Why are teamwork feats so unpopular?


Advice

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RDM42 wrote:
Quite a few individual feats are situational too, yet get taken all the time.

You cant pick out one point and expect for it to stand alone. The other points are still enough to normally hold an argument together. ←←←general debating advice.

Also to be clear I think situational meant rarely ever come into play from the other posters. You might also want to define "all the time" or give examples of these feats if you are really trying to make a point.


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Kobold Cleaver wrote:


tl;dr: We can use the vast majority of these options without feeling like failures. They won't be the "best build", but who here only plays "best builds"? There can't be that many of those. Sounds boring as s+&$.

I disagree. I don't build "the best builds", and I always try to think about a character concept and then picks things that fit that concept (like when I once took Skill Focus: Profesion Sailor with a pirate). However, there are a BIG bunch of feats out there that PLAINLY SUCK. They are big failures, and taking them just make you waste a feat.

For example: if you want to roleplay some kind of combat medic, you'll be much better served taking ANYTHING ELSE than the teamwork Combat Medic feat (and then asking everybody in the game to do the same). You could, for example, take skill focus HEal, and it'll be better (Without being even remotely close to a "best build"). You could get "Combat Casting" and some healing spells (Because, seriously... who the f@&* plays a healer without magical healing in Pathfinder?) and cast on the defensive to heal them. Combat healing is already not well regarded in the optimization discussions, so even this isn't "the best build", while being better than running around with a healing pack trying to stabilize dudes with the healing skill and forcing them to take the feat so you can do it without provoking, because for some reason you didn't want to cast Stabilize orison casting on the defensive. You probably could build much better Combat Medics if you focus on Channeling as move actions and such, but you *could* take other options without being a complete failure. Combat medic, however, sucks.

Roughly half the feats plainly suck. They are nothing more than a waste of space, built under the "Ivory tower concept", that are there for flavor and such (as in: somebody, somwhere, is a non-magical combat medic. Let's build a feat for that NPC, who will never ever be played in a table). The other half is divided between mechanically powerful feats that become a staple and are often taken (such as Power Attack or Empower Spell), feats that work well for some builds but not for others (like improved trip or Rime Spell), Specific feats for specific builds (like Shapeshifing Hunter for druid/rangers) and feats that give flavor, but are mechanically sound (like Skill focus)


RDM42 wrote:
Quite a few individual feats are situational too, yet get taken all the time.

Yes, but those mean 1 wasted slot in the group until the situation arise. Situational teamwork feats mean 1 wasted slot *per player in the group* until the situaiton arise, and often makes the situation harder to happen, as it adds extra layers of requirement (for example, it requires not only a surprise round, but a surprise round and you being adjacent to an specific player)

Dark Archive

Gargs454 wrote:
you are essentially forced to ask another player to make her character in the style that YOU imagine, not the style that SHE imagined.

IMO, it's not just the one-time cost of a feat, but the every-single-combat 'cost' of having my actions influenced by the movement / action type required to activate that feat, not just for myself, but for the other person (or people) who also took it.

If I have an action that I very much want to perform, such as to dimension door / abundant step / shadow jump / whatever the heck out of this fight, because I'm at three hit points and feeling kind of vulnerable right now, like I need some me time and a good cry, I have to weigh that against how I'm basically going to screw the other people who took that feat and are counting on me sticking around so they can get their +X to Y or free AoO or extra Sneak Attack dice.

I'm totally the type who will hang around and take it for the team(work), and have a half dozen new characters raring to go for why Bob and his 3 hit points get shredded by one of the trolls three attacks, but I can see others, who get a little bit more invested in their characters and don't have a goal of playing seventy billion different characters, being less enamored of a feat choice that makes following the tactical choices set by everyone else (or, as often happens, by the first person to go, even if that persons choice was to charge, while Jane and Perry were still mid-buff-cycle) the optimal route in any given round. "Oh, but we have these coordinated charge teamwork feats, so we kind of have to charge *now* or we leave Leroy hanging!" "Can we let Leroy hang? Crap. I'm a Paladin. I probably can't, or at least shouldn't, let Leroy hang..."

Deadmanwalking wrote:

Four of the six PCs in my game (all the melee characters) just grabbed Outflank.

Two of them grabbed it because one's a TWF guy with Butterfly Sting and the other a Magus with a light pick and they're built as a team anyway. The other two melee characters followed suit to get in on the action, because when two people already have it, it's pretty much worth it.

So people use them if making teamwork oriented builds, or fighting alongside those who already have them.

This sounds like an excellent meat-grinder of a group, for dealing with singular large foes. Butterfly Sting with dual-wielded kukris (or some other high-threat option), paired with someone with a high-damage weapon, like a scythe or pick, can be brutal fun when the dice go your way.


Set wrote:
Gargs454 wrote:
you are essentially forced to ask another player to make her character in the style that YOU imagine, not the style that SHE imagined.

IMO, it's not just the one-time cost of a feat, but the every-single-combat 'cost' of having my actions influenced by the movement / action type required to activate that feat, not just for myself, but for the other person (or people) who also took it.

If I have an action that I very much want to perform, such as to dimension door / abundant step / shadow jump / whatever the heck out of this fight, because I'm at three hit points and feeling kind of vulnerable right now, like I need some me time and a good cry, I have to weigh that against how I'm basically going to screw the other people who took that feat and are counting on me sticking around so they can get their +X to Y or free AoO or extra Sneak Attack dice.

...

I would say the opportunity cost that gets involved when teamwork feats are on the table is exactly the reason why they rarely get used by most classes.

Leaving aside the issue of prereqs and build requirements for a moment(which may or may not be a concern), when you and an ally are choosing Outflank instead of Weapon Focus you are both put in a position where you have +1 over what you normally would when flanking with the ally, but -1 to both of you when you are not flanking with each other. This is horrible unless you get flanking on the majority of your attacks, and Outflank is one of the best teamwork feats. God help you if you choose something like Shake It Off or Allied Spellcaster.


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Set wrote:
This sounds like an excellent meat-grinder of a group, for dealing with singular large foes. Butterfly Sting with dual-wielded kukris (or some other high-threat option), paired with someone with a high-damage weapon, like a scythe or pick, can be brutal fun when the dice go your way

Butterfly Sting is a good example of what teamwork feats *should* be. It only asks one player to have it. That player could also flank with other guys besides the pick wielding dude (like giving the butterfly sting critical to a recently summoned celestial T-Rex or whatever). Those 2 PC work better when paired, but the feat works just fine with other members of the group


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Pathfinder Companion Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Snowblind wrote:


Shockingly enough, while players are happy with "I kick ass, and kick ass slightly more when my buddy is nearby", the same players generally don't like themes like "I am much weaker unless I have others helping".

This is a very insightful comment, and I think the way teamwork feats could be fixed to be actually desirable is to give you some of the benefit solo, just more with someone else in the mix.

For example, all the "+2 to whatever..." Maybe you get +1 when working with someone without the feat, +2 with. Or a similar minor trait-level bonus/juiced really nice feat bonus dichotomy if it's not a +something. Let's try this out.

Back to Back: You receive a +1 circumstance bonus to AC against attacks from opponents flanking you. While you are adjacent to an ally with this feat, the bonus rises to +2.

