PDA

View Full Version : A knightly issue



Worlok
2011-07-21, 12:15 PM
No, it's not a Paladin thread. :smallbiggrin:

I have questions concerning two class features of PHBII's knight (http://www.wizards.com/default.asp?x=dnd/ex/20060501a&page=2):

Firstly: How is the "Bulwark of Defense" supposed to work? "An opponent that begins its turn in your threatened area treats all the squares that you threaten as difficult terrain." What? I mean, if you were to threaten with a ranged weapon, which, if I recall correctly, doesn't even happen, I could understand that it's some sort of advanced charge blocker, but this way, I have to ask:

Difficult terrain only really comes into play when charging, right?

Noone charges from you from the square next to yours, right?

People who intend to charge someone else in the party would likely try very much not to get within arm's reach of the big dude in full plate, right?

Those engaged in melee with you would probably not try to run around you in circles, negating any and all logical scenarios in which the whole thing could be useful, right?

Am I missing something here? And, even if not, would it be prudent and reasonable to rewrite it into something like "When you are fighting defensively, opponents treat every square you threaten as difficult terrain."?

Secondly, would the "Shield Block" also work if your knight were to use, say, two weapons, rather than one and a shield, to get an increasable shield bonus out of Two-Weapon Defense?

Diarmuid
2011-07-21, 12:19 PM
Difficult Terrain comes into play for more than Charging. Any movement through difficult terrain costs double, and penalties for things like Tumbling could be applied.

The Knight's "threatened area" is usually going to be the 5' of squares around his, but if he has a Reach weapon, that group of threatened squares changes.

Lord Loss
2011-07-21, 12:25 PM
The Knight is a ridiculously weak class. To get more usage out of the Bulwark of Defense class feature, I reccomend changing it to:

"Opponents treat the knight's threatened area as difficult terrain". That way he gets an advantage on chargers, as well as the main effect of the ability, which is to stop creatures from takinga five-foot step away from him (and therefore avoid an Attack of opportunity).

Worlok
2011-07-21, 12:37 PM
Difficult Terrain comes into play for more than Charging. Any movement through difficult terrain costs double, and penalties for things like Tumbling could be applied.

The Knight's "threatened area" is usually going to be the 5' of squares around his, but if he has a Reach weapon, that group of threatened squares changes.
First off, thank you for your time. :smallsmile:

But I am afraid that still doesn't make it any more useful. After all, even with a reach weapon, you don't threaten enough ground to ever have the mechanical penalties apply to any one opponent in a meaningful way, except in the very particular scenarios of someone having come at you from far enough away on his or her last turn for a hampering of movement speed to be something to worry about or your opponent having reason to run away at full speed - and stabbing a fleeing man in the back seems to be somewhat counter to the flavor of the class. :smallconfused:

Ninja-awareness just alerted me to this:


The Knight is a ridiculously weak class. To get more usage out of the Bulwark of Defense class feature, I reccomend changing it to:

"Opponents treat the knight's threatened area as difficult terrain". That way he gets an advantage on chargers, as well as the main effect of the ability, which is to stop creatures from takinga five-foot step away from him (and therefore avoid an Attack of opportunity).
Now, that does seem to be a good idea - I think I'm going to go with this, actually. (Even though I still think that to prevent an opponent from fleeing is not a very knightly thing to do.)

Thanks to both of you. :smallsmile:

Diarmuid
2011-07-21, 12:42 PM
Think about this though, anyone you move to threaten will automatically start their turn in your difficult terrain. Caster cant 5' step, and that person now cant charge.

While I agree that it's more useful applied the other way, that's an interpretation so if it's your game no problem, but other DM's may not be so kind.

FMArthur
2011-07-21, 12:44 PM
You also can't 5ft step in difficult terrain.

Ksheep
2011-07-21, 12:47 PM
I'd think that one of the main things it does is the tumble bit. Makes it harder for a rogue to come up to you and tumble to the other side to be flanking with one of his allies. But other then that specific instance, it does seem kinda weak. I'd suggest using the change mentioned above... although it would be far to easy to exploit then with a ranged weapon. I'd probably change it further to say that it only applies when wielding a melee weapon.

Diarmuid
2011-07-21, 12:48 PM
Outside of a few feats that allow you to threaten around you with a bow, I dont know of many ways to "threaten" with a Ranged weapon so I dont see that as being that huge a problem.

OracleofSilence
2011-07-21, 12:48 PM
i agree with Lord Loss. stay clear of the knight if at all possible. if you are dead set on this class, stick with 1, 3, or 4 level dip, although by that point you are beginning to seriously harm your competitive abilities. then go with Warblade, Crusader, or even Fighter. All of these should benefit from the Knights Challenge, Crusader in particular, but really i would avoid it all together.

Diarmuid
2011-07-21, 12:52 PM
Oracle and Lord's advice should include the caveat "if you're aiming at high levels of optimization".

If you're not worried about optimization then please feel free to explore the Knight and it's large wealth of Role Playing possibilities.

averagejoe
2011-07-21, 12:53 PM
Think about this though, anyone you move to threaten will automatically start their turn in your difficult terrain. Caster cant 5' step, and that person now cant charge.

While I agree that it's more useful applied the other way, that's an interpretation so if it's your game no problem, but other DM's may not be so kind.

