The KAC+8 is too damn high


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Hasn't anyone else noticed that for a game that boasts its "easy to hit, but hard hitting" enemies it's really really hard to nab them with a combat maneuver?

Has anyone come out with some solutions for this? I'm thinking about adding a custom feats that goes something like:

"You gain a +2 bonus on all combat maneuvers. This stacks with the bonus granted from Improved Combat Maneuver."

Which grants characters more versatility and gets them closer to a 50%-60% success rate.


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Improved Combat Maneuver adds +4. At least in Starfinder you can attempt all of the combat maneuvers without provoking reactionary AoOs.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

An Armor Storm soldier with Improved Bull Rush ignores the +8. Unfortunately, that's the only total workaround I've found.

Scarab Sages

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It's only KAC + 4 with an improved maneuver feat, the same accuracy as the -4 you would be taking on a full attack. You then get a +2 to that with a taclash. Possibly another +2 if they're flat-footed, which if you have an envoy or operative in your party they should be.

It's only difficult if you put no resources into improving it.


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I'll take the +8 and not have to worry about AoO.


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Opening volley (Correct me if that doesn't apply but the verbiage of the combat maneuvers makes me think it works) +2, Improved combat maneuver-disarm +4, Taclash +2, Possible flatfooted as well +2.


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From what people say enemy KACs are pretty poor. The ones in the book certainly aren't stellar. Remember the PCs have higher KAC than enemies.

KAC 12, CR 1 - You need a 16 to do it. A 12 with improved. A 10 if it's flat footed.


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Combat maneuvers can sometimes take a combatant out in one go. As a GM, I don't want every character defaulting to "run up and grab their gun", I don't want a specialist always choose "run up and grab their gun", and I definitely don't want all fights to be stealing and re-stealing guns. A specialist (using the appropriate weapon for +2 and with the feat) is more accurate than the shots in a full attack, but less accurate than a single shot. That seems right on the money. A non-specialist with no investment generally has a better chance of stealing an enemy's weapon or wrestling them over the cliff edge than of getting a crit necessary to finish them off, which also seems appropriate.


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Pathfinder Starfinder Society Subscriber

Part of the problem in my mind is that not all the combat maneuvers are created equal. Disarm can end a certain subset of enemies/encounters in one successful roll (if Pathfinder adventure path design is anything to go from, Starfinder enemies will carry only one relevant weapon each). Meanwhile dirty trick and trip provide debuffs that any enemy can remove with a single move action (standing up doesn't even provoke any more :< ), making them a poor action economy trade even if they weren't so unreliable. Losing your full attack isn't even that bad, even the classes most reliant on full attacks (Solarion and Soldier) only lose half their DPR when staggered (based on some of the DPR numbers I've seen flying around).

And yet you have to meet the same KAC+8 attack roll for either option.

Scarab Sages

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Or KAC + 2, if you spend a feat and carry an appropriate weapon. And if the enemy is spending a move action to remove the dirty trick or to stand up, then they have effectively staggered themselves to remove the condition. Meaning they can't full attack. They can't cast a full action spell. They can't make a trick attack if they have operative levels.


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Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I don't get why we lost the CMB/CMD mechanic in the first place. The only thing wonky about combat maneuvers was the opening AoO.

Liberty's Edge

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Notsonoble wrote:
I don't get why we lost the CMB/CMD mechanic in the first place. The only thing wonky about combat maneuvers was the opening AoO.

Simpler math is good.


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Honestly 8+KAC may seem harsh, but from what I've seen elsewhere it will be more achievable against non-Humanoid targets than CMB/CMD winds up in the long run.


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From what I've seen so far for 1-4th lvl SFS scenarios you'd be looking at a 19-22 target (KAC 11-14) for combat maneuvers. So that puts most melee beasts in a 25% success range (+4 to hit, +3 str, +1 BAB) without any feats or equipment dedicated to it.

So far I haven't seen any Large or Huge creatures but now their strength and size don't play into their "CMD". Unless their KAC is scaled to compensate, they might be easier, relatively, to trip and such than high dex goblins.


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I thought the target DCs were too darn high too, until I started thinking of how I would want them to work in actual play. Would I want run-of-the-mill opponents disarming the soldier? Would I want normal combatants putting the solarion on his butt regularly?

Instead, the combat maneuvers seem like the type of thing that you do in specific circumstances:

When you are trained in them, especially when you have a weapon specifically designed for them

When you are attacking an opponent who is really, really not 'up to your level' (so you disarm the poor scared rookie with a laser pistol, but the face-eating monstrosity? Shoot it!)

When you have a substantial edge on your opponent (they are flat-footed, flanked, and otherwise hosed).

I think it encourages combats where your wide variety of normal options (all sorts of cool energy weapons, magic, tech, etc) normally take center stage, but you can bust out cool combat maneuvers without being forced to spend feats on them (unless you really, really WANT to).


