A Question on Bluffing

A

Anonymous

Guest
When Feinting with Bluff, we get the general d20 description that it denies the target their Dexterity bonus to defense. What effect, if any, does this have on dodging and parying?

That is to say, if you Feint can your opponent not dodge? Not parry? Do either just without their Dex bonus?

I'm generally of the opinion, as feinting is quite hard when dealing with character with high BABs, that it should have some effect beyond just removing the Dex bonus.

Any official word? Thoughts from other players?
 

Judge Walker

Mongoose
"I'm generally of the opinion, as feinting is quite hard when dealing with character with high BABs, that it should have some effect beyond just removing the Dex bonus."

Well, if I understand your question, I would have to agree as written in the book. The higher the BABs the higher the skill of the person doing the striking. Speaking as someone who studies Karate, the more skilled the individual the harder it is to bluff them in a fight.
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
Judge Walker said:
Well, if I understand your question, I would have to agree as written in the book. The higher the BABs the higher the skill of the person doing the striking. Speaking as someone who studies Karate, the more skilled the individual the harder it is to bluff them in a fight.

Yes, and that's not the part I have issue with. What I want to know is when you do feint, which is the hardest type of bluff in the game much of the time, does it only remove the targets Dex bonus to DV, or does it make it so that they cannot parry and/or dodge as well? Because if it removes, say, their ability to use their parry bonus it may be worth it -- but if it lets them retain their parry bonus and only lose their Dex bonus it becomes much, much less worthwhile at higher levels.
 

Judge Walker

Mongoose
It says in the book only that if your bluff roll is higher then the oppenents sense motive roll, then the oppenent cannot use his Dex mod to DV. It doesn't say anything about it effecting the Dodge or Parry so I would say the dodge and parry are still open options. Of course I'm still reading the book, something else might come up.
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
Judge Walker said:
It says in the book only that if your bluff roll is higher then the oppenents sense motive roll, then the oppenent cannot use his Dex mod to DV. It doesn't say anything about it effecting the Dodge or Parry so I would say the dodge and parry are still open options. Of course I'm still reading the book, something else might come up.

The problem with this is that it makes feinting useless against parrying (which uses the chracter's Strength bonus, not Dex) and only of moderate use against a high level character with a high Dodge but low Dex.

For Example: You are attacking a character who is going to parry. You bluff them, removing their Dex from their DV. However, as their strength is acting for the parry your bluff gains you absolutly no benifit.

The next round you're attacking someone with a Dex bonus of +2 and a Dodge bonus of +6 (+8 total). You make your bluff, in part by luck because your opponent gets a +12 to their Sense Motive roll, and feint them! They still dodge -- they just lose the +2 from their dex, still getting a +6 Dodge (plus any other bonus from feats.)


I know the book doesn't say anything about making either impossible -- but I have to think that is because the text was taken very closely from the SRD before all the permutations of the final Conan system were worked out. (Like the parry rolls we keep seeing calls for.)

I'm currently thinking about making it so that if you feint your opponent cannot parry (unless they have reflexive parry) but can dodge -- but even when they dodge they lose their Dex bonus to the dodge. That way a feint keeps people from parrying (as it probably should) but still allows them to make a clumsy dodge as they hurl themselves away from your weapon at the last moment.
 

Mayhem

Mongoose
Vis:

Dodge modifier - any situation that denies you your Dex modifier also denies you your dodge bonuses - so if anything, feinting it is even more effective against a higher level opponent, if you can pull it off.

But:

Given that the whole point of a feint is to make it difficult for an opponent to parry* - by making him commit to parrying an attack which isn't coming, leaving him more vulnerable to the real attack - it does seem silly for it not to affect parrying.

*(based on the assumption that the term feint has been taken from formal fencing, in which parrying is the normal type of defence rather than dodging)

However:

As it stands, the defender can choose to parry an incoming blow instead of dodging it. Thus, he is not vulnerable to a sneak attack from a feint.

If you were to rule that a feint also removed the Strength Bonus and Parry bonuses), it *would* allow sneak attacks. This might be unbalancing.

Another point to consider:

As it stands, a feint is much more effective vs somebody who relies on instincts for defence (eg, the barbarian, with his high Dodge modifer) than on somebody who relies on formal military training (Ie, the soldier, with his high parry modifer). Discipline overcomes trickery. Perhaps this is deliberate?

Proposed Solution:

As it stands, the net result of feinting is to force somebody to use parry, rather than dodge.

I would simply change it so that this effect is *exactly* what the manouver is decribed as doing, and allow it also to do the opposite - force them to dodge, rather than to parry.

IE - the only result of a feint would be to force the opponent to defend using the weakest of his two defence values.

