Improved Dirty Trick FAQ


Rules Questions


I know it does not clearly state if the move action to clear the condition of a Dirty Trick provokes an attack of opportunity. Many move actions do provoke. Within the text of the feat it does not clarify either for or against. I am not seeking a "its overpowered" or "its a waste of pre-req feat for Greater Improved Dirty Trick". Is this then a home rules condition I need to cover with my GM?

My example: I "Improved Dirty Trick:Blind" my opponent. I get a 3 extra successes over his CMD, so he is blind for 4 rounds in theory. He attempts to clear the blindness on his action with a move action. He does(with no saving throw, provocation, or other hindrance) OR He provokes again, and I again apply Dirty Trick as my AOO, and re-blind him/stack another Dirty Trick/normal attack, etc...

This appears broken. Why have the additional rounds apply to the CMD check at all if a simple move action clears it with no consequences? I can see it being overpowered as well for obvious reasons, as chaining blindness is as debilitating as the spell. I also could with the provocation apply a different trick, and this would require a single move action to clear all Tricks, or each one in turn?


Firstly: Actions don't provoke unless specifically called out as doing so.

Secondly: You can't make Dirty Trick maneuvers as AoOs, as it cannot be done as an attack action (barring under very specific circumstances using Quick Dirty Trick).

Removing dirty tricks is done on a per condition basis.


Dirty Trick can generate much more conditions than the rest of the maneuvers.

Trip always lands on you prone; Grapple on grappled; etc.

DT can get you all sorts of stuff.

It is balanced by being easy to remove unless the enemy has Greater Dirty Trick.

The Pit Fighter PrC and the Cad Fighter archetype have extra things that allows them to take an AoO against an enemy removing a Dirty Trick.

Dirty Trick Master, meanwhile, is a great way to prevent enemies from removing conditions - if you can DT twice in a row, you can impose nauseated and remove the possibility of taking standard actions.


Nope, clearing the condition does not provoke. It merely wastes an action, no other consequence. And it doesn't matter whether you blind him for a round or an hour (good luck applying 600 rounds of effect!), no matter the duration, it's a single move action to "clear" the condition.

I agree, it makes very little sense to be able to pile on multiple rounds of the condition when the opponent will use the same action to fix it regardless of how long the effect would last. Perhaps a better (house) rule would be to require a check to clear it: it's a move action that requires a CMB roll that beats the original CMB that applied the condition - you're basically using a "clear" combat maneuver as a move action. Add +2 to the DC for each "extra round" that was inflicted and subtract 5 from the DC for each previous "clear" attempt that failed. This way, the condition might last for more than the opponent's first move action and there is a benefit to rolling very high on the initial Dirty Trick CMB.

Totally house-ruled off the top of my head and may make the maneuver way overpowered, but it's a first draft.


You're still applying a condition that requires them to forgo full round actions if they want to get rid of it, and once you hit 6th level removing the condition requires them to forgo attacking at all. I think it's just fine as is, personally.


Otagian wrote:
You're still applying a condition that requires them to forgo full round actions if they want to get rid of it, and once you hit 6th level removing the condition requires them to forgo attacking at all. I think it's just fine as is, personally.

Maybe.

I think it's a bit painful that the basic combat maneuver causes you to give up all your attacks to force an opponent to give up a move action (but still be able to make one attack) AND you provoke. Take one feat, you stop provoking and get a small bonus that has very nominal effect. Two feats in and it maybe becomes useful - you lose all attacks to make them lose all attacks. Lame for one vs. one fights, but useful when you have more friends than the enemy does.

Which is off-topic for the OP's question, but I suppose that's my fault.


True, but I think you're asking a bit much for a low level combat maneuver, and as you've noted you're not working in a void. Not only are you preventing them from attacking, but you're also giving your allies advantages over your opponent, be it lowered saving throws for the casters in the party to take advantage of (sickened and shaken), denying dexterity for the rogue to sneak attack (blind and potentially shaken if your friends have Shatter Defenses), etc. If you're building a character around Dirty Trick, you're going to be a support character rather than a direct damage dealer yourself for the most part.

In addition, at higher level you can apply multiple conditions in a single round (assuming you're a Cad or Dirty Fighter), which starts making life living hell for your victim. For instance, my Society Cad Alphonse (now a Seeker) tends to end most fights with enemies with their helmet turned backwards, a cloak shoved down their throat, their pants around their ankles and weeping in fear (shortly before everyone else shoots them to death of course). That or entirely naked as the GM begins the process of stripping them naked as they remove the conditions, one per round as individual standard actions.

Really, I think a properly done Dirty Trick build is often more irritating to the GM than a machine gun archer. ;)


They get EXCEPTIONALLY annoying when paired with the Skulking Slayer rogue (h-orc arch). They can do a dirty trick or steal in place of a sneak attack. So, when flanking, or in a surprise round, it's awesome.

