Move or Be Flat-footed


General Discussion


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There are crit specials and feats that enhance your blows by moving an opponent 5' or making them flat-footed. There are some higher level feats that let you choose between the two. That higher level option is a good benefit. I would argue that the "options" that don't let you choose are problematic and unwieldy in a game and should be removed in favor of always letting the player select and select direction.

Problem 1) My opponent gets moved 5' away and is no longer in range - Unless you are intentionally doing this to clear a path, you have just gimped yourself as it wastes an action to move 5' towards them to get another attack in. This is not a reward of getting a critical. It's a punishment.

Problem 2) When it's the DM's choice to move an npc or flat-foot them, how do they fairly choose? - If I know my player needs to clear a path, I either have to give it to them knowingly helping them, or I have to choose flat-footed and intentionally thwart them. This is a silly, unfair burden on the game. If I'm flipping a coin, that's a mechanic. Why doesn't the feature resolve the problem itself?

I think the Move or Be Flat-footed "non-choice" mechanic is negative and should be removed, because it is not rewarding as intended and not handled well as a mechanic.


The DM of wrote:

There are crit specials and feats that enhance your blows by moving an opponent 5' or making them flat-footed. There are some higher level feats that let you choose between the two. That higher level option is a good benefit. I would argue that the "options" that don't let you choose are problematic and unwieldy in a game and should be removed in favor of always letting the player select and select direction.

Problem 1) My opponent gets moved 5' away and is no longer in range - Unless you are intentionally doing this to clear a path, you have just gimped yourself as it wastes an action to move 5' towards them to get another attack in. This is not a reward of getting a critical. It's a punishment.

Problem 2) When it's the DM's choice to move an npc or flat-foot them, how do they fairly choose? - If I know my player needs to clear a path, I either have to give it to them knowingly helping them, or I have to choose flat-footed and intentionally thwart them. This is a silly, unfair burden on the game. If I'm flipping a coin, that's a mechanic. Why doesn't the feature resolve the problem itself?

I think the Move or Be Flat-footed "non-choice" mechanic is negative and should be removed, because it is not rewarding as intended and not handled well as a mechanic.

You kind of solved your own question:

Quote:
There are some higher level feats that let you choose between the two.

The problems you're presenting don't compute with what you've just stated as a mechanic. If it's a choice, then it's a choice that the player makes because they are the one making the attack, not the GM (unless the rules specify otherwise, but it would make no sense in any case). If it's not a choice, then the player needs to live with his decisions, and understand that certain weapons have certain uses in combat. A reach weapon that knocks enemies back is awesome for Fighters or other martials whom can exploit their Attacks of Opportunity, not so much for someone who similarly doesn't have a reach weapon and is therefore gimping themselves or their allies out of actions. In contrast, against non-reach enemies, it's solid to make enemies likewise waste actions to close the gap, as this means they can make less attacks (even if it's at -10), or be less likely to perform other combo actions, like spells, or even class/monster abilities.

In short, if a player makes a decision on his own without understanding what his decision precisely entails, then that's a decision he has to live with. There are now ways in-game to where he can change these benefits, and it's up to the player to decide if he wants to make those changes or not. (Assuming a GM is fair with downtime rules, of course).


Some weapons move foes as the special on a crit. Crits are more likely on the first hit. This makes it more likely to waste your action, not your foes.

Moving 5' does not trigger AoO's.

Using a feat to try to flat-foot them but having the DM move them instead, thwarts you. Using a feat to move someone and having the DM flat-foot them instead, thwarts you.

This is lame.


I'm not totally up to date, but I think that these rules were written specifying the target decides the outcome (with further feats that hand that decision to the attacker). I had the impression it was an in-world decision the target made about how they take the hit, so usually they would pick whatever is most advantageous to them, which is often also what's most disadvantageous to the player characters they're fighting.


"You can always decide not to add the critical specialization effect of
your weapon." pg 183. And there are no critical specializations that offer the choice to the enemy to become flatfooted instead.