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Combat has been mostly designed to be 8 characters standing still in an open field and full attacking each other with ranged weapons

Combat maneuvers are nowhere near worth the risk of wasting your turn, and standing up from prone doesn't even provoke anymore. People can't think of things like tying a cable to your gun or not standing 5ft away from a cliff I suppose.


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Deadmanwalking wrote:
Notsonoble wrote:
I don't get why we lost the CMB/CMD mechanic in the first place. The only thing wonky about combat maneuvers was the opening AoO.
Simpler math is good.

In addition the math in PF got really screwy at higher levels. A lot of CR 20+ enemies have CMD scores 10-20 higher than their AC.


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AHeroNamedHawke wrote:

Combat has been mostly designed to be 8 characters standing still in an open field and full attacking each other with ranged weapons

Combat maneuvers are nowhere near worth the risk of wasting your turn, and standing up from prone doesn't even provoke anymore. People can't think of things like tying a cable to your gun or not standing 5ft away from a cliff I suppose.

Enemies in SF tend to have low ACs though. CR 1/2's have 11-12, 1's 13-14

A level 1 full Bab with a +3 to str and improved (insert here) can do it to a CR 1/2 on a 15-16, with a +4 bonus they only need an 11.


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Pathfinder Starfinder Society Subscriber
HWalsh wrote:
AHeroNamedHawke wrote:

Combat has been mostly designed to be 8 characters standing still in an open field and full attacking each other with ranged weapons

Combat maneuvers are nowhere near worth the risk of wasting your turn, and standing up from prone doesn't even provoke anymore. People can't think of things like tying a cable to your gun or not standing 5ft away from a cliff I suppose.

Enemies in SF tend to have low ACs though. CR 1/2's have 11-12, 1's 13-14

A level 1 full Bab with a +3 to str and improved (insert here) can do it to a CR 1/2 on a 15-16, with a +4 bonus they only need an 11.

From what I've seen from First Contact and based on what people are saying from the Dead Suns AP, Starfinder monster ACs are actually exactly in line with Pathfinder's monster creation by CR guidelines. They're not low by any means.

I also disagree with the idea that hitting on an 11 is a positive thing. Trading off a good chance to deal damage for a slightly lower chance to land a maneuver that slightly debilitates an opponent is fairly unappealing outside of niche scenarios. Its also tradeoff most people did not want to take in Pathfinder.

Taking a look at mathing things out: In Pathfinder the chance of landing a weapon based combat maneuver (like trip), assuming a full BAB character that uses only CRB resources, is about 75% against the average CMD for a creature with CR = character level (based on averaged bestiary statistics). This stays roughly constant throughout the levels (rises somewhat), as weapon-based attack rolls scale surprisingly consistently with CMD. This includes the Improved and Greater maneuver feats.

In Starfinder the success rate stays at around 50% from lvl 1 to 20. You can bump that up to 60% with a taclash for the trip and disarm maneuvers. Combine that with the fact that many maneuvers are actually LESS debilitating in Starfinder than they were in Pathfinder, along with how little the combat maneuvers were used in Pathfinder outside of specialized builds (opportunity cost/damage tradeoff is a real thing). KAC+8 just seems like its going to make maneuvers even less appealing than they were in Pathfinder, with the sole upside being you only need one feat to optimize for each one.

For those interested in my math: I mostly just gathered data from various pathfinder sources that should still be valid. Explanations of sources are in the sheet. Starfinder attack roll numbers were hand calculated, should be close enough. Spreadsheet here.


You sir have not been playing with Tripping cheese monkeys. Whirlwind attacks trip with a whip and over a +40 CMB at level 9.

As a player and GM, I'm glad those kind of "I do whatever I want on a 2 up" shenanigans are over.

Cellion wrote:
HWalsh wrote:
AHeroNamedHawke wrote:

Combat has been mostly designed to be 8 characters standing still in an open field and full attacking each other with ranged weapons

Combat maneuvers are nowhere near worth the risk of wasting your turn, and standing up from prone doesn't even provoke anymore. People can't think of things like tying a cable to your gun or not standing 5ft away from a cliff I suppose.

Enemies in SF tend to have low ACs though. CR 1/2's have 11-12, 1's 13-14

A level 1 full Bab with a +3 to str and improved (insert here) can do it to a CR 1/2 on a 15-16, with a +4 bonus they only need an 11.

From what I've seen from First Contact and based on what people are saying from the Dead Suns AP, Starfinder monster ACs are actually exactly in line with Pathfinder's monster creation by CR guidelines. They're not low by any means.

I also disagree with the idea that hitting on an 11 is a positive thing. Trading off a good chance to deal damage for a slightly lower chance to land a maneuver that slightly debilitates an opponent is fairly unappealing outside of niche scenarios. Its also tradeoff most people did not want to take in Pathfinder.

