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Idea: Iajutsu feats

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Anonymous
March 15, 2005 3:58:28 PM

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

This is something I've been thinking about, in case I get a chance to
run an Oriental Adventures campaign.

I've always had a bit of a problem with the implementation of iajutsu in
the Oriental Adventures sourcebook. Currently, it's a skill, Iajutsu
Focus, Cha based, which allows you to do extra damage, depending on your
skill check, if you strike a flat-footed opponent immediately after
drawing a melee weapon. It also allows you to substitute your skill roll
for your initiative check if both you and your opponent agree to
participate in an iajutsu duel.

My problems with this implementation are several:
First, the fact that it's a skill at all causes a problem. Although in
Oriental Adventures only the samurai class gets it as a class skill,
there are a couple of almost-core feats (Versatile and Cosmopolitan)
that allow another class to get the skill as a class skill. Even
disallowing the two feats above, one still must consider the character
who takes one level in samurai, then multiclasses into something else
for the rest of their career. In all the above cases, a character who
was not particularly good at combat (a rogue, say), could have just as
good or better an Iajutsu Focus skill check as the greatest samurai. I
think this fails to emulate the source material, as iajutsu damage is
usually portrayed as being strongly related to your skill at combat.
However, Cha should still play a roll, as Charisma seems to be the best
score to represent "fighting spirit", which is also regarded as
important for iajutsu.

Second problem: the skill check mechanic makes the damage very variable.
A first level samurai could roll poorly and get no damage at all, or
roll well and get +3d6 damage. A 20th level samurai with maxed ranks
could get get as low as +4d6 or as high as +10d6. This feels excessively
random to me: possibly overpowering at 1st, possibly irrelevant at 20th.

Third problem: the conditions for an Iajutsu Focus check are excessively
harsh, IMO. Only flat-footed opponents, when combined with the fact that
it's only one attack a round, is too extreme. Also, it again fails to
emulate source material: I've seen iajutsu attacks that were made
against obviously non-flatfooted opponents, and that didn't seem to be
the product of a combat-Bluff check either. OTOH, iajutsu attacks at the
start of combat *are* more common than otherwise, so some allowance for
this must be made.

Fourth problem: Any melee weapon is too large a category, I think.
Iajutsu relies on speed *and* power, and I don't think you can deliver
the nessecary force with, say, a dagger. I think even a rapier is rather
unlikely.

So, my proposed solution: Make iajutsu represented by a feat:

Iajutsu Strike [General, Fighter]
You can make very powerful attacks when first drawing your weapon.
Prerequisites: Weapon Focus (any weapon that can be wielded two-handed),
base attack bonus +1
Benefit: As a full-round action that provokes attacks of opportunity,
you can make an iajutsu strike. This special attack must be made with a
weapon you have drawn and can wield with two hands, and that you have
Weapon Focus with. You make a normal melee attack roll (drawing the
weapon is part of the iajutsu strike action, and does not take the
normal move action). If you hit, you do your normal damage with the
weapon, plus bonus dice of damage. Your bonus damage dice are based on
your iajutsu score, which is determined by dividing your base attack
bonus by two and adding your Charisma bonus. Check your iajutsu score on
the table below to determine your bonus damage dice for an iajutsu strike.

Iajutsu Bonus
Score Dice

1-2 +1d6
3-4 +2d6
5-6 +3d6
7-8 +4d6
9-10 +5d6
11-12 +6d6
13-14 +7d6
15-16 +8d6
17-18 +9d6
19+ +10d6


Thus, the problems are resolved: tying it to base attack bonus plus Cha
means both pure fighting skill plus "fighting spirit" are important, the
damage is no longer highly variable, the activation mechanic (full round
action, provokes AoO) lets you use it any time, but only safely against
flat-footed opponents, and the weapon limitation means no more dagger or
one-handed rapier iajutsu strikes.

One potential problem with this system is that the heights of damage are
harder to reach: base attack bonus won't do it alone, and even a high
natural Cha has problems. A 20th level samurai who started with 18 Cha
would still have to put almost every ability upgrade into Cha, plus
either a tome of Cha +5 or a Cha enhancer item +6, to get into the +10d6
category.
As a solution, a second feat:

Iajutsu Focus [General, Fighter]
Your iajutsu strikes are more powerful.
Prerequisites: Iajutsu Strike, base attack bonus +3
Benefit: Your iajustu score is increased by +2.
Special: You can take this feat multiple times, but no more than three
times, and the base attack bonus prerequisite increases by +3 each time
after the first that you take it.

Some other feats that you could ring onto the base feat:

Iajutsu Defense, requiring probably Dodge, Iajutsu Strike, and BAB +3,
letting you make iajutsu strikes without provoking AoOs.

Iajutsu Charge, reqiring Iajutsu Strike and BAB +4, letting you charge
and make an iajutsu strike at the end (Iajutsu defense probably wouldn't
remove the AoO from this one, though).

Swift Iajutsu Strike, requiring Iajutsu Strike and BAB +10, making an
iajutsu strike a standard action rather than a full-round action.

Whirlwind Iajutsu, requiring Whirlwind Attack, Iajutsu Strike, and BAB
+12, letting you make an iajutsu strike against everyone you threaten,
but provoking AoO from all of them too.

Comments? Questions?

More about : idea iajutsu feats

Anonymous
March 15, 2005 6:23:29 PM

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

This provokes an Attack Of Opportunity? Why do it then? You're
probably better off just doing a normal full attack sequence and not
give your opponent a chance to hit you. Take Power Attack if you want
extra damage. Since the idea is you are focusing your skill in
combat, defense is as important. You aren't being more reckless as
charging or a barbarian raging which only lowers your AC by 2 instead
of giving your opponent a free attack. Spending another Feat to get
rid of the AoO is too costly.

The concept of a full round action is ok. A Feat to make it a standard
action is ok but runs into a conundrum for a person who is hasted. Can
a hasted person with Swift Iajutsu Strike make two Iajutsu attacks?

What about Cleave/Great Cleave? Do you get the bonus damage upon
striking other opponents? If yes, why should using this with Whirlwind
attack require its own Feat?

What about Power Attack? Will the bonus damage stack?

Clarification: I'm not knocking the idea. I like it. I guess the AoO
is what really bugs me :p .