In effect, your feint makes them dodge a blow that isn't coming, meaning they must fall back on parrying the real blow (or vice versa, of course).

This, of course, would be severely inconveniencing for some classes at high levels, but then, also very difficult to pull off - and since the attacker at this level is giving up what are almost certain to be multiple attacks, I think it is a fair trade.

What about the classes that have an equal dodge and parry modifer?

Well these classes have relatively low modifiers in the first place, meaning the fact that a feint wouldn't be very effective is negated.

Although they would still be forced to use their weaker Ability mod and would lose any relevant feats - which might be bad enough for an archer-borderer who has built up his Dex to the max and stacked it with dodge skills, whilst ignoring his parry skills.

Thoughts?
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
Mayhem said:
Vis:
If you were to rule that a feint also removed the Strength Bonus and Parry bonuses), it *would* allow sneak attacks. This might be unbalancing.

For the record, feinting in normal D&D/d20 does allow just that. If you make a succsful feint you can, in fact, use your sneak attack bonus. To be highly technical about it it could still work -- even if parries are allowed, as the theif's ability reads "denied dodge OR parry" -- so I'm not sure this is something that matters to the overall balance.

As it stands, a feint is much more effective vs somebody who relies on instincts for defence... Discipline overcomes trickery. Perhaps this is deliberate?

Could be, and I wouldn't mind that at all. (Well, some little simulationist part of me goes "But feinting is often used by disciplined fighters against disciplined fighters!" but I can tell that part to shut up.)

Similarly, you're right that feinting is more useful against high level characters if it denies them their high dodge/parry bonus. However, it's also harder to pull off against them as they get to add their BAB to their check. (Meaning that someone used to dealing with such attacks and having just a moderate Sense Motive skill can very easily have a large edge over anyone who isn't a total bluff sepecialist.) So it will yeild larger results -- but at the cost of being harder to pull off. (Not to mention that if the attacker is also of a high level they'll be giving up 1 to 4 attacks a round in order to feint.)

Proposed Solution:
IE - the only result of a feint would be to force the opponent to defend using the weakest of his two defence values.

I think I like this.

However, I'd not that a succesful feint still should, by d20 precident and technical wording, still allow for sneak attack bonus damage for theives and pirates.

Thoughts?

All in all I like your proposed sollution. I'll have to playtest it a bit to see how the loss of attacks/difficulty of overcoming high level characters opposed roll stacks up against forcing the opponent to use the lower defense score and (possibly) allowing sneak attack damage.
 

Mayhem

Mongoose
Anonymous said:
Mayhem said:
Vis:
If you were to rule that a feint also removed the Strength Bonus and Parry bonuses), it *would* allow sneak attacks. This might be unbalancing.

For the record, feinting in normal D&D/d20 does allow just that. If you make a succsful feint you can, in fact, use your sneak attack bonus. To be highly technical about it it could still work -- even if parries are allowed, as the theif's ability reads "denied dodge OR parry" -- so I'm not sure this is something that matters to the overall balance.

Yes indeed, this is true for D&D, since it removes the dex bonus, thus automatically allowing sneak attack by definition.

But in Conan, removing the Dex bonus does *nothing* to the Parry defence stat, as it stands, and the wording is ambiguous - can you really sneak attack somebody who is able to use his full DV, without penalty?

I would personally be inclined to say not. Whilst in D&D, every class is supposed to be able to contribute in a purely combat sense, I don't think Conan places the same emphasis on balance.

In Conan, I'm quite content for theives to have to take a back seat in combat and let the soldiers and barbarians of the world do their job. They'll get their chance to shine in the darkness of the forgotten tombs of Stygia...
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
Feinting in D&D denies the target his DEX bonus to AC against the feinter's next attack... thus opening the target up for a sneak attack.

In Conan, being flat-footed denies the character his DEX bonus to Dodge Defense and his STR bonus to Parry Defense (pg. 160, 2nd paragragh of both columns). Later on, on page 161 under Flat-Footed and on page 162 under Unaware Combatants only the DEX bonus to DV is mentioned. This omission is clearly unintention and, I think, the case with the feinting description under the Bluff skill.
 

Phil

Mongoose
The description of the thief (and pirates) sneak attack says it can be used any time the target is denied their dodge or parry bonus to DV.

Under the rules for Feinting and Unaware Combatants: unaware combatants lose their Dex bonus to DV.

Basically, if everything is accepted as written in the rulebook then a pirate or thief will NEVER be able to sneak attack as, as written, characters will never be denied their dodge or parry bonus - they only ever lose their DEX bonus.

This would obviously make sneak attacks useless and it seems illogical that this is the intent of the rules. IMO this is obviously a hold over from the SRD and the intent of the rules for feinting in combat and unaware combatants is that they are denied their DEX bonus and their Parry and Dodge bonuses. Otherwise you can NEVER sneak attack anyone.