Taking a look at mathing things out: In Pathfinder the chance of landing a weapon based combat maneuver (like trip), assuming a full BAB character that uses only CRB resources, is about 75% against the average CMD for a creature with CR = character level (based on averaged bestiary statistics). This stays roughly constant throughout the levels (rises somewhat), as weapon-based attack rolls scale surprisingly consistently with CMD. This includes the Improved and Greater maneuver feats.

In Starfinder the success rate stays at around 50% from lvl 1 to 20. You can bump that up to 60% with a taclash for the trip and disarm maneuvers. Combine that with the fact that many maneuvers are actually LESS debilitating in Starfinder than they...


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HWalsh wrote:
AHeroNamedHawke wrote:

Combat has been mostly designed to be 8 characters standing still in an open field and full attacking each other with ranged weapons

Combat maneuvers are nowhere near worth the risk of wasting your turn, and standing up from prone doesn't even provoke anymore. People can't think of things like tying a cable to your gun or not standing 5ft away from a cliff I suppose.

Enemies in SF tend to have low ACs though. CR 1/2's have 11-12, 1's 13-14

A level 1 full Bab with a +3 to str and improved (insert here) can do it to a CR 1/2 on a 15-16, with a +4 bonus they only need an 11.

1/2 CR enemies arent worth the action, and CR 1 enemies are even harder. It also doesnt work if you have a 2h weapon, because they can just pick theirs back up again

Not only that, but the others are near worthless now. The margin is so close that youre only ever going to be getting single round effects, or moving targets 5ft. Grappling has all the same problems as before, and now with no feats to improve it and pinning is near impossible with no +5 to maintain. Both falling prone and standing up do not provoke, and with 1 feat you can do it as a swift action.

That leaves disarm and bullrush, with the former only working on humanoids and the latter only working beside cliffs.


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EC Gamer Guy wrote:

You sir have not been playing with Tripping cheese monkeys. Whirlwind attacks trip with a whip and over a +40 CMB at level 9.

As a player and GM, I'm glad those kind of "I do whatever I want on a 2 up" shenanigans are over.

It's a build. Youre probably the kind of player I hate the most, because something that works but isnt the standard "unga bunga i hit him with my greataxe" is automatically "cheese"

Ill give you the benefit of the doubt on your +40 comment, because thats impossible without getting Path of War involved (which I highly recommend). Having some kind of reassurance that you can actually perform an action, and do so fairly consistently, is much more fun that having a 50% chance to accomplish f~@+ all on a given round.

And btw, its called Blessing of Fervor. It lets you ignore trip builds and clerics get it at level 7. Now the trip build guydoing 0 damage with a whip isnt such a big deal.

The Exchange

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This is a group game.

Preventing an enemy from moving away from combat (tripping them, grappling them) may well tip the balance for friends in the party.

Bullrushing someone over the edge of the gantry into the well leading to the Deathstars engine core is better than shooting them.

Disarming the enemy of their powerful weapon so a friend can kick it out of the way or pick it up themselves is going to save lives more than the damage you did and still didn't manage to kill him.

At level 20, you're saying there's only a 50% chance of disarming someone who's also level 20. That should absolutely be the case. But I bet you can rip the guns out of a level 15 opponent with your eyes closed and knitting a woolen jumper for the captains new kitten.

These options are in the game so people can choose to use them when appropriate. They scale far better now than they did in Pathfinder. and it's easy enough to build for it if that's the way you want to go.

Liberty's Edge

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AHeroNamedHawke wrote:
Ill give you the benefit of the doubt on your +40 comment, because thats impossible without getting Path of War involved (which I highly recommend).

CMB trip +40:
Lorewarden 9: BAB +9, Str +5, Dex +4 (Fury's Fall), Greater Trip +4, Lorewarden +4, Resonance Dusty Rose Ioun stone: +2 insight, Heirloom Weapon +2 trait, +2 Dueling weapon +2 enhancement and +4 luck, weapon traing +2, greater weapon focus +2 for a total of +40

Starting stats (point buy 20): 16 str, 14 dex, 12 con, 14 int, 12 wis, 7 cha, human +2 to dex for 16 dex.
Equipment: +2 dueling weapon (+3 equivalent cost: 18.300+weapon)
Belt of physical might (+2 str/+2 dex): 10.000
Dusty Rose Prism + wayfinder: 5250
Level up 4 and 8 into strength.

Sources used: CRB, Cheliax; Empire of Devils, Pathfinder Society Field Guide, Adventurer's Armory


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If a creature uses a swift action to recover from a maneuver, then it can't full attack. Whether that's "slight" or not depends on the creature. For example, operatives can't do their trick attack.