Gerald Katz
Anonymous
March 15, 2005 8:35:01 PM

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

Kelly Pedersen wrote:
> snippage
>

Very nice. I like the direction this goes in.


There's just one thing that's always bothered me about Iujitsu. It's
just *ONE* style of swordsmanship. I never understood why Iujitsu was
the only way to duel in Oriental adventures, especially considering that
most duels historically began with blades already drawn, or even with
weapons that weren't swords. Have you ever seen a dueling mechanic for
non-iujitsu fights?
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Anonymous
March 15, 2005 11:14:41 PM

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

Hadsil wrote:
> This provokes an Attack Of Opportunity?

I put that in to at least try to simulate the "mostly at the start of
combat" aspect of iajutsu you usually see. OA tried to do it by letting
you do it only against flat-footed opponents, but, as I said, I find
that a little *too* restictive; it's *rare* to see it during a combat,
not *impossible*. The AoO mechanic means that if you win inititiave, you
can use your Iajutsu Strike easily (flat-footed oponents don't get
AoOs). However, you can still try later in the combat, if you want to
risk it.

> Why do it then? You're
> probably better off just doing a normal full attack sequence and not
> give your opponent a chance to hit you.

Because you want to hit an opponent for a *lot* of damage, and you don't
think you stand a good chance of hitting them if you Power Attack for a
lot? Because you're a quick fighter, not a strong fighter, and don't
have Power Attack? Because the enemy is AoOied out? That's three, right
off the cuff.

[snip]

> Since the idea is you are focusing your skill in
> combat, defense is as important. You aren't being more reckless as
> charging or a barbarian raging which only lowers your AC by 2 instead
> of giving your opponent a free attack.

I dunno. You're standing there, with your weapon sheathed. If most of
the iajutsu stuff I've seen is followed, you're concentrating real hard,
to build your fighting spirit. Basically, you're a making a large target
of yourself, for the sake of putting some serious smackdown on someone.
Trading offense for defense. Also, note that a free attack is not
nessecarily any more dangerous than a lowered AC. The lowered AC from
charging or raging lasts until your next turn, or until you stop raging,
respectively. In both cases, that's a number of potential attacks that
you're giving a 10% greater chance of hitting to, compared to 1
potential attack at your normal AC; at least, if only one opponent is
threatening you. OTOH, it's easier to control who's threatening you then
it is to control who'll attack you before your AC goes back up.

> Spending another Feat to get
> rid of the AoO is too costly.

The restriction also exists for balance. Currently, a specialist iajutsu
fighter could have a potential +2d6 damage from their iajutsu strike (+0
from their BAB, but +4 from an 18 Cha). +3d6 if you use a non-standard
race with +2 Cha. Compare that to a rogue, the only core class to get
bonus damage dice like this: the rogue only gets +1d6 damage, and,
similarly, only once per round. The rogue can make a move and still do
it, true, but they're *still* averaging 3.5 bonus damage to the iajutsu
guy's 10. It's actually worse compared against a fighter, who have
nothing else that will boost their damage this much at 1st level. I
really think that keeping the AoO is essential to balancing the feat at
low levels.

> The concept of a full round action is ok. A Feat to make it a standard
> action is ok but runs into a conundrum for a person who is hasted. Can
> a hasted person with Swift Iajutsu Strike make two Iajutsu attacks?

No, because the strike is still a *standard* *action*. Unless you're
using the generally-acknowledged-as-broken 3.0 Haste, the spell only
grants you an extra *attack*, and only if you take the full-attack
option. Otherwise, the best you can do with Haste is move double your
normal speed before making an iajutsu attack.

> What about Cleave/Great Cleave? Do you get the bonus damage upon
> striking other opponents?

Hmm. A good question. I would tend to rule "no", since I've always
interpreted Cleave's "all the bonuses as the attack that dropped the
first target" to mean "all the bonuses *to* *attack* as the first
attack", not nessecarily "all the bonuses to *damage*," Actually, now
that I think about it, I tend to think that's the only reasonable
solution: conditional modifiers to damage remain conditional. Otherwise,
a ranger with Cleave and favored enemy: orc could drop an orc, cleave
through, and hit the drow elf beside him with the favored enenmy bonus
damage. Anyway, the point is, the iajutsu damage is conditional: it only
applies to the first enemy you attack after drawing your weapon. I could
make this clearer, if it would help.

> If yes, why should using this with Whirlwind
> attack require its own Feat?

Actually, I could see Iajutsu Cleave and Great Iajutsu Cleave feats,
probably at around BAB +6 and +10, respectively, and requiring the
Cleave feats and the Iajutsu Strike feats, that would let you keep
iajutsing. As to their utility versus the Whirlwind Iajutsu feat, well,
same as the regular Whirlwind Attack vs. the Cleave feats: Whirlwind
Attack doesn't require you to drop each foe before striking the next,
whereas Great Cleave comes to a shuddering halt as soon as you don't
drop something.

> What about Power Attack? Will the bonus damage stack?

I would say yes. Phear the Power Attacking greatsword/naginata wielding
iajutsu master. Unless, of course, you're staying more than five feet
away from him. In which case, just fear his Power Attacking, I guess. ;-)
Also, great combo for getting rid of those nasty door and barriers.
"Hmm. Iron door, you say? 60 hit points? Well, I have +7d6 iajutsu
damage, and I Power Attack for 10 points, giving me +20 bonus damage,
plus another 6 from my Str bonus and +2 from Weapon Specialization,
giving me an *average* damage of 52.5. Against a hardness of 10, 2
rounds. Stand back, folks." Ouch. Say good bye to locked doors...

> Clarification: I'm not knocking the idea. I like it. I guess the AoO
> is what really bugs me :p .

Thanks for the suggestions. What if I took down the prereqs on the
Defensive Iajutsu feat, the one that removes the AoO?, so you could take
it at 1st level? Then a specialist fighter could have it right off the
bat, whereas someone who just wants to have an opening gambit with a lot
of punch could take something else?
Anonymous
March 15, 2005 11:18:40 PM

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

Raphael Russell wrote:

> Kelly Pedersen wrote:
>
>> snippage
>>
>
> Very nice. I like the direction this goes in.
>
>
> There's just one thing that's always bothered me about Iujitsu. It's
> just *ONE* style of swordsmanship. I never understood why Iujitsu was
> the only way to duel in Oriental adventures, especially considering that
> most duels historically began with blades already drawn, or even with
> weapons that weren't swords.

