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Lysander
2005-10-08, 08:02 PM
Moment of Glory

Prerequisites: None

At will you enter of state of heroic perfection lasting a number minutes equal to your character level up to a maximum of ten minutes. During this time any dice roll you must perform is automatically a critical success. At the end of the time period you permanently lose one character level and one class level of your choice, losing all skill points, feats, hit dice, class features and other benefits given by those levels, and become fatigued. You may not use this feat if it will reduce you to character level 0 or leave you without any class levels. Moment Of Glory may not be used more than once in a two day period.



Thoughts?

Seffbasilisk
2005-10-08, 08:20 PM
Sounds good to me. Like...whole party's dying and you want to kill the baddie, you have a moment of glory and turn crit king.

Umael
2005-10-08, 08:34 PM
Personally, I do not like it and would not want it used in my game.

However, a few thoughts.

One, make it equal to 30 seconds per level. That's five combat rounds for 1st level characters, who can't use it anyway because that would reduce the character to level 0. Also, it maxes at 10 minutes just when people are getting ready to go epic.

Two, think about what happens when you have a bunch of 2nd level anythings use this feat. Including the NPCs.

"The human (enemy) fighter hits you with his great axe... OUCH! Automatically a critical hit! And max damage! Let's see, that 3d12+9, or 45 points of damage! Cleave! Another critical hit! And max damage!"

Third, at low enough levels (but not too low), a fighter can take out something truly nasty, like a beholder, and gain enough experience that the loss of a level really doesn't matter.

"Let's see, I just leveled, I get the feat Moment of Glory, I go apesh** on the beholder, lose my level I just gained, but gain enough experience points to level almost twice."

Plus, Moment of Glory means automatic re-roll of your hit points.

"A two! Okay, first fight we get in, I Moment of Glory, get the experience points, and level up ASAP. I might end up being a little behind the group, but I also might get a much higher roll on my hit points."

Lysander
2005-10-08, 09:04 PM
Good point Umael. I think I'll add this to the feat:

"The experience gained through any kills made during this period during this period may not exceed half the cost of the class level expended. After using this ability you cannot not gain experience for an amount of time equal to the duration of your Moment of Glory. You may end Moment of Glory prematurely."

Colin_Archibald
2005-10-09, 12:03 AM
i believe there should be a prerequisites like dying in a battle where you were killed by a critical hit. perhaps suceeding in killing the BBEB whilst near death. Either way i believe the dm should award this feat only if the Pc has done something relatively heroic, selfless, really cool. rp.

Darnon
2005-10-09, 12:40 PM
Unless for some reason you go specifically seeking out really nasty creatures, you shouldn't be gaining a ton of experience anyways by fighting something far above your level (unless your DM is crazy)

TO_Incognito
2005-10-09, 01:30 PM
Level 12 dual-weilding Half-orc Barbarian peeks around the corner into a room and *sees a Great Wyrm Black Dragon that the DM never intendes the party to beat. The Barbarian activates rage, pops on Moment of Glory, pulls out his two +2 Dwarven Waraxes. He now has a +8 strength modifier. He attacks six times, dealing 40 damage with the first three attacks and 28 damage with the other three. He does the same thing the next two round. The dragon dies.

Dark
2005-10-09, 01:33 PM
Hmm... he'd do critical hits with each strike, but he wouldn't do max damage. Unless I'm misinterpreting "critical success" in the feat description.

TO_Incognito
2005-10-09, 01:36 PM
Well, "critical succcess" doesn't have any kind of definition when refering to damage rolls, but the rule must be applied in that instance because the description says "ANY dice roll you must perform." Hmmmmm.... Clarification, Lysander?

ILM
2005-10-09, 02:01 PM
I don't like it, and here's why : if you're going to use that feat, it means that the party is in huge trouble, like a TPK rearing up its ugly head. In these circumstances, the best thing that can happen is a few characters die, others survive or flee and resurrect the dead, who come back with one level less. In other words, you'd use this feat in situations where it's a choice between losing levels from death and complete game over. In this situation, activating the feat at the cost of a level is a no-brainer, since you were probably going to lose it anyway - if you were lucky.

