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Daftendirekt
2011-04-06, 03:29 AM
Okay, so the text for the Beast Mastery class feature is a tad vague on how it all works. I know that when you're mounted on any creature, Beast Companion or otherwise, you share actions. One standard and one move between you.

Let's use the character I just made as an example. I chose a bear as my companion because they're tough as **** and I want a tank... because I'm going to be in back shooting like mad with my greatbow, enjoying all the free opportunity attacks I'm getting from Sharpshooter PP + Beast Protector feat.

So, Mr. Bear is already being super useful just by soaking hits and giving me all those free OAs. But can he actually do anything on his own? Does he get his own move and standard to do stuff with, or do I have to use my actions? I've searched the DDI Compendium and turned up pretty much nothing regarding this. Anybody aware of a clarification of these rules?

Beast Protector
Benefit: If an enemy makes a melee attack against your beast companion, doing so provokes an opportunity attack from you. If you are adjacent to your beast companion, you can make this attack even if you canít reach the attacker (you attack the attackerís reaching limb, for instance).

Sharpshooter feature
Opportunity Fire (11th level): You can use a bow or a loaded crossbow to make opportunity attacks. These attacks donít provoke opportunity attacks.

Kurald Galain
2011-04-06, 03:51 AM
So, Mr. Bear is already being super useful just by soaking hits and giving me all those free OAs. But can he actually do anything on his own? Does he get his own move and standard to do stuff with, or do I have to use my actions?
No, he can't; and yes, you have to use your own actions. These are simply the rules for animal companions. Also, note that clever enemies will simply attack you instead of your beast.

cdrcjsn
2011-04-06, 05:08 AM
However, there are quite a lot of ranger powers that allow your animal companion to attack at the same time you attack.

Once you get to epic levels, there are feats or an epic destiny you can take that allows you to command your companion to attack as a minor action, in addition to your own attacks.

Daftendirekt
2011-04-06, 10:13 AM
However, there are quite a lot of ranger powers that allow your animal companion to attack at the same time you attack.

Unfortunately, all the attacks given to ME by these powers are Strength-based, since for some reason WotC expects Beastmaster Rangers to be melee-based.


Once you get to epic levels, there are feats or an epic destiny you can take that allows you to command your companion to attack as a minor action, in addition to your own attacks.

Aware of that, unfortunately, only at level 13 right now, so that doesn't help yet.


Also, note that clever enemies will simply attack you instead of your beast.

Fortunately, our DM actually plays creatures to their intelligence. Reading handbooks and seeing stuff talking about creatures not attacking because they somehow know that it will set off marks and **** like that... retarded. A creature inside the game world knows nothing of the game mechanics.

stabbitty death
2011-04-09, 02:29 PM
marking an enemy is pretty much getting it fixated on you. That's why it takes the -2 penalty.

Trog
2011-04-09, 02:46 PM
Oh man, I played one of these and couldn't stand it. Once you or your animal companion is dropped you lose your ability to do a lot of stuff since you have no second person to use the power effects. Hopefully you're having better luck than I did. I just switched classes altogether in the end.

Epinephrine
2011-04-10, 06:48 PM
Reading handbooks and seeing stuff talking about creatures not attacking because they somehow know that it will set off marks and **** like that... retarded. A creature inside the game world knows nothing of the game mechanics.

The PHB disagrees with you. From p57.
"Whenever you affect a creature with a power, that
creature knows exactly what youíve done to it and
what conditions youíve imposed. For example, when
a paladin uses divine challenge against an enemy, the
enemy knows that it has been marked and that it
will therefore take a penalty to attack rolls and some
damage if it attacks anyone aside from the paladin."

MeeposFire
2011-04-10, 08:21 PM
However a creature affected by a fighter's mark would only know about the penalty and could probably figure out that something bad could happen if it violates the mark, however it would not know exactly what that would be since fighter marks are generic and their punishment is not connected directly to the mark like the paladin punishments does.

Daftendirekt
2011-04-10, 09:39 PM
The PHB disagrees with you. From p57.
"Whenever you affect a creature with a power, that
creature knows exactly what youíve done to it and
what conditions youíve imposed. For example, when
a paladin uses divine challenge against an enemy, the
enemy knows that it has been marked and that it
will therefore take a penalty to attack rolls and some
damage if it attacks anyone aside from the paladin."

That is incredibly stupid. I don't care what the rules say. An entity within the universe of the game is not aware of the game mechanics that dictate how things work within the world. Fortunately, my DM seems to agree with me as this is how he plays anyway. If the striker just did a big hit against some low int thing like a displacer beast, it's going to go for the striker regardless of whether the fighter has it marked.

