Range kiting and the poor dwarf


Rules Discussion


I love the new actions system, but I am afraid about something. Let's say we have a level 1 Elf, with a Bow and speed 40 ft. And on the other hand we have a Dwarf with speed 20 ft. If the elf decide to move+move+shoot, the dwarf will never catch him even if he use his 3 actions to move, cause the elf move 80 ft with 2 actions (and then he fires) and the dwarf only move 60 ft.

Please tell me I am wrong.


How'd he get speed 40' at 1st level? He can have Nimble Elf to bring him up to 35', but has no way to get Fleet to make 40. Not that this changes your actual point, since moving 70 with 2 actions still beats the dwarf's 60 with 3.

Anyway, you are correct that the elf wins here while laughing maniacally (as a free action).

EDIT: And if the dwarf is foolish enough to carry a tower shield (-5' speed, not susceptible to Unburdened Iron feat 'cause it's not armor) then a regular 25' person of whatever race can pull off the same thing, moving 50 in 2 while the dwarf moves 45 in 3.


10 people marked this as a favorite.

Your Dwarf can just hide behind a wall. Your Dwarf can draw a bow. Your Dwarf can do tons of things other than running after an Elf. If he doesn't have a range weapon and if he's on an open field, then I think he gets what he earns.


SuperBidi wrote:
Your Dwarf can just hide behind a wall. Your Dwarf can draw a bow. Your Dwarf can do tons of things other than running after an Elf. If he doesn't have a range weapon and if he's on an open field, then I think he gets what he earns.

Maybe you are right, but that sound like a design flaw to me.


3 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Maps, Pathfinder Accessories, Pawns, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Nicolas Grilli wrote:
Maybe you are right, but that sound like a design flaw to me.

What's the flaw?

That the elf has a faster move speed than the dwarf?


Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

The only way to get around this design wise is a) have no differences in move speeds across the game or b) tie movement to a dice roll. A is boring, B is tedious.

If your dwarf is concerned with being outpaced he can spend money (or a feat) on a horse, take movement enhancing feats (Sudden Charge for example) invest in movement reducing options (tanglefoot etc.)


Malk_Content wrote:

The only way to get around this design wise is a) have no differences in move speeds across the game or b) tie movement to a dice roll. A is boring, B is tedious.

If your dwarf is concerned with being outpaced he can spend money (or a feat) on a horse, take movement enhancing feats (Sudden Charge for example) invest in movement reducing options (tanglefoot etc.)

How does this work on previous version? Maybe the charge and the run help with these. The main problem, from my point of view, is the double movement and shooting.

On PF1 you could have a similar problem with somebody on horseback, but that's at least a bit uncommon.

Anyway, I take note of your advices.


3 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

In pf1 everyone stood still and full attacked because the system massively disentivized any movement that wasn't a 5ft step.


Fuzzy-Wuzzy wrote:

How'd he get speed 40' at 1st level? He can have Nimble Elf to bring him up to 35', but has no way to get Fleet to make 40. Not that this changes your actual point, since moving 70 with 2 actions still beats the dwarf's 60 with 3.

Anyway, you are correct that the elf wins here while laughing maniacally (as a free action).

EDIT: And if the dwarf is foolish enough to carry a tower shield (-5' speed, not susceptible to Unburdened Iron feat 'cause it's not armor) then a regular 25' person of whatever race can pull off the same thing, moving 50 in 2 while the dwarf moves 45 in 3.

Anyway, you are correct that the elf wins here while laughing maniacally (as a free action). XD


3 people marked this as a favorite.
Nicolas Grilli wrote:
Fuzzy-Wuzzy wrote:

How'd he get speed 40' at 1st level? He can have Nimble Elf to bring him up to 35', but has no way to get Fleet to make 40. Not that this changes your actual point, since moving 70 with 2 actions still beats the dwarf's 60 with 3.

Anyway, you are correct that the elf wins here while laughing maniacally (as a free action).

EDIT: And if the dwarf is foolish enough to carry a tower shield (-5' speed, not susceptible to Unburdened Iron feat 'cause it's not armor) then a regular 25' person of whatever race can pull off the same thing, moving 50 in 2 while the dwarf moves 45 in 3.

Anyway, you are correct that the elf wins here while laughing maniacally (as a free action). XD

While laughing is normally a free action, I believe that a proper maniacal laugh takes at least a full turn.


3 people marked this as a favorite.

This is the real reason dwarves invented firearms.


Malk_Content wrote:
The only way to get around this design wise is a) have no differences in move speeds across the game or b) tie movement to a dice roll. A is boring, B is tedious.