At least, that's the way I see it.

Lysander
2005-10-09, 02:05 PM
You skip any d20 rolls and just act as if you had rolled a twenty. It wouldn't apply to things like determining damage from a fireball you cast.

Seerow
2005-10-09, 02:21 PM
Correct me if Im wrong, but if you roll a critical on a critical, then critical again, isn't that a instant kill?

Or is that just a house rule I had once? I get em confused sometimes

Lysander
2005-10-09, 02:24 PM
It's true this could be overpowered if the skill was an instant-win button but you're forgetting a crucial point: your enemy can always run away. All they have to do is avoid you for a maximum of ten minutes. In most cases I think you'd land a good few hits, and terrify the dragon into retreating, and then once moment of glory ends you're weakened and have a raging dragon stalking you. Or after slaying 30 soldiers the army attacking your wounded friends stop listening to their general's orders to "Keep fighting! He is only one man!" and run away. But then they'd attack you the next day.

This is the type of thing you use when the alternative is death. Your character sacrifices quite a lot and gains nothing but more time.

CharPixie
2005-10-09, 03:18 PM
Playwise, it does allow you to almost SKIP the most tense and hardest parts of a campaign. Players with more conservative bents might end up boring themselves! (just like the auto-save/load people who do it constantly)

Lysander
2005-10-09, 03:26 PM
Of course, if you do it consistently then you won't be able to win at all. A person who tries exploiting this will find random encounters to be as challenging as a boss fight before too long.

Umael
2005-10-09, 04:10 PM
This feat takes away the element of chance and heroism because critical success has become assured.

Enemies who would have no reason to fear the PCs could get killed, ruining the storyline the DM has concocted.

Conversely, NPCs who have the feat could wipe out entire parties.

Dynamically, there is no cause behind it, just a "I'm a hero" mentality.

And since I mentioned it and you still did not reply, I'll mention it again: what is with the losing of levels? If a PC does not like rolling a "2" for hitpoints, all he or she needs to do is go Moment of Glory, lose the level, re-gain it, and re-roll better hitpoints. Because the PC would be gaining experience points faster than the rest of the party, the loss of the level would set the character back a bit, but one solo adventure should fix that nicely.

Lysander
2005-10-09, 04:37 PM
Here's an updated version I think addresses many of your concerns:

Moment of Glory
Prerequisites: None

At will you enter of state of heroic perfection lasting 1d4 + 1 minutes. During this time any dice roll you must perform is automatically a critical success. You do not gain any experience during the use of this feat or afterwards until you have slept a full eight hours. At the end of your Moment of Glory you permanently lose one character level and one class level of your choice, losing all skill points, feats, hit dice, class features and other benefits given by those levels, and become fatigued. You may not use this feat if it will reduce you to character level 0 or leave you without any class levels. Moment Of Glory may not be used again until you gain two character levels. The next class level you select must be the same as the one you lost, and you gain the same hit dice value, feats, spells, skills, and features as you had previously.

jdrich
2005-10-09, 05:28 PM
Generally, I play in games where Resurrection is a tough spell to get, and players often times find themselves against the wall.

To counteract this, I have created a few rules regarding dismissing different abilities and skills perminantly.

Skills:

When making a skill check or opposed roll, you may perminantly sacrifice 1 rank in that skill to gain a +10 unnamed bonus to your roll. Alternately, you may sacrifice all ranks in that skill to automatically 'take 20,' even in circumstances or with skills that would ordinarily disallow such action. You need to have at least 2 ranks in a skill to automatically 'take 20.'

Basically, this allows you to accomplish things 'in a pinch.' If you desperately need to make your swim check, you can sacrifice 1 or all ranks in the skill to ensure that you survive.

Hit Points:

If you are dying (but not dead), you may choose to immediately stabilize yourself, losing no more hit points from dying for 1 hour.. Your maximim hit point total is perminantly reduced by the number of hit points that you would require to bring yourself to 0 HP.