Well, I should point out, that OA made the very good choice of making
iajutsu an *optional* feature. A samurai didn't have to take any ranks
at all in it if they didn't want to. Same goes for the feat, which is
why I didn't put anything about giving it to the samurai for free at 1st
level.

>Have you ever seen a dueling mechanic for
> non-iujitsu fights?

I would say, the same mechanic that governs duels in any other D&D
setting: two characters who want to duel, agree to duel, and then go at
it. The iajutsu mechanic didn't really add anything, or even make an
iajutsu specialist into a better dueler generally; the "use your Iajustu
Focus check in place of init" mechanic only applied when *both* parties
agreed to conduct an iajutsu duel. Or did you mean something else?
Anonymous
March 15, 2005 11:44:27 PM

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

Kelly Pedersen wrote:

> I would say, the same mechanic that governs duels in any other D&D
> setting: two characters who want to duel, agree to duel, and then go at
> it. The iajutsu mechanic didn't really add anything, or even make an
> iajutsu specialist into a better dueler generally; the "use your Iajustu
> Focus check in place of init" mechanic only applied when *both* parties
> agreed to conduct an iajutsu duel. Or did you mean something else?
>


I meant something different, in fact. Watch the Seven Samurai. There's
a duel early on in that movie where both participants fought with their
blades drawn. However, the duel ends in a single clean stroke, much
like how the Iujitsu game mechanic is supposed to emulate.

My beef with Iujitsu dueling is the conceit that the act of drawing a
sword is what enables the extra damage, or somehow gives you superiority
over someone who isn't schooled in the Iujitsu style. If one were to
really follow what duels were like, Iujitsu would be just one of many
styles that could be used in a duel. Ideally, each would offer some
variation on how they get the bonus damage.
Anonymous
March 16, 2005 1:00:43 AM

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

Raphael Russell wrote:

> Kelly Pedersen wrote:

[snip]

>> Or did you mean
>> something else?
>
> I meant something different, in fact. Watch the Seven Samurai.

I've watched the first half. I was enjoying it, but the people I was
with thought that a) black and white and b) subtitles made for a bad
movie. I must watch it free of philistines, sometime.

> There's
> a duel early on in that movie where both participants fought with their
> blades drawn. However, the duel ends in a single clean stroke, much
> like how the Iujitsu game mechanic is supposed to emulate.

I remember that. At least, I think I do; it's during the recruiting
scenes, right? Can't remember the samurai's name, but he's basically
challenging all comers, and doing much the same to all, right?
Anyway, I'd say that that scene is simply an example of a high level
fighter taking on a low level fighter, and probably using a fair amount
of Power Attack: he misses a bunch, or at least fails to deal any
significant damaging wound, but when he finally does, he basically takes
all the poor guy's hit points in one hit. So, I'd say that that style of
duel is already fairly well represented in the rules.

> My beef with Iujitsu dueling is the conceit that the act of drawing a
> sword is what enables the extra damage,

Well, that's the point of the style, at least in fiction: you're
extremely skilled in drawing your sword, so much so that you turn
drawing it into a devastating attack. My main source for most of this is
the anime Ruroni Kenshin. If you haven't seen it, you should: the first
two seasons, anyway, are quite good.

> or somehow gives you superiority
> over someone who isn't schooled in the Iujitsu style.

Well, I dunno how my style is giving *superiority* over non-iajutsu
styles. Certainly, it's better than simple base attack bonus. But, then,
another fighter is going to have more than just that. Consider, two
first level human fighters. One has Weapon Focus (Katana), Iajutsu
Strike, and Improved Initiative, with an iajutsu score of 4, giving him
+2d6 damage. The other has Power Attack, Improved Sunder, and Weapon
Focus (Katana) (for the purposes of discussion, we'll consider katanas
as basically bastard swords). Both have 10 hp. The iajutsu guy can do
1d10+2d6 damage, for an average of 12.5 damage, but here's the catch: he
can only do it *safely* (ie, without provoking the AoO) if he a) wins
init and b) is standing within 5 feet of the other fighter at the start
of the combat. Or wins a surprise round. The power attacker can do
1d10+2+6 points of damage, for an average of 13.5 damage, assuming he
has an 18 Str and pumps his BAB into Power Attack. *And*, he doesn't
have to provoke an AoO to do it, and he can move and still attack. Both
styles are pretty much equally capable of dropping the other, I'd say.
So I'm not seeing the clear superiority of the style. I'm just trying to
provide an *option*.

> If one were to
> really follow what duels were like, Iujitsu would be just one of many
> styles that could be used in a duel.

See above. Actually, Power Attack can cover a fair bit of this, assuming
you're willing to be a little flexible with the description of what's
going on. It can represent a very strong blow that's less likely to
land, and that is basically what it seems to be designed to do, but, as
has been pointed out on the newsgroup before, you can also use it to
represent passing up combat opportunities to get in that one really good
strike. You could come up with an identical feat, change only the
prereq, to Dex 13 instead of Str 13, and represent a good selection of
dueling styles.

And there's more feats out there, too. Two weapon fighting springs to
mind instantly. The Spring Attack chain is a good one for more
light-on-their feet duelists. Improved Critical is another good one for
the more surgical styles. And the Weapon Focus/Specialization chain is
good for the "Simply Damn Good" duelists. So, I must say I'm not really
seeing the big problem here. Sure, some more feats for more styles would
be cool. But saying that there's no way in the core rules to represent
other dueling styles than iajutsu is, IMO, wrong.
Anonymous
March 16, 2005 7:12:56 PM

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

Kelly Pedersen wrote:
> Hadsil wrote:
> > This provokes an Attack Of Opportunity?
>
> I put that in to at least try to simulate the "mostly at the start of

> combat" aspect of iajutsu you usually see. OA tried to do it by
letting
> you do it only against flat-footed opponents, but, as I said, I find
> that a little *too* restictive; it's *rare* to see it during a
combat,
> not *impossible*. The AoO mechanic means that if you win inititiave,
you
> can use your Iajutsu Strike easily (flat-footed oponents don't get
> AoOs). However, you can still try later in the combat, if you want to

> risk it.
>

Ok.

