Power Attack Math


Prerelease Discussion

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The new Power Attack mechanic was revealed in the Fighter Blog Post. Here's a short-hand of how it works:

Spend 2 actions to roll one extra damage die (presumably your weapon's normal damage die).

There was concern that this was a nerf from PF1's Power Attack, so, being a nerd, I did some work:

data:

D20 Result for hit (not counting PA penalties)= 1
Normal damage: 38
New Power Attack damage: 43
Old Power Attack damage:
-1/+3: 45
-2/+6: 52
-3/+9: 58
-4/+12: 64
-5/+15: 70
-6/+18: 74
D20 Result for hit (not counting PA penalties)= 2
Normal damage: 37
New Power Attack damage: 41
Old Power Attack damage:
-1/+3: 43
-2/+6: 50
-3/+9: 56
-4/+12: 62
-5/+15: 67
-6/+18: 71
D20 Result for hit (not counting PA penalties)= 3
Normal damage: 35
New Power Attack damage: 39
Old Power Attack damage:
-1/+3: 42
-2/+6: 48
-3/+9: 54
-4/+12: 59
-5/+15: 64
-6/+18: 68
D20 Result for hit (not counting PA penalties)= 4
Normal damage: 34
New Power Attack damage: 37
Old Power Attack damage:
-1/+3: 40
-2/+6: 47
-3/+9: 52
-4/+12: 57
-5/+15: 61
-6/+18: 64
D20 Result for hit (not counting PA penalties)= 5
Normal damage: 32
New Power Attack damage: 35
Old Power Attack damage:
-1/+3: 39
-2/+6: 44
-3/+9: 49
-4/+12: 54
-5/+15: 58
-6/+18: 61
D20 Result for hit (not counting PA penalties)= 6
Normal damage: 31
New Power Attack damage: 34
Old Power Attack damage:
-1/+3: 37
-2/+6: 42
-3/+9: 47
-4/+12: 51
-5/+15: 55
-6/+18: 57
D20 Result for hit (not counting PA penalties)= 7
Normal damage: 29
New Power Attack damage: 32
Old Power Attack damage:
-1/+3: 35
-2/+6: 40
-3/+9: 44
-4/+12: 49
-5/+15: 51
-6/+18: 53
D20 Result for hit (not counting PA penalties)= 8
Normal damage: 28
New Power Attack damage: 30
Old Power Attack damage:
-1/+3: 33
-2/+6: 38
-3/+9: 43
-4/+12: 45
-5/+15: 47
-6/+18: 49
D20 Result for hit (not counting PA penalties)= 9
Normal damage: 26
New Power Attack damage: 28
Old Power Attack damage:
-1/+3: 31
-2/+6: 36
-3/+9: 40
-4/+12: 42
-5/+15: 44
-6/+18: 44
D20 Result for hit (not counting PA penalties)= 10
Normal damage: 25
New Power Attack damage: 26
Old Power Attack damage:
-1/+3: 30
-2/+6: 34
-3/+9: 37
-4/+12: 39
-5/+15: 40
-6/+18: 40
D20 Result for hit (not counting PA penalties)= 11
Normal damage: 24
New Power Attack damage: 25
Old Power Attack damage:
-1/+3: 28
-2/+6: 31
-3/+9: 34
-4/+12: 35
-5/+15: 36
-6/+18: 36
D20 Result for hit (not counting PA penalties)= 12
Normal damage: 22
New Power Attack damage: 24
Old Power Attack damage:
-1/+3: 26
-2/+6: 29
-3/+9: 31
-4/+12: 32
-5/+15: 32
-6/+18: 32
D20 Result for hit (not counting PA penalties)= 13
Normal damage: 20
New Power Attack damage: 23
Old Power Attack damage:
-1/+3: 24
-2/+6: 26
-3/+9: 28
-4/+12: 29
-5/+15: 28
-6/+18: 27
D20 Result for hit (not counting PA penalties)= 14
Normal damage: 19
New Power Attack damage: 21
Old Power Attack damage:
-1/+3: 22
-2/+6: 24
-3/+9: 25
-4/+12: 25
-5/+15: 25
-6/+18: 24
D20 Result for hit (not counting PA penalties)= 15
Normal damage: 17
New Power Attack damage: 20
Old Power Attack damage:
-1/+3: 20
-2/+6: 21
-3/+9: 22
-4/+12: 22
-5/+15: 22
-6/+18: 22
D20 Result for hit (not counting PA penalties)= 16
Normal damage: 16
New Power Attack damage: 19
Old Power Attack damage:
-1/+3: 18
-2/+6: 19
-3/+9: 19
-4/+12: 20
-5/+15: 19
-6/+18: 19
D20 Result for hit (not counting PA penalties)= 17
Normal damage: 14
New Power Attack damage: 17
Old Power Attack damage:
-1/+3: 16
-2/+6: 16
-3/+9: 17
-4/+12: 17
-5/+15: 17
-6/+18: 16
D20 Result for hit (not counting PA penalties)= 18
Normal damage: 13
New Power Attack damage: 16
Old Power Attack damage:
-1/+3: 14
-2/+6: 15
-3/+9: 15
-4/+12: 15
-5/+15: 14
-6/+18: 13
D20 Result for hit (not counting PA penalties)= 19
Normal damage: 11
New Power Attack damage: 14
Old Power Attack damage:
-1/+3: 12
-2/+6: 13
-3/+9: 13
-4/+12: 13
-5/+15: 12
-6/+18: 12
D20 Result for hit (not counting PA penalties)= 20
Normal damage: 10
New Power Attack damage: 13
Old Power Attack damage:
-1/+3: 11
-2/+6: 11
-3/+9: 11
-4/+12: 11
-5/+15: 10
-6/+18: 10

My assumptions are a base damage of d12+4.

I also assume that a theoretical PF1 Power Attack in PF2 could be done 3 times at a cumulative -5 penalty after the first hit.

I tested for each possible result of a 20 being needed to hit.

My findings show that old Power Attack beats new Power Attack until you need to roll a 15 to hit, then new Power Attack starts to win at lower levels. By the time you need an 18 to hit, new Power Attack is almost always better, regardless of level.

