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ideasmith
2012-03-12, 09:31 PM
Combat Rule Changes

These are the house rules I am considering to the combat rules.

RELAPSES

If, while both recovering and stable, you roll 00 on a recovery roll, you lose 1 hit point. An attending character may make a DC 15 Heal check to prevent this.

COMBAT FATIGUE

If, at the end of an encounter, you are at less than half normal hit points, you are fatigued.

IGNORING OPPONENTS

During your turn, you can declare that you are ignoring (or no longer ignoring) one or more opponents. This has the following effects:


The presence of an opponent you are ignoring cannot enable any other opponent to flank you.
You lose your Dexterity bonus to Armor Class (if any) against opponents you are ignoring.
Cannot make attacks of opportunity against opponents you are ignoring.
Your provoke attacks of opportunity against every opponent you are ignoring that threatens you. These attacks may be made at any point in the round, as long as the opponents threaten you at the time, are being ignored and does not exceed their per-round limits.


TAKING STOCK

Taking stock is a full-round action which does not provoke an attack of opportunity. While taking stock, you gain a +1 bonus to Listen,
If you spend a single round taking stock, on the following round you gain the following bonuses:


+1 insight bonus to attack rolls that round against any opponent you were aware of when you started taking stock.
+1 insight bonus to Armor Class that round against any opponent you were aware of when you started taking stock.
+1 insight bonus to Reflex saves that round against any opponent you were aware of when you started taking stock.
May take 10 on any skill checks you make that round


If you spend multiple consecutive rounds taking stock, on the subsequent round you gain the same bonuses above, but with the bonuses to attack rolls, armor class, and reflex saves multiplied by the number of rounds you took stock, to a maximum of *5.

Example: Dandelion Brookside, halfling rogue, spends 3 rounds taking stock. On the fourth round, she has a +3 bonus to attack rolls, a +3 bonus to Armor Class, a +3 bonus to Reflex saves, and can take 10 on the skill checks she makes.

PSYCHING UP

Psyching up is a full-round action which does not provoke an attack of opportunity. While taking stock, you gain a +1 bonus to Will saves.
If you spend a single round taking stock, on the following round you gain the following bonuses:


+1 morale bonus to attack rolls that round
+1 morale bonus to Fortitude and Will saves that round
+1 morale bonus to Concentration checks that round
2 + level*2 temporary hit points for that round


If you spend multiple rounds psyching up, on the subsequent round you gain the same bonuses above, but with the bonuses multiplied by the number of rounds you psyched up, to a maximum of *5.

When the encounter ends, or 10 rounds after you started psyching up in any case, you are fatigued, although this fatigue can be removed with 5 minutes of complete rest if you don’t become exhausted in the meantime. You cannot psyche up while fatigued or exhausted.


Change Log

3/16/2012

Replaced word “phase” with D&D game terms. Thank you, The Underlord.
Toned down penalties for ignoring opponents. Thank you, Yitzi.
Added bonus types to taking stock/psyching up. Thank you, Yitzi.
Changed temporary hit points. Thank you, Just to Browse.
Added restrictions to taking stock/psyching up. Thank you, Yitzi.

3/19/2012

Added easier recovery method for psyching up. Thank you, Yitzi.

3/21/2012

Toned down relapse effects. Thank you, PEACH.
Capped take stock/psych up effects. Thank you, Andaer.

RollynT.Glal
2012-03-13, 12:53 PM
My only problem with these homebrews, is Psyching Up.

All players would need to do is run into a room, roll initiative, run out of the room, and psych up while the monsters are chasing after them. You can't be interrupted while Psyching Up, or Taking Stock for that matter, so even if the monster catches them, the players get an automatic +1 to attack, and 5 temporary hp for the first round of every encounter.

Now if the party has a wizard, Wall of X spells would be the greatest party buff. The wizard casts the spell, creating a wall separating the party and their enemies, and the party now has "Concentration +1 round/level" rounds to Psych Up.

Let's say the wizard casts Wall of Ice and doesn't concentrate to keep it up, (that way the wizard can psych up too). Wall of Ice lasts for another 7 rounds, giving everybody in the party +7 unnamed attack bonus and +35 temporary hp.

