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Feats that scale with level
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I_mongo
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PostPosted: Fri May 21, 2004 5:49 am    Post subject: Feats that scale with level Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List


I had proposed this idea on Lago AM3Pís thread ďFixing some of the sorrier feats in the PHB.Ē There have also been a couple of other threads on improving feats.

In this thread Iíd like to take just one feat, in this case Dodge, and redefine its power so that it is based on character level. Further, it is redefined so that it does not suck and should not suck at any character level. A feat that scales with a characterís level should be worth taking at any character level.

***************
DODGE [GENERAL]

Prerequisite: Dex 13.

Benefit: You receive a dodge bonus to Armor Class against all attacks. You retain this bonus even if flat-footed or attacked by an invisible foe. You retain this dodge bonus to AC against attacks made by traps.

You also gain a bonus on Reflex saves made to avoid traps.

This bonus stacks with the Trap Sense abilities of the rogue and barbarian classes.

You lose the bonus from this feat if wearing heavy armor, heavily encumbered, or immobilized.

The dodge bonus you receive is based on your character level.

Character level Bonus
1st +1
5th +2
10th +3
15th +4
20th +5

Special: A fighter may select Dodge as one of his fighter bonus feats.
*************

Keep in mind that it doesnít matter when you gain the feat, the bonus is always based on your character level. So a 12th level wizard can take the Dodge feat and immediately gain +3 to AC, and +3 Reflex saves versus traps.

The reason for scaling a featís power is primarily to help the fighter class. Despite this, and although most feats are combat oriented, Frank has convinced me that the increase in power of a feat should be based not on BAB, but on a characterís total level. Basing a featís power on character level addresses the multi-classed spell caster problem, albeit to a small degree. A 20th level character could pick up a fighter level for a bonus feat and gain a nice bonus to AC and to Reflex saves.

Is this feat juicy enough at 1st level to consider taking?

Is the power of this feat good enough for a 20th level character?

Would a 19th level wizard who levels up take a level of fighter to pick up the Dodge feat to gain +5 to AC and Reflex saves versus traps?

I donít know the answers to these questions, which is why Iím posting here.

mongo Viking


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RandomCasualty
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PostPosted: Fri May 21, 2004 9:17 am    Post subject: Re: Feats that scale with level Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Scaling feats strike me as being generally too powerful, because a +1 to AC that stacks with everything is every bit as good at any level you take it. It's still a 5% chance in your favor.

At a +5 bonus, any 20th level character is going to want to pick this up. Seriously forget the reflex, just +5 AC that stacks with anything. That's awesome. That's better than what an epic feat is going to do for you.
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FrankTrollman
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PostPosted: Fri May 21, 2004 5:22 pm    Post subject: Re: Feats that scale with level Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

It's a step in the right direction. Remember, whatever powerlevel you choose to go with is the power level you have to go with.

If Dodge scales at 1 point/5 levels then similar abilities have to scale at about the same rate. This means that Divine Favor, for example, has to get cut down until it's only raising 1 point every five levels as well.

Which is fine, it would please a lot of people if stuff like Divine Favor and Shield of Faith stacked up a lot slower in order to match up with this version of Dodge. But remember, if you choose this as your balance point you actually do have to go through with a red pen and hack all the magic bonuses down until they live in the same ballpark scaling-wise.

-Frank
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Essence
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 21, 2004 12:39 am    Post subject: Re: Feats that scale with level Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Frank, I've been reading and re-reading this post for days, and I keep thinking it'll make sense the next time I do. It's not.

Why does a feat have to keep up with, or be kept up with by, a spell? Especially a spell that has 1/4 the opportunity cost of that feat (4 spells/level vs. 1 feat/level)?
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FrankTrollman
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 21, 2004 1:44 am    Post subject: Re: Feats that scale with level Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Quote:
Why does a feat have to keep up with, or be kept up with by, a spell?