Also, when our wizard forces one of Displacer A to attack Displacer B with one of his powers, Displacer B will retaliate against Displacer A because they're dumb beasts. **** what the rules say. Act rationally.

mobdrazhar
2011-04-10, 09:55 PM
That is incredibly stupid. I don't care what the rules say. An entity within the universe of the game is not aware of the game mechanics that dictate how things work within the world. Fortunately, my DM seems to agree with me as this is how he plays anyway. If the striker just did a big hit against some low int thing like a displacer beast, it's going to go for the striker regardless of whether the fighter has it marked.

Also, when our wizard forces one of Displacer A to attack Displacer B with one of his powers, Displacer B will retaliate against Displacer A because they're dumb beasts. **** what the rules say. Act rationally.

yes but yopu're just looking at Int... most animals will attack based on Wis due to firstly "common sense" and secondly due to past experiences.

given your example if the 2 beasts are part of the same pack they may not attack the other. This sort of thing may have happened before and they know better

Tiki Snakes
2011-04-10, 09:58 PM
I would say that I'm not sure the rules actually are intended to work how you seem to be applying, Annulus.
In the displacer beast case, sure, B might well counter attack. He wasn't affected by a power, he was simply attacked by the other beast. Beast A, however, won't somehow think that he did it intentionally, he'll know, however vaguely, that you made him do it.

The case of the fighter, I'd say the Displacer beast would and should know he's slightly less likely to hit if he tries to hit back at the rogue, because the fighter is physically interfering in such a way as to prevent him being able to hit anyone else as easily as he would like. Whether he would know anything more than that is, perhaps, up for discussion and interpretation.
That's not going to necessarily stop the beast attacking the striker though, because as you say, the striker just really hurt the dumb beast.

MeeposFire
2011-04-10, 10:29 PM
Also just because a creature knows what a power does does not mean it can understand the ramification of its actions. A beast may not care. It may decide I want to eat the soft squishy wizard and I don't care if this metal covered man is threatening me with something since I lack the intelligence to make an informed decision. The DM still gets to decide how a creature acts. Just because it knows it is affected by a power does not mean it has to follow it. It will just do whatever the DM thinks it should do.

Garwain
2011-04-11, 04:21 AM
While I understand that you think the beasts are acting rationally when they violate the mark, there is one thing you are missing imo. The marks are not just stamps, or a labels that is put on. It is a physical reaction of a person taunting the beast for example, or gazing at the beast, or whatever. The beast will be influenced by that behavior.

Compare it with switching places. That does not mean both you and the enemy decide to stop fighting, take a step along eachother, and then resume fighting. The power is actually a series of blows that forces the oponent in the desired direction.

Like all powers, there is a 'real world' effect that is outputted in gaming numbers. The beast is not aware of the power or the numbers, but it is well aware that someone has taunted it, or looked it straight in the eye, challenging it.

And marks are powers that will affect the creature if it does not react to the mark. It might feel confused, or angry, so that it is more likely to miss. To me, it sounds very natural that beasts are aware of the EFFECT of the power, but not of the numbers of the power itself.

Kurald Galain
2011-04-11, 11:42 AM
An entity within the universe of the game is not aware of the game mechanics that dictate how things work within the world.
Since the PCs are very much aware of those mechanics, it's only fair that the monsters would be, too.

Daftendirekt
2011-04-11, 11:50 AM
"Knowing the game mechanics" in this case comes down to knowing how to act strategically. If we are facing off against an intelligent enemy, sure, by all means, use knowledge of the mechanics for our enemies. But don't just do it all the time. Again, displacer beasts probably wouldn't know that shifting away would be better than just running. A drow would.

Kurald Galain
2011-04-11, 11:59 AM
"Knowing the game mechanics" in this case comes down to knowing how to act strategically. If we are facing off against an intelligent enemy, sure, by all means, use knowledge of the mechanics for our enemies. But don't just do it all the time.

Okay, so what about PCs with an intelligence score of 8, do they get to employ flawless tactics?

Daftendirekt
2011-04-11, 12:17 PM
Hell no. I figured it's a given that PCs better be playing their character to its intelligence score.

Kurald Galain
2011-04-11, 12:30 PM
Hell no. I figured it's a given that PCs better be playing their character to its intelligence score.
Okay, that's fair. If the players play more intelligently than their character's int score, then so can the monsters; if the players don't, then neither should the monsters.

