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Mephibosheth
2005-11-04, 05:02 PM
Hey all!

I think that polearms are among the most interesting weapons in the game, but it seems like they take second fiddle to the more popular spiked chain or other non-reach weapons like greatswords and greataxes. It seems that the very nature of hafted weapons would allow maneuvers unavailable with other, shorter weapons. To this end, I have crafted the following feat tree, based on the use of a polearm as a vaulting pole. I'd appreciate any suggestions, improvements, constructive criticisms, etc. that you guys have.

VAULT [General]
You are able to use your polearm as a vaulting pole.
Prerequisites: Martial Weapon Proficiency with any hafted reach weapon, Tumble 8 ranks
Benefit: When attempting to move through an occupied square, you may use your polearm as a vaulting pole, jumping over your opponent and landing on the other side. Using this maneuver automatically ends your movement, regardless of the amount of movement you have remaining. However, vaulting over an opponent does not reduce the number of feet you can move in that round. For example, a character with a base speed of 30 ft may move 20 ft into base contact with an enemy and vault over the enemy (an additional 10 ft of movement). Additionally, you may add ¼ of your jump modifier to your tumble check for the purpose of this maneuver.
Normal: Tumble checks to move through an occupied square are made using the Tumble skill on its own. Additionally, the Tumble skill reduces a character to ½ movement for the round.
Special: A fighter may select Vault as one of his fighter bonus feats.


VAULTING STRIKE [General]
Your vaulting skill improves, allowing you to attack while vaulting.
Prerequisites: Vault
Benefit: In any round during which you vault using the Vault feat, you may make an additional attack at your highest attack bonus, although at a -2 penalty.
Special: A fighter may select Vaulting Strike as one of his fighter bonus feats.

CHARGING VAULT [General]
You are adept at vaulting, even when charging.
Prerequisites: Vault, Vaulting Strike
Benefit: You can make a vault attempt while executing a charge action. Additionally, you can use the extra momentum from your charge to deal an additional 1d6 damage on the attack made as a result of the charging vault.
Special: A fighter may select Charging Vault as one of his fighter bonus feats.

VAULTING STRIDE [General]
Your vaulting skill increases, allowing you to continue moving after vaulting.
Prerequisites: Vault, Jump 10 ranks
Benefit: A successful vault no longer ends your movement for the round. You may still only make one vault attempt per round, but you may continue to move after the vault occurs.
Special: A fighter may select Vaulting Stride as one of his fighter bonus feats.

STRETCHING VAULT [General]
You use your vaulting skills to move a little bit longer than you normally could.
Prerequisites: Vault
Benefit: If you succeed on a Jump check, you use your polearm to launch yourself farther forward than you would normally be able to move. A DC 20 Jump check allows 10 extra feet of movement. If you exceed the DC by 10 or more, you may jump forward 5 extra feet. This extra movement must be in a straight line from the end of your normal movement. Because it is the result of a jump check, this extra movement can be used to cross gaps and traverse areas of rough terrain (boulders, low walls, etc).
Special: A fighter may select Stretching Vault as one of his fighter bonus feats.

The_Werebear
2005-11-04, 06:19 PM
I have no idea how balanced/unbalanced that would be. All I know is that that is freaking sweet

Fighter charging down the hall at the baddies lined up across it, then all of a sudden, he lowers his polearm and leaps over them, smashing them down as he goes past.

The image is so great!

Lysander
2005-11-04, 06:26 PM
I would argue that you should require a player to begin a charge and turn it into a vault instead of ramming the enemy. You need a running start to pole vault.

Chris the Pontifex
2005-11-04, 06:31 PM
I have no idea how balanced/unbalanced that would be. All I know is that that is freaking sweet

Fighter charging down the hall at the baddies lined up across it, then all of a sudden, he lowers his polearm and leaps over them, smashing them down as he goes past.