I believe the Devs stated that the new Power Attack should be superior, given the +/- 10 critical system, so I am checking for bugs. (I'm not perfect), though I haven't found any yet. If I find anything new, I will update with a new post.

If anyone wants a particular test run, I can do that, assuming I'm not too busy. (Devs get priority!)


Bug Found!

I forgot to check for cases when a miss wasn't a critical miss.

My new findings are that New Power Attack IS better (my apologies to the devs) except under the following conditions:

When you need an 18 or higher to hit. (At this point, you hit so rarely that the massive extra damage from Old Power Attack skews the results)

When you could theoretically hit on a natural 1, AND your Old Power Attack modifiers are (-3 to hit, +9 to damage) or higher.


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Data for above test:

data:

D20 Result for hit (not counting PA penalties)= 1
Normal damage: 31
New Power Attack damage: 40
Old Power Attack damage:
-1/+3: 36
-2/+6: 38
-3/+9: 40
-4/+12: 41
-5/+15: 42
-6/+18: 42
D20 Result for hit (not counting PA penalties)= 2
Normal damage: 29
New Power Attack damage: 38
Old Power Attack damage:
-1/+3: 33
-2/+6: 35
-3/+9: 36
-4/+12: 37
-5/+15: 38
-6/+18: 37
D20 Result for hit (not counting PA penalties)= 3
Normal damage: 27
New Power Attack damage: 35
Old Power Attack damage:
-1/+3: 30
-2/+6: 31
-3/+9: 33
-4/+12: 34
-5/+15: 33
-6/+18: 32
D20 Result for hit (not counting PA penalties)= 4
Normal damage: 24
New Power Attack damage: 31
Old Power Attack damage:
-1/+3: 26
-2/+6: 28
-3/+9: 29
-4/+12: 30
-5/+15: 29
-6/+18: 27
D20 Result for hit (not counting PA penalties)= 5
Normal damage: 22
New Power Attack damage: 28
Old Power Attack damage:
-1/+3: 24
-2/+6: 25
-3/+9: 26
-4/+12: 26
-5/+15: 24
-6/+18: 24
D20 Result for hit (not counting PA penalties)= 6
Normal damage: 19
New Power Attack damage: 25
Old Power Attack damage:
-1/+3: 21
-2/+6: 22
-3/+9: 23
-4/+12: 22
-5/+15: 22
-6/+18: 22
D20 Result for hit (not counting PA penalties)= 7
Normal damage: 17
New Power Attack damage: 23
Old Power Attack damage:
-1/+3: 19
-2/+6: 19
-3/+9: 19
-4/+12: 20
-5/+15: 19
-6/+18: 19
D20 Result for hit (not counting PA penalties)= 8
Normal damage: 15
New Power Attack damage: 20
Old Power Attack damage:
-1/+3: 16
-2/+6: 16
-3/+9: 17
-4/+12: 17
-5/+15: 17
-6/+18: 16
D20 Result for hit (not counting PA penalties)= 9
Normal damage: 13
New Power Attack damage: 17
Old Power Attack damage:
-1/+3: 14
-2/+6: 15
-3/+9: 15
-4/+12: 15
-5/+15: 14
-6/+18: 13
D20 Result for hit (not counting PA penalties)= 10
Normal damage: 11
New Power Attack damage: 14
Old Power Attack damage:
-1/+3: 12
-2/+6: 13
-3/+9: 13
-4/+12: 13
-5/+15: 12
-6/+18: 12
D20 Result for hit (not counting PA penalties)= 11
Normal damage: 10
New Power Attack damage: 13
Old Power Attack damage:
-1/+3: 11
-2/+6: 11
-3/+9: 11
-4/+12: 11
-5/+15: 11
-6/+18: 10
D20 Result for hit (not counting PA penalties)= 12
Normal damage: 9
New Power Attack damage: 12
Old Power Attack damage:
-1/+3: 10
-2/+6: 10
-3/+9: 9
-4/+12: 9
-5/+15: 9
-6/+18: 9
D20 Result for hit (not counting PA penalties)= 13
Normal damage: 8
New Power Attack damage: 10
Old Power Attack damage:
-1/+3: 8
-2/+6: 8
-3/+9: 8
-4/+12: 8
-5/+15: 8
-6/+18: 7
D20 Result for hit (not counting PA penalties)= 14
Normal damage: 7
New Power Attack damage: 9
Old Power Attack damage:
-1/+3: 7
-2/+6: 7
-3/+9: 7
-4/+12: 7
-5/+15: 7
-6/+18: 6
D20 Result for hit (not counting PA penalties)= 15
Normal damage: 6
New Power Attack damage: 8
Old Power Attack damage:
-1/+3: 6
-2/+6: 7
-3/+9: 6
-4/+12: 6
-5/+15: 5
-6/+18: 6
D20 Result for hit (not counting PA penalties)= 16
Normal damage: 5
New Power Attack damage: 7
Old Power Attack damage:
-1/+3: 6
-2/+6: 6
-3/+9: 5
-4/+12: 5
-5/+15: 5
-6/+18: 6
D20 Result for hit (not counting PA penalties)= 17
Normal damage: 5
New Power Attack damage: 6
Old Power Attack damage:
-1/+3: 5
-2/+6: 5
-3/+9: 5
-4/+12: 5
-5/+15: 5
-6/+18: 6
D20 Result for hit (not counting PA penalties)= 18
Normal damage: 4
New Power Attack damage: 5
Old Power Attack damage:
-1/+3: 4
-2/+6: 4
-3/+9: 4
-4/+12: 5
-5/+15: 5
-6/+18: 6
D20 Result for hit (not counting PA penalties)= 19
Normal damage: 4
New Power Attack damage: 4
Old Power Attack damage:
-1/+3: 4
-2/+6: 4
-3/+9: 4
-4/+12: 5
-5/+15: 5
-6/+18: 6
D20 Result for hit (not counting PA penalties)= 20
Normal damage: 3
New Power Attack damage: 3
Old Power Attack damage:
-1/+3: 4
-2/+6: 4
-3/+9: 5
-4/+12: 5
-5/+15: 5
-6/+18: 6


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I think I like the old one. :)

Your math work is appreciated.