Because whatever bonuses people get at a particular level is the bonuses they will have at that level. If people invest in an Armor Class bonus and get +2 at tenth level, and invest in attack bonuses and get +3 at tenth level, then people who invest in attack and defense bonuses won't be getting the same deal. The people with the attack bonuses will be pulling ahead and hitting more often.

People have choices whether to invest in attack or defense bonuses, and people who have made those choices are going to be fighting each other. Regardless of what kind of price point you set them at, there's really no big deal if people who chose defense bonuses are fighting other people with defense bonuses, or attack bonuses fighting attack bonuses (not to mention characters who chose to invest in other irrelevent bonuses instead). But if a character with a defense bonus is fighting a character with an attack bonus they had better cancel out or there's a serious and immediate balance problem.

Now, the entire question of how much these bonuses cost to get is a separate one. As I said, it's a start. And it's only a start. Naturally, once you've made the bonuses roughly equal you've got to make sure that they also cost the same. You've got a totally obvious problem if you have characters shilling out four bonuses with the same investment that another character is getting only one with.

---

No, the original proposal doesn't go far enough. Not by a long shot. The presented Dodge is still smaller than Shield of Faith and more expensive to obtain. But if you wanted to select this new dodge as your balance point you could. You'd just have to cut down stuff like Shield of Faith until it was equal with this version of Dodge.

You can choose any balance point you want. As I said:

Me wrote:
Remember, whatever powerlevel you choose to go with is the power level you have to go with.


-Frank
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MrWaeseL
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 21, 2004 12:19 pm    Post subject: Re: Feats that scale with level Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

I think that this dodge vs shield of faith is a difficult comparison to make. Dodge lasts all day and gives a bonus that stacks with everything, while shield of faith lasts only 20 rounds and gives a named bonus.
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RandomCasualty
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 28, 2004 7:07 pm    Post subject: Re: Feats that scale with level Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

But the problem is that shield of faith and this new dodge feat stack. So you're inflating the game by including it, because anyone could have this feat, and probably will.

Having scaling bonuses generally isn't a great idea for feats, because the basic die type never changes, the d20. A person with the feat at low levels is 5% more likely to hit against someone who doesn't. The gap between someone with the feat and someone without the feat is pretty small.

However at 20th level this becomes a 25% chance. So now the gap between those who have the feat and those who don't is huge.

Offhand shield of faith seems to be the same way, but it's not, because its granting a deflection bonus, and we assume that everyone that can't get a SoF is going to be wearing a ring of protection. So it doesn't really create a huge imbalance.

So numerically the feat becomes more and more significant as you gain in levels. And you have to ask why you'd want to do that. When something stacks with anything, it might as well remain static, because that way the benefit is more predictable. Why should there be a huge power gap between people with the feat and without the feat at high levels but only a minor one at low levels? Doesn't really make sense to me.

All it's doing is creating a must take feat and inflating the ACs in the game, because everyone is basically forced to take that feat.
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FrankTrollman
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 28, 2004 10:36 pm    Post subject: Re: Feats that scale with level Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

No you are not basically forced to take the feat. You are basically forced to take the feat if you want to invest a feat in having a higher armor class, because it's the only feat that does that. But so what? If you have a feat that "improves your AC", don't you want people who want to improve their AC to want to take that feat?

As you get higher and higher in level, a bonus has to be bigger for you to care, because your other bonuses are bigger. Yes, it still provides the same 1 pip on a d20, but no that does not mean the same thing it did 10 levels ago. When you are second level, a +1 might mean that your opponents hit you only 8 times out of 20 attacks instead of nine - but at 12th level it probably means absolutely nothing to the first attack, that their second attack only lands 17 times out of 20 instead of 18, and that their third attack only lands 12 times per 20 instead of 13. In short, the same +1 means a loss of 2 hits per 44 (a shift of 4.54% of the total hits), instead of a shift of 1 hit per 9 (a shift of 11.1% of the hits).

Yes, at 12th level, a +1 AC means in absolute terms less than half of what it means at level 2. If the feats which grant AC don't get bigger they are getting shafted.

