Battle mechanics like "trip", "disarm", "grapple", etc.

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Battle mechanics like "trip", "disarm", "grapple", etc.

Postby Atoch » Sat May 05, 2018 11:59 pm

Glad to hear that the gamedevelopment is progressing well.

One of the reason I imagine that pure fighters with a lot of feats (especially strength-fighter) are the Kings of 1v1 battles (that's not the focus of the game, so there shouldn't be a balancing issue), are the really cool (or rather "really, really, really cool") battle mechanics like "trip", "disarm", "grapple", etc..
Were you already able to play around with it and test it?
How useful are they in group-fights? How often did you use them in a fight or, asked in a different way, how useful should they be? (and can the AI already use them?)
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Battle mechanics like "trip", "disarm", "grapple", etc.

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Re: Battle mechanics like "trip", "disarm", "grapple", etc.

Postby BlueSalamander » Sun May 06, 2018 4:47 am

Hello Atoch, thank you for your post. I did test each combat manoeuvre after implementing them, but I have not yet had the chance to see how effective they will be in group battles. I expect that Trip, Bull Rush and Grapple will be very useful.

So far, for my work on the AI, I've been focusing on Fighter versus Wizard and Wizard versus Wizard. In a 1v1 combat against a Wizard, it's very unlikely that the Fighter will win. Because the Wizard can just cast Acid Fog on the Fighter, making the Fighter a sitting duck for the next few rounds without a saving throw. Now, if the Fighter wins initiative and manages to start a grapple with the Wizard, and the Wizard cannot cast Stilled spells, then the Fighter will win.

Yes, the AI can use combat manoeuvres, and it will. Grapple, Disarm, Sunder, Trip and Feint are pretty straightforward for the AI. Whirlwind attack is more involved as it requires a comparison with the expected outcome of a Full Attack. Bull Rush / Slide / Pull / Swap (all part of 'Bull Rush') are a bit complicated because you have to look for dangerous squares and make sure that the change in positions will be beneficial. The AI can do it already but it needs a bit more testing and improvement. Spellcasters also have access to a form of Bull Rush through Gust of Wind spells; these will require specific AI.

Concerning extra feats for some classes, here is what I'm considering:

Champion: bonus feats at levels 2,6,10,14,18
Storm Warrior: bonus feats at levels 2,6,10,14,18
Ranger: bonus feats at levels 5,11,15,17,20
Paladin: bonus feats at levels 7,10,13,17
Bishop: bonus feats at levels 3,7,12,17
Rogue: bonus feats at levels 12,16,20
Mage Knight: bonus feat at level 1
Bard: bonus feat at level 1

I'm not completely sure whether it's a good idea to add those bonus feats, so if anyone has any comments on that, I will be very interested. Thank you!
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Re: Battle mechanics like "trip", "disarm", "grapple", etc.

Postby Atoch » Fri Jul 06, 2018 10:59 pm

I guess, the hybrid classes are quite strong and effective against monster-type adversaries, but are lacking against specialists, not least because of feats like "trip", "disarm", "grapple", etc.. Therefore the defensive properties of these feats seem to be a life-saving necessity for those (melee-)hybrid- classes - so the additional feats are very welcomed and needed.
I, personally, would still prefer specialists for my "ideal" 4-person-party. But with the additional feats, hybrid classes get a lot more attractive - especially as additions for larger party-sizes.

The Ranger-class is a special case. I (probably) wouldn't choose battle-mechanic-feats for him even if he got those additional feats. So there would be a need for another reasoning to justify them - but I still incline to concede some additional feats to the Ranger.

Alternatively: Armour- or weapon-enchantments could provide (the defensive properties of) those feats quite cheaply - but I prefer just getting additional feats.
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Re: Battle mechanics like "trip", "disarm", "grapple", etc.

Postby BlueSalamander » Wed Jul 11, 2018 3:38 am

Thank you! Sounds good to me, so I'm going to add those extra feats to the game. More choices at level-up for those classes will make the game better, I think.
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Re: Battle mechanics like "trip", "disarm", "grapple", etc.

Postby Atoch » Fri Jul 27, 2018 8:49 am

I did look into the classes again and I propose, that clerics and druids get one respectively two additional bonus-feats too.
The druid-class particularly looks bad in comparison to the new Storm Warrior, even if the Storm Warrior isn't used as melee-fighter.
The cleric, at least, has some very attractive high level spells and can get feats by choosing the right domain, but the druid...

The only classes without bonus-feats would be the dual-caster classes Psionic Healer, Sorcerer and Warlock then. Mhm, maybe you could give them some love too?
They aren't very pretty brides to begin with. Without any dowry I fear, that ... What, me? Ah no... rather not... oh there, look! A flying cat!

Apart from that, getting the 6th Domain Power for the Bishop at level 20, isn't that a bit to late?
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Re: Battle mechanics like "trip", "disarm", "grapple", etc.

Postby BlueSalamander » Fri Jul 27, 2018 10:57 am

Hello Atoch, thank you for posting.

