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    Default Flight and 5th level

    It seems to be common wisdom here that characters should be able to fly from 5th level onwards.

    I'm wondering if instead, that should be phrased as "characters should be able to defeat any flying enemies from 5th level onwards".

    Wizards, of course, have their fly spells. And you can give any class boots of flying and flying carpets and whatever. But if you are aiming for any story that approaches traditional fantasy stories, you can't really have flight.

    So, instead...

    We need a way to attack beasties in the air, and if necessary, bring them down.

    Just about every class has a ranged weapon attack, even if it isn't quite their optimum attack. So the first issue is solved.

    Stopping a flying opponent is trickier. I'm not sure it should be a requirement though -- any monster with a faster land movement rate (or faster swim in aquatic areas) creates the same conundrum but no one says diddly about them.

    So, how about this...

    Any hit against a creature that needs to concentrate to maintain flight (winged flight, essentially) may temporarily lose control resulting in some loss of altitude. They must make a Reflex save (DC 10 + damage taken), and loses 5 ft of altitude for each point the check was failed by; if this knocks him to the ground, he also takes falling damage.

    3.5e removed the high jump caps from 3.0e. Even so, jumping is still too limited to allow for cinematic jumps to make melee attacks against fliers. Since we are aiming for a less animesque style though, that wouldn't be appropriate.

    Are there any other ways to counter the obvious advantage that flight gives in combat?

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    Default Re: Flight and 5th level

    1. D&D is not Lord of the Rings in any way shape or form past level five. I can't tell you how many times I've told people this. Aragorn is level 4 tops. D&D goes way beyond the power of lord of the rings. Even Gandalf eventually, and he was literally a demigod... and a Jesus allegory.

    2. Hitting a flying creature at range can be a very tenuous option. The range increment on a longbow is seriously only 100 feet. After that you start taking -2 penalties, and given how high AC tends to be that's bad. And other kinds of bow and thrown weapons have it even worse.

    3. Ranged weapons don't do very much damage DC 10+damage dealt will seriously be like 20 damage top at low levels and it won't go up too terribly much as you level up more. So this option isn't too hot to begin with and scales horribly. Unless you're a wizard.

    4. The only person on your team who can reasonably pull this off most of the time is the wizard who can fly so it's a moot point.

    The long and short of all this is basically that your best option is just to give everyone boots of flying at level five.
    Last edited by Falin; 2012-04-04 at 07:31 AM.

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    Default Re: Flight and 5th level

    Quote Originally Posted by Ashtagon View Post
    Any hit against a creature that needs to concentrate to maintain flight (winged flight, essentially) may temporarily lose control resulting in some loss of altitude. They must make a Reflex save (DC 10 + damage taken), and loses 5 ft of altitude for each point the check was failed by; if this knocks him to the ground, he also takes falling damage.
    This can already be done with a trip attack. Check the section on tripping fliers.

    Quote Originally Posted by Falin View Post
    1. D&D is not Lord of the Rings in any way shape or form past level five. I can't tell you how many times I've told people this. Aragorn is level 4 tops. D&D goes way beyond the power of lord of the rings. Even Gandalf eventually, and he was literally a demigod
    Agreed, if you worry about flight then what are you going to do when teleportation comes into play?

    Quote Originally Posted by Falin View Post
    2. Hitting a flying creature at range can be a very tenuous option. The range increment on a longbow is seriously only 100 feet. After that you start taking -2 penalties, and given how high AC tends to be that's bad. And other kinds of bow and thrown weapons have it even worse.
    Unless you're fighting a caster then the flyer is probably going to have the same issue you are and so this isn't going to be an issue. After all if you can't hit them chances are they can't hit you. If they're attacking you in melee they're going to have to remain within a 100ft distance, if not closer unless they have a ridiculously high fly speed and flyby attack. If they're using ranged attacks then either they have to take a penalty too or they have to be close enough that you can hit them without penalty.

    If they're a caster raining spells on you then about all you can do is seek cover.

    Quote Originally Posted by Falin View Post
    3. Ranged weapons don't do very much damage DC 10+damage dealt will seriously be like 20 damage top at low levels and it won't go up too terribly much as you level up more. So this option isn't too hot to begin with and scales horribly. Unless you're a wizard.
    Pretty much, unless you're optimized for range chances are your damage is going to be pretty weak.

    Quote Originally Posted by Falin View Post
    4. The only person on your team who can reasonably pull this off most of the time is the wizard who can fly so it's a moot point.

    The long and short of all this is basically that your best option is just to give everyone boots of flying at level five.
    I disagree, the solution is that the DM shouldn't throw creatures in that the party can't handle. If you're going to throw a flier at them then you should ensure that the party has a way of dealing with it. You don't have to give them flight on a silver platter though.

