What are the biggest trap options?


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Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I've seen a number of people on these boards post about 'trap options', normally referring to feats and sometimes items that are traps for the unwary. Options that sound good and have good fluff around them, but when you look at the game mechanics either are significantly sub-optimal or an outright hinderance.

I'm curious as to what people think are the biggest / worst traps and why.


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Powerful Sneak and Deadly Sneak. They penalty to attack wipes out the potential gain in damage. A -2 penalty to hit requires a +4 damage bonus to balance out. But the change in average damage from powerful Sneak is only 0.5 damage. It looks good, but is actually terrible.


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Vital Strike


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Rogue. There, I said it. Now let's move on.

Thrown weapons, slings, and crossbows seem cool, especially if you know how effective they really are in real life, but Pathfinder's mechanics makes them strictly inferior to a composite longbow in more or less every possible way.


I agree on Vital Strike and Powerful/Deadly Sneak, for sure. Before someone else says it, can I just say Monk and Rogue in general?

Oh, and anything that gives you a -2 penalty to hit to let you wield a larger weapon than normal, for exactly the same reason Powerful/Deadly Sneak is a trap.


skill focus sounds great and actually has a nice effect on said skill. With out some trick to make said skill useful in combat it hurts your combat ability more then you would think.

Many new players will think that skill focus acrobatics is great choice for their nimble character but hit does not add much at all.

I am sure there are worse.


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I guess the -2 to wield a larger weapon can pay off it you are large enough that it goes for 4d6 to 6d6 or more on regular basis. Never a good low level option.

Scarab Sages

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Kirin Style - Just don't. The three rounds of wasted swift actions ruin this.

Power Attack/Deadly Aim/Piranha Strike - Too situational and will often times hurt your damage output.

Crossbows unless you have the words "Bolt Ace" on your character sheet.

I will say that vital strike can be very good, in the right situations. Especially if you are a druid/barbarian worshiper of Aspu with greater weapon of the chosen.


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Imbicatus wrote:
Power Attack/Deadly Aim/Piranha Strike - Too situational and will often times hurt your damage output.

Someone is not building their character optimally.

Contributor

Mathius wrote:
skill focus sounds great and actually has a nice effect on said skill. With out some trick to make said skill useful in combat it hurts your combat ability more then you would think.

Well, I suppose. But combat is only one part of the game, right? There are plenty of situations where having pumped up just about any of the skills might be exactly what's called for, be it disabling a trap, negotiating with a ruler, or doing some trick riding during a daring escape.

Scarab Sages

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Marroar Gellantara wrote:
Imbicatus wrote:
Power Attack/Deadly Aim/Piranha Strike - Too situational and will often times hurt your damage output.
Someone is not building their character optimally.

I disagree. Accuracy is the most important thing for a martial character, and with the exception of two-handed fighters, the power attack ratio isn't worth it. Even then, it's not something that should be used constantly.

There are other ways to increase damage that doesn't require a loss in accuracy.

Liberty's Edge

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Vital Strike at least has a purpose.

Prone Shooter, pre-eratta, did literally nothing.

Death or Glory is a single attack as a full-round.. that does a tiny bit more damage and is slightly more likely to hit, and grants your foe a free attack against you with the same bonuses.

Being an armored caster (other than those classes with built-in armored casting).

Certain Rage Powers, like Raging Swimmer or Raging Climber, that let you roll twice on skills you better hope you aren't using in combat, and even if you are the barbarian will be good enough at them even without rage or training. Raging Flier requires a similarly poor power (Raging Leaper), but gives a slow fly speed 1/rage for one move action (compared to Greater Elemental Blood which can give 60ft (good) for the whole rage).

Most Rogue Talents, given that most are worse than feats and a few are just plain worse (such as Powerful Sneak and Deadly Sneak).

Any spell-less archetypes for caster classes (except Untouchable Bloodrager, which can be decent).

NOT taking divine protection as an Oracle. Seriously. Do it.


Imbicatus wrote:
Marroar Gellantara wrote:
Imbicatus wrote:
Power Attack/Deadly Aim/Piranha Strike - Too situational and will often times hurt your damage output.
Someone is not building their character optimally.

I disagree. Accuracy is the most important thing for a martial character, and with the exception of two-handed fighters, the power attack ratio isn't worth it. Even then, it's not something that should be used constantly.

There are other ways to increase damage that doesn't require a loss in accuracy.