The Underlord
2012-03-13, 02:10 PM
Whats a phase? :smallconfused:

ideasmith
2012-03-13, 02:11 PM
My only problem with these homebrews, is Psyching Up.
Thanks for your advice. While you have not convinced me on psyching up, further discussion has proven me wrong on other subjects.

All players would need to do is run into a room, roll initiative, run out of the room, and psych up while the monsters are chasing after them. You can't be interrupted while Psyching Up, or Taking Stock for that matter, so even if the monster catches them, the players get an automatic +1 to attack, and 5 temporary hp for the first round of every encounter.
That would be third round at the earliest, since the first round is being used to run out of the room, and the second round is being used to psyche up.

Now if the party has a wizard, Wall of X spells would be the greatest party buff. The wizard casts the spell, creating a wall separating the party and their enemies, and the party now has "Concentration +1 round/level" rounds to Psych Up.

Let's say the wizard casts Wall of Ice and doesn't concentrate to keep it up, (that way the wizard can psych up too). Wall of Ice lasts for another 7 rounds, giving everybody in the party +7 unnamed attack bonus and +35 temporary hp.
How is this a better buff than mass enlarge person, which has 70 times the duration and does not give the monsters 7 rounds of uninterrupted prep time?

ideasmith
2012-03-13, 02:13 PM
Whats a phase? :smallconfused:

A typo for round. Thanks for catching that. Will fix.

Yitzi
2012-03-13, 11:16 PM
IGNORING OPPONENTS

During your phase, you can declare that you are ignoring one or more opponents. The presence of an opponent you are ignoring cannot enable any other opponent to flank you. However, attacks on you by an opponent you are ignoring function as if you were helpless. Such an attack can be a coup de grace.

Way too extreme. "Helpless" implies far more than just not responding to what the individual is doing. Say that if you're ignoring an enemy you lose all DEX bonus to AC (even if you have Improved Uncanny Dodge), and you provoke an infinite number of Attacks of Opportunity from them (i.e. they can take as many AoOs as they have available, whenever they want).


TAKING STOCK

Taking stock is a full phase action which does not provoke an attack of opportunity. While taking stock, you gain a +1 bonus to Listen, Sense Motive, Spot and Survival checks.
If you spend a single phase taking stock, on the following phase you gain the following bonuses:

• +1 to attack rolls that phase
• +1 to Armor Class that phase
• +1 to Reflex saves that phase
• May take 10 on any skill checks you make that phase

If you spend multiple consecutive phases taking stock, on the subsequent phase you gain the same bonuses above, but with the bonuses to attack rolls, armor class, and reflex saves multiplied by the number of phases you took stock.

Example: Dandelion Brookside, halfling rogue, spends 3 rounds taking stock. On the fourth phase, she has a +3 bonus to attack rolls, a +3 bonus to Armor Class, a +3 bonus to Reflex saves, and can take 10 on the skill checks she makes.



A bit much. Make the AC bonus a dodge bonus, make the attack roll bonus count only rounds in which the target of the attack was present, and make the Reflex bonus not apply when DEX bonus to AC wouldn't apply (similarly to the save from Defensive Prescience), and it should be good.


PSYCHING UP

Psyching up is a full phase action which does not provoke an attack of opportunity. While taking stock, you gain a +1 bonus to Will saves.
If you spend a single phase taking stock, on the following phase you gain the following bonuses:

• +1 to attack rolls that phase
• +1 to Fortitude and Will saves that phase
• +1 to Concentration checks that phase
• 5 temporary hit points for that phase

If you spend multiple consecutive phases psyching up, on the subsequent phase you gain the same bonuses above, but with the bonuses multiplied by the number of phases you psyched up.

Similar to above, make the attack rolls dependent on the target having been there and the saves dependent on being aware of the attack.

ideasmith
2012-03-14, 04:09 PM
Way too extreme. "Helpless" implies far more than just not responding to what the individual is doing. Say that if you're ignoring an enemy you lose all DEX bonus to AC (even if you have Improved Uncanny Dodge), and you provoke an infinite number of Attacks of Opportunity from them (i.e. they can take as many AoOs as they have available, whenever they want).