This one is a little too soft, but for that not-too-bright barbarian, it could be the only thing keeping him alive after a rage. I keep it around, but it's rarely used.

Spells/Psionics:

If you are a prepared caster, and you have an empty spell slot, you may choose to immediately fill that spell slot with any spell of that level or lower that you can cast. The spell must be cast within one minute, or the effect is wasted. Regardless of whether the spell is cast, the spell slot once emptied is immediately and perminantly unusable.

If you are a spontaneous caster, you may cast any spell that you know without expending one of your uses per day of that spell level. If you do so, you perminantly lose knowledge of that spell and may never re-learn the spell again.

If you have manifestor levels, you may instantly regenerate any amount of temporary power points to your power point reserve, up to your maximum power point total. These temporary power points disappear after one minute, and afterwards your maximum power point total is perminantly reduced by the amount of temporary power points regenerated.

Casters love this. When they're against the wall and ready to bite the dust, they have an extra bit of power to 'burn up,' so to speak.

I also allow players to sacrifice points in ability scores, but those are generally on a case-by-case basis rather than having set rules.

Lysander
2005-10-09, 05:55 PM
While we're on the subject of permanently diminishing your character to survive in a pinch:

Soul Burn

Prerequisites: Sorceror, Level 1

You focus all of your magical ability into a beam of power 1 foot wide dealing 1d6 damage of any type you choose for every spell level of every open spell slot you have. This beam travels at the speed of light and has a reflex save DC of 50 and is not affected by spell resistance or will. If an object in the path of the beam can be destroyed with less than the full force of the beam, the beam will continue through it with that damage substracted from its total potency until it has no power left. The beam has no maximum range. Upon firing this beam the Sorceror permanently loses the ability to cast any of their sorceror spells, and unless they have another class that grants one their familiar becomes an ordinary animal. They may not take any more sorceror class levels.

Special: This feat may also be taken as a level 5 sorceror spell.

Umael
2005-10-10, 01:12 AM
Here's an updated version I think addresses many of your concerns:


Better.

But that still leaves two burning (and a few non-burning) issues in my mind.

1) PCs defeating NPCs who ought not to be defeated.
If you let one of the players pick this Feat for his character, you stand a good chance of having a PC take on a much more powerful NPC, a BBEG, who was supposed to be the big boss battle at the end of the dungeon. I.e., your storyline is subject to being monkeyed, and how.

2) NPCs with this Feat turning into TPKs.
Since there is no prerequisite other than being at least 2nd level, all 2nd & up NPCs could have a field day on the PCs. Say you have a 2nd level barbarian orc with that feat. He hides nearby until he detects the party. One use of the feat, and he's golden for at least two minutes - 20 combat rounds. With his critical success on initiative, he is likely to go before anyone else, and when he charges the meat shield and automatically criticals him, it is likely the main fighter of the group goes down. Sleep or a similar spell has little effect if he gets a critical success on all his saving throws. Next round, blam! Another critical hit and maybe this time it's the party cleric.
Sure the party could kill the orc, but what if they just don't do enough damage the first round? There is no guarantee on this at all.
Even worse, let's say you give the Feat to a dragon. Imagine a dragon, especially a great wyrm who feels its time has come, deciding to lay waste to an entire city. Sounds like an epic ending to a great monster, yes? So what happens if the PCs are the epic bodyguards? You could be throwing a monster that is actually underpowered at them, and wiping them off the face of world.

In short, this Feat is very unbalancing. You take someone who should be too weak and give them way more power than they deserve. Given how powerful and successful this feat could be, you could make the party sweat trying to take on simple monster, and end up getting less of a reward than they would fighting a tougher monster that lacked that Feat. While there is nothing wrong with having a weaker monster prove to be more of a challenge than a tougher monster from time to time, this Feat decidedly shifts the balance in the weaker monster's favor, just because it has this Feat.

Non-burning issue I had to bring up: Moment of Glory is only in name. The Feat might be designed with heroics in mind, but the mechanics turn it into a stacked deal. "Woo-hoo, I win again."

Lysander
2005-10-10, 04:09 AM
Good points again Umael. What do you all think of these various possible fix-its?