The image is so great!

agreed!!

what i dont get is what the check or dc would be. no check seems a little unbalanced.

and do keep in mind that tumble is crossclass for fighters so 8 ranks would mean at least level 13 which i find a little high. 5 ranks would be better, dont worry about classes that do get tumble: they dont get martial weapon profi.

edit: grr, posting while i type will you? :)


I would argue that you should require a player to begin a charge and turn it into a vault instead of ramming the enemy. You need a running start to pole vault.

true: so a jump check would be in place, the jump skill description takes this into account:
SRD
All Jump DCs given here assume that you get a running start, which requires that you move at least 20 feet in a straight line before attempting the jump. If you do not get a running start, the DC for the jump is doubled.
(wasnt that quadrupled in 3.0?)

Mephibosheth
2005-11-05, 11:56 AM
Yeah, as soon as I posted the original version of the feat tree, I realized that making the vault a Jump check would be better, especially since Jump is a class skill for fighters. I've also added a new feat. So here they are.

VAULT [General]
You are able to use your polearm as a vaulting pole.
Prerequisites: Martial Weapon Proficiency with any hafted reach weapon, Jump 8 ranks
Benefit: The character can make a Jump check instead of a Tumble check to move through an occupied square without provoking an attack of opportunity, essentially using his/her polearm as a vaulting pole, jumping straight over his/her opponent and landing on the opposite side. The Jump DC for this maneuver is 25. Using this maneuver requires that the character move at least 10 ft before jumping, and automatically ends his/her movement, regardless of the amount of movement he/she have remaining. However, vaulting over an opponent does not reduce the number of feet he/she can move in that round. For example, a character with a base speed of 30 ft may move 20 ft into base contact with an enemy and vault over the enemy (an additional 10 ft of movement).
Normal: Characters can use a Tumble check to move through an occupied square without provoking attacks of opportunity, and movement is reduced by ½ while tumbling.
Special: A fighter may select Vault as one of his fighter bonus feats.

LONG VAULT
Your vaulting ability increases to allow you to vault over distant foes
Prerequisites: Vault, Jump 10 ranks
Benefit: You can vault over an opponent from greater distances, as long as you still have enough movement to complete the jump. You may vault over a distance as if you had made a jump check totaling half of what you rolled. For example, a DC 20 Jump check (which would normally allow a 20 foot long jump) will allow you to vault over 10 feet, and any foes within that space. This allows you to jump over opponents wielding reach weapons without drawing attacks of opportunity and allows you to jump over multiple opponents.
Special: A fighter may select Long Vault as one of his fighter bonus feats.

amanodel
2005-11-05, 04:17 PM
Maybe "Mounted Vault" to jump off a back of your horse with the lance you're wielding? Great stuff, btw ;D

Lysander
2005-11-05, 08:41 PM
It seems more balanced if the feat is meant to let you use jump for tumble checks, rather than making it an entirely new and amazing ability. I like it.

Vaynor
2005-11-06, 01:35 AM
That's such a good idea, I've always thought polearms to be underused.

400vip
2006-04-07, 11:22 PM
Wait, can you vault with two poles if you have multiple arms? (thri-kreen)

Hoseki
2006-04-08, 09:00 AM
Ooo, ooo! I like it! But what about...

Vaulting Series
Prereqs: Stretching Vault, Vaulting Stride
Benefit: After vaulting, you may vault a number of additional number of times equal to your strength modifier. You may apply benefits gained from Vaulting Strike or other vaulting feats per each vault you take.
Normal: You may make only one vaulting attempt per round.
Special: A fighter may select Vaulting Series as one of his fighter bonus feats.

bosssmiley
2006-04-08, 09:04 AM
w00t! It's old-school Slaine-style spearfighting. This is a cool feat tree Mephibosheth. Would it be open to monks, or did you intend it strictly as additional fighter jam?

"He killed 30 men that day, and did not thing it too many."

Yuki Akuma
2006-04-08, 09:08 AM
I like them, but... shouldn't you be able to do the first one with a staff?

Mephibosheth
2006-04-08, 10:16 AM
Wow, back from the depths comes the vaulting feats. *Says a quiet thank you to the "...From the Playground" thread.* Thanks a lot for your comments, guys.

400vip:
I don't see why you wouldn't be able to use two polearms to vault, but it really wouldn't change the mechanics of the vaulting process. You could still only make one vault per round (without the requisite feat, of course). How do you see vaulting with multiple polearms playing out?