Actually, the caster can 5-foot step, barring action-interrupting shenanigans. You can't 5-foot step into a square of difficult terrain, but the rules say nothing about going out of one. Same with the charger, unless his movement needs to intersect with two of your squares (more possible, since charging must be in a straight line.)

It does help prevent people 5-foot stepping around you for flanks, though.

FMArthur
2011-07-21, 01:11 PM
Oracle and Lord's advice should include the caveat "if you're aiming at high levels of optimization".

If you're not worried about optimization then please feel free to explore the Knight and it's large wealth of Role Playing possibilities.

It has no more roleplaying possibilities than any other class. You can roleplay a fighter or a cleric or a psychic warrior or whatever you want to as a knight just as well as you could before they introduced a class called "Knight". Its introduction did not suddenly foist roleplaying restrictions onto other classes that made them incapable of behaving in knightly fashion, nor does playing a better class reduce your ability to roleplay in any way unless incompetence is key to the character you're trying to roleplay.

Worlok
2011-07-21, 01:16 PM
Oh wow, this thread grew and grew while I was typing. :smalleek:

Thanks for your expertise, everyone. It really helped me get an idea of this.

As for optimisation, all I really know about that is that multiclassing casters sometimes limits their potential, so that's not really a concern. I'm not sure I'll be playing much anytime soon and usually just play whatever allows me to try out ideas which I thought sounded cool. The actual background for me asking today is that I've recently found myself toying with an idea for an encounter based on the Viking at Stamford Bridge, the hypothetical PCs taking the part of the "Saxons" in that particular scene - and the knight had been suggested to me as it has a focus on defense. But bearing all your advice in mind, I think I'm actually going to go with a fighter. Or have him be a dwarf, advancing as Dwarven Defender. That might actually synergise well, all things considered.

Anyhow, thanks again. :smallsmile:

Lord Loss
2011-07-21, 01:24 PM
The Dwarven Defender is even worse than the Knight, unfortunately. It's class abilities are only effective when it stands still, which makes it about as threatening as a post.

Unless it's in a situation that maximizes its abilities like a tunnel. Come to think about it, a multiclass Knight/Fighter/Dwarven defender in a narrow tunnel (or other situation forcing the characters to approch the Defender) could be a decent encounter, especially if he was backed by ranged/mobile attackers of some sort.

FMArthur
2011-07-21, 01:29 PM
If you're trying to emulate Knight abilities using a stronger class, Crusader is absolutely the go-to class for it. They are the quintessential melee protector/tank class, and are actually good at it (as well as being good at other combat as well). Ardents can also do it quite well or in combination with Crusader levels, but you need to sort through more lists of things to get an Ardent going and their abilities are more magical than you might be aiming for.

OracleofSilence
2011-07-21, 01:34 PM
eh, even with the Dwarven Defender as a NPC in an enclosed space, they still are awful as an encounter. Time Hop: he vanishes for a few rounds. he becomes useless. this is from a PC that is lower level then him.

Salanmander
2011-07-21, 02:40 PM
When we're discussing the knight's abilities that utilize your threatened squares, and whether or not their useful, i think it's reasonable to assume at least 10' reach. Any knight played for mechanical usefulness will have a spiked chain or equivalent (polearm + armor spikes, natural weapon, IUS, whatever).

Once you have 10' reach, it actually /does/ let you prevent casters from 5' stepping away, etc.

GeekGirl
2011-07-21, 02:56 PM
As far as I know Bulwark of Defense does nothing to against charges. "An opponent that begins its turn in your threatened area treats all the squares that you threaten as difficult terrain." If they are already in a threatened area they can't charge.

FMArthur
2011-07-21, 04:03 PM
As far as I know Bulwark of Defense does nothing to against charges. "An opponent that begins its turn in your threatened area treats all the squares that you threaten as difficult terrain." If they are already in a threatened area they can't charge.

Who is this post meant for? This information was already the cornerstone of the opening post. :smallconfused:

Greenish
2011-07-21, 04:13 PM
Difficult terrain only really comes into play when charging, right?Wrong.

Noone charges from you from the square next to yours, right?Correct, but wrong premise: you can threaten beyond adjacent squares. Getting more threatening range isn't that difficult, and battles in my experience usually occur in somewhat limited space.

People who intend to charge someone else in the party would likely try very much not to get within arm's reach of the big dude in full plate, right?Hence the big dude in full plate has those sticks called "legs" glued to his backside, I imagine.

Or, hey, get a horse.

Those engaged in melee with you would probably not try to run around you in circles, negating any and all logical scenarios in which the whole thing could be useful, right?I think a spellcaster, an archer or someone with a reach weapon might well want to try to 5' step away from said big dude.

Am I missing something here? And, even if not, would it be prudent and reasonable to rewrite it into something like "When you are fighting defensively, opponents treat every square you threaten as difficult terrain."?You have to attack to fight defensively, so you need to have someone within reach (or have a ranged weapon that threatens) to use it, so it really wouldn't be that great for breaking charges.

Besides, fighting defensively sucks.

Worlok
2011-07-21, 04:38 PM
Well, all that information taken in, I think I will definitely have to take this encounter from a different angle... Perhaps this guy should be a crusader, after all. Maybe a hint of barbarian, with rage and all that damage-delaying, he'll probably get nasty enough. With Stone Dragon being balance-keyed and all, that could actually give him an edge on his small little bridge. Throw in Combat Reflexes, Hold the Line and a reach weapon, and we're definitely going to get somewhere... :smallamused: