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  1. - Top - End - #1
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    jiriku's Avatar

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    Default [3.5] Feat-balancing help needed - Combat Form feats

    Player's Handbook 2 included an interesting new feat type, the Combat Form feats. The iconic feat, Combat Focus, allows a martial character to assume a focused state (similar to becoming psionically focused) the first time he hits in melee combat. The various Combat Form feats grant benefits while you are focused or when you expend your focus. The idea was promising, but the feats were mediocre-to-poor, and nothing ever came of it.

    Until now.

    Combat Forms are back! Below you'll find remixed versions of the original six Combat Form feats, along with six seven eight new Combat Form feats intended to support higher level play. I'm developing a fighter remix (yeah, I know, like we don't have enough of those) that will include a "disciplined fighter" variant that can make special use of Combat Focus. But before I post that, I want to make sure the feat choices are good!

    Please critique generously, Playgrounders! I need feat-building advice to make these feat options attractive and well-balanced.

    Combat Forms Remixed:

    COMBAT FOCUS [Combat Form, Fighter]
    The way of the warrior requires more than simple, brute strength. Some warriors bring their minds to such keen focus during the heat of battle that they can attain superhuman levels of endurance, perception, and mental toughness. Through intense mental exercise and training, you learn to enter a state of perfect martial clarity.
    Spoiler
    Show
    Prerequisite: Wis 13
    Benefit: In battle, you push aside the chaos of the fight and attain a focused state that grants you a keen, clear picture of the battle. Fear and pain ebb away as you focus solely on defeating your enemy. The first time you make a successful attack during an encounter, you gain your combat focus. In this state, your mind and body become one, allowing you to overcome mundane physical limits. You can maintain your combat focus for 10 rounds after entering it, +1 additional round per combat form feat you possess aside from this one. You can only gain your combat focus once per encounter.
    While you are maintaining your combat focus, you gain a +2 bonus on Will saves.
    Expend: You can expend your combat focus whenever you roll a natural 1 on a Will save to instead treat the result as a natural 20. This does not require an action.
    Advancement: If you have three or more combat form feats, this bonus increases to +4.
    If you also have disciplined fighter level 1st, you can gain your combat focus any number of times per encounter, but only once per round. The first time you make a successful attack during a round, you gain your combat focus.


    COMBAT AWARENESS [Combat Form, Fighter]
    When you maintain your combat focus, you have an uncanny ability to sense the ebb and flow of your opponent's vitality. As you attain greater mastery of this fighting style, you learn to sense a foe's presence even with your eyes closed.
    Spoiler
    Show
    Prerequisites: Wis 13, Blind-Fight, Combat Focus, base attack bonus +8
    Benefit: While maintaining your combat focus, you learn the current hit point total of each adjacent opponent and ally, and gain a competence bonus to Sense Motive checks equal to the number of Combat Form feats you possess.
    Advancement: If you have three or more combat form feats, you gain blindsight out to 5 feet.
    If you have eight or more combat form feats, your blindsight and awareness of hit point totals extends out to 30 feet, and you may reroll your miss chance once when attacking incorporeal creatures with melee or ranged weapons.


    COMBAT DEFENSE [Combat Form, Fighter]
    The state of keen focus and mental discipline you attain in combat allows you to ward away even glancing touches with careful, precise maneuvers.
    Spoiler
    Show
    Prerequisites: Dex 13, Wis 13, Combat Focus, Dodge, base attack bonus +6
    Benefit: While you maintain your combat focus, you add your armor bonus to Armor Class to your touch AC. You lose this bonus whenever you are denied your dodge bonus to AC.
    Expend: On your turn as a free action, you can expend your combat focus to gain a 20% miss chance until the beginning of your next turn.
    Advancement: If you have eight or more combat form feats, you gain 50% miss chance when expending your combat focus.


    COMBAT STABILITY [Combat Form, Fighter]
    When you maintain your combat focus, you become difficult to dislodge. Your muscles lock into an unyielding position, granting you superior ability to resist trip attacks, bull rushes, disarms, and similar effects.
    Spoiler
    Show
    Prerequisites: Wis 13, Combat Focus, base attack bonus +3
    Benefit: While you maintain your combat focus, you gain a +4 bonus on checks or rolls to resist bull rush, disarm, grapple, overrun, and trip attempts made against you.
    Advancement: If you have three or more combat form feats, the bonus granted by this feat increases to +8.
    If you have eight or more combat form feats, the bonus granted increases to +12.


    COMBAT STRIKE [Combat Form, Fighter]
    Your intense, focused state allows you to see the smallest of errors in the forms and styles of others. You automatically adjust your form to correct for your own errors, or, by pouring the energy required to maintain your combat focus into your assault, you batter through your foe's defenses.
    Spoiler
    Show
    Prerequisites: Wis 13, Combat Focus, any two other combat form feats, base attack bonus +12
    Benefit: As a swift action, you can expend your combat focus to gain a bonus on attack rolls and damage rolls equal to your total number of combat form feats for the rest of your current turn. You immediately lose all benefits of combat form feats that affect you only while you are maintaining your combat focus.


    COMBAT VIGOR [Combat Form, Fighter]
    When you maintain your combat focus, your clarity of purpose and relentless drive allow you to overcome your body's frailties. Minor wounds heal in a matter of seconds, and you quickly recover from even a grievous blow.
    Spoiler
    Show
    Prerequisites: Wis 13, Combat Focus, base attack bonus +9
    Benefit: While you maintain your combat focus, you gain fast healing equal to the number of Combat Form feats you have, including this one. You lose this benefit when your combat focus ends.




    New Combat Form feats:

    COMBAT ADJUSTMENT [Combat Form, Fighter]
    You use your combat focus to ensure that you're never in the right place at the wrong time.
    Spoiler
    Show
    Prerequisites: Dex 13, Combat Focus, Evasive Reflexes, Fighter level 2nd
    Benefit: While maintaining your combat focus, you may take a 5-foot step as an immediate action. You are considered to have used your 5-foot step for the current turn, or for the next turn if it is not currently your turn. As normal for a 5-foot step, you can't move during for the remainder of this turn, or during your next turn if it is not currently your turn. If you use this ability to interrupt an attack aimed at you, the attack typically fails unless it is an area attack whose area includes your new location.
    Expend: You may expend your combat focus as an immediate action to take a full move action.
    Advancement: If you have three combat focus feats and base attack +6 or greater, using Combat Adjustment to take a 5-foot step does not count against your limit of one 5-foot step per turn.
    If you have eight combat focus feats and base attack +12 or greater, using Combat Adjustment to take a 5-foot step does not restrict your ability to use your move actions to move.


    COMBAT DISCIPLINE [Combat Form, Fighter]
    Your knowledge of arcana and your incredible martial discipline allows you to shrug off hostile magic.
    Spoiler
    Show
    Prerequisites: Wis 13, Knowledge (arcana) 9, Spellcraft 9, Combat Focus, Mage Slayer, any one other Combat Form feat, base attack bonus +15 or greater.
    Benefit: While you maintain your combat focus, you gain spell resistance equal to 10 + your character level.
    Expend: You can expend your combat focus as an immediate action to negate the effects of any spell or spell-like ability aimed at you specifically. If the spell targets you and other creatures, the effect is negated only for you. This ability is not useful against area spells that happen to include you in their effect.
    Advancement: If you have eight or more Combat Form feats, your spell resistance improves to 15 + your character level.


    COMBAT GUARDIAN [Combat Form, Fighter]
    With strict vigilance and careful defensive maneuvers, you ward away attacks meant for your allies.
    Spoiler
    Show
    Prerequisites: Wis 13, Combat Expertise, Combat Focus, Combat Reflexes, base attack bonus +3
    Benefit: While you maintain your combat focus, you can choose at the beginning of each of your turns to waive the normal benefits of Combat Expertise and instead apply the AC bonus from your Combat Expertise feat all allies within your reach. Allies must remain within your reach to continue receiving the bonus, and lose it you become dazed, helpless, paralyzed, stunned, or otherwise unable to take actions, or if you expend your combat focus.
    Expend: As an immediate action, you can expend your combat focus to parry an attack against an ally within your reach. Make an attack roll with a bonus equal to the number of Combat Form feats you have. Your ally may substitute your attack roll total for his AC against that attack if he desires.
    Advancement: If you have at least three Combat Form feats, you do not need to waive the normal benefits of Combat Expertise in order to protect your allies.


    COMBAT PSYCHIC [Combat Form, Fighter, Psionic]
    Your natural psychic talent enhances your ability to focus your mind and body during combat.
    Spoiler
    Show
    Prerequisites: Wis 13, Combat Focus, Psionic Meditation, Concentration 7 ranks, base attack bonus +4
    Benefit: While maintaining your combat focus, you gain a +2 bonus on Concentration checks made to regain your psionic focus. If you have not previously gained your combat focus during this combat round, you can expend your psionic focus to gain your combat focus. This does not require an action.
    Expend: You can expend your combat focus to become psionically focused. This does not require an action.
    Advancement: If you have at least three Combat Form feats, you instead gain a +4 bonus on Concentration checks made to regain your psionic focus.


    COMBAT SPEED [Combat Form, Fighter]
    With intense focus, you time your movement and attacks to maximize your momentum, bouncing from target to target with tremendous speed.
    Spoiler
    Show
    Prerequisites: Wis 13, Combat Focus, and either Flyby Attack, Swim-by Attack, or Spring Attack.
    Benefit: Whenever you use Flyby Attack, Swim-by Attack, or Spring Attack while you are maintaining your combat focus, you gain a +10 bonus to your speed for each combat form feat you have, up to a maximum of your current speed.
    Expend: You can expend your combat focus as a swift action to move up to your speed. You do not gain the Combat Speed bonus to your speed for this movement, since you have already expended your combat focus.