-Frank
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Oberoni
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 29, 2004 1:28 am    Post subject: Re: Feats that scale with level Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

RandomCasualty wrote:

So numerically the feat becomes more and more significant as you gain in levels. And you have to ask why you'd want to do that. When something stacks with anything, it might as well remain static, because that way the benefit is more predictable. Why should there be a huge power gap between people with the feat and without the feat at high levels but only a minor one at low levels? Doesn't really make sense to me.


The whole game is based on inflation.

As you accumulate levels, you gain more ways to tack on armor bonuses, for example. Natty armor, deflection bonuses, enhancement bonuses to both shield and armor, and a simple bonus for having a high Dex all gradually become viable ways to up your AC.

Most of these bonuses are either nonexistant or ridiculously low at low levels, but that changes as you go up in levels.

So, in other words, you not only get bigger bonuses when you level up, but you get more types of them.

And Dodge doesn't follow this growth pattern.

So it is a quantifiably suckier method to bump up your AC.

And it costs a feat, too. Most of the other methods just cost cash or spell slots, which are way more common than feats.
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RandomCasualty
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 29, 2004 5:36 am    Post subject: Re: Feats that scale with level Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

FrankTrollman wrote:
No you are not basically forced to take the feat. You are basically forced to take the feat if you want to invest a feat in having a higher armor class, because it's the only feat that does that. But so what? If you have a feat that "improves your AC", don't you want people who want to improve their AC to want to take that feat?

Well in taht case you aren't "forced" to take anything but this is flawed thinking.

A +5 to AC is a must take. There is nothing better than that an equivalent feat is going to give you.

Quote:

Yes, at 12th level, a +1 AC means in absolute terms less than half of what it means at level 2. If the feats which grant AC don't get bigger they are getting shafted.


Actually no, this isn't true at all.

A +1 AC bonus is 5% likely to prevent a hit from a dragon, assuming you've kept your AC competetive for creatures of your CR. It is every bit as significant as it used to be.

With a +5 the guy is going to become 25% likely to prevent a hit from a dragon.

The only time the +5 could ever be the same as the +1 is if your AC was so low that a +5 just moved the required to hit number from a natural 2 to a natural 3. This assumes that your AC is terribly under powered, which is the case only if the character is severly underequipped.

Every +1 adds up to make something. If you change some of those +1s to +5 you're making a huge difference in the game. Remember that 4 25% swings are all that it takes to turn an automatic success into an automatic failure.

Now, there's a distinct difference between stuff like deflection bonuses and armor bonuses. Sure, those bonuses are huge, but they're also expected by the system. Counterbalances like strength modifiers and BaB nullify most of the advantage from the other bonuses, and in such a way that the D20 tends to remain significant except in very extreme cases. From level 1 to level 20 I have to derive at least 19 points of AC from magical bonuses just to stay competetive with BaB. So deflection and enhancement bonuses aren't realyl true inflation.

Sure, if you were to remove a bonus type, like natural armor enhancement, and then put in this feat, then it'd work. But so long as you're keeping everything else and adding a new stackable bonus you're running a huge risk. AC builds tend to have too much AC as it is. Giving them an additional 5 and taking back nothing is a bad idea.
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Oberoni
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 29, 2004 5:58 am    Post subject: Re: Feats that scale with level Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

RandomCasualty

A +5 to AC is a must take. There is nothing better than that an equivalent feat is going to give you.
[/quote wrote:


Are you serious?

Natural Spell, Overchannel, Weapon Finesse (which ends up profitting a rogue...well, probably about +5 on every hit against every opponent), Quicken Power, Psionic Meditation, Divine Metamagic, Craft Wondrous Items, Exalted Wildshape, Intuitive Attack, Vow of Poverty, Nymph's Kiss, and Empower Power are all feats I came up with in the span of 10 minutes that are better than +5 to your AC.

They really are. We all know that Dodge sucks, I can't believe we're actually having a discussion where someone is trying to say otherwise.

