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Forged Fury
2011-05-16, 11:51 AM
I've always enjoyed Splash Weapons but admit they tend to be somewhat weak due to a combination of price and poor damage scaling beyond low levels. This feat does not attempt to significantly correct that problem, but may make grenadier focused-builds more amusing to play at low to mid levels. I based Elite Grenadier off the Shaped Splash feat from Races of Eberron, in fact it serves somewhat as a revision. I loved the feat, although I had to wonder about the Halfling Only nature, particularly considering Eberron halflings don't seem to have much history with splash-based weapons. The end goal of this build is to improve the cost:benefit ratio for splash weapons and to provide non-spellcasters with something approaching an area attack. I think the feat, as written, is a little wordy. I could use some help there.

Elite Grenadier [Fighter Bonus Feat, General]
Prerequisites: Dex 15, BAB +3, Grenadier
Benefit: If you throw a splash weapon and it hits the creature you target, you can immediately make an additional attack against any creature adjacent to the first using the same attack bonus. If the second attack succeeds, the attack is treated as if it were a direct hit, including dealing splash damage to adjacent creatures.

As long as your attack roll succeeds, you may continue targeting new opponents, but the total number of opponents you can target with each attack (including the initial target) is equal to your Dexterity Modifier + 1. Each subsequent target must be adjacent to the target before it in the attack. If any attack roll misses, no more opponents may be targeted.

A creature can only be damaged one time by each splash weapon, regardless if its location would otherwise subject it to multiple occurrences of splash damage or splash and direct hit damage. Only take the highest damage that affects the square.

In addition, you can choose not to deal splash damage to specified creatures that occupy spaces adjacent to any targets.

If your initial attack fails, determine location and damage for the splash attack as normal (see Throw Splash Weapon, page 158 of the Player's Handbook).

Special: A fighter can select Elite Grenadier as one of his fighter bonus feats.

Normal Splash Weapon Attack (X=Direct Hit, S=Splash Damage)

___________
|_|_|_|_|_|
|_|S|S|S|_|
|_|S|X|S|_|
|_|S|S|S|_|
|_|_|_|_|_|

Elite Grenadier Splash Weapon Attack w/15 Dex (X=Direct Hit, S=Splash Damage)

___________
|S|S|S|S|_|
|S|X|X|S|_|
|S|S|X|S|_|
|_|S|S|S|_|
|_|_|_|_|_|

Veklim
2011-05-16, 01:19 PM
Very interesting idea this, I admit I rather like it. Goes a fair way towards making grenade weapons worth having, always bugged me too, the way they just cease to get better. One point for clarification though:


...you can immediately make an additional attack against any creature adjacent to the first using the same attack bonus.

You might wish to mention what happens with something like true strike, I doubt you want someone giving themselves 5 attacks at +25, at 3rd level do you? :smallconfused:

Veyr
2011-05-16, 01:23 PM
This looks identical to Shape Splash in Races of Stone, but with different (generally worse) pre-reqs.

EDIT: Nope, missed that you could make it keep bouncing. That's kind of cool.

Forged Fury
2011-05-16, 01:34 PM
You might wish to mention what happens with something like true strike, I doubt you want someone giving themselves 5 attacks at +25, at 3rd level do you? :smallconfused:

I admit that I hadn't really thought about it. With that said I really didn't anticipate the Elite Grenadier missing very often, I saw the Dex Mod/Extra Attacks as more of a limiting factor. Since each target requires a ranged touch attack, it should be pretty easy to hit, even without True Strike, particularly if the attacker has the 18 Dex required to get 5 targets at 3rd level. On top of it, it's 20gp a pop for Alchemist's Fire per attack, assuming you aren't crafting it yourself.

Hmmm... wait a second. Can you Sneak Attack with splash weapons?

P.S. Thanks for the feedback so far.

Veklim
2011-05-16, 01:50 PM
Hmmm... wait a second. Can you Sneak Attack with splash weapons?
Yes, with the direct hit....yes, you start to see!

Veyr
2011-05-16, 01:59 PM
Pretty sure you can get Sneak Attack damage dice on the splash, too, provided they're flat-footed.

Forged Fury
2011-05-16, 02:04 PM
Hmmm...

Initially I was going to say that it needed another line of text to account for SA, but I'm giving it some thought, at least with respect to the direct hit. Currrently, I'm under the impression that you don't get SA for splash damage.

Pros for SA Applying to Elite Grenadier
1) Generally difficult. You would have to deny the group Dex to AC since flanking doesn't help. It's not impossible, but not a guarantee. It would work great as a first strike attack if you win initiative though (plus Grease fun).