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So they should just change the name and people might hopefully stop comparing it to a different mechanic from a different edition with a combat system that worked differently?

Paizo Employee Designer

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Cheers! I knew there was a bug in there somewhere, as the damage was just too high for all three cases.


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Evilgm wrote:
So they should just change the name and people might hopefully stop comparing it to a different mechanic from a different edition with a combat system that worked differently?

Yeah, call it Haymaker or something.


Changing names is rough. Their is only so many synonyms eventually you run out. Been the hardest part of the book i'm writing is not stealing names of existing stuff.


Basically you have renamed Vital Strike to Power Attack. Since you already know the math both of those feats you already knew how it was going to work.


thorin001 wrote:
Basically you have renamed Vital Strike to Power Attack. Since you already know the math both of those feats you already knew how it was going to work.

Eh, Vital Strike would also be a misnomer. You can't combo that with anything, and this leaves you with a floating action to attack again or do something else.

Grand Lodge

So, first I will say we obviously don't have full information to compare so I'm making assumptions here. If I build a generic fighter level 12, 24 STR, a +3 longsword (let's be honest here, the longsword not a d12 weapon is the iconic weapon that is most likely to show up in a printed adventure), was Weapon Training 2, Weapon Focus, Greater Weapon Focus, Weapon Spec and Greater Weapon Spec - all for longsword.
I'm going to assume all of that translates reasonable well to PF2 given what's above. He will be two hand attacking in all math

That gives me a fighter with +26/+21/+16 (1d8+19) 19-20x2

So let's breakdown the math from there. (All attacks versus AC 27 - average AC according to Monster Generation Tables for a CR 12 creature)

PF1 Fighter (power attack penalties and additional damage accounted for)
Single Attack (power attacking)- 31.24 EDV
Full Attack (power attacking) - 64.43 EDV

PF2 Fighter (single die at this point, since I don't know where the breakpoint is)
Single Power Attack - 29.26 EDV (taking 2 actions)
Full Attack (not sure this is possible, but if I use the extra action I have left to attack as well) - 44.77 EDV

PF2 Fighter (2 extra die)
Single Attack 33.96 EDV
Full Attack - 52.47 EDV.

I don't think anything I've built is by any means an edge case or particularly out there.

Paizo Employee Designer

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BartonOliver wrote:

So, first I will say we obviously don't have full information to compare so I'm making assumptions here.

...
I don't think anything I've built is by any means an edge case or particularly out there.

Fully agreeing with you on the caveat that you don't have full information right now. Notwithstanding that two-handing a longsword is not a particularly common longsword build and a bit of a cherrypick compared to one-handed longsword or two-handed greatsword, your numbers fit right in with thflame's: He said that PF1 Power Attack is better if you are fighting something where your bonus is high enough to hit on a 1 before the Power Attack on the first attack, which is what we have in your example. From playing and running playtests, that's not going to be a super common situation, though I have certainly seen it happen in PF2 several times.


I'm not sure this is a victory... Power attack was incredibly strong as it is. Kinda wish it wasn't so autopick good for once.

Paizo Employee Designer

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To explain what I mean in the other thread about more damage actually making PF1 Power Attack worse, suppose we had a 12th level fighter that hits for either 10 damage, 20 damage, 40 damage, or 100 damage per hit, using PF1 two-handed Power Attack (-4 to hit, +12 to damage) against a target that he could previously hit on a 6 on the first attack.

Without Power Attack, he expects 37/20*Damage, so for 10 damage that's 18.5, 20 is 37, 40 is 74, and 100 is 185.

With Power Attack, he expects 21/20*(Damage+12) so for 10 damage that's 23.1 (an increase), for 20 it's 33.6 (a decrease), for 40 it's 54.6 (a big decrease), and for 100 it's 117.6 (an even bigger decrease).

Paizo Employee Designer

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ChibiNyan wrote:
I'm not sure this is a victory... Power attack was incredibly strong as it is. Kinda wish it wasn't so autopick good for once.

It's actually not auto-pick good in PF2. It's just that PF1 Power Attack is actually kind of bad in PF2. PF2 Power Attack winning in comparison is not because it's a must-pick, it's because PF1 Power Attack is actively hurting you in PF2 in most situations if you deal enough damage on your own. I actually don't know if PF2 Power Attack will be too strong, too weak, or just right (let's playtest and find out!). The only thing I knew for sure was that it was better than PF1 Power Attack (since the first thing I tried was something similar to PF1 Power Attack and I saw that it was usually actively making you worse).


Mark Seifter wrote:
ChibiNyan wrote:
I'm not sure this is a victory... Power attack was incredibly strong as it is. Kinda wish it wasn't so autopick good for once.
It's actually not auto-pick good in PF2. It's just that PF1 Power Attack is actually kind of bad in PF2. PF2 Power Attack winning in comparison is not because it's a must-pick, it's because PF1 Power Attack is actively hurting you in PF2 in most situations if you deal enough damage on your own. I actually don't know if PF2 Power Attack will be too strong, too weak, or just right (let's playtest and find out!). The only thing I knew for sure was that it was better than PF1 Power Attack (since the first thing I tried was something similar to PF1 Power Attack and I saw that it was usually actively making you worse).

Oh, sorry then! I misinterpreted this thread. I thought it was comparing PF2 Power Attack to PF1 Power attack in their respective environments. Glad to hear it's not as good as the current one in the current game <3

Grand Lodge

Mark Seifter wrote:
BartonOliver wrote:

So, first I will say we obviously don't have full information to compare so I'm making assumptions here.

...
I don't think anything I've built is by any means an edge case or particularly out there.
Fully agreeing with you on the caveat that you don't have full information right now. Notwithstanding that two-handing a longsword is not a particularly common longsword build and a bit of a cherrypick compared to one-handed longsword or two-handed greatsword, your numbers fit right in with thflame's: He said that PF1 Power Attack is better if you are fighting something where your bonus is high enough to hit on a 1 before the Power Attack on the first attack, which is what we have in your example. With my insight from playing and running playtests, that's not going to be a super common situation, though I have certainly seen it happen in PF2 several times.