Allied Spellcaster: You receive a +1 competence bonus on level checks made to overcome spell resistance. Whenever you are adjacent to an ally who also has this feat, the bonus rises to +2. If your ally has the same spell prepared (or known with a slot available if they are spontaneous spellcasters), this bonus increases to +4 and you receive a +1 bonus to the caster level for all level-dependent variables, such as duration, range, and effect.

Combat Medic: Whenever you use Heal to provide first aid, treat caltrop wounds, or treat poison, you provoke no attacks of opportunity, and can take 10 on the check.
Whenever you use healing spells on an ally who also has this feat, you provoke no attacks of opportunity.
Unlike with other teamwork feats, allies that are paralyzed, stunned, unconscious, or cannot otherwise act still count for the purposes of this feat.

Oh look I fixed teamwork feats. None of them are so badass you would certainly take them, but they rise from the level of "shaaa right" to "Oh, maybe for this build..."

Sczarni

Gronk de'Morcaine wrote:
Ok, I can see why in PFS they would be unpopular. Unless you have a very small pool of players, you won’t know who you are going to be with at the table so they probably won’t have the matching abilities.

Hmmm... I could joke about some GMs ruling that Stealth Synergy doesn't work per RAW (if you are seen, you can't roll stealth, thus a skill that says you have to be within sight of an ally... lolz) - but for this, it certainly seems like an advantageous skill to have in the entire party. I can't explain why people wouldn't do this other that they actually didn't want to make a sneaky party.

As for the "saves" one: I can easily see why everyone would NOT do this. Namely, that almost immediately as soon as combat starts nobody should be within five feet of each other, lest you submit yourself to every kind of AOE attack imaginable. While this would grant a +3 in a party of 4 people it drops to +0 almost as soon as combat starts, the "rogue" moves to flank (no longer close to anyone in his party), the mage backs up to cast (no longer close to anyone), the fighter and ranger take their positions too... and you go from a +3 to a +0 before the second spell goes off... Naw, I'd rather have a +2 all the time.


because they monopolyze the team interaction.
the worst part from the feats, its that they mess with the imagination at all, so, if every book has 300+ feat, then, less the freedom for your character.

that´s why i think that 5th edition succeeds.

Teamwork feat has two big prerreqs:
1 they cost a feat slot
2 you need someone consious to activate them (that means that the feat costs 2+feat slot, one yours and one your pal).


Gronk de'Morcaine wrote:

Ok, I can see why in PFS they would be unpopular. Unless you have a very small pool of players, you won’t know who you are going to be with at the table so they probably won’t have the matching abilities.

But as far as I can tell, most home groups never use them (unless free from the class abilities). Even when they are pretty obviously mathematically superior, people don’t use them. I’ve demonstrated it with the opposition forces (when I was GM) and with a short term demo with a 1 shot. Every single player and GM was amazed at how great they worked. But still no one was willing to take them next time they were making characters. Even ‘optimizers’ making teams to work together will only rarely consider using them.

** spoiler omitted **

** spoiler omitted **...

my sugestion to solve this teams**ty feats:

Make a new feat group called Party feat, so the party every x level can learn something FOR the party, like a teamworkfeat.

All the members In the party must decide what they will learn, and theres only teamworkfeats for this.

So, this with the retrainint rule, they could rp the fact that they learn strategy or something. :3 and with levels, they have more feats... maybe every four or five levels.


It seems as if OP had four very specific and somewhat unusual examples of where he/she felt teamwork feats would be awesome, but then the players didn't take them.

There were not enough details to know why the players didn't take them; aside from the many legitimate reasons enunciated in this thread. Then OP saw one post that suggested it's because players want to be special snowflakes and said, "Oh yeah it's probably this!" because it confirmed his initial suspicions that not taking teamwork feats was due to some inherent selfishness.

The truth is most of them aren't great. If teamwork feats are realistically useful it's situation. They'd need to be better to be a valid choice more frequently (I can't address the examples tailored to make them sound like good choices where they were not taken because OP did not explain what the alternate strategy of these party members were).

This is one of the threads where OP wanted his belief confirmed. He found one poster who did that and stuck with his conclusion on that basis. The internet, as in life, often leads to long conversations where people are really just waiting for an opportunity for someone to agree with them.


Stealth Synergy is amazeballs. We are on our second group with the feat. The first group was 2 druids a summoner and a rouge and it worked wonders with how we play which is get in quiet and then bust out the violence.

When we built our next group which has 2 Brawlers a Witch and a Slayer I recommended it based on the style of campaign and that we all had a decent stealth and it has again worked wonders, nothing like sneaking into an Orc border fort then killing them with out their walls and ranged weapons.


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From my personal experience and from reading the threads, the general sense I get is that groups who take teamwork feats love them and find them kick ass, and groups who never take teamwork feats think they suck and can't believe that players take them.

Players do take them. Those that do take them in my area love them and find them incredibly useful (or maybe it's "those who find them useful take them").

If you're a pair of rogues, Outflank is insanely good, because you're going to get into flank anyway, and you're more likely to have a high crit threat weapon and a high dex (and therefore benefit from Combat Reflexes). Precise Strike is also really nice.

If you're a pair of half-orc barabarians or bloodragers, Amplified Rage rules the board at 1st level. Very few CR 2-4 monsters will last long against a pair of characters with +8 Str.

My husband and I build and plan teamwork feat characters. We've met lots of people who play teamwork feat characters. We've yet to meet anyone who says they started with teamwork feats and never found them useful and/or trained out of them.

And I have a question for people who say the positioning requirements are too restrictive ("you're never going to be adjacent" or "always have at least 5 feet between you once combat starts"): do you only fight large numbers of foes in wide open, flat spaces? Because we're always ending up in tight hallways and small rooms or next to large rocks and trees and bodies of water...and there just are not that many places to stand. We have to work hard to not be adjacent, and if more than one person wants to attack the same foe, you can't avoid it, even with large characters and reach weapons.

And while "don't get in fireball formation" is a great joke, it's still a joke. Fireballs cover almost 1/4 of the average flip mat: where the heck are you fighting that you're out of range of that (especially if you're in those wide open spaces)? And if you're in range to get Haste, Bless, etc., guess what? You're in fireball formation. My evoker has a much bigger problem finding places to drop fireballs without getting half the party than she does finding a corner that will get all the bad guys.

I understand that teamwork feats are a specialized build, but almost every build is specialized. I realize that they don't suit all character types and player personalities. I know that they are harder to pull off if you don't have the same group of characters all the time. But they are certainly not "useless" and not "a waste of time" in the right group.

But I've seen teamwork feats in action. I play a lot of teamwork feat characters. I recommend teamwork feats often, and I've yet to have anyone tell me it didn't work out for them (and trust me, people will tell me when my advice doesn't work).

TL,DR: If you have never actually tried playing teamwork feat builds, then maybe you should temper your assertions until you give the mechanic a chance.

Shadow Lodge

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I am going to second Escape Route as an amazing positioning feat, especially if the group is spending must of its time in cramped areas (eg dungeon crawls). My group uses it all the time in Rappan Athuk.


I would really like to try a teamwork build. It just seems that every concept I have that would work well with them ends up not for whatever reason.

My wife and I made a pair of half-orcs who like to flank and rage... for the core campaign, where you can't take teamwork feats.