    COMBAT TEMPO [Combat Form, Fighter]
    When your enemy seems to have outlasted you and countered all of your tricks and techniques, you can call on reserves of strength within yourself and pull off a few more surprises.
    Spoiler
    Show
    Prerequisites: Wis 13, Combat Focus, Martial Study, base attack bonus +6
    Benefit: If you have a refresh method for your martial maneuvers, you can activate your refresh method to gain your combat focus, although you do not refresh any maneuvers when you do this. Refresh methods granted by feats (such as Adaptive Style, Combat Tempo, Psychic Renewal, or Sudden Recovery) cannot be used for this purpose. You can gain your combat focus a maximum of once per round.
    Expend: You can expend your combat focus as a swift action to refresh a martial maneuver, even if your maneuvers do not normally possess a refresh mechanic (this maneuver is immediately granted, if applicable).
    Advancement: If you have at least 3 combat form feats, you can expend your combat focus as a standard action to refresh all of your maneuvers, even if your maneuvers do not normally possess a refresh mechanic (you receive new granted maneuvers, if applicable).
    If you have at least 8 combat form feats, you can expend your combat focus as a full-round action to refresh and reselect all of your maneuvers, even if your maneuvers do not normally possess a refresh mechanic (you receive new granted maneuvers, if applicable).


    GOD OF WAR [Combat Form, Fighter]
    When you enter your combat focus, you become a relentless, flawless killing machine.
    Spoiler
    Show
    Prerequisites: Combat Focus, six other Combat Form feats, Fighter level 18th
    Benefit: While maintaining your combat focus, you roll twice and take the better result on all attack rolls, damage rolls, saving throws, skill checks, and ability checks.
    Expend: You may expend your combat focus when making a critical confirmation roll or saving throw to treat the roll as a natural 20. This does not require an action.
    Special: Expending your focus as described above is tiring. You may not regain your focus until the beginning of your next turn, even if you normally could regain your focus sooner.


    STEP BETWEEN HEARTBEATS [Combat Form, Fighter]
    In a flash, you draw your blade and spring across the battlefield, leaving a line of hacked and mangled victims in your wake.
    Spoiler
    Show
    Prerequisites: Wis 13, Jump 12 ranks, Base attack bonus +9 or greater, Combat Focus, Combat Speed, and either Flyby Attack, Spring Attack, or Swim-by Attack
    Benefit: As a full-round action, expend your Combat Focus to move up to double your speed in a straight line. You move without provoking attacks of opportunity, bounding and leaping across whatever surfaces are available without regard to whether they would normally support your weight, or simply soaring unsupported if no surfaces are available. You may move through spaces occupied by your opponents, although you may not end your movement in such a space. You cannot pass through obstacles that would normally bar your passage, and you take damage appropriately if you pass through a hazardous environment (e.g. a blade barrier or a burning building). If you wish, you may draw a weapon as part of this movement, just as you are entitled to do when moving normally.
    Special: Using Step Between Heartbeats is strenuous. Once you expend your Combat Focus to use this ability, you cannot regain it until the beginning of your next turn, even if you could normally regain it sooner.
    Advancement: If you have Jump 18 ranks and base attack bonus +15 or greater, you may make a single attack at your highest base attack bonus against each foe whose space you pass through. Enemies are flat-footed against these attacks if you did not threaten them before beginning the action. If you are attacking with a weapon drawn as part of this movement, you are entitled to use Iaijutsu Focus against each flat-footed opponent.
    Last edited by jiriku; 2011-04-11 at 06:09 PM.
    3.5 Homebrew: Remixes to rebalance nearly every base class, all in the authentic flavor of the originals.
    Tier 1 casters breaking your game? Remix your magic with Philosopher's Stone, or try these flavorful mid-tier classes instead: Machinist, Shapeshifter, Avatar, Magus of Blades, Ritualist, Magician, Dawnblade, Summoner, plus 5 elemental casters!


  2. - Top - End - #2
    Orc in the Playground
     
    Mayhem's Avatar

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    Default Re: [3.5] Feat-balancing help needed - Combat Form feats

    Love them mate, I think I might even incorporate them into my setting if you don't mind.

    The combat strike BAB prerequisite seems too high for the minor benefit. Atleast, the benefit doesn't seem worth the prerequisite BAB to me.

  3. - Top - End - #3
    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    OldWizardGuy

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    Default Re: [3.5] Feat-balancing help needed - Combat Form feats

    I too thought this was a neat set of feats, but a little too narrow and too few. Definitely approve of this getting some love! Here's some thoughts/typos.

    Quote Originally Posted by jiriku View Post
    COMBAT FOCUS [Combat Form, Fighter]
    The way of the warrior requires more than simple, brute strength. Some warriors bring their minds to such keen focus during the heat of battle that they can attain superhuman levels of endurance, perception, and mental toughness. Through intense mental exercise and training, you learn to enter a state of perfect martial clarity.
    Spoiler
    Show
    Prerequisite: Wis 13
    Benefit: In battle, you push aside the chaos of the fight and attain a focused state that grants you a keen, clear picture of the battle. Fear and pain ebb away as you focus solely on defeating your enemy. The first time you make a successful attack during an encounter, you gain your combat focus. In this state, your mind and body become one, allowing you to overcome mundane physical limits. You can maintain your combat focus for 10 rounds after entering it, +1 additional round per combat form feat you possess aside from this one. You can only gain your combat focus once per encounter.
    While you are maintaining your combat focus, you gain a +2 bonus on Will saves.
    Expend: You can expend your combat focus whenever you roll a natural 1 on a Will save to instead treat the result as a natural 20.
    Advancement: If you have three or more combat form feats, this bonus increases to +4.
    If you also have disciplined fighter level 1st, you can gain your combat focus any number of times per encounter. The first time you make a successful attack during a round, you gain your combat focus.
    Nothing to see or say here.

    COMBAT AWARENESS [Combat Form, Fighter]
    When you maintain your combat focus, you have an uncanny ability to sense the ebb and flow of your opponent's vitality. As you attain greater mastery of this fighting style, you learn to sense a foe's presence even with your eyes closed.
    Spoiler
    Show
    Prerequisites: Wis 13, Blind-Fight, Combat Focus, base attack bonus +12
    Benefit: While maintaining your combat focus, you learn the current hit point total of each adjacent opponent and ally.
    Advancement: If you have three or more combat form feats, you gain blindsight out to 5 feet.
    If you have eight or more combat form feats, your blindsight and awareness of hit point totals extends out to 30 feet, and you may reroll your miss chance once when attacking incorporeal creatures with melee or ranged weapons.
    For the high prerequisites of this feat (Blind-Fight and BAB 12), it doesn't seem to do a lot until you have 8 feats. Maybe 5 foot blindsight is better than I know. I think the high prereqs are part of it. If Blind-Fight wasn't a prerequisite, but an optional part of the advancement (like Uncanny Dodge in Combat Defense), I think it would flow a lot better.

    COMBAT DEFENSE [Combat Form, Fighter]
    The state of keen focus and mental discipline you attain in combat allows you to ward away even glancing touches with careful, precise maneuvers.
    Spoiler
    Show
    Prerequisites: Dex 13, Wis 13, Combat Focus, Dodge, base attack bonus +6
    Benefit: While you maintain your combat focus, you add your armor bonus to Armor Class to your touch AC. You lose this bonus whenever you are denied your dodge bonus to AC.
    Expend: On your turn as a free action, you can expend your combat focus to gain a 20% miss chance until the beginning of your next turn.
    Advancement: If you have Uncanny Dodge, or any other ability that allows you to retain your dodge bonus to AC while flat-footed, then you also add your armor bonus to Armor Class to your flat-footed AC. You lose this bonus if an effect somehow causes you to lose your dodge bonus to AC.
    If you have three or more combat form feats, you gain an additional +1 dodge bonus to AC against the target of your Dodge feat.
    A very nice, somewhat unique effect here. Touch AC can a real weak spot on a heavy armor character, and this lets you get around that.

    COMBAT STABILITY [Combat Form, Fighter]
    When you maintain your combat focus, you become difficult to dislodge. Your muscles lock into an unyielding position, granting you superior ability to resist trip attacks, bull rushes, disarms, and similar effects.
    Spoiler
    Show
    Prerequisites: Wis 13, Combat Focus, base attack bonus +3
    Benefit: While you maintain your combat focus, you gain a +4 bonus on checks or rolls to resist bull rush, disarm, grapple, overrun, and trip attempts made against you.
    Advancement: If you have three or more combat form feats, the bonus granted by this feat increases to +8.
    If you have eight or more combat form feats, the bonus granted increases to +12.
    I think this is pretty much the same as the original feat, just scales nicer. Good one.

    COMBAT STRIKE [Combat Form, Fighter]
    Your intense, focused state allows you to see the smallest of errors in the forms and styles of others. You automatically adjust your form to correct for your own errors, or, by pouring the energy required to maintain your combat focus into your assault, you batter through your foe's defenses.
    Spoiler
    Show
    Prerequisites: Wis 13, Combat Focus, any two other combat form feats, base attack bonus +15
    Benefit: While you maintain your combat focus, your attacks with melee and ranged weapons no longer automatically fail on a natural roll of 1.
    Expend: If you choose to end your combat focus as a swift action, you gain a bonus on attack rolls and damage rolls equal to yur(your) total number of combat form feats for the rest of your current turn. Tou(You) immediately lose all benefits of combat form feats that affect you only while you are maintaining your combat focus.
    A couple typos (red inline). Getting the bonus for your whole turn is a big improvement, and makes it not a horrible waste. I don't know if the BAB requirement needs to be that high or not.

