Best model for extra damage for special moves

Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd (More info?)

One of my players and I are designing a couple of PrCs, one campaign
specific, one not-so-campaign specific, and they're both centered
around melee fighters who get extra combat abilities under special
conditions.

As a meta principle, what's the best way to model extra damage for
special moves? If it helps, both PrCs will be Dex/precision and
knowledge/special-enemy based.
Here are my ideas, in no particular order.

1. A flat +1/+1 competence/unnamed bonus when the conditions are met.
Possibly increased to +2/+2 at higher levels. Even +3/+3.
Not great because it fades into the rest of the bonuses and fails to
make the move "special."

2. Bonus damage dice, like sneak attack, when the conditions are met.
I've never seen anything like it. Sneak attack is sneak attack, and
there's nothing like it. I have no idea how this should interact with
regular sneak attack and other abilities which interact with Sneak
attack.

3. Improved Critical when conditions are met. Should it stack with
regular Imp Crit or Keen? Does not make sure that the move is special,
it just increases the chance.

4. Extra attacks when conditions are met.
Fits, in principle, but then dual wielding, flurrying monks are usually
Dex and precision based. Too many attacks.

Thanks.
Silveraxe.
15 answers Last reply
More about best model extra damage special moves
  1. Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd (More info?)

    "Silveraxe" <avidroleplayer@yahoo.com> wrote in message news:<1109589969.543112.214480@z14g2000cwz.googlegroups.com>...
    > One of my players and I are designing a couple of PrCs, one campaign
    > specific, one not-so-campaign specific, and they're both centered
    > around melee fighters who get extra combat abilities under special
    > conditions.
    >
    > As a meta principle, what's the best way to model extra damage for
    > special moves? If it helps, both PrCs will be Dex/precision and
    > knowledge/special-enemy based.
    > Here are my ideas, in no particular order.
    >
    > 1. A flat +1/+1 competence/unnamed bonus when the conditions are met.
    > Possibly increased to +2/+2 at higher levels. Even +3/+3.
    > Not great because it fades into the rest of the bonuses and fails to
    > make the move "special."

    Xcrawl has somethign similar to this IIRC - a special move in that
    involves making a call (full round action to get the crowds
    attention), then the special move - this come in two parts, and both
    are actions that are taken subsequently over two rounds e.g. Bull rush
    then Trip, or Bull rush then touch attack with a spell. The PC buys a
    special move with a feat, then gets a +1 to all rolls required in
    conjunction with that special move in the future
  2. Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd (More info?)

    > As a meta principle, what's the best way to model extra damage for
    > special moves? If it helps, both PrCs will be Dex/precision and
    > knowledge/special-enemy based.

    It really does depend on the actual abilities.

    Also, I'd add a 5th option: Something that counts as a standard or full
    round action (so you couldn't do it as part of a regular full attack)
    that does extra damage. Because you can't use it as part of a full
    attack then the power of the ability could be greater in comparison.

    An example of this is one of the abilities of the Order of the Bow
    Initiate - I think it might be called Ranged Precision?? Basically, if
    you're within 30ft, then, as a standard action, you can have a single
    shot and you get +1d8 damage at first level (rising to 2d8 at 3rd, 3d8
    at 5th, etc.).

    Of course this is a prestige class and so something you could take at
    1st level would probably have to be less powerful than this.
  3. Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd (More info?)

    In article <1109589969.543112.214480@z14g2000cwz.googlegroups.com>,
    "Silveraxe" <avidroleplayer@yahoo.com> wrote:

    > One of my players and I are designing a couple of PrCs, one campaign
    > specific, one not-so-campaign specific, and they're both centered
    > around melee fighters who get extra combat abilities under special
    > conditions.

    That's really clear. Thanks.

    Sarcasm aside, could you tell us what you want out of these "special
    conditions" and "special moves"?

    > As a meta principle, what's the best way to model extra damage for
    > special moves? If it helps, both PrCs will be Dex/precision and
    > knowledge/special-enemy based.
    > Here are my ideas, in no particular order.