Good idea. Thank you.


A bit much. Make the AC bonus a dodge bonus, make the attack roll bonus count only rounds in which the target of the attack was present, and make the Reflex bonus not apply when DEX bonus to AC wouldn't apply (similarly to the save from Defensive Prescience), and it should be good.

I’m inclined to go with all benefits lost of no Dex bonus would apply to AC. Much less bookkeeping, and makes about as much sense.


Similar to above, make the attack rolls dependent on the target having been there and the saves dependent on being aware of the attack.

Awareness is what taking stock is about. Psyching up is something else. Perhaps making the bonuses morale bonuses, and making the character dazed for a round afterwards?

Spiryt
2012-03-14, 04:15 PM
Interesting ideas for gritty feel, like that Fatigue thing.

Unfortunately, like with most things with 'gritty feel' in 3.5 stuff, it hurts already unoptimized characters, who are likely to loose a lot of HP by default.

Yitzi
2012-03-14, 04:52 PM
I’m inclined to go with all benefits lost of no Dex bonus would apply to AC.

The problem is that still allows someone to take stock or psych up for 5 minutes before even encountering the monster, and then get a huge bonus on their attack roll (since once the monster appears, they get DEX bonus to AC.) But for the other stuff, yeah what you said and what I said come out to essentially the same thing.


Awareness is what taking stock is about. Psyching up is something else. Perhaps making the bonuses morale bonuses, and making the character dazed for a round afterwards?

No, as it's not really a problem in general, only if they psych up for a while beforehand. Perhaps say you need a will save to psych up past a certain point (the more they psych up the higher the save is; I'd say a save DC equal to your bonus, with no save needed for a bonus under 10), and if you fail the save you can't psych up for 1 hour.

ideasmith
2012-03-14, 09:19 PM
Interesting ideas for gritty feel, like that Fatigue thing.

Thank you.


Unfortunately, like with most things with 'gritty feel' in 3.5 stuff, it hurts already unoptimized characters, who are likely to loose a lot of HP by default.

True, and that rule is therefore not appropriate to every campaign. Like most other rules.


The problem is that still allows someone to take stock or psych up for 5 minutes before even encountering the monster, and then get a huge bonus on their attack roll (since once the monster appears, they get DEX bonus to AC.) But for the other stuff, yeah what you said and what I said come out to essentially the same thing.

Since I still don’t like the bookkeeping for your solution, I’m now thinking a flat limit to the bonuses, perhaps scaling with level. (For flavor reasons, I’ll make them insight bonuses.)


No, as it's not really a problem in general, only if they psych up for a while beforehand. Perhaps say you need a will save to psych up past a certain point (the more they psych up the higher the save is; I'd say a save DC equal to your bonus, with no save needed for a bonus under 10), and if you fail the save you can't psych up for 1 hour.
So wizards would be better at psyching up than barbarians? I’m leaning towards with flat limits here too. (Morale bonuses, for flavor reasons.)

Yitzi
2012-03-14, 09:38 PM
Flat limits should work too...but if you go above the limit you have to start over at +1, not just stay psyched up for an hour until you meet enemies.

ideasmith
2012-03-14, 10:53 PM
Flat limits should work too...but if you go above the limit you have to start over at +1, not just stay psyched up for an hour until you meet enemies.

More like the enemies meeting the party, if the party is moving 5 feet per round. :smallbiggrin:

This rotating bonus looks like about as much bookkeeping as the ‘rounds target present’, while making less sense. Since the basic effect of this rule is to (on the average) halve the effect in problem situations, why not just cut the flat limit in half?

Just to Browse
2012-03-15, 04:26 AM
If your party is going to infinitely psych up and still adventure, slap them in the face because they're a bad party. And then have a rule about how it can only happen in combat--problem solved.

Taking stock and Psyching up are fine as is. These options are actually rather weak comparatively, because you could be spending your round moving and then tossing out spells or landing some hits, and instead you're using the whole round to get a +1 to attack rolls.