Mine uses a whip to do a ranged steal at -4, usually targeting clerics holy symbols or casters spell component pouch. I actually have one GM in PFS who says all enemies have at least 3 holy symbols and multiple spell component pouches now when I play him, regardless of what is written in the module. (Lore Warden 5/Skulking Slayer 5, Str based, +2 Dueling whip from PFSFG, not UE, giving it a +6 when making combat maneuvers with the whip).


May I say that dirty trick builds can get disgusting when you have ways to improve the action economy.

My personal favorite way is the eldritch guardian fighter- you suddenly have a familiar that doubles up all your relevant feats (and with mauler, it can have actual stats and size to pull the maneuver off). With that, your action economy is doubled for that kind of stuff.

So you can cripple an enemy fairly quickly. You can get their nauseated in one round with dirty trick master (which means they can't remove the conditions...or attack or cast most kinds of spells for however many rounds).

OH- side note- looking at pit fighter, I found a definite answer in writing on whether it provokes to remove the condition- the pit fighter grants you an ability that makes that action provoke. Since that is an explicitly granted ability (rather high level in the prestige class too), then that implies that the opposite is normally true.


Otagian wrote:

Firstly: Actions don't provoke unless specifically called out as doing so.

Secondly: You can't make Dirty Trick maneuvers as AoOs, as it cannot be done as an attack action (barring under very specific circumstances using Quick Dirty Trick).

Removing dirty tricks is done on a per condition basis.

Actions often provoke, not every action can be ascribed due to the sheer quantity and variety in a game. That's why they put "Usually/Maybe" in the tables. As this is a later version, not every table gets updated or considered.


"You can attempt to hinder a foe in melee as a standard action. This maneuver covers any sort of situational attack that imposes a penalty on a foe for a short period of time..."
"If your attack is successful, the target takes a penalty."

Again, not specifically worded as an attack yet definitively refers to "attack" twice in the text. If it looks like a fish, and smells like a fish, its a fish. Thusly, a dirty trick is an attack that requires a standard attack action. If I can somehow via feats/classes/magic acquire a second standard action, I can layer DT.

Removing dirty tricks is again unwritten other than the text referring to removal via a move action, however, I could also read between the lines and infer that it takes multiple move actions to remove multiple rounds of Dirty Trickery.


Dirty Trick requires a lot of investment, but it can inflict so many different conditions that few foes are likely to be completely immune to it. The same can't be said for most other combat maneuvers. Even the very powerful Grapple maneuver can be countered completely by Freedom of Movement.

As a side note, groups with players who plan to take Dirty Trick Master should probably have a discussion regarding whether foes nauseated by dirty tricks can still use a standard action to remove the condition even though nauseated characters usually can't use standard actions (I'd recommend making the answer "yes")


Even if using a standard to remove nauseated IS allowed, doing so should result in them still having the underlying sickened condition still in effect, no?


I would say definitely no to letting nauseated players remove the condition with a standard, that is the entire point of the condition.


CWheezy wrote:
I would say definitely no to letting nauseated players remove the condition with a standard, that is the entire point of the condition.

Plus, it takes two successful maneuvers without the enemy somehow curing or removing the sickened condition.

It takes specialized builds to get that done efficiently. Removing their main gimmick kind of invalidates dirty trick. Other maneuvers have things that can tie an enemy up for a long time with that kind of action economy (grappling with actually using rope to tie them up) or provide major battlefield control (trip combined with reach builds).


Heimdall666 wrote:
Otagian wrote:

Firstly: Actions don't provoke unless specifically called out as doing so.

Secondly: You can't make Dirty Trick maneuvers as AoOs, as it cannot be done as an attack action (barring under very specific circumstances using Quick Dirty Trick).

Removing dirty tricks is done on a per condition basis.

Actions often provoke, not every action can be ascribed due to the sheer quantity and variety in a game. That's why they put "Usually/Maybe" in the tables. As this is a later version, not every table gets updated or considered.

Genuinely curious: What actions provoke that aren't listed as provoking?

Quote:

Again, not specifically worded as an attack yet definitively refers to "attack" twice in the text. If it looks like a fish, and smells like a fish, its a fish. Thusly, a dirty trick is an attack that requires a standard attack action. If I can somehow via feats/classes/magic acquire a second standard action, I can layer DT.

Removing dirty tricks is again unwritten other than the text referring to removal via a move action, however, I could also read between the lines and infer that it takes multiple move actions to remove multiple rounds of Dirty Trickery.

No one is arguing that you can't apply multiple conditions with Dirty Trick, be it through multiple standard actions or feats like Quick Dirty Trick layered with Skulking Slayer or Cad, and no one is arguing that Dirty Tricks are not attacks. However, you cannot take Standard Actions as attacks of opportunity, merely Attack Actions. So you could use a combat maneuver that replaces an attack (Sunder, Trip, Disarm) but not a combat maneuver that requires a standard action (Grapple, Bull Rush, Dirty Trick, etc.).

As for removing Dirty Trick conditions, the text explicitly says "This penalty can usually be removed if the target spends a move action." The usually is there to denote that Greater Dirty Trick can increase the action required. I'm not sure what world that can be argued to mean that your action only removes one rounds worth of the condition.


