change sword critical effect


Magic Items


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Most of the critical specialization effects are cool, but the one for swords is lackluster. Flat-footed is too easy to come by, and there are feats that allow you to apply it on a critical independently (making the specialization effect completely superfluous).

Here's one possible alternative: a critical hit with a sword does not count toward the character's multiple attack penalty.

This has a similar function as applying the flat-footed condition (increasing accuracy of subsequent attacks), but it's not redundant with that condition and fits the fantasy of swords as quick and fluid when used skillfully.


Ludovicus wrote:

Most of the critical specialization effects are cool, but the one for swords is lackluster. Flat-footed is too easy to come by, and there are feats that allow you to apply it on a critical independently (making the specialization effect completely superfluous).

Here's one possible alternative: a critical hit with a sword does not count toward the character's multiple attack penalty.

This has a similar function as applying the flat-footed condition (increasing accuracy of subsequent attacks), but it's not redundant with that condition and fits the fantasy of swords as quick and fluid when used skillfully.

I like it! I was just thinking today about how the Swprd critical effect really doesn't seem as cool as the others, if only because as you said it's easy to apply flat footed while the other effects of crits for different weapons are a lot harder to come by.


Wouldn't that be wasted if you crit with your last action that turn?


I believe the sword bonus to be the strongest one of all. Some guys like Marshmallow believe the same thing. If you just stand in place and swing, critting on the first with a sword will vastly improve your odds of hitting with the follow-ups. Same for allies!


ArenCordial wrote:
Wouldn't that be wasted if you crit with your last action that turn?

Well... I definitely wouldn't mind getting a critical in my lest accurate attack of the round. Unless, of course, you used Stride two times before attacking a single time.


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I have to agree as I was playing a fencer/duelist paladin build and never got the chance to use feint because the enemy was always already flat-footed by either flanking or a crit. They really should separate out some of the debuffs again, right now the lack of stacking diminishes the tactical play of trying to eke out every advantage in a fight.


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ChibiNyan wrote:
I believe the sword bonus to be the strongest one of all. Some guys like Marshmallow believe the same thing. If you just stand in place and swing, critting on the first with a sword will vastly improve your odds of hitting with the follow-ups. Same for allies!

The fighter alone has like half a dozen options to make an enemy flatfooted, beyond standard tactics of flanking. The sword crit effect is definitely the most likely to be redundant or pointless of all the crit effects.


I feel like sword is amazing if you want to buddy cop with an overly excitable rogue, but otherwise it feels lackluster. Axes, polearms, knives etc. all stand out I think. Swords, less so.


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Elleth wrote:
I feel like sword is amazing if you want to buddy cop with an overly excitable rogue, but otherwise it feels lackluster. Axes, polearms, knives etc. all stand out I think. Swords, less so.

Buddy cop with an overly excitable rogue, but for some reason not flank with the rogue.


ArenCordial wrote:
Wouldn't that be wasted if you crit with your last action that turn?

Sure, but under the current system it also doesn't do anything for you, and doesn't do anything for your allies unless they're attacking the same target you are but not flanking it.


There are situations where you cannot flank or it would be really problematic to do so. Larger foes come to mind, close quarter fights with corners or multiple opponents. Opponents with AoO and high reflex values. You can also potentially flatfoot multiple lower level targets in a single round without flanking.

And then of course the classic duel 1 vs. 1 no flanking there but the swordsman does not necessarily need to invest into feats to flatfoot his opponent.

Then maybe the fighter/rogue who utilizes a sword to "flank" for himself.


vestris wrote:

There are situations where you cannot flank or it would be really problematic to do so. Larger foes come to mind, close quarter fights with corners or multiple opponents. Opponents with AoO and high reflex values. You can also potentially flatfoot multiple lower level targets in a single round without flanking.

And then of course the classic duel 1 vs. 1 no flanking there but the swordsman does not necessarily need to invest into feats to flatfoot his opponent.

Then maybe the fighter/rogue who utilizes a sword to "flank" for himself.

