Puny god...


Advice


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OBLIGATORY LINK

Are Furious Grab, Thrash, and/or Collateral Thrash worth it over other barbarian feats?

I really want to take them at 12, 14, and 16 with my character, Old Wooly, because they look like a heck of a lot of fun.

I figure a standard routine would be Strike, Furious Grab, Thrash. The following round would be Maintain, Thrash, Thrash. However, I don't believe the damage is any better than simply attacking, which kind of defeats much of the point. (I understand there are other benefits outside of the damage, but I really wonder if it is still worth the opportunity costs.)

Are they ultimately worth it (for my character specifically, and on characters in general)? If so, how best can we optimize their use?


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Furious Grab is definitely a good feat, supposing you meet the requirements. I'm never going to turn down a MAP-less debuff. Thrash is good if you expect your -5 attack to miss, which isn't an uncommon scenario as a Barbarian. Collateral Thrash seems the most questionable of the three to me, enemy adjacency has often times felt like a difficult prereq to fulfill


I'd say those feats (as well as other grapple feats and maneuver feats in general) are worthwhile if you're already doing the maneuver, but aren't necessarily good enough to start doing a maneuver you aren't interested in.
So if you want to grapple, Furious Grab and Thrash are good feats. They're a way to ensure that grab then get some payoff for the effort.
If you don't find much value in grappling (likely due to party composition, tactics, or you keep getting chewed up w/ your Barb's AC) then those feats aren't good enough to begin grappling now.

As Arachnofiend mentioned, Collateral Thrash is iffy because of adjacency, especially at these late levels w/ a lot of maneuverability, spacing, and so forth. If the opportunity were regularly there, it'd be fine, but that'd depend on fight layout and I don't think the published stuff will support that, though a tight dungeon crawl where enemies regularly line up to block a corridor...there it might work (but then one might want to drive through them/leap over them to get to the boss instead).


Can you get your hands on a Gill Hook? It makes grapple mean if you can get a grip on an enemy that has less reach than you since they have to spend an action to escape, succeed, and step if they want to attack you. Plus it's got a nice damage die. The only catch is it's an uncommon, racial weapon so you have to ask your GM or grab adopted ancestry to get it.


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HyperMissingno wrote:
Can you get your hands on a Gill Hook? It makes grapple mean if you can get a grip on an enemy that has less reach than you since they have to spend an action to escape, succeed, and step if they want to attack you. Plus it's got a nice damage die. The only catch is it's an uncommon, racial weapon so you have to ask your GM or grab adopted ancestry to get it.

That looks cool for characters in general, but does Old Wooly little good since (1) she already has reach and (2) it's anathema for her to use weapons while raging.


HyperMissingno wrote:
Can you get your hands on a Gill Hook? It makes grapple mean if you can get a grip on an enemy that has less reach than you since they have to spend an action to escape, succeed, and step if they want to attack you. Plus it's got a nice damage die. The only catch is it's an uncommon, racial weapon so you have to ask your GM or grab adopted ancestry to get it.

It says it's common on the Isle of Kortos, and plenty of people are from Absalom.


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Djinn71 wrote:
HyperMissingno wrote:
Can you get your hands on a Gill Hook? It makes grapple mean if you can get a grip on an enemy that has less reach than you since they have to spend an action to escape, succeed, and step if they want to attack you. Plus it's got a nice damage die. The only catch is it's an uncommon, racial weapon so you have to ask your GM or grab adopted ancestry to get it.
It says it's common on the Isle of Kortos, and plenty of people are from Absalom.

Yeah, I read that and my first thought was "so it's basically Common then." :P


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Castilliano wrote:

I'd say those feats (as well as other grapple feats and maneuver feats in general) are worthwhile if you're already doing the maneuver, but aren't necessarily good enough to start doing a maneuver you aren't interested in.

So if you want to grapple, Furious Grab and Thrash are good feats. They're a way to ensure that grab then get some payoff for the effort.
If you don't find much value in grappling (likely due to party composition, tactics, or you keep getting chewed up w/ your Barb's AC) then those feats aren't good enough to begin grappling now.