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    Default Re: Flight and 5th level

    Quote Originally Posted by Rejusu View Post
    Unless you're fighting a caster then the flyer is probably going to have the same issue you are and so this isn't going to be an issue. After all if you can't hit them chances are they can't hit you. If they're attacking you in melee they're going to have to remain within a 100ft distance, if not closer unless they have a ridiculously high fly speed and flyby attack. If they're using ranged attacks then either they have to take a penalty too or they have to be close enough that you can hit them without penalty.
    Or, they can keep you out of range by coming down, firing then going back up. Yeah this requires fly by attack, but it hardly requires high flight speed. It certainly helps, as you can get back up higher and maybe keep your enemies at an even worse advantage, but it's not necessary.

    I disagree, the solution is that the DM shouldn't throw creatures in that the party can't handle. If you're going to throw a flier at them then you should ensure that the party has a way of dealing with it. You don't have to give them flight on a silver platter though.
    Granted, but if you never throw flying enemies in the wizard can just fly all day and throw fire balls at all the puny mortal enemies.

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    Default Re: Flight and 5th level

    I know D&D isn't LotR. But currently, the choice seems to be

    1) Play at levels 1-4, where 99% of class features never come into play.
    2) Go into high magic mode.
    3) By GM fiat ensure no flying creatures ever take umbrage at the party.

    I want to play at least into mid-levels (6th-10th) without having to enter high magic mode. Too many stories get short-circuited if everyone has casual flight abilities. Not just LotR, but also Odyssey, Beowulf, every Sindbad story ever, Wizard of Oz, Alice in Wonderland, and The Beastmaster. Chicken Run too, for that matter.

    The rules for tripping fliers is nice, but you have to dedicate an attack specifically to tripping (and so not doing damage), and there aren't a great many ranged weapons that can be used to make trip attacks anyway.

    You almost make a good point about teleportation. However, that isn't a combat spell. It can be used to escape from combat, but it doesn't grant any advantage in the combat itself.

    What I am looking for are creative house rules that allow a party to reasonably fight against flying creatures without themselves being fliers. The three options at the top of this post are not satisfying ones. Surely this forum has enough imagination to find something?

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    Default Re: Flight and 5th level

    Here's a suggestion:

    Certain weapons, such as polearms (the DM can decide which weapons specifically), can be readied against a flying creature's dive attack. If this attack is successful, the creature takes double damage and falls prone in the square it was hit, no save.

    There. Now once the party is ready, they can reasonably dispatch a flyer, but the flying creature still has to be bold enough to charge a warrior and gets its AC as a defense.
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    Default Re: Flight and 5th level

    Or even just allow melee types to ready an attack for when a flyer swoops down on them. The attacks resolve simultaneously.
    Quote Originally Posted by Grod_The_Giant View Post
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    Default Re: Flight and 5th level

    Quote Originally Posted by Ashtagon View Post
    I know D&D isn't LotR. But currently, the choice seems to be

    1) Play at levels 1-4, where 99% of class features never come into play.
    2) Go into high magic mode.
    3) By GM fiat ensure no flying creatures ever take umbrage at the party.

    I want to play at least into mid-levels (6th-10th) without having to enter high magic mode. Too many stories get short-circuited if everyone has casual flight abilities. Not just LotR, but also Odyssey, Beowulf, every Sindbad story ever, Wizard of Oz, Alice in Wonderland, and The Beastmaster. Chicken Run too, for that matter.
    Okay, let me rephrase that. D&D is not meant to simulate any fantasy setting except D&D. If you truly want to allow fighter types to function against flying creatures who fight intelligently without magic... give them all a feat at level five that multiplies the range increment of their ranged weapons by four. However this is only a patch, one that I've put no time into running the numbers for, and it doesn't really solve the pathetic damage they'll be putting out.

    Honestly, D&D is a high magic game. That's just the nature of the beast. You either accept it and play homebrew classes that close the gap between melee and magic (I prefer tome personally), accept that your fighter will never measure up to the party wizard, or you play E6.
    Last edited by Falin; 2012-04-04 at 08:13 AM.

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    Default Re: Flight and 5th level

    Quote Originally Posted by Falin View Post
    Or, they can keep you out of range by coming down, firing then going back up. Yeah this requires fly by attack, but it hardly requires high flight speed. It certainly helps, as you can get back up higher and maybe keep your enemies at an even worse advantage, but it's not necessary.
    Well fair point that a ranged attacker (with a similar range increment to a longbow) with flyby attack could dart in and out of a 100ft distance and still attack even without a high flight speed. But for a melee attacker? Even with flyby attack they'd need a fly speed over 200ft to close a 100ft distance, attack and then return to that distance. Any flying melee creature would probably have to remain within a 100ft radius of the party, if not much closer. Remember too that any creature without perfect maneuverability ascends at half speed.