I don't know, a 3 to 1 trade seems pretty good. Especially when you have ways to counter that. rage and reckless abandon for barbs, weapon training and weapon focuses for fighter, studied target for slayer, etc. And personally at a lot of levels that power attack is the difference between having a chance to kill them in 1 hit and needing at least three to kill, so even if I miss twice I still killed in three, but I have a chance to kill them sooner.

Scarab Sages

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Yes, which is why I said with the exception of a two-handed weapon on a class with accuracy boosters.

So many people on these boards seem to think it should be on at all times and in all situations, and that's just not true. Especially if you are fighting high-AC enemies.


Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
RumpinRufus wrote:
Vital Strike

Could you explain this a bit more?

I know that you lose iterative attacks, but if you are doing something that wouldn't allow an iterative attack it seems like a reasonable feat.

One of the reasons I'm asking is that I've taken this feat on a Natural Weapons style ranger.


Imbicatus wrote:

Yes, which is why I said with the exception of a two-handed weapon on a class with accuracy boosters.

So many people on these boards seem to think it should be on at all times and in all situations, and that's just not true. Especially if you are fighting high-AC enemies.

Oops, my bad, missed that part.


BretI wrote:

Could you explain this a bit more?

I know that you lose iterative attacks, but if you are doing something that wouldn't allow an iterative attack it seems like a reasonable feat.

One of the reasons I'm asking is that I've taken this feat on a Natural Weapons style ranger.

Yeah, it's just not worth losing the iteratives. For a natural weapon user I would think it's particularly bad, as the damage dice are low, and your "off-hand" attacks are at full BAB so you really want to make them.

It's not always bad - if you can only make a standard attack anyway, you might as well roll extra damage. But in general, it's not worth a feat, and definitely not worth using if you could full-attack instead.


BretI wrote:
RumpinRufus wrote:
Vital Strike

Could you explain this a bit more?

I know that you lose iterative attacks, but if you are doing something that wouldn't allow an iterative attack it seems like a reasonable feat.

One of the reasons I'm asking is that I've taken this feat on a Natural Weapons style ranger.

I'll explain. 1st is very limited on when it can be used, you can't charge with it, and that's what martials do to close the gap. you can't spring attack with it. Basically you can only use a move action an standard action.

If I have a 2d6 weapon, vital strike uses a feat to give me ~7 extra damage for that hit. Now that 7 damage means less and less the higher you level, and it used a feat. Most classes don't have many feats to spare. And a slight bonus damage sometimes isn't worth their feat. Now if you can somehow get some huge weapon value like 10d6 or something then it starts to get more useful.

example:
Why full attack is better than vital strike
Now it depends on how much static bonuses you have and your hit rate. if I have a fighter lv6 (22 str, weapon training, weapon focus and spec, power attack) I have a 12/7 to hit for 2d6+18 for average 25 damage a hit. meaning if I hit my second attack 1 out of three time I'm doing more damage than using vital strike every attack.

Scarab Sages

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Vital stike is best used in niche builds. Something that can take advantage of Furious Finish with a massive amount of dice, or a Warpriest who can have the next vital strike feat before they would normally have the next iterative.

Liberty's Edge

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Imbicatus wrote:

Vital stike is best used in niche builds. Something that can take advantage of Furious Finish with a massive amount of dice, or a Warpriest who can have the next vital strike feat before they would normally have the next iterative.

To wit:

My current group has a Bloodrager that grows to large size while wielding an already large-sized bastard sword with the Impact property (final weapon damage 4d8). He also has furious focus, and the witch gives him fortune so that he may roll twice on his only attack. He does 12d8 + 28 without a critical (16d8 + 56 with it). Lots of overkill, but it means that he can force his foes to get only one attack per round (or two if he takes an AoO to move away after attacking). Depending on the foe this can be quite valuable. This is 11th level, btw.

Vital Strike may not be useful for most builds, but the ones where it is useful it can be used to good effect. Because it does have a good usage (even if a niche), and is still a net positive outside of that (albeit small), it's not a trap.


The fact that it's a super niche feat makes it a trap because people will think it's a good for everyone. And unless you're like a fighter you don't really have freedom in you feats to invest in it.


Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Re: Vital Strike

Alright, not that bad for my Natural Weapon Ranger then since:
* He often is the one that maneuvers for position in combat
* Spiked chain, so average of 5 damage (not terrible, better if enlarged)
* Knows to only use it when he is having trouble hitting
* Is thinking about picking up either Grasping Strike or Faerie's Strike next level. Leaning towards Faerie's Strike as a way to deal with invisible and concealed characters.
* Seldom charges opponents

Thanks everyone for all the answers so far!