As Arachnofiend mentioned, Collateral Thrash is iffy because of adjacency, especially at these late levels w/ a lot of maneuverability, spacing, and so forth. If the opportunity were regularly there, it'd be fine, but that'd depend on fight layout and I don't think the published stuff will support that, though a tight dungeon crawl where enemies regularly line up to block a corridor...there it might work (but then one might want to drive through them/leap over them to get to the boss instead).

I agree with this. Grappling, like all maneuvers, is excellent in the right situations. It is one of the more consistent ways to make enemies flatfooted to ranged allies. It causes a failure chance manipulate actions, which include drawing a weapon, drinking a potion, and casting most spells. And it locks an enemy down unless they use MAP inducing actions to break out.

If instead your allies are consistently flanking and staying within melee range, and you're fighting brutes who don't use manipulate, grappling serves less purpose.

I will note the animal barbarian is the tankiest barbarian, especially with a shield, and with pounce you should have the action economy to utilize all these feats.


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The only issue I can immediately see is that these are competing with your lvl 12 instinct feat. Predator's Pounce is a rather good feat for the animal instinct (and animal instinct is often the choice for grapplers).

As Captain Morgan said, it has good action economy, and that works well for the feats you want to take- you can pounce, strike, and grab all in one turn, allowing you a movement, two strikes, and a MAP free grab.

And you can strike and thrash in the next round to finish off most basic opponents. Actually, I'm not sure if thrash adds to MAP, so it might be nice to lead off with that- if you finish the opponent off, then you can pounce to the next target and perhaps get them into a grapple in the same round.

...this discussion is actually making me excited for a high level deerman build.


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It doesn't have the Attack trait so I'd assume it doesn't add to MAP.


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Now I'm thinking of taking Predator's Pounce instead of Collateral Thrash.

Guntermench wrote:
It doesn't have the Attack trait so I'd assume it doesn't add to MAP.

That's my thinking too. Makes a great third action.

Some additional questions:
Does the "rage damage" part of Thrash include the increases from your Instinct, or just the base Rage ability's damage?

I don't need to make a grapple check to maintain the Grab in successive rounds if I can just use Furious Grab again, right? So I could Predator's Pounce, Furious Grab, Thrash in one round; then Thrash, Strike, Furious Grab in the next? Short of missing the attack, I think that would keep even the hardest to grapple creatures tied up.


Should be the adjusted damage if you choose to use it.

Edit: You're going to run into the issue that I don't think you can attack again with the antlers if you have something grappled in them, so you won't be able to reach to strike unless you move closer and use an open hand.


Ravingdork wrote:

Some additional questions:

Does the "rage damage" part of Thrash include the increases from your Instinct, or just the base Rage ability's damage?

Generally yes. I see this as working in the similar way of Subordinate Actions. When an ability changes the way a basic thing works, and some other action wants to use that same basic thing, then you use the changed basic thing. For Subordinate Actions the basic thing being changed is an action of some type. A Sneak action, or a Step action are common ones that get changed. In this case the Instinct is changing the basic thing of your Rage Damage. So when Thrash wants to use your Rage Damage, it is using the changed Rage Damage - whatever that happens to be.

The only questionable one is Giant Instinct. From description and flavor it seems like you would only be doing the damage when actually using the large weapon for the attack. But the RAW rules don't actually say that. I think there have already been quite a few debates about that one, so I will just say that if your GM is ruling that the increased damage only affects damage from that weapon, then Thrash will be using the lower Rage Damage. In either case you would have to be wielding the weapon while doing Thrash since that is what increases the Rage Damage.


Ravingdork wrote:

Some additional questions:

I don't need to make a grapple check to maintain the Grab in successive rounds if I can just use Furious Grab again, right? So I could Predator's Pounce, Furious Grab, Thrash in one round; then Thrash, Strike, Furious Grab in the next? Short of missing the attack, I think that would keep even the hardest to grapple creatures tied up.