    Offhand...

    The stunning attack monks get is a decent basis for a "special move".
    Give the PrC the ability to force a save-or-something-bad-happens X
    times per day against their special enemies. I believe OA has feats
    that let monks cause nausea, blindness or paralysis instead of stunning.

    Or you could give them specialised versions of existing combat feats.
    Great Cleave or Improved Trip, only useable against special enamies.

    Kevin Lowe,
    Tasmania.
  4. Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd (More info?)

    Kevin Lowe wrote:
    > In article <1109589969.543112.214480@z14g2000cwz.googlegroups.com>,
    > "Silveraxe" <avidroleplayer@yahoo.com> wrote:
    >
    > > melee fighters who get extra combat abilities under special
    > > conditions.
    >
    > That's really clear. Thanks.
    >
    > Sarcasm aside, could you tell us what you want out of these "special
    > conditions" and "special moves"?

    Does it matter? I was trying to stay non-specific and talk about the
    principle behind extra damage. But, ok.

    IMC I have a knightly order built around the collaboration of humanoid
    races and mercury dragons (converted from 2E.) Half the senior members
    are actually polymorphed dragons. They're dedicated to fighting the
    northern barbarian, goblinoid and giant tribes.

    One PrC is [Mercury] Dragon Knight and would get benefits from bonding
    with a dragon as mount and friend.
    Because mercury dragons are more like pegasi than heavy dragons, the
    Azure Dragon Knights are mostly light cavalry skirmishers.

    The special moves would be a version of Flyby Attack/Shot on the Run
    only available when riding the dragon, and a charge/dive that, rather
    than end in a melee attack, ends with a javelin throw. Both would add
    *extra damage* at higher levels.

    The other one, the [Order Hunter,] is meant to represent relatively low
    level auxiliary troops whose main job is to track the goblinoids and
    mop up after the Knights took out the big guys. They are supposed to be
    light, fast dual wielders and use wolfpack tactics to mow through War1s
    and make sure that the enemy is wiped out. Rangers would find it easy
    to qualify after level 4, but Fighters, Rogues or Monks wouldn't have
    any problem either.
    Special conditions would be successful intimidate checks and ganging up
    on a special enemy (yes, in addition to flanking or special enemy
    bonuses.)

    So ...

    > > As a meta principle, what's the best way to model extra damage for
    > > special moves?

    (or conditions, or tactics, whatever.)

    The whole shtick of both classes is that they can deliver devastating
    attacks IF/WHEN they catch the enemy where they like it. Senior Knights
    are supposed to have taken out giants in one dive. Pairs of experienced
    Hunters are known to slash through a dozen goblins in one round.

    > Offhand...

    > Or you could give them specialised versions of existing combat feats.

    > Great Cleave or Improved Trip, only useable against special enamies.

    Yes, good ideas. Tripping with shortswords and Cleaving without Str 13
    would work great for the Hunters. Also, Pounce.

    However, my previous question remains: given that both PrCs favor Str
    12, Dex 16 rather than the other way around, what would be the best way
    to give them extra damage? A flat bonus, bonus dice, Dex to damage,
    extra attacks, or a damage multiplier? Or something else?

    Silveraxe.
  5. Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd (More info?)

    Silveraxe wrote:

    > 2. Bonus damage dice, like sneak attack, when the conditions are met.
    > I've never seen anything like it. Sneak attack is sneak attack, and
    > there's nothing like it. I have no idea how this should interact with
    > regular sneak attack and other abilities which interact with Sneak
    > attack.

    From the SRD:

    The Duelist PRC

    Precise Strike (Ex): At 5th level, a duelist gains the ability to
    strike precisely with a light or one-handed piercing weapon, gaining
    an extra 1d6 damage added to her normal damage roll.

    When making a precise strike, a duelist cannot attack with a weapon in
    her other hand or use a shield. A duelist's precise strike only works
    against living creatures with discernible anatomies. Any creature that
    is immune to critical hits is not vulnerable to a precise strike, and
    any item or ability that protects a creature from critical hits also
    protects a creature from a precise strike. At 10th level, the extra
    damage on a precise strike increases to +2d6.