For that matter, as a DM, I rather like occasionally putting effects or items on the PCs without giving an immediate and complete explaination of what they do. Let them experiment and see what happens.

cupkeyk
2011-04-11, 10:37 PM
Whoa, sad thread, derailed so quickly.


Maybe Annulus could use more visual reinforcement as to the mechanical impact of a mark:

A fighter is at your face. Predators, like the panther that displacer beasts are based from and humans, have eyes at the front of their heads. This allows them better forward vision while worsening their peripheral. Prey, like most fish, deer etc, have eyes at the side of their heads. They are built to run from danger, not face it. They detect danger from the peripherals and flee. A fighter/paladin/whatever marks by placing himself in a position that actions such as moving away or attacking another would cause sever hurt. ANimals are built that way by nature. Evolution did the thinking for the animals. No need to measure the actions by their Int score.

Anyway, back to teh original query.


Oh man, I played one of these and couldn't stand it. Once you or your animal companion is dropped you lose your ability to do a lot of stuff since you have no second person to use the power effects. Hopefully you're having better luck than I did. I just switched classes altogether in the end.

It is always recommended to get a variety of powers. In fact many beast master rangers use ranged powers exclusively.

My two cents? Switch to a Raptor. If in Eberron, that will be a pterodactyl. YEAH! Be a halfling. With Vistani Heritage and Vistani Pathfinder and Beast growth, YOU CAN RIDE YOUR PTERODACTYL! Kite from outside map? Good idea. Kite from 100 feet in the air? Better Idea!

MeeposFire
2011-04-11, 10:42 PM
Get the mark of handling and the gryphon rider PP and have an even better dino though you also get an entire house that wants to kill you for being outside of the race (you must be a mutant!).

cupkeyk
2011-04-11, 10:49 PM
But a halfling Beast Growth Pterodactyl ranger completes at level 3(as early as two). A Gryphon Rider completes at 11. I always take that into consideration. If you are that high level anyway, be human and enjoy the RP benefits of being a Dragonmarked Heir (without the OMG aberrant halfling with pterodactyl!). The Epic Destiny for House Vadalis has a great utility power as well.

MeeposFire
2011-04-11, 11:21 PM
I think you mean half elf. But you see the nice thing is that I can have the same build as you at level 3 and then use the power of my aberrant dragonmark to transform my dino into an even more powerful creature (which counts officially as a mount and so can use mount items). I am just biding my time while I acquire the power. Until then my unaugmented dino will do.

Daftendirekt
2011-04-12, 12:13 AM
I wouldn't want a bird. Birds aren't cool. Bears... are ****ING BEARS.

MeeposFire
2011-04-12, 02:05 PM
I don't care much for the bear. It is too inaccurate for me.

Daftendirekt
2011-04-12, 02:49 PM
Well, as stated in OP, this thing wouldn't be for damage. It would be a meatshield. I think even a warden with 18 base CON can't get as much HP as a bear would have in paragon without optimizing... and that would a be a crappy thing to optimize for.

MeeposFire
2011-04-12, 03:01 PM
Depends by what you mean by HP since they have so few surges that they really have much less HP. They might have more HP at the start of an encounter but going through encounters they have much less. Further unless your beast is dangerous enemies will ignore it outside of including it in blasts. The bear is just not my favorite since it lacks accuracy and it lacks special abilities that are really nice.

Feel free to take it though its not that big of a deal I just don't care for inaccurate creatures.

cupkeyk
2011-04-13, 06:45 AM
All the beast companions are fragile things.

That's why the pterodactyl mounted halfling is the best kiting option.

Bagelz
2011-04-13, 11:22 AM
as far as animals not knowing "game mechanics"
Its pretty rediculous to not know when youve been poisoned, or cursed, or that something standing right next to you looks likes its waiting for an opportunity to strike (such as a defender waiting for you to attack someone else).

The point of a mark is to encourage an enemy to attack you instead of someone else. The punishment (the immediate a defender uses when a marked target does attack an ally) is part of that encouragement.

You're entitled to play the game any way you see fit, but I personally believe you are making your monsters less exciting, less predictable since they don't seem to follow any sort of rules (so your players won't learn good tactics), and more arbitrary.

MeeposFire
2011-04-13, 11:30 AM
By RAW a creature marked by fighter knows it is marked and what that means but does not know about the attack punishment (it is not a part of the power or the marked condition) but a creature marked by divine challenge know the whole deal since it is part of the power.