    COMBAT VIGOR [Combat Form, Fighter]
    When you maintain your combat focus, your clarity of purpose and relentless drive allow you to overcome your body's frailties. Minor wounds heal in a matter of seconds, and you quickly recover from even a grievous blow.
    Spoiler
    Show
    Prerequisites: Wis 13, Combat Focus, base attack bonus +9
    Benefit: While you maintain your combat focus, you gain fast healing equal to the number of Combat Form feats you have, including this one. You lose this benefit when your combat focus ends.
    Alternate name suggestion: The Man Who Would Not Die. It definitely makes you hard to bring down, and saves the cleric's spells.

    New Combat Form feats:

    COMBAT ADJUSTMENT [Combat Form, Fighter]
    You use your combat focus to ensure that you're never in the right place at the wrong time.
    Spoiler
    Show
    Prerequisites: Dex 13, Combat Focus, Evasive Reflexes, Fighter level 2nd
    Benefit: While maintaining your combat focus, you may take a 5-foot step as an immediate action. Once you do so, you cannot move further until the end of your next turn. You still are restricted to only one 5-foot step per turn. If you If you use this ability to interrupt an attack aimed at you, the attack typically fails unless it is an area attack whose area includes your new location.
    Expend: You may expend your combat focus as an immediate action to take a full move action.
    Advancement: If you have three combat focus feats and base attack +6 or greater, using Focused Reflexes to take a 5-foot step does not count against your limit of one 5-foot step per turn.
    If you have eight combat focus feats and base attack +12 or greater, using Focused Reflexes to take a 5-foot step does not restrict your ability to take move actions.
    What is Focused Reflexes? I see Evasive Reflexes from ToB as a prereq...was Focused Reflexes a working name for this feat? I like the progression, and think it keeps the action economy intact.

    COMBAT DISCIPLINE [Combat Form, Fighter]
    Your knowledge of arcana and your incredible martial discipline allows you to shrug off hostile magic.
    Spoiler
    Show
    Prerequisites: Wis 13, Knowledge (arcana) 9, Spellcraft 9, Combat Focus, Mage Slayer, any one other combat form, base attack bonus +15 or greater.
    Benefit: While you maintain your combat focus, you gain spell resistance equal to 10 + your character level.
    Expend: You can expend your combat focus as an immediate action to gain a competence bonus equal to the number of Combat Form feats you have on a saving throw against a spell that does not offer spell resistance.
    Advancement: If you have eight or more Combat Form feats, your spell resistance improves to 15 + your character level.
    I like the skill requirements for this feat, they're pretty high but considering how powerful semi-permanent SR is, it needs high prereqs. The advancement means you can 'dip' into it in a Mage Slayer build and get a little benefit, or 'dip' into Mage Slayer in a Combat Form-centric build.

    COMBAT GUARDIAN [Combat Form, Fighter]
    With strict vigilance and careful defensive maneuvers, you ward away attacks meant for your allies.
    Spoiler
    Show
    Prerequisites: Dex 13, Int 13, Wis 13, Combat Expertise, Combat Focus, Combat Reflexes, base attack bonus +3
    Benefit: While you maintain your combat focus, you can choose at the beginning of each of your turns to waive the normal benefits of Combat Expertise and instead apply the AC bonus from your Combat Expertise feat to a number of allies (other than yourself) within your reach up to your Dexterity bonus. Allies must remain within your reach to continue receiving the bonus, and lose it you become dazed, helpless, paralyzed, stunned, or otherwise unable to take actions, or if you expend your combat focus.
    Expend: As an immediate action, you can expend your combat focus to parry an attack against an ally within your reach. Make an attack roll with a bonus equal to the number of Combat Form feats you have. Your ally may substitute your attack roll total for his AC against that attack if he desires.
    Advancement: If you have at least three Combat Form feats, you do not need to waive the normal benefits of Combat Expertise in order to protect your allies.
    Protect your whole team! My only worry on this is the ability score requirements, which are unavoidable due to the feat prerequisites. I know why they are there, and they make sense, but I wonder if in practice people will be forced to skip this because they don't have the stats for it.

    COMBAT SPEED [Combat Form, Fighter]
    With intense focus, you time your movement and attacks to maximize your momentum, bouncing from target to target with tremendous speed.
    Spoiler
    Show
    Prerequisites: Wis 13, Combat Focus, and either Flyby Attack, Swim-by Attack, or Spring Attack.
    Benefit: Whenever you use Flyby Attack, Swim-by Attack, or Spring Attack while you are maintaining your combat focus, you gain a +10 bonus to your speed for each combat form feat you have, up to a maximum of your current speed.
    Expend: You can expend your combat focus as a swift action to move up to your speed. You do not gain the Combat Speed bonus to your speed for this movement, since you have already expended your combat focus.
    Basically, you get to move twice and attack when using Spring Attack/etc. Handy, I'd expect Spring Attack builds would love the move speed. And you can expend focus to get in range of someone for a Full Attack.

    COMBAT TEMPO [Combat Form, Fighter]
    When your enemy seems to have outlasted you and countered all of your tricks and techniques, you can call on reserves of strength within yourself and pull off a few more surprises.
    Spoiler
    Show
    Prerequisites: Wis 13, Combat Focus, Martial Study,
    Benefit: You can expend your combat focus as a swift action to refresh a martial maneuver. This maneuver is immediately granted, if applicable.
    Advancement: If you have at least 3 combat form feats, you can expend your combat focus as a standard action to refresh all of your maneuvers (and receive new granted maneuvers, if applicable).
    If you have at least 8 combat form feats, you can expend your combat focus as a full-round action to refresh and reselect all of your maneuvers (and recieve new granted maneuvers, if applicable).
    I'm not as familiar with ToB, so no balance commentary. But does this work with classes that get maneuvers, without having the Martial Study feat?

    GOD OF WAR [Combat Form, Fighter]
    When you enter your combat focus, you become a relentless, flawless killing machine.
    Spoiler
    Show
    Prerequisites: Combat Focus, six other Combat Form feats, Fighter level 18th
    Benefit: While maintaining your combat focus, you roll twice and take the better result on all attack rolls, damage rolls, saving throws, skill checks, and ability checks.
    Expend: You may expend your combat focus as a free action immediately before rolling an attack roll or saving throw to treat the roll as a natural 20.
    Rar capstone! It's huge. It's ridiculous. It might be the strongest (mechanically) Fighter capstone I've ever seen. I think once you get this, you will never expend your focus again (unless you can get it another time in the encounter), since rolling twice on everything is such a huge deal. Then again, there might be a time you REALLY need to crit...oh, potential issue. You expend your focus to get a 20 on an attack roll, and are in that class that lets you get focus multiple times per encounter. Do you immediately get focus again, because you successfully hit someone? If that's allowed, your fighter suddenly auto-threatens on every single attack after the first. Yeah, blah blah wizards at 20, blah. I think that getting to roll twice on everything? Fun. Auto-succeeding at everything? Fun for you the first encounter, but your DM hates you since he can never challenge your character again.

  4. - Top - End - #4
    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    Planetar

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    Default Re: [3.5] Feat-balancing help needed - Combat Form feats

    What he said with the auto-20.
    A disciplined fighter with a vorpal blade gets a sure kill every action.
    I mean, I get that he deserves something for making it to level 18 as a pure fighter, but still :)
    I would say at the very least remove the 'natural' part. Perhaps just make it an untyped +20, which should ensure the hit.

    Oh, and if I read it right, the class that gets multiple focuses per encounter only gets 1 per round, as it only happens on the first landed hit of a round, so you could hit, focus, hit with rerolls a bunch, then end it with a crit. Then do the same thing next round.

    Otoh, there is a spell that does the same thing, so a gish can already manage it, so it could go either way.

    -Kyrinthic
    Last edited by Kyrinthic; 2011-04-06 at 12:12 PM.

  5. - Top - End - #5
    Pixie in the Playground
     
    OrcBarbarianGuy

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    Default Re: [3.5] Feat-balancing help needed - Combat Form feats

    For the most part these look well created. There are just a few rough patches that I notice.

    Under Combat Focus, the benefit for the disciplined fighter is a little over the top in that it has no limit to gaining and expending combat focus. Maybe that should be limited because at later levels with other combat focus feats thrown in, it can seem like a DMs worst nightmare. Maybe limit it to Wis mod per encounter? I'd have to see it in action to make a pure judgment, but I can see a concern for that.

    I think that the BAB for Combat Awareness is very high, especially considering a 1st level human fighter can have all of the prereqs for this feat. The effect is only slightly better than the Cleric 2nd level spell Status. A sixth level fighter could already have the three combat focus feats necessary to gain the 5-ft blindsight, and as great as that is, the range prohibits it from being great except in melee combat. This one is useless to ranged fighters even if you have the eight required to push out the blindsight. This could possibly benefit from maybe a +6 or +9 BAB requirement, and add 5-ft of blindsense for every combat focus feat instead of kicking it up to 30ft all at once. It's still not great for ranged fighters, though, and I can't figure a way around that.

    I agree with blackmage that Combat Guardian is awesome, but could definitely be prohibitive because of the stat requirements. Fighters are typically always going to have to go Str + Dex + Con and most are inevitably going to choose Wis as their 4th stat because of the need to improve Will saves. Int fighters are pretty rare, maybe with the exception of ranged fighters, and ranged fighters are not going to have the ability to use this feat until higher levels where they can AOO with a ranged weapon. Hard to see how to fix that, though. It's a conundrum.

    God of War makes me drool. The only issue I can reasonably see (and this might be a built in feature) is that if the disciplined fighter takes this feat he becomes melee beast beyond reason because he can basically nat 20 every round due to the wording in Combat Focus. He's going to be able to expend and refocus every round from the way it's worded. This makes this extremely powerful. If this is intentioned to be this way..... then I may just play the disciplined fighter all the way in our next campaign.