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Gudrun the Reader wrote:
AHeroNamedHawke wrote:
Ill give you the benefit of the doubt on your +40 comment, because thats impossible without getting Path of War involved (which I highly recommend).
** spoiler omitted **

Lorewarden has no CMB bonus outside of its +2 insight from Know Thy Enemy, which doesnt stack with a Rose Prism, dueling weapons are for disarm and you have a nameless +4 luck bonus I assume came from your ass

So it looks to me like thats a grand total of 9+5+4+4+2+2+2+4=32, which is not even close

Also the numbers you listed add up to 42, maybe double check a few things in the future

The Exchange

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Starfinder Charter Superscriber
AHeroNamedHawke wrote:


1/2 CR enemies arent worth the action, and CR 1 enemies are even harder. It also doesnt work if you have a 2h weapon, because they can just pick theirs back up again

I assume with the pick it back up again comment you're talking about disarm, in my opinion the only combat maneuver (along with potentially bullrush) actually worth it. To that I say, let me introduce you to the kasatha, its a core race, maybe you've heard of it. There's also the level 11 cybernetic arm augmentation. There's lots of levels the latter won't work, but there's lots of levels the latter will. Nevermind the fact that that a taclash, the best weapon for disarming is one handed.

AHeroNamedHawke wrote:


Not only that, but the others are near worthless now. The margin is so close that youre only ever going to be getting single round effects, or moving targets 5ft. Grappling has all the same problems as before, and now with no feats to improve it and pinning is near impossible with no +5 to maintain. Both falling prone and standing up do not provoke, and with 1 feat you can do it as a swift action.

I don't disagree that the others besides disarm(again and potentially bull rush) are useless, but disarm is definitely worth it if it has a 50% chance of taking away an opponent's primary weapon(or only weapon) some of the time.

AHeroNamedHawke wrote:


That leaves disarm and bullrush, with the former only working on humanoids and the latter only working beside cliffs.

So, it only takes one feat and a level 1 weapon which you don't have to upgrade to make it viable, I'd say one feat and a few hundred credit weapon for something as powerful as stealing someone's weapon is a bargin, most feats you'd be taking instead are probably equally situational. I guess Great Fortitude sucks because how often are you really asked to make a fort save and how often will +2 actually matter. Besides that a) not only humanoids are primarily going to be using weapons, and b) humanoids and humanoid analog using weapons will probably make up a large portion of potential enemies you'll fight.

The Exchange

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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Maps, Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
AHeroNamedHawke wrote:
Gudrun the Reader wrote:
AHeroNamedHawke wrote:
Ill give you the benefit of the doubt on your +40 comment, because thats impossible without getting Path of War involved (which I highly recommend).
** spoiler omitted **

Lorewarden has no CMB bonus outside of its +2 insight from Know Thy Enemy, which doesnt stack with a Rose Prism, dueling weapons are for disarm and you have a nameless +4 luck bonus I assume came from your ass

So it looks to me like thats a grand total of 9+5+4+4+2+2+2+4=32, which is not even close

Also the numbers you listed add up to 42, maybe double check a few things in the future

Besides you being rude with that post overall, all of the math in their post checks out. The source of that +4 luck bonus is from Pathfinder Society Field Guide, which introduce the first version of the Dueling property... which gives twice the weapon's enhancement bonus as a bonus to any maneuver performed by the weapon specifically, such as disarm and trip among other things...

Dueling:

Dueling (Melee Weapon Special Ability)
Aura moderate transmutation; CL 7th; Price +1 bonus
Desriptions
A dueling weapon bears magical enhancements that makes it particularly effective at performing certain combat maneuvers. When a dueling weapon is used to perform a combat maneuver that utilizes the weapon only (see below), it grants a luck bonus equal to twice its enhancement bonus on the CMB check made to carry out the maneuver. The dueling weapon also grants this same luck bonus to the wielder’s CMD score against these types of combat maneuvers. These combat maneuvers include disarm and trip maneuvers, but not bull rush, grapple, or overrun maneuvers. If you’re using the additional combat maneuvers in the Advanced Player’s Guide, this also includes any dirty trick maneuvers that utilize the weapon, as well as reposition combat maneuvers, but not drag or steal combat maneuvers. Note that this luck bonus stacks with the weapon’s enhancement bonus, which in and of itself adds to CMB checks normally.
Construction Requirements
Craft Magic Arms and Armor, cat’s grace

And also you apparently don't realize that old lorewarden had

Maneuver Mastery (Ex): At 3rd level, a lore warden gains a +2 bonus on all CMB checks and to his CMD. This bonus increases to +4 at 7th level, +6 at 11th level, and +8 at 15th level. This ability replaces armor training 1.

This was changed to the Brawler's Maneuver Training class feature while still retaining Know Thy Enemy (which their original math didn't even count, so your bit about the ioun stone and the lore warden not stacking is doubly not applicable) in Adventurer's Guide. This effectively halved the bonus but it's still pretty good and stacks with everything else in that list.