BretI wrote:

Re: Vital Strike

Alright, not that bad for my Natural Weapon Ranger then since:
* He often is the one that maneuvers for position in combat
* Spiked chain, so average of 5 damage (not terrible, better if enlarged)
* Knows to only use it when he is having trouble hitting
* Is thinking about picking up either Grasping Strike or Faerie's Strike next level. Leaning towards Faerie's Strike as a way to deal with invisible and concealed characters.
* Seldom charges opponents

Thanks everyone for all the answers so far!

If you're using a spiked chain, then how are you a natural weapon Ranger?


Imbicatus wrote:
Marroar Gellantara wrote:
Imbicatus wrote:
Power Attack/Deadly Aim/Piranha Strike - Too situational and will often times hurt your damage output.
Someone is not building their character optimally.
I disagree. Accuracy is the most important thing for a martial character, and with the exception of two-handed fighters, the power attack ratio isn't worth it.

This is demonstrably false.

Scarab Sages

BigDTBone wrote:
Imbicatus wrote:
Marroar Gellantara wrote:
Imbicatus wrote:
Power Attack/Deadly Aim/Piranha Strike - Too situational and will often times hurt your damage output.
Someone is not building their character optimally.
I disagree. Accuracy is the most important thing for a martial character, and with the exception of two-handed fighters, the power attack ratio isn't worth it.
This is demonstrably false.

Not in all situations. As I said, it's worth it with two-handed weapons. Without them and without a way to offset the accuracy hit, it becomes a trap against high AC opponents.


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DominusMegadeus wrote:
BretI wrote:

Re: Vital Strike

Alright, not that bad for my Natural Weapon Ranger then since:
* He often is the one that maneuvers for position in combat
* Spiked chain, so average of 5 damage (not terrible, better if enlarged)
* Knows to only use it when he is having trouble hitting
* Is thinking about picking up either Grasping Strike or Faerie's Strike next level. Leaning towards Faerie's Strike as a way to deal with invisible and concealed characters.
* Seldom charges opponents

Thanks everyone for all the answers so far!

If you're using a spiked chain, then how are you a natural weapon Ranger?

cause you don't actually have to fight with natural weapons for that combat style

you could take weapon focus spiked chain, vital strike, and improved vital strike


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Imbicatus wrote:
BigDTBone wrote:
Imbicatus wrote:
Marroar Gellantara wrote:
Imbicatus wrote:
Power Attack/Deadly Aim/Piranha Strike - Too situational and will often times hurt your damage output.
Someone is not building their character optimally.
I disagree. Accuracy is the most important thing for a martial character, and with the exception of two-handed fighters, the power attack ratio isn't worth it.
This is demonstrably false.
Not in all situations. As I said, it's worth it with two-handed weapons. Without them and without a way to offset the accuracy hit, it becomes a trap against high AC opponents.

This is demonstrably false.

I don't care what weapon style you are fighting with. And I don't care how high the AC is. A 5% reduction in accuracy for +2 damage is always beneficial to DPR. This becomes even MORE true on extremely high AC opponents because if you can only hit on a 20 then it doesn't matter if you are taking a penalty to hit.

The fact that it gets EVEN BETTER against very low AC opponents and when you are using 2 handed fighting is icing.


Ahhh, makes sense. I thought he had invested in claws and improved natural attacks and stuff, and then used a spiked chain. Blew my mind for a second.


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On Power Attack: I think we can all agree there are situations where you shouldn't Power Attack, but that does not make it a trap. Not only is Power Attack optimal most of the time (especially with full BAB, and especially especially with two-hander full BAB), but pretty much no matter the build there will be LOTS of times it's the best option, such as when you're fighting something with DR, or when the enemy is taking a penalty to AC from prone, blind, stunned, flat-footed, grappled, etc.

A "trap" is something that, at high levels, you'll regret adding to your build. Power Attack is not one of those. If you define trap as "something that is not ALWAYS the best option to use", pretty much everything in the game becomes a "trap".


Compare Power Attack to something simple like weapon focus.

Weapon focus gives you a +1 to hit.

Power Attack gives you the ability to trade 1 hit for 2 damage.

We know accuracy is worth more than damage. So, let's be kind and say 1 damage is worth .75 accuracy. In that case, you are taking a feat to trade +1 to hit for the equivalent of +1.5 to hit. So the total gain from the feat would be worth +.5 to hit. This means power attack is like taking half of a weapon focus feat.