    Overall, excellent feats.
    Last edited by Heidigger; 2011-04-06 at 01:20 PM.

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    Default Re: [3.5] Feat-balancing help needed - Combat Form feats

    Combat Awareness: would be cool to add a bonus to sense motive checks, just 'cuz.

    Combat Adjustment: description makes several references to Focused Reflexes which I can only assume is a previous name.

    Combat Discipline: I think I'd lose the caveat about only working against SR:No spells. You're giving up combat focus and whatever benefits come along with it, so I don't find it overpowered to allow the expenditure to take place after the SR check but before the save.

    Combat Guardian: could have interesting ramifications if used with Allied Defense (and if you have 3 combat form feats).

    God of War: started to sound sirens in my brain until I re-read the prereqs. Still, auto-20s terrify me, from a game design perspective. I already ban the cleric spell that allows it. The idea of a Disciplined Fighter doing it multiple times/fight has gotta be bad. Either explicitly state that crits and other effects of rolling a 20 do not apply, or consider going another direction.

    Other stuff as I read responses:

    I also feel like Combat Awareness has too high of a BAB req. I feel like it should be dropped to 8, and Combat Strike's should be lowered to 12 while I'm at it.

    I'm assuming your Dodge doesn't specify targets (a popular buff to the feat, though one I'm not particularly fond of), considering you ditched the immediate action targetting bit.

    I actually disagree with high reqs on feats like combat discipline. It's something of a theme that almost none of these really deserve to be end game material to me. They're still just feats (albeit powerful ones) and Combat Discipline is no exception. If a combat focus build grabs this feat, they give up 2 other combat focus feats. So be it a higher likelihood of being eaten by purple worms or delaying picking up fast healing, the opportunity cost tells me a BAB of no higher than 10 is really necessary. I also feel like Combat Awareness has too high of a BAB req. I feel like it should be dropped to 8ish, and Combat Strike's should be lowered to 12 while I'm at it.

    My understanding of Combat Tempo is that the 8-feat benefit is exactly identical to Adaptive Style. I'm not saying that's bad, just interesting. As I see it, at 8 feats, you get another whole feat for free, in addition to still being able to scale your maneuver refreshes to whatever actions you have available. I also just realized this feat is probably intended to allow non-initiators to refresh the maneuvers they've gained from feats, isn't it?

    Things I would consider:

    Some sort of feat-investiture means of regaining combat focus. I understand that's what your disciplined fighter will be about, but it'd be cool for others. Something like yet-another-combat-form feat whose benefit is a) to count as a combat form feat and b) to allow you to regain focus 1 time per encounter, 2 extras at 3 feats, and 3 extras at 8 feats. Or... something like that.

    Something to get multiple expenditures at once. I can imagine a character with 8 combat form feats being rather agitated at having to choose which of his 8 expend effects to use. I would also consider having Combat Strike do this automatically. Perhaps you could combine this with the above, if you have an idea how.

    All of that said, I'm also kinda leery of a Fighter who is simply set to combat focus: yes. It makes the expend effects harder to balance when you have someone who can abuse them so easily, and having someone who WILL have billions of combat form feats also means the scaling benefits need to be watched. This means a Knight or Ranger using your combat form feats will always feel like he's only getting half what he should, as it will feel like they were designed for another class.

    As for ability score reqs (particularly for Combat Guardian), I'm not really sure why you need the wisdom req. If you're attached to it, though, I'd consider dropping the INT req, so that people who find combat reflexes as a granted feat can get in w/out the INT. On the other hand, you intend this for a fixed fighter -- one I hope includes artificial stat enhancement for selecting feats.

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    Default Re: [3.5] Feat-balancing help needed - Combat Form feats

    Combat Focus: The intent is that a disciplined fighter cannot gain focus more than once per round, because only the first successful attack qualifies. I have adjusted the feat text to clarify this.

    Combat Awareness: Base attack requirement is lowered from +12 to +8. Sense Motive bonus is implemented.

    Combat Defense: We still use a targeted Dodge, but the remixed version already includes an immediate action targeting option, so the root use of the feat was superseded by the remix. I was already intending to implement a Combat Form feat granting armor bonus to touch AC, and it just seemed to me that I might as well stash that ability here and salvage the feat.

    Combat Strike: Base attack requirement is lowered from +15 to +12. Allowing the Expend feature on CS to combine with another Expend feature would be a bit much, I think, as that grants the disciplined fighter an extremely large static bonus every round. Perhaps it would be more reasonable if I assigned the bonus a type, such as competence or insight.

    Combat Adjustment: Yes, this feat was originally called Focused Reflexes. Adjusted text to show the current name.

    Combat Discipline: Since two people feel the feat needs more oomph, I upgraded the Expend ability to auto-counter the hostile spell effect, and made it effective against spell-like abilities as well.

    Combat Guardian: I'm sympathetic to the MAD concerns, but I'm not sure what I can do. Wis 13 is a prerequisite of Combat Focus, Int 13 is a prerequisite of Combat Expertise, and Dex 13 is a prerequisite of Combat Reflexes. I do in fact have some tools for the remixed fighter to manage MAD effectively. And I suppose I could extend the defense to ALL allies within reach, and eliminate the Dex 13 and Combat Reflexes prerequisites. Thoughts on this?

    Also, what is Allied Defense? I don't know it.

    Combat Psychic: New feat! Yo dawg! We heard you like focusing, so we put a combat focus in your psionic focus and a psionic focus in your combat focus so you can use your focus to focus your focus while you're focusing your focus with your focus!

    Combat Tempo: As many of you suspected, this is intended to provide a refresh mechanic for characters who have martial maneuvers but not a refresh mechanic. I have edited the text to make this clear. It does in fact crush Adaptive Style and leave it bleeding in the dirt once you have seven other feats... but then again, you have to get the seven other feats.

    God of War: The strongest feat on the list, it was bound to provoke controversy. I have revised the text and added a specific restriction to make clear my original intent, which is that you can only expend your focus for God of War once per round.

    Lengthy commentary:
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    Many of you have expressed concern about this. Let me say first of all that an 18th level fighter is a Big Damn Hero, and other characters ought to piss their codpieces at the mere thought of crossing blades with him. ALL other characters.

    Let's remember that hunter's mercy, a 1st-level ranger spell, and surge of fortune, a 5th-level cleric spell, also provide a free nat 20, and that it is not hard to quicken these spells without increasing their spell slot.

    Moreover, remember that a critical hit is just that - a particularly nice stab with a sword, equivalent to two or three or four successful attacks. It is not on par with time stop, gate, maw of chaos, or even wail of the banshee.

    A disciplined fighter with God of War swinging a vorpal sword is in fact a scary, scary thing. As he should be, after investing seven feats and a +6 weapon! However, at best he can decapitate one foe per round. And let's remember that swarms, oozes, incorporeal creatures, constructs, and many plants and undead aren't particularly concerned by a vorpal weapon. Also, even a natural 20 can miss -- miss chances are highly prized because they can defeat critical hits. Finally, the fighter has to be entitled to attack. Much ado has been made in other places on this forum about the ability of battlefield control magic to prevent a character from attacking. Actually, the option to auto-pass a saving throw is probably more powerful in many situations, precisely because it can be a get-out-of-jail-free card when the fighter is hit with many SoD, SoS, or SoL spells.

    Recall also that God of War also carries an opportunity cost -- the fighter has to commit no fewer than seven feats to the combat form chain; that's seven feat slots that can't be devoted to doing other things. This may not impress you much because there's slim pickings for high-level martial feats, but I have a bag of tricks coming down the pipeline that will make every day feel like Christmas morning for fighter fans -- including some feats that would make God of War curl up and cry in a corner.
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    Default Re: [3.5] Feat-balancing help needed - Combat Form feats

    Yeah, my concern with God of War was even expecting it to only be once/round. I just don't like the idea of someone strolling up to my Ranger and just auto-killing me outright. No save, no attack roll 'cuz it went auto-crit.
    And then he does it to my ally barbarian the next round. Indeed, the only way for PCs to combat an enemy such as this effectively is to be a mage or have well thought-out magic items and luck.

    Also interesting: such a Fighter could also have Weapon Supremacy, getting an auto-20 once/round as well as an auto-10, 2 rolls for each attack, and +5 to whichever one actually has a chance of missing. At least you can't combine God of War with Combat Strike... yet.

    Combat Psychic is interesting -- The ramifications of any psionic character being able to regain combat focus as often as needed (but at a high action economy cost) is fascinating. I'm not saying it's bad. It definitely shakes up the possibilities.

    Combat Strike -- you're getting into what I feared. Balancing the feats around the Disciplined Fighter means these may as well be class features, because they're really not meant for Scouts and Marshals and Monks, oh my.

    Combat Guardian -- Combat Reflexes does not, in fact, require DEX 13. It's just worthless until you have about that much DEX. I forgot about the WIS req on Combat Focus itself. So yeah, I'd ditch the DEX req and perhaps the INT req as I mentioned before (for people who get it granted, such as some monks).

    Allied Defense is a feat that provides your Combat Expertise bonus to AC to all adjacent allies. It's in a Faerun book - Shining South. A level 20 Fighter could use Superior Expertise, Allied Defense, and Combat Guardian to give themselves and all adjacent allies +40 AC, as well as +20 to any allies within their extended reach. Not necessarily overpowered -- not like you're going to be hitting anything. Gogo stacking dodge bonuses. Also, because you forgo the benefits of CE, you can't gain the benefits of Allied Defense until you get 3 combat form feats. So not a bad feat to grab AFTER your 3rd.