-Upon being used you lose the Moment of Glory feat. You may select it as a feat again.

-Limiting use to once per year.

-Requiring a DC 20 will roll, using a standard action, to enter a moment of glory.

I still think the ability can be balanced by the simple fact your enemies can run away for a handful of minutes and then come back and laugh in your face.

Umael
2005-10-10, 09:17 AM
Good points again Umael. What do you all think of these various possible fix-its?

-Upon being used you lose the Moment of Glory feat. You may select it as a feat again.

-Limiting use to once per year.

-Requiring a DC 20 will roll, using a standard action, to enter a moment of glory.

I still think the ability can be balanced by the simple fact your enemies can run away for a handful of minutes and then come back and laugh in your face.

The first two will not prevent monsters from using it to abuse PCs. After all, most monsters are one-shot challenges to the party, and kudos to those DMs who play them otherwise.

The last one does make it more difficult to enter Moment of Glory, but then it makes it less likely you could have someone enter it when it would be appropriate. Furthermore, at high enough levels, the party will be faced with enemy NPCs or monsters that have a high enough Will that such an event would not be a significant obstacle to overcome.

That leads me to your last comment - balance. Although, yes, enemies can run away, or they can even do enough damage to kill the Gloryhound, I do not believe that is where the issue of balance lays.

Compare the advantage, just the advantage mind you, of Moment of Glory versus any other combat-related Feat available without a prerequisite and many that do. Is it fair? Is it appropriate? Does it truly seem heroic to have all your dice just naturally come up as "20s"?

For a limited period of time, the PC (or NPC) has a Feat that far overshadows other Feats that should be on the same level of power.

Look now at the disadvantage of Moment of Glory. Since you have caused the pendulum to swing too far one way, you have it swinging too far the other. Does any other Feat invoke such a high cost or even come close to it?

Now I have no trouble with the idea of a Feat that can be used a limited number of times. Mounted Combat, for example, can only be used once per round. While not a Feat, the barbarian's Rage costs the barbarian much of his or her energy when it is all over (can't run, penalty to Strength, etc.).

Instead of dissecting the Feat further and further, let me make this suggestion and let it stew.

Break it down.

Something so suddenly so powerful, even when coupled with such a large disadvantage, might be better served as multiple feats that stack on one another. What about a Feat that allows all rolls to be increased by one for a limited duration, or a Feat that turns all threats into automatic criticals (again, for a limited duration)?

Even a Feat that allows you a critical success for one action is terribly significant.

Lysander
2005-10-10, 02:06 PM
Hmmm...it could probably work as a series of less dire feats. Say...

Combat Precision

Prerequisites: Combat Expertise, Character Level 4

While engaged in melee combat or using a ranged weapon you may roll two d20 for your attack roll and use the higher one. You may use this ability a number of times a day equal to your character level/4.

Last Minute Correction

Prerequisite: Dex 13

Once a day per 5 levels, after critical failure on your part you may choose to have it count as if you had rolled a 2 instead.

Give It Your All

Once a day you may critically succeed on any one roll, but in doing so become Exhausted.

Lightman
2005-10-10, 02:22 PM
While we're on the subject of permanently diminishing your character to survive in a pinch:

Soul Burn

Prerequisites: Sorceror, Level 1

You focus all of your magical ability into a beam of power 1 foot wide dealing 1d6 damage of any type you choose for every spell level of every open spell slot you have. This beam travels at the speed of light and has a reflex save DC of 50 and is not affected by spell resistance or will. If an object in the path of the beam can be destroyed with less than the full force of the beam, the beam will continue through it with that damage substracted from its total potency until it has no power left. The beam has no maximum range. Upon firing this beam the Sorceror permanently loses the ability to cast any of their sorceror spells, and unless they have another class that grants one their familiar becomes an ordinary animal. They may not take any more sorceror class levels.

Special: This feat may also be taken as a level 5 sorceror spell.
I find this unbalanced in the extreme. Take it at first level, and multiclass for the rest of your career. Then, we you have a powerful BBEG, just use it. Powerful ability, no real costs

Lysander
2005-10-10, 02:49 PM
A level 1 sorceror casting it gets 3 first level spells daily and nothing above that. A single beam dealing 3d6 damage is all they could get out of it.

