Retributive Strike Statistics


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Silver Crusade

I am looking forward to testing this one with my Shelyn worshipping Paladin who is finally going to be somewhat viable with a Glaive.

EDIT: Though for that build I am quite tempted to also pick up AOO, but we will see.


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Asuet wrote:
HWalsh wrote:

I tried to use it again today in a 10th playtest. This time it was my Paladin along as an NPC.

I could not get it to fire. In all 3 encounters. I could not get it to fire. I had 3 players laughing at how insane I was going to to try to get it to fire.

So you got exactly what retributive strike is made for. Forcing the opponent to reposition or attack you. That you still don't get that the attack itself is not the point of the ability is beyond me.

I understand your point of defending the ability, and I'm not really sure I can explain the position I share with the others in a way that will influence your own opinion, but I'll give it a shot.

Retributive strike is fine for what it does, and it does the job, but it doesn't "feel" like it's doing the job. As players in a game most people desire to feel the input of action and the result of said action, even if it's quite a small reaction. The enemy choosing to act differently is good, but it feels very metagamey in how this particular ability is doing it. It feels less like the paladin is there defending his allies and being a menace and more like the DM is catering to the paladin's singularly determined role. This ability doesn't give the player any real feedback for them to feel accomplished beyond telling themselves they did good by standing still and waiting for something to go and hit them or their friend, and that's not enough input for most people.

This also brings up a rather odd mentality and play loop of "Stand there and hope my friend gets attacked so I can do something". Sure, you don't HAVE to play this way. No one is saying you couldn't, but it brings to mind the idea of "if I want to be more dynamic a character I should not pick a paladin". This happens because while the character doesn't HAVE to play in the dedicated stuck-to-a-guy-like-glue tank method, so many of the classes features are tied to the ability requiring them to do so that it feels like wasted mental effort of making the character good or more engaging.

An ability that deters enemies is great, but an ability that reduces player input on the game is bad. The latter is simply a worse feeling for most people than the former. Also as I said previously, an offensive ability as at least an OPTION would heavily reduce this issue because even better than a good defender is a decent defender who can turn on a dime to lay a smackdown. Just to reiterate, there is no greater CC than "dead", and what paladin player doesn't love to deliver good CC.


Asuet wrote:
So you got exactly what retributive strike is made for. Forcing the opponent to reposition or attack you.

Repositioning isn't a big deal; it costs an attack that wouldn't hit anyway, so who cares? Opponents can simply ignore the paladin.

The only actual effect of Retributive strike is to force paladin's allies to move as slowly as him. Even slower, actually (ret strike prevent anyone to move quicker than 10 feet/round - or the trigger is never met). Or, the allies do as the opponents: they ignore the paladin and move away from him when they want to, preventing the use of Ret. Strike.

Ret. strike is OK in a paladin-only party. In a standard party it's a dumb ability.


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Asuet wrote:
So you got exactly what retributive strike is made for. Forcing the opponent to reposition or attack you. That you still don't get that the attack itself is not the point of the ability is beyond me.

If that's all it's intended for (which I doubt; is the enemy supposed to know you can do it?), it's pretty weak. The positioning the party has to do in order to potentially benefit from this is just as inconvenient to them as any repositioning the enemy has to do in order to avoid it.


Naoki00 wrote:

It feels less like the paladin is there defending his allies and being a menace and more like the DM is catering to the paladin's singularly determined role. This ability doesn't give the player any real feedback for them to feel accomplished beyond telling themselves they did good by standing still and waiting for something to go and hit them or their friend, and that's not enough input for most people.

This also brings up a rather odd mentality and play loop of "Stand there and hope my friend gets attacked so I can do something".

Yeah. :/ Thank you for saying this so well.


MuddyVolcano wrote:
Naoki00 wrote:

It feels less like the paladin is there defending his allies and being a menace and more like the DM is catering to the paladin's singularly determined role. This ability doesn't give the player any real feedback for them to feel accomplished beyond telling themselves they did good by standing still and waiting for something to go and hit them or their friend, and that's not enough input for most people.

This also brings up a rather odd mentality and play loop of "Stand there and hope my friend gets attacked so I can do something".

Yeah. :/ Thank you for saying this so well.

I get what your saying. I purposefully built a reach paladin to take advantage of the reaction affect and followed close to the person i knew was going to get attacked. I normally got a reaction in every round and the GM did not do it for me and was having a problem keeping the NPC's that were attacking us safe from me, aka we drew them in to melee.

