View Full Version : New Melee (Sword & Board) Feat (PEACH)

2006-04-12, 06:12 PM
Archers have access to the feat Rapid Shot, that allows them to sacrafice accuracy (-2 to hit for the round) in exchange for speed -- and thus gain an extra attack in each full attack.

So why shouldn't melee fighters be able to do so as well?

I know what you're thinking: *"But that's what Flurry of Blows does!" *But no, not really. *Flurry is not a feat, but a monk specific class feature. *Two Weapon Fighting, is of course, just Flurry of Blows written as a feat and using two weapons (with the requisite blancing features that relate weapon size to the penalty and establish the concept of having an off hand attack). *But that's not the point either. *I'm looking out for the sword & board types here.

(Now, up until the recent additional of Multiattack, it is really quite clear why archers needed Rapid Shot -- with out it, they're SOL in attempts to gain extra attacks per round -- especially since they cannot perform AoOs. *But I digress.)

Rapid Strike [General]
Prerequisites: Dex 15, Weapon Focus [one handed or smaller melee weapon], Base attack bonus +6.

Benefit: You can get one extra attack per round with a one handed or smaller melee weapon (wielded in only one hand) in which you have the Weapon Focus feat. The attack is at your highest base attack bonus, but each attack you make in that round (the extra one and the normal ones) takes a -2 penalty. You must use the full attack action to use this feat.

Special: A fighter may select Rapid Strike as one of his fighter bonus feats. *The feat may not be combined with Power Attack, Two Weapon Fighting, Flurry of Blows or the monstrous feats Multi-Attack and Multi-Weapon Fighting. *Furthermore, the wielder can only apply the first 5 points of Strength modifier to damage in any round that he uses Rapid Strike.

As you can see, it starts off as an almost complete mimic of Rapid Shot -- but then gets restrictive. *I'm sure you will all be able to intuit why the restriction list is so long -- but feel free to question it anyhow.

So yeah. *What do y'all think? *Too powerful? *Too redundant? *Bad choice of font? *Let me know...


EDIT Round 1 in red, Round 2 in blue

Edit another: Something funky happened with the thread title, fixed now

2006-04-12, 06:53 PM
Special: A fighter may select Rapid Strike as one of his fighter bonus feats. The feat may not be combined with Power Attack, Two Weapon Fighting, Flurry of Blows or the monstrous feats Multi-Attack and Multi-Weapon Fighting. Furthermore, the wielder can only apply the first 5 points of Strength modifier to damage in any round that he uses Rapid Strike.
Why only the first five points of strength? The other restrictions make it similar in power to Rapid Shot since it disallows a bunch of melee feats but I don't see a justification for the strength limitation.

I also wonder how useful it is for a melee fighter without being able to use it and other melee feats / abilities such as TWF or Power Attack. I'm not disagreeing that it's a balancing factor, I simply think the restrictions make it undesirable for a melee fighter.

You may want to consider raising the prerequisites and lowering the restrictions...

2006-04-12, 08:12 PM
Reccomended Modifications:
Prerequisites: Add BAB +1
This prevents it from be the first level feat for non fighter types, and in the hands of a Rogue this feat can be brutal at the first levles.

Benefit: Fine as is.

Special: Remove the STR limitation and allow Power Attack, however ony allow Power Attack to grant a benefit no greater than +5.
Also mention that the one handed weapon must be used one handed. The "Using a One-handed weapon with two hands" benefit cannot be taken.

2006-04-12, 08:58 PM
Make it only work with finesse weapons. But get rid of the strength bonus cap. Add a little to the reqs. Making swift and fast strikes is definitely geared strongly towards dex and not strength.

2006-04-12, 09:21 PM
All right first round of edits:

-Strength cap is out
-One hand clarification

Things I'm just not ready to do just yet:

-Allow Power Attack (think about the Shock Trooper results)
-Go to finesse weapons only. *Definately not where I'm headed with this.

2006-04-12, 09:31 PM
You might want to consider having the character lose his Shield Bonus to AC when doing this, unless he has the Improved Block Feat.