> > Why do it then? You're
> > probably better off just doing a normal full attack sequence and
not
> > give your opponent a chance to hit you.
>
> Because you want to hit an opponent for a *lot* of damage, and you
don't
> think you stand a good chance of hitting them if you Power Attack for
a
> lot? Because you're a quick fighter, not a strong fighter, and don't
> have Power Attack? Because the enemy is AoOied out? That's three,
right
> off the cuff.
>

Ok. :) 

> [snip]
>
> > Since the idea is you are focusing your skill in
> > combat, defense is as important. You aren't being more reckless as
> > charging or a barbarian raging which only lowers your AC by 2
instead
> > of giving your opponent a free attack.
>
> I dunno. You're standing there, with your weapon sheathed. If most of

> the iajutsu stuff I've seen is followed, you're concentrating real
hard,
> to build your fighting spirit. Basically, you're a making a large
target
> of yourself, for the sake of putting some serious smackdown on
someone.
> Trading offense for defense. Also, note that a free attack is not
> nessecarily any more dangerous than a lowered AC. The lowered AC from

> charging or raging lasts until your next turn, or until you stop
raging,
> respectively. In both cases, that's a number of potential attacks
that
> you're giving a 10% greater chance of hitting to, compared to 1
> potential attack at your normal AC; at least, if only one opponent is

> threatening you. OTOH, it's easier to control who's threatening you
then
> it is to control who'll attack you before your AC goes back up.
>

Interesting thought. Varying mileage territory of combat philosophical
thinking.

> > Spending another Feat to get
> > rid of the AoO is too costly.
>
> The restriction also exists for balance. Currently, a specialist
iajutsu
> fighter could have a potential +2d6 damage from their iajutsu strike
(+0
> from their BAB, but +4 from an 18 Cha). +3d6 if you use a
non-standard
> race with +2 Cha. Compare that to a rogue, the only core class to get

> bonus damage dice like this: the rogue only gets +1d6 damage, and,
> similarly, only once per round. The rogue can make a move and still
do
> it, true, but they're *still* averaging 3.5 bonus damage to the
iajutsu
> guy's 10. It's actually worse compared against a fighter, who have
> nothing else that will boost their damage this much at 1st level. I
> really think that keeping the AoO is essential to balancing the feat
at
> low levels.
>

A two-weapon fighting rogue gets +2d6 total sneak attack potential for
his own feat commitment, but that's anecdotal. +2d6 in addition to
weapon damage I agree is a lot for a 1st level character. I guess ...

> > The concept of a full round action is ok. A Feat to make it a
standard
> > action is ok but runs into a conundrum for a person who is hasted.
Can
> > a hasted person with Swift Iajutsu Strike make two Iajutsu attacks?
>
> No, because the strike is still a *standard* *action*. Unless you're
> using the generally-acknowledged-as-broken 3.0 Haste, the spell only
> grants you an extra *attack*, and only if you take the full-attack
> option. Otherwise, the best you can do with Haste is move double your

> normal speed before making an iajutsu attack.
>

Gotcha. But even without Swift Iajutsu Strike, a hasted fighter could
still take that extra attack as a normal attack due to Haste?


> > What about Cleave/Great Cleave? Do you get the bonus damage upon
> > striking other opponents?
>
> Hmm. A good question. I would tend to rule "no", since I've always
> interpreted Cleave's "all the bonuses as the attack that dropped the
> first target" to mean "all the bonuses *to* *attack* as the first
> attack", not nessecarily "all the bonuses to *damage*," Actually, now

> that I think about it, I tend to think that's the only reasonable
> solution: conditional modifiers to damage remain conditional.
Otherwise,
> a ranger with Cleave and favored enemy: orc could drop an orc, cleave

> through, and hit the drow elf beside him with the favored enenmy
bonus
> damage. Anyway, the point is, the iajutsu damage is conditional: it
only
> applies to the first enemy you attack after drawing your weapon. I
could
> make this clearer, if it would help.
>

The ranger is a good core anology. Good question: does a cleaving
ranger cleaving two opponents of different favorite enemy bonuses get
separate bonuse damage? Since for the cleaved into second opponent the
ranger has to roll for damage if he hits, as opposed to using the same
damage roll for the first opponent, I would say yes. However, I guess
it should be clear the Iajutsu damage is only for the first opponent
only if that was your intent. There is precident. Manyshot Feat only
provides precision-type damage for one arrow.

I may have missed it or it is understood by critical damage rules
without mentioning, but it should also be clarified the Iajutsu damage
dice are not multiplied for critical hits. Which brings me to my next
question: are creatures immune to critical hits immune to Iajutsu
damage, or did you mention this already, and I glossed over it?

> > If yes, why should using this with Whirlwind
> > attack require its own Feat?
>
> Actually, I could see Iajutsu Cleave and Great Iajutsu Cleave feats,
> probably at around BAB +6 and +10, respectively, and requiring the
> Cleave feats and the Iajutsu Strike feats, that would let you keep
> iajutsing. As to their utility versus the Whirlwind Iajutsu feat,
well,
> same as the regular Whirlwind Attack vs. the Cleave feats: Whirlwind
> Attack doesn't require you to drop each foe before striking the next,

> whereas Great Cleave comes to a shuddering halt as soon as you don't
> drop something.
>

They would make good feats. It means great dedication for the fighter,
which is fine for its own sake. Just because a fighter has so many
feats doesn't mean he has to have a little bit of everything. Spenging
most or all of his feats to one particular combat option style is a
viable choice. His generic feats can be used to iron out incidentals
he may need such as a little archery if he's tank, melee stuff if he's
an archer, or even boost a save or two.

> > What about Power Attack? Will the bonus damage stack?
>
> I would say yes. Phear the Power Attacking greatsword/naginata
wielding
> iajutsu master. Unless, of course, you're staying more than five feet

> away from him. In which case, just fear his Power Attacking, I guess.
;-)
> Also, great combo for getting rid of those nasty door and barriers.
> "Hmm. Iron door, you say? 60 hit points? Well, I have +7d6 iajutsu
> damage, and I Power Attack for 10 points, giving me +20 bonus damage,

> plus another 6 from my Str bonus and +2 from Weapon Specialization,
> giving me an *average* damage of 52.5. Against a hardness of 10, 2
> rounds. Stand back, folks." Ouch. Say good bye to locked doors...
>

Heehee. I keep forgetting about this use of Power Attack.

