Disarm and Trip seem inconsistent.


General Discussion

Liberty's Edge

4 people marked this as a favorite.

Trip action trips your opponent on a success and harms them on a critical, while disarm gives you a bonus to disarm again on a success and ACTUALLY disarms them on a critical.

This seems odd, picking up the item that is dropped in your square is an action as well as standing up from prone.

IMO this makes tripping more powerful than disarm, however it seems they are weighed evenly in power when you look at the weapon properties...

What Do?


1 person marked this as a favorite.

Stop making weapons the real source of player's damage. As Iron Man said, "If you are nothing without the suit, then you shouldn't have it."
Add the bonus damage by level and not from being magic.


Tripped is just flat footed + one action to stand up again. Disarm can end the fight for good (and requires to draw another weapon, which is also one action)


2 people marked this as a favorite.
Red Rabbit wrote:
Tripped is just flat footed + one action to stand up again. Disarm can end the fight for good (and requires to draw another weapon, which is also one action)

How does it end the fight? It's only an action for them to pick up an item in their square, and I don't think that you can pick up an item in an adjacent occupied square.


Sounds like a job for a familiar. With no AoOs they should be OK to grab the fallen weapon and run off.


avr wrote:
Sounds like a job for a familiar. With no AoOs they should be OK to grab the fallen weapon and run off.

One action to move, one to pick up, then th retailing hits and it dies.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

Monsters don't have stats for unarmed strikes. Disarming them literally breaks the game.

We can't have that, but disarming still needs to be a thing, so we'll hide it behind the 5%.


Xenocrat wrote:
avr wrote:
Sounds like a job for a familiar. With no AoOs they should be OK to grab the fallen weapon and run off.
One action to move, one to pick up, then th retailing hits and it dies.

What's stopping them using their 3rd action to move? And, um, what was 'retailing' before autocorrect got involved?


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Richard Crawford wrote:

Monsters don't have stats for unarmed strikes. Disarming them literally breaks the game.

We can't have that, but disarming still needs to be a thing, so we'll hide it behind the 5%.

They do! The bestiary says they can use the PUNCH weapon if disarmed.


The person who disarms can pick up the weapon, if not an ally.
If you can reach into a square, you can pick up an object in it, if you have a free hand.

Disarm neutralizes an opponent in one round, so is tuned to work on minions, not bosses, hardly even tough henchmen.
Trip is a brief debuff.


avr wrote:
Xenocrat wrote:
avr wrote:
Sounds like a job for a familiar. With no AoOs they should be OK to grab the fallen weapon and run off.
One action to move, one to pick up, then th retailing hits and it dies.
What's stopping them using their 3rd action to move? And, um, what was 'retailing' before autocorrect got involved?

Familiars are minions, so they only get two actions.


Castilliano wrote:

The person who disarms can pick up the weapon, if not an ally.

If you can reach into a square, you can pick up an object in it, if you have a free hand.

Disarm neutralizes an opponent in one round, so is tuned to work on minions, not bosses, hardly even tough henchmen.
Trip is a brief debuff.

I wouldn't discount prone so readily. With the way attacks and defenses scale, a -2 is pretty meaningful, and it costs an action to get rid of it. AoOs aren't everywhere anymore, but it's still a solid move.

Disarming doesn't break the game, a monster that doesn't use a weapon just wouldn't be susceptible, it specifically says "you try to knock an item out of an opponent's grasp."

I agree it should be harder to disarm event to trip, but as it stands at sort of seems impossible. Maybe if there were Feats that made it more possible, or special item bonuses or something of the like. The other problem is that 5 out of the 8 weapons that have the disarm traits are also finesse weapons. Is it clear in the rules that would use your dexterity on the disarm rolls, since disarm has the attack trait? Or is it still just a straight Athletics check? It also seems strange to require training in athletics to use a Rapier or a whip to disarm someone


2 people marked this as a favorite.

One of my players tried a Disarm against a foe during The Lost Star playtest. Her character had a +5 to disarm (Str only 14), rolled a 6 on the d20, for a total of 11. The attempt failed, but the result demonstrated that she would need to roll at least a 17 to disarm, so she did not try again. Really, she would have needed a 19.

