Throw down your weapons, or the Wizard Gets It! (throat slicer feat)


Advice


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I found a combination of feats that is probably one of the more effective strategies in the game for just killing targets, specifically the less martial player characters if you're the GM.

Throat Slicer looks like a great feat, but it takes a bit of work to make it great. The Grabbing Style works great here, but mixing it with the Improved Grapple line (Improved Grapple, Greater Grapple and maybe Rapid Grappler) and a character built to grapple targets makes throat slicer ridiculously viable.
If the character's grappling ability is high enough, escaping the grapple could become all but impossible for characters who are not built into dealing with grapplers. On round 1, the aggressor moves into position and grapples. On round 2, the aggressor pins the defender with a move action and then either coup de graces the target or readies its target to do so and demands the defender's allies surrender.

Mix this with a x4 crit weapon that qualifies for the throat slicer feat and the coup de grace starts to move from potentially survivable, to almost assured death due to the auto-crit.

Either way, this is one way to make martials more deadly.

It is also a way to make your games lethal again if you're stuck with the players being nigh on invincible gods of death.


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To me, this opens up a nasty can of worms when one of the players does the same thing. It just seems like this feat is a sort of nuclear option that is best banned.


On one hand, that combination seems pretty powerful. On the other, it's really only useful in games where the majority of your enemies are humanoid and roughly your size (Unless you're a tetori monk.)

Liberty's Edge

Grappling is stupidly powerful by itself, assuming you run in to grapplabe baddies enough. Anything else is just icing.


You're doing it all wrong. First you use Snapping Turtle Clutch to grapple the opponent on a miss, pin with Greater Grapple, and coup de grace with Throat Slicer. Basically, the counters from assassin's creed.

Against a party the tactic described in the OP is suicidal. A grappler (usually) loses AC and their ability to make AoO. This means that the rest of the party surrounds them and turns them into a punching bag, with free flanking for all. The rest of round 1, quietly left out of the description. If the grappler survives that, they're still surrounded by the party when they make the threat. Which means it's less "throw down your weapons or I'll kill this guy" and more "please don't kill me or I'll kill this guy" which is a much weaker bargaining position.


Bob Bob Bob wrote:

Against a party the tactic described in the OP is suicidal. A grappler (usually) loses AC and their ability to make AoO. This means that the rest of the party surrounds them and turns them into a punching bag, with free flanking for all. The rest of round 1, quietly left out of the description. If the grappler survives that, they're still surrounded by the party when they make the threat. Which means it's less "throw down your weapons or I'll kill this guy" and more "please don't kill me or I'll kill this guy" which is a much weaker bargaining position.

That is why evil guys uses tons of minions, heck the grappler could even be just a minion.


Bob Bob Bob wrote:

You're doing it all wrong. First you use Snapping Turtle Clutch to grapple the opponent on a miss, pin with Greater Grapple, and coup de grace with Throat Slicer. Basically, the counters from assassin's creed.

Against a party the tactic described in the OP is suicidal. A grappler (usually) loses AC and their ability to make AoO. This means that the rest of the party surrounds them and turns them into a punching bag, with free flanking for all. The rest of round 1, quietly left out of the description. If the grappler survives that, they're still surrounded by the party when they make the threat. Which means it's less "throw down your weapons or I'll kill this guy" and more "please don't kill me or I'll kill this guy" which is a much weaker bargaining position.

Minion "Grappler" grapples someone while his allies are fighting the party.

The PCs either focus on him to get their friend back while not damaging the other enemies, or they damage the other enemies while putting their ally at risk.

At the point, Mr. Minion "Grapple" either dies or he attempts to maintain the grapple as a standard or a move action and moves it to a pin.

If he succeeds, his turn is either effectively over (Standard Action to maintain) or he still has his standard action (Move Action to maintain), and he can now choose to either coup de grace the player character immediately or ready his action to coup de grace the character with his standard action if the players don't comply.

Granted, throat slicer doesn't make it so coup de graces don't provoke AOOs, so he might die to AOOs.

The assassin's creed style defense is great, I'll have to try that at some point.


Bob Bob Bob wrote:

You're doing it all wrong. First you use Snapping Turtle Clutch to grapple the opponent on a miss, pin with Greater Grapple, and coup de grace with Throat Slicer. Basically, the counters from assassin's creed.

This sounds really cool. Am I interpreting it right that with these feats a character can:

1. Immediate action grapple on the other guys turn. Success means:

2. On characters turn, move action to maintain, then pin, and Coup-de-grace on the same turn? Or does the coup-de-grace have to wait a turn?


players who are "nigh on invincible gods of death" will probably has extend or constant Freedom of Movement on them...


