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    Barbarian in the Playground
     
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    Default [3.5] Simpler Combat Mechanics

    I've made simple summaries that can explain how a combat mechanic works in a single sentence, which hopefully would make things easier for anyone trying to learn about them. I removed size bonuses from grappling, because it seems like only Strength would really be relevant there. I clumped bull rush, overrun, and trip into one mechanic, because they are pretty similar. I buffed feint a bit, because a quick little movement shouldn't take that long, and it really hurts the viability of the mechanic.

    But my question to you is, are they really simpler, especially with all of the necessary aftertext I had to put into the spoiler?

    Grappling an opponent requires a melee touch attack and an opposed Strength check, and results in your opponent losing his Dexterity bonus to AC and movement speeds, and you being treated as having one arm full and moving into your opponent's square, if successful.

    With Improved Grapple, your opponent loses all use of his hands (and mouth, if you use your other arm to cover it). He cannot attack with most weapons or natural attacks, or cast spells with verbal or somatic components.

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    Melee touch attack in place of any attack action to initiate. This provokes an AoO unless you have Improved Unarmed Strike. Next, the attacker and defender make opposed grapple checks. A grapple check is a Strength check. If the attacker succeeds, both are now grappling, and the attacker moves into the defender's square. If the attacker is much stronger or larger than the defender, he can make the defender move into his square instead, at the DM's discretion.

    The defender can make a grapple check as a standard action to escape the grapple. He gets a free check to escape any time the attacker takes an action to do anything. The attacker can end the grapple as a free action with no check. He can move himself and the defender at half his normal speed as a move action, provided he can drag his opponent's weight. The defender is helpless.

    Attacks made against the grapplers hit the wrong target on a roll of 5 or lower. If the attacker spends a standard action to hide behind the defender, a roll of 15 or lower is always redirected to the defender. Roll the attack roll before choosing which AC to roll against.

    You can only grapple a creature up to one size category larger than yourself. The Improved Grapple feat now lets you grapple creatures up to two size categories larger than yourself, in addition to the +4 bonus on grapple checks.

    To feint, roll a Bluff check against a creature that you threaten's Sense Motive check. If you succeed, he is flatfooted against your next attack or full attack action within 1 round.

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    Feinting starts as a move action, and becomes a swift action with Improved Feint. A creature is immune to being feinted for 1d4 rounds after a successful feint from a given feinter. The Improved Feint feat makes this 1 round.


    Bull rushing an opponent requires a melee touch attack and an opposed Strength check, and results in your opponent being knocked prone if successful.

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    Melee touch attack in place of any attack action to initiate. This provokes an AoO if done with bare hands, unless you have Improved Unarmed Strike. If the touch attack is missed, the attempt fails. Otherwise, the attacker and defender make opposed bull rush checks. A bull rush check is a Strength check.

    - If the attacker wins and chooses to stay in his square, the defender doesn't move, but falls prone.

    - If the attacker wins and chooses to move with the defender, the attacker pushes the defender back 5 feet per 2 points by which his bull rush check was larger, to a maximum of the attacker's remaining movement speed for the round. The attacker and defender both fall prone at the end of the movement, unless they hit a solid object first. The attacker can also make a Balance check (DC = his own Bull Rush check) to stay standing. Either way, they end up in the same square.

    - If the defender wins, and the attacker was charging, the attacker falls prone. Otherwise, nothing happens.

    - If the attacker wins and the defender falls prone, the attacker can cause the defender to fall prone anywhere within the landing square. This means that he could, for example, push a creature off a cliff, while remaining on top himself. If only the very edge of the cliff is in that square, he might be hanging off the edge of the cliff, which could require Strength or Balance checks to hold on. DM judgement should be liberally applied.

    You receive a +4 bonus to your bull rush check for each size category larger than Medium you are, and a -4 penalty for each size category smaller than Medium. You receive a +1 bonus to your bull rush check for every 5 feet you moved while charging to your target, if you charged. Stable opponents receive a +4 bonus to bull rush checks as a defender, as noted in their stat blocks.

    You can only bull rush a creature within one size category of yourself. The Improved Bull Rush feat now lets you bull rush creatures within two size categories of yourself, in addition to the +4 bonus on bull rush checks.

    Disarm and sunder are no longer standard combat actions. They might be granted by certain prestige classes (such as duelist for disarm, and frenzied berserker for sunder), or feat chains if they are really desired, but should generally be avoided due to how they usually just create less fun for the player characters, while being ineffective against many monsters.

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    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    DruidGirl

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    Default Re: [3.5] Simpler Combat Mechanics

    I've only looked at the Grappling one so far. While it is simpler than the normal rules, it's also much more restrictive to the grapplee, which I dislike. I prefer the size restriction to only apply to larger creatures, too.

    If you've ever had to bathe a cat before, you know that Medium creatures can grapple Tiny creatures, and the defender in a grapple can attack without breaking it!