The last point seems painfully obvious but I'll try to sum it up for you: +32 trip cmb is way too high for a 9th level character... +38 (which takes into to account the changes to Maneuver Mastery [Side note: Their original math is correct (You added an additional +2 due to poor notation on their part (+2 Dueling weapon +2 enhancement and +4 luck is what they listed the +6 bonus to trip the weapon gives and you accidentally added the weapon enhancement again]) is also way too high! Why are we saying this was a good idea allowing to exist in the game?


We can run it down: +8 dex, +9 BAB, Feats +4, weapon enhancement +2(?), Magic items +4, True Strike +20. One feat allows you to damage, a couple more feats the tripped guy provokes from everybody. It's been a few years since I've played with that particular guy, so I'm sure I missed some of his tricks, and that's a +47 CMB to trip.

Yes, I prefer PCs stay in the power range to be challenged by scenarios. Be inventive or whatever, but don't trash encounters.

AHeroNamedHawke wrote:
EC Gamer Guy wrote:

You sir have not been playing with Tripping cheese monkeys. Whirlwind attacks trip with a whip and over a +40 CMB at level 9.

As a player and GM, I'm glad those kind of "I do whatever I want on a 2 up" shenanigans are over.

It's a build. Youre probably the kind of player I hate the most, because something that works but isnt the standard "unga bunga i hit him with my greataxe" is automatically "cheese"

Ill give you the benefit of the doubt on your +40 comment, because thats impossible without getting Path of War involved (which I highly recommend). Having some kind of reassurance that you can actually perform an action, and do so fairly consistently, is much more fun that having a 50% chance to accomplish f*@# all on a given round.

And btw, its called Blessing of Fervor. It lets you ignore trip builds and clerics get it at level 7. Now the trip build guydoing 0 damage with a whip isnt such a big deal.

Liberty's Edge

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AHeroNamedHawke wrote:

Lorewarden has no CMB bonus outside of its +2 insight from Know Thy Enemy, which doesnt stack with a Rose Prism, dueling weapons are for disarm and you have a nameless +4 luck bonus I assume came from your ass

So it looks to me like thats a grand total of 9+5+4+4+2+2+2+4=32, which is not even close

Also the numbers you listed add up to 42, maybe double check a few things in the future

Xevious573 already explained my math and the Dueling enchantment.

I listed the sources I used for a reason, because there is a new book with a different Lore Warden archetype.

Silver Crusade

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Combat Maneuvers are like full attacks now. Rarely ever worth it. With so little to hit bonuses in the game, Maneuvers will pretty much not be used out of the occasional and rare situation where a character has the appropriate weapon and feat, and is going against an appropriately lower CR and flatfooted enemy. Until more content comes out, starfinder combat is alot of standing around in the open or behind low crates, and shooting each other once per round until those 50/50 chances to hit manage to down an enemy. rinse and repeat.

The Exchange

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Spoodles wrote:
Combat Maneuvers are like full attacks now. Rarely ever worth it. With so little to hit bonuses in the game, Maneuvers will pretty much not be used out of the occasional and rare situation where a character has the appropriate weapon and feat, and is going against an appropriately lower CR and flatfooted enemy. Until more content comes out, starfinder combat is alot of standing around in the open or behind low crates, and shooting each other once per round until those 50/50 chances to hit manage to down an enemy. rinse and repeat.

So none of the class abilities or spells will ever be used?

No feats?
No ones going to use the environment against the enemy?

Man you must play a boring game.

Liberty's Edge

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Spoodles wrote:
Combat Maneuvers are like full attacks now. Rarely ever worth it. With so little to hit bonuses in the game, Maneuvers will pretty much not be used out of the occasional and rare situation where a character has the appropriate weapon and feat, and is going against an appropriately lower CR and flatfooted enemy. Until more content comes out, starfinder combat is alot of standing around in the open or behind low crates, and shooting each other once per round until those 50/50 chances to hit manage to down an enemy. rinse and repeat.

Uh...you do know people have actually done the math and Full Attacks are basically always worth it, right? The only exceptions are Operatives, whose Trick Attack is on par damage wise and does debuffs, Envoys with all their move action stuff, and spellcasters actively casting a spell.

So, saying combat maneuvers are like full attacks is basically saying most people will use them most of the time. Which is probably not true, but you should do your research better before making comparisons like this.

Personally, I think combat maneuvers will potentially see more use than in Pathfinder. Yeah, your odds are worse than a really dedicated build, but you don't provoke and it's only one Feat to max out your ability to make combat maneuvers. Which is such a low resource strategy I'd expect a fair selection of people to grab it on a maneuver or two, especially Soldiers with all their bonus Feats. This is especially useful when they can't full attack for some reason.

Lantern Lodge Customer Service Manager

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Remember that even when you disagree you need to keep your posts civil and that tone, particularly sarcasm and hyperbole, can be difficult to convey or interpret in a text-based medium, so its important to be conscientious with your word choice.