    The most deadly flyers though are casters, who can just sit 150ft away or more peppering you with magic missiles.

    Quote Originally Posted by Falin View Post
    Granted, but if you never throw flying enemies in the wizard can just fly all day and throw fire balls at all the puny mortal enemies.
    Yes but:

    Quote Originally Posted by Rejusu
    the DM shouldn't throw creatures in that the party can't handle. If you're going to throw a flier at them then you should ensure that the party has a way of dealing with it.
    Somehow I think if your party has a flying wizard that qualifies as a way of dealing with flyers. Plus there's another way to stop the wizard flying all day, they're called "ceilings".

    At any rate my point was that flight is an important ability for most parties because they need a way of dealing with flying enemies. Rather than giving them easy access to flight to solve this problem the other way is to simply ensure they don't deal with any flying enemies. You don't need a solution if you remove the problem.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ashtagon View Post
    I know D&D isn't LotR. But currently, the choice seems to be

    1) Play at levels 1-4, where 99% of class features never come into play.
    2) Go into high magic mode.
    3) By GM fiat ensure no flying creatures ever take umbrage at the party.
    You missed one:
    4) Use a different system.

    D&D is designed for high-magic. If you want to play something that isn't high magic you should try a different system. If you get the point where you're trying to drastically change the system to work in a way it wasn't designed to then you might be better off looking elsewhere.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ashtagon View Post
    The rules for tripping fliers is nice, but you have to dedicate an attack specifically to tripping (and so not doing damage), and there aren't a great many ranged weapons that can be used to make trip attacks anyway.
    Who says it has to be done as a ranged attack? You can trip as an AoO or you could do it using a reach weapon if the flier is a melee fighter. If the flyer isn't using flyby attack and only has a 5ft reach itself then you don't even need a reach weapon. Also there are ways to do damage and trip, but even without them a successful trip on a flyer should bring it to the ground and deal falling damage to it. And even if the trip does no damage it puts the enemy in a position where the rest of the party can wail on it.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ashtagon View Post
    You almost make a good point about teleportation. However, that isn't a combat spell. It can be used to escape from combat, but it doesn't grant any advantage in the combat itself.
    I was talking about teleportation in general, not just the spell: teleport. Teleportation offers a massive advantage in combat though.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ashtagon View Post
    What I am looking for are creative house rules that allow a party to reasonably fight against flying creatures without themselves being fliers. The three options at the top of this post are not satisfying ones. Surely this forum has enough imagination to find something?
    Only use flying creatures that use melee attacks as these can be dealt with through trips, readied attacks and AoO's. Have a wizard or other strong ranged attacker in the party. Or quite simply don't throw flying creatures at a party that can't handle fighting them. If they're not fighting flying creatures why do they need to be able to fight flying creatures? Sometimes the simplest solution is to just get rid of the problem.

    Quote Originally Posted by Grod_The_Giant View Post
    Or even just allow melee types to ready an attack for when a flyer swoops down on them. The attacks resolve simultaneously.
    I don't think you even have to specifically allow that. I'm pretty sure you can ready an attack against a flyer to attack when in range even without special ruling on it.

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    Default Re: Flight and 5th level

    Ultimately is should depend on how you operate a campaign. If your players are the type that just grab a weapon and armour and beat up mosters to power level, then I agree that you should not throw enemies they cannot handle at them. However, if you players like using their heads and role playing then this could be a very fun and creative situation. Perhaps the archer lights his arrows on fire and sets the flier aflame, distracting it as it falls to the ground. Maybe the fighter whips out his grappling hook or ties a rope to his crossbow bolt and fishes it out of the sky. Heck, a particularly strong barbarian could probably throw your halfling rogue up into the air and within attacking range. Or maybe they realize their weaknesses and walk away. I honestly don't see why there needs to be any sort of rule changes, seeing as currely anything is possible in the D&D universe as long as you have some imagination.
    Last edited by Chaos_Laicosin; 2012-04-04 at 11:27 AM.

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    Default Re: Flight and 5th level

    Quote Originally Posted by Rejusu View Post
    Well fair point that a ranged attacker (with a similar range increment to a longbow) with flyby attack could dart in and out of a 100ft distance and still attack even without a high flight speed. But for a melee attacker? Even with flyby attack they'd need a fly speed over 200ft to close a 100ft distance, attack and then return to that distance. Any flying melee creature would probably have to remain within a 100ft radius of the party, if not much closer. Remember too that any creature without perfect maneuverability ascends at half speed.
    Or, such creatures keep a long bow on hand because they know they might come up against creatures who travel in groups and are more effective at close range. Surely there are some creatures that will charge in and full attack even if it' smarter to not do that. But those creatures aren't very
    smart and therefore not very much of a challenge. The same can be said for any creatures who uses bad tatics

    Somehow I think if your party has a flying wizard that qualifies as a way of dealing with flyers. Plus there's another way to stop the wizard flying all day, they're called "ceilings".
    Fair enough, but not everyone wants to go through the same dungeon of twenty foot tall corridors. So, I guess say good by to the mines of Moria, no more adventures to stop the evil king from destroying the kingdom. We have to keep the Wizards under a low ceiling.