    I also noticed another slight problem with Combat Guardian. The Expend effect requires you to make an attack roll, which means using combat expertise (and thus, the feat itself) makes the Expend harder to pull off.
    Last edited by Pechvarry; 2011-04-07 at 11:00 AM.

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    Default Re: [3.5] Feat-balancing help needed - Combat Form feats

    Quote Originally Posted by Pechvarry View Post
    Yeah, my concern with God of War was even expecting it to only be once/round. I just don't like the idea of someone strolling up to my Ranger and just auto-killing me outright. No save, no attack roll 'cuz it went auto-crit.

    And then he does it to my ally barbarian the next round.
    I've got to admit, that would suck pretty hardcore. But I could see it from another direction. Consider this:

    1) Other classes can do much more terrible things to your ranger and barbarian than this. Shenanigans like time stop + dimensional lock + maw of chaos + prismatic sphere don't even require feat investment, while mailman and ubercharger builds and the like can generate one-round damage totals that are likely to exceed your character's maximum hit points. Getting hit with a crit to the face is actually survivable, while those other things are not. Barbarians in particular are great big bags of hit points and can usually shrug off a critical hit if they're at full health.

    2) The fact that your ranger and barbarian have no tools defend themselves beyond AC and saving throws is a testament to how poorly adapted those classes are to the 3.5 environment, not a call for the nerfing of the fighter. Rather, we should re-imagine these classes (as I've done), or provide them with new and better options (as I'm doing). For example, Combat Defense offers a miss chance, while Combat Adjustment offers an ability similar to Abrupt Jaunt that can be used to evade a melee attack. I have many more feats for melee characters in the pipeline that offer substantial and impressive defenses to match the offensive edge provided by feats like God of War

    Quote Originally Posted by Pechvarry View Post
    Indeed, the only way for PCs to combat an enemy such as this effectively is to be a mage or have well thought-out magic items and luck.
    Ultimately, what I'm getting at is that with the 3.5 remix that I'm proposing, this is no longer true. For every feat I create to attack, I make another to defend or avoid. The ranger, normally a brittle attacker, is replaced by the swift hunter, an option-rich class that (for example) gains the ability to move away from attacks as an immediate action at 19th level. And the barbarian... well, I don't want to let too much out of the bag just yet, but a high-level barbaric fighter could easily bull-rush an opponent away as an immediate action.

    Quote Originally Posted by Pechvarry View Post
    Combat Psychic is interesting -- The ramifications of any psionic character being able to regain combat focus as often as needed (but at a high action economy cost) is fascinating. I'm not saying it's bad. It definitely shakes up the possibilities.
    Excellent. That was the goal. I'm considering also an improvement to Combat Tempo that would allow a character with a martial refresh method to use it to gain combat focus instead of refreshing maneuvers...

    Quote Originally Posted by Pechvarry View Post
    Combat Strike -- you're getting into what I feared. Balancing the feats around the Disciplined Fighter means these may as well be class features, because they're really not meant for Scouts and Marshals and Monks, oh my.
    ...which begins to address some of your concern here about the exclusivity of the Combat Form feats. Although, honestly, I'm not overly troubled if some classes gain little from these feats. Ambush feats and Divine feats and Reserve feats are useful only to a narrow range of classes as well, and even Metamagic feats are off-limit to a fairly large audience. If the Combat Form feats are useful mostly to disciplined fighters, psychic warriors, warblades, and swordsages, I can live with that.

    Quote Originally Posted by Pechvarry View Post
    Combat Guardian -- Combat Reflexes does not, in fact, require DEX 13. It's just worthless until you have about that much DEX. I forgot about the WIS req on Combat Focus itself. So yeah, I'd ditch the DEX req and perhaps the INT req as I mentioned before (for people who get it granted, such as some monks).
    Huh. I'd never noticed that. I'll remove those requirements then, and remove the Dex-dependency of the effect.

    Quote Originally Posted by Pechvarry View Post
    Allied Defense is a feat that provides your Combat Expertise bonus to AC to all adjacent allies. It's in a Faerun book - Shining South. A level 20 Fighter could use Superior Expertise, Allied Defense, and Combat Guardian to give themselves and all adjacent allies +40 AC, as well as +20 to any allies within their extended reach. Not necessarily overpowered -- not like you're going to be hitting anything. Gogo stacking dodge bonuses. Also, because you forgo the benefits of CE, you can't gain the benefits of Allied Defense until you get 3 combat form feats. So not a bad feat to grab AFTER your 3rd.
    Nice combo. I agree, it's good but not game-breaking.

    Quote Originally Posted by Pechvarry View Post
    I also noticed another slight problem with Combat Guardian. The Expend effect requires you to make an attack roll, which means using combat expertise (and thus, the feat itself) makes the Expend harder to pull off.
    This is the reason that the Expend effect grants a bonus on the attack roll equal to the number of Combat Focus feats you have -- to mitigate the penalty. Do you think it's enough? I suppose I could always set the bonus to twice the number of CF feats.
    Last edited by jiriku; 2011-04-07 at 07:30 PM.
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    Default Re: [3.5] Feat-balancing help needed - Combat Form feats

    The penalty/bonus on guardian thing -- it's still better to not use combat expertise, but it's such a minor thing it's not worth thinking about any further.

    Anyway, great work on these. Until I have more things to scream imbalance! over, here's a large thumb in the upright position.

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    Default Re: [3.5] Feat-balancing help needed - Combat Form feats

    Involving God of War: First of all, for reference, Hunter's Mercy was officially nerfed in the spell compendium, granting a critical hit on one attack if you hit but not granting a natural 20.

    To my knowledge, the only abilities that still grant natural 20s on attack rolls are a single luck feat (which is situational and usable 1/day) and a the aforementioned Surge of Fortune, a spell only on the cleric list. To my knowledge, this means that the spell can only be accessed by Clerics, Archivists, Rainbow Servants, Ur-Mages, and Favored Souls (Tier 1, Tier 1, Tier 1, Tier 1, and Tier 2 respectively). In addition, up until now, you have seemed pretty adamant about providing solid tier 3 material and this seems to be running in strict opposition to that aim.

    While it is a valid point that terrible things can happen when a wizard gets the jump on you (such as your time stop example), that example you gave hardly kills players immediately and gives allies a chance to dispel it (and you should note that it kind of uses 3 level-9 spells, meaning that it could probably be done 1/encounter at most in an average adventuring day). Even with the ubercharger, there is at least a 5% chance that the attack will miss and you could survive.

    With this feat, an NPC can (at least in some situations) approach a player with a vorpal weapon and say "you die" without any real chance of failure. Apart from not typically being possible (even via spells), this can be positively disastrous if the party doesn't know that standing next to the enemy is a death sentence. Even worse, you give the players the ability to approach an enemy (such as a BBEG who has been established as being humanoid before the player took this feat) and do the exact same thing. While a DM certainly could (and indeed would be expected to) change the circumstances of the encounter to account for this, you have still introduced a disruptive factor that requires the DM to change their entire plans like a Wizard's ability to use Contact other Plane to solve a mystery or to simply cast planeshift and abandon your set campaign with the party to explore Gehenna (well, maybe not that bad). In other words, this is more-or-less the type of disruption that has been knonw as a hallmark of strictly tier 1-2 games.

    Even if you give everyone miss chances and immediate actions that let's a player say "I don't get hit", that isn't necessarily fixing anything. Instead, you are simply bringing "rocket-tag" to the masses, encouraging players to stack on immunities and acquire absolute defenses as the first thing to hit them is quite likely to kill them as well.

    What was your intention with this feat?
    Last edited by Realms of Chaos; 2011-04-08 at 01:58 PM.
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    Default Re: [3.5] Feat-balancing help needed - Combat Form feats

    Ok, you make a good point. Now that you mention it, I am not familiar with too many options at the Tier 3 level that are simultaneously this powerful, reliable, and easy to pull off during gameplay. Further, the Expend option is supposed to be the gravy on the feat, not the core reason for choosing it.

    What if the Expend-for-20 option merely confirms a critical threat that you've already managed to achieve? This reintroduces AC as a defense, since you now have to confirm your crit. Further, it's still pretty good because GoW is giving you a reroll on your initial attack roll, which means two chances to threaten a critical on each attack roll. This also would smooth out something I disliked, which was that GoW was better for weapons with a x3 or x4 multiplier. This change would make it equally good for all weapons.

    Additional debate that is now largely beside the point but I'm including anyhow because I love to debate things:
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    I still am unconvinced that critical hit = death. PCs survive crits all the time in games I run, and I am justly famed as a Killer DM.

    I'm also not persuaded that a free critical hit per round constitutes a "Tier 1 rocket" ability. Diamond Nightmare Blade is good for a x4 damage multiplier, can be used every other round, and lives at the Tier 3 level. It also requires no feat investment and can be done as early as level 15. A Spirited Charge with a lance has a x3 multiplier and is a Tier 5 trick. That requires only two feats, and can be done as early as level 1. It's a little harder to use every round, but with the investment of one additional feat for Ride-By Attack, a level 2 human fighter can use it pretty consistently. "Damage rockets" can be found at every tier and every level.
    Last edited by jiriku; 2011-04-08 at 02:24 PM.
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    Default Re: [3.5] Feat-balancing help needed - Combat Form feats

    If you may the expenditure effect into an auto-threat, that would probably be a lot more balanced, probably.
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    Default Re: [3.5] Feat-balancing help needed - Combat Form feats

    Ack, you ninja'd me while I was editing. Additional nerfage has been proposed. However, since the effect is now nerfed, I downgraded the action requirement from free to none, the better to allow its use on out-of-turn saving throws. Seem reasonable, or would an immediate action activation be more appropriate?
    Last edited by jiriku; 2011-04-08 at 02:29 PM.
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    Default Re: [3.5] Feat-balancing help needed - Combat Form feats

    Meh, as part of the attack action it's confirming works well enough. That should cover AoOs and any other oddities while still tying it to a single attack roll. If you still feel it's been too heavily nerfed from your original vision, you could always just make it a (spell compendium) hunter's mercy clone, discharging to make an attack threaten critical if it hits. This brings it back to being ideal with a scythe, though.