Or... just limit speed disparities so 3xDwarfMove >= 2xElfMove. The stated problem doesn't exist for 25 vs 35 speed, nor for 20 vs 25, nor for 20 vs 30 (which was 3.x/P1E ratio). The problem results from 2E expanding the range of core race speed divergence, specifically to detriment of Dwarf and advantage of Elf (and to lesser extent, Half-Elf). Not from having ANY speed differences whatsoever.

I still am curious about the design decision, and it's ongoing application.
It's obvious Paizo were happy with higher degree of base disparity, but that alone doesn't explain these decisions IMHO,
with unique slowness reserved only for Dwarves, and lack of "suppleness" in variations seen.
If so much speed disparity even at low level with no magic/class abilities is just fine... why is only Dwarf slow?
Should we expect future slow (20') races WITHOUT Unburdened? (which only matters with non-Mithril Heavy Armor or not meeting STR req of non-Mithril Medium)
Why wasn't a +5' speed Heritage/Ancestry Feat sufficient for Halfling/Gnome/Goblins?
Why wasn't at least Elf +5' speed Feat (if not base speed advantage) made contingent on Light/No Armor?
All of that would have meant a more even speed distribution, even with same min and max as current actual rules,
with at least some Halflings/Gnomes/Goblins also with slow 20' speed, and not all Elves quite as speedy.


Quandary wrote:
Malk_Content wrote:
The only way to get around this design wise is a) have no differences in move speeds across the game or b) tie movement to a dice roll. A is boring, B is tedious.
Or... just limit speed disparities so 3xDwarfMove >= 2xElfMove. The stated problem doesn't exist for 25 vs 35 speed, nor for 20 vs 25, nor for 20 vs 30 (which was 3.x/P1E ratio). The problem results from 2E expanding the range of core race speed divergence, specifically to detriment of Dwarf and advantage of Elf (and to lesser extent, Half-Elf). Not from having ANY speed differences whatsoever.

Technically true for the problem as stated, but you get an essentially equivalent problem with any significant speed difference. For normal elf 30 vs normal dwarf 20, for instance, the elf just has to triple-move a few times to get sufficiently ahead of the triple-moving dwarf, then can double-move and fire, then goes back to triple-moving and the cycle of life continues (except for the dwarf).

EDIT: Insofar as it is a problem, that is, which I think isn't really that much. It's ok to have some specific situations (endless open field with no complete cover available, dwarf with no ranged weapon for some reason) in which maniacal laughter inevitably results from one party.


Quandary wrote:
Or... just limit speed disparities so 3xDwarfMove >= 2xElfMove. The stated problem doesn't exist for 25 vs 35 speed, nor for 20 vs 25, nor for 20 vs 30 (which was 3.x/P1E ratio).

You just need 5 more feet of movement to make double move shoot while the enemy can't do anything (unless he has Attack of Opportunity or Sudden Charge).

The new system is very different on movement. Now, moving is an extremely powerfull action, move speed bonuses are extremely important and having a ranged option is both very viable and nearly mandatory.


SuperBidi wrote:
Quandary wrote:
Or... just limit speed disparities so 3xDwarfMove >= 2xElfMove. The stated problem doesn't exist for 25 vs 35 speed, nor for 20 vs 25, nor for 20 vs 30 (which was 3.x/P1E ratio).

You just need 5 more feet of movement to make double move shoot while the enemy can't do anything (unless he has Attack of Opportunity or Sudden Charge).

The new system is very different on movement. Now, moving is an extremely powerfull action, move speed bonuses are extremely important and having a ranged option is both very viable and nearly mandatory.

You have a point, but considering it, maybe the ranged attack on mele situations, should have a stronger penalization.

And the elves shouldn´t be able to move 40 feet since level 3.


Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

Yeah it is pretty simple math that if you have a Speed of X, any creature with a speed of X + ANYTHING will always (without feats etc) be able to move with two actions in such away that you must move with three. It doesn't matter if 3X is larger than 2(X+whatever) because you can't subdivide that third action. Oh great you can overtake the enemy, now they move in the other direction and you've still not done anything to them.


To be fair, the OP's math breaks down to a simple comparison of ratios.

30 divided by 20 = 1.50

35 divided by 20 = 1.75

Which means that relatively, elves became faster relative to dwarves with the edition change.


6 people marked this as a favorite.

Yeah, if you pick the slow race, be prepared for others to be faster than you. Working as intended.