That's a pretty common to hit bonus for a 12th level fighter (I certainly could have powered it up more), and a mook that he should be encountering fairly regularly in PF1 for stats. I'm not trying to make any crazy arguments (and I've certainly seen plenty of two handed longswords used), but if you prefer

+26 to hit (+12 BAB, +7 STR (17 starting, 3 from leveling, +4 belt - 24 str), +3 sword at level 12 (about 1/6 average wealth for your weapon as a fighter is reasonable), +2 from weapon training, +2 from 2 feats)

One Handed Longsword EDVs
Full Attack PF1 - 51.73
Full Attack (one die) - 43.04
Full Attack (two die) - 47.74

Oddly one handing you fall behind over two handing (not accounting for actions to raise shields and such)

Two Handed Greatsword
Full Attack PF1 - 73.15
Full Attack (1*die) 53.05
Full Attack Greatsword (two*die) 60.36

Or we could go to 2 handed longsword versus a boss/mini boss type (CR+3, AC 30)
Full Attack PF1 - 46.86
Full Attack (1*die) - 41.69
Full Attack (2*die) - 45.9
Full Attack PF1/PF2 (no power attack) - 46.53

So how bout 1 handed longsword against AC 30
Full Attack PF1 - 37.62
Full Attack 1*die - 36.9
Full Attack 2*die - 41.11
Full Attack PF1/PF2 (no power attack) - 40.59

2 Handed Greatsword
Full Attack PF1 - 50.16
Full Attack 1*die - 48.02
Full Attack 2*die - 54.56
Full Attack PF1/PF2 (no power attack) - 51.48

Like I said, I don't think it can be definitively called better or worse Power Attack is/was situational as is and there are seemingly pros and cons to each version


Mark Seifter wrote:
ChibiNyan wrote:
I'm not sure this is a victory... Power attack was incredibly strong as it is. Kinda wish it wasn't so autopick good for once.
It's actually not auto-pick good in PF2. It's just that PF1 Power Attack is actually kind of bad in PF2. PF2 Power Attack winning in comparison is not because it's a must-pick, it's because PF1 Power Attack is actively hurting you in PF2 in most situations if you deal enough damage on your own. I actually don't know if PF2 Power Attack will be too strong, too weak, or just right (let's playtest and find out!). The only thing I knew for sure was that it was better than PF1 Power Attack (since the first thing I tried was something similar to PF1 Power Attack and I saw that it was usually actively making you worse).

Was that not the intended trade off though since the feat was written in 3.0?

Certainly your odds of threatening a critical under the system where you are penalized on the attack roll is an issue seemingly, unless it isn't.

If Power Attack was designed so that it interacted with criticals in a favorable way then sure, we could reasonably expect it to change. However I'm not seeing a problem with trading the odds of landing a critical for guaranteed damage. In fact, that seems like it balances it a lot better in theory than creating a scenario where the numbers jump nigh exponentially in the instance of a critical hit with power attack on.

I think we should consider play testing both to see which feels more Pathfinder.

Paizo Employee Designer

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Indeed, as I mentioned above and I think as you suspected when choosing the example, cherrypicking one way or the other doesn't matter much; one-handing or two-handing and whichever weapon you use, it really all comes down to the target AC. This matches thflame's analysis up above. And I can say that you're going to find few (non-zero but few) situations where you hit on a 1 on the first attack, so if PF1 Power Attack did exist as a feat, it wouldn't be a great choice (even then, you are giving up several crit chances on the first attack, and a fighter can get some bonus effects on the critical hit that make PF1 Power Attack even worse in comparison to normal attack, particularly for a longsword actually). And PF2 Power Attack actually gets more attractive compared to normal attack at lower relative accuracy (because the third attack you're giving up gets more and more insignificant in its accuracy), so it mimics the idea of the one big swing in a lower accuracy situation without the penalty.

Paizo Employee Designer

master_marshmallow wrote:
Mark Seifter wrote:
ChibiNyan wrote:
I'm not sure this is a victory... Power attack was incredibly strong as it is. Kinda wish it wasn't so autopick good for once.
It's actually not auto-pick good in PF2. It's just that PF1 Power Attack is actually kind of bad in PF2. PF2 Power Attack winning in comparison is not because it's a must-pick, it's because PF1 Power Attack is actively hurting you in PF2 in most situations if you deal enough damage on your own. I actually don't know if PF2 Power Attack will be too strong, too weak, or just right (let's playtest and find out!). The only thing I knew for sure was that it was better than PF1 Power Attack (since the first thing I tried was something similar to PF1 Power Attack and I saw that it was usually actively making you worse).

Was that not the intended trade off though since the feat was written in 3.0?

Certainly your odds of threatening a critical under the system where you are penalized on the attack roll is an issue seemingly, unless it isn't.

If Power Attack was designed so that it interacted with criticals in a favorable way then sure, we could reasonably expect it to change. However I'm not seeing a problem with trading the odds of landing a critical for guaranteed damage. In fact, that seems like it balances it a lot better in theory than creating a scenario where the numbers jump nigh exponentially in the instance of a critical hit with power attack on.

I think we should consider play testing both to see which feels more Pathfinder.

I'm having trouble deconstructing your post. Can you explain a bit more?


Mark Seifter wrote:
master_marshmallow wrote:
Mark Seifter wrote:
ChibiNyan wrote:
I'm not sure this is a victory... Power attack was incredibly strong as it is. Kinda wish it wasn't so autopick good for once.
It's actually not auto-pick good in PF2. It's just that PF1 Power Attack is actually kind of bad in PF2. PF2 Power Attack winning in comparison is not because it's a must-pick, it's because PF1 Power Attack is actively hurting you in PF2 in most situations if you deal enough damage on your own. I actually don't know if PF2 Power Attack will be too strong, too weak, or just right (let's playtest and find out!). The only thing I knew for sure was that it was better than PF1 Power Attack (since the first thing I tried was something similar to PF1 Power Attack and I saw that it was usually actively making you worse).

Was that not the intended trade off though since the feat was written in 3.0?

Certainly your odds of threatening a critical under the system where you are penalized on the attack roll is an issue seemingly, unless it isn't.