    At any rate my point was that flight is an important ability for most parties because they need a way of dealing with flying enemies. Rather than giving them easy access to flight to solve this problem the other way is to simply ensure they don't deal with any flying enemies. You don't need a solution if you remove the problem.
    Yup, no more outsiders. Dragons? just make sure they never leave their caves for any reason or you might encounter them outside. There are allot of fairly iconic monsters that fly, many of which are smart enough to use it to their advantage.

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    Default Re: Flight and 5th level

    The main point of this thread is, what can we do to the game to make it so "players can fly" is not the only solution to the "monsters can fly" challenge?

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    Default Re: Flight and 5th level

    Quote Originally Posted by Ashtagon View Post
    The main point of this thread is, what can we do to the game to make it so "players can fly" is not the only solution to the "monsters can fly" challenge?
    The easiest solution would be to go the route of Fire Emblem and install a flight-based weakness to ranged weapons, similar to the [cold] or [fire] subtypes, but taken to a greater extreme due to weapon damage not scaling nearly as much as magical damage.

    How about any creature with a natural fly speed takes triple damage from all manufactured ranged weapons while aloft, due to the creature exposing its most vital areas for the archer to pick out?
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    Default Re: Flight and 5th level

    That could work, you'd have to figure out range increments, Fire Emblem is great but the system doesn't really flow into D&D very well, and perhaps give a save or fall out of the sky.

    Of course you have to be careful, there's a fine line between flying creatures with bows smacking players around and flying creatures being completely unable to actually doing anything. If you make flying too bad an option you get the opposite problem. Creatures with wings who never use them because because it's strictly a worse option than just charging up on foot.

    Then you have the problem of creatures with wings not being able to fly, but wizards still being able to do it. So suddenly no one can risk going up and smacking our fire balling wizard because the party fighter will put an arrow in them and they'll never make it up that high.
    Last edited by Falin; 2012-04-04 at 02:47 PM.

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    Default Re: Flight and 5th level

    Quote Originally Posted by NeoSeraphi View Post
    The easiest solution would be to go the route of Fire Emblem and install a flight-based weakness to ranged weapons, similar to the [cold] or [fire] subtypes, but taken to a greater extreme due to weapon damage not scaling nearly as much as magical damage.

    How about any creature with a natural fly speed takes triple damage from all manufactured ranged weapons while aloft, due to the creature exposing its most vital areas for the archer to pick out?
    Alternatively: Make all successful ranged attacks come with a free trip attempt on the flying creature. Maybe instead of a normal trip attempt (opposed size/str/whatever), make it reflex save DC 10+damage dealt by the shot. (With Many Shot combining all damage for the purpose).

    That way instead of having ranged support being necessary to kill the creature by itself, any ranged attacker can help ground the flying target so everyone else can get in, making it more team focused.
    If my text is blue, I'm being sarcastic.But you already knew that, right?


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    Default Re: Flight and 5th level

    Quote Originally Posted by Seerow View Post
    Alternatively: Make all successful ranged attacks come with a free trip attempt on the flying creature. Maybe instead of a normal trip attempt (opposed size/str/whatever), make it reflex save DC 10+damage dealt by the shot. (With Many Shot combining all damage for the purpose).

    That way instead of having ranged support being necessary to kill the creature by itself, any ranged attacker can help ground the flying target so everyone else can get in, making it more team focused.
    This bringing us back to bows not doing all that much damage to begin with. There's not really a way to effectively make that scale to level. If it were, say DC 10+1/2 attacker's HD that wold make less sense, but it would at least be level appropriate.

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    Default Re: Flight and 5th level

    Quote Originally Posted by Seerow View Post
    Alternatively: Make all successful ranged attacks come with a free trip attempt on the flying creature. Maybe instead of a normal trip attempt (opposed size/str/whatever), make it reflex save DC 10+damage dealt by the shot. (With Many Shot combining all damage for the purpose).

    That way instead of having ranged support being necessary to kill the creature by itself, any ranged attacker can help ground the flying target so everyone else can get in, making it more team focused.
    Seems like a good idea, though we should probably include some kind of modifier to the saving throw based on the creature's maneuverability. For instance, a creature with clumsy or poor maneuverability should be more off-balance and find it harder to stay aloft than a creature with average or good maneuverability.
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    Default Re: Flight and 5th level

    Quote Originally Posted by Falin View Post
    2. Hitting a flying creature at range can be a very tenuous option. The range increment on a longbow is seriously only 100 feet. After that you start taking -2 penalties, and given how high AC tends to be that's bad.
    Of course, at more than 100 feet its own attacks are also restricted or weakened.