Scarab Sages

BigDTBone wrote:


A 5% reduction in accuracy for +2 damage is always beneficial to DPR

But a 15% reduction in accuracy for +6 to damage is not always beneficial to DPR. And this becomes even more true against higher AC.

If you had the option of setting your penalty and bonus as in 3.x, then power attack would be more useful. However since you are forced to use your maximum benefit, that -3 means your iteratives don't hit.

You iteratives hitting will do more damage than the bonus that power attack provides.


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Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Personally, I don't consider either Power Attack nor Weapon Focus traps. It isn't something you are going to regret having in most campaigns. There will be enough combat against both low and high AC creatures that each should have their place.

Thanks Kefler for answering DominusMegadeus's question about Natural Weapons combat style. I hadn't been clear in what I meant.


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Imbicatus wrote:
BigDTBone wrote:


A 5% reduction in accuracy for +2 damage is always beneficial to DPR

But a 15% reduction in accuracy for +6 to damage is not always beneficial to DPR. And this becomes even more true against higher AC.

If you had the option of setting your penalty and bonus as in 3.x, then power attack would be more useful. However since you are forced to use your maximum benefit, that -3 means your iteratives don't hit.

You iteratives hitting will do more damage than the bonus that power attack provides.

You choose, and make the choice as painful as possible. Level, Fighting Style, and Full-BAB class. I will build the character with and without PA, DA, or PS and will demonstrate DPR is better with than without.


Melkiador wrote:

We know accuracy is worth more than damage.

We do?


BigDTBone wrote:
Imbicatus wrote:
BigDTBone wrote:


A 5% reduction in accuracy for +2 damage is always beneficial to DPR

But a 15% reduction in accuracy for +6 to damage is not always beneficial to DPR. And this becomes even more true against higher AC.

If you had the option of setting your penalty and bonus as in 3.x, then power attack would be more useful. However since you are forced to use your maximum benefit, that -3 means your iteratives don't hit.

You iteratives hitting will do more damage than the bonus that power attack provides.

You choose, and make the choice as painful as possible. Level, Fighting Style, and Full-BAB class. I will build the character with and without PA, DA, or PS and will demonstrate DPR is better with than without.

Two weapon fighting paladin level 12, against presumably non-evil creatures using average AC for CR 12 (AC 21) creatures and CR 16 (AC 27) creatures.

Mostly because I want to see what you come back with and it sounds entertaining, and I want to see the numbers. I guess you could also do it including Smite Evil and not being able to smite so we can see the difference.

Edit: Also you can choose whether to use Greater Two Weapon fighting at your own discretion. I largely consider it a waste of a feat to get an extra attack at a -10, so you can choose whether to include that TWF feat in your build or not. I would expect to see TWF and ITWF though.


Claxon wrote:

Two weapon fighting paladin level 12, against presumably non-evil creatures using average AC for CR 12 creatures and CR 16 creatures.

Mostly because I want to see what you come back with.

Without double strike right?

Also make it 14 strength with all the WBL spent on sacks of flour.


Marroar Gellantara wrote:
Claxon wrote:

Two weapon fighting paladin level 12, against presumably non-evil creatures using average AC for CR 12 creatures and CR 16 creatures.

Mostly because I want to see what you come back with.

Without double strike right?

Also make it 14 strength with all the WBL spent on sacks of flour.

Did you miss the part where he said make it as painful as possible? Or are you being deliberately provocative?

I'm actually interested to see this, because it is sort of a worst case scenario. His position is that is better to power attack in all conditions, and I want to see if it's really true.

I've always avoided power attack on pretty much anything other than two-handed weapon builds, and I want to see how this works out. For me this is curiosity. I am not the one he was quarreling with anyways. He simply got my attention with his post and now I want to see the math on the worst case scenario I could come up with, within his restrictions. This is academic to me.

Grand Lodge

BigDTBone wrote:
Imbicatus wrote:
BigDTBone wrote:


A 5% reduction in accuracy for +2 damage is always beneficial to DPR

But a 15% reduction in accuracy for +6 to damage is not always beneficial to DPR. And this becomes even more true against higher AC.

If you had the option of setting your penalty and bonus as in 3.x, then power attack would be more useful. However since you are forced to use your maximum benefit, that -3 means your iteratives don't hit.

You iteratives hitting will do more damage than the bonus that power attack provides.

You choose, and make the choice as painful as possible. Level, Fighting Style, and Full-BAB class. I will build the character with and without PA, DA, or PS and will demonstrate DPR is better with than without.

Level 1 Halfling Inspired Blade!