Unfortunately the new class was built more for reach builds which works but does not feel like hero of justice.


morairtym wrote:
MuddyVolcano wrote:
Naoki00 wrote:

It feels less like the paladin is there defending his allies and being a menace and more like the DM is catering to the paladin's singularly determined role. This ability doesn't give the player any real feedback for them to feel accomplished beyond telling themselves they did good by standing still and waiting for something to go and hit them or their friend, and that's not enough input for most people.

This also brings up a rather odd mentality and play loop of "Stand there and hope my friend gets attacked so I can do something".

Yeah. :/ Thank you for saying this so well.

I get what your saying. I purposefully built a reach paladin to take advantage of the reaction affect and followed close to the person i knew was going to get attacked. I normally got a reaction in every round and the GM did not do it for me and was having a problem keeping the NPC's that were attacking us safe from me, aka we drew them in to melee.

Unfortunately the new class was built more for reach builds which works but does not feel like hero of justice.

Yeah, both Reach Paladins I have had worked incredibly well. It is literally night and day from Sword and Board.


HWalsh wrote:
morairtym wrote:
MuddyVolcano wrote:
Naoki00 wrote:

It feels less like the paladin is there defending his allies and being a menace and more like the DM is catering to the paladin's singularly determined role. This ability doesn't give the player any real feedback for them to feel accomplished beyond telling themselves they did good by standing still and waiting for something to go and hit them or their friend, and that's not enough input for most people.

This also brings up a rather odd mentality and play loop of "Stand there and hope my friend gets attacked so I can do something".

Yeah. :/ Thank you for saying this so well.

I get what your saying. I purposefully built a reach paladin to take advantage of the reaction affect and followed close to the person i knew was going to get attacked. I normally got a reaction in every round and the GM did not do it for me and was having a problem keeping the NPC's that were attacking us safe from me, aka we drew them in to melee.

Unfortunately the new class was built more for reach builds which works but does not feel like hero of justice.

Yeah, both Reach Paladins I have had worked incredibly well. It is literally night and day from Sword and Board.

Play a gnome, the flickmace is a one handed reach weapon so you can have reach and still be sword and board.

Sovereign Court

I played a Gnome Paladin last night in one of the 5th level PFS scenarios. I found that the reach of the flickmace was quite crucial to my ability to be in position to use Retributive Strike. I was able to use it quite a bit better than I expected given these types of threads.

I think there were a couple of contributing factors to this:
All but one of the other party members tended to stay in melee range.

The enemies generally won initiative and closed with the party before the Monk could literally outrun me (35ft speed vs 15ft speed), so the monk was not forced to move slowly to enable me.

Reach, it is honestly quite disappointing to think how little use of this ability I'd have been able to get without having reach.

I think it is imperative that Paladin's will have tools to be viable as sword and board without having to hoop jump to get access to a niche weapon like the Gnome Flickmace.

I honestly had quite a good time and was pleasantly surprised that the build worked as well as it did. I was kinda expecting to just feel outclassed by the monk, but I didn't. Though I think I might have had I not been using a Flickmace.


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Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

I am confused by the people who are saying "Retributive Strike is working as designed when you never actually make the attack".

I am confused by this mostly by the existence of several Paladin feats that make your strike itself more powerful.

If the goal is to never actually use it, why have feats that support using it?

This ability is definitely confusingly designed to me. If the goal is to force enemies to attack the Paladin, then the Paladin should have more feats that trigger off of being attacked, OR more feats that make it easier to discourage enemies from attacking allies. If the goal is "strike is working when you don't use it", then the Paladin should have feats that make it easier to trigger a strike, thus making it harder for enemies to attack allies. Instead they have feats to power up strikes - which will only get used if those enemies DO attack the Paladin's allies, which I thought was counter to the design... See what I mean about confusing?

Also the whole "defending your allies" thing completely falls apart when you are against casters or ranged attackers, since the Paladin can't do anything about those...


My first session we forgot Retributive Strike was actually a thing, it probably should have been used 1-3 times.

The second session, it went off at least 3 times without any sort of metagame conceit from me, and we only had two encounters. At least once fighting centipedes. And twice fighting the quasits. The quasits might have been smart enough to avoid the second, but it was desperately lashing out at the barbarian crushing it to death, and it didn't even occur to me (and by extension, the quasit) to go for anyone else.

Of those attempts, at least 2 killed enemies, and all them reduced or eliminated damage.

Now, the one asterisk I will put on that is that I was running a large, striker heavy party and buffing up the encounter sizes to compensate. The large number of figures in the cramped dungeon probably helped. But I was running 4 players for the first session and the ooze definitely provoked it at least once (we just forgot to use it) so it would have held up there as well.

These were all done without a reach weapon, by the way.

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