The result of a success is "Until the start of that creature’s turn, attempts to Disarm the opponent of that item get a +2 circumstance bonus." What good is that going to do a single character? The +2 circumstance bonus will be stacked with an additional -4 multiattack bonus since Disarm has the Attack trait. I suppose a two-person tactic could have one person attempt to disarm and on a success the other person has an easier chance. But that is a lot of effort that would be more productively put into damage instead.

Disarm could be very powerful, since with Disarm requiring a single action, the disarmer could have time to pick up the fallen weapon as a single Interact action. If Disarm were a double action, that would still leaves one action for the pickup. How about instead:

[[Reaction]] Disarm
Requirements You have at least one hand free and the other can make an attack. The target can’t be more than two sizes larger than you. You are not required to reach the opponent.
Trigger The target critically failed an attack against you.

You try to knock the weapon used in the failed attack out of the opponent’s grasp. A Disarm requires you to roll an Athletics check against the opponent’s Reflex DC.
Success You knock the item out of the opponent’s grasp. It falls to the ground in the opponent’s space.
Critical Success You may grab the weapon in your free hand rather than letting it fall to the ground.
Critical Failure You lose your balance and become flat-footed until the start of your next turn.

Special If the weapon is not dropped due to being a natural weapon or otherwise attached to the opponent, roll damage to the opponent with an available weapon or unarmed instead.

I dropped that Attack trait because without it I don't have to explain the multiattack penalties if it occurs outside your turn.


And for my Disarm reaction, the Disarm weapon trait would become:

Disarm If you are holding this weapon and can attack with it, then you no longer need a free hand to take a Disarm reaction. If an opponent fails a attack with a weapon against you, then the opponent applies 2 more than this weapon's item bonus to attacks as a penalty to their attack to determine whether the failure was critical. For example, a standard-quality disarm weapon would give a -2 item penalty and an expert-quality disarm weapon with a +1 item bonus would give a -3 item penalty. On a critical success to the Disarm, you still need a free hand if you want to take the item.


I mentioned my reaction Disarm to my wife, the player who had tried the playtest Disarm, and she said, "But what if you want to disarm deliberately?" Her character had tried to disarm a foe to induce him to surrender. Okay, the Diplomacy and Intimidate rules as written don't work that way, but I usually give a circumstance bonus when foe clearly cannot win, and a foe who cannot attack gives her time for diplomacy. She did not want the disarm to wait until her character's opponent attacked.

I ought to compromise. How about I simply change the nearly-useless Success result of the playtest Disarm to something resembling my idea?

Current version:
Success You weaken your opponent’s grasp on the item. Until
the start of that creature’s turn, attempts to Disarm the
opponent of that item get a +2 circumstance bonus.
Critical Success You knock the item out of the opponent’s
grasp. It falls to the ground in the opponent’s space.

Mathmuse version:
Success You weaken your opponent’s grasp on the item. Until
that opponent uses an Interact action to correct his grip, a failure
on a use of that item knocks it out of the opponent’s grasp and it
falls to the ground in the opponent’s space.
Critical Success You knock the item out of the opponent’s grasp.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

Someone did a chart averaging Reflex saves on monsters at every level provided in the bestiary versus what an optimized Athletics character would have and the numbers are all over the place, but some things are definitely clear.

On average, you need a 7 to get a Success on any such check assuming you are built specifically for it (Belt of Giant's Strength and Armbands of Athleticism). The odds of knocking a weapon free on a Disarm check are indeed quite low across the board if you need a critical success -- on average needing a 17.

Compare this to what you need to get a Trip attempt to put a monster flat on their back and there's just no contest. Trip is significantly better than Disarm. It's slightly riskier because of the chance of being knocked prone yourself, but the odds of getting an advantageous result are so much better.

Disarming's success result is just not particularly advantageous in any way. In most cases achieving a critical success with your second roll requires a natural 20 regardless of the -2 penalty on the target, due to your multiple attack penalty effectively adding 3 to the DC (which, as I noted, already averaged 17). And that's for an optimized character!

Community / Forums / Archive / Pathfinder / Playtests & Prerelease Discussions / Pathfinder Playtest / Pathfinder Playtest General Discussion / Disarm and Trip seem inconsistent. All Messageboards

Want to post a reply? Sign in.
Recent threads in Pathfinder Playtest General Discussion