2) By the nature of alchemical splash weapons, you're almost certainly doing elemental typed damage, which is commonly resisted to a degree.

Cons for SA Applying to Elite Grenadier
1) The main one is that it's operating against the rules for volley attacks. While it isn't exactly a volley, it operates in a similar manner.

2) Could make it a lot more devestating in the long run.

I'll have to stat a rogue up with this feat and run them through a few rounds to see how it turns out. I'm currently leaning towards ripping most of the language for volley attacks and applying it here (i.e. SA only applies to the primary target).

Veklim
2011-05-16, 02:11 PM
On top of that, by the nature of alchemical splash weapons, you're almost certainly doing elemental typed damage, which is commonly resisted to a degree.

TANGLE
FOOT
BAGS
nuff sed
EDIT: Splash only.....ok.
Sorry!

Veklim
2011-05-16, 02:23 PM
I'm currently leaning towards ripping most of the language for volley attacks and applying it here (i.e. SA only applies to the primary target).

That sounds more than reasonable actually.


Pretty sure you can get Sneak Attack damage dice on the splash, too, provided they're flat-footed.

Looking all over for rules on that, can't find anything but if it was my call I'd say no, sneak attack is a precision bonus, splash is the opposite of precision.

Veyr
2011-05-16, 02:24 PM
RAW, I'm pretty sure you're wrong.

Furthermore, considering that this is an explosion that is catching someone unawares, it seems perfectly reasonable to me. It's more "surprise damage" than "precision damage" here. I think that's OK and in-line with what Sneak Attack is supposed to do.

Forged Fury
2011-05-16, 02:32 PM
RAW, I'm pretty sure you're wrong.

Furthermore, considering that this is an explosion that is catching someone unawares, it seems perfectly reasonable to me. It's more "surprise damage" than "precision damage" here. I think that's OK and in-line with what Sneak Attack is supposed to do.
I'm not sure about the SA. The only rule I can think to compare it to is the one that says that damaging spells that require no attack rolls do not generate SA damage. Since you don't actually have to roll to hit splash-damage targets, I think that rule would make more sense.

I'll check out Rules Compendium tonight to see if they elaborated on it.

Again, thanks! I think this feat would actually make it fun to play a mad bomber type character.

Veyr
2011-05-16, 02:35 PM
For the record, I'm having a lot of fun as an "Alcheficer" (currently level 6, eventually planning on Artificer 5/Alchemist Savant 5/Master Alchemist 10 — note that Artificers will need a minor houserule to qualify and progress in Master Alchemist); anyone interested in the concept would do well to check out Djinn in Tonic's Alchemy stuff (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=75871). Of course, my character does not have any Sneak Attack damage.

DracoDei
2011-05-16, 04:04 PM
I don't know what Grenadier does. I will say that hitting more than maybe 2 targets is breaking the laws of physics a bit, but I guess that is OK. Fighters need nice things.

I will say that I find any objections based on hard damage limitations (NOT damage per gold-peice or damage per pound of encumberance) to be ridiculous in any group where rule zero is being applied correctly, and... well maybe this just seems obvious to me since I thought of it:
Why stop at vials of splash weapon liquids? As you hit higher levels there should be nothing stopping you from getting a glass-blower to make double-sized/triple-sized vials for the alchemist to fill. At higher levels you can go to wine-bottles... then extra-large wine bottles... Epic level barbarians pulling ceramic vessels the size of small wine-barrels out of their Bags of Holding and heaving them at the foes like Donkey Kong (except without the rolling and bouncing) are a very appealing image to me. As I implied though, the cost remains a problem, and depending on the character type the weight may also cause issues at some levels. Also, specifying metal cylinders lined with saw-dust filled quilted padding for your bandoleer of splash weapons becomes important so the GM doesn't justifiably make you roll an extra save not to die horribly if you fall into a pit-trap.

Forged Fury
2011-05-16, 04:44 PM
I don't know what Grenadier does. I will say that hitting more than maybe 2 targets is breaking the laws of physics a bit, but I guess that is OK. Fighters need nice things.
Grenadier doesn't do much, it simply gives an attack/damage bonus when using splash weapons, but serves as a good Prerequisite feat. The Shaped Splash feat, on the other hand, is basically this feat but caps at one additional target.

In a world of bottomless non-magical spell component pouches that aren't ruined by getting wet, I'm not too worried about realism.