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    As for whether or not a free crit is too much -- it's really not, but D&D screwed that up for us. Between the vorpal enhancement and auto successes, 20s simply carry too much weight to be handed out. Saying "automatically deals normal critical damage if attack succeeds" really even isn't so bad. But that 20? That's the sort of stuff you see in Deities and Demigods, with "automatically win" scenarios, and then specific-vs-specific verbiage as to whether your immovable object can compete with my unstoppable force. From here, the next logical step is the Immortals stuff with +8 infinities attack or whatever.

    On the topic of free crits, could be fun to make a disciplined crit fishing fighter loaded with special crit effects over damage -- upon critical, opponent is slowed, cursed, and you gain half the damage dealt as temp HP. Not a bad deal.
    Last edited by Pechvarry; 2011-04-08 at 11:35 PM.

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    Default Re: [3.5] Feat-balancing help needed - Combat Form feats

    Ok, one last Combat Form feat. I actually wrote this one first, and have been tinkering with it for a week or so, but I'm not happy with it yet. The effect and prerequisites are all wonky. Note: you don't see Mobility on the prerequisite list because I'm rolling Mobility into Dodge.

    STEP BETWEEN HEARTBEATS [Combat Form, Fighter]
    In a flash, you draw your blade and spring across the battlefield, leaving a line of hacked and mangled victims in your wake.
    Prerequisites: Dex 13, Wis 13, Iaijutsu Focus 15 ranks, Jump 15 ranks, Combat Focus, Dodge, Spring Attack, and Disciplined Fighter 14th or Weapon Master Fighter 14th
    Benefit: As a swift action, expend your Combat Focus to make a Jump check and multiply your check result by 5. You may move up to this distance in a straight line, bounding and leaping across whatever surfaces are available without regard to whether they would normally support your weight, or simply soaring through the air if no surfaces are available. You do not provoke attacks of opportunity for this movement, nor is your distance limited by your move speed or considered part of your normal movement. You may move through spaces occupied by your opponents, although you may not end your movement in such a space. You cannot pass through obstacles that would normally bar your passage, and you take damage appropriately if you pass through a hazardous environment (e.g. a blade barrier or a burning building). If you wish, you may draw a weapon as part of this movement, just as you are entitled to do when taking a normal move action.
    As part of this swift action, you may make a single attack at your highest base attack bonus against each foe whose space you pass through. Enemies are flat-footed against these attacks if you did not threaten them before beginning the action. If you are attacking with a weapon drawn as part of this movement, you are entitled to use Iaijutsu Focus against each flat-footed opponent.
    Special: Using Step Between Heartbeats is strenuous. Once you expend your Combat Focus to use this ability, you cannot regain it until the beginning of your next turn, even if you could normally regain it sooner.
    Advancement: If you have 21 or more ranks in Jump, multiply your Jump check result by 10 instead of 5.
    Last edited by jiriku; 2011-04-09 at 02:23 AM.
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    Default Re: [3.5] Feat-balancing help needed - Combat Form feats

    I'm not going to say it's overpowered.

    But perhaps part of the problem you're having with the feat's reqs and effects stem from the same problem I'm having: it's all kinda out of nowhere. It's an extremely high wuxia effect, with a build up of feats that are more in line with Iron Heart's fluff (at least, that's how I always thought of combat form feats). You could put them more in line with Diamond Mind, and that is probably how you see them now that I think on it. Anyway, I'm rambling without telling you anything.

    Would you consider breaking it into 2 feats? As a base effect, swift action superjumping is pretty neat (something a psychic feat would have you expend a psionic focus for) with lower reqs (probably jump 10-12 and Spring Attack is good enough, along with whatever class-level reqs you want), with an upgrade to allow flat-footed attacks while performing the maneuver. Alternatively, you could have it all as a move action, with a feat to upgrade it to a swift action.

    Even while I make that suggestion, I think it may be better to leave it as you have it and simply ditch the Iajutsu Focus reqs. Leaving the caveat in that all attacks qualify for Iaijutsu is good enough; this leaves it squarely intended for iajutsu builds without it being the only way to get super mobility on a Fighter chassis. As you can imagine, a defensive and heavily armored Fighter, could make fantastic use out of the mobility aspects of this feat in addition to being a totally BA mental image.

    One more thing: getting all these free attacks as part of a swift action feels odd and unnecessary. Have you considered a move-action use for the "if you intend to attack" and a swift-action use if all you're doing is moving?

    As an aside, I really admire your stick-to-it-iveness with your homebrew, to keep coming back and updating. I admit the irrational feeling I've had where only 1-2 people keep commenting, and it feels like they're fixating on the wrong things over and over again (full BAB on monk would be a good example), so apologies if I'm overemphasizing things like universal class access, etc.

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    Default Re: [3.5] Feat-balancing help needed - Combat Form feats

    Balance
    Most are surprisingly well balanced for a homebrew, IMO.

    Combat Focus: Ok
    Combat Awareness: Ok
    Combat Defense: Whoa dawg. Touch AC doesn't scale like non-touch. This might be a reasonable bonus at low levels but you will become unhittable by rays fast once you hit 27-35 touch AC at medium to high levels. A flat bonus to touch AC would fix this, maybe +4. The expend ability is fine.
    Combat Stability: Ok
    Combat Strike: Normally very weak. I mean the benefit applies 5% of the time and you'll usually miss on a 1 anyway. Good if expended in combination with something like a power attack. Then maybe it's too good since you can full attack with it. So... too polar.
    Combat Adjustment: Ok. I'd clarify that the 5-foot step eats your next turn's 5 foot step.
    Combat Discipline: I know SR gets a lot of flack for drawbacks, which this feat doesn't even have, but SR is crazy powerful against enemy spells. 10 + CL is way too much for 1 feat. I'd do 4+CL, maybe less. Increase to 8+CL tops if boosted, maybe less. The expend ability is ok.
    Combat Guardian: Ok
    Combat Psychic: Ok
    Combat Speed: Ok
    Combat Tempo: I forget does any ToB class refresh as a swift? If so this is a bit much. If not this is ok.
    God of War: Rolling twice is statistically about the same as a +4 or +5. Way , way too much for one feat, even with the pre-reqs (which help you anyway), even if it only applied to attack rolls. Rerolling 1 roll per round might be more fair. The expend is fine.
    Step Between Heartbeats: Ok... I think. Maybe up the pre-reqs a little and/or limit the number of targets to 1 per X combat focus feats to be safe. I mean it's fine compared to high level stuff since it's only one attack per target. Oh and it should really be a standard action. No one should do this and then full attack.
    Last edited by ericgrau; 2011-04-09 at 01:30 PM.
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    Default Re: [3.5] Feat-balancing help needed - Combat Form feats

    Quote Originally Posted by Pechvarry View Post
    Would you consider breaking it into 2 feats? As a base effect, swift action superjumping is pretty neat... with lower reqs (probably jump 10-12 and Spring Attack is good enough, along with whatever class-level reqs you want), with an upgrade to allow flat-footed attacks while performing the maneuver... Even while I make that suggestion, I think it may be better to leave it as you have it and simply ditch the Iajutsu Focus reqs.
    Quote Originally Posted by ericgrau View Post
    Maybe up the pre-reqs a little and/or limit the number of targets to 1 per X combat focus feats to be safe.
    Ok, so what I'm getting is, the prereqs need to be lower-than-present for movement only, but higher-than-present for movement plus attacks? I can get behind that.

    Quote Originally Posted by Pechvarry View Post
    Alternatively, you could have it all as a move action, with a feat to upgrade it to a swift action [or] a move-action use for the "if you intend to attack" and a swift-action use if all you're doing is moving?
    Quote Originally Posted by ericgrau View Post
    It should really be a standard action. No one should do this and then full attack.
    OK, I compared this to various similiar martial maneuvers, and I see that all of maneuvers with similar effects require full-round actions and are still anchored to the character's move speed. So here's a second draft. Thoughts?

    STEP BETWEEN HEARTBEATS [Combat Form, Fighter]
    In a flash, you draw your blade and spring across the battlefield, leaving a line of hacked and mangled victims in your wake.
    Prerequisites: Wis 13, Jump 12 ranks, Base attack bonus +9 or greater, Combat Focus, Combat Speed, and either Flyby Attack, Spring Attack, or Swim-by Attack
    Benefit: As a full-round action, expend your Combat Focus to move up to double your speed in a straight line. You move without provoking attacks of opportunity, bounding and leaping across whatever surfaces are available without regard to whether they would normally support your weight, or simply soaring unsupported if no surfaces are available. You may move through spaces occupied by your opponents, although you may not end your movement in such a space. You cannot pass through obstacles that would normally bar your passage, and you take damage appropriately if you pass through a hazardous environment (e.g. a blade barrier or a burning building). If you wish, you may draw a weapon as part of this movement, just as you are entitled to do when moving normally.
    Special: Using Step Between Heartbeats is strenuous. Once you expend your Combat Focus to use this ability, you cannot regain it until the beginning of your next turn, even if you could normally regain it sooner.
    Advancement: If you have Jump 18 ranks and base attack bonus +15 or greater, you may make a single attack at your highest base attack bonus against each foe whose space you pass through. Enemies are flat-footed against these attacks if you did not threaten them before beginning the action. If you are attacking with a weapon drawn as part of this movement, you are entitled to use Iaijutsu Focus against each flat-footed opponent.