I had a cavalier who was statted out with Escape Route, but the GM ruled that my mute character couldn't use Tactician so I had to switch to the Gendarme archetype or be stuck with an ability I couldn't use.

I also find that the majority of concepts I have that would work well with teamwork feats end up with a class that lets them "cheat" the feats.

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 16

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Amusingly, the only way I can understand Inquisitors having teamwork feats is because in Warhammer 40k Inquisitor kill-teams are a thing.

They should be a fighter or rogue thing.

:)

==Aelryinth


I've been playing as a rogue in a game for about two months now; our fighter was 100% willing to take teamwork feats to make flanking with me even better (since flanking is the easiest way to deliver sneak attacks). Sure, sometimes I have to take a double move/make an Acrobatics check or he has to bite an AoO to get into position, but with a little cooperation and communication we've gotten it down to pretty much clockwork.

I usually end up doling out as much damage as the rest of the party put together each round, once I'm in position, and the two of us are outperforming the group's cleric, sorcerer and samurai hand over fist.

tl;dr - teamwork feats are amazing if you've got people who are willing to take risks/small sacrifices to work together.


Does Stealth Synergy let you use your ally's Stealth modifier and or ignore your own armor check penalty, or does it just let you use an ally's d20 roll? The problem I've usually seen with being stealthy is that most parties seem to have at least one PC who won't go along with it.

@Gwen - My girlfriend and I have our PCs work together enough that at least one group mildly ridicules us for it, but we still don't tend to take a lot of teamwork feats. Perhaps that's because we tend to go for PCs from different classes who cover each other's weaknesses and therefore want different bonuses.


Gwen Smith wrote:
TL,DR: If you have never actually tried playing teamwork feat builds, then maybe you should temper your assertions until you give the mechanic a chance.

I don't know why you think those who advocate against it haven't given the mechanic a chance. I have, I even gave a teamwork for free to every character sometimes (for example, in Way of the Wicked AP the whole group gets one).

It's just that ... you know... they still suck. There's no way I can be convinced that Combat medic isn't a sucky feat, no matter how many times me and my whole group waste a feat on it and no matter how many times in a campaign I finally manage to roll to stabilize someone with the healing skill and not being AOOed is relevant because I'm a Combat Medic type of character but I don't have a Wand of Cure Light Wounds with me, which automatically stabilize people and doesn't provoke anyway (?)

Those who advocate for teamworks feats always talk about basically 3-4 feats. Outflank, Precise strike, maybe lookout, maybe stealth sinergy... etc. Which are the ones that work better, because they are also the ones that need less requirements to work and have a broad appeal to many classes (any class want to flank, and many classes fight in melee. But not many classes can rage and not every character that can rage is a half orc, and staying adjacent is harder to do and less desirable than trying to flank, so outflank is much more useful than amplified rage, even if Amplified rage is much more abusable in the proper setup, like the aforementioneed half-orc hunter/barbarian)

Have you tried, say.... Brutal Grappler? Compelling Harmonies? Coordinated Maneuvers? Covering fire? Feint PArtner? Harder they Fall? Overwhelm? Tandem trip? Volley fire? A great example is Enfilading fire. Have you ever used that one, not counting Inquisitors who "cheat" it?

Many of those would be useful, in gimmick groups or GM encounters. Volley fire is great for a batallion of archers, and Cavalry Formation is great for a batallion of lancers But how often do you see more than 1 archer in a group or more than one mounted character? And even then... Would you take those feats before rapid shot, precise shot, manyshots, deadly aim, or mounted combat/ride-by-attack/spirited charge/power attack?


Don't forget the trait letting you get the benefit when not adjacent: http://www.d20pfsrd.com/traits/race-traits/undine-loyalty-undine

With that, you might have more use for teamwork feats: easier for allies to be within 10 ft than adjacent.


Asuming you are going to play an Undine, yes.

Sovereign Court

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion Subscriber

If your Social trait is open, there's always Adopted. ^_^


Starbuck_II wrote:

Don't forget the trait letting you get the benefit when not adjacent: http://www.d20pfsrd.com/traits/race-traits/undine-loyalty-undine

With that, you might have more use for teamwork feats: easier for allies to be within 10 ft than adjacent.

Linkified. Too bad it isn't a more generally available trait.

* * * * * * * *

Have ended up liking BOTH Pro AND Con arguments about teamwork feats in this thread.

* * * * * * * *

If you have a strongly themed or especially One Class (or almost One Class) party (thread #1, thread #2), you are already coordinating builds, so consider teamwork feats.

* * * * * * * *

Wonder what the prevalence is of taking teamwork feats comparing US and non-US players?


Gwen Smith wrote:

From my personal experience and from reading the threads, the general sense I get is that groups who take teamwork feats love them and find them kick ass, and groups who never take teamwork feats think they suck and can't believe that players take them.

Players do take them. Those that do take them in my area love them and find them incredibly useful (or maybe it's "those who find them useful take them").

If you're a pair of rogues, Outflank is insanely good, because you're going to get into flank anyway, and you're more likely to have a high crit threat weapon and a high dex (and therefore benefit from Combat Reflexes). Precise Strike is also really nice.

If you're a pair of half-orc barabarians or bloodragers, Amplified Rage rules the board at 1st level. Very few CR 2-4 monsters will last long against a pair of characters with +8 Str.

My husband and I build and plan teamwork feat characters. We've met lots of people who play teamwork feat characters. We've yet to meet anyone who says they started with teamwork feats and never found them useful and/or trained out of them.

And I have a question for people who say the positioning requirements are too restrictive ("you're never going to be adjacent" or "always have at least 5 feet between you once combat starts"): do you only fight large numbers of foes in wide open, flat spaces? Because we're always ending up in tight hallways and small rooms or next to large rocks and trees and bodies of water...and there just are not that many places to stand. We have to work hard to not be adjacent, and if more than one person wants to attack the same foe, you can't avoid it, even with large characters and reach weapons.

And while "don't get in fireball formation" is a great joke, it's still a joke. Fireballs cover almost 1/4 of the average flip mat: where the heck are you fighting that you're out of range of that (especially if you're in those wide open spaces)? And if you're in range to get Haste, Bless, etc., guess what? You're in fireball...

Yep, if you have two characters that are much weaker without a flank then you might as well take something that makes you make more of a meaningful contribution. Here is a question: How often will a party have 2 rogues that both depend heavily upon flanking for sneak attack (something like a sapmaster build might have more relevant stuff to take)? Not that often. You could take it and persuade one of your allies to take it, but then you are forcing a feat tax on them on top of the expectation you already have that they will put themselves into otherwise unnecessary danger in order to have flanking. This isn't likely to win brownie points with the rest of your team (who can function without another character standing 10ft away from them at all times).

How often do you have two characters that are a)both rage based, and b)half orcs? Not very often. Without the stupid racial requirement the feat is better (if you have 2 characters that can use it, possibly the best teamwork feat), but you still run into several issues. There are two important ones that I can think of.

1) Unless you have encounters with a max of 2 targets, your barbarians/bloodragers will almost always drop a target in a full attack, or close to. Occasionally outright on the charge (or usually if pouncing). By using this feat, you are frequently going to be denied
full attacks because you decided to sit next to your rage buddy instead of going for a different target and murderizing it, so when one of you drops the target on the first swing of their full attack the other has to reposition instead of you both pounding 2 targets into the dust by smacking them with 2 on the full attack after 1 on the charge. Bunching up also forces close positioning to the other PC, which stops you from blocking charge lanes to the squishy PCs from the creature that would have otherwise gotten charged (and possibly some of his buddies).