The main problem I forsee is in making TWF more redundant than it already is for the Fighter (i.e. now you only need enchant one weapon and still gain the benefits of TWF). I suppose this is somewhat balanced by ruling out its combination with so many other Feats and by not providing a progression tree.

As a possible variant, you might consider making the second attack a Shield Bash, which would reduce the above problems and still make Weapon and Shield Fighting a more attractive option.

2006-04-12, 10:21 PM
Umm..sorry if this sounds snooty or stupid, but more attacks per round is what two weapon fighting does. With a light weapon and a buckler in the off hand, it's pretty much the same. So, what's the point of making a new feat for this?

Also, I believe that rapid shot and manyshot were to make up for archers' lack of power attack.

2006-04-12, 10:38 PM
You both seem to be moving in the same direction: "Isn't this just TWF?" *So here's the "why it's not":

I'm hoping to address the ability to transfer the mechanic of shooting faster, but being less acurate, into melee combat. *This is somewhat similar in game effect, but certainly quite different in style than TWF. Also, it doesn't introduce the penalties relating to the size of your second weapon or the idea of having an offhand attack that is weaker than the primary. *And no, there will not be (from this author) any Manyshot knockoff, nor any attempts to a iterative feat tree based off of Rapid Strike . *One extra is it for this style.

Now, for specifics: Matthew, it seems that you're basically suggesting using Shield Bash & TWF in conjunction. *Certainly, this is a valid Sword/Board idea -- but any restrictions for Rapid Strike that would steer it towards Shield Bash would only be steering the feat into complete redundancy. *I'm hoping to steer the feat away from that. *;)

Ugly Panda: *a) see above for your first question and b) No. *Rapid Shot & Manyshot are certainly not the Power Attack for archers. They are, as I alluded to earlier, the means of an archer getting more than just the standard iterative attacks per round. There was a 3.0 equivalent to PA for the archer (Bulleye, I think?) but there is no 3.5 equivalent yet published.

2006-04-12, 11:34 PM
Yes indeed, true enough. This Feat seems very like Two Weapon Fighting for the Weapon and Shield Fighter. I get how it is intended to be different, but I'm not sure if it really is.

TWF with two Long Swords (for the sake of argument). Requires Dex 15 and imposes a -4 Attack Penalty on both attacks.

-4 1D8+X / -4 1D8+1/2X

Rapid Strike requires Dex 13 and Weapon Focus for the Weapon in question.

-2 1D8+X / -2 1D8+X

At this point it seems way more powerful than TWF, since you also gain the AC benefit of having a Shield (Magical or otherwise)

The restriction you essentially impose to balance this is to not allow it in combination with Power Attack. However, I feel that even with this restriction Rapid Strike is a more powerful Feat than Two Weapon Fighting and likely to make the latter completely redundant for the the Fighter (whereas before it was only partially redundant, it's main strength being that it allowed the Fighter to increase his number of attacks at the expense of damage).

So, I think as it stands it is too powerful...

2006-04-13, 03:31 AM
This is a hard one to adjudicate, actually.

The idea is fine, the execution, I'm not so sure about.

To offset the power a little more, I'd look at throwing on a pre-req something along the lines of

Fighter level 8.

You could then make a level 16 version called greater rapid strike, which provides another attack at -2 from the highest bonus.

2006-04-13, 08:34 AM
I don't think that there is any need to restrict monsters with multi attack or multi weapon fighting from using this feat. If one person with one set of arms can use it then having two sets of arms should be able to use it also. Of course I view having two sets of arms in a similar fashion or having two people attack. It's not TWF if each set is armed with sword and shield. Being baned from TWF should be enough.

EDIT- I just read that back and it even confuses me a little. I'll be back to fix it in a bit, I've got to get some work done. Damn the man.

2006-04-13, 10:26 AM
Eh. The feat doesn't bother me much - it seems balanced and not terribly abusable (though I note that if you're willing to take the penalties of fighting with two weapons, without having the feat TWF, then you *can* make the extra attacks).

However, I don't see that it's enough of a change from sword-and-board with a spiked shield and TWF. Plus as Matthew points out, you get to keep all that shield AC bonus while you're getting your extra attack.