I propose, that clerics and druids get one respectively two additional bonus-feats too.
I'm afraid you've just lost this [Persuasion] check. :lol:

IMO, Cleric is one of the most powerful classes, if not the most powerful one. Giving the Cleric one extra feat would not change anything and it's a departure from the 'canonical' Cleric of D&D 3.5 and Pathfinder.

Now, the Druid needs a bit more explanation. Firstly, the Druid has access to a powerful Druidic Elemental Sphere. The Storm Warrior has no access to this. I believe that Druids with an elemental sphere are much better spellcasters than Storm Warriors, who also have to think more about their Strength ability score.

The Druid gains access to higher-level spells quicker than the Storm Warrior. The Druid also gains access to level-8 and level-9 Druid spells, while the Storm Warrior is limited to level-7 Druid spells. Also, the Druid has two good Saving Throws (Fortitude and Willpower), while the Storm Warrior has only one (Fortitude), and the Druid receives a Natural Armour enhancement bonus, while the Storm Warrior receives none. All in all, I would say that the Druid is a much better spellcaster, while the Storm Warrior is a much better fighter. Just as it should be.

The only classes without bonus-feats would be the dual-caster classes Psionic Healer, Sorcerer and Warlock then. Mhm, maybe you could give them some love too?
They aren't very pretty brides to begin with. Without any dowry I fear, that ... What, me? Ah no... rather not... oh there, look! A flying cat!
:lol: I actually think that the Sorcerer and Psychic Healer look great as brides, but not the Warlock. On their number of feats... well, by level 20 they've all received the standard seven feats (one at level 1 and new ones at levels 3, 6, 9, 12, 15 and 18). If they are Human, they received two more feats at level 1. And if they level up beyond level 20, they can get more feats too. I don't see any real need for them to have bonus feats. They don't get any extra feats because their dual-casting ability makes them super-awesome already. :D

Basically, if you want extra feats and other advantages, then you have to play a Wizard or a Psionicist instead. Just as it should be, I think.

getting the 6th Domain Power for the Bishop at level 20, isn't that a bit too late?
It's okay if you take into consideration the fact that characters can level up beyond level 20. See this page for more information on this.
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Re: Battle mechanics like "trip", "disarm", "grapple", etc.

Postby Atoch » Tue Jul 31, 2018 9:25 am

What shall I say, somebody just had to try it... ;)

(rolling the dices again...)

I still feel though, that the druid-class is not very convincing.
His low- and mid-level spells are quite good, but his high-level spells can't compete with the other caster-classes. The Druidic Elemental Spheres are very nice and atmospheric, but again, they empower almost only low- and mid-level spells. But that is o.k.!
The druid-class, with its medium BAB and D8 Hit Die, is intrinsically, by design, something like a hybrid-class, i.e. the druid has a primary job as caster and the potential to become reasonable good in a secondary job in order to be useful while preserving his spells. He exchanges some of the "explosive-power" of high-level caster for the potential of more "standing-power".
But can the druid really use this potential and become "reasonable good" in a secondary job - without depraving his primary job of its necessary feats? I'm highly sceptical about it!
Wanting to become a reasonable good support archer e.g., he has to invest at least 4 feats (weapon group "Bows", "Zen Archery", "Point Blank Shot and "Precise Shot"). That would be half of all the feats a non-human druid gets until level 20. Going "melee" would be even more costly, not least, because of the original topic of this thread...
In comparison, the Cleric can become effective in his secondary role with the help of his domain powers, in some cases even highly effective. Or he can chose to upgrade its primary job as caster to (almost) wizard-level.

On another note, the high minimum intelligence value of the elven-race really hurts, if one wishes to create an elven-druid (or elven-ranger).

To the three Beauties: I'm sorry, you see... I tried, but.... it shouldn't be!
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Re: Battle mechanics like "trip", "disarm", "grapple", etc.

Postby BlueSalamander » Fri Aug 03, 2018 5:38 am

Hello Atoch, thank you for your post.

Well, it's not a problem to give the Druid a bonus feat at levels 6 and 11. He will then have 3 bonus feats, compared to 5 for the Storm Warrior. Would that make the Druid a good option in your eyes?

Personally, it wouldn't affect my choice to add a Druid to the party, as I think he's pretty cool either way.

A Druid does not really need any of the archery feats, because he has access to the spells Produce Flame and Call Lightning. Why use a bow (or a sword) when you can deal fire damage each round with a ranged touch attack, starting from level 1?

the high minimum intelligence value of the elven-race really hurts, if one wishes to create an elven-druid (or elven-ranger).
Not if you select the correct Subrace.

For an Elven Druid, use the Moon Elf subrace, which gives you +2 to Wisdom and -2 to Dexterity.

For an Elven Ranger, use the Sylvan Elf subrace, which gives you +2 to Strength and -2 to Intelligence. Or just pick the feat Greater Battle Cunning so that your Ranger benefits fully from his Elven intelligence.
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Re: Battle mechanics like "trip", "disarm", "grapple", etc.