2)You will tend to charge quite often as a barbarian. Sometimes it will be necessary to get an attack that round(if the enemy are 50ft out, for example, or if it is a surprise round) This feat will give you two options when moving in your standard party formation: a) bunch up together so when 1 charges they block the charge lane of the other, forcing an attack to be wasted before or b) space out so you probably don't get the bonus on the first round. If the target dies on the double charge or is larger than medium and dies on the second round then you don't get useful bonuses then either, and are likely forced into option a) this time.

These are both massive issues. This makes the feat really so-so, even though it's effects are beyond what any other teamwork feat gives.

How often is part of the party mixed in with hostiles, so a caster will be forced to either friendly fire or only hit part of the party? Quite frequently, especially if the party likes to get into flank. Plus bunching up like chumps leads to the entire party getting glitterdusted, or 3 people getting dropped into a pit, or something else nasty but preventable via basic positioning tactics that that feat actively discourages. Fireball is only part of the concern. Being bunched up like that and getting hit by Dominate X/Charm X/Confusion is also really dangerous - the squishies are within full attack range of the martials. Besides, what happens if your characters space out for whatever reason, like say if an enemy combatant charges into melee range and can 5 foot step next round into a full attack on a squishy (possibly involving reach)? Yep, their feat turns off. How many creatures charge into melee? Quite a lot, actually.

As for if you will be close up in combat, I will go through the last several encounters I remember personally playing in or GMing (aside from ones that were jokes like the fighter vs a crazed level 3 commoner) and say the rough size of the primary area the combat occurred in, relevant details, and an assesment of the viability of bunching up.

Some of my encounters, both GMed and played:

GMing: Open area, near a river - party started spread out in an ambush situation and needed to make some reach weapon users and a magus that fortunately didn't get buff time yet die quickly so they could cross the river and stop the arrow fire from enough creatures to make a CR=APL+1 encounter by themselves (yes, I tend to make brutal encounters)
Open area with hostiles emerging out of a house - great time to bunch up together while fighting the...plague zombies...right...there was even a cleric in the back casting Murderous Command (giggles)
Tight quarters in a mine - the encounter was a single creature with an AoE sleep breath weapon so it is a terrible idea (the encounter got shut down because the witch who failed on a 14 was 5 feet to far to get hit so the thing just got slumbered and CdG'd)
Open area - threats were weak and the only danger of the encounter was them repeatedly reanimating and grinding down the party so bunching would have made no useful difference and would have just caused a couple of AoOs while setting the recently re-killed on fire
Split up in a couble of reasonably large rooms(upstairs and downstairs in an inn) - split up and against reach and ranged weapon users backed up by spellcasters and one of the PCs is a witch so there needs to be some space for doing coup de graces which need to happen badly since it was a CR=APL+5 encounter (2 encounters that the two halves of the party walked into due to bad life choices, specifically failing to share information of a likely impending attack).

Played: 50ft wide area - could have been done, but wouldn't have done much,
In a large temple area - thwarted ambush plus hostiles were rogues with a vampire magus appearing from the rear halfway into the encounter(which we had an inkling might happen) so bunching up is a terrible idea
In a small room - social ambush type situation involving poison and magic shenanigans so by the time the involved party members were in a condition to bunch up the threat being a flimsy rogue type was dead
500 ft of various puzzle rooms during a protracted fight against a somewhat gimmicky ultrapowered-but-crippled boss that involved moving through a few puzzles that are trivial when not running for your lives from a plot-mandated unkillable caster - yeah, no
An arena during single combat between 1 party member and a general they ticked off - nope
Boss fight against two spell casters and some dominated minions - since the spellcasters in the back need to die instead of bunching up like idiots...lolno, large inside area against 2 dragons(yay breath weapons?).

I count 1 where bunching up was tactically viable out of 12(the Shake It Off feat wouldn't have done much though). Pretty bad odds of the feat not being a waste of character sheet space on my end, although since I tend to favor encounters that are near suicidal without using tactics and the person I play under likes encounters that are for lack of a better word "Gimmicky" (not usually bad, just focused around some GM-fiat based thing that we have to deal with in addition to smacking around some dudes). Maybe there is a style of encounter that favors using teamwork feats, but I haven't seen it happen for encounters I see at my table.


Kalindlara wrote:
If your Social trait is open, there's always Adopted. ^_^

Asuming you want to play a character raised/adopted by undines, yes. ;)


Sorry--I forgot that rogues completely and totally suck and that they should never be used as an example for anything, ever, because no one ever plays them. /snark.

Snowblind wrote:
1) Unless you have encounters with a max of 2 targets, your barbarians/bloodragers will almost always drop a target in a full attack, or close to. Occasionally outright on the charge (or usually if pouncing)

Not sure how you are you pouncing at 1st level (which was my example), but...Amplified rage works adjacent or flanking, so you can charge up, then your buddy charges up beside you and it automatically kicks in. And when you're adjacent, you don't have to be attacking the same target. Enlarged Amplified Ragers with reach weapons can mop up a battlefield very quickly.

Digression:

Snowblind wrote:
2)You will tend to charge quite often as a barbarian. Sometimes it will be necessary to get an attack that round(if the enemy are 50ft out, for example, or if it is a surprise round) This feat will give you two options when moving in your standard party formation: a) bunch up together so when 1 charges they block the charge lane of the other, forcing an attack to be wasted before or b) space out so you probably don't get the bonus on the first round. If the target dies on the double charge or is larger than medium and dies on the second round then you don't get useful bonuses then either, and are likely forced into option a) this time.

In my experience, the charging barbarian is an idiotic maneuver. Unless you get some mechanical damage benefit for charging (weapons do more damage, etc.) or you can't reach the person in a single move, the +2 to hit is not worth it. It seems like a lot of people just "feel" like charging is more powerful than it is.

And charge lanes are usually pretty hard to come by, anyway.

But I usually only play up through level 12, so what I usually see happen is
1) Barbarian charges in and ends up 70+ feet from the rest of the party, with a net -4 to his AC.
2) With a large monster/monster with reach, he takes an AoO moving in.
3) Barbarian fails to drop the monster in his attack.
4) Rest of the party doubles moves up, and end up 10+ feet away
OR caster drops an AoE on the monster and catches the barbarian
OR caster drops an AoE buff that misses the barbarian
5) Barbarian takes somewhere between 3 and 7 attacks from the monster, who has no other targets, and with that net -4, even the iteratives have a decent chance of hitting.
6) Barbarian falls over.
7) Healer still has to move up to cast Breath of Life, and takes two AoOs from the monster (once for moving, once for casting).

Of course, I've played with some fairly silly barbarians--like the guy who ran past the three characters with reach weapons and readied actions (who had just said "Let them come to us--we'll get our attacks and an AoO before they can reach us" not 5 seconds before) and ends his turn adjacent to the 5 monsters, who have 3 attacks each...oh, and are also on fire.

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 16

adjacent means adjacent, not within reach.

Adjacent barbs with reach weapons overlap the area they cover on their adjacent sides, wasting the space.