Hoseki
Good call on the new feat. I designed a version of that same feat myself (called "Greater Vaulting Stride") but I guess I forgot to post it. I originally had the number of vaults limited by the character's dexterity modifier, but you've inspired me to change it to strength instead. My version is as follows:

GREATER VAULTING STRIDE
You can vault multiple times in a single turn.
Prerequisites: Vault, Vaulting Stride, Jump 12 ranks
Benefit: Your skill at vaulting has improved enough to allow you to make multiple vaults within a single move action. You may vault a number of times in a move action equal to your strength modifier (minimum 1). Every vault must be separated by at least 5 feet of movement.
Normal: You can use the vault maneuver only once per move action.
Special: A fighter may select Greater Vaulting Stride as one of his fighter bonus feats.

Bosssmiley:
Thanks for the vote of confidence. I've always thought that there had to be something unique about polearms that a skillful character could do, and the image of vaulting over bad guys is just so ridiculously cool...

Anyway, it's a general feat, so I see no reason why a monk couldn't take it, especially if you house-ruled proficiency with some sort of spear. I'm not really familiar with IRL martial arts, but martial artists always seem pretty hardcore when it comes to those long, flexible spears in movies, so it could make sense. Or, you could dip into another class or take Martial Weapon Proficiency with a reach weapon. I believe there's a feat somewhere that lets a monk select a single weapon and treat it as a monk weapon for the purposes of flurry of blows. However, monks have tumble as a class skill, so I would think they'd be less likely to spend feats on this tree. But no reason why they couldn't.

Yuki Akuma:
As I have it now, it only works with reach weapons so...no quarterstaff. The PHB describes the quarterstaff as significantly shorter than a ranseur or glaive, so I'm initially inclined to say "no" on this one. Give me a good argument though, and I may add it in.

Now, if you used a longstaff (Complete Adventurer)...

HempRope
2006-04-08, 10:25 AM
I was surprised to see this come back, too... I think I read it back when you first posted it.

Anyway, Greater Vaulting Stride would not let you move more than your regular movement, would it?

Yuki Akuma
2006-04-08, 10:36 AM
Well, quarterstaffs are about six feet long. The reason they don't grant reach is because they're a double weapon.

I'd assume if you gripped it right at the end you could get a bit of height off a six foot long stick...

squishycube
2006-04-08, 10:38 AM
Thanks for these great feats! More feats is always good and especially when they are as cool as these!

Mephibosheth
2006-04-08, 10:59 AM
Wow, that was quick. It was like what, and hour ago, that I first responded. You guys are good.

HempRope:
You are correct. Greater Vaulting Stride does not allow you to exceed your normal movement for a single move action unless you use the stretching vault feat on your last vault. In fact, looking back, it seems like really only characters with really fast base speeds would get any real benefit out of it. Maybe I should only require 5 feet of movement before each additional vault...

Yuki Akuma:
The PHB doesn't say anything specific about the dimensions of a quarterstaff, and the image it gives is of an instrument about the same size as a shortspear or a javelin. I don't know anything about quarterstaves in real life, but the PHB doesn't indicate that a quarterstaff is something you could vault with. Maybe this isn't the case in real life, but D&D has never really been the paradigm of historical accuracy. Again, the very existance of the Longstaff seems to imply that quarterstaves are, um, not long.

Squishycube:
*tips hat toward squishycube* You are certainly welcome. I'm exceedingly gratified to hear that you like my humble offerings. I just read your post about the Jerk PrC before posting this and was much impressed. Nice work!

Mephibosheth
2006-04-08, 03:39 PM
As long as this thread's been resurrected, I have two other polearm-related feats I've created that I'd like everyone's opinion on.

CLEAR THE AREA
You are adept at using your polearm to force enemies to back off.
Prerequisites: Base Attack Bonus +5, Power Attack, Proficiency with any hafted reach weapon
Benefit: When in base contact with multiple enemies, you can use your polearm to force them to move five feet away from you. To use this feat, you take a standard action to essentially whirl your polearm in a circle around your body. Any foes in base contact with you must succeed on a Reflex save (DC 10 + half your BAB) or be forced back five feet. If this movement would result in the opponent moving into lava, off a cliff, into water that requires a Swim check or other similarly hazardous situation, the opponent moves to the closest non-hazardous square instead of into the hazardous situation.
Normal: Hafted reach weapons have no ability to affect opponents in base contact with their wielder.
Special: A fighter may select Clear the Area as one of his fighter bonus feats.