Why stop at vials of splash weapon liquids? As you hit higher levels there should be nothing stopping you from getting a glass-blower to make double-sized/triple-sized vials for the alchemist to fill. At higher levels you can go to wine-bottles... then extra-large wine bottles... Epic level barbarians pulling ceramic vessels the size of small wine-barrels out of their Bags of Holding and heaving them at the foes like Donkey Kong (except without the rolling and bouncing) are a very appealing image to me. As I implied though, the cost remains a problem, and depending on the character type the weight may also cause issues at some levels.
Mainly because I'm trying to balance against published materials.


Also, specifying metal cylinders lined with saw-dust filled quilted padding for your bandoleer of splash weapons becomes important so the GM doesn't justifiably make you roll an extra save not to die horribly if you fall into a pit-trap.As far as I can tell, nothing in the RAW would necessarily cause your stuff to explode if you fell in a pit. I looked in several locations and the only thing I've found relevant to this is rolling a natural 1 on a Saving Throw. Really, if a DM pushed for it, everyone who owns potions, wands, and other easily breakable items should be checking as well.

Edit: Although shatter spells would suck. A Handy Haversack would probably be a must very quickly.

SilentNight
2011-05-16, 08:02 PM
I like this, I've got an Asherati grenadier in a campaign I've been contemplating running, this would make him a whole lot more dangerous.

Veklim
2011-05-17, 05:24 AM
Also, specifying metal cylinders lined with saw-dust filled quilted padding for your bandoleer of splash weapons becomes important so the GM doesn't justifiably make you roll an extra save not to die horribly if you fall into a pit-trap.

One of my players years ago had an alchemist who frequently had to roll percentiles in case of explosion, I gave a 1%/lb of alchemical materials chance of exploding every time he got hit by an area attack or sneak/critical. He got a bag of holding pretty damned fast too!

Veyr
2011-05-17, 09:11 AM
I think 1% chance is too high for "every attack". I'm playing my Alcheficer in a game where extradimensional places are... hard to get, I guess? I dunno, I've been told that things like Bags of Holding are effectively artifacts within the setting. As a result, my DM and I had a lengthy conversation about just when I would and would not be worried about explosions. We agreed that as someone with a lot of experience going into combat with explosive substances, he'd rigged his armor/bandolier so as not to explode on every hit, but big hits (things like coup d'grace, risk of death by massive damage, etc) could definitely set them off.

So far it hasn't come up, but then most of the hits he's taken have been magical curses...

Veklim
2011-05-17, 09:29 AM
It wasn't every attack, only sneaks (precise strike, etc), criticals and area effect damage would have a chance to set it off, his pack was reinforced from the start to avoid the worst of it. He even exploded once, only took a reasonably small(ish!) chunk of damage but lost most of his kit when it happened. The funnier bit was the 20 or so goblins which disintegrated and the shallow, smoking crater he was left standing in.


...Bags of Holding are effectively artifacts within the setting.

I've done much the same thing in a couple of my settings, seen one too many exploits using BoH to be entirely comfortable with them. Trouble is, they're nigh essential for a high level group unless you have a packhorse/tank type character to lug about the heavier stuff....or leadership for an entourage of course.

Veyr
2011-05-17, 03:24 PM
It wasn't every attack, only sneaks (precise strike, etc), criticals and area effect damage would have a chance to set it off, his pack was reinforced from the start to avoid the worst of it. He even exploded once, only took a reasonably small(ish!) chunk of damage but lost most of his kit when it happened. The funnier bit was the 20 or so goblins which disintegrated and the shallow, smoking crater he was left standing in.
Ah, yeah, that seems fair. That's actually an awesome story.


I've done much the same thing in a couple of my settings, seen one too many exploits using BoH to be entirely comfortable with them. Trouble is, they're nigh essential for a high level group unless you have a packhorse/tank type character to lug about the heavier stuff....or leadership for an entourage of course.
Abuse? I'm not aware of any...

In my eyes, Handy Haversacks exist purely to eliminate unnecessary bookkeeping. As such, they're a really important part of the game. Bags of Holding, too, though Handy Haversacks are usually better. In this particular game I'm in, it's necessary in order to reconcile how the planes and cosmology work (or something or some such; I'm not really clear on the how's and why's), but I generally consider the loss of such items to be to the detriment of the game, as you mention.

Though, I would point out that you don't need Leadership to have people carrying your stuff; you can just have hirelings for that.

Dustfinger
2011-05-20, 04:43 PM
Abuse? I'm not aware of any...