If Power Attack was designed so that it interacted with criticals in a favorable way then sure, we could reasonably expect it to change. However I'm not seeing a problem with trading the odds of landing a critical for guaranteed damage. In fact, that seems like it balances it a lot better in theory than creating a scenario where the numbers jump nigh exponentially in the instance of a critical hit with power attack on.

I think we should consider play testing both to see which feels more Pathfinder.

I'm having trouble deconstructing your post. Can you explain a bit more?

Perhaps it might be a more informed decision for critical threats to be less prevalent when interacting with Power Attack.

An example, let's say there's an enemy with around 15hp, stock out of the book.

We can probably assume that I'm not going to start out right in front of him, so I spend one act[ion] to move up to him, then spend my last two to swing. I roll [4d6+4] (still unclear on if this is the correct math for greatsword damage, is it still 2d6+1.5 STR?) and get let's say 12 damage. The enemy lives.

Conversely, if I forgo my chance to crit by taking that accuracy hit with something more similar to PF1 Power Attack, I then get to roll something like [2d6+10] twice and I get my 15 damage and kill the enemy.

While in theory I have the ability to cap out at much higher damage with Power Attack in PF2, the Power Attack in PF1 guarantees me more damage that I as a player, and the rest of the group is able to rely upon. When cleaning up mooks this is wonderful since it really doesn't matter if I land a crit or not.

The added reliability factor in the math heavily influences player choices in PF1. Is the game headed toward a more variable expectation of the math in PF2? This could have unexpected and negative results at the expense of the 'wow factor' of rolling more dice. At least that is my first impression.


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I was kind of hoping it would be like star finder where at higher levels you roll a ton of dice.

Paizo Employee Designer

master_marshmallow wrote:
Mark Seifter wrote:
master_marshmallow wrote:
Mark Seifter wrote:
ChibiNyan wrote:
I'm not sure this is a victory... Power attack was incredibly strong as it is. Kinda wish it wasn't so autopick good for once.
It's actually not auto-pick good in PF2. It's just that PF1 Power Attack is actually kind of bad in PF2. PF2 Power Attack winning in comparison is not because it's a must-pick, it's because PF1 Power Attack is actively hurting you in PF2 in most situations if you deal enough damage on your own. I actually don't know if PF2 Power Attack will be too strong, too weak, or just right (let's playtest and find out!). The only thing I knew for sure was that it was better than PF1 Power Attack (since the first thing I tried was something similar to PF1 Power Attack and I saw that it was usually actively making you worse).

Was that not the intended trade off though since the feat was written in 3.0?

Certainly your odds of threatening a critical under the system where you are penalized on the attack roll is an issue seemingly, unless it isn't.

If Power Attack was designed so that it interacted with criticals in a favorable way then sure, we could reasonably expect it to change. However I'm not seeing a problem with trading the odds of landing a critical for guaranteed damage. In fact, that seems like it balances it a lot better in theory than creating a scenario where the numbers jump nigh exponentially in the instance of a critical hit with power attack on.

I think we should consider play testing both to see which feels more Pathfinder.

I'm having trouble deconstructing your post. Can you explain a bit more?

Perhaps it might be a more informed decision for critical threats to be less prevalent when interacting with Power Attack.

An example, let's say there's an enemy with around 15hp, stock out of the book.

We can probably assume that I'm not going to start out right in front of him, so I spend one act[ion] to move up to him, then spend my last two...

Ah, gotcha! One interesting thing is that rolling many dice is probabilistically stabler than it seems. For instance, to use your example numbers since they have similar means, the chance of 2d6+10 doing less than 15 damage is 1/6, and the chance of 4d6+4 doing less damage than 15 should be lower (I did the combinatorics for 4d6+4 to get a result from 8 to 13 damage and got under 1/10,

but I haven't run the combinatorics for 14 yet; it should add up to less than the difference).


Mark Seifter wrote:
master_marshmallow wrote:
Mark Seifter wrote:
master_marshmallow wrote:
Mark Seifter wrote:
ChibiNyan wrote:
I'm not sure this is a victory... Power attack was incredibly strong as it is. Kinda wish it wasn't so autopick good for once.
It's actually not auto-pick good in PF2. It's just that PF1 Power Attack is actually kind of bad in PF2. PF2 Power Attack winning in comparison is not because it's a must-pick, it's because PF1 Power Attack is actively hurting you in PF2 in most situations if you deal enough damage on your own. I actually don't know if PF2 Power Attack will be too strong, too weak, or just right (let's playtest and find out!). The only thing I knew for sure was that it was better than PF1 Power Attack (since the first thing I tried was something similar to PF1 Power Attack and I saw that it was usually actively making you worse).

Was that not the intended trade off though since the feat was written in 3.0?

Certainly your odds of threatening a critical under the system where you are penalized on the attack roll is an issue seemingly, unless it isn't.

If Power Attack was designed so that it interacted with criticals in a favorable way then sure, we could reasonably expect it to change. However I'm not seeing a problem with trading the odds of landing a critical for guaranteed damage. In fact, that seems like it balances it a lot better in theory than creating a scenario where the numbers jump nigh exponentially in the instance of a critical hit with power attack on.

I think we should consider play testing both to see which feels more Pathfinder.

I'm having trouble deconstructing your post. Can you explain a bit more?

Perhaps it might be a more informed decision for critical threats to be less prevalent when interacting with Power Attack.

An example, let's say there's an enemy with around 15hp, stock out of the book.

We can probably assume that I'm not going to start out right in front of him, so I spend one act[ion] to

...

Remember though, he got to roll 2d6+10 twice, at least according to using Power Attack with the Unchained Action economy.

Granted, this assumes the attack at -5 still hits.

Paizo Employee Designer

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master_marshmallow wrote:

Remember though, he got to roll 2d6+10 twice, at least according to using Power Attack with the Unchained Action economy.

Granted, this assumes the attack at -5 still hits.

If both attacks hit, this is certainly true. But that's not as likely as the one non-Power Attack attack hitting.