Adjacent Enlarged barbs are basically giving up 30' feet of coverage area they could be smacking stuff in.

Just a point.

==Aelryinth


gustavo iglesias wrote:
Gwen Smith wrote:
TL,DR: If you have never actually tried playing teamwork feat builds, then maybe you should temper your assertions until you give the mechanic a chance.
I don't know why you think those who advocate against it haven't given the mechanic a chance. I have, I even gave a teamwork for free to every character sometimes (for example, in Way of the Wicked AP the whole group gets one).

Which is why I said "if": If the condition doesn't apply to you, feel free to skip the result.

gustavo iglesias wrote:

It's just that ... you know... they still suck. There's no way I can be convinced that Combat medic isn't a sucky feat, no matter how many times me and my whole group waste a feat on it and no matter how many times in a campaign I finally manage to roll to stabilize someone with the healing skill and not being AOOed is relevant because I'm a Combat Medic type of character but I don't have a Wand of Cure Light Wounds with me, which automatically stabilize people and doesn't provoke anyway (?)

Those who advocate for teamworks feats always talk about basically 3-4 feats. Outflank, Precise strike, maybe lookout, maybe stealth sinergy... etc. Which are the ones that work better, because they are also the ones that need less requirements to work and have a broad appeal to many classes (any class want to flank, and many classes fight in melee. But not many classes can rage and not every character that can rage is a half orc, and staying adjacent is harder to do and less desirable than trying to flank, so outflank is much more useful than amplified rage, even if Amplified rage is much more abusable in the proper setup, like the aforementioneed half-orc hunter/barbarian)

Have you tried, say.... Brutal Grappler? Compelling Harmonies? Coordinated Maneuvers? Covering fire? Feint PArtner? Harder they Fall? Overwhelm? Tandem trip? Volley fire? A great example is Enfilading fire. Have you ever used that one, not counting Inquisitors who "cheat" it?

Well, sure, a lot of the teamwork feats suck, and a few of them are so good that everyone always takes them. No one argues that at all.

But that's true of all feats as a whole, not just the teamwork feats. Everyone takes Power Attack. Vital Strike is not as good as you want it to be. Maneuver feats can be good, but only if you specifically build for the maneuver. And there's a long list of feats that are called "traps" for good reason.

But several people were making statements closer to "all teamwork feats are terrible all the time", despite other people saying they used them to good effect.


I know people who swear by Tandem Trip. The main problem I see with it is that it deepens your investment in Trip, which is a tactic the DM can easily take off the table completely (especially in the land of homebrew)

Regarding adjacency, Bodyguard and In Harm's Way require adjacency too but strike me as pretty good feats for the right team. We've used Bodyguard successfully in a couple of campaigns. I also like Mounted Combat, which is obviously kind of situation based since you need to be on the mount. As for actual teamwork feats, Shield Wall hasn't been bad, and the PCs who have it like to be adjacent anyhow since Shield Slam allows them to create AoOs for each other (not when the opponent is moved away, but when it tries to stand up or move back in)


Devilkiller wrote:
Does Stealth Synergy let you use your ally's Stealth modifier and or ignore your own armor check penalty, or does it just let you use an ally's d20 roll? The problem I've usually seen with being stealthy is that most parties seem to have at least one PC who won't go along with it.

Every one who has Stealth Synergy roles a d20 then every one applies their own stealth modifier to the highest roll.

So even though our group that uses it has 3 people with a 9 stealth and one with a 17 we still succeed on all the stealth checks. With 4 people rolling we usually get in the 15 to 18 range, it also means that the one person that rolled that got a 7 or 2 doesn't mess it up for everyone by rising an alarm or something.


Gwen Smith wrote:
stuff

when you say some teamwork feats are so good as to be always take, do you mean on inquisitors hunters and cavaliers? Because regular classes never take them.

Also I guess the thread is over? Its been explained a few times why teamwork feats are pretty bad, I don't really see anything more to discuss.


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When my players play classes that do not get teamwork feats for free, they still take them.

They use them often and consider them quite valuable.

They often choose their PC concepts at the beginning of the game and at about third to sixth level look and see if any of the teamwork feats fit in between some of their concepts. If they find one they like then they take it.


Teamwork feats that my players have used:

Back to Back
Coordinated Defense
Coordinate Maneuvers
Coordinated Shot
Duck & Cover
Enfilading Fire
Escape Route (They LOVE this one!)
Swap Places
Lookout (Which they often take at 1st Level)
Outflank
Paired Opportunist
Precise Strike
Shake It Off
Shield Wall (They LOVE this one too!)
Stealth Synergy

So...all you who do not like teamwork feats can certainly say that in your opinion teamwork feats are not worth it.

In mine and my players opinions they are.

So lets just agree to disagree.


Weslocke wrote:


Enfilading Fire

Someone paid a feat tax to make someone else have +2 to hit in some situations?


Yes, they did, although I must admit that particular feat was taken at high level (about 16th if I remember correctly) in preparation for a fight with a certain Nymph Sorceress 6th/ Mystic Theurge 10th from an AP with an AC of 51.


Weslocke wrote:
Yes, they did, although I must admit that particular feat was taken at high level (about 16th if I remember correctly) in preparation for a fight with a certain Nymph Sorceress 6th/ Mystic Theurge 10th from an AP with an AC of 51.

How did they knew the AC in advance? We didn't when we played it. We also killed her with teamwork, but not with teamwork feats. Our Bard casted Irresistible Dance on her, someone else dispelled a few spells, (I think she got stun and lost the DEX to AC but I can't remember how) and I chopped her into pieces in a single full round of falchion smashing, doing like 380+ hp damage in one round. Teamwork, without teamwork feats

I'd say that use of enfilading fire is a gimmick encounter at best. For gimminck games, yes, they work well. If someone plays a campaign based on a cavalry unit, then yes, cavalry formation might be good (even then, probably has lower priority than mounted combat/ride-by-attack/sprited charge/power attack at the very least). If someone is playing a campaign of a group of infiltrator/special ops group, Stealth Sinergy is great, yes. If someone knows in advance the huge AC of a BBEG, then things like Enfilading Fire might help. If you are playing a campaing of raging half-orcs, then sure, the rage-thing feat is incredible.

But in a regular game, a group of individuals facing together a rising challenge (ie: your average AP), it's not that easy to fit them without forcing other players to change their PC concepts or take feat taxes (like paying for enfilading fire). That's why they aren't popular (which is the question of the OP), and that's why they are seen, mostly, with classes that cheat them (a archer hunter with his pet, an archer inquisitor, etc, will take advantage from Enfilading Fire)

Quote:

So...all you who do not like teamwork feats can certainly say that in your opinion teamwork feats are not worth it.

In mine and my players opinions they are.

So lets just agree to disagree.

Well, some people take the deadly sneak rogue talent (however is called the one that let you reroll 1s in sneak dice), because in their opinion, it's worth it. That's their opinion, but it's a wrong one. Feats have mechanical effects that are measurable in statistics. Often, people think that certain things are better or worse than they are, because they don't grasp the math behind it (deadly sneak is a good example), and by the way our brain works, we use heuristic thoughts to solve problems (such as "is this rogue talent worth it?") without needing to stop and do the math behind it (which show it sucks), forming a cognitive bias to shortcut our innumeracy

In short:
Let's say your characters took Outflank, to take one of the best teamwork feats (the best one, in my opinion) and the more generally applicable one. Your characters get, now, +2 extra attack when flanking, and an extra AOO when someone crits while flanking if the creature isn't dead after the crit, and they still have their AOO available because they haven't used it. Is that valuable? Certainly (in fact, it's one of the teamwork feats that is really good and easy to use, but let's keep the example)

Instead of Outflank, they could take, say, Big Game Hunter, which gives you +1 to hit and +2 to damage against large or bigger creatures. Is that valuable? Certainly! Is it more or less valuable than Outflank?