The thing bothering me the most is the Temp HP. You don't have the HP scale to class level, but at level 1 5 temp HP is nice and big, but at level 8 you don't really care at all. The HP should be something big, and I recommend something like (level x 2) + 2. This buffers level 1 characters a lot, but it doesn't go obsolete completely at high levels.

Yitzi
2012-03-15, 05:26 PM
More like the enemies meeting the party, if the party is moving 5 feet per round. :smallbiggrin:

True, although it's still relevant for "defend a location" adventures.


This rotating bonus looks like about as much bookkeeping as the ‘rounds target present’, while making less sense. Since the basic effect of this rule is to (on the average) halve the effect in problem situations, why not just cut the flat limit in half?

Sounds ok, although that's still a substantial advantage to whichever side is staying put and ready for an attack. It might be better just to say that you can psych up for only 20 rounds out of every hour; it'll be enough for the battle use, but means that you can't maintain it long-term.

ideasmith
2012-03-16, 08:45 PM
Original post revised. See change log for details. Probably still needs work.

If your party is going to infinitely psych up and still adventure, slap them in the face because they're a bad party. And then have a rule about how it can only happen in combat--problem solved.

Taking stock and Psyching up are fine as is. These options are actually rather weak comparatively, because you could be spending your round moving and then tossing out spells or landing some hits, and instead you're using the whole round to get a +1 to attack rolls.

I would rather not depend on DM fiat to fix my homebrew.


The thing bothering me the most is the Temp HP. You don't have the HP scale to class level, but at level 1 5 temp HP is nice and big, but at level 8 you don't really care at all. The HP should be something big, and I recommend something like (level x 2) + 2. This buffers level 1 characters a lot, but it doesn't go obsolete completely at high levels.
Good idea. Thank you.

True, although it's still relevant for "defend a location" adventures.



Sounds ok, although that's still a substantial advantage to whichever side is staying put and ready for an attack. It might be better just to say that you can psych up for only 20 rounds out of every hour; it'll be enough for the battle use, but means that you can't maintain it long-term.
I’ve put in variations of your ideas. How does it look now?

Yitzi
2012-03-18, 09:07 AM
Looks good, although you probably should specify how long the fatigue lasts.

ideasmith
2012-03-19, 06:57 PM
Looks good, although you probably should specify how long the fatigue lasts.

Good point. The standard 8 hours of complete rest is indeed overly punitive. have toned down.

PEACH
2012-03-19, 07:06 PM
RELAPSES

If, while both disabled and stable, you roll 00 on a recovery roll, your status reverts to dying.

This seems rather annoying. For one thing, it's a rather rare situation, dying only really matters (in most games) at levels 1-4 at most before you get decent healing options online and damage tends to be big enough being between 0 and -10 is less likely, and it has the "three crit confirms in a row is a kill" problem; it's meaningless against enemies but deadly against players.


COMBAT FATIGUE

If, at the end of an encounter, you are at less than half normal hit points, you are fatigued.


Penalizes martial classes far more than casters, since martial classes tend to use HP as a resource much more often. Just for that, I tend to dislike the concept, but since these tend to be "grittier," it's not necessarily awful. It's also, again, only really relevant for players.


IGNORING OPPONENTS

During your turn, you can declare that you are ignoring (or no longer ignoring) one or more opponents. This has the following effects:


The presence of an opponent you are ignoring cannot enable any other opponent to flank you.
You lose your Dexterity bonus to Armor Class (if any) against opponents you are ignoring.
Cannot make attacks of opportunity against opponents you are ignoring.
Your provoke attacks of opportunity against every opponent you are ignoring that threatens you. These attacks may be made at any point in the round, as long as the opponents threaten you at the time, are being ignored and does not exceed their per-round limits.


The only real use of this seems to be "I find this rogue's sneak attack damage so much more threatening than the entirety of another enemy I will take automatic AoOs to stop it?"

Also, it would *really* suck if the opponent had ways of making multiple AoOs, since instead of provoking on specific actions, you just seem to be constantly in a state where the opponent can, as an out of turn free action, say "I want to use one of my AoOs on you." That may need to be changed (perhaps one free provoke per round, plus any normal provocations?)