You have no idea how many big-baddies have been lost to the BoH in a Portable Hole trick. So expensive, yet so effective.


On a more reasonable note, I think this feat is pretty interesting although I think you should make it so everyone has to be adjacent to the initial target not the last hit. Otherwise if you had an 18 dexterity you could hit five people directly in a line and splash sixteen people.

That made me think of a little twist on this, maybe have it be only certain blast shapes with differean prereqs. For example, throwing it as a ranged attack instead of touch (Basically pitching it at them) they take a little extra damage for beingpelted with a glass bottle at high speeds and instead of it hitting adjacent characters it splashes in a cone behind them. Just an idea.

Veyr
2011-05-20, 04:46 PM
You have no idea how many big-baddies have been lost to the BoH in a Portable Hole trick. So expensive, yet so effective.
Not in 3.5, it isn't, anyway. There is no such trick, by RAW. The only relevant rule is that doing so is "hazardous". There is no clarification given to this. By RAW, you can be said to be in a "hazardous" state, but nothing else happens. Anything more than that is a houserule, and an ill-advised one.

Dralnu
2011-05-20, 04:48 PM
On a more reasonable note, I think this feat is pretty interesting although I think you should make it so everyone has to be adjacent to the initial target not the last hit. Otherwise if you had an 18 dexterity you could hit five people directly in a line and splash sixteen people.

I was about to say the same thing when I read the feat. Also, isn't there a grenadier type feat in PHB2? I don't have it on me to check.

Dustfinger
2011-05-20, 04:58 PM
I Also, isn't there a grenadier type feat in PHB2? I don't have it on me to check.

This is that feat from the book, it's not so great.

GRENADIER
You are skilled in using grenadelike weapons. You excel at
tossing them to just the right spot to maximize the amount of
damage they cause as they burst open upon the battlefield.
Benefit: You are an expert with splash weapons and all
manner of incendiary mixtures. You gain a +1 bonus on attack
rolls with splash weapons and a +1 bonus on the weapon’s
damage (including splash damage).
Special: A fighter can select Grenadier as one of his fi ghter
bonus feats.

Dralnu
2011-05-20, 05:02 PM
Yeah, that's not so good.

Still, I think it would be cool to come up with more homebrew grenadier type feats so you could pull off that archetype. Or maybe someone already has. And I've heard of an alchemist class in PF, hm.

Veyr
2011-05-20, 11:21 PM
3.5 can support this... somewhat. I recommend, more than houseruling in feats (of which there are a few, such as Shape Splash, plus things like Precise Shot are still relevant), is houseruling in worthwhile alchemical items. There's something of a dearth of those. I strongly recommend Djinn's items that I linked to earlier, and also, it might be worth looking at Athas.org's 3.5 Dark Sun (http://www.athas.org/), which has some better-balanced alchemical items in it.

Although feats are not super-important to improving this archetype, this is nonetheless a good feat to introduce since it's better than Shape Splash, not Halfling-only, and gives Grenadier at least some purpose, which it lacked before. But feats aren't really the main thing this needs.

Taking Artificer, I think, is a pretty natural lead-in. They're good at crafting items, they get decent armor proficiencies and medium BAB, and they won't feel stupid chucking potions of spells they could simply cast (as most mages will). They also qualify for Alchemist Savant, which is basically crucial due to Efficient Alchemy and the preposterously long times that mundane crafting takes. Spellvials add some very-much-needed versatility, but they're god-awful expensive to brew...

The other primary alternative is Rogue, to take advantage of Sneak Attack on the splashes. This is pretty fun, and the damage can be respectable though not great. Which is a good thing, because getting respectable damage on alchemical items can be hard.

A flavorful fit, by the way, but not one that I think is much good, is the aforementioned Athas.org Dark Sun version of the Bard. It swaps out spellcasting for some abilities, a few of which are poison and alchemy related. It's cool but not particularly strong.

NineThePuma
2011-05-20, 11:37 PM
Alchemist Savant 5/Master Alchemist 10

Sources on the PrCs?

Veyr
2011-05-20, 11:45 PM
Alchemist Savant is Magic of Eberron pg. 53-57, Master Alchemist is Magic of Faerūn pg. 34-35, which poses something of an issue. However, the Master Alchemist does not have any setting-specific fluff, and the Alchemist Savant has a specific Adaptation for non-Eberron campaigns, so I doubt many DMs will have a problem with using both. The bigger problem for the build I proposed is that Master Alchemist specifically states that it requires 4th level "Arcane or Divine spells", of which Artificer Infusions are neither.