Here comes the problem. To know if it is more or less valuable, you'll need a statistical survey. For example, take a group of players, make them play a whole AP, with the rogue and fighter having Outflank, while the Wizard and Cleric are less melee oriented. Now you have to count the number of times you outflank someone, and how much extra average damage you get from it (measured both by the % to hit from +2 extra, and the extra attack you get from crit chance if the creature doesn't die with the crit. Then you have to compare it with the extra damage you'll get, through the course of the campaign, from big game hunter Sometimes you are outflanking a Large NPC, but having Big Game Hunter is still better (because for some characters, +1 to hit and +2 to damage is better than +2 to hit). Sometimes, you are against a large creature that you aren't flanking, and you get much more from Big Game Hunter, as you can't use outflank in that situation. Sometimes, you'll be flanking a medium or small creature, which means you'll get more from outflank than you'll get from Big Game Hunter, because BGH wouldn't catch.

Once you have a calculation of how much extra damage you'll get in the course of an adventure from Outflank (which is, once again, the best teamwork feat, and one of the few I'll consider to take besides hunters, inquisitors and other team-cheaters), and how much from some other feat, like Big Game Hunter, you'll have your answer. BUt that's a lenghty, slow, painful work. We don't want to do it. We could substitute that with a mathematical model (modeling how many times per combat you can flank, and how many creatures per adventure are large, to find a mathematical model that represent it). But that's also lengthy and slow.

So our brains take a shortcut. It completelly ignores reality, and makes us to think either Big Game Hunter or Outflank is better, without really knowing the answer It goes heuristic and says "yo, dude, take Outflank". Or "yo, dude, take BGH". And we form that as our "opinion". It doesn't mean, though, that our brain can't be wrong. It certainly can, because it has NOT made the necessary process to really see which one is more useful. (this goes for whoever takes Outflank and/or whoever takes Big Game Hunter, as none of them probably went through the whole mathematical model process or the statistical analysis of every attack made in a whole AP)

I'm currently playing in Giantslayer AP. I have a druid, with pet. For a while, I thought I could use Outflank and Precise Strike, in combination with my pet. We also had an Inquisitor in the group, which made things easier. Sadly, the inquisitor left the game. In the end, I had to choose between Big Game Hunter or Outflank for me (and my pet). Both fit perfectly with the character concept (A half-orc goliath druid, with a background of having really troll blood in his ancestors, who is a guide and hunter and have received dwarf training to fight giants and other big nasty creatures like dragons, and go to hunt with his dinosaur, that he saved from some Wyverns time ago and is now his friend). Without a proper math model, I went to think that:
a) there's going to be a greater number of "Large" creatures in the game than the average chance to flank
b) being Large in giant form, and my pet being large, with most enemies being large, there's a big chance that flanking isn't as easy to begin with, as 3-4 large creatures per side often clutter the space.
c) even when flanking, if the flanked creature is a Large One, +1 to hit and +2 to damage is going to be better for me and my multiple natural attacks (+2 to hit would be better than +1/+2 with other builds, like some Vital Strike based builds with a really big nasty attack). +1 extra to hit gives you an extra damage based in the average damage per hit, which needs to be bigger than a certain treshold to surpass the flat +2 to damage

So, in the end, I took Big Game Hunter. I still flank with my pet whenever possible, my game concept is the same (I'd be a hunter of big preys that fight alonside his dinosaur, whatever the feats I take). But, although my thought process wasn't backed with a full-fledged statistical model, I think my option was better than outflank.

And that's with a PC who can, somewhat, "cheat" the requirements making his pet pay for the feat as well, and talking about the best teamwork feat.


They did not know the exact AC in advance.

In a prior encounter with her (when she took Briar from them) they did discover that she was quite difficult to hit, though.

Your example is pure theorycraft. One sentence of actual play experience trumps two pages of theorycraft.

People say stunning fist is "useless" too, but my airwalking vanilla monk 9th stunning fisted a young adult dragon out of the air with a held action and killed it in the fall.

Actual play is what really matters.

Not sterile numbers on a whiteboard.


Create Mr. Pitt wrote:

It seems as if OP had four very specific and somewhat unusual examples of where he/she felt teamwork feats would be awesome, but then the players didn't take them.

There were not enough details to know why the players didn't take them; aside from the many legitimate reasons enunciated in this thread. Then OP saw one post that suggested it's because players want to be special snowflakes and said, "Oh yeah it's probably this!" because it confirmed his initial suspicions that not taking teamwork feats was due to some inherent selfishness.

The truth is most of them aren't great. If teamwork feats are realistically useful it's situation. They'd need to be better to be a valid choice more frequently (I can't address the examples tailored to make them sound like good choices where they were not taken because OP did not explain what the alternate strategy of these party members were).

This is one of the threads where OP wanted his belief confirmed. He found one poster who did that and stuck with his conclusion on that basis. The internet, as in life, often leads to long conversations where people are really just waiting for an opportunity for someone to agree with them.

Uhmm... not. I ageed with a few and favorited a couple others for a reminder to myself.

Actually, in most of them I did explain the alternate strategy.

In "small teams" they took weapon focus. One of the took it twice. Nearly every fight they were maneuvering to flank because they felt they had to to hit the tough opponents.

In "group sneaking" every character took 1 trait and at least 2 or 3 feats dedicated to raising their stealth score. Skill focus and stealthy. Some took another that I forget atm. They tried for 6 levels to make the concept work, then gave up. Every single time the sneak was blown due to a low roll, stealth synergy would have saved it. I don't think there was a single instance where trading out the +2 from one of the other feats would have been enough worse to cause a fail because of getting to take the high group roll.
The gave up the group concept rather than even giving stealth synergy a try, because 'everyone knows' teamwork feats suck.

In "mounted combat" they really had no alternate strategy. They complained a bunch about how spread out they were and how delaying for they guy with the lowest initiative caused the bad guys to out maneuver them all the time. Yes they had all the prereqs.

In "will saves" the alternate strategy was for everyone to take iron will and spend as much as possible on a headband of wisdom and their cloak of resistance. It was very rare in that large group to not be next to at least 2 other PC's/pets.

They were not special situations made up and tailored to make a teamwork feat look good. They were actual group concepts and nearly entire campaign situations.
Most of the "legitimate reasons enunciated in this thread" ignored or at least didn't make sense in regard to the specific examples I presented.

I'm not sure since I haven't kept track, But I don't remember lots of times where people spread out very much to avoid AoE spells. There just usually isn't that much room and if you do spreasd out you invite getting individually surrounded, especially bad for the squishy casters/archers.

Most games I've seen try very hard to be flanking as much as possible. Skill focus perception is moderately common. Lookout works better.