    Quote Originally Posted by Pechvarry View Post
    As an aside, I really admire your stick-to-it-iveness with your homebrew, to keep coming back and updating. I admit the irrational feeling I've had where only 1-2 people keep commenting, and it feels like they're fixating on the wrong things over and over again (full BAB on monk would be a good example), so apologies if I'm overemphasizing things like universal class access, etc.
    I tend to be... persistent.

    Quote Originally Posted by ericgrau View Post
    Combat Defense: Whoa dawg. Touch AC doesn't scale like non-touch. This might be a reasonable bonus at low levels but you will become unhittable by rays fast once you hit 27-35 touch AC at medium to high levels. A flat bonus to touch AC would fix this, maybe +4. The expend ability is fine.
    Can you'd explain this? I honestly assumed the opposite was true: a fighter in full plate would add a fat +8 to his touch AC when he gets the feat, while enhancement bonuses to that plate mail will be acquired extremely slowly. Meanwhile, even a poor base attack progression scales faster than the enhancement progression on the fighter's armor, and the casters throwing touch attacks unlock more and better buffs with longer durations as they advance in level. As written, I'd expect this to be a very substantial bonus at low levels that gradually becomes less and less significant with level advancement.

    Quote Originally Posted by ericgrau View Post
    Combat Strike: Normally very weak. I mean the benefit applies 5% of the time and you'll usually miss on a 1 anyway. Good if expended in combination with something like a power attack. Then maybe it's too good since you can full attack with it. So... too polar.
    The benefit I added on a 1 was a kind of half-hearted attempt to give the original feat an effect while focused. Maybe since the Expend ability is pretty good, I should just roll with that only?

    Quote Originally Posted by ericgrau View Post
    Combat Adjustment: Ok. I'd clarify that the 5-foot step eats your next turn's 5 foot step.
    Clarified.

    Quote Originally Posted by ericgrau View Post
    Combat Discipline: I know SR gets a lot of flack for drawbacks, which this feat doesn't even have, but SR is crazy powerful against enemy spells. 10 + CL is way too much for 1 feat. I'd do 4+CL, maybe less. Increase to 8+CL tops if boosted, maybe less. The expend ability is ok.
    Can you explain a little more about your assumptions on this? Why is it ok for clerics to be able to cast spell resistance to gain SR 12 + CL for himself or an ally from level 9 onwards, but not for a swordsman to gain SR 10 + CL at level 15? I was figuring that being six levels behind the cleric and having a more limited activation method (must get and keep combat focus) was an effective limiting factor.

    Quote Originally Posted by ericgrau View Post
    God of War: Rolling twice is statistically about the same as a +4 or +5. Way , way too much for one feat, even with the pre-reqs (which help you anyway), even if it only applied to attack rolls. Rerolling 1 roll per round might be more fair. The expend is fine.
    I'm trying to understand where you're coming from on this one too. This mimics the 9th level spell choose destiny from Cityscape. Why is this too much for an 18th level feat but not too much for a 9th level spell?
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    Default Re: [3.5] Feat-balancing help needed - Combat Form feats

    Quote Originally Posted by jiriku
    Can you'd explain this? I honestly assumed the opposite was true: a fighter in full plate would add a fat +8 to his touch AC when he gets the feat, while enhancement bonuses to that plate mail will be acquired extremely slowly. Meanwhile, even a poor base attack progression scales faster than the enhancement progression on the fighter's armor, and the casters throwing touch attacks unlock more and better buffs with longer durations as they advance in level. As written, I'd expect this to be a very substantial bonus at low levels that gradually becomes less and less significant with level advancement.
    A level 10 fighter has +2 enhancement bonus to his armor, a +1 ring of protection and +1 dex bonus for 10+8+2+1+1=22 touch AC. A level 10 wizard has 5 BAB and 13-16 dex for 6-8 on his touch spells. From there the fighters new touch AC scales at about 0.75 per level and the wizard's AB scales at a hair over 0.5. Eventually he won't hit at all. Even at level 10 it's already time to switch to other spells. And that's assuming the fighter doesn't optimize for it. I'd be tempted to spend a little more and get 24-26 touch AC so I could rarely get hit at all even at level 10.

    Quote Originally Posted by jiriku
    The benefit I added on a 1 was a kind of half-hearted attempt to give the original feat an effect while focused. Maybe since the Expend ability is pretty good, I should just roll with that only?
    I dunno. That wouldn't change much, but at least it'd make it more clear to the player what the feat is good for. I suppose if everyone in your group takes power attack anyway (everyone else gets shafted) and if you don't mind that full attack dropping the foe in one turn it's fine. I mean PA doesn't get good without a way to auto-hit; no ubercharger build comes without one. This isn't as bad (where "bad" means cheesy) as shocktrooper. So the question is how much ubercharger do you allow in your games?

    Quote Originally Posted by jiriku
    Can you explain a little more about your assumptions on this? Why is it ok for clerics to be able to cast spell resistance to gain SR 12 + CL for himself or an ally from level 9 onwards, but not for a swordsman to gain SR 10 + CL at level 15? I was figuring that being six levels behind the cleric and having a more limited activation method (must get and keep combat focus) was an effective limiting factor.
    Spell resistance only lasts a minute per level and eat's the cleric's precious turn which wasn't used on offense. Most of the fight happens in the first 2-3 turns. Quickened spell resistance is a 9th level spell. Either way a Codzilla can be dispelled effectively if the cleric tries to pile on too many buffs (many buffs will drop, even if many remain). Or even if not then it only lasts 1 fight. I mean if he tried to cast all his unbeatable defenses and buffs like divine power, even with quicken spell and a buffing round his party would be done with 2 fights and asking him "wtf were you doing this whole time?"

    Quote Originally Posted by jiriku
    I'm trying to understand where you're coming from on this one too. This mimics the 9th level spell choose destiny from Cityscape. Why is this too much for an 18th level feat but not too much for a 9th level spell?
    I'm not familiar with that spell so I can only asume that it's OP or is an arcane spell with a casting range of personal rather than targetted. A +4 to everything is almost like saying "Hey dawg, gain 4 levels on the house. Nah, it's no biggy, have at it." +4 CR is enough to make a fight go from routine to extremely difficult. And like spell resistance I bet that spell eats an action too, not that an action would be enough to offset the benefit in this case, but it would help a lot. Again, quickened choose destiny would be a 13th level spell.

    Unless your group actually allows DMM persist clerics, in which case I'd say that's your real problem not finding ways to get a fighter to match.
    Last edited by ericgrau; 2011-04-11 at 11:59 AM.
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    Default Re: [3.5] Feat-balancing help needed - Combat Form feats

    Quote Originally Posted by ericgrau View Post
    A level 10 fighter has +2 enhancement bonus to his armor, a +1 ring of protection and +1 dex bonus for 10+8+2+1+1=22 touch AC. A level 10 wizard has 5 BAB and 13-16 dex for 6-8 on his touch spells. From there the fighters new touch AC scales at about 0.75 per level and the wizard's AB scales at a hair over 0.5. Eventually he won't hit at all. Even at level 10 it's already time to switch to other spells. And that's assuming the fighter doesn't optimize for it. I'd be tempted to spend a little more and get 24-26 touch AC so I could rarely get hit at all even at level 10.
    OK, I see where you're coming from. I wasn't considering the impact of other magical gear. I'd still like the feat to scale with level though. Maybe if it added half the armor bonus instead? That would work out to about what you're suggesting, and would adjust the scalar factor between the fighter and the wizard to about dead even (or slightly in favor of the fighter, which should be more than fair, since casters have spells available to boost the accuracy of their attacks).


    Quote Originally Posted by ericgrau View Post
    That wouldn't change much, but at least it'd make it more clear to the player what the feat is good for. I suppose if everyone in your group takes power attack anyway (everyone else gets shafted) and if you don't mind that full attack dropping the foe in one turn it's fine. I mean PA doesn't get good without a way to auto-hit; no ubercharger build comes without one. This isn't as bad (where "bad" means cheesy) as shocktrooper. So the question is how much ubercharger do you allow in your games?
    No one every builds an ubercharger, even though my monsters often rely pretty heavily on those tactics. I think it just doesn't suit anyone's playstyle. So you'd see the chief drawback here as that it can produce excessive damage in conjunction with a full attack and Power Attack? Hmm, what if I were to reduce or eliminate the bonuses and add in some other kind of effect, like a status debuff, forced movement, or knockdown (or some combination of those)?

    Quote Originally Posted by ericgrau View Post
    Spell resistance only lasts a minute per level and eat's the cleric's precious turn which wasn't used on offense. Most of the fight happens in the first 2-3 turns. Quickened spell resistance is a 9th level spell. Either way a Codzilla can be dispelled effectively if the cleric tries to pile on too many buffs (many buffs will drop, even if many remain). Or even if not then it only lasts 1 fight. I mean if he tried to cast all his unbeatable defenses and buffs like divine power, even with quicken spell and a buffing round his party would be done with 2 fights and asking him "wtf were you doing this whole time?"
    So the chief power concern is not the amount of spell resistance per se, it's that SR is good and the fighter doesn't have to spend an action to get it? OK, I can see where you're coming from on that. Would it be more reasonable as a 17th level feat than a 15th level feat? That's the level at which casters get those 9th level spell slots.