> > Clarification: I'm not knocking the idea. I like it. I guess the
AoO
> > is what really bugs me :p .
>
> Thanks for the suggestions. What if I took down the prereqs on the
> Defensive Iajutsu feat, the one that removes the AoO?, so you could
take
> it at 1st level? Then a specialist fighter could have it right off
the
> bat, whereas someone who just wants to have an opening gambit with a
lot
> of punch could take something else?

If I must make a two feat commitment this would be palatable to me in
the hypothetical I play a fighter dedicated to Iajutsu.

Gerald Katz
Anonymous
March 16, 2005 10:48:47 PM

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

Kelly Pedersen wrote:

>
> And there's more feats out there, too. Two weapon fighting springs to
> mind instantly. The Spring Attack chain is a good one for more
> light-on-their feet duelists. Improved Critical is another good one for
> the more surgical styles. And the Weapon Focus/Specialization chain is
> good for the "Simply Damn Good" duelists. So, I must say I'm not really
> seeing the big problem here. Sure, some more feats for more styles would
> be cool. But saying that there's no way in the core rules to represent
> other dueling styles than iajutsu is, IMO, wrong.
>

None of these feats and feat chains add up to +10d6 (avg. 35 pts)worth
of damage at the high end. While at the low end of things, Iujitsu is
relatively okay, it gets crazy once you reach the end of the chain. If
you can show how another dueling option is balanced in comparison, I'm
certainly intersted in entertaining it.
Anonymous
March 17, 2005 4:36:04 PM

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

Hadsil wrote:

> Kelly Pedersen wrote:
>
>>Hadsil wrote:

[snip]

>>>The concept of a full round action is ok. A Feat to make it a
>>>standard action is ok but runs into a conundrum for a person who is hasted.
>>>Can a hasted person with Swift Iajutsu Strike make two Iajutsu attacks?
>>
>>
>>No, because the strike is still a *standard* *action*. Unless you're
>>using the generally-acknowledged-as-broken 3.0 Haste, the spell only
>>grants you an extra *attack*, and only if you take the full-attack
>>option. Otherwise, the best you can do with Haste is move double your
>>normal speed before making an iajutsu attack.
>>
>
>
> Gotcha. But even without Swift Iajutsu Strike, a hasted fighter could
> still take that extra attack as a normal attack due to Haste?

Nope. Without Swift Iajutsu, he has to spend a full round action to get
his iajutsu on, and that means no moving. Remember, Haste doesn't
provide any "extra" actions at all anymore. If you move, you get more
movement, if you make a full attack, you get another attack, but you
can't combine the features. And Iajutsu strike isn't a full attack
action, it's a full round action that gives you one attack.

[snip]

> However, I guess
> it should be clear the Iajutsu damage is only for the first opponent
> only if that was your intent. There is precident. Manyshot Feat only
> provides precision-type damage for one arrow.

I'll make sure to state it more firmly.

> I may have missed it or it is understood by critical damage rules
> without mentioning, but it should also be clarified the Iajutsu damage
> dice are not multiplied for critical hits.

I figured it was pretty much understood: bonus dice, no crit multiplier.
I think it's redundant to put it in the feat description as well.

> Which brings me to my next
> question: are creatures immune to critical hits immune to Iajutsu
> damage, or did you mention this already, and I glossed over it?

No, I didn't mention it. I think that no, they're not immune. This
damage, while it's expressed the same way Sneak Attack is, isn't the
same thing. It's not about where you're hitting the opponent, it's about
how *hard* you're hitting them. A construct or undead would be hurting
as much from one of these as a normal human. Actually, that's another
reason to keep the reins on: it's more versatile than Sneak Attack.

[snip]

>>Actually, I could see Iajutsu Cleave and Great Iajutsu Cleave feats,
>>probably at around BAB +6 and +10, respectively, and requiring the
>>Cleave feats and the Iajutsu Strike feats, that would let you keep
>>iajutsing.

[snip]

> They would make good feats. It means great dedication for the fighter,
> which is fine for its own sake. Just because a fighter has so many
> feats doesn't mean he has to have a little bit of everything. Spenging
> most or all of his feats to one particular combat option style is a
> viable choice. His generic feats can be used to iron out incidentals
> he may need such as a little archery if he's tank, melee stuff if he's
> an archer, or even boost a save or two.

I tend to think the same way. I've tried to come up with a number of
higher BAB prereq feats IMC, to fill what I see as this void.

[snip]

>>>Clarification: I'm not knocking the idea. I like it. I guess the
>>>AoO is what really bugs me :p .
>>
>>Thanks for the suggestions. What if I took down the prereqs on the
>>Defensive Iajutsu feat, the one that removes the AoO?, so you could
>>take it at 1st level? Then a specialist fighter could have it right off
>>the bat, whereas someone who just wants to have an opening gambit with a
>>lot of punch could take something else?
>
>
> If I must make a two feat commitment this would be palatable to me in
> the hypothetical I play a fighter dedicated to Iajutsu.

Cool.
Anonymous
March 17, 2005 5:32:12 PM

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

Raphael Russell wrote:

> Kelly Pedersen wrote:
>
>>
>> And there's more feats out there, too. Two weapon fighting springs to
>> mind instantly. The Spring Attack chain is a good one for more
>> light-on-their feet duelists. Improved Critical is another good one
>> for the more surgical styles. And the Weapon Focus/Specialization
>> chain is good for the "Simply Damn Good" duelists. So, I must say I'm
>> not really seeing the big problem here. Sure, some more feats for more
>> styles would be cool. But saying that there's no way in the core rules
>> to represent other dueling styles than iajutsu is, IMO, wrong.
>>
>
> None of these feats and feat chains add up to +10d6 (avg. 35 pts)worth
> of damage at the high end.