2006-04-13, 11:50 AM
I have essentially the same feat (not accessible from this computer...). *It is an exact copy of rapid shot, but it only applies to specialized weapons. *You may not like that much of a restriction, but I've found it fits with the flavor of my game a bit better (highly trained swordsmen being able to press a fast attack, even at lower levels), and makes it very balanced. *If I remember, I'll post it here, for comparison.

As an answer for why this is different

You're only using the one weapon. It isn't at all like TWF. This is a flavor based consideration. Retaining a shield bonus while using this feat is the same as using rapid shot with a buckler (you don't lose it because you aren't using it offensively) If all you concern with is the mechanics, then why argue about this - it's a mechanically null feat, you get the "benefit" elsewhere. YMMV.

2006-04-13, 01:09 PM
I'm always wary of the balance issues involved with adding new rules to the system. Plus trying to remember them.

2006-04-13, 02:18 PM
Weapon Mastery [bonus]
Prerequisite: +3 Bass Attack Bonus, weapon focus

Benefit: Choose one type of weapon for which you have already selected the Weapon Focus feat. You are able to make one extra attack per round with that weapon. The attack is at your highest base attack bonus, but each attack you make in that round (the extra one and the normal ones) takes a 2 penalty. You must use the full attack action to use this feat.

Special: A fighter may take Weapon Mastery as a bonus feat.

Okay, it's not specializtion, but focus (which is the point - a selected weapon). You may wish to raise the BAB, but I've found it works fine in my case.

2006-04-13, 02:29 PM
So this is something only fishermen are likely to use, eh? (What with the +3 bass attack bonus as a prereq) ;D

2006-04-13, 02:34 PM
No, bass attack is a term used in the noble sport of fish slapping.

2006-04-13, 03:08 PM
one handed or smaller melee weapon

What does that mean? How can something be smaller than one-handed?

2006-04-13, 03:09 PM
By being a light weapon. Welcome to DnD weapon size categories.

2006-04-13, 03:41 PM
By being a light weapon. *Welcome to DnD weapon size categories.
I play the game for years and I swear that I don't notice things like that. Seriously.

2006-04-13, 04:39 PM
It's only that bass are the more acceptable fish to use, though I'm thinking a catfish would give an effect more along the lines of Brambles.

Oh, the huge manatees...

2006-04-13, 05:35 PM
No no, bass attack bonus is what bards get.

Seriously, I think that the idea of this feat is nice, flavorwise, but mechanically it's problematic. Other posters have touched on this, but I think it's really the main balance issue to consider:

Until they get the higher-up feat progression Two-Weapon fighters can be very behind compared to your sword-and-board guy. This is because A) they won't be getting the shield bonus to AC, B) they have to worry about enchanting BOTH of their weapons, and finally C) they will need either multiple Weapon Focus or choose a lower-damage light weapon to focus on.

Of course once the TWF guy gets to spend more feats, he can overshadow the sword-and-boarder with Improved TWF, Two-Weapon Defense, etc.

Basically, at low levels this feat seems way better than TWF than what TWF is for, namely getting more attacks than a regular guy. At high levels I'd say it's fine.

2006-04-13, 09:05 PM
Just take TWF and use armor spikes as your off-hand weapon. They're light.

2006-04-14, 12:08 AM
Two Handed Weapon or Medium Weapon + Shield = -2/-2

Two Medium Weapons = -4/-4

Medium Weapon + Light Weapon = -2/-2

Two Light Weapons = -2/-2

IE, you could get 2 attacks at -2 penalty with a greatsword, or get 2 attacks at -2 penalty with 2 shortswords. And, have to pay to enchant both shortswords, and if you use a medium weapon in main hand with a light weapon off hand, you need to take twice as many weapon feats, like weapon focus and specialization.

Obviously the greatsword wielder has the advantage, until improved two weapon fighting feats come into play. And even then, it still favors the single weapon wielder who doesnt need to spend lots more feats and gold, unless the TWF user has lots of feats and cash.

2006-04-14, 08:20 AM
First @ Necromas: *The feat specifically bans two handed weapons. *So... Greatsword?

Second @ Sundance: *Again, we all know about TWF w/ a shield.


