Jumping into Branch Pounce


Rules Questions


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This is for PFS, just please keep that in mind, Thank you!

So I was thinking of essentially making a Dragoon from the FF series. I want to jump up high and do some heavy damage on the fall. The issue I'm running across is how to get the actions to work and whatnot. Maybe this wonderful board can help me out! I understand that some of the rules on the matter may be unclear and maybe even be subject to table variation.

Branch Pounce will be the base of the build:

Quote:
Benefit: When charging a target by jumping down from above (such as when jumping out of a tree), you can soften your own fall with a melee attack. If the attack at the end of your charge hits, the attack deals damage as normal and also adds the appropriate amount of falling damage (1d6 points for a 10-foot fall, 2d6 points for a 20-foot fall, and so on). This falling damage is not multiplied on a critical hit. You land in an unoccupied square of your choosing adjacent to the target, and you take falling damage as if you had fallen 10 fewer feet. You can attempt an Acrobatics check as normal to treat the fall as an additional 10 feet shorter for the purpose of determining the damage you take from the fall and treat the first 1d6 points of damage you take from the fall as nonlethal damage. If your attack misses, you land prone in a random square adjacent to the target and automatically take the full amount of falling damage.

I was thinking of Aerokineticist 2/Ninja 4 to get the Air's Leap and High Jumper abilities to get maximum usage of Acrobatics.

Assuming I use a long spear, how would I "attack" in this fashion.

Lets say I want to jump 30ft (1 move action) up in the air over my enemy, and I roll high enough on my acrobatics. Do I "automatically" get to try "charging" from my fall allowing me to attack with Branch Pounce? What sort of action is falling at this moment?

Now lets say I Jump 60ft! Does that constitute a "double move"? And would I permitted to attempt to attack next round?

Thanks for all the input ahead of time!


Any thoughts on the matter at all?


no idea about the actions but boots of the cat would help reduce the falling dmg you take


That was the part of the plan. I just don't want to invest in building a guy that is useless for most scenarios as GM's tell me that I can't jump and charge at people.

If I could get at least an idea of what actions it took to "fall" on an enemy, I would have at least a starting point in my opening discussions with the GMs I come across.

Sovereign Court

From a technical standpoint... by jumping up into the air, you are moving away from your target, and thus -cannot- qualify for a charge. If you have an ability that lets you avoid that rule, then yes... it works. Jumping is simply part of movement. If you can move 30 feet into the air with a jump, it is still just movement. Realize, however, that all of that movement -counts- as movement.

Also expect variation on whether the 'down' part of the jump counts as 'jumping down from above.'

The biggest issue though will be the moving away from your target during the charge part.


That would be fair, now let's say i was able to jump twice my speed into the air? Would that constitute my turn? And if so, would it be fair to "charge" on my next turn?


Branch Pounce wrote:
When charging a target by jumping down from above...

The acrobatics section mention 'jumping down' quite specifically. Technically, you aren't jumping down if you begin on the same or lower elevation as your target (to say nothing of straight lines and parabolic arches).

Acrobatics wrote:
No jump can allow you to exceed your maximum movement for the round.

I've seen some debates on these boards about jumping distance. Some people believe you're only limited in the horizontal distance traveled, some people believe the height is similarly limited (as falling from the apex of the jump is a non-action), and some people believe that the total height and fall is the limit.

And then there's the jump DC issue. 30 feet, with a running start is DC 120! Sure, we've seen some specialized builds utilizing cheetah sprints and such that could make that DC, but none were playable.


So, the DC is not an issue for me with the levels and abilities I have listed. With Air's Leap Wild Talent, I get to add my Aerokineticist level to my Acrobatics checks and double my result to determine distance. I also always have a running start as well as can spend 1 burn to double again! With the Acrobatic Master and High Jumper Ninja Tricks, I get to always count as having a running start and halve the DC's for high jumps. I also gain the ability to spend 1 ki point to add +20 to my acrobatics check.

Math:
+6 Ranks
+3 Class Skill
+2 Air's Leap Bonus
+20 ki spent
= 31
x2 Because of Airs Leap
=62 Total to Jump vs DC 60 to jump 30ft up (120/2 due to high Jumper)

No roll, no DEX modifier or other bonuses, and I can jump 30 ft up with little to no problem.

So back to my original train of conversation:
What if I end my turn in the air (Standard something, move to jump above enemy). Would I be permitted to charge on the next round?

The Exchange

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You need rhino charge so you can ready an action to charge once in the air.

I did some theorycrafting with this build a while back because I love dragoons also. I couldn't find a good way to get around being inside a dungeon or building as a downside.

You want to be a class who can cast Cheetah's Sprint so you increase your movement speed to 10x your base land speed as a swift action. This is because jump distance is limited by your max movement speed. You can't end your movement in the air without flight or you will simply fall.

So the order of actions is swift action cast Ceetah's Sprint, move action jump, ready action to charge when you reach your maximum jump height.