TAKING STOCK

Taking stock is a full-round action which does not provoke an attack of opportunity. While taking stock, you gain a +1 bonus to Listen,
If you spend a single round taking stock, on the following round you gain the following bonuses:


+1 insight bonus to attack rolls that round against any opponent you were aware of when you started taking stock.
+1 insight bonus to Armor Class that round against any opponent you were aware of when you started taking stock.
+1 insight bonus to Reflex saves that round against any opponent you were aware of when you started taking stock.
May take 10 on any skill checks you make that round


Not terrible, though the only thing worth the full round action is the ability to take 10 when it's really dangerous to fail.


If you spend multiple consecutive rounds taking stock, on the subsequent round you gain the same bonuses above, but with the bonuses to attack rolls, armor class, and reflex saves multiplied by the number of rounds you took stock.

Example: Dandelion Brookside, halfling rogue, spends 3 rounds taking stock. On the fourth round, she has a +3 bonus to attack rolls, a +3 bonus to Armor Class, a +3 bonus to Reflex saves, and can take 10 on the skill checks she makes.

Multiple full round actions in combat for a bonus that lasts one round after you stop doing it doesn't really make it any less inefficient.


PSYCHING UP

Psyching up is a full-round action which does not provoke an attack of opportunity. While taking stock, you gain a +1 bonus to Will saves.
If you spend a single round taking stock, on the following round you gain the following bonuses:


+1 morale bonus to attack rolls that round
+1 morale bonus to Fortitude and Will saves that round
+1 morale bonus to Concentration checks that round
2 + level*2 temporary hit points for that round


If you spend multiple rounds psyching up, on the subsequent round you gain the same bonuses above, but with the bonuses multiplied by the number of rounds you psyched up.

When the encounter ends, or 10 rounds after you started psyching up in any case, you are fatigued, although this fatigue can be removed with 5 minutes of complete rest if you don’t become exhausted in the meantime. You cannot psyche up while fatigued or exhausted.

Again, not particularly worth the full round action spent on doing it. Action economy is god, and minor bonuses are not worth it, except for you know, helping out your saves before you step into a trap.

Andaer
2012-03-19, 07:26 PM
I think that you should simply put a limit to how many turns a character can take stock and psyche up before it stops giving additional effects.

For example, cap it at 5 rounds. A character can still take stock for 7 rounds, but it will be just as powerful as if they did it for 5 rounds.

This way a character can't avoid every trap by waiting 2 minutes to gain a +20 to AC before walking down the trapped hallway.

Yitzi
2012-03-20, 10:56 AM
The only real use of this seems to be "I find this rogue's sneak attack damage so much more threatening than the entirety of another enemy I will take automatic AoOs to stop it?"

Pretty much. Classic example (perhaps someone can find the link) is when you have DR that makes the flanking enemy's attack completely ineffective.


Also, it would *really* suck if the opponent had ways of making multiple AoOs, since instead of provoking on specific actions, you just seem to be constantly in a state where the opponent can, as an out of turn free action, say "I want to use one of my AoOs on you."

Not constantly; AFAIK there is no way to get unlimited AoOs. But yes, doing this toward someone with Combat Reflexes is pretty much suicide unless his attacks are nearly harmless to you.


Not terrible, though the only thing worth the full round action is the ability to take 10 when it's really dangerous to fail.

Depends; if you can't attack that round anyway for whatever reason, it can be useful. Also, if you have an alpha strike attack, or he has an alpha strike attack that requires setup, the boost to offense or defense can be worth it.


Action economy is god

Depends on the circumstances and the exchange rate you can get. Doubling your actions is inferior to tripling the power of each action. But yes, in this case it requires special circumstances to make it worthwhile.

Just to Browse
2012-03-21, 01:53 AM
I agree with PEACH, maintaining that Psyching Up and Taking Stock are very weak (except for that temp HP thing).