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Improved Combat Maneuver requires you to pick a maneuver to specialize in. It's not one feat choice and you get them all.

Deadmanwalking wrote:
Spoodles wrote:
Combat Maneuvers are like full attacks now. Rarely ever worth it. With so little to hit bonuses in the game, Maneuvers will pretty much not be used out of the occasional and rare situation where a character has the appropriate weapon and feat, and is going against an appropriately lower CR and flatfooted enemy. Until more content comes out, starfinder combat is alot of standing around in the open or behind low crates, and shooting each other once per round until those 50/50 chances to hit manage to down an enemy. rinse and repeat.

Uh...you do know people have actually done the math and Full Attacks are basically always worth it, right? The only exceptions are Operatives, whose Trick Attack is on par damage wise and does debuffs, Envoys with all their move action stuff, and spellcasters actively casting a spell.

So, saying combat maneuvers are like full attacks is basically saying most people will use them most of the time. Which is probably not true, but you should do your research better before making comparisons like this.

Personally, I think combat maneuvers will potentially see more use than in Pathfinder. Yeah, your odds are worse than a really dedicated build, but you don't provoke and it's only one Feat to max out your ability to make combat maneuvers. Which is such a low resource strategy I'd expect a fair selection of people to grab it on a maneuver or two, especially Soldiers with all their bonus Feats. This is especially useful when they can't full attack for some reason.

Liberty's Edge

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EC Gamer Guy wrote:
Improved Combat Maneuver requires you to pick a maneuver to specialize in. It's not one feat choice and you get them all.

I never said otherwise. My point was that it was only one Feat to be good at a specific maneuver, and thus quite possibly worth it for many people to invest a single Feat into the maneuver of their choice.


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It would be trivial for a Soldier to pick up Improved Disarm and Improved Trip and then buy the cheapest Taclash they could. After that, it's only KAC +2 to grab a gun out of an enemy's hands or knock an enemy to the ground.


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AHeroNamedHawke wrote:

Not only that, but the others are near worthless now. The margin is so close that youre only ever going to be getting single round effects, or moving targets 5ft. Grappling has all the same problems as before, and now with no feats to improve it and pinning is near impossible with no +5 to maintain. Both falling prone and standing up do not provoke, and with 1 feat you can do it as a swift action.

That leaves disarm and bullrush, with the former only working on humanoids and the latter only working beside cliffs.

Actually, its an effective +4 to maintain a pin. A pinned enemy is pinned until the end of your next turn and thus takes the following penalties from the pinned condition throughout your next turn:

"You also take
an additional –4 penalty to your Armor Class, attack rolls,
Reflex saving throws, initiative checks, and Dexterity-based
skill and ability checks (these penalties replace those from the
grappled condition and also apply to attempts to grapple your
opponent or free yourself; see Grapple on page 246"

-4 to their AC is effectively +4 to hit. They also take -4 to their grapple check. And -4 to their acrobatics checks.

You can put a binder or manacle on an enemy without rolling the turn after a successful pin as well.

To be honest, a team working together can probably make pinned grapple checks quite feasible. A 4-5 man team can probably get something like +12 to +16 for a grapple check (vs KAC+13) over a character just standing there shooting with no teamwork. And even they don't get pinned, they are very likely to be grappled.

Envoy Get 'Em + Harrying fire, Operative trick attack for flat footed, Solarian with Taclash and Improved Manuever feat trips (trip), and melee Soldier flanks and grapples with Improved Maneuver feat (grapple). If you've got a 5th character, they can harrying fire somewhere in there for another +2. Or entangle them or some other support type move. If it doesn't work out, well, it was only a single round, and everyone was getting into position for flanking full attacks anyways.

It could make for an interesting team, no?


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If you only want to invest one feat there's always Improved Dirty Trick for 6 different debuffs in one.

Personally I'm not a fan of Trip in SF unless you have a melee heavy group. Prone w/ +4ac vs ranged kinda screws the rest of the party.


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Cellion wrote:
HWalsh wrote:
AHeroNamedHawke wrote:

Combat has been mostly designed to be 8 characters standing still in an open field and full attacking each other with ranged weapons

Combat maneuvers are nowhere near worth the risk of wasting your turn, and standing up from prone doesn't even provoke anymore. People can't think of things like tying a cable to your gun or not standing 5ft away from a cliff I suppose.

Enemies in SF tend to have low ACs though. CR 1/2's have 11-12, 1's 13-14

A level 1 full Bab with a +3 to str and improved (insert here) can do it to a CR 1/2 on a 15-16, with a +4 bonus they only need an 11.

From what I've seen from First Contact and based on what people are saying from the Dead Suns AP, Starfinder monster ACs are actually exactly in line with Pathfinder's monster creation by CR guidelines. They're not low by any means.