    Ranged weapons don't do very much damage
    Perhaps they should, then, at least via feats. A feat that lets you trade attack bonus for better and more frequent crits could serve the same purpose for range that Power Attack does for melee.

    Quote Originally Posted by Rejusu View Post
    This can already be done with a trip attack. Check the section on tripping fliers.
    Good point.

    If they're a caster raining spells on you then about all you can do is seek cover.
    Or attack with a penalty...casters tend to have low AC anyway, barring cheese.

    Pretty much, unless you're optimized for range chances are your damage is going to be pretty weak.
    Not every part is best at everything, and many parties will have a character who can optimize for range, in addition to if not instead of melee. (Fighters are ideal for this, as the high number of feats means they can be good at both range and melee.)

    Quote Originally Posted by Grod_The_Giant View Post
    Or even just allow melee types to ready an attack for when a flyer swoops down on them. The attacks resolve simultaneously.
    This is possible by RAW.

    Quote Originally Posted by Falin View Post
    This bringing us back to bows not doing all that much damage to begin with. There's not really a way to effectively make that scale to level.
    Of course there is. To quote a previous homebrew of mine:


    Deadly Aim:

    Spoiler
    Show

    Choose one type of ranged weapon with which you have taken the Improved Critical feat.
    Prerequisites: Point Blank Shot, Improved Critical with selected weapon, BAB +1
    Benefit: You may take a penalty of -1 to your attack roll with a selected ranged weapon in order to double your critical threat range. This doubling stacks with that granted by Improved Critical; as usual, two doublings equal a tripling.
    You may apply this feat multiple times to a single attack, up to a maximum penalty equal to your BAB.
    If Improved Critical does not apply to an attack, neither does Deadly Aim.
    Special: When using more than one feat that allows you to take a penalty up to your BAB to your attack roll in order to gain other bonuses, the total penalty to your attack roll may not exceed your BAB.



    Improved Deadly Aim:

    Spoiler
    Show

    Choose one type of ranged weapon with which you have taken the Deadly Aim feat.
    Prerequisites: Point Blank Shot, Improved Critical with selected weapon, Deadly Aim with selected weapon, BAB +8
    Benefit: When using Deadly Aim, you may choose to decrease your threat range by 2 (so a 17-20 threat range would become 19-20) in order to increase your critical multiplier by 1. You may apply this ability as many times as you wish to a single attack. If your weapon has a base critical modifier of X3, you may decrease your threat range by 1 to increase your critical multiplier by 1.


    Or you can just use the Pathfinder Deadly Aim.
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    Default Re: Flight and 5th level

    Quote Originally Posted by Yitzi View Post
    Of course, at more than 100 feet its own attacks are also restricted or weakened.
    As I've already pointed out the flying combatant has complete control over the battle field, being able to move in three dimensions and can therefore manipulate the range of battle fairly easily.


    Perhaps they should, then, at least via feats. A feat that lets you trade attack bonus for better and more frequent crits could serve the same purpose for range that Power Attack does for melee.
    Yippe! We get to have even less of a shot at hitting at long range


    Or attack with a penalty...casters tend to have low AC anyway, barring cheese.
    No, after their casting stat a Wizard focuses on dex and con which usually
    means a numeric bonus in all three, then something to give a deflection bonus and a natural armor bonus to AC because there's nothing better for them to spend that gold on. Which adds up pretty quick. Add to that that at 10th level a wizard is casting fire ball from 800 ft in the air and you really stand no chance of hitting unless you can fly.


    Of course there is. To quote a previous homebrew of mine:


    Deadly Aim: /Snip
    That does not make ranged damage scale to level. Those feats are, for lack of a better word, pretty... bad. They synergize- kind of, but you're seriously expecting someone to sink 4-5 feats into a strategy that's so... terrible. First you reduce your already poor, depending on their maneuverability and speed it'll vary but assume at least a -2 penalty in any given round. Then you trade the benefit of your reduced accuracy for a higher damage multiplier which you don't use because a) you don't hit, and b) you don't even have your improved crit range anymore making a crit unlikely. You'd be better off just using your standard bow.

    Why?

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    Default Re: Flight and 5th level

    Quote Originally Posted by Seerow View Post
    Alternatively: Make all successful ranged attacks come with a free trip attempt on the flying creature. Maybe instead of a normal trip attempt (opposed size/str/whatever), make it reflex save DC 10+damage dealt by the shot. (With Many Shot combining all damage for the purpose).
    You fail biology forever!