P.S. Improved Initiative is pretty good at what it does, too.

P.P.S. Campaign-specific feats that are also good:

Players Guide to Faerun: Luck of Heroes (+1 to your saving throws and a +1 luck bonus to AC), Otherworldly (become a Native Outsider), Militia (proficiency in all martial weapons), Persistent Spell (even if it's just for Divine Favor).

Eberron: Dragon Rage (Natty armor and energy resistance while raging), Education (all knowledge skills are class skills), Extra Rings (wear two more rings), Gatekeeper Initiate (a "Druid Domain" with some goodies), Greensinger Initiate (another "Druid Domain"), Legendary Artisan (save 25% XP crafting), Spontaneous Casting (spend Action Points as a wizard to pretend you're a sorcerer, and make that class cry even more), and Warden Initiate (yet another "Druid Domain").
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MrWaeseL
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 29, 2004 1:20 pm    Post subject: Re: Feats that scale with level Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Why do you think Improved Initiative is a good feat, Oberoni? It benefits rogues and mages at higher levels, ut does next to nothing for the other classes, since initiative is revolving.
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FrankTrollman
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 29, 2004 3:28 pm    Post subject: Re: Feats that scale with level Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Quote:
A +1 AC bonus is 5% likely to prevent a hit from a dragon, assuming you've kept your AC competetive for creatures of your CR. It is every bit as significant as it used to be.


No. +1 AC is likely to have a 5% chance of preventing a hit per attack at low levels. At high levels, it probably has a 5% chance of preventing a hit per attack only from a Dragon's secondary attacks.

And that doesn't even begin to address the fact that the percent chance of stopping a hit per attack is a meaningless statistic. What's important is actually the percent change of expected damage per round. Which means that if someone hits you on a 19 or 20, +1 AC is just as good as full concealment. But if someone hits you on an 11-20, +1 AC is just a 10% miss chance. Since it is quite demonstrable that attack bonuses go up faste than AC bonuses, and a +1 AC means less and less the higher the attack bonus is relative to the AC, +1 AC sucks my balls. And its suckage increases as your level increases.

Quote:
Why do you think Improved Initiative is a good feat, Oberoni? It benefits rogues and mages at higher levels, but does next to nothing for the other classes, since initiative is revolving.


If you were a Rogue or a Wizard, however, would you take it before Dodge? What if Dodge was five times as big, would you still take it before Dodge for your 18th level feat (assuming, for some reason, that those are the only to choices).

My guess is that yes you would. As a Wizard, your ability to cast Wail of the Banshee first on the first round of combat probably saves you from more death and damage than would an extra five points of AC. As a Rogue, one more round of sneak attacks with ranged weapons is probably worth more to you than a measily +5 AC at 18th level.

-Frank
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Oberoni
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 29, 2004 5:38 pm    Post subject: Re: Feats that scale with level Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

MrWaeseL wrote:
Why do you think Improved Initiative is a good feat, Oberoni? It benefits rogues and mages at higher levels, ut does next to nothing for the other classes, since initiative is revolving.


Frank sort of hit it on the head--but you did too.

It's exceptionally good at doing what you want to do when you take the feat--"I want to go really early in the initiative count." Improved Initiative does that for you. I wouldn't say it's a good feat in general, but it's good at what it does.

Conversely, if you say "I want to be really hard to hit"--Dodge ain't doin' it.

And that sucks.
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Maj
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 29, 2004 5:40 pm    Post subject: Re: Feats that scale with level Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

The only major issue I have with the originally proposed feat is that it breaks the rules for a Dodge bonus. Or maybe it re-creates them... Whatever the case, I see no reason to name the bonus at all.

mongo wrote:
Is this feat juicy enough at 1st level to consider taking?


I probably wouldn't, but it tempts me - which is way more than the old Dodge feat does. On the other hand, 1st level feats are always the hardest for me to choose because most of my characters don't meet the prereqs until 2nd level (Quick Draw, Weapon Finesse), so maybe 1st level is the perfect place to grab this feat.