I also disagree with the idea that hitting on an 11 is a positive thing. Trading off a good chance to deal damage for a slightly lower chance to land a maneuver that slightly debilitates an opponent is fairly unappealing outside of niche scenarios. Its also tradeoff most people did not want to take in Pathfinder.

Taking a look at mathing things out: In Pathfinder the chance of landing a weapon based combat maneuver (like trip), assuming a full BAB character that uses only CRB resources, is about 75% against the average CMD for a creature with CR = character level (based on averaged bestiary statistics). This stays roughly constant throughout the levels (rises somewhat), as weapon-based attack rolls scale surprisingly consistently with CMD. This includes the Improved and Greater maneuver feats.

In Starfinder the success rate stays at around 50% from lvl 1 to 20. You can bump that up to 60% with a taclash for the trip and disarm maneuvers. Combine that with the fact that many maneuvers are actually LESS debilitating in Starfinder than they...

This was EXACTLY what I was looking for. Thanks!


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AHeroNamedHawke wrote:

Combat has been mostly designed to be 8 characters standing still in an open field and full attacking each other with ranged weapons

Combat maneuvers are nowhere near worth the risk of wasting your turn, and standing up from prone doesn't even provoke anymore. People can't think of things like tying a cable to your gun or not standing 5ft away from a cliff I suppose.

If you are referring to Starfinder than I really question your tactics. In Pathfinder I could see this but with melee weapons. I HIGHLY doubt that in Starfinder they wanted that. If that was the case than it is clearly not SCI-Fi based.

Anyone that thinks this is even remotely what they wanted or MOSTLY Designed clearly doesn't understand Sci-Fi or even ranged combat.

Combat Maneuvers are nowhere near the risk of wasting your time. REALLY. If I disarm you of your weapon You have no weapon. If you have a back up then I can disarm that to. If I grapple you, you have to option break free or attack. Either way if you haven't downed me or escaped I can pin you next round. How is that useless. If you are pinned than you can't attack. Not wasting time. Especially if you need to capture alive.


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I have now played in SFS scenarios, convention games, played through the first part of the AP we have, and have run and played in home games. (DragonCon and AWA helped me pad that out...)

I have never seen people just standing still and full attacking.

1. Because I won't let them. I'm primarily melee, and as such I make enemies move. Why? If they don't move then I will full attack them, and if I hit with both attacks it will hurt. How hard will it hurt?

Well, I'll use "Incident at Absolom Station" as an example:

Spoiler:

In the first encounter the enemies have 13 HP. At level 1 it was difficult for me to get into range at first. So on the first round I moved and then threw my Starknife (returning fusion), which hit for 7 damage (3+3+1 from strength/photon) on one of the enemies. My team mates decided to focus fire on one of the other ones, letting me deal with that one. 2 of them hit (for 2 and 4 damage respectively) and one of them missed.

After that I was able to close the distance and make a melee attack. I hit again, for 9 damage (5+4) and he dropped like a rock. My team mates were not so lucky. They tried a full attack from their positions and their cluster of shots only had 3 hit. Dealing 2, 1, 3 damage, or 6. Their enemy was hurt, but still fighting.

Seeing an opportunity I threw my Starknife (because Solar weapon only requires one hand) at the one they were fighting and hit minimum damage 5 (rolled a 1, but +3 strength/photon) dropping it and moved into melee range on the last one. They fired a few shots into the one I was closed with, but had to move to have line of effect, and only 2 hit (Our rolls were not great that night) doing 2 and 5 damage, but our Envoy also used "Get 'im!"

I took 1 blast to the chest, which did a whole 4 damage (I laughed at it) and on my action then full attacked. I needed to roll an 11 to hit them on a full attack, I rolled a 6 on my first attack, but rolled a 12 on my second attack, did 6 damage, and dropped the enemy.

So, no it wasn't just stand around and pew-pew it was, "Dear god melee is overpowered WTF he killed everything!" Full attacking is useful when you can do it. I got to do a lot more of it once I reached level 2.

By level 2? By level 2 I am full attacking like a fiend.

Spoiler:
So we walk in, are told to roll perception checks, and our Mystic and I both make it. We get to avoid an ambush, but have to face an Android with a gun. I rolled and went second. The android had a rifle and went just after me. Our Envoy went first and told me to "Get 'em!" which I did.

This was where I got to see the GM's eyes go wide with shock. He didn't realize how mobile I'd be at level freaking 2 in heavy armor. I used my move action to position myself so I could charge with Stellar Rush. Success! I slash her for a good 8 damage.

She is now pinned with her back against a wall, effectively gimping her. My team mates are growling however because I'm providing soft cover. She has to escape, using acrobatics she goes through me and pegs me with her rifle, ouch, 11 damage total. I don't like it, but have to press on. This forced her out of cover and my companions took full advantage of that as they pepper her with shots. The Android takes a volley of fire and eats 3 attacks (the Soldier full attacked, and the Mystic just fired a shot, all of them hit - The Soldier could hit her on an 12 though even with full attack.) Which deals to her another 10 damage. She ain't looking too happy.