    I like this idea, but it has a fatal flaw. What if someone manages to get decent ranged damage? Like warlock?
    Yes I know Eldritch Blast does Pitiful damage after a while, but it does more damage most of the time than ranged weapons.
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  21. - Top - End - #21
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    DwarfFighterGuy

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    Default Re: Flight and 5th level

    Or a fireballing wizard underpowered (for a wizard) as it is. That's why if a save VS falling were to be implemented it should follow the standard 10+1/2 level/hd. Maybe with dex as a modifier and a bonus or penalty to the fighter for each step over or under average it's maneuverability is.
    Last edited by Falin; 2012-04-04 at 05:38 PM.

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    Default Re: Flight and 5th level

    Quote Originally Posted by Falin View Post
    As I've already pointed out the flying combatant has complete control over the battle field, being able to move in three dimensions and can therefore manipulate the range of battle fairly easily.
    Yes, the flyer can control the range. That won't help him if you're better than him at both long and short range.

    Yippe! We get to have even less of a shot at hitting at long range
    If you're a fighter, you should be able to get enough of a shot that you can still hit occasionally at long range...since your opponent also has a poor chance of hitting at that range, you can still have the advantage. The only exception would be casters, but they're squishy and you can afford the hit to attack roll (well, barring exploits, but that's not a problem with flight.)

    No, after their casting stat a Wizard focuses on dex and con which usually
    means a numeric bonus in all three
    +3 Dex isn't really going to compare to serious armor.

    then something to give a deflection bonus and a natural armor bonus to AC because there's nothing better for them to spend that gold on. Which adds up pretty quick.
    Not all that quick when compared to your attack roll. After all, you can boost dex and get a good weapon as well. It simply requires deciding that you're not going to purely optimize melee.

    Add to that that at 10th level a wizard is casting fire ball from 800 ft in the air
    So spread out the party, get Protection from Fire or Resist Fire, and let him use up all his spell slots.

    That does not make ranged damage scale to level. Those feats are, for lack of a better word, pretty... bad. They synergize- kind of, but you're seriously expecting someone to sink 4-5 feats into a strategy that's so... terrible.
    For a fighter, 4-5 feats is quite affordable for an entire attack mode.

    First you reduce your already poor, depending on their maneuverability and speed it'll vary but assume at least a -2 penalty in any given round.
    That's a -2 penalty where you have BAB=level and probably 2-3 DEX bonus before buffs and at least a masterwork weapon (and by higher levels a magic weapon.)

    The only way you'll run into a problem is if the target is seriously pumping AC (e.g. 2/3 of WBL, as well as a few spells, into it) and you are not likewise pumping your ranged attack. If so (and especially if they pump other defenses as much as they pump AC), then you should be likewise be able to pump defenses more than they can pump attack, making things even again.

    The only problem is when they can pump attack at no gold cost (e.g. casters or soulknives), but that's not exactly a problem with flight or with ranged attacks then, is it?
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    Default Re: Flight and 5th level

    Quote Originally Posted by Yitzi View Post
    If you're a fighter, you should be able to get enough of a shot that you can still hit occasionally at long range...since your opponent also has a poor chance of hitting at that range, you can still have the advantage. The only exception would be casters, but they're squishy and you can afford the hit to attack roll (well, barring exploits, but that's not a problem with flight.)
    Unless your opponent is actively controlling the range of the battle while you're stuck on the ground then they have a better chance of hitting you. And, don't worry, we'll to casters.

    +3 Dex isn't really going to compare to serious armor.
    No, but lets assume that they put their second best score into dex. So 14 maybe 16. +2-+3 mod, then the wizard buys a +3 to dex bringing that mod up to +3-+4. Our wizard's AC at this point is 10+4=14, but let us also assume a +5 deflection bonus from a spell so 10+4+5=19, then add a +3 at least from that amulet of natural armor, cause really? What's a wizard going to spend it on? Bringing us to a total AC of 21. That's not too shabby. Especially given that spells that require an attack roll require a touch attack so they'll have to hit a much lower AC than that with no penalty to the roll. When they have to roll at all.

    It simply requires deciding that you're not going to purely optimize melee.
    The problem being that if the fighter doesn't purely optimize melee that he has to purely optimize range instead which is itself problematic.

    So spread out the party, get Protection from Fire or Resist Fire, and let him use up all his spell slots.
    At which point the wizard switches to a different long ranged spell. Or just puts down a solid fog before he starts raining death down. Because that way not only do you never hit, what with your -12 penalty to ranged attacks, but you also never even attack because solid fog completely stops non-spell ranged attacks.

    For a fighter, 4-5 feats is quite affordable for an entire attack mode.
    For a fighter, but let's be honest, a fighter has better options to take so why use those?