That is a much more complicated question. If you are using a weapon in that hand (or an unarmed attack from that hand) then it feels more like you are releasing the grab and then re-grabbing rather than maintaining the same grab. With an Animal Instinct Barbarian this may not end up being important since you could switch hands each time.

On the other hand (heh), the rules in the Athletics skill for grapple and grab also don't really say that you are maintaining the same grab. It just says to use an action and the creature is grabbed (or restrained) again until the end of your next turn. So there would actually be an action or three where you have two instances of the grabbed condition applied to the same target.

So generally I feel like the mechanics of the game fully support the idea that using Furious Grab on successive turns would maintain the grabbed condition. Though I am also liking the idea of letting the enemy do a fancy trick of using Ready to prepare a Stride action for as soon as you release one grab to use the Furious Grab attack again - especially if the Furious Grab attack is being made with the same hand or weapon as you are already grabbing them with.


Side note: An Animal Instinct Barbarian, while they'd find a grapple build easiest due to free hands, also gets the least damage out of it since some of their Rage damage increase is represented by getting a bigger die on their natural attacks. And that's not factored into Thrash.
Not sure the difference is enough to matter IF your PC's already grappling as a default tactic.


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Castilliano wrote:
Side note: An Animal Instinct Barbarian...gets the least damage out of [Thrash] since some of their Rage damage increase is represented by getting a bigger die on their natural attacks. And that's not factored into Thrash.

I certainly hope that's not true.


It is unfortunately true. Animal gets the same rage damage as Fury.


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So an Animal Barbarian's Thrash never gains more than a +2 to damage from rage?

Surely that's not the intent.

Liberty's Edge

The specialization damage is the increased natural attack damage from Rage, so it is indeed included in Thrash.


It increases as you level like the rest. Goes to 5 at 7 and to 12 at...14? like the rest. It just never gets at high as the others.


Ravingdork wrote:

So an Animal Barbarian's Thrash never gains more than a +2 to damage from rage?

Surely that's not the intent.

Oh, no, as Guntermench pointed out, Rage damage still increases past 2 and you'd get to use that with Thrash.

It's just some of the damage increase at 7th comes as getting a better damage die. The rest of the damage increase at 7th (and beyond) would still apply.


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What? I'm not seeing anything in the base Barbarian class on Rage damage increasing past +2.

You need your Instinct for that, and Bestial Rage doesn't give you a damage bonus, just a die of damage for your natural attack.

Animal Specialization Ability does increase your rage damage, but only for your natural attacks, which Thrash isn't (as noted by Castilliano).

I'd like to think they get up to a +12 to Thrash from Rage/Specialization Ability, but if Castilliano's interpretation is true, I don't see how it could ever go over +2.

What am I missing? Are you just saying Castilliano is mistaken? Or perhaps I misunderstood their post?


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Okay... This is a case of specific beats general.

Rage itself only applies to melee strikes. Raging Thrower is required to apply it to ranged attacks using the specific beats general rule. Thrash is the same. Rage damage wouldn't apply at all if you go with Thrash isn't an attack.

Rage wrote:
You deal 2 additional damage with melee Strikes.

It is added regardless, because it says it is.

What Castilliano is saying is some of the power budget for rage damage is in the damage die bump that the attacks get. That wouldn't be added to Thrash, obviously.


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Guntermench wrote:
Rage wrote:
You deal 2 additional damage with melee Strikes.
It is added regardless, because it says it is.

:O

Oh okay. I get it now. Thanks for helping to clear that up.

What a relief!

Guntermench wrote:
What Castilliano is saying is some of the power budget for rage damage is in the damage die bump that the attacks get. That wouldn't be added to Thrash, obviously.

So at high levels, I get a +12 as opposed to, say, the Giant Instinct's +18.

That's a LOT more reasonable, and essentially in line with what I originally believed.

Thought I was going to have to really rework the character for a moment there.


Pretty much.

For this character you may consider monk dedication for Crushing Grab, especially if you're grabbing Brutal Bully as I believe they stack.