The dwarf can use his own ranged attack/find cover/cast a ranged spell/sudden charge/use a mount/cast longstrider/throw a tangle foot bag/do any number of other things. I don't think it's an actual issue in practice.


6 people marked this as a favorite.

This is why every character should make sure to have a ranged Strike option, and why combat encounters shouldn't happen in featureless white rooms of functionally infinite size.

Fuzzy-Wuzzy wrote:


EDIT: And if the dwarf is foolish enough to carry a tower shield (-5' speed, not susceptible to Unburdened Iron feat 'cause it's not armor) then a regular 25' person of whatever race can pull off the same thing, moving 50 in 2 while the dwarf moves 45 in 3.

Unburdened Iron has two effects: A) ignore all speed penalty from any armor worn, and B) reduce other speed penalties that you incur by 5 feet (though only one reduction applies if you have multiple).

So a tower shield wouldn't slow down a character with Unburdened Iron (unless they were also encumbered or blasted with a ray of frost or something).


1 person marked this as a favorite.

It does strongly encourage dwarves to learn how to ride a horse.


It seems to me like the elf is the one at a disadvantage when the dwarf stands around the corner of the ancient tunnel complex she's guarding waiting for the elf to finish sprinting away into the gently falling leaves outside, farther and farther from the ancient relic deep beneath the earth that the elf needs to acquire. Depending on how much time the elf spends sprinting away, our stalwart dwarf might even have time to set up a snare or two.

But that would probably make our dwarf a ranger, so she might also have had a precision crossbow she fired into the fleeing elf before stepping around the corner to reload. She might also have had an animal companion, maybe a wolf, whose support benefit lowers the target's speed. Regardless of her class, I'm guessing our dwarf guardian was smart enough to recognize her weaknesses and compensate for them in the same way our elven infiltrator probably made gear and feat choices to compensate for his race's frail natural stature and penalty to constitution.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Game systems are ruined when significant mechanical differences are removed for the pursuit of balance based on purely theoretical scenarios.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Nicolas Grilli wrote:

I love the new actions system, but I am afraid about something. Let's say we have a level 1 Elf, with a Bow and speed 40 ft. And on the other hand we have a Dwarf with speed 20 ft. If the elf decide to move+move+shoot, the dwarf will never catch him even if he use his 3 actions to move, cause the elf move 80 ft with 2 actions (and then he fires) and the dwarf only move 60 ft.

Please tell me I am wrong.

The thing to think about is kiting with an animal companion with a speed of 35 but only 2 actions. It's faster than 30 move creatures but can never outrun them...


graystone wrote:
Nicolas Grilli wrote:

I love the new actions system, but I am afraid about something. Let's say we have a level 1 Elf, with a Bow and speed 40 ft. And on the other hand we have a Dwarf with speed 20 ft. If the elf decide to move+move+shoot, the dwarf will never catch him even if he use his 3 actions to move, cause the elf move 80 ft with 2 actions (and then he fires) and the dwarf only move 60 ft.

Please tell me I am wrong.

The thing to think about is kiting with an animal companion with a speed of 35 but only 2 actions. It's faster than 30 move creatures but can never outrun them...

This just made me realize that you could be slower on a horse than on foot (if you had even a 5ft bonus to speed, or your steed was in barding of any sort).


graystone wrote:
Nicolas Grilli wrote:

I love the new actions system, but I am afraid about something. Let's say we have a level 1 Elf, with a Bow and speed 40 ft. And on the other hand we have a Dwarf with speed 20 ft. If the elf decide to move+move+shoot, the dwarf will never catch him even if he use his 3 actions to move, cause the elf move 80 ft with 2 actions (and then he fires) and the dwarf only move 60 ft.

Please tell me I am wrong.

The thing to think about is kiting with an animal companion with a speed of 35 but only 2 actions. It's faster than 30 move creatures but can never outrun them...

Unless the 30' critter is someone's familiar... ;-)


graystone wrote:
Nicolas Grilli wrote:

I love the new actions system, but I am afraid about something. Let's say we have a level 1 Elf, with a Bow and speed 40 ft. And on the other hand we have a Dwarf with speed 20 ft. If the elf decide to move+move+shoot, the dwarf will never catch him even if he use his 3 actions to move, cause the elf move 80 ft with 2 actions (and then he fires) and the dwarf only move 60 ft.

Please tell me I am wrong.

The thing to think about is kiting with an animal companion with a speed of 35 but only 2 actions. It's faster than 30 move creatures but can never outrun them...