    Hope that provides some reference and inspiration.


    Cheers,
    ... Roger Carbol ..
  6. Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd (More info?)

    Time to step up the meds; I could have sworn Silveraxe just said...
    > > Offhand...
    >
    > > Or you could give them specialised versions of existing combat feats.
    >
    > > Great Cleave or Improved Trip, only useable against special enamies.
    >
    > Yes, good ideas. Tripping with shortswords and Cleaving without Str 13
    > would work great for the Hunters. Also, Pounce.
    >
    > However, my previous question remains: given that both PrCs favor Str
    > 12, Dex 16 rather than the other way around, what would be the best way
    > to give them extra damage? A flat bonus, bonus dice, Dex to damage,
    > extra attacks, or a damage multiplier? Or something else?

    For the diving on giants bit, it seems to me that this is just Spirited
    Charge or something derived from it, perhaps with something like favored
    enemy bonuses (which would also be tripled) thrown in to make up the
    damage deficit.
  7. Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd (More info?)

    Jasin Zujovic wrote:
    > avidroleplayer@yahoo.com wrote:
    >
    > So I won't worry about it. If you think bonus dice are the best
    > solution, just go ahead.
    >
    > > I have no idea how this should interact with
    > > regular sneak attack and other abilities which interact with Sneak
    > > attack.
    >
    > Simple, you get the bonus damage if you meet the conditions.

    What about Uncanny dodgers and crit-immune creatures?
    Should it work against them?

    It seems damage multipliers like Spirited Charge are the way to go.

    Silveraxe.
  8. Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd (More info?)

    In article <MPG.1c8e7755fd0448b398a0b7@news.easynews.com>,
    Jeff Heikkinen <no.way@jose.org> wrote:

    > Time to step up the meds; I could have sworn Silveraxe just said...
    > > > Offhand...
    > >
    > > > Or you could give them specialised versions of existing combat feats.
    > >
    > > > Great Cleave or Improved Trip, only useable against special enamies.
    > >
    > > Yes, good ideas. Tripping with shortswords and Cleaving without Str 13
    > > would work great for the Hunters. Also, Pounce.
    > >
    > > However, my previous question remains: given that both PrCs favor Str
    > > 12, Dex 16 rather than the other way around, what would be the best way
    > > to give them extra damage? A flat bonus, bonus dice, Dex to damage,
    > > extra attacks, or a damage multiplier? Or something else?
    >
    > For the diving on giants bit, it seems to me that this is just Spirited
    > Charge or something derived from it, perhaps with something like favored
    > enemy bonuses (which would also be tripled) thrown in to make up the
    > damage deficit.

    What he said.

    Depending how far you and to take it you could even have a class ability
    that lets the giant hunters use their Dexterity bonus for damage instead
    of Strength when they are hitting big targets with javelins. Normally
    allowing that is bad design, since it makes Dexterity the uber-stat, but
    if it's limited to throwing javelins at giants from dragonback it's
    probably tolerable.

    For the goblin hunters some kind of stacking series of powers allowing
    pouncing and great cleaving, possibly even with a roguelike sneak attack
    bonus at one or two levels to encourage ambushes and flanking, would
    make them very good at leaping out at goblins and slaughtering them.

    Kevin Lowe,
    Tasmania.
  9. Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd (More info?)

    avidroleplayer@yahoo.com wrote:

    > 2. Bonus damage dice, like sneak attack, when the conditions are met.
    > I've never seen anything like it. Sneak attack is sneak attack, and
    > there's nothing like it.

    Not really. Ninja from Complete Adventurer has sudden attack which is
    like sneak attack, but only works on enemies denied thier Dex bonus, not
    flanked ones. The mindblade from XPsiHB can energize his mindblade for
    extra d8s of damage. The Psionic Weapon/Shot/Fist feats from XPsiHB
    allows you to expend your psi focus for +2d6 (or +4d6 with another
    feat). The duelist and the Order of the Bow initiate have been mentioned
    in this thread, and they give bonus dice of damage.