Hmm. Let's examine that assumption, shall we? Take two 20th level human
fighters, both with 19 feats, and the standard stat array (15, 14, 13,
12, 10, 8, arranged to taste). Fighter 1 is the iajutsu guy, with Str
14, Con 13, Dex 12, Int 10, Wis 8, and Cha 15, and has the iajutsu
chain, including Weapon Focus (Katana), Iajutsu Strike, Defensive
Iajutsu (removing that AoO) (1st), Improved Inititiave (2nd), Iajutsu
Focus 1 (3rd), Power Attack (4th),(also using his ability upgrade to
boost Cha), Iajutsu Charge and Iajutsu Focus 2 (6th), Weapon
Specialization (Katana) (8th),(again, upping Cha), Iajutsu Focus 3,
(9th), Cleave (10th), Iajutsu Cleave and Great Cleave (12th) (once again
boosting Cha), Swift Iajutsu (14th), Great Iajutsu Cleave (15th),
Greater Weapon Focus (Katana) (16th) (Cha boost again), Greater Weapon
Specialization (Katana) and Improved Critical (Katana) (18th), and
rounding out with something random feat at 20th, since there's no
particular damage feat I can think of, and taking another Cha boost. By
this time, his iajutsu score is 10 (from BAB) +5 (from his Cha) +6 (from
Iajutsu Focus, taken 3 times). We'll assume a +6 Cha booster item,
giving him a total iajutsu score of 21, enough to qualify for the +10d6
damage.

Fighter 2, on the other hand, is pretty much just focusing on hitting
things very hard. He has Str 15, Con 14, Dex 13, Int 10, Wis 12, Int 8.
His feats are Power Attack, Cleave, and Weapon Focus (Katana) (1st),
Great Cleave (2nd), Dodge (3rd), Weapon Specialization (Katana) (4th)
(plus a Str upgrade), Improved Sunder and Mobility (6th), Greater Weapon
Focus (Katana) (8th) (and another Str upgrade), Improved Critical
(Katana) (9th), Improved Inititiave (10th), Greater Weapon
Specialization (Katana) and Spring Attack (12th) (Plus a Str up); The
rest of the feats are up to him, but put both ability upgrades into Str.

So, let's compare, shall we:
Fighter one is doing 1d10 + 3 (Str and half, two handing the sword) + 4
(Greater Weapon Specialization) + (double whatever he puts into Power
Attack) + 10d6, for an average of 47.5 damage on a successful hit. He
has a +24 to hit, from BAB, Str, and Weapon Focus.

Fighter two is doing 1d10 + 7 (Str and a half again) + 4 (Greater Weapon
Specialization) + (double whatever he puts into Power Attack), for an
average of 16.5 points of damage. He has +27 to hit, from BAB, Str, and
Weapon Focus.

At first glance, it does seem that the iajutsu guy is superior. *BUT*,
we haven't yet figured on multiple attacks.

We'll give both fighters base ACs of 20, but fighter 2 is actually AC 21
in a duel against fighter 1, because of his Dodge feat.

The iajutsu fighter decides to put 4 points of BAB into Power Attack,
since that still leaves him missing only on a 1. His average damage is
now 55.5. Meanwhile, fighter 2 decides to put 8 points into Power
Attack, again, leaving him missing only on a 1. His average damage is
now 32.5. Note that right away, the gap begins to close.

On the first round, fighter 1 will do an average damage of 52.725 (95%
of his average damage, because of that "1 always misses" rule). Fighter
2, on the other hand, will do 30.875 + 24.375 + 16.25 + 8.125, for a
total of 79.577 damage on average, assuming he can get a full attack in.
Admittedly, the iajutsu focus fighter can deal out more damage with a
single attack, and if he rolls well, can up the damage by up to another
25 points, but on average, the full attacking fighter is still winning.
Not to mention, he has spent fewer feats to get this damage, and thus
has more feats to spend on, say, becoming a good archer or mounted
combatant as well.

> While at the low end of things, Iujitsu is
> relatively okay, it gets crazy once you reach the end of the chain. If
> you can show how another dueling option is balanced in comparison, I'm
> certainly intersted in entertaining it.

See above. I think I've demonstrated that iajutsu is only extremely
superior if you can prevent your damaged-optimized enemy from getting in
his full attack. Certainly, the Spring Attack feat would help with this,
but there are ways to block this maneuver (all your opponent has to do
is ready a Trip attempt, and you're in serious trouble).
Anonymous
March 17, 2005 6:29:17 PM

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

With creatures immune to critical hits and sneak attack still
vulnerable to Iajutsu damage that's "justification" for me to accept
provoking AoO for its own sake, allowing an additional Feat to get rid
of it. It is also makes it "worth it" to dedicate yourself for Iajutsu
Whirlwind and Iajutsu Cleave.

The only "problem" I would now see is that some GMs are going whine
this as "too powerful" for Feats but wouldn't mind the concept as
Prestige Class abilities with some hefty pre-requisites. :p 

Gerald Katz
Anonymous
March 18, 2005 8:35:02 PM

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

Interesting. That refutes my earlier statement, though still doesn't
dispel my problem with Iajutsu being the only mechanic represented for
Samurai duels.

However, this opens up another problem. Now it seems that an Iajutsu
specialist takes more feats to deal less damage than a non-Iajutsu
fighter of a relatively run-of-the-mill feat build. Even though the
Duelist will do more damage on the first hit, it seems likely that he'll
get his clock cleaned when he fails to take out his opponent in the
first hit. Given an equal level opponent at moderately to high levels,
I now don't see how the Iajutsu specialist can possibly hope to keep up
with your standard power attacking, Weap. Focused and specialized, etc.
etc. fighter.