I've never said anything even remotely close to "They are always great and everyone should take them!"
But there are situations, groups, and/or campaigns were they just plain do work very well. Arguably better than most of what people chose instead. Yet they aren't even considered.

I was not looking for agreement, I was trying to find why. Most of what I've seen is 'I can't count on others working with me' or 'I'm so convinced they are bad, that I won't consider them.'

I think the party should be able to count on others working with them especially if they say they will and take it in their build so they can. I'm trying to think of ways to get past the 'won't consider' attitude.

Next time I GM I was already considering giving out traits or feats based on backstory and how they act in-character during the game. I might try giving out a few teamwork feats when it works out along those lines. That would give them a little exposure and demo when they will and won't work.


As far as the changing PC "concepts" goes, since when does a "concept" take all your feats?

My players establish their concepts at first level.

About 3rd -7th they look to see if any teamwork feats fit between their concepts.

Example: "I have been making good use of this shield I found", said the Cleric PC to the Paladin in my last carrion crown campaign. "Maybe we should practice using our shields in concert in hallways and tight spots.", she added.
"Good idea", replied the paladin. And they promptly purchased the Shield Wall feat.

How, precisely, does that disrupt a "concept"?


Weslocke wrote:

They did not know the exact AC in advance.

In a prior encounter with her (when she took Briar from them) they did discover that she was quite difficult to hit, though.

Your example is pure theorycraft. One sentence of actual play experience trumps two pages of theorycraft.

People say stunning fist is "useless" too, but my airwalking vanilla monk 9th stunning fisted a young adult dragon out of the air with a held action and killed it in the fall.

Actual play is what really matters.

Not sterile numbers on a whiteboard.

No just plain simple no. That is wrong. Not even debatable just wrong.

Actual play does not deal in averages. In a single encounter you could in theory roll nothing but natural 20 for the greataxe wielding barbarian. Now instead the said barbarian could have been using a falchion. Now because only rolling natural 20s only crit modifier matters not crit threath range. And it can be proven without shadow of a doubt that after certain point in damage bonuses falchion is the superior weapon.(damage wise)

There are examples of people surviving terminal velocity falls. That does not discount the understanding of physics we have that it is highly likely that such a fall will kill a person.

As to the larger topic, it has been said before but.

1) Vast majority of them suck even when they are working.
2) They apply their bonus rarely
3) Requires the feat to fit into the build and preferably at the same time of 2 characters minium.
4) They are not as good as what could be done with the feat otherwise.
5) It forces you to either use one spesific tactic even when it is not the optimal for the situation or essentially take a penalty(as in not benefitting from said feat)
6) Adjucant, it is a bad idea.

All information does not count for pet+char combos or inqusitors/cavaliers/archtypes. With those they can be made worth it. But basicly without further incentive to take teamwork feats they are 9/10 not worth it.

It is sort of asking like rogues are good at skills why doesn't every party have them? Yes rogue is a benefit to the group but you have to take into account that it could be any other class instead including one of the ones that are better than rogue at skills.


gustavo iglesias wrote:
stuff

In other words "nuh-uh"

That was a whole lot of typing to explain that your opinion is no more scientifically sound than Weslocke's. All those things that you say are required to measure a feat's value haven't been done by either of you and you are both operating on gut feelings.


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Weslocke wrote:


Your example is pure theorycraft. One sentence of actual play experience trumps two pages of theorycraft.

People say stunning fist is "useless" too, but my airwalking vanilla monk 9th stunning fisted a young adult dragon out of the air with a held action and killed it in the fall.

When medical scientists do this, it's called "quackery." When tobacco companies do it, it's called "scientific fraud."

"People say that smoking is harmful too, but my grandfather smoked two packs a day since he was 16 and lived to be 98."

The problem with this is (at least) twofold.

1) You don't see what would have happened if you had tried something else.
2) You don't see that a single case is often highly unrepresentative of what is generally the case.

Or, more bluntly, "one sentence of actual play experience" trumps nothing except possibly your ability to see the big picture. As gustavo and bigger club both said.


born_of_fire wrote:
gustavo iglesias wrote:
stuff

In other words "nuh-uh"

That was a whole lot of typing to explain that your opinion is no more scientifically sound than Weslocke's. All those things that you say are required to measure a feat's value haven't been done by either of you and you are both operating on gut feelings.

This is wrong. As gustavo wrote:

Quote:


Without a proper math model, I went to think that:
a) there's going to be a greater number of "Large" creatures in the game than the average chance to flank
b) being Large in giant form, and my pet being large, with most enemies being large, there's a big chance that flanking isn't as easy to begin with, as 3-4 large creatures per side often clutter the space.
c) even when flanking, if the flanked creature is a Large One, +1 to hit and +2 to damage is going to be better for me and my multiple natural attacks (+2 to hit would be better than +1/+2 with other builds, like some Vital Strike based builds with a really big nasty attack). +1 extra to hit gives you an extra damage based in the average damage per hit, which needs to be bigger than a certain treshold to surpass the flat +2 to damage

You don't need exact numbers to run this kind of analysis.

Point a) suggests that the Big Game Hunter will come up more often than Outflank.
Point b) supports that.

Point c) suggests that Big Game Hunter will have a greater effect when applicable than Outflank will.

So it's a choice between a +X1 to damage Y1 percent of the time, or +X2 to damage Y2 percent of the time, where we don't know exact values, but we know that X1 > X2 and Y1 > Y2. In this case, choice 1 is Pareto-superior to choice 2. Stripped of mathematical jargon, would you rather have $5 once a week, or $4.50 every ten days?


@Xymor - I guess Stealth Synergy might be OK, but the problem with Stealth is usually that the party has one or more PCs who won’t even try to be stealthy. If everybody is at least investing ranks in Stealth I’d guess you could probably get by just buying some cheap cloaks of elvenkind for the less stealthy folks. I’d rather see a non-teamwork feat which allows a character with high Stealth to share some of his or her bonus with allies.

@gustavo iglesias - It is kind of a long feat chain, but I’ve found that Spring Attack can be a nice feat for getting animal companions into flanking position. You move up, bite the front or side of the enemy, and then move around to the back. With a Menacing amulet you double the flanking bonus, and you don’t even need to spend a feat. If you’re already down that road at 5th level then adding Outflank at 8th for an extra +2 bonus might not seem bad. A retired PC of mine used a flanking hyena to set up his Pounce. I originally took the hyena for RP reasons, but I found that a Medium animal is often a lot easier to get into position. You could probably find mechanically better options than the hyena.

Regarding the comparison of +1 to attacks and +2 to damage I think that Power Attack seems like a decent gauge, so +1 to hit might be worth around +2 to damage. I'd actually value the attack bonus a bit more with a Druid though since it seems likely that the PC or companion might like to perform some combat maneuvers.

@Weslocke - It sounds like your players have a different style of gaming than a lot of folks I know. There are a few PCs where the players have only a rough idea of what their PC wants to do and seem to pick feats almost at random when they gain a level, but most builds are planned out at least somewhat in advance. If you want to get good at stuff like mounted combat, TWF, or most combat maneuvers it can take most if not all of your feats. As an aside, a Paladin with a heavy shield also seems like a potentially sad PC since that makes it really hard to use Lay on Hands (thanks, Pistolero...thanks a lot...) I guess you could use Shield Wall with a light shield, but that would halve the benefit.


