CMD, he drops one iten OF YOUR CHOICE, so bye-bye main weapon.
If you beat his CMD by 10 or more and he is holding 2 items, he drops both
If you fail by 10 or more, you drop your weapon.

In most cases, and certainly at the lower levels, doing a combat maneuver is about the same difficulty as trying to hit.

Silver Crusade

Fifo wrote:

hi, if I have a lvl 1 fighter with a heavy flail and 18 str, my CMB is 7+(my roll) and I have to beat a (say) 14+10 to disarm. That means I need at least a 17 to disarm. But if it has an AC of say 15 I only need to roll a 10 or more to hit to do damage. The odds are always better to hit than disarm.

So, when is it better to try disarm? is it mainly for monks or lore wardens? should I try it mainly on those non-melee foes like a wizard to get his wand out of his hands? or is it when I start getting more than one attack and try it first and if I fail, then continue on hitting?

If you're up against someone who hits REALLY HARD or has a lot of hits, and they Rely on that Melee weapon, Disarming is a great option to prevent both you and your party members from taking a lot of nasty damage. Plain and Simple. I always resort to this and Trips to help mitigate overall damage in fights. Now if they have a nasty natural attack as a backup because they happen to be a demon... then that disarm may have made things worse :D.

It's fun for disarming Wands too(then using the wands against them).

Think of it as a Team game. It helps everyone, not just you. Although, sometimes it's better to just beat them into the dirt. It all depends and varies.

It's the same reason I trip things, or somehow knock them Prone. Prone, they have a serious disadvantage. -4 AC vs incoming Melee attacks, and -4 to Attack with Melee. That helps everyone, and in the end helps mitigate damage too!


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The benefit of disarming someone rather than bonking them on the head is mostly because it makes them less of an immediate threat - a fighter without his trusty +2 flaming sword of fire does markedly less damage than one with said weapon. It forces the guy into spending actions either drawing a new weapon(likely inferior), retrieving the one he just dropped (likely provoking AoO), or using his fists (both of the above problems). By disarming an enemy, you are acting as an enabler/controller which is just as vital a role as doing direct 'you're dead, bub' damage.


Sword and board example, you can't disarm a shield iirc


IMO, any martial character should have at least one maneuver in his bag of tricks (i.e., take the "Improved X" version of it) to deal with appropriate foes. The main thing to remember is that CMD keys off of your opponent's BAB, his strength, and his dexterity. If you're dealing with a martial opponent or a large opponent, it's going to be harder to disarm him.

That said, some ideas:

I'd certainly break out the disarm against any mage who's using a wand or staff to hit the party with fireballs or other nasty stuff. Mister Mage might have a zillion different defenses against getting hit, but he's probably got a piss-poor CMD. Actually, disarm anything he's waving around when he's casting. It's probably his bonded object.

Did somebody just provoke an attack of opportunity from you because he's about to drink a healing potion? Disarm him!! Bye-bye, potion!!

If your fellow PCs is charmed or dominated into attacking you, then you can possibly nullify him by disarming the poor guy.

If you need to subdue an NPC rather than killing him, then disarming him makes it harder for him to inflict lethal damage while you and your buddies grapple him.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber

As has been stated above, disarming is a great way to deal with NPCs that are using weapons or items.

Greater Disarm is even better, now that sword is 15 feet away. That's probably going to cause a few Attacks of Opportunity should he want to get it back.

Also, disarming a clerics holy symbol is pretty fun.


Human Fighter wrote:
Sword and board example, you can't disarm a shield iirc

It's true, you need to use the steal manuever to get the shield.


leo1925 wrote:
Human Fighter wrote:
Sword and board example, you can't disarm a shield iirc
It's true, you need to use the steal manuever to get the shield.

Or just sunder the shield if you don't care about the loot particularly (or someone has Mending), since at that point they have to be carrying around a backup or be willing to defend with half a broken shield. Perhaps it's a bit easier to yank the thing off their arm but it's a whole lot more satisfying to just chop it in half, you know?

EDIT: Actually, wait, can you steal a shield?

PRD wrote:
You can attempt to take an item from a foe as a standard action. This maneuver can be used in melee to take any item that is neither held nor hidden in a bag or pack...Items held in the hands (such as wielded weapons or wands) also cannot be taken with the steal maneuver—you must use the disarm combat maneuver instead.

Because that doesn't say to me you can steal a shield off of someone who is actively holding it.

Also RAW you can disarm a shield I guess, but that should prooooobably involve some house ruling on the matter of how difficult it would be (maybe a +5 to CMD? more?) since of the straps and whatnot.

Silver Crusade

pennywit wrote:

The main thing to remember is that CMD keys off of your opponent's BAB, his strength, and his dexterity.

Just to add a little more accuracy...

CMD is composed of Str+Dex+Untyped(AC Bonus from Monk for example)+BAB+Dodge+Deflect.


Kazumetsa_Raijin wrote:
pennywit wrote:

The main thing to remember is that CMD keys off of your opponent's BAB, his strength, and his dexterity.

Just to add a little more accuracy...

CMD is composed of Str+Dex+Untyped(AC Bonus from Monk for example)+BAB+Dodge+Deflect.

Thanks.


Recently I've been having fun with dirty trick without improved, but my lore warden brawler recently got into a duel which was just embarrassing for the other person. I should have used flexibility for improved disarm to make it even more humiliating... then improved dirty trick to pull their pants down :)


@Pigtails
Technically shields are worn, like armor.


leo1925 wrote:

@Pigtails

Technically shields are worn, like armor.

But they can also be used as weapons. See the problem? Regardless, you can't use the steal maneuver to take them from someone in the middle of combat if they're using it per the rules given in the APG.

I think that it just has to fall to the GM to see what qualifies as acceptable given the situation.

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