Quote:
Is the power of this feat good enough for a 20th level character?


Um... I sure think so.

Quote:
Would a 19th level wizard who levels up take a level of fighter to pick up the Dodge feat to gain +5 to AC and Reflex saves versus traps?


This question was too long. It should have said "Would a 19th level wizard pick up the Dodge feat to gain +5 to AC and Reflex saves versus traps?" No fighter level required.

The answer ought to be "that's highly likely."


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RandomCasualty
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 01, 2004 9:35 pm    Post subject: Re: Feats that scale with level Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

FrankTrollman wrote:

No. +1 AC is likely to have a 5% chance of preventing a hit per attack at low levels. At high levels, it probably has a 5% chance of preventing a hit per attack only from a Dragon's secondary attacks.

You're assuming you haven't kept your AC competetive enough. I know plenty of AC builds that would just love another +1. And agaisnt most creatures the +5 is enough to push tough to hit to totally unhittable.


Quote:

And that doesn't even begin to address the fact that the percent chance of stopping a hit per attack is a meaningless statistic. What's important is actually the percent change of expected damage per round. Which means that if someone hits you on a 19 or 20, +1 AC is just as good as full concealment. But if someone hits you on an 11-20, +1 AC is just a 10% miss chance. Since it is quite demonstrable that attack bonuses go up faste than AC bonuses, and a +1 AC means less and less the higher the attack bonus is relative to the AC, +1 AC sucks my balls. And its suckage increases as your level increases.


Eh... no. What you care about is average damage per attack. It's what you use to calculate the best amount to power attack for and so on. Now, the average damage per attack is equal to your average damage per hit times your percentage chance to actually land a hit. So the change in average damage from a +1 bonus is .05 * enemy average damage per hit. This is regardless of what the percentage is, so long as your opponent doesn't miss only on a 1 regardless of the extra +1.

So probability wise, you're still going to be reducing your enemy's average damage per round by a fixed amount regardless of what your normal chances are to hit. And your enemy's average damage changes based on linear progression for each 5% shift. Obviously the fringe cases where you need a natural 20to hit or a natural 1 to miss dont' work this way, but those cases are generally something you want to avoid in general. The more you create cases like that, the more the game system breaks down. Because linear based systems don't work well with extremes. Once you go past the extreme case your bonuses cease to matter anymore.

Ideally your goal is to get everything within 20 points of each other regardless, not totally distance everything. And an extra +5 modifier that someone may or may not have is going to just create more inflation to the system. In a linear system there is mechanically no difference between +220 versus +200 than +30 versus +10, even though the +30 is three times better than the +10 and the +220 is only slightly better relatively to the +200. And that's certainly something to think about when you're considering bonuses because it shows you that every +1 is every bit as significant even at high levels. There is no period in the game where an extra +1 stackable bonus becomes useless and we have to start handing out bonuses by the +5s to make them worthwhile. Regardless of how powerful you are, those little 5% edges always add up. In a linear system it doesnt' matter if I'm adding a +1 bonus to a +200 or a +1, because the relative effect is the same.

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FrankTrollman
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 01, 2004 10:27 pm    Post subject: Re: Feats that scale with level Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Quote:
You're assuming you haven't kept your AC competetive enough. I know plenty of AC builds that would just love another +1.


Sure. I'm sure that everyone would just love another point of AC. Sans drawbacks, of course, that would be pure gravy. But we are talking about 100% of the class features for two solid levels of Fighter - and that +1 is pretty much laughable.

Base Attack Bonus goes up with level, and Armor bonuses are fixed. AC relative to attack bonuses continuously drops as you rise in challenge rating, and that's simply not arguable. It is the rare build indeed which can't hit itself the majority of the time.

The fact is that the game is set up under the assumption that people have attack bonus to burn on Expertise and Power Attack. If you add +1 to your AC, you don't actually get hit any less, you reduce the amount the attackers have to spare by 1 point.