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Weslocke wrote:
As far as the changing PC "concepts" goes, since when does a "concept" take all your feats?

Clearly you've never tried to build an effective whip weilder...


Orfamay Quest wrote:
born_of_fire wrote:
gustavo iglesias wrote:
stuff

In other words "nuh-uh"

That was a whole lot of typing to explain that your opinion is no more scientifically sound than Weslocke's. All those things that you say are required to measure a feat's value haven't been done by either of you and you are both operating on gut feelings.

This is wrong. As gustavo wrote:

Quote:


Without a proper math model, I went to think that:
a) there's going to be a greater number of "Large" creatures in the game than the average chance to flank
b) being Large in giant form, and my pet being large, with most enemies being large, there's a big chance that flanking isn't as easy to begin with, as 3-4 large creatures per side often clutter the space.
c) even when flanking, if the flanked creature is a Large One, +1 to hit and +2 to damage is going to be better for me and my multiple natural attacks (+2 to hit would be better than +1/+2 with other builds, like some Vital Strike based builds with a really big nasty attack). +1 extra to hit gives you an extra damage based in the average damage per hit, which needs to be bigger than a certain treshold to surpass the flat +2 to damage

You don't need exact numbers to run this kind of analysis.

Point a) suggests that the Big Game Hunter will come up more often than Outflank.
Point b) supports that.

Point c) suggests that Big Game Hunter will have a greater effect when applicable than Outflank will.

So it's a choice between a +X1 to damage Y1 percent of the time, or +X2 to damage Y2 percent of the time, where we don't know exact values, but we know that X1 > X2 and Y1 > Y2. In this case, choice 1 is Pareto-superior to choice 2. Stripped of mathematical jargon, would you rather have $5 once a week, or $4.50 every ten days?

In his post, gustavo states himself that he is "without a proper model". Neither Westlocke or gustavo's opinions have satisfied scientific rigour and, as you said in a separate post, the problem is that you don't know what would have happened if you had tried something else.

For that particular example, BGH will be superior but that is a circumstance cherry picked as an example because BGH is superior there. That doesn't make it superior in all cases. It's possible to go through gustavo's process and arrive at the decision that Outflank is better. What if you're not playing Giantslayer and you won't be facing large creatures reliably? BGH could be less attractive at that point.

Besides, I'm not arguing about the feats. I found it quite amusing that gustavo took all that time to dazzle us with his talk of innumeracy and heuristics only to conclude with nothing more than precisely what he accuses Westlocke of doing.


born_of_fire wrote:
In his post, gustavo states himself that he is "without a proper model".

It's not a proper model because it's underspecified. Using the terminology of the previous post, neither X1, X2, Y1, nor Y2 are known with accuracy.

However, it's not necessary to have a "proper model" to know that if X1 > X2 and Y1 > Y2, choice 1 dominates choice 2.

Similarly, if you offered to buy all the money in my bank account right now for $1,000,000 US, I can't calculate exactly how good a deal it is, since I don't know my account balance to the penny right now. If you offered to buy it for $2,000,000 Canadian, I don't know the exchange rate either. But I know enough to know it is a good deal. I know I have substantially less than $1M and I know that a $CND is worth more that $0.50USD.

Quote:


For that particular example, BGH will be superior but that is a circumstance cherry picked as an example because BGH is superior there. That doesn't make it superior in all cases.

No. But it's a fairly robust property of teamwork feats that they are strongly situational, as you require your partner to do exactly what is need to empower them. An effective +2 to hit that you can use less than 50% of the time is less valuable than a +1 to hit that is always available. And this is true even if you can't quantify how much less than 50% of the time the feat will be useful.

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I found it quite amusing that gustavo took all that time to dazzle us with his talk of innumeracy and heuristics only to conclude with nothing more than precisely what he accuses Westlocke of doing.

That's simply untrue. The analysis by gustavo was more than precise enough to show that, under the assumptions outlined, Outflank sucked. Not rocket surgery.


There are always some risks to making assumptions. Like you could take Big Game Hunter expecting a bunch of Large opponents and then end up in an urban setting fighting mostly humanoids. On the contrary, you could expect to be fighting mostly humanoids in an urban setting and then get sent to another plane where you spend most of your time hunting big dinosaurs. I sometimes feel like Rangers can be a frustrating class since so many of their abilities rely on being able to guess where you'll go and what you'll fight. At least the situation which allows the use of many of the teamwork feats is something mostly under your control. I just wish there were some more inspiring teamwork feat selections to share with a valet familiar who doesn't attack in combat. I mean, the familiar gets the feat for free, but I still don't see much worth taking.

@Gronk - One criticism I'll offer on Lookout is that unless somebody has an ability to always act in the surprise round you could find that having the entire team invest a feat into not being surprised becomes a big disappointment when the DM ensures (or simply rules by fiat) that you're all surprised anyhow.

Your group stealth story seems pretty sad, but did the players know about Taking 10? If so are you sure they understand that you can take 10 even when there's a risk of failure? It is taking 20 which isn't allowed then, but a lot of folks get those rules confused, and some DMs enforce them incorrectly. Anyhow, in some ways Teamwork Feats might as well be called Don't Work All the Time Feats, and a lot of players probably figure that feats which don't work all the time won't work when they need them.


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APs solve a lot of the assumptions if you're smart. "I'm playing in an AP called Giantslayer... I wonder if I'll be fighting giants?"


Devilkiller wrote:
There are always some risks to making assumptions.

There are. However, when the AP is entitled "Giantslayer," it is a reasonably safe assumption you'll be fighting oversized opponents, in the same way that it's fairly safe to assume. that "Vault of the Drow" involved drow, or that "Defeat the Four-Headed Man-Eating Fish-Beast of Aberdeen" involves.... well, you should be ahead of me now.

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Like you could take Big Game Hunter expecting a bunch of Large opponents and then end up in an urban setting fighting mostly humanoids. On the contrary, you could expect to be fighting mostly humanoids in an urban setting and then get sent to another plane where you spend most of your time hunting big dinosaurs. I sometimes feel like Rangers can be a frustrating class since so many of their abilities rely on being able to guess where you'll go and what you'll fight.

This is dealt with in APs where they will usually explicitly recommend favored enemies in the Player's Guide.

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At least the situation which allows the use of many of the teamwork feats is something mostly under your control.

If this were really the case with Outflank, rogues wouldn't suck.

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Anyhow, in some ways Teamwork Feats might as well be called Don't Work All the Time Feats, and a lot of players probably figure that feats which don't work all the time won't work when they need them.

That's not a bad assessment, frankly. If you assume that something will work only half the time, it needs to be at least twice as good as any other feat to be worth taking. And if it's a teamwork feat, it needs to be twice as good for everyone taking it, which means it needs to be a Monster Colossal Awesome Feat of Legendary Winnitude, something so good that both the sorcerer and the ranger want it more than anything else they can take.

It's hard to find feats that are worth it for both sorcerers and rangers even among those that aren't teamwork feats and therefore work all the time.

Add in that, tactically, being forced to be adjacent to a teammate is a huge disadvantage (hello, AoE spells!) that transcends feat quality. So in order to use my not particularly excellent feat, I need to be in a tactically poor situation, I need to have persuaded someone else to spend a feat slot on something even less useful for him than for me, and I need to have just the right set of circumstances arise.

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