    Quote Originally Posted by ericgrau View Post
    I'm not familiar with that spell so I can only asume that it's OP or is an arcane spell with a casting range of personal rather than targetted. A +4 to everything is almost like saying "Hey dawg, gain 4 levels on the house. Nah, it's no biggy, have at it." +4 CR is enough to make a fight go from routine to extremely difficult. And like spell resistance I bet that spell eats an action too, not that an action would be enough to offset the benefit in this case, but it would help a lot. Again, quickened choose destiny would be a 13th level spell.

    Unless your group actually allows DMM persist clerics, in which case I'd say that's your real problem not finding ways to get a fighter to match.
    Choose destiny is a 9th level spell on the Destiny domain list, with a swift action cast(!) and a 1 round/level duration. It lets you roll twice for every d20 roll you make during the duration. Personal range only (and thus can be made Persistent by various shenanigans). But I think I see your concern. And yes, we do use Divine Metamagic, both on the PC and NPC/monster side.
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    Default Re: [3.5] Feat-balancing help needed - Combat Form feats

    Interesting idea on the touch AC. Ya touch AC normally scales at 0.25 or so per level, so that plus half of 0.5 is 0.5 or so, right what you need. Make sure it starts at a reasonable value and you're good to go. +4 from half of +8 is probably fine.

    If your group is ok with uberchargers then the PA helping feat may even be a little weaker as-is and fine. Though ya remove the nigh-useless static ability so it doesn't become trap bait.

    Decent SR at level 17? Not sure, everything seems crazy at level 17. Still seems like a lot for only 1 feat. If you wanted something like 4+level, 8+level, 12+level from 3 feats then that might work, maybe even at an earlier level. Or requiring a large number of combat form feats to get to 8+level or something else on par with those or a mix.

    Ya if you allow DMM and persist (and DMM persist) then matching cleric cheese isn't so bad, and anything that mimics a cleric spell should be allowed cheaply even if it would be OP otherwise. Choose destiny is OP as a swift IMO, but not compared to DMM persist.
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    Default Re: [3.5] Feat-balancing help needed - Combat Form feats

    I find myself disagreeing with Ericgrau, here. On high amounts of +touch AC and (action-free) SR: we're still talking about melee vs mage syndrome, here. I hate to Sunder a dead horse, but mages have a billion ways to shut down melee completely. No one mage relies entirely on touch attacks to do it, so having one member of the party almost immune isn't any worse than a Scout with permanent Freedom of Movement, shutting down any grapple-type monster. Same with SR: it's nice, but there's a multitude of ways through it and it's easier to boost CL than SR.

    Really, what makes them feel so potent is the idea WotC ingrained in us that everyone should be assumed to be at the whims of a mage. If this is something a Fighter can do (with a quite high feat investment, btw) that a mage cannot, so be it.

    As for Combat Strike: it's a little self-defeating. Once you have enough Combat Form feats that it's actually powerful, you also have a billion other Expend effects you're choosing not to use for a simple bonus to attack and damage. Not to mention every Combat Form feat is one less Ubercharger feat grabbed. So more likely, if used with PA, it would make a decentcharger instead of an ubercharger -- and likely a good combatant with power attack that isn't just "charge monster #300083".

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    Default Re: [3.5] Feat-balancing help needed - Combat Form feats

    Modified Combat Defense, Combat Strike, and Combat Adjustment, mostly to improve readability and clarity. I did notice that the advancement effect on Combat Defense was really lame, so I replaced it with a better one.

    I do observe that an 18th level disciplined fighter with Dex 13, Wis 13, Knowledge (arcana) 9, Spellcraft 9, Dodge, Evasive Reflexes, Mage Slayer, Combat Focus, Combat Defense, Combat Discipline, Combat Adjustment, God War, and three other Combat Form feats is extremely difficult to harm. He can duck one attack per round with his bonus 5-foot step, has SR of 15+HD, has an impressive touch AC, has +4 Will save, and can expend his combat focus to dart out of the area of an area spell, auto-pass a saving throw, or auto-negate a spell effect.

    But then, that's an 18th-level character who's invested 11 feats (5 of them purely defensive), 18-36 skill points, and up to 10 point-buy attribute points in becoming good at not getting killed by spellcasters. Is that a reasonable investment for the benefits gained?
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    Default Re: [3.5] Feat-balancing help needed - Combat Form feats

    With the exception of Combat Adjustment, such a character isn't terribly well defended against more traditional assaults: the chargers, the archers, and the sneak attacks. Of course, he has 3 other combat form feats, so he's obviously not without tricks.

    Baiting him into expending his focus -- such as with Waves of Exhaustion (no save), would take a lot of wind out of his sales. If anything pushes him into the territory of being too powerful, it's *drumroll* the Disciplined Fighter ability to freely reacquire a new focus every round.

    I think it's about time we saw this class.

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    Default Re: [3.5] Feat-balancing help needed - Combat Form feats

    But... it isn't Friday yet! How can I post a fighter fix?
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    Default Re: [3.5] Feat-balancing help needed - Combat Form feats

    Shutting down one tactic only encourages the DM to send another tactic or else watch you curbstomp his encounters. At the same time 90%+ of gaming groups seem civilized enough that casters don't cause a problem, and it isn't because they're holding back. It's because what's on the internet is only 2% of what's out there and they don't spend their free time on forums nor searching for that 2% nor actively trying to break the game.

    It's actually better and easier to take away the "I win" buttons on both. No uberchargers, and anything might make its low save even without optimization. Or carry a simple cheap mundane backup for common tactic X. Like flour bombs for invisibility, and/or DC 20 listen checks. Then you're playing a game where anything might or might not work, PCs make clever plans and it's fun again.
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    Default Re: [3.5] Feat-balancing help needed - Combat Form feats

    Very true. Once of the challenges I'm having in remixing the fighter to a fun-promoting balance point is that power classes shape the game in our minds, while the balance point I'm seeking is elusive, because so few classes and mechanics are built to it. I'm finding it's very easy to overshoot the mark by unconsciously comparing everything to what I can do with a CoDzilla or Batman. It's made even harder for me personally because I've never been attracted to the swordsman-hero archetype (although most of my players are), so martial classes are harder for me than casting classes.
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    Default Re: [3.5] Feat-balancing help needed - Combat Form feats

    Quote Originally Posted by jiriku View Post
    Very true. Once of the challenges I'm having in remixing the fighter to a fun-promoting balance point is that power classes shape the game in our minds, while the balance point I'm seeking is elusive, because so few classes and mechanics are built to it. I'm finding it's very easy to overshoot the mark by unconsciously comparing everything to what I can do with a CoDzilla or Batman. It's made even harder for me personally because I've never been attracted to the swordsman-hero archetype (although most of my players are), so martial classes are harder for me than casting classes.
    I know you've shown in the past that you draw on your players' experience for things to help with your classes (at least I definitely remember that from the Monk), have you tried asking them to bounce some ideas they have off you?

    Also, it's important to note here: What are you trying to do with these feats, bring the Fighter up to par, or give new feat options? Because if you're trying to rebalance the Fighter through feats, and keeping the same core fighter chasis, I'm going to advise you to give up on it now. The problem is not feat power levels, it's the Fighter's power level. Making super powerful fighter only feats that the fighter will basically have to pick up doesn't really solve a whole lot.

    The Fighter's main problem isn't just damage. Damage is easy. You can make a Fighter Uber Charger relatively easily, and while it won't be the most optimal charging build you could make, it will dish out enough hurt to keep up damage-wise.

    No, what the fighter lacks is flexibility. It gets one trick. Once it gets that trick, it goes back to picking up first level abilities trying to get a second trick. By the time it's mastered that, he's level capped, and has 2 tricks, both of which were appropriate around 10th level.

    What the fighter lacks is flexibility, and utility. If you want to fix the fighter, address those issues. A secondary problem is a severe lack of options. In a given fight, you will generally do the same thing every turn. You have no resources to manage, no special abilities you can use, etc. You're working on Combat Form feats, so you're already familiar with how those, and the Psionic Focus type effects, can create an interesting side to management for the Fighter.


    In my fix (see sig), we expanded on that idea, giving a warrior's focus that is unique to the fighter, with special focus abilities that tend to have more powerful effects, and strong expend powers that grand more flexibility and give the Fighter cool things to do, without being limited in the same way as a Warblade or a Wizard. At the same time the Fighter was given multiple combat styles that he could switch between, allowing him to progress down multiple feat chains simultaneously, keeping that generic fighter feel while making him much more competent at it.
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  30. - Top - End - #30
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    Aug 2009

    Default Re: [3.5] Feat-balancing help needed - Combat Form feats

    Yes. About half of the feats I've posted in this thread and the other one (including Cone of Gore ) were proposed by my players - I just fleshed out the mechanics. Everything that I post here has been through multiple brainstorming sessions and what-if discussions before it reaches the playground. I firmly believe that all of us is smarter than any of us.

    These feats have two goals:
    1. Create new options, especially options that involve more than "I have high AC, to-hit, and damage".
    2. Provide options that worth a fighter's high-level feat slots.


    You hit the nail right on the head when you said the fighter gets two tricks over 20 levels, both of which are 10th-level tricks at best. 90% of published non-caster feats are useless past 3rd level -- even if their prerequisites say otherwise. There's a barren conceptual space where we ought to have awesome feats for high-level martial characters.

    These feats are intended to go with a specific fighter fix. It's been in development for about six months now - I tried several different approaches before I found a way to maintain the fighter's classic feel at a more functional balance point.

    Of course, we have fighter fixes every two weeks here (literally, I did searches), so I'm not expecting the community to suddenly fall over itself to adopt my fighter once I post it. So these feats ought to be able to stand on their own too.

    And rest assured, I have read your fighter fix -- and stolen from it. I bet you recognized Active Assault when you read my Combat Adjustment feat.
    Last edited by jiriku; 2011-04-11 at 11:01 PM.
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