TGMaxMaxer wrote:

I actually have one GM in PFS who says all enemies have at least 3 holy symbols and multiple spell component pouches now when I play him, regardless of what is written in the module.

He's not actually allowed to do that.


Otagian wrote:


Genuinely curious: What actions provoke that aren't listed as provoking?
[ENDQUOTE]

I dont know.
Not specific to Move actions, but they may include skill or feat use, or as adjudicated by the GM in a particular situation. I'm not trying to fit actions on the tables, but the tables were created BEFORE the new rules (on Dirty Trick) were added, and did not get supplemented by revision. Again, the tables and rules are not inclusive and cover all possible reasons something may provoke, per the initial description on AOOs. Everyone can come up with a variant situation where the rules simply cant solve the problem.

I appreciate your response. I am not trying to read anything more between the lines but achieve clarity, Many of the rules were written in stages by many people, and they do not use the same format for uniformity. As many other AOO discussions question other feat strings, particularly bull rush and grapple, I chose this one as it certainly isn't clear. I felt before I abused my GM's bad guys with lockdown blindness or picked a poor feat string that I should investigate its strengths and flaws.

I am going to throw this on my GM/group to adjudicate, as I dont play PFS, I don't need a court order to change something obtuse, we can simply come to a solution as a group and move on.


Oddman80 wrote:
Even if using a standard to remove nauseated IS allowed, doing so should result in them still having the underlying sickened condition still in effect, no?

The more serious condition imposed by using Dirty Trick Master "replaces" the one from the original dirty trick, so a single standard action would get rid of the condition entirely.

In addition to advancing sickened to nauseated you can advance dazzled (which is otherwise a pretty pathetic condition to inflict) to dazed, a condition which affects most monsters and is actually worse than nauseated since you can't perform any action. I'm not sure if the RAW for Dirty Trick Master matches the RAI. The feat author's input in a previous thread implied to me that he intended you to still be able to remove the aggravated conditions. For PFS I guess official rules apply though (and I doubt there's been any FAQ on this)

Grand Lodge

Blakmane wrote:
TGMaxMaxer wrote:

I actually have one GM in PFS who says all enemies have at least 3 holy symbols and multiple spell component pouches now when I play him, regardless of what is written in the module.

He's not actually allowed to do that.

It is at least really questionable. Though he probably has to make some change, because most of them don't have any holy symbols or spell component pouches in early scenarios. So he typically has to give them at least one, and in some cases I could see giving one 2. But yes, three seems excessive.


Devilkiller wrote:
Oddman80 wrote:
Even if using a standard to remove nauseated IS allowed, doing so should result in them still having the underlying sickened condition still in effect, no?

The more serious condition imposed by using Dirty Trick Master "replaces" the one from the original dirty trick, so a single standard action would get rid of the condition entirely.

In addition to advancing sickened to nauseated you can advance dazzled (which is otherwise a pretty pathetic condition to inflict) to dazed, a condition which affects most monsters and is actually worse than nauseated since you can't perform any action. I'm not sure if the RAW for Dirty Trick Master matches the RAI. The feat author's input in a previous thread implied to me that he intended you to still be able to remove the aggravated conditions. For PFS I guess official rules apply though (and I doubt there's been any FAQ on this)

It's probably a good thing then that Dirty Trick Master is banned in Society play. ;)

Grand Lodge

Not really, Savage Dirty Trick is still legal, and it is basically Dirty Trick Master as a rage power.

My wife is planning on giving it to her skald, so everyone at the table can use it...


Not quite. It allows a save, and actually DOES stack with the initial condition, so you ARE required to spend two actions to remove them both. You're also limited to doing it once per rage, so there's a much larger limitation on it, although the ability to use an attack to make a DT is nice.

Handing it out could definitely be fun, although it runs into the problem that a lot of party members aren't going to be particularly competent at the Dirty Trick, and their save DCs are likely not going to be terribly fantastic. Still, would definitely be entertaining.

Grand Lodge

Skald rage powers use the skalds stats for the DCs even when used by allies. (That one tripped me up too at first.)


Otagian wrote:

Not quite. It allows a save, and actually DOES stack with the initial condition, so you ARE required to spend two actions to remove them both. You're also limited to doing it once per rage, so there's a much larger limitation on it, although the ability to use an attack to make a DT is nice.

Handing it out could definitely be fun, although it runs into the problem that a lot of party members aren't going to be particularly competent at the Dirty Trick, and their save DCs are likely not going to be terribly fantastic. Still, would definitely be entertaining.

But it is also available 5 levels earlier, and it is not the end of a 4 feat chain (although, excluding combat expertise, those earlier feats can be quite nice too)

It is hard to compare the feat and the rage power since they are in very, very different situations.


FLite wrote:
Skald rage powers use the skalds stats for the DCs even when used by allies. (That one tripped me up too at first.)

Neat! I'll have to keep that one in mind.

Lemeres: Yeah, that's basically what I meant. And honestly I think you undersell combat expertise. Even using it, my Cad has a +40 or so to dirty tricks (albeit around level 13), and the extra AC is handy at that point.

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