Honestly, A grappler is a great 1v1 Build, but I just don't see the coup de grace doing as much damage as dedicated martials.


Green Smashomancer wrote:
Bob Bob Bob wrote:

You're doing it all wrong. First you use Snapping Turtle Clutch to grapple the opponent on a miss, pin with Greater Grapple, and coup de grace with Throat Slicer. Basically, the counters from assassin's creed.

This sounds really cool. Am I interpreting it right that with these feats a character can:

1. Immediate action grapple on the other guys turn. Success means:

2. On characters turn, move action to maintain, then pin, and Coup-de-grace on the same turn? Or does the coup-de-grace have to wait a turn?

coup-de-grace isa full round action, and then you are only critting with your times X multiplier.


I'm pretty sure that you still have to do a grapple check in order to maintain a pin. You can get the grapple check down to a move with Greater Grapple but I don't think you can get it down to swift. I think Throat Slicer is going to have to be a team activity or you're going to have to tie the person up before murdering them (Greater Whip Mastery being the most stylish way).

The other "surprise grapple" move would be a Barbarian activating Savage Jaw in response to being provoked and tacking a grab attempt onto its attack of opportunity (added bonus: come and get me).


TheOrcnextdoor wrote:
Green Smashomancer wrote:
Bob Bob Bob wrote:

You're doing it all wrong. First you use Snapping Turtle Clutch to grapple the opponent on a miss, pin with Greater Grapple, and coup de grace with Throat Slicer. Basically, the counters from assassin's creed.

This sounds really cool. Am I interpreting it right that with these feats a character can:

1. Immediate action grapple on the other guys turn. Success means:

2. On characters turn, move action to maintain, then pin, and Coup-de-grace on the same turn? Or does the coup-de-grace have to wait a turn?

coup-de-grace isa full round action, and then you are only critting with your times X multiplier.

Normally yes, but that's what the Throat Slicer feat is for. My question is mostly about whether the pin attempt can be done the same round as the Coup-de-grace. The act of which forces a sky-high Fortitude DC or the opponent straight up dies. A not-exactly optimal PC I'm considering for example would be forcing at minimum; a DC 32 Fort save.

chuffster wrote:
I'm pretty sure that you still have to do a grapple check in order to maintain a pin. You can get the grapple check down to a move with Greater Grapple but I don't think you can get it down to swift. I think Throat Slicer is going to have to be a team activity or you're going to have to tie the person up before murdering them (Greater Whip Mastery being the most stylish way).

The swift action grapple comes from this other feat bob cubed mentioned.


TheOrcnextdoor wrote:
coup-de-grace isa full round action, and then you are only critting with your times X multiplier.

Throat Slicer turn it into standard action.


TheOrcnextdoor wrote:
Green Smashomancer wrote:
Bob Bob Bob wrote:

You're doing it all wrong. First you use Snapping Turtle Clutch to grapple the opponent on a miss, pin with Greater Grapple, and coup de grace with Throat Slicer. Basically, the counters from assassin's creed.

This sounds really cool. Am I interpreting it right that with these feats a character can:

1. Immediate action grapple on the other guys turn. Success means:

2. On characters turn, move action to maintain, then pin, and Coup-de-grace on the same turn? Or does the coup-de-grace have to wait a turn?

coup-de-grace isa full round action, and then you are only critting with your times X multiplier.

The Throat Slicer feat reduces it to a Standard Action under specific circumstances (unconscious, bound, pinned). What this means is that if the character in question uses a 4x crit weapon that is a one-handed or light weapon then the damage done can be quite absurd by itself.

Coup de grace's DC is Fort DC 10 + damage done.

The other thing is that you don't even need to be proficient the weapon to use it for this purposes: you could have a light pick that you never use then just one-shot people.
I'll use an NPC as an example because that is predictable.
At <4 level, the NPC would likely have a STR of 17 (15 + 2 racial), so with aforementioned pick with x4 crit mod, the NPC would crit for a minimum of 16 (3 + 1) damage, and force the target to make a fort save DC 26 (10+16) or die.

At higher levels this just gets compounded by the reality that the aggressor's strength (and therefore the save to not die) would increase. The rate at which the aggressor could pin the defender and kill it just gets faster.

If we take a monster with Grab and give it Throat Slicer, the monster becomes outrageously dangerous compared to where it was originally.