Adding one to your AC does not reduce the number of hits you suffer, it reduces the amount of damage the dragon inflicts by 1 point per hit. It means that over the course of the entire battle it's worth about 2-6 hit points against that dragon.

Nothing more, nothing less. You add +1 to your AC, they power-attack for +6 instead of +7. It's as simple as that.

Quote:
And agaisnt most creatures the +5 is enough to push tough to hit to totally unhittable.


ROFL

Oh my goodness, have you read the monster manual? What, pray tell, is the attack bonus for a Gargantuan Scorpion? What is its CR?

How exactly are characters supposed to become unhittable, even assuming they got an extra 4 points of AC as mana?

-Frank
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RandomCasualty
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 03, 2004 6:57 pm    Post subject: Re: Feats that scale with level Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

FrankTrollman wrote:

Base Attack Bonus goes up with level, and Armor bonuses are fixed. AC relative to attack bonuses continuously drops as you rise in challenge rating, and that's simply not arguable. It is the rare build indeed which can't hit itself the majority of the time.

AC can be increased by multiple ways however, which tends to balance it out. You don't just have strength bonus and enhancement bonus like you do with attack. With AC you've got deflection, armor, shield, natural armor, natural armor enhancement, shield enhancement, armor enhancement, luck, insight and probably several others. The point is that you've got a lot more to work with there than you do with attack.


Quote:
The fact is that the game is set up under the assumption that people have attack bonus to burn on Expertise and Power Attack. If you add +1 to your AC, you don't actually get hit any less, you reduce the amount the attackers have to spare by 1 point.

Adding one to your AC does not reduce the number of hits you suffer, it reduces the amount of damage the dragon inflicts by 1 point per hit. It means that over the course of the entire battle it's worth about 2-6 hit points against that dragon.

That is perhaps the most misleading analysis of AC I've ever seen.

You automatically assume that every creature hits except on a natural 1? Seriously what kind of powergamer are you? I'm just going to use core stuff here, and I can get a decent AC.

+10 base
+13 +5 mithril full plate
+5 ring of protection
+5 amulet of natural armor
+4 dex bonus
+9 +5 tower shield
+4 natural armor (alter self)
+1 dodge


So you've got 51 AC. That's enough to make pretty much everything at that level miss at least sometimes. Granted you won't be able to avoid the Tarrasque, but he's a fringe case, because you aren't supposed to be meleeing him anyway. And you could still make the Tarrasque miss if you wanted to add in some levels of a PrC that focused on AC, or you wanted to use improved expertise.

But again, the Tarrasque, and giant scorpion are rare cases because they're purely stupid beasts. they're supposed to totally own you if you get in a straight fight with them, and you're supposed to beat them by using tactics. Against other stuff like a nightcrawler, a balor or a solar, you're practically unhittable with 51 AC. If you use expertise for 5 you are unhittable to these creatures.

As for stuff like the Tarrasque and the giant scorpion personally I think they should have lower hit bonuses for the same reason dodge shouldnt' be a +5, because the gap between their bonuses and other monsters are more than the span of a d20, and that's really bad for the system. it means you can be unhittable to a creature of the same CR while being automatically hit by another creature of that CR. That's not good game design and you only compound the problem by creating feats that continue that paradigm.

Could dodge use a boost? yeah sure, but +5 is way excessive.
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Maj
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 03, 2004 7:32 pm    Post subject: Re: Feats that scale with level Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

From what I've seen of Frank's (and other's) builds, the soft cap for 20th level attack bonus is about +40. That means that a person with 51 AC will be hit about half the time. An additional +4 bonus to AC wouldn't really be overkill.

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RandomCasualty
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 03, 2004 9:18 pm    Post subject: Re: Feats that scale with level Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Maj wrote:
From what I've seen of Frank's (and other's) builds, the soft cap for 20th level attack bonus is about +40. That means that a person with 51 AC will be hit about half the time. An additional +4 bonus to AC wouldn't really be overkill.