Well I did some math, and have good news. The Dwarf archer vs the Elf archer have a chance at least on low levels (there are too many variables to consider what can happen on high level) because he hit harder (superior strength bonuses) and will have more HP.

But a troll has 0 chance even with a movement of 30 feet. I am thinking about capping the maximum speed for the PJs on 35 feet.

PS: I know that you usually never have infinites squares. But is so sad for many monsters who do not have a ranged attack.


Riding on a standard horse and spending all your actions on command actions moves you 140 feet using one gallop and one stride. Monk elves could pull it off at 3rd level, and barbarian elves at 4th, but that shouldn't be so common as to put a mounted dwarf at constant disadvantage.


WatersLethe wrote:
Game systems are ruined when significant mechanical differences are removed for the pursuit of balance based on purely theoretical scenarios.

While I agree that this hypothetical scenario of fighting on an arbitrarily large open plain with no meaningful terrain of any kind is pretty absurd and a poor balance argument, I also think it's a bit of a stretch to say that PF2 would be 'ruined' if elves were slower.


ErichAD wrote:
Riding on a standard horse and spending all your actions on command actions moves you 140 feet using one gallop and one stride. Monk elves could pull it off at 3rd level, and barbarian elves at 4th, but that shouldn't be so common as to put a mounted dwarf at constant disadvantage.

I missed the Gallop action for a horse, but that would still be 100 feet wouldn't it? Or is there a way to give a companion three actions instead of two I am unaware of? (Not to derail the thread, my apologies)


Uchuujin wrote:
ErichAD wrote:
Riding on a standard horse and spending all your actions on command actions moves you 140 feet using one gallop and one stride. Monk elves could pull it off at 3rd level, and barbarian elves at 4th, but that shouldn't be so common as to put a mounted dwarf at constant disadvantage.
I missed the Gallop action for a horse, but that would still be 100 feet wouldn't it? Or is there a way to give a companion three actions instead of two I am unaware of? (Not to derail the thread, my apologies)

A standard, non-companion horse that you bought (or whatever) is not a minon and gets the normal three actions (though it needs to be Commanded at one-for-one).


The companion does get their extra action back when you pick up the mature companion feat or companion's cry for ranger, but horse doesn't learn to gallop till incredible companion at 6th for druid and 10th for ranger.

I'd just buy a horse and retrain to the companion feats later.


Realistically, what GM is going to run a combat via "the monsters attack once and run away, using their superior speeds"?

If this was a PvP game, the OP's concern would be reasonable, but it decidedly is not.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Squiggit wrote:
While I agree that this hypothetical scenario of fighting on an arbitrarily large open plain with no meaningful terrain of any kind is pretty absurd and a poor balance argument, I also think it's a bit of a stretch to say that PF2 would be 'ruined' if elves were slower.

Would PF2 be ruined if elves weren't slower?

I think peoples are making a mountain out of a molehill here.. . t.t

#nerfdorfs (just kidding! ^.^;;)


Pathfinder Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Squiggit wrote:
WatersLethe wrote:
Game systems are ruined when significant mechanical differences are removed for the pursuit of balance based on purely theoretical scenarios.
While I agree that this hypothetical scenario of fighting on an arbitrarily large open plain with no meaningful terrain of any kind is pretty absurd and a poor balance argument, I also think it's a bit of a stretch to say that PF2 would be 'ruined' if elves were slower.

I'm not saying this particular change would ruin the system, which is why my post is speaking in broad terms. Habitually combing through systems to find areas that might possibly create less than ideal matchups based on napkin scenarios, and seeking to stamp those out absolutely will ruin a game system.

Armchair game developing features this mindset a lot. Even in this thread it was suggested that characters should be limited from moving too much faster than another.

Any attempts to right a perceived balance wrong should take place with real world experience, take into account the party-based nature of the game, and do everything possible to preserve flavor and mechanical distinction between characters.

It's always easy to suggest stamping out a possible avenue of "unfairness" or "imbalance", I just know that every game that pursues that avenue of thought too zealously winds up a bore to play.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
PossibleCabbage wrote:

Realistically, what GM is going to run a combat via "the monsters attack once and run away, using their superior speeds"?

If this was a PvP game, the OP's concern would be reasonable, but it decidedly is not.

Well, they might put the enemies at the top of a sheer 90 foot cliff from the players though, pelting them with longbows. Or have flying enemies, like a Grig. CR 1 flying 30 foot enemy with a ranged 30 foot attack. Its certainly not going to fly into melee with the dwarf to deal 1d4-2 damage. Staying 30 feet directly above the dwarf seems like a good plan.