Now at level 4 it becomes more appealing, dealing 12d6 damage. And at level 10 it's fantastic, dealing 71d6. But giving up multiple levels for a single attack is a pretty big sacrifice. If someone is throwing away ten levels they deserve to go out with a bang.

The Glyphstone
2005-10-10, 05:18 PM
I would giggle endlessly, though, if a player popped that feat for like 100d6 damage, and the BBEG rolls a a natural 20 on his Reflex save to dodge it...boom, there goes the character. :D

Lysander
2005-10-10, 06:15 PM
Yeah, it'd be pretty great. I see the sorceror bravely standing over his unconcious and bleeding allies, firing the beam, missing and blasting a hole straight through a distant mountain. I hope the BBEG has a sense of humor because that's the perfect time for maniacal laughter.

Seffbasilisk
2005-10-10, 06:22 PM
Glyph that is wicked. (I was thinking that too)

Also there's the problem that in my campaigns (and all i've played in. I dont know if its home ruled or not) that if you roll three 20's in a row its an auto-kill. Gives the little dude a chance to kill the great wyrm. Everyone gets crazy lucky once or twice a life.

So if they took that...and got 20,20,20 they could kill anything. If thier enemies tried to run, they just throw the weapon, or quick draw a ranged weapon. (even WITH range incremint -'s thats still 20,20,20. which is auto-kill)

Umael
2005-10-10, 10:26 PM
Hmmm...it could probably work as a series of less dire feats. Say...

Combat Precision

Prerequisites: Combat Expertise, Character Level 4

While engaged in melee combat or using a ranged weapon you may roll two d20 for your attack roll and use the higher one. You may use this ability a number of times a day equal to your character level/4.

Without stopping to put on my thinking cap, I like this one. However, you might want to be careful on the wording. Does the player roll two dice before the attack, or is it like the Luck Domain ability, which allows the PC to roll a second time AFTER the initial roll. I think the former, but at first glance I could see the latter.



Last Minute Correction

Prerequisite: Dex 13

Once a day per 5 levels, after critical failure on your part you may choose to have it count as if you had rolled a 2 instead.

Actually, critical failures do not exist in RAW combat.

Also, overall, this one is not as impressive as Combat Precision, but that's okay because you can have Last Minute Correction at 1st level.



Give It Your All

Once a day you may critically succeed on any one roll, but in doing so become Exhausted.

By critically succeed, how far are you willing to go? "Nat" 20, 20, 20 = auto-kill? Automatic critical with max damage? Just scoring a 20 once would be nice, and possibly worthy of the cost of being exhausted. On the other hand, I know that if I critical with my longsword and only do 2d8+4 = 6 points of damage... I'm going to be disappointed.

Here's another Feat to consider - one in which you can take 10, no matter what - but only once per day. I already know that feat is poorly written, considering that the Rogue gets at higher levels.

tjwitz
2005-10-11, 12:07 AM
I think this last set of 3 feats is much more balanced and fun; I think one of the most underused (yet powerful) mechanics is the 'luck' ability to roll multiple dice and take the better result. Nicely done!

Have you considered/encountered the idea of Action Points, especially as imported in the Eberron setting? I find they're a really nifty addition and provide a balanced mechanism for this type of 'heroic action burst' - it has limited uses per-level and provides the same type of limited bonuses (only to d20 rolls); very similar in flavor to your initial idea.

Lastly, just as a side-note, I house-rule that critical failure is mitigated if an action point was used on the roll; i.e. when a '1' is rolled. This makes that last feat you have proposed less useful, but this has worked very well for my groups. :D :D :D :-[

Lysander
2005-10-11, 01:10 AM
tjwitz
It's an interesting system, but to work it out here would require a lot of work. I'm sure any of these feats could be modified to fit into that though.

Umael

For Combat Precision I intended that you roll twice beforehand. It's meant for those moments when failure is not an option.