The weapon you will want is the Akitonian Blade which is a +1 Bill (so perfect for a dragoon). The wielder triples the result of any Acrobatics checks to determine how far she can jump. In addition, a successful DC 15 Acrobatics check allows the wielder to negate any damage from the first 30 feet of falling damage and converts any damage from the second 30 feet to nonlethal damage. It is simply perfect.

Rod of Balance can also be an option but costs a little more. +10 competence bonus on all Acrobatics checks involving long jumps and high jumps; additionally, the wielder covers double the normal distance for a jump when making an Acrobatics check.

Locust cuirass is a decent armor for this build. The wearer of a locust cuirass can take 10 on Acrobatics checks to jump even if distracted or in danger. It also lets you feather fall.

Bloodrager is probably the most practical class for this. With fast movement and casting sprint you will have 400ft movement. This is exactly enough to jump 200 ft up and come 200 ft down dealing the maximum 20d6 brance pounce damage. I highly recommend going into dragon disciple after enough bloodrager levels simply for flavor.

Also make sure to take the Death from Above feat to gain +5 bonus to hit instead of +2 for charging from higher ground or flying.


Rhino Charge! That will solve so many potential issues! Thank you!


Ragoz wrote:
So the order of actions is swift action cast Ceetah's Sprint, move action jump, ready action to charge when you reach your maximum jump height.

I think you're going to end up with a lot of table variation on whether this actually works. A move action to jump up almost certainly also includes the requisite falling that would occur. It's very questionable if you could interrupt your move action to ready the action to charge from the apex.

Now, in a home game, if you invested all those feats I'd probably allow it because it's cool -- but I wouldn't expect PFS GMs to regularly allow it.

Edit: Additionally, when reading past threads on Branch Pounce, it seems pretty consistent that if you're canceling out your fall damage with feather fall, a lot of GMs will also deny you the ability to do any damage. Abilities that reduce the falling damage you take (Boots of the Cat, acrobatics, the feat itself) appear to be fair game. Just a trend I've noticed, but again since PFS has multiple GMs you may find your mileage varies here.

The Exchange

cavernshark wrote:
A move action to jump up almost certainly also includes the requisite falling that would occur.

Falling is an environmental rule and not an action. Also you can take actions while falling but not cast spells unless the distance is over 500 ft or immediate action. This isn't a spell of course.

cavernshark wrote:

Edit: Additionally, when reading past threads on Branch Pounce, it seems pretty consistent that if you're canceling out your fall damage with feather fall, a lot of GMs will also deny you the ability to do any damage. Abilities that reduce the falling damage you take (Boots of the Cat, acrobatics, the feat itself) appear to be fair game. Just a trend I've noticed, but again since PFS has multiple GMs you may find your mileage varies here.

Feather fall limits you to 60ft each round is why it wouldn't work for very high heights. Just explain to them why they are wrong and move on.


cavernshark wrote:
Ragoz wrote:
So the order of actions is swift action cast Ceetah's Sprint, move action jump, ready action to charge when you reach your maximum jump height.

I think you're going to end up with a lot of table variation on whether this actually works. A move action to jump up almost certainly also includes the requisite falling that would occur. It's very questionable if you could interrupt your move action to ready the action to charge from the apex.

Now, in a home game, if you invested all those feats I'd probably allow it because it's cool -- but I wouldn't expect PFS GMs to regularly allow it.

Edit: Additionally, when reading past threads on Branch Pounce, it seems pretty consistent that if you're canceling out your fall damage with feather fall, a lot of GMs will also deny you the ability to do any damage. Abilities that reduce the falling damage you take (Boots of the Cat, acrobatics, the feat itself) appear to be fair game. Just a trend I've noticed, but again since PFS has multiple GMs you may find your mileage varies here.

I think that movement is movement. If I move 30ft up into the air via jumping, I still moved 30ft. I do agree I have to fall with no form of flight to keep me up, but what "action" is falling? If a round is comprised of a move action and a standard action, and I attack and then Jump (part of a move) do I also get a "free" move action to go another 30ft down?

Also, I don't plan on negating any damage outside of what the feat says. So that doesn't matter too much to me.

Thanks for showing another view. I will be bringing these thoughts up to GMs as I play.

Scarab Sages

Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Companion, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Roleplaying Guild Subscriber

If you're already taking two levels of kineticist for jumping, I would just go 6 for full flight. That way you can fly up a round or two and then use branch pounce to fall from whatever hight you were at. You can flavor it as a jump without needing to worry about weird Pathfinder jump mechanics.

You could use the kinetic knight archetype to make a kinetic spear for your weapon, and still use a shield which is common for dragoons in FF.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

A bit of necromancy, but if you end your movement in midair without any way of flying or the like, you start to fall. IIRC at a rate of 500 feet per round. So it wouldn't be an action, you just start falling.


That being said, air walk should work for this feat, as you are literally standing on air. Ice path, a water kineticist wild talent, does the same thing.

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