The thing is that 51 AC isn't even the maximum by a long shot. I could do a lot better than that using non-core stuff. I don't even have a sacred or luck bonus factored into AC yet, and I could certainly create items for that to get up to 61 AC. And add in stuff like polymorphing into a solar and things get even more ridiculous. And once you do stuff like that, you really, really don't need another +5 on top of that.

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FrankTrollman
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 03, 2004 10:37 pm    Post subject: Re: Feats that scale with level Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Quote:
The thing is that 51 AC isn't even the maximum by a long shot.


And neither is a +40 to-hit bonus. What's your point?

Circumstance Bonuses can acrue up significantly on attacks, but don't really jack up AC that often. You've got Defender Blind, Defender Flanked, Defender Prone, Higher Ground, blah blah blah for the attacker's side, but for the AC you've basically got cover... and pretty much nothing else.

Even if someone was only strikable on a 19+, there are tactics that can mitigate or remove that advantage (such as, for instance, switching to touch attacks, or feinting), but there's really very little you can do to meaningfully protect yourself once your AC is insufficient.

Quote:

And add in stuff like polymorphing into a solar and things get even more ridiculous. And once you do stuff like that, you really, really don't need another +5 on top of that.


So dodge has to suck because polymorph any object is totally broken? On what planet does that make any sense?

-Frank
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Oberoni
Knight


Joined: 07 Mar 2008
Posts: 386

PostPosted: Sun Jul 04, 2004 1:58 am    Post subject: Re: Feats that scale with level Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

RC, you keep neglecting to mention some things about Dodge.

1. It works on only one target.

2. It doesn't work if you're flat-footed.

Dodge is honest-to-goodness worse than a straight +1 added to your AC. It's worse than this feat. And it costs you a muthafuggin' feat!

I don't know. I just hate the whole paradigm that it's ok for feats to suck, especially when they're so rare, except when you're a fighter, and they're literally all you get.

The only thing that this list managed to do:

RC wrote:
+10 base
+13 +5 mithril full plate
+5 ring of protection
+5 amulet of natural armor
+4 dex bonus
+9 +5 tower shield
+4 natural armor (alter self)
+1 dodge


Is to show how mind-numbingly bad Dodge is. I mean, read down the rest of the list, and then you hit...Dodge. Wow.

Mongo's feat is nice, and it scales with level. That is, it takes a while to hit that +5.

I honestly can't understand any objection to it, especially those presented so far.
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RandomCasualty
Prince


Joined: 07 Mar 2008
Posts: 3511

PostPosted: Sun Jul 04, 2004 8:57 am    Post subject: Re: Feats that scale with level Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Dodge right now sucks. It should just be a flat +1 dodge bonus to AC, and possibly with the benefit of mobility built in too. Designating an opponent is pretty annoying, especially for a +1 bonus.

Quote:

Mongo's feat is nice, and it scales with level. That is, it takes a while to hit that +5.


And this is what I object to. If you think a feat should be worth +5 AC then give that +5 upfront at first level or whenever you take the feat. A 25% swing is a 25% swing, at any level. If it's ok to hand that out at level 20 then it's also ok to hand that out at level 1.

If anything, AC beats out attack bonuses at high levels, in all but the rare hit dice whore monsters like the collosal scorpion and the Tarrasque. In any monster with a reasonable hit dice, it's possible to make yourself nearly unhittable without the +5. With the +5 you are unhittable.

Now I'm not saying you can't do this to dodge, I'm just saying if you do that, you have to remove something else to maintain a balance. If you take away deflection bonuses, and include this feat, then you won't have any problems. Though I still think the feat is too powerful at a +5, it's basically a must take. I know I'd take it regardless of what class or character concept I had.

Essentially creating this feat is like creating another bonus type to AC, but instead of paying gold you're paying a feat. Whether you're paying gold or a feat, it is going to inflate the game, it really doesnt' matter what the cost is. You're introducing a new stacking bonus, and that's not a good idea unless you take one away first.