CLOSE QUARTERS
Your familiarity with a polearm allows you to attack with the haft as well as the blade.
Prerequisites: Weapon Focus: any hafted reach weapon, Base Attack Bonus +3
Benefit: Your skill with the type of polearm for which you have the Weapon Focus feat allows you to attack opponents in base contact with you using the haft of the polearm. Any attacks made with the haft suffer a -2 penalty to attack rolls and deal damage as a club (1d6, x2 critical). Also, you may not use any special abilities of the weapon (such as the ability to trip or bonuses to disarm) while attacking with the haft.
Normal: When wielding any reach weapon (except a spiked chain), you cannot use that weapon to attack targets in base contact with you.
Special: A fighter may select Close Quarters as one of his fighter bonus feats.

What do you guys think?

Mephibosheth

Peregrine
2006-04-12, 06:22 AM
Do you mind if I add an idea?

VAULTING KICK [General]
You are able to use your vaulting skill to launch yourself at, instead of over, an enemy.
Prerequisites: Vault, Improved Unarmed Strike
Benefit: As a full-round action, you may perform a vault to make an unarmed attack against a creature instead of passing the square it occupies. Resolve the movement as a charge followed by an unarmed attack, made with a +2 bonus to your Strength modifier to attack and damage rolls. (If you have the Weapon Finesse feat and choose to use it with this unarmed attack, you only receive a bonus to the damage roll.)
If the attack succeeds (perhaps if it merely beats the touch AC? Kicking armour is still going to push them), you may make a bull rush attempt, without incurring an attack of opportunity and benefiting from the +2 bonus to your Strength check on top of the +2 charge bonus to bull rush attempts.
If the attack or the bull rush attempt fails, you move back 5 feet and fall prone.
Special: If you also have the Improved Overrun feat, you may use your Vaulting Kick to knock your opponent down instead of back, incurring no attack of opportunity and receiving the same +2 modifier to your Strength check made to overrun the opponent. If you succeed, you land 5 feet past the now-prone opponent. If you fail, you move back 5 feet and fall prone.

TimeWizard
2006-04-12, 09:08 AM
I love the flavor! I've been wanting to make a Dragoon (ala Kain, FF4) for a long time and I think these feats would help.

Just a suggestion: Vault is almost impossible to do at level 5. Assume you have 5 ranks in jump, +3 str, and maybe a situational +2 for charging, you now have a modifier of 10 (5+3+2), and can only suceed on a roll of 15 or better. So you have a 1 in 4 chance of not falling prone in front of the enemy. Not worth it for the oppertunity to get flanking IMO.

Otherwise, great work! I think that dragoon has a chance to be a serious character now.

Matthew
2006-04-12, 11:54 AM
Well, quarterstaffs are about six feet long. The reason they don't grant reach is because they're a double weapon.

I'd assume if you gripped it right at the end you could get a bit of height off a six foot long stick...

The Spear is also presumably around six feet in length, but not a reach weapon. It might be worth discerning between 'Staff' and 'Reach' weapons...

Mephibosheth
2006-04-12, 10:38 PM
Thanks for the feedback. I’m really glad everyone likes these feats.

Peregrin
I really like the idea of Vaulting Kick. I also like the idea of letting the character initiate the bull-rush with a touch attack, but I think you should clarify that the character doesn’t do any damage in that case. My only suggestions would be to have the “knock prone” feature be for characters with Improved Trip instead of Improved Overrun, as the former is more closely connected with knocking prone than the latter. Finally, I think you should substitute Valuting Strike instead of Improved Unarmed Strike in the prerequisites or add Vaulting Strike as a prerequisite.