    The only way you'll run into a problem is if the target is seriously pumping AC (e.g. 2/3 of WBL, as well as a few spells, into it) and you are not likewise pumping your ranged attack. If so (and especially if they pump other defenses as much as they pump AC), then you should be likewise be able to pump defenses more than they can pump attack, making things even again.
    Or, you know, someone with armor a decent dex score and maybe some natural armor.
    Last edited by Falin; 2012-04-05 at 12:40 PM.

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    Default Re: Flight and 5th level

    Quote Originally Posted by Falin View Post
    Unless your opponent is actively controlling the range of the battle while you're stuck on the ground then they have a better chance of hitting you.
    Not true at all. They get to pick the range of the battle, but if you are better than them at every range, then you'll be better than them at the range they pick.

    And, don't worry, we'll to casters.
    Was that supposed to be "do casters"?

    No, but lets assume that they put their second best score into dex. So 14 maybe 16. +2-+3 mod, then the wizard buys a +3 to dex
    I think you mean +2.

    but let us also assume a +5 deflection bonus from a spell
    A wizard spell that gives +5 deflection at level 10, and is low enough that a level 10 wizard can use it regularly without hugely sacrificing offensive capability?

    I'd call that seriously broken, and if that sort of thing is in play then flight is the least of your problems.

    then add a +3 at least from that amulet of natural armor, cause really? What's a wizard going to spend it on?
    INT bonus? Pearls of Power? A cloak of resistance? Scrolls and wands?

    Especially given that spells that require an attack roll require a touch attack so they'll have to hit a much lower AC than that with no penalty to the roll.
    Why will it be much lower? He isn't being stopped by armor, but the guy on the ground isn't facing much armor either. And we're looking at a BAB difference of roughly half the level. It will probably be a slightly easier hit for the wizard, all in all, but not extremely so (well, assuming you're not looking at overpowered spells like the one giving +5 deflection at level 10), and on the flip side you get things like multiple attacks for the guy on the ground, and higher HP, and easier blocking with spells* (spells are easier to block with other spells than mundane attacks are), and not having a limited number of attacks.

    *Well, assuming that Wind Wall is fixed; I concede that that is necessary for flying to not be a problem.

    When they have to roll at all.
    Until really high levels, there's always a roll required. Sometimes it's a save rather than an attack, but that's still a roll.

    The problem being that if the fighter doesn't purely optimize melee that he has to purely optimize range instead which is itself problematic.
    Why? Why can't he take a mix, effectively "optimizing" versatility? His high number of feats pretty much seems designed toward taking some of each.

    At which point the wizard switches to a different long ranged spell.
    Unless he's optimized for only this strategy (dangerous, as it means that he will lose against anyone who is able to fly to meet him), long ranged spells will only be a fraction of his attack spells, and attack spells will necessarily be only a fraction of his total spells...he can't really grab that many. On top of that, if he's a PC-sort (and if he isn't, he gets far less WBL) this isn't his only fight of the day, so he's pretty restricted in what he can use. So yes, someone who prepared both fireball and lightning might be able to get two in before being shut down, but that's not likely to kill a martial character...and if his target guesses right about what he's got left, he might not even get that.

    Or just puts down a solid fog before he starts raining death down.
    At which point his target moves away, he doesn't see it because of the fog, and he ends up wasting all his spells.

    For a fighter, but let's be honest, a fighter has better options to take so why use those?
    What better options does a fighter have in order to be good at ranged as well as melee?

    But yes, it is mainly meant for the fighter. Flight is quite effective against something like a barbarian...but that's why you have a whole party, to cover everyone's weaknesses.

    Or, you know, someone with armor a decent dex score and maybe some natural armor.
    With armor, we're not talking about a caster. Natural armor gets expensive, and similarly for DEX boosts. Yes a flying archer will tend to be hard to hit because he can wear armor and has a good DEX...but if an archer can fly, why not a barbarian with the same method?
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    Default Re: Flight and 5th level

    I don't know about +5 AC from a single spell, but I can think of +4 shield, +4 mage armor, +2 cat's grace or a relevant item, +2 reduce person, +2 ring of protection (8,000 gp at level 10 is pretty small), and haste is available if your DM hasn't banned it. Anyhow, that's +13 AC off of spells (applying to touch attacks, +10 versus flat-footed), and +15 with that item. You could also get a bonus to natural armor and enchant your clothes if that's allowable.

    With +3 Dex, that's 28 AC off of a bit of money, 2 1st-level spells, 2 second-level spells, and maybe a 3rd-level spell. Without haste, that's barely even a tax for a 10th-level character. Of course, I'm not sure what the argument actually is, so may I suggest that the wizard not waste his time and instead use invisibility (2, or 3 for casting on your familiar), mirror image (2), displacement (3), or blink (3).