Now, in this particular situation, the PF1 Power Attack option is actually more likely to land a kill (unless AC is such that you need a 12 or higher on the d20 to hit on your first attack, so super high) but for a different reason; the chance of rolling below 15 damage is really low for either 2d6+10 and for 4d6+4, even if 4d6+4 is actually more reliable, so even one hit is likely a kill, and PF1 Power Attack is attacking twice and thus more likely to get a single hit against most ACs. Then again, as BartonOliver and I showed, if the static damage is higher and the target is higher, just attacking normally with no version of Power Attack is eventually going to always be better than PF1 Power Attack except against very low ACs.

Sovereign Court RPG Superstar 2011 Top 32

Would anyone care to crunch the numbers for something like a dagger? I'm curious to see if the "extra dice for an action" version beats "-1/+2" for even the tiniest weapon dice.

In PF1e I've played martial characters who used daggers because, as we all know, eventually the actual damage dice barely matter to your output, and it was the style I wanted.

Edit: I'd also be curious what the math looks like when a character still hits on a 2 after the Power Attack penalty using PF1e Power Attack. For example, a +30 to hit versus AC25 - which is not hard to do in PF1e at least.

Grand Lodge

ryric wrote:

Would anyone care to crunch the numbers for something like a dagger? I'm curious to see if the "extra dice for an action" version beats "-1/+2" for even the tiniest weapon dice.

In PF1e I've played martial characters who used daggers because, as we all know, eventually the actual damage dice barely matter to your output, and it was the style I wanted.

I've been playing with numbers for a while, and what I came up with is bigger weapons are better in the new system especially if you factor in DR. That said we don't know when the die bump for power attack happens or exactly what monster DR will look like (or if it even exists). But there is far more limited benefit to Power attacking with a 1d4 weapon when the damage die multiplies versus a 2d6 (or 1d12)

Examples:

Example: Fighter +26 to hit +16 damage one handing a longsword AC 30 creature no DR
Full Attack 1*die - 36.9 EDV
Full Attack 2*die - 41.11 EDV

Same fighter with a knife vs. AC 30 no DR
Full Attack (1*die) - 31.84
Full Attack (2*die) - 34.18

And that's only the difference between a d4 and a d8. (It gets more significant if you look at the difference between say a dagger and a great sword or add in DR for the creature)


power attack at the normal -1/+2 ratio was really not that great of a trade and only worth it when you had lots of extra accuracy. The math of the game makes a +1 in accuracy worth about as much as +2 damage on average for DPR purposes (which is why weapon focus is +1 and specialization +2 damage).
So base power attack was likely NOT a DPR increase for a lot of situations. The key use for it normally would be as a DR helper when the math shifts to favor bigger hits.

Sovereign Court RPG Superstar 2011 Top 32

"lots of extra accuracy" is quite easy to achieve in PF1e once you get to 8th level or so as a dedicated martial character - I'm currently playing a 12th level bloodrager in a Reign of Winter game who generally has a +30 to hit. A CR12 monster is supposed to have an AC of around 27 so why wouldn't I Power Attack, even with a light weapon? -4/+8 is a great trade when I still hit on a 2. Obviously it gets more nuanced on a full attack, but moving and attacking happens pretty often IME.


Mark Seifter wrote:
master_marshmallow wrote:

Remember though, he got to roll 2d6+10 twice, at least according to using Power Attack with the Unchained Action economy.

Granted, this assumes the attack at -5 still hits.

If both attacks hit, this is certainly true. But that's not as likely as the one non-Power Attack attack hitting.

Now, in this particular situation, the PF1 Power Attack option is actually more likely to land a kill (unless AC is such that you need a 12 or higher on the d20 to hit on your first attack, so super high) but for a different reason; the chance of rolling below 15 damage is really low for either 2d6+10 and for 4d6+4, even if 4d6+4 is actually more reliable, so even one hit is likely a kill, and PF1 Power Attack is attacking twice and thus more likely to get a single hit against most ACs. Then again, as BartonOliver and I showed, if the static damage is higher and the target is higher, just attacking normally with no version of Power Attack is eventually going to always be better than PF1 Power Attack except against very low ACs.

Is it fair to say that the game math is designed to expect critical hits more often, and that is meant to be the trade off for less consistent numbers overall?

Are there re-roll mechanics being planned to give players a chance to fight off the swingyness of the dice?

It is to my understanding that you are not well versed in 5e, but this system is very similar in execution. In 5e however, their fighter eventually gets class features that specifically allow him to re-roll 1's, not unlike the abilities that the Trickster/Rogue gets in PF1 to alleviate the mathematical inconsistency of sneak attack.

Are these options being considered? I'm guessing you can't give me spoilers, but you should be able to say "no" if they are not.

EDIT: Have I accidentally figured out what Hero Points do?


Is anyone else worried that the new power attack may be too good, epeciallly at low level?

New system: Full attack without power attack, using greatsword (for comparison purposes, we will use old rules for the greatsword).

At first level, fighter with str 18, expert proficiency, so about +6 (+4 str, +1 level, +1 prof) to hit vs AC 12, so needing a 6 to hit with the first attack.

Without power attack: hits on 6 (75% chance, crits 25%) doing 2d6+6, hits on 11 (50% chance, can't crit, crit fail 5%), doing 2d6+6, hits on a 16 (25% chance, can't crit, crit fail 30% chance) doing 2d6+6. Expected average damage 13(*.5) +26(*.25) +13(*.5)+13(*.25)= 22.75, round to 23. 32% chance of having at least 1 crit fail. (Doesn't reduce damage but may trigger a bad reaction.)

With power attack: hits on 6 (75% chance, crits 25%) doing 4d6+6, hits on 11 (50% chance, can't crit, crit fail 5%), doing 2d6+6. Expected average damage 20(*.5) + 40(*.25) + 20 (*.5) = 30 extra damage, with 5% chance of a crit miss.

So on average, power attacking is worth about +7 damage when full attacking at first level, assuming base damage per attack is similar to what it is to PF1.

Now this does assume that the fighter isn't using their third action for something else, as that third action attack isn't very valuable and may even be harmful. So the question then becomes what third action is worth giving up the extra damage from using power attack.