This might be fun to put on an Order Of The Penitent Cavalier (Constable). He can grapple on a charge and tie up enemies who aren't pinned, which should satisfy the "bound" requirement of Throat Slicer. Tying someone up also means that you could theoretically leave them tied up, and you aren't limiting yourself by remaining stuck in a grapple. Order Of The Hammer also gets some fun grapple-oriented abilities.

There's some other feats that could be used on the right build (most likely a Slayer), like Dastardly Finish, Merciless Butchery, and Slaying Sprint.

Some magic items would be useful here, too, like Final Word (war razor that adds +4 to the DC and lets you ask the ghost questions), Hero's Release Pendant (no AoO for CDG), and maybe Mantis Embrace (gloves that CDG like sawtooth sabers and cause a fountain of gore).


Yes, Throat Slicer on a grappling based character is sickening! It is, of course, banned in PFS sadly. The best weapon I've found for that trick is the punching dagger, x3 crit and its light so you can easily work with it and proficiency is a non-issue. Now, if you're proficient with a light pick, well then I'm sure you can guess which one is better.


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Green Smashomancer wrote:
Bob Bob Bob wrote:

You're doing it all wrong. First you use Snapping Turtle Clutch to grapple the opponent on a miss, pin with Greater Grapple, and coup de grace with Throat Slicer. Basically, the counters from assassin's creed.

This sounds really cool. Am I interpreting it right that with these feats a character can:

1. Immediate action grapple on the other guys turn. Success means:

2. On characters turn, move action to maintain, then pin, and Coup-de-grace on the same turn? Or does the coup-de-grace have to wait a turn?

This is exactly what it means. Immediate grapple, then on your turn move maintain and standard coup de grace. They swing and miss, you grab them, pin them, and execute them.


The best grappler you are going to get for this is a tetori.

At level 12 you have a +21 to grapple with easily a base strength of 20(20 pt buy, nothing but human +2 and advancement boosts) and no magic aid.

so, greater grapple= Move action grapple, Rapid grapple= swift action pin (albiet, at a -5), Standard action Coup de Grace. Get a katar for 1d4+5 x4.

although, add in power attack (free damage)its now 1d4+13 X4 damage.

minimum damage of 56. Add in pinning rend for another 8 bleed damage so 64.

alternatively, have your tetori run up, smack them with an unarmed strike and get a free action grapple (at +4 for grab rule), then hold them. If need be spend a ki point to reduce ALL magic bonuses to escape artist/break out checks. Next round you now have a grapple of +30 (+4 for the grab special rule, +5 for the circumstance bonus of maintaining a grapple for a round) move action pin then do the coup de grace.

You can also choose to inflict non-lethal damage if you wish for double damage on top of the coup de grace (although this is iffy)


Greater Grapple does not let you initiate a grapple. It only lets you maintain. Also, I think there's some debate over whether you can maintain a grapple in the same round you initiate one.

Oh, and Power Attack is not free damage. "You can choose to take a –1 penalty on all melee attack rolls and combat maneuver checks" It penalizes CMB just as it does attack.


Bob Bob Bob wrote:

Greater Grapple does not let you initiate a grapple. It only lets you maintain. Also, I think there's some debate over whether you can maintain a grapple in the same round you initiate one.

Oh, and Power Attack is not free damage. "You can choose to take a –1 penalty on all melee attack rolls and combat maneuver checks" It penalizes CMB just as it does attack.

you seem to be right, so now advantage to smacking someone and grabbing them as a free action.

and yeah, but you aren't using it to deal damage to him via grapple, you are using it in conjuncture with coup de grace. Which auto crits, which equates to free damage


Power Attack is all or nothing. Specifically:

Power Attack wrote:
You must choose to use this feat before making an attack roll, and its effects last until your next turn. The bonus damage does not apply to touch attacks or effects that do not deal hit point damage.

Grapple rolls are attack rolls. You can't choose to use Power Attack just for the coup de grace, it's in effect for any grappling you do the same round.


Bob Bob Bob wrote:
Power Attack is all or nothing. Specifically:
Power Attack wrote:
You must choose to use this feat before making an attack roll, and its effects last until your next turn. The bonus damage does not apply to touch attacks or effects that do not deal hit point damage.
Grapple rolls are attack rolls. You can't choose to use Power Attack just for the coup de grace, it's in effect for any grappling you do the same round.

...allows you to perform one of the following actions (as part of the standard action spent to maintain the grapple).

Move

You can move both yourself and your target up to half your speed. At the end of your movement, you can place your target in any square adjacent to you. If you attempt to place your foe in a hazardous location, such as in a wall of fire or over a pit, the target receives a free attempt to break your grapple with a +4 bonus.