I mean, in such a scenario, the dwarf simply loses without a ranged attack.


Hiruma Kai wrote:
PossibleCabbage wrote:

Realistically, what GM is going to run a combat via "the monsters attack once and run away, using their superior speeds"?

If this was a PvP game, the OP's concern would be reasonable, but it decidedly is not.

Well, they might put the enemies at the top of a sheer 90 foot cliff from the players though, pelting them with longbows. Or have flying enemies, like a Grig. CR 1 flying 30 foot enemy with a ranged 30 foot attack. Its certainly not going to fly into melee with the dwarf to deal 1d4-2 damage. Staying 30 feet directly above the dwarf seems like a good plan.

I mean, in such a scenario, the dwarf simply loses without a ranged attack.

That kind of scenario (the flying one) make me thing about the changes and say "hey, the changes on ranged bonuses are a good thing. But a PJ shouldn't be able to move faster than a bear because that let the bear withouth chances (except if he knows how to use a bow)


Hiruma Kai wrote:


I mean, in such a scenario, the dwarf simply loses without a ranged attack.

I mean, in that scenario it doesn't matter if you're a dwarf or an elf or a hobgoblin, you're still going to need a ranged option.


4 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Maps, Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

So elves can effectively skirmish against dwarves out on the open plain. So what? Dwarves would absolutely demolish elves in a five foot high tunnel.


3 people marked this as a favorite.

This seems to me to be working as it should.

Liberty's Edge

2 people marked this as a favorite.

Presenting this as a Dwarf only situation is weird. Any non-Elf in Heavy Armor winds up with the same speed as the dwarf does.

And yeah, in an open plain, kiting such people is a solid tactic...assuming they don't simply move off in the opposite direction to seek cover or the like.


Yeah, kiting only works (typically) if you let yourself be kited.

Rarely are you in a completely featureless open plan. Instead of following them go the opposite direction and find something to hide in or behind.

Also, it's not as though you can't have a longbow or short bow as a back up weapon. Maybe you're not as good with it, but you still have a fighting chance.

Just don't play into their game of chasing them and you'll be fine.


Deadmanwalking wrote:

Presenting this as a Dwarf only situation is weird. Any non-Elf in Heavy Armor winds up with the same speed as the dwarf does.

And yeah, in an open plain, kiting such people is a solid tactic...assuming they don't simply move off in the opposite direction to seek cover or the like.

I was checking if this situation occurred in PF1. It could happen but it was less obvious, since the fastest PC had to run. This left him without attacking at least 1 turn. Maybe in PF2 the situation is more obvious especially because you can double move and attack.


Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber

This is why dwarves got the idea to put returning runes on their hammers.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

If one were to toss a dwarf, might there be a way to give him a returning rune?


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Ravingdork wrote:
So elves can effectively skirmish against dwarves out on the open plain. So what? Dwarves would absolutely demolish elves in a five foot high tunnel.

What's more, what self respecting Dwarf would have such a poor understanding of tactics to engage the enemy on a battlefield that favors them? Torag has taught us better than that!


Hiruma Kai wrote:
PossibleCabbage wrote:

Realistically, what GM is going to run a combat via "the monsters attack once and run away, using their superior speeds"?

If this was a PvP game, the OP's concern would be reasonable, but it decidedly is not.

Well, they might put the enemies at the top of a sheer 90 foot cliff from the players though, pelting them with longbows. Or have flying enemies, like a Grig. CR 1 flying 30 foot enemy with a ranged 30 foot attack. Its certainly not going to fly into melee with the dwarf to deal 1d4-2 damage. Staying 30 feet directly above the dwarf seems like a good plan.

I mean, in such a scenario, the dwarf simply loses without a ranged attack.

Although it pretty much should be the case of if a slow dwarf is being attacked by somebody who is both much faster AND has a ranged weapon that dwarf really should be in serious trouble. Its taking an axe to a bow fight the elf can dance around basically pretending he is a horse archer. That kind of running ranged attack harassment has proven VERY effective in history.

Still if you are a slow dwarf if you chose not to have a good ranged attack then you are just asking to get mauled. A dwarf has plenty of carrying capacity generally so you should have some kind of ranged attack like a crossbow or a bow. Plus if the fight does not start to far out there are debuffs/alchemy tools that can help diminish the speed of your target so if you can tag them with it you could bring them down into the fight.

Community / Forums / Pathfinder / Pathfinder Second Edition / Rules Discussion / Range kiting and the poor dwarf All Messageboards

Want to post a reply? Sign in.