Moving an enemy is not always going to be useful, just like sweeping with an axe, but when it is useful it can be VERY useful. IE, knocking them back in situations where you don't need to attack again or have reach to waste actions, moving someone into flanking or threat range with a polearm, or knocking someone off a cliff with a club. That seems like a fine point to me for fun and balance.


Darksol the Painbringer wrote:


You kind of solved your own question:

Quote:
There are some higher level feats that let you choose between the two.
The problems you're presenting don't compute with what you've just stated as a mechanic.

Except that some of them explicitly state that the enemy chooses. "Target becomes flat-footed unless it moves."


Pathfinder Maps, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

For cinematic reasons, one option might be to allow the attacker to be able to complete subsequent attack actions against the target that got hit, prior to the completion of causing the target to be moved. Thereby, allow the attacker the option who gets a critical hit on their first attack, to attempt their following two attacks, but have the attacker knocked back at the end of the attacker's turn due to the force of the first attack.

The attacker could also in my opinion choose to make the effect occur right during the attack resolution, if that was more to their preference/plan.


Draco18s wrote:
Darksol the Painbringer wrote:


You kind of solved your own question:

Quote:
There are some higher level feats that let you choose between the two.
The problems you're presenting don't compute with what you've just stated as a mechanic.
Except that some of them explicitly state that the enemy chooses. "Target becomes flat-footed unless it moves."

Where is that rules quote from? Last I checked, there's nothing in the game that does this, because it's counterintuitive.

And also, does that text also state the enemy can move as part of the critical effect? Because there's nothing there that states an enemy gets the ability to move, which means the target is flat-footed until it takes an action to Step, Stride, and so forth. Until then? It's flat-footed. If it's immobilized? It's considered perpetually flat-footed at all times because it cannot take actions to Step or Stride or otherwise move.


I don't see the ambiguity, the low level version is explicitly chosen by target implicitly according to their perceived benefit (or lesser of bad options). If the GM is making NPC decisions based on info NPC shouldn't be aware of (i.e. invisible PCs, readied actions, OOC discussion) that is GM problem not mechanical issue.

I feel like the remainder of "issue" is obviated by attacker being able to choose to not "get" EITHER special effect, i.e. it is their choice if they give enemy choice of the two effects. The attacker choosing WHICH square/direction the target would be moved IF THE TARGET CHOOSES TO BE MOVED makes sense IMHO.

I do feel like OP is taking overly narrow view of things, i.e. from single attacker perspective ONLY. Generally, BOTH options ARE negative and disruptive to enemy tactical situation, irrespective to calculus of single attacker's actions for that 1 turn... The remainder of which, by OP's own admission, are less likely to hit anyways. If you need to, tell yourself you are playing back-up Bard/Control to rationalize the benefit of this.


Pathfinder Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Darksol the Painbringer wrote:
Draco18s wrote:
Darksol the Painbringer wrote:


You kind of solved your own question:

Quote:
There are some higher level feats that let you choose between the two.
The problems you're presenting don't compute with what you've just stated as a mechanic.
Except that some of them explicitly state that the enemy chooses. "Target becomes flat-footed unless it moves."

Where is that rules quote from? Last I checked, there's nothing in the game that does this, because it's counterintuitive.

And also, does that text also state the enemy can move as part of the critical effect? Because there's nothing there that states an enemy gets the ability to move, which means the target is flat-footed until it takes an action to Step, Stride, and so forth. Until then? It's flat-footed. If it's immobilized? It's considered perpetually flat-footed at all times because it cannot take actions to Step or Stride or otherwise move.

Still paraphrasing, but the text is more like:

"The target is pushed back X feets, unless it choose to get flat footed.",
and the latter feat let the player choose instead of the target. But one thing is certain, the target don't choose where it go if it choose the push back.
I'm away from the book right now, but I'm pretty sure it's close to this.


Read through the fighter feats for multiple examples. Other class's feats have some as well.


Bad paraphrasing on my part, don't have the book handy.

But yes, early fighter feats all work that way. Brutish Shove, Combat Grab, etc.

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