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    Default Re: [3.5] Simpler Combat Mechanics

    Your grapple results in anyone with a high strength score killing anything they can reach. Grapple check, offhand dagger, coup de grace, dead. Especially if you have a team member. Can even be an NPC, you don't need much damage for lethal CdGs.

    I think Bull rush moves the opponent quite a bit too far. If you have a double move, you can easily move your opponent 30, 40 feet on a decent roll.
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    Default Re: [3.5] Simpler Combat Mechanics

    Quote Originally Posted by Midwoka View Post
    I've only looked at the Grappling one so far. While it is simpler than the normal rules, it's also much more restrictive to the grapplee, which I dislike. I prefer the size restriction to only apply to larger creatures, too.

    If you've ever had to bathe a cat before, you know that Medium creatures can grapple Tiny creatures, and the defender in a grapple can attack without breaking it!
    I will definitely change that, it doesn't make sense that you can't grab a cat, but it makes sense the cat can't grab you. The thing about attacking you though is a different story. I would say you didn't successfully grapple the cat, and he was getting attacks of opportunity against you.

    If you were in combat with it, and wanted to make it helpless, and were a trained professional, you could probably grapple it without being attacked. Maybe I should allow the grapplee to attack if you don't have Improved Grapple?

    Quote Originally Posted by Eldan View Post
    Your grapple results in anyone with a high strength score killing anything they can reach. Grapple check, offhand dagger, coup de grace, dead. Especially if you have a team member. Can even be an NPC, you don't need much damage for lethal CdGs.
    I was considering helpless being too good of a condition, even if it does simplify things, but then I compared it to things like hold person and glitterdust. These shut someone down equally, and can also be made useless by mid-level items/spells (freedom of movement, raptor's mask). It's just a Will save instead of a Strength check, and at ~140 feet instead of ~70. This makes me hesitant to change the condition, but I am still thinking about it.

    Quote Originally Posted by Eldan View Post
    I think Bull rush moves the opponent quite a bit too far. If you have a double move, you can easily move your opponent 30, 40 feet on a decent roll.
    I dunno, I figured if you're moving with the guy, and you beat him in a Strength check already, it shouldn't be too tough to take him as far as you can travel. I think it correlates well with the bonuses to bull rush. Being larger lets you move them an additional 20 feet, and each 5 feet of momentum you gain in a charge lets you move them an additional 5 feet. I might lower it to 5 feet per 2 points you beat the roll by, but I don't think I'd go back up to 5.

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    Default Re: [3.5] Simpler Combat Mechanics

    Quote Originally Posted by Baron Corm View Post
    I was considering helpless being too good of a condition, even if it does simplify things, but then I compared it to things like hold person and glitterdust. These shut someone down equally, and can also be made useless by mid-level items/spells (freedom of movement, raptor's mask). It's just a Will save instead of a Strength check, and at ~140 feet instead of ~70. This makes me hesitant to change the condition, but I am still thinking about it.
    The fact that there are spells which are too good does not make the current mechanic any less broken when compared to normal combat rules.

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    Default Re: [3.5] Simpler Combat Mechanics

    Quote Originally Posted by Vadskye View Post
    The fact that there are spells which are too good does not make the current mechanic any less broken when compared to normal combat rules.
    I would hardly call those spells too good. They're standard fare expected from a character of that level, and they have enough ways to counter them. A meleer at low level could just kill a typical low-Strength creature in one or two normal hits, even totally unoptimized.

    But your comment got me thinking about melee equivalents, and I arrived at Stunning Fist and Freezing the Lifeblood. Though they require feat slots, they don't tie up your movement or hands. They have pretty high base attack bonus requirements, though. How about this:

    Base grapple - target loses Dexterity bonus to AC.
    Improved grapple - target can't make any attacks or use its hands in any way.
    Greater grapple - target is helpless. Can grapple those buffed with freedom of movement, though they get a +10 (?) on their check.

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    Default Re: [3.5] Simpler Combat Mechanics

    I would, however, still say that it is quite likely always better to grapple than to use your weapons, once you are trained for it. Which seems paradoxical to me. Grappling ignores armour and anything other than strength bonus. It's too good.

    Also, those spells come online at later levels, grapple is available right away.

    And, as said: just because there are already save-or-sucks that are far too good doesn't mean there should be more. It only makes the game into more of a rocket-tag.

    Maybe change it to "unable to move and lose dex bonus"?

    Edit: or what you suggested. I'm fine with a feat tax.
    Last edited by Eldan; 2012-08-27 at 06:04 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Palanan View Post
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    Barbarian in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: [3.5] Simpler Combat Mechanics

    Good call on "unable to move" though . Had to put that in.

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    Default Re: [3.5] Simpler Combat Mechanics

    Maybe for the first one, also something like "you get an attack of opportunity if the target attacks"? Just so you have a way of stopping them.
    Extended Brewer's signature

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    Quote Originally Posted by Palanan View Post
    I want more mwa-ha-haaa and much less boo-hoo-hoo.

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