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Blast spells, without intense focus on making them work.

BigDTBone wrote:
Imbicatus wrote:
BigDTBone wrote:
Imbicatus wrote:
Marroar Gellantara wrote:
Imbicatus wrote:
Power Attack/Deadly Aim/Piranha Strike - Too situational and will often times hurt your damage output.
Someone is not building their character optimally.
I disagree. Accuracy is the most important thing for a martial character, and with the exception of two-handed fighters, the power attack ratio isn't worth it.
This is demonstrably false.
Not in all situations. As I said, it's worth it with two-handed weapons. Without them and without a way to offset the accuracy hit, it becomes a trap against high AC opponents.

This is demonstrably false.

I don't care what weapon style you are fighting with. And I don't care how high the AC is. A 5% reduction in accuracy for +2 damage is always beneficial to DPR. This becomes even MORE true on extremely high AC opponents because if you can only hit on a 20 then it doesn't matter if you are taking a penalty to hit.

The fact that it gets EVEN BETTER against very low AC opponents and when you are using 2 handed fighting is icing.

There are actually occasions when it's bad. It's rare though: the only one I can think of is the Magus, who is using a single one-handed weapon and is already dealing with the accuracy loss. Last time I ran the numbers Power Attack came out to a net loss against a CR=level opponent with average AC (according to Pazio's chart).

Liberty's Edge

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Marroar Gellantara wrote:
Claxon wrote:

Two weapon fighting paladin level 12, against presumably non-evil creatures using average AC for CR 12 creatures and CR 16 creatures.

Mostly because I want to see what you come back with.

Without double strike right?

Also make it 14 strength with all the WBL spent on sacks of flour.

And he only has Cha 12. For role-play reasons.

Seriously, though. The math on Power Attack has been done to death. If you build a character with a focus on to-hit, Power Attack will be the optimal choice in something like 90% of all cases. By the time PA penalty gets high enough to have trouble with the higher AC folk, they also gain DR that PA helps you punch through.

Back to the topic of trap options:
* Skill Focus (Profession: Stable Boy)
* All the rage powers that require you to be wereboar/wereboarkin. Not because they aren't good, but because WTF is with that pre-requisite? How many characters will ever see these options? They keep tricking me into thinking "hey, that looks like a fun, flavorful rage power". Nope. Not for me.
* Cleave. Sounds good, but in actual play it is rarely useful, and even when it is you still have to deal with a -2 to AC. For an ability that you theoretically should use while surrounded.
* Far Shot. Haven't seen a range increment penalty happen in quite a while, and when it did the attack was just trying to shoot a message in, not hit a person. I guess it could be nice for thrown weapons.. if those didn't already suck.
* Hammer the Gap. Sounds good, but average benefit is actually quite pitiful. You're lucky if you hit an average of +1 damage with this.


Claxon wrote:
BigDTBone wrote:
Imbicatus wrote:
BigDTBone wrote:


A 5% reduction in accuracy for +2 damage is always beneficial to DPR

But a 15% reduction in accuracy for +6 to damage is not always beneficial to DPR. And this becomes even more true against higher AC.

If you had the option of setting your penalty and bonus as in 3.x, then power attack would be more useful. However since you are forced to use your maximum benefit, that -3 means your iteratives don't hit.

You iteratives hitting will do more damage than the bonus that power attack provides.

You choose, and make the choice as painful as possible. Level, Fighting Style, and Full-BAB class. I will build the character with and without PA, DA, or PS and will demonstrate DPR is better with than without.

Two weapon fighting paladin level 12, against presumably non-evil creatures using average AC for CR 12 (AC 21) creatures and CR 16 (AC 27) creatures.

Mostly because I want to see what you come back with and it sounds entertaining, and I want to see the numbers. I guess you could also do it including Smite Evil and not being able to smite so we can see the difference.

Edit: Also you can choose whether to use Greater Two Weapon fighting at your own discretion. I largely consider it a waste of a feat to get an extra attack at a -10, so you can choose whether to include that TWF feat in your build or not. I would expect to see TWF and ITWF though.

Accepted. For the high level give me a little time.


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Can we take the "When should you Power Attack?" discussion to another thread?

This thread is about trap options, and Power Attack is not a trap. There are a million and one different scenarios you could create to ask whether Power Attack is worth it for that case, and it's not in the scope of this thread.

Scarab Sages

I'm willing to drop it.