Note that these are averages, the actual results are going to be a LOT swingier. This is also assuming a critical hit simply doubles damage, which might easily not be the case.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Dilvias wrote:

Without power attack: hits on 6 (75% chance, crits 25%) doing 2d6+6, hits on 11 (50% chance, can't crit, crit fail 5%), doing 2d6+6, hits on a 16 (25% chance, can't crit, crit fail 30% chance) doing 2d6+6. Expected average damage 13(*.5) +26(*.25) +13(*.5)+13(*.25)= 22.75, round to 23. 32% chance of having at least 1 crit fail. (Doesn't reduce damage but may trigger a bad reaction.)

With power attack: hits on 6 (75% chance, crits 25%) doing 4d6+6, hits on 11 (50% chance, can't crit, crit fail 5%), doing 2d6+6. Expected average damage 20(*.5) + 40(*.25) + 20 (*.5) = 30 extra damage, with 5% chance of a crit miss.

A natural 20 is still a critical hit. So your "hits on 11" should be 50% hit, 5% crit and "hits on 16" should be 25% hit, 5% crit.

Without power attack: (13*.50 + 26*.25) + (13*.45 + 26*.05) + (13*.20 + 26*.05) = 24.05

With power attack: (20*.50 + 40*.25) + (13*.45 + 26*.05) = 27.15

It also looks like you used 4d6+6 instead of 2d6+6 for the "hits on 11" attack with power attack.

Shadow Lodge

CrazyGnomes wrote:
A natural 20 is still a critical hit.

Someone who can only hit on a 20 automatically crits?

Sovereign Court RPG Superstar 2011 Top 32

CrazyGnomes wrote:
Dilvias wrote:

Without power attack: hits on 6 (75% chance, crits 25%) doing 2d6+6, hits on 11 (50% chance, can't crit, crit fail 5%), doing 2d6+6, hits on a 16 (25% chance, can't crit, crit fail 30% chance) doing 2d6+6. Expected average damage 13(*.5) +26(*.25) +13(*.5)+13(*.25)= 22.75, round to 23. 32% chance of having at least 1 crit fail. (Doesn't reduce damage but may trigger a bad reaction.)

With power attack: hits on 6 (75% chance, crits 25%) doing 4d6+6, hits on 11 (50% chance, can't crit, crit fail 5%), doing 2d6+6. Expected average damage 20(*.5) + 40(*.25) + 20 (*.5) = 30 extra damage, with 5% chance of a crit miss.

A natural 20 is still a critical hit. So your "hits on 11" should be 50% hit, 5% crit and "hits on 16" should be 25% hit, 5% crit.

Without power attack: (13*.50 + 26*.25) + (13*.45 + 26*.05) + (13*.20 + 26*.05) = 24.05

With power attack: (20*.50 + 40*.25) + (13*.45 + 26*.05) = 27.15

It also looks like you used 4d6+6 instead of 2d6+6 for the "hits on 11" attack with power attack.

I'm going to borrow this framework to do my dagger question. Still assuming 18 Str, +6 to hit, just d4+4 damage:

Without power attack: (6.5*.50 + 13*.25) + (6.5*.45 + 13*.05) + (6.5*.20 + 13*.05) = 12.025

With power attack: (9*.50 + 18*.25) + (6.5*.45 + 13*.05) = 12.575

With PF1e-style power attack: (8.5*.45 + 17*.20) + (8.5*.40 + 17*.05) + (8.5*.15 + 17*.05) = 13.6

Edit: fixed small math error


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
ryric wrote:
With PF1e-style power attack: (8.5*.45 + 17*.20) + (8.5*.40 + 17*.05) + (8.5*.15 + 17*.05) = 13.6

First attack should be a hit on 7-16 and crit on 17-20, so (8.5*.50 + 17*.20) for 14.025 average damage with -1 hit/+2 damage PF1 power attack.

-2/+4: 15.225
-3/+6: 15.625
-4/+8: 15.225
-5/+10: 15.675
-6/+12: 15.725


Been working on a google doc of sorts for calculating DPR and figured that the old formula for calculating EDV of a hit is a little off now that crits don't have to be confirmed anymore

I figured that the EDV per hit now is EDV=H*(D+P)+C*((t-1)*D+(n-1)*P)
H is % chance to hit
D is Damage
P is Precision damage
C % crit chance
t is the crit multiplier of the weapon
n is the precision crit multiplier (figured rogues might get the ability to increase the crit multiplier of their sneak attacks later on)

Please correct me if I'm wrong on my formula building

Also link to the google doc


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
willuwontu wrote:

Been working on a google doc of sorts for calculating DPR and figured that the old formula for calculating EDV of a hit is a little off now that crits don't have to be confirmed anymore

...

Please correct me if I'm wrong on my formula building

Also link to the google doc

I believe your crit chance is 5% too low.

If you hit on a 2 or higher (95%) you will crit on a 12 or higher (45%) but in this case you show C Crit Chance 40%. C2 should also be 20% instead of 15%.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Companion, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Serum wrote:
CrazyGnomes wrote:
A natural 20 is still a critical hit.
Someone who can only hit on a 20 automatically crits?

I believe a Nat 20 is an auto hit, but still only a critical if you beat the AC by 10. I could be misremembering though what I've gleamed.


It should be fixed now, also you should be able to edit which attack you're looking at now.


Rysky wrote:
Serum wrote:
CrazyGnomes wrote:
A natural 20 is still a critical hit.
Someone who can only hit on a 20 automatically crits?
I believe a Nat 20 is an auto hit, but still only a critical if you beat the AC by 10. I could be misremembering though what I've gleamed.

20s still crit even if you don't beat AC by 10 with it. I don't think we have info on the case where a 20 wouldn't have hit without the 20s hit rule.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
willuwontu wrote:
It should be fixed now, also you should be able to edit which attack you're looking at now.

For Power Attack, it looks like the bonus damage is only being added to the hit formula, not the crit formula. The values from C3-H3 should be included for Old Power Attack crits and the values for I3-J3 should be included for New Power Attack crits.


Vital strike as opposed to a flat damage bonus is more insane with the current crit dynamics. Especially since it's sacrifices the attack least likely to crit. Like imagine a +1 longsword. PF1 has 1d8+3 to throw around one handed with power attack before str and modifiers. On a crit it's 2d8+6. So 16 on average and 22 max. PF2, assuming longsword is the same die it's 3d8 and 6d8 on a crit, average 30 max 48. If over attacking is easier than hitting crit ranges damage die go a long way and an extra lottery ticket for crazy damage.


thflame - are those numbers for giving up the -5 attack or the -10 attack? In other words, are you comparing someone attacking 3 times (0/-5/-10) against 2 (0/-5) with PA, or 2 (0/-5) against 1 (0) with PA?