Kelly Pedersen wrote:
>
> Hmm. Let's examine that assumption, shall we? Take two 20th level human
> fighters, both with 19 feats, and the standard stat array (15, 14, 13,
> 12, 10, 8, arranged to taste). Fighter 1 is the iajutsu guy, with Str
> 14, Con 13, Dex 12, Int 10, Wis 8, and Cha 15, and has the iajutsu
> chain, including Weapon Focus (Katana), Iajutsu Strike, Defensive
> Iajutsu (removing that AoO) (1st), Improved Inititiave (2nd), Iajutsu
> Focus 1 (3rd), Power Attack (4th),(also using his ability upgrade to
> boost Cha), Iajutsu Charge and Iajutsu Focus 2 (6th), Weapon
> Specialization (Katana) (8th),(again, upping Cha), Iajutsu Focus 3,
> (9th), Cleave (10th), Iajutsu Cleave and Great Cleave (12th) (once again
> boosting Cha), Swift Iajutsu (14th), Great Iajutsu Cleave (15th),
> Greater Weapon Focus (Katana) (16th) (Cha boost again), Greater Weapon
> Specialization (Katana) and Improved Critical (Katana) (18th), and
> rounding out with something random feat at 20th, since there's no
> particular damage feat I can think of, and taking another Cha boost. By
> this time, his iajutsu score is 10 (from BAB) +5 (from his Cha) +6 (from
> Iajutsu Focus, taken 3 times). We'll assume a +6 Cha booster item,
> giving him a total iajutsu score of 21, enough to qualify for the +10d6
> damage.
>
> Fighter 2, on the other hand, is pretty much just focusing on hitting
> things very hard. He has Str 15, Con 14, Dex 13, Int 10, Wis 12, Int 8.
> His feats are Power Attack, Cleave, and Weapon Focus (Katana) (1st),
> Great Cleave (2nd), Dodge (3rd), Weapon Specialization (Katana) (4th)
> (plus a Str upgrade), Improved Sunder and Mobility (6th), Greater Weapon
> Focus (Katana) (8th) (and another Str upgrade), Improved Critical
> (Katana) (9th), Improved Inititiave (10th), Greater Weapon
> Specialization (Katana) and Spring Attack (12th) (Plus a Str up); The
> rest of the feats are up to him, but put both ability upgrades into Str.
>
> So, let's compare, shall we:
> Fighter one is doing 1d10 + 3 (Str and half, two handing the sword) + 4
> (Greater Weapon Specialization) + (double whatever he puts into Power
> Attack) + 10d6, for an average of 47.5 damage on a successful hit. He
> has a +24 to hit, from BAB, Str, and Weapon Focus.
>
> Fighter two is doing 1d10 + 7 (Str and a half again) + 4 (Greater Weapon
> Specialization) + (double whatever he puts into Power Attack), for an
> average of 16.5 points of damage. He has +27 to hit, from BAB, Str, and
> Weapon Focus.
>
> At first glance, it does seem that the iajutsu guy is superior. *BUT*,
> we haven't yet figured on multiple attacks.
>
> We'll give both fighters base ACs of 20, but fighter 2 is actually AC 21
> in a duel against fighter 1, because of his Dodge feat.
>
> The iajutsu fighter decides to put 4 points of BAB into Power Attack,
> since that still leaves him missing only on a 1. His average damage is
> now 55.5. Meanwhile, fighter 2 decides to put 8 points into Power
> Attack, again, leaving him missing only on a 1. His average damage is
> now 32.5. Note that right away, the gap begins to close.
>
> On the first round, fighter 1 will do an average damage of 52.725 (95%
> of his average damage, because of that "1 always misses" rule). Fighter
> 2, on the other hand, will do 30.875 + 24.375 + 16.25 + 8.125, for a
> total of 79.577 damage on average, assuming he can get a full attack in.
> Admittedly, the iajutsu focus fighter can deal out more damage with a
> single attack, and if he rolls well, can up the damage by up to another
> 25 points, but on average, the full attacking fighter is still winning.
> Not to mention, he has spent fewer feats to get this damage, and thus
> has more feats to spend on, say, becoming a good archer or mounted
> combatant as well.
>
>> While at the low end of things, Iujitsu is relatively okay, it gets
>> crazy once you reach the end of the chain. If you can show how
>> another dueling option is balanced in comparison, I'm certainly
>> intersted in entertaining it.
>
>
> See above. I think I've demonstrated that iajutsu is only extremely
> superior if you can prevent your damaged-optimized enemy from getting in
> his full attack. Certainly, the Spring Attack feat would help with this,
> but there are ways to block this maneuver (all your opponent has to do
> is ready a Trip attempt, and you're in serious trouble).
>
Anonymous
March 19, 2005 3:20:33 AM

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

Raphael Russell wrote:
> Interesting. That refutes my earlier statement, though still doesn't
> dispel my problem with Iajutsu being the only mechanic represented for
> Samurai duels.

I still maintain that a goodly number of dueling styles are already
represented with currently existing feats.

> However, this opens up another problem. Now it seems that an Iajutsu
> specialist takes more feats to deal less damage than a non-Iajutsu
> fighter of a relatively run-of-the-mill feat build. Even though the
> Duelist will do more damage on the first hit, it seems likely that he'll
> get his clock cleaned when he fails to take out his opponent in the
> first hit. Given an equal level opponent at moderately to high levels,
> I now don't see how the Iajutsu specialist can possibly hope to keep up
> with your standard power attacking, Weap. Focused and specialized, etc.
> etc. fighter.

By using decent tactics. On a single attack, the iajutsu fighter
outweighs the melee brute. So, he should do his best to ensure that
Melee Guy never gets his full attack in. Actually, it might be a good
idea for him to delay if he has first init, letting the melee guy come
to him. That way, melee guy gets a single hit, and the iajutsu fighter
can then counter with his single (considerably more powerful) hit, then
back off. Let the cycle repeat each round, and he should be doing more
damage than the melee fighter, overall. Even if he takes an attack of
opportunity (and investment in the Mobility feat will go a long way to
avoiding this), he's probably still at least on par with the melee guy.
Also, his damage *potential* is considerably higher, as most of it comes
from fairly random dice rolls, while the melee fighter relies on much
more standarized bonuses to damage.
So, basically, being good at tactics and being lucky help with using
iajutsu. Remember, that the power attacking two-handed weapon wielder
is, outside of wierd sourcebook stuff, the *best* damage dealer compared
to *all* styles, not just iajutsu. The same question you ask can apply
to Two Weapon Fighting, Spring Attacking, etc. And the answer is the
same for all of them: play to your strengths, work on the opponent's
weaknesses.
Anonymous
March 19, 2005 11:53:03 AM

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

Hadsil <forumite@netzero.com> wrote:
>
> I may have missed it or it is understood by critical damage rules
> without mentioning, but it should also be clarified the Iajutsu damage
> dice are not multiplied for critical hits. Which brings me to my next
> question: are creatures immune to critical hits immune to Iajutsu
> damage, or did you mention this already, and I glossed over it?