Thrash simply says that it adds your Rage damage to the damage dealt. It would be using whatever Rage damage your Barbarian currently does at the time you are making the attack.

I'm assuming that the Rage damage from an Animal Instinct Barbarian is sufficient to be considered balanced with the other Barbarian types. I'm fairly sure that the Animal Instinct wouldn't be rated as high as it is if it wasn't.


While animal barbarians don't have much rage damage, it is mostly the difference between a dagger and a short sword when compared to dragon instinct. There is a larger gap on giant, but we've already discussed the problems with that one.

It is a feat that lets you ignore MAP and get a bit of damage that might finish something off (or let it get finished off by a strike on the next round). I think it is fine either way. It is just stomping on their throat to be done with it before you move onto the next toy to break.


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lemeres wrote:

While animal barbarians don't have much rage damage, it is mostly the difference between a dagger and a short sword when compared to dragon instinct. There is a larger gap on giant, but we've already discussed the problems with that one.

It is a feat that lets you ignore MAP and get a bit of damage that might finish something off (or let it get finished off by a strike on the next round). I think it is fine either way. It is just stomping on their throat to be done with it before you move onto the next toy to break.

So you wouldn't recommend it as a primary attack form? (Something like Thrash, Thrash, Thrash the round after a Furious Grab.)


Ravingdork wrote:
So you wouldn't recommend it as a primary attack form? (Something like Thrash, Thrash, Thrash the round after a Furious Grab.)

Heh. I am certainly amused.

How good it is depends on the Barbarian and what level we are talking about. While there are probably things that could do more damage, they are also things that are more risky. Thrash is guaranteed damage. And not a trivial amount.

Strike, Thrash, Thrash would probably be a bit more damage overall and without too much risk of missing that first attack.

Though you would still end up releasing them after that turn. Just like with Thrash, Thrash, Thrash.


I wouldn't recommend Thrash against anything with either Hardness or Resistance: Physical/Bludgeoning. It's unlikely to do a whole lot at that point. Especially since it has a basic Fort save.


I'm pretty sure Thrash's purpose is not to be a main source of damage. It's a way to spend all the remaining actions doing some good chip damage after you have something grappled without needing to worry about your MAP. Personally I prefer Maintain, Thrash, Thrash over Strike, Thrash, Thrash, especially with Barbarian's AC issue. The less actions the boss gets the better.


Ravingdork wrote:
lemeres wrote:

While animal barbarians don't have much rage damage, it is mostly the difference between a dagger and a short sword when compared to dragon instinct. There is a larger gap on giant, but we've already discussed the problems with that one.

It is a feat that lets you ignore MAP and get a bit of damage that might finish something off (or let it get finished off by a strike on the next round). I think it is fine either way. It is just stomping on their throat to be done with it before you move onto the next toy to break.

So you wouldn't recommend it as a primary attack form? (Something like Thrash, Thrash, Thrash the round after a Furious Grab.)

Pure thrash is probably not that good. It adds pretty much all of the bonuses you would see on a strike, but it doesn't have the weapon damage dice. Even the weakest animal instinct attack (frog tongue) has a potential 4d6- or an extra 14 damage on average. And some options like deer have 4d12 (26)

A strike can also crit, and a grapple build is good at making enemies flat footed.

Thrash is reliable damage, but your first strike in a round is also pretty reliable. And the small gamble often comes with a greater chance at a larger reward.

Basically- be a dog that bites, and then flails the enemy around like a chew toy.


Thrash CAN Crit, it's just really unlikely.


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A monster could have a bad fortitude save, which makes Thrash relatively better. Undead spring to mind as thing good AC but bad Fort.


Captain Morgan wrote:
A monster could have a bad fortitude save, which makes Thrash relatively better. Undead spring to mind as thing good AC but bad Fort.

And creatures with poor fort are you main target for grapples anyway. Of course, the feat combo we've been talking about is something build for hitting bad AC and good fort.

Overall, thrash is for aiming for the middle of the road- unlikely to crit, but less likely to miss than your 2nd or 3rd attack.

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