Green Magus
The way I have it written, a character would have to be at least 5th level to take this feat, giving them 8 ranks in Jump. The character you reference would have a +13 Jump modifier, meaning they would pass on a roll of 12. I know seems hard, but I based the Jump DC on the DC to Tumble through a creature’s space (also 25). It doesn’t make sense to me that it would be easier to vault over a creature than to tumble right next to them. I think that a DC 25 seems reasonable, especially since most characters taking this feat (most likely fighters and, um, fighters) probably have pretty high strengths and perhaps a strength-boosting item by this time. Plus, even if Vault in itself isn’t worth it, at higher levels you can get all sorts of other feats from the tree, making the maneuver more valuable as you get better.

Matthew
That’s why I limited it to reach weapons only. I think it avoids problems of weapon dimensions better than specifying a length. I don’t necessarily have a problem allowing quarterstaves and spears, but I think that limiting it to reach weapons makes things easier and clearer. Plus, the whole point of this was to make reach weapons more attractive.

Thanks again for the comments. Anyone have any opinions on Clear the Area or Close Quarters?

Mephibosheth

Annalia
2006-04-23, 09:28 PM
Okay, I'm about to play-test some of these feats (they're so great, after all) and I have one question about Close Quarters. If you use it with a weapon you selected for the Weapon Spec. feat, can you add that +2 damage when using the haft?

Mephibosheth
2006-04-23, 09:44 PM
I think that you should gain the damage bonuses from Weapon Specialization when using the Close Quarters feat for a few reasons:

1. Weapon Specialization represents a significant amount of training and experience with a given weapon. It implies familiarity with the weapons weight, balance, and other physical characteristics, with the most efficient moves that can be used in a given situation, and with the motions necessary to fight effectively with the weapon. I see absolutely no reason why these skills would disappear when hitting someone with the butt or haft of a polearm instead of the blade. It would seem that a fighter investing the time to train with this sort of combat (as represented by taking Close Quarters as a feat) would maintain these skills.

2. Even though Close Quarters imposes a penalty on attack rolls, this penalty doesn't mean that the use of the haft or butt of the weapon is a suboptimal use. It's merely a more difficult maneuver.

3. Ultimately, an extra +2 to damage isn't that huge of a deal by the time your able to take Close Quarters. I don't think that allowing Weapon Specialization to apply will really break the game.

So, go ahead and take those extra two points of damage!

I'm really excited that you're interested in playtesting these feats. I hope they work as well and are as enjoyable to use as I imagine! Let us know how things turn out and what changes you would like to see. Out of curiosity, what's the build that you're using?

Thanks again!

Mephibosheth

Annalia
2006-04-23, 10:27 PM
Wow, that was fast!

The build isn't all planed ahead. I started level 5 so I haven't taken the Vault Feat yet. I'll probably go for Vaulting Strike, Charging Vault, Stretching Vault.

I don't know if I'll go for the feats that allow movements or another vault after. Though it gives more flexibility to the vaulting ability, one of the main gain of vaulting is to be flanking the opponent. With the Close Quarters feat, I do that even when only at a 5ft distance.

I'll give you news about how it goes. *:D

Edit: Oh, maybe there should be a list of possible modifier for the DC. What happens if I try to Vault when the ceiling is low. Or the surface slippery?

Mephibosheth
2006-04-23, 10:40 PM
I would suggest just using the circumstance modifiers for Tumble checks listed in the PHB. They seem to take into account most of the circumstances I can think of. Also, I would count a low ceiling as "Severely Obstructed" terrain for the purposes of circumstance modifiers to Jump DC's.

Mephibosheth

Leperflesh
2006-04-24, 08:50 PM
You should specify the size of opponent which you are able to vault over. E.g., a Medium vaulter can vault over opponents of no larger than Medium, or Large (long)?

Also... the feats which allow you to attack while vaulting over someone. How does that work? Seems clear to me you can't use your polearm to attack someone if you are using it to support your vault, right? So, I'd say you can only either make an unnarmed attack, or, attack with an offhand weapon? Or are you landing and then making your attack after you land? Even then, I'd think you'd need to radically shift your grip between the vault and the attack...