I charge again, and score a critical hit! Heck yeah! 18 damage. She's done. Fight over.

Again, not everyone standing in the open. Movement, forced movement, some full attacks, some charges... So... Again... Varied gameplay.


I can't figure out what sort of insane people everyone except me plays Pathfinder with to have every character auto-succeed any roll. I keep seeing people make arguments with this as evidence that Starfinder is better than Pathfinder, but I can't imagine a game where every PC has a +30-40 bonus to every roll all day.


Well the problem isn't really that every player has high bonuses, it's that some players optimize to a point where they do while most players don't. It makes controlling the game difficult for a GM and in society play these optimized characters and break encounters. This leads to a few players having fun at the expense of other players.

Liberty's Edge

Bloodrealm wrote:
I can't figure out what sort of insane people everyone except me plays Pathfinder with to have every character auto-succeed any roll. I keep seeing people make arguments with this as evidence that Starfinder is better than Pathfinder, but I can't imagine a game where every PC has a +30-40 bonus to every roll all day.

Certainly not every roll, and not every PC, but this can happen sorta incidentally.

A 10th level Investigator I played walked around with in the neighborhood of +19-23 +1d8 (so an average of at least +23 and often more like +25 or +27) on almost all relevant Int based rolls (which included Disable Device, Perception, Sense Motive, Use Magic Device, Bluff, and Diplomacy, plus most of the monster knowledge skills...he was an Empiricist Student of Philosophy). Actually, he could manage +31 +1d8 Perception (+35 equivalent) for detecting traps (and +30 equivalent for everything else). And he only had a +2 Int Headband, so that was all gonna go up soon.

And he wasn't optimized in a particular skill or anything, just an Investigator doing what came naturally. Add in the lower Skill Check DCs in Pathfinder and we're talking a significantly higher level of expertise than Starfinder characters can generally manage.


KAC + 8 is too high. Against an enemy with a KAC of 15 my first level character (+3 to combat maneuvers) would have to roll a natural 20 to succeed on a combat maneuver. I don’t think the success rate needs to be 50% against an evenly matched opponent, but a typical success rate of ~25% would be reasonable when no special factors are in play. Even lowering the +8 to +5 would be decent start. I feel that +8 was arbitrarily selected without thought being given to it.

Liberty's Edge

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Ciaran Barnes wrote:
KAC + 8 is too high. Against an enemy with a KAC of 15 my first level character (+3 to combat maneuvers) would have to roll a natural 20 to succeed on a combat maneuver. I don’t think the success rate needs to be 50% against an evenly matched opponent, but a typical success rate of ~25% would be reasonable when no special factors are in play. Even lowering the +8 to +5 would be decent start. I feel that +8 was arbitrarily selected without thought being given to it.

A +3 is a not-great attack at 1st level. And more importantly no CR 1 enemy has a KAC of 15. The KAC of CR 1s is more in the 12-13 range.

So, you'd have a 15-20% vs. such a target. 25-30% if you had a +5 to hit (doable in a variety of ways at 1st). And you can get that a lot higher with the right options.


Deadmanwalking wrote:
Ciaran Barnes wrote:
KAC + 8 is too high. Against an enemy with a KAC of 15 my first level character (+3 to combat maneuvers) would have to roll a natural 20 to succeed on a combat maneuver. I don’t think the success rate needs to be 50% against an evenly matched opponent, but a typical success rate of ~25% would be reasonable when no special factors are in play. Even lowering the +8 to +5 would be decent start. I feel that +8 was arbitrarily selected without thought being given to it.

A +3 is a not-great attack at 1st level. And more importantly no CR 1 enemy has a KAC of 15. The KAC of CR 1s is more in the 12-13 range.

So, you'd have a 15-20% vs. such a target. 25-30% if you had a +5 to hit (doable in a variety of ways at 1st). And you can get that a lot higher with the right options.

Unless I am wrong Drow are EAC 16 KAC 18....

More importantly what do you get out by using a maneuver as opposed to a "normal" attack ? It's after all a full round action. And

Liberty's Edge

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Erk Ander wrote:
Unless I am wrong Drow are EAC 16 KAC 18....

I don't have Alien Archive yet, but that seems pretty diametrically opposed to the design principles behind the ACs of CR 1 creatures we've seen pre-Alien Archive.

Are they CR 1? And if so are they built properly for the CR guidelines?

And even if that number is accurate and intended, one creature does not a pattern or a norm make. Making your calculations on a CR 7's expected Save DCs based on a Succubus's in Pathfinder isn't a very good idea...

Grand Lodge

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i love succubus

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