Postby Atoch » Sun Aug 05, 2018 10:31 pm

If you are not convinced, that it is the right choice to give the druid extra feats, then don't give them! (Sorry, druid...)

I'm not really interested in the druid-class and it feels a bit awkward to argue so much in its favour.

I just have the feeling he cannot be used to his full potential. He has a medium BAB, natural armour bonus, higher Hit Die, but he just stays in the back and is casting - like a wizard.

But I recognise, that I have underestimated his spells "Produce Flames", "Call Lightning" and especially "Call Lightning Storm" with its long range. With this Spells he has, although only barely, reasonable good enough standing-power -without consuming any feats.
Yes, the druid-class is viable as it is. Is it competitive enough in comparison to the other full caster-classes though???
But as long the druid finds his fans, all is good.


About the elven-druid:
If one rolls a moonelven druid, the second highest attribute of the druid will be intelligence - and therefore, besides a high wisdom score, all other attributes will only be mediocre!
Again, it is viable, but why should anybody make this choice, if one can just choose a halfling druid or human argossian druid or (almost) any other race without this problem?
"Druid" and "Ranger" are normally traditional career-choices for elfs, and it would be nice, if this in-world-expectation could be translated in a more friendly game-implementation.
What is the point of the high elven minimum intelligence value?
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Re: Battle mechanics like "trip", "disarm", "grapple", etc.

Postby BlueSalamander » Wed Aug 08, 2018 5:41 am

Hello Atoch, I hope you're well.

I'm not really interested in the druid-class and it feels a bit awkward to argue so much in its favour.
It's all good, I enjoy the discussion and the review of all the classes.

I just have the feeling he cannot be used to his full potential. He has a medium BAB, natural armour bonus, higher Hit Die, but he just stays in the back and is casting - like a wizard.
Sure. I guess that's just the way he's designed.

In order to be able to cast spells, the Druid can only wear Leather Armour, Hide Armour or Robes. He starts with Light Blades proficiency and his best level-1 spell for melee fighting is Shillelagh, which works only with the club and quarterstaff. With that in mind, I think it's best for a Druid to use a club, light shield and a sling in the ranged slot. If he takes another melee weapon proficiency and uses a different melee weapon, he loses the benefit of Shillelagh.

His best armour being Hide Armour, it's best for the Druid to remain out of the front line. He would certainly benefit from Precise Shot, though. So yeah, I might give him the 2 extra feats later on, to make him a little bit cooler. For now, it's best for me to focus on AI and the demo.

The role of the Druid is to act as a summoner and support character. Unlike the Wizard and Cleric, he can summon with a move action. Sure, the Storm Warrior can do it too, but his spell development is delayed compared to that of the Druid. In his role as a support character, the Druid can heal like a Cleric, damage enemies like a Wizard, and help characters like a Bard, with the spell Barkskin. The rest of the time, he should just use his sling and club. A Storm Warrior cannot do everything in any single round. If he fights, he cannot heal or cast damaging spells.

If one rolls a moon-elven druid, the second highest attribute of the druid will be intelligence - and therefore, besides a high wisdom score, all other attributes will only be mediocre!
A male Moon Elf has the following stats: 6-16 Str, 12-18 Dex, 6-14 Con, 12-20 Wis, 16-20 Int, 12-18 Cha. During character creation, you can click 'Wisdom' to let him have Wis 20 automatically and roll the other abilities with the remaining points.

I guess, good stats for him may be 6 Str, 16 Dex, 11 Con, 20 Wis, 16 Int and 12 Cha. However, a Druid with a slightly lower Wis or Dex and more Con is also fine.

A Sylvan Elf would also be good as a Druid with, for example, 7 Str, 18 Dex, 12 Con, 18 Wis, 14 Int and 12 Cha. He would also be fine with less Dex and more Con or Str.

why should anybody make this choice, if one can just choose a halfling druid or human argossian druid or (almost) any other race without this problem?
There is no problem here. There's only a problem if you think in terms of absolute min-maxing, making the most of every single ability-score point.

However, Intelligence is useful even to a Druid because Intelligence increases the Willpower saving throw bonus. The Will bonus depends on the average of Wisdom and Intelligence. Also, with Int 13, you can take a feat like Improved Flanking - though it may not be the best choice for a Druid.

Every race has advantages and disadvantages. A Halfling has speed 20 and reduced damage. A Human is not immune to Sleep effects and his total of ability scores is 79 versus 81 for the Elf.

"Druid" and "Ranger" are normally traditional career-choices for elfs, and it would be nice, if this in-world-expectation could be translated in a more friendly game-implementation.
What is the point of the high elven minimum intelligence value?
A Sylvan Elf is perfect for the Ranger class. Druid is not necessarily a normal career choice for Elves. I think that Elves prefer arcane magic. In D&D 3.5, the favoured class of Elves is Wizard.

What is the point of the high elven minimum intelligence value?
It's there to make Elves stand out as a unique race that's perfectly suited for Intelligence-based classes, just like Half-Giants are perfectly suited for Strength-based classes. I don't want bland races that are only marginally different from the Human race.
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