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Altair_the_Vexed
2013-05-19, 04:25 AM
Pathfinder's combat manoeuvre system is simple, and easier to remember. That makes it more attractive at first than the relatively clunky d20 / D&D 3.x system.
But it's still flawed: there are some nerfs from the d20 rules that aren't really justified, and the provoking of Attack of Opportunity makes attempting combat manoeuvres unattractive to players unless they've specialised.

All manoeuvres:
Some conventions first: I'll use the British English spelling throughout ('cause it's my native English), and I'll refer to the proactive combat manoeuvre check as a combat manoeuvre attack, and so call the bonus CMA, instead of CMB. (At my table, we found that CMB and CMD sound similar enough to be confusing, so we changed it.)

Combat Manoeuvre Defence is based on your STR or DEX modifier, not both. CMD scales very differently to CMA, making combat manoeuvres less useful at higher level, further punishing the mundane classes.
So, instead:CMD = 10 + BAB + STR or DEX modifier + size modifier


Attacks of Opportunity: An attack of opportunity is provoked only if you fail your combat manoeuvre attack.
This makes combat manoeuvres more attractive to attempt - which encourages players to be more inventive.

Feats are updated: For Improved <Combat Manoeuvre Name> you still avoid AoO, but as that's no longer such a big deal, the bonus to CMA is increased to +4. (This bonus is in line with d20's bonus.) The bonus to CMD remains +2.

The Rule of Thumb
Players can propose any combat manoeuvre. The GM must decide whether this is equivalent to one of the existing manoeuvres, or rule what the outcome will be for a new style of manoeuvre.
The attacker makes a combat manoeuvre attack against the opponent's combat manoeuvre defence. If the attacker wins, the combat manoeuvre works. If the defender wins, he may make an attack of opportunity against the attacker, and the attacker gains no advantage.

Specific manoeuvres changes:

Bull Rush
Bull rush provokes attacks of opportunity. The movement of you and your target provokes AoO. There is a 25% chance that opportunity attacks on you will hit your target, and vice versa.

Improved Bull Rush reduces the chance that you will be hit by AoO. Attacks of Opportunity on you will hit your target 50% of the time, but Attacks of Opportunity on your target will hit you only 10% of the time.

Greater Bull Rush negates the chance that AoO on your target will hit you. You no longer provoke AoO if you move during a Bull Rush.
Additionally, you may knock back your opponent without moving with them, if you wish.

Grapple
Instead of a standard action, a grapple CMA is made in place of a melee attack.

Trip
Improved Trip grants the ability to reduce the fly speed of a creature by half (minimum 10ft) for one round.
Greater Trip grants the ability to truly trip flying creatures.

I've never been comfortable with the verisimilitude of d20's permission to trip flying creatures, but I think that as a compromise, specialisation in the manoeuvre should allow some capacity to do so.

EDIT: Added change to CMD

137ben
2013-05-19, 05:16 AM
One thing that bothers me about RAW CMB/CMD is that you get to add your dex bonus AND strength bonus to CMD, but only your str bonus to CMB, making defending easier and discouraging maneuvers. I suggest that dex also contribute to CMB/CMA.
Other than that, I like your changes. Proposing a creative maneuver on the spot based on the terrain/environment seems like what maneuvers were meant for.

Altair_the_Vexed
2013-05-19, 05:49 AM
Maybe CMD should be 10 + BAB + STR or DEX modifier..?

It seems to me that DEX is more usually used for defence, but that good STR might be useful for most combat manoeuvres - so the choice of one of the other will solve the problems incurred by using both, but allow different fighting styles.

Marcus Amakar
2013-05-19, 05:53 AM
I like the changes and especially the addition about creating manoeuvres on the fly.

I also worry about both Strength and Dexterity being added to CMD, meaning it'll scale quicker than CMA, although this may only be a problem at higher levels. Perhaps make it Strength only, but then introduce the following feat?

Combat Finesse:
Prerequisites: Dex 15, BAB +1
Benefit: Use your Dexterity bonus in place of your strength bonus on CMA and CMD.

Overall though, this is good, and I think I'll unashamedly steal this for the homebrew E6 rules I'm working on. :smalltongue:

Altair_the_Vexed
2013-05-19, 06:10 AM
...
I also worry about both Strength and Dexterity being added to CMD, meaning it'll scale quicker than CMA, although this may only be a problem at higher levels. ...

I've got a fix for that already!


Maybe CMD should be 10 + BAB + STR or DEX modifier..?

It seems to me that DEX is more usually used for defence, but that good STR might be useful for most combat manoeuvres - so the choice of one of the other will solve the problems incurred by using both, but allow different fighting styles.

I'll stick it in the OP.

Marcus Amakar
2013-05-19, 09:59 AM
I've got a fix for that already!

Must have ninja'd me. Can't see anything else that could be improved, it looks very solid.

Also, could you give an example of a type of manoeuvre a PC could come up with on the fly?

Prime32
2013-05-19, 10:20 AM
Attacks of Opportunity: An attack of opportunity is provoked only if you fail your combat manoeuvre attack.
This makes combat manoeuvres more attractive to attempt - which encourages players to be more inventive.That's still pretty risky compared to a normal attack. Easier to give everyone the Improved <Combat Maneuver> feats for free (ignoring the +2/+2 since it cancels out); whenever anyone would gain an Improved <Combat Maneuver> feat, they gain the appropriate Greater <Combat Maneuver> instead. Remove the Combat Expertise prereq while you're at it.

Among other things, this makes monks cry a little less.


I've never been comfortable with the verisimilitude of d20's permission to trip flying creatures, but I think that as a compromise, specialisation in the manoeuvre should allow some capacity to do so.Tripping isn't all kicking at peoples' legs to knock them off-balance. Wolves and fleshrakers get automatic trip attempts by jumping at peoples' faces. :smalltongue: And why wouldn't knocking someone's wings out of position affect their ability to fly anyway? :smallconfused:

Altair_the_Vexed
2013-05-19, 11:54 AM
...
And why wouldn't knocking someone's wings out of position affect their ability to fly anyway? :smallconfused:
Plenty of creatures fly without wings in fantasy RPGs. I stand by my rule.

Nakun
2013-05-19, 07:05 PM
@Marcus Amakar

There's already a PF feat, Agile Maneuvers (http://paizo.com/pathfinderRPG/prd/feats.html#_agile-maneuvers) That lets you sub in your Dex instead of strength for CMAs. I definitely encourage your use of this. your feat since I saw another thread about this a few days ago.

For the system, my first gripe is that CMA reminds me of the Country Music Awards, but I agree we can't have CMB and CMD...Stupid acronyms.

On a more serious note, because I'm trying to walk between E6's need for feats and a huge feat tax in standard 3.X, I've been considering keeping the Improved CMA feats as a +2 to CMA and CMD, but then having them scale to an additional +2 to CMA at a later level. I think this might help the power progression some.

Vadskye
2013-05-20, 06:27 PM
The similarity of CMB and CMD has been annoying me, too. I'll try CMA and see if it makes sense to people.

Incidentally, I would suggest that combat maneuvers provoke only if they fail by 10 or more - and that this AoO cannot be avoided, even with the "Improved" feat for that maneuver. I have been using this in my system for a while, and it has resulted in people being much more creative. Instead of avoiding the AoO, the Improved feat grants a special ability unique to each maneuver. Improved Overrun removes the ability to avoid, Improved Disarm causes the weapon to land 15' away, Improved Feint allows you to feint as a move action, and so on.