Damage

You can inflict damage to your target equal to your unarmed strike, a natural attack, or an attack made with armor spikes or a light or one-handed weapon. This damage can be either lethal or nonlethal.

Pin

You can give your opponent the pinned condition (see Conditions). Despite pinning your opponent, you still only have the grappled condition, but you lose your Dexterity bonus to AC.

Yes, you are right, if you want to inflict damage via the grapple, you take the power attack modifier to your cmb roll. However, in this scenario you are inflicting a coup-de-grace, not grapple damage. So, you wouldn't suffer the negatives on your CMB as you haven't "made an attack" until you coup-de-grace


Better hope you don't try to grab a teleportation subschool wizard.


TheOrcnextdoor wrote:
alternatively, have your tetori run up, smack them with an unarmed strike and get a free action grapple (at +4 for grab rule), then hold them. If need be spend a ki point to reduce ALL magic bonuses to escape artist/break out checks. Next round you now have a grapple of +30 (+4 for the grab special rule, +5 for the circumstance bonus of maintaining a grapple for a round) move action pin then do the coup de grace.
Combat Maneuvers wrote:
When you attempt to perform a combat maneuver, make an attack roll and add your CMB in place of your normal attack bonus.

The move action to pin is an attack roll. Therefore you need to choose whether you are Power Attacking before doing it, and you take all the appropriate penalties to it if you Power Attack. It doesn't matter that it just penalizes you, you have to choose before making an attack roll and every grapple roll is an attack roll (same as every other combat maneuver).


Create Mr. Pitt wrote:
Better hope you don't try to grab a teleportation subschool wizard.

this is true, unless you are a tetori monk grappler haha. (albeit, higher level is needed)


TheOrcnextdoor wrote:
Create Mr. Pitt wrote:
Better hope you don't try to grab a teleportation subschool wizard.
this is true, unless you are a tetori monk grappler haha. (albeit, higher level is needed)

Too true. Tetori monk is such a fun archetype, but by the time you get the really neat powers, as a PC at least, you will be facing a lot of enemies too big for your skill set. I wish they would improve that aspect of the monk, but still with the right build it's one of the few martial oriented classes that can really shut down a well-prepared caster.


Bob Bob Bob wrote:
TheOrcnextdoor wrote:
alternatively, have your tetori run up, smack them with an unarmed strike and get a free action grapple (at +4 for grab rule), then hold them. If need be spend a ki point to reduce ALL magic bonuses to escape artist/break out checks. Next round you now have a grapple of +30 (+4 for the grab special rule, +5 for the circumstance bonus of maintaining a grapple for a round) move action pin then do the coup de grace.
Combat Maneuvers wrote:
When you attempt to perform a combat maneuver, make an attack roll and add your CMB in place of your normal attack bonus.
The move action to pin is an attack roll. Therefore you need to choose whether you are Power Attacking before doing it, and you take all the appropriate penalties to it if you Power Attack. It doesn't matter that it just penalizes you, you have to choose before making an attack roll and every grapple roll is an attack roll (same as every other combat maneuver).

Not that it particularly matters with a +30 cmb with no magic bonuses either way.

Another option is to simply tie them up. (move sustain allows pin, standard allows tie up) move on to others.


Create Mr. Pitt wrote:
TheOrcnextdoor wrote:
Create Mr. Pitt wrote:
Better hope you don't try to grab a teleportation subschool wizard.
this is true, unless you are a tetori monk grappler haha. (albeit, higher level is needed)
Too true. Tetori monk is such a fun archetype, but by the time you get the really neat powers, as a PC at least, you will be facing a lot of enemies too big for your skill set. I wish they would improve that aspect of the monk, but still with the right build it's one of the few martial oriented classes that can really shut down a well-prepared caster.

enlarge person? fairly easy spell to get access too.


Green Smashomancer wrote:
Bob Bob Bob wrote:

You're doing it all wrong. First you use Snapping Turtle Clutch to grapple the opponent on a miss, pin with Greater Grapple, and coup de grace with Throat Slicer. Basically, the counters from assassin's creed.

This sounds really cool. Am I interpreting it right that with these feats a character can:

1. Immediate action grapple on the other guys turn. Success means:

2. On characters turn, move action to maintain, then pin, and Coup-de-grace on the same turn? Or does the coup-de-grace have to wait a turn?

I just realized that you can make this even worse by going Master of Many Styles.