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StabbittyDoom wrote:

My current group has a Bloodrager that grows to large size while wielding an already large-sized bastard sword with the Impact property (final weapon damage 4d8). He also has furious focus, and the witch gives him fortune so that he may roll twice on his only attack. He does 12d8 + 28 without a critical (16d8 + 56 with it). Lots of overkill, but it means that he can force his foes to get only one attack per round (or two if he takes an AoO to move away after attacking). Depending on the foe this can be quite valuable. This is 11th level, btw.

Vital Strike may not be useful for most builds, but the ones where it is useful it can be used to good effect. Because it does have a good usage (even if a niche), and is still a net positive outside of that (albeit small), it's not a trap.

12d8+28 is only an average of 82 damage before you start looking at chance to hit. That is pretty low for a dedicated martial character at level 11. Full attacking archers, pouncing barbarians, summoners or druids will all be out damaging you by a wide margin at that level.

Vital Strike is pretty much best used by Carnivorous Ooze/Behemoth Hippopotamus druids with Strongjaw.


kestral287 wrote:
Blast spells, without intense focus on making them work.

I don't think taking Dazing Spell counts as intense focus...:) Having said that blast spells where your goal is to actually kill the enemy with HP damage is a trap without massive investment in levels, feats and equipment.

I would add pretty much every single Rogue talent which can only be used 1/day.

Scarab Sages

andreww wrote:
StabbittyDoom wrote:

My current group has a Bloodrager that grows to large size while wielding an already large-sized bastard sword with the Impact property (final weapon damage 4d8). He also has furious focus, and the witch gives him fortune so that he may roll twice on his only attack. He does 12d8 + 28 without a critical (16d8 + 56 with it). Lots of overkill, but it means that he can force his foes to get only one attack per round (or two if he takes an AoO to move away after attacking). Depending on the foe this can be quite valuable. This is 11th level, btw.

Vital Strike may not be useful for most builds, but the ones where it is useful it can be used to good effect. Because it does have a good usage (even if a niche), and is still a net positive outside of that (albeit small), it's not a trap.

12d8+28 is only an average of 82 damage before you start looking at chance to hit. That is pretty low for a dedicated martial character at level 11. Full attacking archers, pouncing barbarians, summoners or druids will all be out damaging you by a wide margin at that level.

Vital Strike is pretty much best used by Carnivorous Ooze/Behemoth Hippopotamus druids with Strongjaw.

12d8+28 is 124 every time with Furious Finish, which bloodragers qualify for.


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
Melkiador wrote:

Compare Power Attack to something simple like weapon focus.

Weapon focus gives you a +1 to hit.

Power Attack gives you the ability to trade 1 hit for 2 damage.

We know accuracy is worth more than damage. So, let's be kind and say 1 damage is worth .75 accuracy. In that case, you are taking a feat to trade +1 to hit for the equivalent of +1.5 to hit. So the total gain from the feat would be worth +.5 to hit. This means power attack is like taking half of a weapon focus feat.

AC does not scale at the same rate that to-hit does, and unlike damage, to-hit bonuses have diminishing returns. You don't get rewarded for exceeding your target's AC; you either hit, or you don't.

Power Attack is not a trap. It's a necessity for most martial classes, especially if they're wielding 2h weapons. Power Attack allows you to trade in the to-hit that you don't need and get damage in return. If AC scaled with level the same way that to-hit does, then your argument would make more sense, but it doesn't.


BigDTBone wrote:
Accepted. For the high level give me a little time.

Cool. I'm genuinely interested to see the results, because I've always avoided PA for TWF but I've never done the math.

Also, I guess we should heed the other's request, so please post results in a new thread and hopefully I'll see it when you post it.

Also, no worry on the time frame. Don't feel rushed to produce results. If it takes a day or two I understand.


Imbicatus wrote:
12d8+28 is 124 every time with Furious Finish, which bloodragers qualify for.

Which ends your rage and leaves you fatigued and therefore unable to rage again even if you wouldn't normally be fatigued. A single CR11 opponent has on average 145hp so you have failed to kill your target and are pretty weak for the rest of the encounter which may well be against multiple opponents.


andreww: Yeah, Cave Druid/Barbarians are the best Vital Strikers

But Bloodragers can do pretty well too.
At level 11 they can use a wand of Beast Shape II to turn into an arsinoitherium. With the Rageshaper archetype, Improved Natural Attack, and Strong Jaw from a wand or something, that's 16d8 base damage.
With Improved Vital Strike, that's 48d8
And then with Furious Finish, that's 384 damage before modifiers.

And it helps to be able to cast True Strike on yourself as a free action.

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