Last Minute Correction isn't meant just for combat, but for any roll that you could critically fail. So it can be used outside of combat.

Give It Your All only applies to the one roll. Anything after that is on it's own.

And I like the idea of a feat that lets you take ten. Howabout this for it:

Competance

Prerequisite: Int 10, Dex 10

A number of times a day equal to your INT bonus + 1, with a maximum of five, you may choose to take 10 on your attack roll or the use of a skill you have a rank in.

Umael
2005-10-11, 01:26 AM
I like the name of the feat, Competence.

However, I was thinking it would not require any ability prerequisites and that it would be one of those you could take multiple times.

Actually, let me re-phrase that. Why does Competence require Int 10, Dex 10?

Also, to borrow a page from Rokugan, if Competence was a feat that could be taken multiple times, the law of diminishing returns says that the number of times the Feat could be used in a day should increase in a greater proportion to offset this.

Example: Void Use gives the PC two Void points. Depths of the Void, prerequisite of Void Use, gives the PC three more Void points. Greater Depths of the Void gives the PC four more Void points, plus one for each time this Feat is taken.

The beauty of this idea is that it works to counter the *law of diminishing returns so that players feel rewarded if they continue to take this Feat (or set of Feats).

* Law of diminishing returns says that more of the same thing brings less satisfaction than the original amount. For example, if you are hungry, one sandwich is good, two is better, and three is just dandy. However, the satisfaction you get from two sandwiches is not double the satisfaction you got from just that first sandwich. Three sandwiches does a good job of filling you up, but even if you were hungry enough, would you want a fourth sandwich?

Lysander
2005-10-11, 01:42 AM
I decided to go with median int and dex because I figured that to be competant you should be smart enough to know what to do, and not too clumsy to do it.

Umael
2005-10-11, 01:52 AM
Okay, that works.

Why Intelligence modifier plus one, and why a maximum of five?

Lysander
2005-10-11, 02:36 AM
I figured one usage was too little to make the feat worthwhile, but I didn't want to just use an arbitrary number. I figured the int modifier works. The +1 is just for someone who takes it at 10 int, so they get something. But I didn't want to overpower it for an epic level character with 30 int so I put the 5 usage cap. I figure most people won't ever brush up against that barrier,

Umael
2005-10-11, 09:30 AM
Okay, while that isn't the way I would do it, I do believe I would have no problem playing with that Feat in the game world.

Cyclone231
2005-10-11, 10:49 AM
What about Vorpal weapons? A character with a Vorpal scimitar and that feat could beat down multiple Great Wyrms like that.

FlashFire
2005-10-11, 01:25 PM
It's a cool feat, but here's where I see the problem - A "Moment of Glory" is a great thing in a character's history. We've all been there... you see your comrades dying around you, and you do something brave, and possibly foolish. And guess what? It works... your character is heralded as a hero. I think the automatic successes this thing gives you just cheapen that feeling.

If you must use the feat, change minutes to rounds. 5 rounds is a long time in "critical hit" time. :-)

Lysander
2005-10-11, 11:02 PM
I'm beginning to lean that way too. Moment of Glory, whether overpowered or not gets rid of the specialness of victory. I think I'm going to start a thread for people to come up with combat feats, which is what this thread seems to be evolving into.

Darnon
2005-10-11, 11:17 PM
A bit OT, but sort of in the direction of the last few posts: one of our party members through some rather dumb moves had managed to get himself surrounded by bad guys while trying to retrieve one of our magic weapons (in a low-magic campaign) while wielding our other, even better magic weapon and succeeded at being taken out to exactly 0 hp and dropping the weapon he had with a fumble. My character comes to the rescue with two pairs of great rolls (one crit each pair and I'd only had one or two in the whole campaign) and proceeded to take out all of the enemies surrounding him. I was feeling real good after that, the Force was definitely with me.

If I'd have done that with a feat (besides the fact that my DM wouldn't allow anything like Moment of Glory even if I paid him) it would have seriously cheapened the moment.

Lysander
2005-10-12, 12:11 AM
Tru Dat