    So I won't worry about it. If you think bonus dice are the best
    solution, just go ahead.

    > I have no idea how this should interact with
    > regular sneak attack and other abilities which interact with Sneak
    > attack.

    Simple, you get the bonus damage if you meet the conditions.

    Say you get +2d6 bonus damage on a javelin dive, and also have +3d6
    sneak attack. If you manage to pull off a dive that's also a sneak
    attack (against a flat-footed enemy), you deal +5d6 extra.


    --
    Jasin Zujovic
    jzujovic@inet.hr
  10. Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd (More info?)

    avidroleplayer@yahoo.com wrote:

    > > > melee fighters who get extra combat abilities under special
    > > > conditions.
    > >
    > > That's really clear. Thanks.
    > >
    > > Sarcasm aside, could you tell us what you want out of these "special
    > > conditions" and "special moves"?
    >
    > Does it matter? I was trying to stay non-specific and talk about the
    > principle behind extra damage. But, ok.
    >
    > [...]
    >
    > The special moves would be a version of Flyby Attack/Shot on the Run
    > only available when riding the dragon, and a charge/dive that, rather
    > than end in a melee attack, ends with a javelin throw. Both would add
    > *extra damage* at higher levels.

    You could allow the javelin throw to be treated as a melee attack for
    the purposes of gaining bonuses charging: +2 to attack, double damage if
    the knight has Spirited Charge. Then, later in the PrC, upgrade it to
    work like a lance: double damage on a charge, triple with Spirited
    Charge.

    > > > As a meta principle, what's the best way to model extra damage for
    > > > special moves?
    >
    > (or conditions, or tactics, whatever.)
    >
    > The whole shtick of both classes is that they can deliver devastating
    > attacks IF/WHEN they catch the enemy where they like it. Senior Knights
    > are supposed to have taken out giants in one dive.

    Double/triple charging damage certainly fits that concept. The mounted
    paladin IMC routinely deals as much damage in one charge as the other
    warriors do in a full attack.

    > Pairs of experienced
    > Hunters are known to slash through a dozen goblins in one round.
    >
    > > Offhand...
    > >
    > > Or you could give them specialised versions of existing combat feats.
    > >
    > > Great Cleave or Improved Trip, only useable against special enamies.
    >
    > Yes, good ideas. Tripping with shortswords and Cleaving without Str 13
    > would work great for the Hunters. Also, Pounce.

    Perhaps Great Cleave but you can only cleave into targets threatened by
    allies (or threatened by another Hunter, if you want to limit it
    further, but I'd be against it). Encourages ganging up.

    > However, my previous question remains: given that both PrCs favor Str
    > 12, Dex 16 rather than the other way around, what would be the best way
    > to give them extra damage? A flat bonus, bonus dice, Dex to damage,
    > extra attacks, or a damage multiplier? Or something else?

    Perhaps give the knight an ability that works like Power Attack, but
    only with javelins thrown at the end of a charge? Combined with high Dex
    (good attack bonus) and the damage multiplier I suggested, it can make
    for pretty respectable damage from a Str 12 guy.


    --
    Jasin Zujovic
    jzujovic@inet.hr
  11. Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd (More info?)

    avidroleplayer@yahoo.com wrote:

    > > So I won't worry about it. If you think bonus dice are the best
    > > solution, just go ahead.
    > >
    > > > I have no idea how this should interact with
    > > > regular sneak attack and other abilities which interact with Sneak
    > > > attack.
    > >
    > > Simple, you get the bonus damage if you meet the conditions.
    >
    > What about Uncanny dodgers and crit-immune creatures?
    > Should it work against them?

    Depending what you want the damage to represent, I guess. If it's
    precision and targeting weak spots, then it doesn't work against the
    crit-immune. If it's a very powerful blow, it does. And so on.

    > It seems damage multipliers like Spirited Charge are the way to go.

    That'd be my choice, for the javelin dive at least.


    --
    Jasin Zujovic
    jzujovic@inet.hr
  12. Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd (More info?)