Right. I'm not saying the criticial effect never comes up: I'm saying it doesn't come up enough. And again, if the fighter/rogue wants to impose the condition on a critical hit, he has a 4th-level feat for doing just that.


Feint action use of Deception skill, Combat Grab feat (Fighter 1), Aggressive Shield feat (Fighter 2), Brutish Shove feat (Fighter 2), Intimidating Strike feat (Fighter 2), Shatter Defenses feat (Fighter 6), Dread Striker feat (Rogue 4), Unbalancing Blow feat (Rogue 4), Gang Up feat (Rogue 6) etc. are all means to make an enemy flat footed, albeit sometimes with restrictions or prerequisites. Still, it's not hard to build towards, and certainly easier than relying on a sword crit.


Feint: often low charisma, high monster perception, costs an action
combat grab: 1-handed weapon no shield
aggressive shield: victims choice, if not close to a wall or similar
brutish shove: victims choice or failed attack, if not close to a wall or similar
intimidating strike: 2 actions

+ a feat instead of buying a weapon, if its in the path and class you choose nice, if not well not so nice.

You can get the sword specialization as barbarian, paladin, ranger, cleric, elf, halforc. And they do not get support to flatfoot their targets easily.

I am not arguing that it is the best thing in the world, is it too bad to be relevant I would say no. I did not have enough swords nor encounters yet especially not those where crit. spec would have been relevant. Could I see a different condition? Sure if the data supports it. I could also see some sort of stacking for flat footed, or sth. like when you flat foot a flat footed creature it falls prone or a similar effect.


Ludovicus wrote:
Elleth wrote:
I feel like sword is amazing if you want to buddy cop with an overly excitable rogue, but otherwise it feels lackluster. Axes, polearms, knives etc. all stand out I think. Swords, less so.
Buddy cop with an overly excitable rogue, but for some reason not flank with the rogue.

Yeah. The sort who runs across the battlefield and then remembers to actually attack the dude next to the fighter. Alas, they exist.


flat flooted is really strong in this edition. +2 change in AC is a big deal. at least it has appeared that way from the sessions we have played.


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Swords have quite an awesome crit Specialisation imo.

The key here is that it makes an enemy flat-footed. Period.

That means that he is flat footed for you, for your ranged allies. For your spell casters. For all, regardless of their position /weapons.

Flank only makes someone flat footed for the characters that are actually Flanking and only for them.

Feint as well applies only to YOUR (next) attack.

Prone applies only vs melee.

All the other options either require feats, or extra actions, or both.

Edit:
Basically, it's a free Daze that opponent auto fails the saving throw and works even on mindless.


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ikarinokami wrote:

flat flooted is really strong in this edition. +2 change in AC is a big deal. at least it has appeared that way from the sessions we have played.

It's good, but there are a lot of ways to get it and it's not super interesting as a crit effect for a weapon compared to pretty much all the others. You could accomplish something similar with an inverse of polearm or club -allowing you to make a Step for instance, which would be a reasonably cinematic version of sword fighting.

Edit: Shroud is right, of course. I just think it could be fun if Sword were to feel like it shined for you as much as or more than for allies.


Elleth wrote:
ikarinokami wrote:

flat flooted is really strong in this edition. +2 change in AC is a big deal. at least it has appeared that way from the sessions we have played.

It's good, but there are a lot of ways to get it and it's not super interesting as a crit effect for a weapon compared to pretty much all the others. You could accomplish something similar with an inverse of polearm or club -allowing you to make a Step for instance, which would be a reasonably cinematic version of sword fighting.

I really like that idea!


Who uses swords? Polearm is where it is at.

I do agree that flat footed is too common to make the crit effect particularly valuable. Not all crit effects have to be great though.

The step action sounds like a good suggestion to me.

Liberty's Edge

ikarinokami wrote:

flat flooted is really strong in this edition. +2 change in AC is a big deal. at least it has appeared that way from the sessions we have played.

It is definitely a big deal but it is not a big deal if the enemy is already flat-footed. Maybe the critical effect could be "+2 to hit target until the end of your next turn". This keeps most of what makes the bonus good without having to worry about bonus redundancy.

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