I imagine that PA is substantially worse with agile weapons, due to the smaller dice and lower iterative penalty.


Mudfoot wrote:

thflame - are those numbers for giving up the -5 attack or the -10 attack? In other words, are you comparing someone attacking 3 times (0/-5/-10) against 2 (0/-5) with PA, or 2 (0/-5) against 1 (0) with PA?

I imagine that PA is substantially worse with agile weapons, due to the smaller dice and lower iterative penalty.

Old Power Attack has a 0/-5/-10 applied over 3 hits.

New Power Attack works as the devs have described and gets a second normal attack at -5.


CrazyGnomes wrote:
willuwontu wrote:
It should be fixed now, also you should be able to edit which attack you're looking at now.
For Power Attack, it looks like the bonus damage is only being added to the hit formula, not the crit formula. The values from C3-H3 should be included for Old Power Attack crits and the values for I3-J3 should be included for New Power Attack crits.

Should be fixed also made it so power attack is modified by stat mod as well.


What about comboed with other options. If their is an enlarge spell and a weapon enchant that makes the die bigger that great sword is dealing 4d6 or 8d6 with power attack. Heck their could even be a feat that increases damage die which would combo well. Seems like a lot of the things that potentially made vital strike useful could be awesome with this new power attack. Assuming of course the same options are their which really we don't know yet. Could also be that general feats are all going to be weaker compared to class feats (which makes sense) So +1 to hit weapon focus may be equivalent to +1 extra die eventually +2 extra dice which might be par for the course for all general feats. Won't know till we see more. Also with less attacks it might be a thing that weapons base damage dice improves at higher levels. (I doubt it but just throwing out ideas.)


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
ChibiNyan wrote:
Mark Seifter wrote:
ChibiNyan wrote:
I'm not sure this is a victory... Power attack was incredibly strong as it is. Kinda wish it wasn't so autopick good for once.
It's actually not auto-pick good in PF2. It's just that PF1 Power Attack is actually kind of bad in PF2. PF2 Power Attack winning in comparison is not because it's a must-pick, it's because PF1 Power Attack is actively hurting you in PF2 in most situations if you deal enough damage on your own. I actually don't know if PF2 Power Attack will be too strong, too weak, or just right (let's playtest and find out!). The only thing I knew for sure was that it was better than PF1 Power Attack (since the first thing I tried was something similar to PF1 Power Attack and I saw that it was usually actively making you worse).
Oh, sorry then! I misinterpreted this thread. I thought it was comparing PF2 Power Attack to PF1 Power attack in their respective environments. Glad to hear it's not as good as the current one in the current game <3

Considering Power Attack was a good baseline for how powerful a feat needs to be to not make martials completely irrelevant, it didn't need 'fixing' it and all other martial feats needed buffing, in most cases vastly, I know it wont compete with high level spells, but at least it would be worth showing up, not looking like fighters have a purpose yet from this, it is only GM fiat that makes monsters not ignore martial classes to go after the actual threats as it is.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Companion, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Rob Godfrey wrote:
ChibiNyan wrote:
Mark Seifter wrote:
ChibiNyan wrote:
I'm not sure this is a victory... Power attack was incredibly strong as it is. Kinda wish it wasn't so autopick good for once.
It's actually not auto-pick good in PF2. It's just that PF1 Power Attack is actually kind of bad in PF2. PF2 Power Attack winning in comparison is not because it's a must-pick, it's because PF1 Power Attack is actively hurting you in PF2 in most situations if you deal enough damage on your own. I actually don't know if PF2 Power Attack will be too strong, too weak, or just right (let's playtest and find out!). The only thing I knew for sure was that it was better than PF1 Power Attack (since the first thing I tried was something similar to PF1 Power Attack and I saw that it was usually actively making you worse).
Oh, sorry then! I misinterpreted this thread. I thought it was comparing PF2 Power Attack to PF1 Power attack in their respective environments. Glad to hear it's not as good as the current one in the current game <3
Considering Power Attack was a good baseline for how powerful a feat needs to be to not make martials completely irrelevant, it didn't need 'fixing' it and all other martial feats needed buffing, in most cases vastly, I know it wont compete with high level spells, but at least it would be worth showing up, not looking like fighters have a purpose yet from this, it is only GM fiat that makes monsters not ignore martial classes to go after the actual threats as it is.

Not enjoying getting an axe to the face or getting stabbed in the kidney is not GM Fiat.

Sovereign Court RPG Superstar 2011 Top 32

CrazyGnomes wrote:
ryric wrote:
With PF1e-style power attack: (8.5*.45 + 17*.20) + (8.5*.40 + 17*.05) + (8.5*.15 + 17*.05) = 13.6

First attack should be a hit on 7-16 and crit on 17-20, so (8.5*.50 + 17*.20) for 14.025 average damage with -1 hit/+2 damage PF1 power attack.

-2/+4: 15.225
-3/+6: 15.625
-4/+8: 15.225
-5/+10: 15.675
-6/+12: 15.725

Thanks for the correction!

Liberty's Edge

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Rob Godfrey wrote:
Considering Power Attack was a good baseline for how powerful a feat needs to be to not make martials completely irrelevant, it didn't need 'fixing' it and all other martial feats needed buffing, in most cases vastly, I know it wont compete with high level spells, but at least it would be worth showing up, not looking like fighters have a purpose yet from this, it is only GM fiat that makes monsters not ignore martial classes to go after the actual threats as it is.

I think you are misunderstanding what Mark said. Power Attack needed fixing because the changes to the game's core mechanics (specifically critting on AC+10 rather than just nat 20s, plus or minus crit ranges) meant that the attack penalty was costing the attacker more damage than the feat was adding. It would have been the definition of a trap option at that point.

I think this is a good example of why getting too worked up about these previews is a bad idea until we have the entire system in front of us.

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