For example: Let's say someone takes stock to make a more accurate attack. Their miss chance is x (from 0 to 1). Now, taking stock and attacking results in a miss chance of x - .05 (that is 5%, derived from the +1 on a d20 roll). Comparing that to the chance of just attacking twice (a miss chance of x^2 in total).

x^2 < x - .05 yields x < .053, approximately. So the only time psyching up is more valuable than just attacking twice is when your chance to hit is on a natural 20. Mathematically, psyching up is entirely inferior to a standard attack routine. This applies, in fact, to all +1 bonuses on d20 rolls, and we're not even accounting full attacks, or maneuverability!

Andaer
2012-03-21, 08:54 AM
Uhh, guys? What if an enemy is not near you? Like you see an enemy and they would take 3 turns to get to you. Or if you are hiding, or they are otherwise unaware of you.

It's not useful to use instead of an attack. It's useful when rushing in to attack is dumb.

Just put a 5 round cap on it to be safe, and that's that.

PEACH
2012-03-21, 10:43 AM
When is that situation ever relevant in D&D? The effective ranges on attacks in D&D are so long, and mobility so frequently obtained, that having a guy that's "too far away to attack" is not usually a problem. If he is too far away to attack, readied actions or actually useful buff spells (or both!) are much more efficient uses of your time. If the plan is "wait until he gets into range, then attack," readying an action to him him at that point is still more efficient than psyching up so you can do it on your round.

Andaer
2012-03-21, 11:11 AM
But reading an action can be wasted the conditions aren't met. Like if it's something of human level intelligence and it knows what you're doing. Plus, unleashing a readied action resets you in the initiative order, so if you don't have buff spells (like most classes) might as well have a stronger attack or temp hp, or better defenses.

Or what if it's a monster with reach? Then readying an action to attack it when it gets into range doesn't work.

Monsters do more than just run up and attack you, or cast one kind of spell. (or at least they should) They can notice that you are reading your blade, and act tactically. Having an option that isn't wasted if the monster stops out of your range and casts a buff spell is a good thing.

and what of the overwhelmingly good bonuses it has out of combat?

ideasmith
2012-03-21, 03:05 PM
This seems rather annoying. For one thing, it's a rather rare situation, dying only really matters (in most games) at levels 1-4 at most before you get decent healing options online and damage tends to be big enough being between 0 and -10 is less likely, and it has the "three crit confirms in a row is a kill" problem; it's meaningless against enemies but deadly against players.

Have now toned down the effects, but if the party finds a recovering creature, I totally want some chance of the creature dying on them if left untreated.


The only real use of this seems to be "I find this rogue's sneak attack damage so much more threatening than the entirety of another enemy I will take automatic AoOs to stop it?"

There are others, like if someone casts summon blind kobold in order to abuse the flanking rules. They may be rare, but not having this option when it makes sense (or one thinks it makes sense) can be very frustrating.


Also, it would *really* suck if the opponent had ways of making multiple AoOs, since instead of provoking on specific actions, you just seem to be constantly in a state where the opponent can, as an out of turn free action, say "I want to use one of my AoOs on you." That may need to be changed (perhaps one free provoke per round, plus any normal provocations?)

Ignoring a dangerous opponent should be seriously dangerous, especially if said opponent is right next to you. And if an opponent is especially good at taking advantage of inattention, ignoring that opponent should be even more dangerous.


Not terrible, though the only thing worth the full round action is the ability to take 10 when it's really dangerous to fail.



Multiple full round actions in combat for a bonus that lasts one round after you stop doing it doesn't really make it any less inefficient.



Again, not particularly worth the full round action spent on doing it. Action economy is god, and minor bonuses are not worth it, except for you know, helping out your saves before you step into a trap.


I think that you should simply put a limit to how many turns a character can take stock and psyche up before it stops giving additional effects.

For example, cap it at 5 rounds. A character can still take stock for 7 rounds, but it will be just as powerful as if they did it for 5 rounds.

This way a character can't avoid every trap by waiting 2 minutes to gain a +20 to AC before walking down the trapped hallway.

You’ve convinced me. Done.

Andaer
2012-03-22, 09:38 AM
Cool, good to hear.