    In article <me-4EF00F.10460402032005@individual.net>,
    Kevin Lowe <me@private.net> wrote:
    >Depending how far you and to take it you could even have a class ability
    >that lets the giant hunters use their Dexterity bonus for damage instead
    >of Strength when they are hitting big targets with javelins. Normally
    >allowing that is bad design, since it makes Dexterity the uber-stat, but
    >if it's limited to throwing javelins at giants from dragonback it's
    >probably tolerable.

    The Elven Thinblade (Complete Warrior) already allows Dex for damage, and
    presumably whoever uses one would take Weapon Finesse. So there's already a
    precedent for making Dex the uber-stat for some kinds of characters.
    I've been thinking about using it for yet another Paladin (pal/rogue
    combination).
    --
    "Yo' ideas need to be thinked befo' they are say'd" - Ian Lamb, age 3.5
    http://www.cs.queensu.ca/~dalamb/ qucis->cs to reply (it's a long story...)
  13. Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd (More info?)

    dalamb@qucis.queensu.ca wrote:

    > >Depending how far you and to take it you could even have a class ability
    > >that lets the giant hunters use their Dexterity bonus for damage instead
    > >of Strength when they are hitting big targets with javelins. Normally
    > >allowing that is bad design, since it makes Dexterity the uber-stat, but
    > >if it's limited to throwing javelins at giants from dragonback it's
    > >probably tolerable.
    >
    > The Elven Thinblade (Complete Warrior) already allows Dex for damage, and
    > presumably whoever uses one would take Weapon Finesse.

    Eh? Are you sure about that? I can't check right now, but IIRC, the
    elven thinblade merely does for the rapier what the bastard sword does
    for a longsword: upsizes the damage die at the cost of and Exotic Weapon
    Proficiency, for 1d8 18-20/x2, finessable. I can't recally anything
    about Dex to damage.


    --
    Jasin Zujovic
    jzujovic@inet.hr
  14. Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd (More info?)

    "David Alex Lamb" <dalamb@qucis.queensu.ca> wrote in message
    news:d05aje$csk$1@knot.queensu.ca...
    > In article <me-4EF00F.10460402032005@individual.net>,
    > Kevin Lowe <me@private.net> wrote:
    > >Depending how far you and to take it you could even have a class ability
    > >that lets the giant hunters use their Dexterity bonus for damage instead
    > >of Strength when they are hitting big targets with javelins. Normally
    > >allowing that is bad design, since it makes Dexterity the uber-stat, but
    > >if it's limited to throwing javelins at giants from dragonback it's
    > >probably tolerable.
    >
    > The Elven Thinblade (Complete Warrior) already allows Dex for damage, and
    > presumably whoever uses one would take Weapon Finesse. So there's already
    a
    > precedent for making Dex the uber-stat for some kinds of characters.
    > I've been thinking about using it for yet another Paladin (pal/rogue
    > combination).

    No it doesn't. It merely allows the use of Weapon Finnesse.

    Geoff.
  15. Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd (More info?)

    In article <OctVd.381$Le2.3363@nasal.pacific.net.au>,
    Geoff Watson <geoffwatson@pacific.net.au> wrote:
    >
    >"David Alex Lamb" <dalamb@qucis.queensu.ca> wrote in message
    >> The Elven Thinblade (Complete Warrior) already allows Dex for damage, and
    >> presumably whoever uses one would take Weapon Finesse. So there's already
    >a
    >> precedent for making Dex the uber-stat for some kinds of characters.
    >> I've been thinking about using it for yet another Paladin (pal/rogue
    >> combination).
    >
    >No it doesn't. It merely allows the use of Weapon Finnesse.

    Gah. I misread "attack" as "attack and damage". I need to stop quoting the
    manuals unless I have them in front of me, given how many goofs I've made this
    week.


    --
    "Yo' ideas need to be thinked befo' they are say'd" - Ian Lamb, age 3.5
    http://www.cs.queensu.ca/~dalamb/ qucis->cs to reply (it's a long story...)
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