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    Default Re: Flight and 5th level

    Quote Originally Posted by Just to Browse View Post
    I don't know about +5 AC from a single spell, but I can think of +4 shield, +4 mage armor, +2 cat's grace or a relevant item, +2 reduce person, +2 ring of protection (8,000 gp at level 10 is pretty small), and haste is available if your DM hasn't banned it. Anyhow, that's +13 AC off of spells (applying to touch attacks, +10 versus flat-footed), and +15 with that item. You could also get a bonus to natural armor and enchant your clothes if that's allowable.
    +6 AC from greater mage armor, which is a 3rd level spell in the Spell Compendium. +5 AC from luminous armor in Book of Exalted Deeds, or +8 AC from greater luminous armor.

    With +3 Dex, that's 28 AC off of a bit of money, 2 1st-level spells, 2 second-level spells, and maybe a 3rd-level spell. Without haste, that's barely even a tax for a 10th-level character. Of course, I'm not sure what the argument actually is, so may I suggest that the wizard not waste his time and instead use invisibility (2, or 3 for casting on your familiar), mirror image (2), displacement (3), or blink (3).
    Familiars have the Share Spells ability, so you can automatically affect your familiar with invisibility that you cast on yourself as long as it is within 5' of you, no need to cast invisibility sphere.


    Edit: Though I agree with you, wizards are better off building up miss chances and immunity to ranged weapons through wind wall than by relying on AC.
    Last edited by NeoSeraphi; 2012-04-06 at 02:17 PM.
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    Default Re: Flight and 5th level

    Quote Originally Posted by Just to Browse View Post
    I don't know about +5 AC from a single spell, but I can think of +4 shield, +4 mage armor, +2 cat's grace or a relevant item, +2 reduce person, +2 ring of protection (8,000 gp at level 10 is pretty small), and haste is available if your DM hasn't banned it.
    Doing that for 4 fights is 9 level 1 spells, 4 level 2 spells (unless you shell out 16k for the item instead), and 8 level 3 spells (counting flight). That doesn't leave our wizard with all that much to attack with, unless he's also spending a lot on pearls of power and wands/scrolls. And of course a lot of buffing time, which might allow a canny fighter to get to cover or counterattack before the defenses are up.

    Now, if the wizard can go nova, this will give him an advantage, but frankly, if you're letting wizards go nova then flight is the least of your issues.

    Of course, I'm not sure what the argument actually is, so may I suggest that the wizard not waste his time and instead use invisibility (2, or 3 for casting on your familiar), mirror image (2), displacement (3), or blink (3).
    Invisibility will drop after each attack, seriously increasing spell use and decreasing damage/round. Displacement and Blink give only 50% miss (and Blink hurts the wizard's attack as well), significant but not necessarily crippling, and also cut into available spells. Mirror image is more of an issue, but the images don't benefit from most AC bonuses and so are relatively easy to pop with multiple attacks per round.

    Quote Originally Posted by NeoSeraphi View Post
    +6 AC from greater mage armor, which is a 3rd level spell in the Spell Compendium. +5 AC from luminous armor in Book of Exalted Deeds, or +8 AC from greater luminous armor.
    If you're allowing those sorts of spells, then I don't think flight is the right thing to blame for the wizard winning.

    Edit: Though I agree with you, wizards are better off building up miss chances and immunity to ranged weapons through wind wall than by relying on AC.
    Yeah, Wind Wall does need to be depowered in order to make flight differences ok.
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    Default Re: Flight and 5th level

    You object to a 4th-level spell which grants +8 armor, +12 vs melee, (taking 1d3 points of STR with it), but not to mirror image or displacement? Really?
    I think I've had enough for a while.

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    Default Re: Flight and 5th level

    Quote Originally Posted by Solaris View Post
    You object to a 4th-level spell which grants +8 armor, +12 vs melee, (taking 1d3 points of STR with it), but not to mirror image or displacement? Really?
    Yes. Mirror image can be popped with multiple weak attacks per round (not that hard to get, especially for an archer), since it doesn't get most forms of AC bonus and any attack pops one. It could use some weakening, but isn't that bad (i.e. hard to counter without using magic yourself). Displacement amounts to a 50% decrease to damage taken, or 25% if the attacker has Blind-Fight, or nothing if the attacker is using a seeking weapon or the like. Definitely useful, but not enough to pose a huge problem. +8 armor (+12 vs. melee) is more like an 80% or 90% decrease to damage taken, assuming a 50% to-hit (the standard).

    Perhaps even more significant is the duration. Mirror Image has a duration of 1 minute/level, meaning that without prior warning you have to cast it after initiative was rolled, with all that implies, and you can only use it for one encounter. Displacement is even worse, with a duration of 1 round/level; an enemy skilled at delaying may be able to wait it out. Luminous Armor has 1 hour/level; one casting and you're good for most of a day.
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