"Bonus dice of damage are never multiplied by criticals" is the general
rule (sneak attack, weapon qualities, etc. don't double. Only numerical
benefits (+3, etc.) do.

>> I would say yes. Phear the Power Attacking greatsword/naginata
>> wielding iajutsu master. Unless, of course, you're staying more than
>> five feet away from him. In which case, just fear his Power
>> Attacking, I guess. ;-)
>>
>> Also, great combo for getting rid of those nasty door and barriers.
>> "Hmm. Iron door, you say? 60 hit points? Well, I have +7d6 iajutsu
>> damage, and I Power Attack for 10 points, giving me +20 bonus damage,
>> plus another 6 from my Str bonus and +2 from Weapon Specialization,
>> giving me an *average* damage of 52.5. Against a hardness of 10, 2
>> rounds. Stand back, folks." Ouch. Say good bye to locked doors...

Does iajutsu count as critical damage? If so, it doesn't apply to the
door -- objects are immune to such effects.

In fact, I don't know that I'd allow it for a normal campaign -- a thief
couldn't sneak attack the door for similar effect, after all.

However, for wuxia-type campaigns (like Hong's) it would be thematically
appropriate. Otherwise it's just a cheesy way to break furniture.


Keith
--
Keith Davies "English is not a language. English is a
keith.davies@kjdavies.org bad habit shared between Norman invaders
keith.davies@gmail.com and Saxon barmaids!"
http://www.kjdavies.org/ -- Frog, IRC, 2005/01/13
Anonymous
March 19, 2005 12:17:35 PM

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

Keith Davies wrote:

[snip]

> Does iajutsu count as critical damage?

Nope, it's more like Power Attack: it comes from the power/skill of the
blow, not where you're hitting the target.

> In fact, I don't know that I'd allow it for a normal campaign -- a thief
> couldn't sneak attack the door for similar effect, after all.

OTOH, a fighter can quite easily use Power Attack on a door. In fact,
using the average damage calculations I made downthread, a tricked out
Power Attack fighter could blow through a door *quicker* than an iajutsu
fighter, using his full attack.

> However, for wuxia-type campaigns (like Hong's) it would be thematically
> appropriate. Otherwise it's just a cheesy way to break furniture.

Well, the style *does* work on people, too. I'm really not seeing how
this is any different than Power Attack.
Anonymous
March 20, 2005 5:25:03 AM

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

On Sat, 19 Mar 2005 09:17:35 -0600, Kelly Pedersen
<kelly.pedersen@gmail.com> wrote:

>Keith Davies wrote:
>
>> However, for wuxia-type campaigns (like Hong's) it would be thematically
>> appropriate. Otherwise it's just a cheesy way to break furniture.
>
>Well, the style *does* work on people, too. I'm really not seeing how
>this is any different than Power Attack.
>

Hmm. You know, a "dueling" feat that gives you +3/-1 Power Attack on an
attack action (but NOT a full attack; that's frickin' broken) might not go
astray....


--
Hong Ooi | "COUNTERSRTIKE IS AN REAL-TIME
hong@zipworld.com.au | STRATEGY GAME!!!"
http://www.zipworld.com.au/~hong/dnd/ | -- RR
Sydney, Australia |
Anonymous
March 20, 2005 5:25:04 AM

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

Hong Ooi wrote:
> On Sat, 19 Mar 2005 09:17:35 -0600, Kelly Pedersen
> <kelly.pedersen@gmail.com> wrote:
>
>
>>Keith Davies wrote:
>>
>>
>>>However, for wuxia-type campaigns (like Hong's) it would be thematically
>>>appropriate. Otherwise it's just a cheesy way to break furniture.
>>
>>Well, the style *does* work on people, too. I'm really not seeing how
>>this is any different than Power Attack.
>>
>
>
> Hmm. You know, a "dueling" feat that gives you +3/-1 Power Attack on an
> attack action (but NOT a full attack; that's frickin' broken) might not go
> astray....
>

On any attack? Or just the two-handed attacks? What about making it
+2/-1 for one-handed attacks, and +3/-1 for two-handed?
Anonymous
March 21, 2005 12:18:09 AM

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

On Sat, 19 Mar 2005 18:34:11 -0600, Kelly Pedersen
<kelly.pedersen@gmail.com> wrote:

>Hong Ooi wrote:
>> On Sat, 19 Mar 2005 09:17:35 -0600, Kelly Pedersen
>> <kelly.pedersen@gmail.com> wrote:
>>
>>
>>>Keith Davies wrote:
>>>
>>>
>>>>However, for wuxia-type campaigns (like Hong's) it would be thematically
>>>>appropriate. Otherwise it's just a cheesy way to break furniture.
>>>
>>>Well, the style *does* work on people, too. I'm really not seeing how
>>>this is any different than Power Attack.
>>>
>>
>>
>> Hmm. You know, a "dueling" feat that gives you +3/-1 Power Attack on an
>> attack action (but NOT a full attack; that's frickin' broken) might not go
>> astray....
>>
>
>On any attack? Or just the two-handed attacks? What about making it
>+2/-1 for one-handed attacks, and +3/-1 for two-handed?

Yeah, that's basically what I mean. The +3/-1 thing tends to stick in my
mind though, because the people who tend to make most use of PA seem to be
the 2H weapon guys.


--
Hong Ooi | "COUNTERSRTIKE IS AN REAL-TIME
hong@zipworld.com.au | STRATEGY GAME!!!"
http://www.zipworld.com.au/~hong/dnd/ | -- RR
Sydney, Australia |
Anonymous
March 25, 2005 5:57:45 PM

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

Kelly Pedersen wrote:
> Raphael Russell wrote:
>> Interesting. That refutes my earlier statement, though still doesn't
>> dispel my problem with Iajutsu being the only mechanic represented for
>> Samurai duels.
> I still maintain that a goodly number of dueling styles are already
> represented with currently existing feats.

They just don't have good name for it. :) 
--
"... respect, all good works are not done by only good folk ..."
--till next time, Jameson Stalanthas Yu -x- <<poetry.dolphins-cove.com>>
!