Not to mention a feat like this totalyl makes expertise useless. You can either take a -5 penatly to hit and use an action to gain a +5 AC bonus, or you can take this feat and get a bonus for doing absolutely jack.

Quote:

Even if someone was only strikable on a 19+, there are tactics that can mitigate or remove that advantage (such as, for instance, switching to touch attacks, or feinting), but there's really very little you can do to meaningfully protect yourself once your AC is insufficient.


Fight defensively, Expertise, taking cover, using a defending weapon, etc.

There's plenty of ways to boost your AC which are often more frequent than ways to improve your attack bonus. I mean if you dont' have a touch attack you can't switch to them, and feinting sucks if you dont' have bluff (hell in 3.5 it sucks even if you DO have bluff). For the average fighter you have tons of ways to improve your AC, and virtually none to improve your attack.

In fact, getting a super high attack bonus is one of the hardest things to do, because so few things influence it compared to dealing huge amounts of damage or getting a super high AC. Basically the only way to get a really good attack bonus is contingent on being a strength whore.
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FrankTrollman
Serious Badass


Joined: 07 Mar 2008
Posts: 27241

PostPosted: Sun Jul 04, 2004 9:23 pm    Post subject: Re: Feats that scale with level Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

This insistance that somehow, someway, of all the things in the world, Armor Class is too high is just weird.

I mean, it doesn't even protect you from all forms of attack. Even if it was so big that enemies could only hit you on a natural 20 - so what? I mean, people could just become Etheral, or Invisible, or in one of a gajillion other ways unreachable by normal attacks at all.

AC, even if mindnumbingly large only protects against a subset of attacks which by the time this is even an issue is a dying breed - how many 20th level monsters even make attack rolls?

---

The fact that you are wrong doesn't even matter in this discussion. The thing you are chicken littling about doesn't even make any sense. If Armor Class was somehow "out of control" - which it isn't - it wouldn't make any difference. By the time this could possibly be an issue, Saving Throws are more important than AC as a measure of protection, and virtually all antagonists use attacks which bypass AC in whole or in part as their primary or secondary attack.

I am honestly flabergasted that you think that AC is so out of control that we need to wake Fighters up in the middle of the night and flagellate them for wanting Dodge. That's just nonsensical.

-Frank
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RandomCasualty
Prince


Joined: 07 Mar 2008
Posts: 3511

PostPosted: Mon Jul 05, 2004 3:46 am    Post subject: Re: Feats that scale with level Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

There will always be creatures, NPCs and PCs who rely strongly on normal attack rolls. It is not always a simple matter to convert these to touch attacks. If you're a fighter for instance, you're exclusively making normal attacks. You can't switch to save or dies like a mage can. You're basically hosed.

It's the paradigm that "attacks don't matter at high levels, so it's ok to make them worth jack shit" that makes fighters suck in the first place. Maybe part of the problem is that we are undervaluing normal attacks here?

If people can easily defend against the fighter's main thing, then you're hosing him badly, because he doesn't have anything to fall back on. He isn't a caster. He can't just say "Ok I'll switch to touch spells because I can hit with my weapon." No, weapons are basically his only choice.

Sure he can do gimmick stuff like tripping and disarms, but people will become upset if you try to invalidate his main means of actually killing people.

You've got to be careful when you nullify the whole purpose of a class in combat, and I mean very careful. You raise AC, you hose everyone who doesn't cast spells. That means rogues, fighters, barbarians, etc. But once you've created something that totally negates sneak attack or the ability to hit an opponent with physical attacks, an entire class's main form of offense is now down the drain. And non-casters can't simply adapt liek a caster can. Your feats are set in stone, so if you took weapon focus and weapon spec and now can't hit a damn thing, well you're screwed.

The whole d20 system falls apart if you have equal CR things that can be hit only on a natural 20, that's the equivalent of a death sentence for any character who doesn't cast spells.
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