NineThePuma
2011-05-20, 11:50 PM
The reason for that requirement is because you must be a "spell caster" to craft Alchemical items. If you can craft alchemical items, I'm not gonna bat an eye at that prerequisite. x3

Forged Fury
2011-05-24, 09:44 AM
Also, isn't there a grenadier type feat in PHB2? I don't have it on me to check.
Yes, Greandier is listed as a prerequisite of this feat. There's also Mad Alchemist. I haven't yet checked to see if there is significant potential of abuse with Mad Alchemist and this proposed feat.


On a more reasonable note, I think this feat is pretty interesting although I think you should make it so everyone has to be adjacent to the initial target not the last hit. Otherwise if you had an 18 dexterity you could hit five people directly in a line and splash sixteen people.I guess I never really considered the splash a big deal since the splash only does 2 points of damage with the prerequisite Grenadier feat (I guess double that if they're vulnerable to the energy type). I guess it could add up with iteratives, but each toss is making you poorer (and in a more significant manner than, say, an arrow) and you're effectively getting something similar to a CL2 fireball or lightning bolt.

Also, unless you eliminate the part where each additional hit also produces normal splash damage (with no overlap), even only allowing additional primary targets adjacent to the first target can net large numbers of splash targets. For instance:

P = Primary
X = Secondary
S = Splash

___________
|S|S|S|S|_|
|S|X|X|S|S|
|S|S|P|X|S|
|_|S|S|X|S|
|_|_|S|S|S|


I guess you're saying do it like this:

___________
|_|_|_|_|_|
|_|X|X|S|_|
|_|S|P|X|_|
|_|S|S|X|_|
|_|_|_|_|_|

It's certainly a bit more realistic, I just don't know if it brings down the power-level that much. Those "S" squares being removed are only doing 2-4 HP of damage.

Veklim
2011-05-24, 09:56 AM
What would happen to the splash if you took weapon spec though? Then you need to consider the idea of bigger and better grenade-like weapons being homebrewed by thousands of people who've noticed the complete lack of point in them past level 4! I'm an ardent supporter of this feat, it's sweet and simple and makes grenades worth using, but I have to agree with Dustfinger on this.

On a related note, I'm thinking of trying to put together spell-enhanced grenades which deliver an area effect weakness to the energy type they deal, making them an increased hazard. This means you end up with 2 saves, for example you make a pot of (dire?) alchemist's fire, it has a fire vulnerability effect on it so when it hits, the target gets a will save to resist the vulnerability, THEN a reflex save for half the damage. This means you would need to pass both saves to take half damage, pass one to take normal, and take double damage if you fail both.
Is this a pheasible idea?

Forged Fury
2011-05-24, 10:09 AM
What would happen to the splash if you took weapon spec though?I'm not sure you can take Weapon Focus in the first place since you don't have "Proficiency with selected weapon". If you can, it would probably have to be restricted to a certain type of splash weapon (i.e. Alchemist's Fire or Acid) which is pretty restrictive. In either event, Weapon Specialization only applies a bonus to damage rolls made with the selected weapon. Splash damage isn't rolled, so it isn't effected.

Then you need to consider the idea of bigger and better grenade-like weapons being homebrewed by thousands of people who've noticed the complete lack of point in them past level 4! I'm an ardent supporter of this feat, it's sweet and simple and makes grenades worth using, but I have to agree with Dustfinger on this.
I think I mentioned that I was only balancing against published materials somewhere in the post, I wasn't planning on balancing to homebrew. To me, it's up to the DM to decide what homebrew they allow in. This feat is an attempt to make grenade-like weapons useful within the current framework of the game. Obviously, if there are homebrew grenade-like weapons that are considerably more powerful than published materials, the feat could become imbalanced, at which point a DM shouldn't allow it.

(Note to self: Check out the kobold bombs in Races of the Dragon for balance issues).

Veyr
2011-05-24, 10:23 AM
I'm not sure about the SA. The only rule I can think to compare it to is the one that says that damaging spells that require no attack rolls do not generate SA damage. Since you don't actually have to roll to hit splash-damage targets, I think that rule would make more sense.

I'll check out Rules Compendium tonight to see if they elaborated on it.

Again, thanks! I think this feat would actually make it fun to play a mad bomber type character.
There was a somewhat lengthy debate (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=200252) on this issue, and I am forced to concede that, by RAW, the splash damage most definitely does not carry Sneak Attack damage dice, only the direct hit.