To address the mechanical issues (Round 2) I'm going to up the pre-reqs to closely match Greater TWF and eliminate the Power Attack restriction. Here's the break down as I see it:

vs. Rapid Shot: Same attack structure, but wielder can use a shield (Archer can take Improved Buckler Defense, don't forget. EDIT: Hmm, perhaps not, looking at the feat...). *This is a pretty cool thing and could be ajudicated by a) requiring yet another new feat along the lines of Imp Buckler Def. or b) upping the prerequisites. *I think we can all agree that b) is the better choice.

Originally I had str based damage caps and PA resitriction to more closely mimic those restrictions an archer faces... but no one liked them and they were really obliterating the line between weapon & mechanic. *So they're out.

It would be a fallacy to compare those mechical issues inherent to the weapons (Bows vs. Melee) like range & AoO so we'll leave those out. *;)

vs. TWF: *Same attack structure, but you only need one weapon & retain shield bonus (Again, here comes Imp Buckler Def). *This is also cool. *But there is one huge drawback -- no further progression. *So by making the stiffer pre-reqs needed from above similar to those of GTWF, the wielder is forced to consider this feat well after he's already decided his attack style (Sword&Board vs. TWF). *And the added balance becomes use of shield vs. second (eventually 3rd) iterative attack.

Now, for all the worries about enchanting several weapons: *Well... that's the drawback of TWF and it's a "flaw" of that mechanic, not this one. *On the up side, you can wield one CI and one adamantine weapon *:). *Plus, you do have access to the TW Defense tree and with very high dex requirements, TWF fighters tend (not explicitly) to be light armor types capitalizing on their dex mod. *Those with heavy shields in one hand are far less likely to do so -- so the high dex requirement is sort of redundant.

So yeah... novel is over.

2006-04-14, 11:41 AM
I think this may be just fuzzying up the rules a little bit too much. At sixth level, you get another attack as it is. Manyshot makes sense; Rapid Shot, less so. I still allow the latter as a DM. But mess with the multiple melee rules and you've got complicated battle scenes starting up all over again. Yuck.

2006-04-16, 05:05 PM
As the feat currently stands (after Round 2), the prereq.s serve as a nice way of restricting the feat's use. This feat grants one extra attack, but only one extra attack...and even then it is limited by what feats can combo with it.

As it stands, there isn't much I would consider changing. It's a bit superior to TWF in the early stages, but evens out later on. Looks good.

2006-04-18, 04:18 PM
My two cents:

1st cent:
From a purely flavour viewpoint, this should be part of the Power Attack branch - first you learn to swing wildly to hit harder, then you learn to swing wildly to get more hits in.

But that's tweaking mechanics that I'm not really in the mood to deeply analyze (being Finals week).

2nd cent:
Game-balance wise, there's a very good reason why this doens't exist for melee. I'm not going to delve into figures here, but I'm sure there are people up to the challenge:
Create the most powerful straight-archer you can (no spells), and then the most powerful melee character you can (again, no spells).

Compare damage outputs, standardising to a 50% base-hit ratio (if you're going to make both examples level 10, with presumably a +10 BAB, then have the AC they need to hit be 21 so that just from BAB they have a 50% chance to hit).

Use roughly the same amount of money, and the same point-value stats.

My intuition tells me that the archer will need a composite bow to get his damage up - but that means he now has two stats for combat, Str and Dex to control damage and to-hit as well as a (fairly insignifigant, depending on level) increased investment.

Off the top of my head using simple non-optimized builds, an 18 12 costs 20 points, and so does a 16 16.
At level 1 the fighter with just a longsword and a large shield has a +5 to hit and 1d8+4 damage with a +3 AC, costing 22gp.
At level 1, the fighter-archer with a longbow has a +4 to hit and does 1d8 damage with a +3 AC. He needs a Mighty Comp Longbow (+3) at 400gp to deal 1d8+3 damage. Which hits 5% less then the sword and board guy.

Again, this is a quick off-the-cuff example of ranged vs melee, without taking any (core) feats into account. I'm sure someone can build more optimal builds (as in ones we'd actually use) and compare.

With a ~100ft engagement range, it takes two rounds or so before the enemies close (less if they just run), so the archer's primary advantage of keeping foes at range isn't as notable in D&D's standard encounters.