Play human and take Improved Grapple as your racial.
At level 1 you could have Snapping Turtle Style and Grabbing Style.
at level 2 you could have Crane Style.
At level 3 you could take Throat Slasher.
At level 5 you could take Snapping Turtle Clutch.
At level 6 you could take Crone Wing.
At level 8 you could take Greater Grapple.
At level 10 you could take Charging Stag Style.
At level 14 you could take Stag Horns (grapple as part of charge).

If the enemy attacks you, you force it to miss with crane wing (not an action), grapple it with Snapping Turtle Clutch using one hand (Immediate action), pin the target with Greater Grapple and finally coup de grace the target with your standard action.

If the enemy doesn't attack you, you can walk over to or charge it and grapple it, then next round maintain and coup de grace.

You just body people. If the GM throws a hoard of these at the players, it will be the single most terrifying thing ever if the monsters have at least monk levels.

This starts getting absurd by level 8.
A PC is likely to pick a race that has a STR bonus, so we can say he might go for 18 or so str after racial bonuses.
So
Grapple CMB at level 8 = 17; 19 (4 [str 18] + 2 [Imp Grap] + 2 [Great grap] + 1 [attribute increase] + 8 [monk levels]; +2 [+4 belt])
That is is on par with the CMDs of most full casters without even rolling. Add 10 to that due to average dice rolls, and you're looking at 27; 29 vs target's CMD.

Count in the penalty from Snapping Turtle Clutch and it drops to an average of 25 and 27, but that is still pretty high for averages.

Pure absurdity.


how are you getting greater grapple without improved grapple


TheOrcnextdoor wrote:
how are you getting greater grapple without improved grapple

Play human and just take it or work it into your build. Level 7 is pretty much a throw-away slot.


Taku Ooka Nin wrote:
force it to miss with crane wing

Crane wing was errataed from an auto-miss a good while ago - it now provides a conditional +4 dodge bonus while fighting defensively, unless you're on full defense.


Throat Slicer doesn't say that you need to be the one pinning the target, so it's still a good pick if there's a dedicated grappler in your group and you don't have to worry about your own action economy, losing your Dex to the target's allies, or the penalty for not using two hands to grapple while holding your x4 crit, one-handed weapon.

If you are the grappler, it's an easy pick for even a low-level minion or henchman, so they can make the threat.


Bob Bob Bob wrote:
Green Smashomancer wrote:
Bob Bob Bob wrote:

You're doing it all wrong. First you use Snapping Turtle Clutch to grapple the opponent on a miss, pin with Greater Grapple, and coup de grace with Throat Slicer. Basically, the counters from assassin's creed.

This sounds really cool. Am I interpreting it right that with these feats a character can:

1. Immediate action grapple on the other guys turn. Success means:

2. On characters turn, move action to maintain, then pin, and Coup-de-grace on the same turn? Or does the coup-de-grace have to wait a turn?

This is exactly what it means. Immediate grapple, then on your turn move maintain and standard coup de grace. They swing and miss, you grab them, pin them, and execute them.

So, you can maintain the same action you pin with? I thought a pin needed to be a separate roll?


Bob Bob Bob wrote:
The move action to pin is an attack roll. Therefore you need to choose whether you are Power Attacking before doing it, and you take all the appropriate penalties to it if you Power Attack. It doesn't matter that it just penalizes you, you have to choose before making an attack roll and every grapple roll is an attack roll (same as every other combat maneuver).

You can make the decision to power attack before any attack roll, it doesn't have to be used at the start of your turn. You can choose to turn it on part way through a full attack, or on an opportunity attack, but it's effects then last until the start of your next turn.


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Green Smashomancer wrote:
So, you can maintain the same action you pin with? I thought a pin needed to be a separate roll?

with a successful maintain grapple check you automatically bestow one of the affects upon the graplee: deal damage, move both creatures, pin the graplee or, if the grapplee is pinned, tie up the graplee.

This is not an additional check: it is built into maintaining the grapple.


^ Greater Grapple simply allows you to deal damage twice, pin then deal damage, or pin then tie up


TheOrcnextdoor wrote:
^ Greater Grapple simply allows you to deal damage twice, pin then deal damage, or pin then tie up

it allows you to use your move to do those things. You can opt to use your STRD for something else like throat slicer.


Taku Ooka Nin wrote:
TheOrcnextdoor wrote:
^ Greater Grapple simply allows you to deal damage twice, pin then deal damage, or pin then tie up
it allows you to use your move to do those things. You can opt to use your STRD for something else like throat slicer.

"Once you have grappled a creature, maintaining the grapple is a move action. This feat allows you to make two grapple checks each round (to move, harm, or pin your opponent), but you are not required to make two checks. You only need to succeed at one of these checks to maintain the grapple."

or, make another grapple check.

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