-Lep

Mephibosheth
2006-04-24, 09:45 PM
Leperflesh:

Wow. I really suck at updating these feats. In the version I have saved (and sadly didn't post for some stupid reason), I established the maximum size opponent a character can vault over. Here's the updated version:

VAULT [General]
You are able to use your polearm as a vaulting pole.
Prerequisites: Proficiency with any hafted reach weapon, Jump 8 ranks
Benefit: The character can make a Jump check instead of a Tumble check to move through an occupied square without provoking an attack of opportunity, essentially using his/her polearm as a vaulting pole, jumping straight over his/her opponent and landing on the opposite side. The Jump DC for this maneuver is 25. Using this maneuver requires that the character move at least 10 ft before jumping, and automatically ends his/her movement, regardless of the amount of movement he/she have remaining. However, vaulting over an opponent does not reduce the number of feet he/she can move in that round. For example, a character with a base speed of 30 ft may move 20 ft into base contact with an enemy and vault over the enemy (an additional 10 ft of movement).
Characters attempting to use this maneuver may not vault over an opponent more than one size category larger than themselves (for example, a medium character may vault over Large and smaller enemies). Any creature that is described as long instead of tall counts as one size category smaller for this limitation. By accepting a -20 penalty on their Jump check, a character may vault over an enemy that is two size categories larger than themselves.
Normal: Characters can use a Tumble check to move through an occupied square without provoking attacks of opportunity, and movement is reduced by ½ while tumbling.
Special: A fighter may select Vault as one of his fighter bonus feats.

As to the mechanics of attacking while vaulting, I always envision the character bringing his/her polearm down upon the enemies head as he/she is landing, essentially using the polearm to give impetus to his/her jump, bringing the polearm with as he/she clears the enemy, and swinging it around to deliver a stinging blow on the way down. Is it totally realistic? Of course not. But remember, this is a game where you can eventually balance on the particles in the air and squeeze your body through a space only 2 inches wide. Are we really that worried about representing reality? The ability to attack and vault may be difficult, but it's certainly closer to reality than a lot of things that D&D allows. Additionally, I don't really think that it's game-breaking, and it makes the maneuver a little cooler and more powerful at a reasonable expense. That's my take on it, anyway.

Thanks for your comments! I really appreciate it.

Mephibosheth

Seffbasilisk
2006-04-24, 10:07 PM
Vault
Type: General
Source: Dragon #331,DC1

While wielding a pole arm you can jump great distances.

Prerequisite: Str 13+, Jump 4 ranks.
Benefit: When wielding a pole arm two-handed, the DC for a long jump is reduced by -5. In addition, the DC for a high jump is equal to three times the distance to be cleared. If you jump up to grab something, you must drop the pole arm to grab the target.
Normal: The DC for a high jump is equal to four times the distance to be cleared.

Pester
2006-04-26, 06:53 PM
As long as this thread's been resurrected, I have two other polearm-related feats I've created that I'd like everyone's opinion on.

CLEAR THE AREA
You are adept at using your polearm to force enemies to back off.
Prerequisites: Base Attack Bonus +5, Power Attack, Proficiency with any hafted reach weapon
Benefit: When in base contact with multiple enemies, you can use your polearm to force them to move five feet away from you. *To use this feat, you take a standard action to essentially whirl your polearm in a circle around your body. *Any foes in base contact with you must succeed on a Reflex save (DC 10 + half your BAB) or be forced back five feet. *If this movement would result in the opponent moving into lava, off a cliff, into water that requires a Swim check or other similarly hazardous situation, the opponent moves to the closest non-hazardous square instead of into the hazardous situation.
Normal: Hafted reach weapons have no ability to affect opponents in base contact with their wielder.
Special: A fighter may select Clear the Area as one of his fighter bonus feats.

I think that Clear the Area is really good, unless it gives them the standard Attack of Oppurtunity for moving out of the 5-foot range. That would make it a bit unbalancing if a fighter could do that to 8 enemies.

Jestir256
2006-04-26, 07:01 PM
Realistically, the haft of most pole weapons would probably snap like a twig trying to bend under the weight of a fighter in full battle rattle. The hafts, as I understand them, are usually made of hardwood and therefore brittle. But these feats are cool, and I like players who get clever with pole weapons.

I myself have made one addition to pole fighting to make it more attractive. In my campaigns, anyone proficient with a pole weapon can attack through the occupied space of any ally also proficient with the weapon. This represents a common and effective rl tactic, and creates interesting strategic possibilities.