EDIT: just read the bit about loosing Dodge or Parry bonuses when flat-footed in the post above . It would seem to be a logical extentsion that this would also apply to feinting - the whole point of which is to catch your opponent off-guard or in other words "flat-footed".
 

Mayhem

Mongoose
It's not quite that simple:

The flat footed rules (P160) do state that flat footed characters lose all dodge and parry bonuses. Thus you can, as the rules stand, make sneak attacks against flat footed opponents.

But making a succesful feint does *not* make an opponent flat footed. The question is, was it intended to make them lose their ability to parry as well as to dodge? As it stands, it causes them to lose the Dex bonus to parry, which, by extension, automatically strips all dodge bonuses as well.

Even if Feinting removes the STR bonus to parry, there is nothing anywhere that states that this causes the loss of all other parry bonuses from class and feats, for example. Oversight, or deliberate? We don't know, and can only speculate.
 

Hyena

Mongoose
Hi, everybody

Any word from Mongoose on this ?

As far as I'm concerned, when I read 'lose Dex bonus to DV', like in feint or grapple rules, I translate it into 'lose Dodge and Parry bonuses to DV and can be sneak attacked'. It sounds harsh, but it's what happen in D&D : target loses all 'active' bonuses to AC and is vulnerable to sneak attacks. I'd really like to hear what the designers have to say, tough.
 

BhilJhoanz

Mongoose
I agree with Hyena -- the Feinting in Combat rules were pulled straight from the SRD and not modified to conform to Conan Mechanics.

Since the principal purpose of Feinting in Combat is to gain a sneak attack, it seems reasonable to assume that the same is true in Conan.

Feinting should deny a combatant their Dodge and Parry bonuses for the next attack you make against them.
 

Johannixx

Mongoose
BhilJhoanz said:
I agree with Hyena -- the Feinting in Combat rules were pulled straight from the SRD and not modified to conform to Conan Mechanics.

Since the principal purpose of Feinting in Combat is to gain a sneak attack, it seems reasonable to assume that the same is true in Conan.

Feinting should deny a combatant their Dodge and Parry bonuses for the next attack you make against them.

That's what I've been doing in my games. If you successfully Feint (and most of the NPC's have spent Int-bonus skill points on Sense Motive, so it's tough to pull off), the target is flat-footed. Uncanny Dodge doesn't help, just as in standard D&D.
 

Yokiboy

Mongoose
NPC Brand said:
For Example: You are attacking a character who is going to parry. You bluff them, removing their Dex from their DV. However, as their strength is acting for the parry your bluff gains you absolutly no benifit.

The next round you're attacking someone with a Dex bonus of +2 and a Dodge bonus of +6 (+8 total). You make your bluff, in part by luck because your opponent gets a +12 to their Sense Motive roll, and feint them! They still dodge -- they just lose the +2 from their dex, still getting a +6 Dodge (plus any other bonus from feats.)


I'm currently thinking about making it so that if you feint your opponent cannot parry (unless they have reflexive parry) but can dodge -- but even when they dodge they lose their Dex bonus to the dodge. That way a feint keeps people from parrying (as it probably should) but still allows them to make a clumsy dodge as they hurl themselves away from your weapon at the last moment.

That's not a bad house rule, that you cannot parry a feint. Sounds reasonable too, as you have to rely on your natural instinct to dodge at the very last second, when you notice he actually feinted and is about to skewer you.

The only problem is making combatants that rely on Str slightly more prone to feints, but I can live with that.

Mongoose should address this one way or the other, they obviously forgot aobut their own additions and took the feinting rules as is from the SRD.

TTFN,

Yokiboy
 

Yokiboy

Mongoose
Hyena said:
As far as I'm concerned, when I read 'lose Dex bonus to DV', like in feint or grapple rules, I translate it into 'lose Dodge and Parry bonuses to DV and can be sneak attacked'. It sounds harsh, but it's what happen in D&D : target loses all 'active' bonuses to AC and is vulnerable to sneak attacks. I'd really like to hear what the designers have to say, tough.

Nice way to sum it up, and I'm sure this will be the official ruling.

TTFN,

Yokiboy
 

Shonuff

Mongoose
I'm really hoping for a well thought out ruling on this too.

In D&D, you could still have some protection from a feint because of the armor or other magical protection you wore. It is just the way Armor Class works.

In Conan, a complete loss of DV and being vulnerable to Sneak Attacks seems pretty huge. You could strike an opponent easily (only really needing a result of 10 on the attack roll) and could finesse around the armor VERY easily.

I'm just concerned that this is too much.

Since we're throwing ideas around about making feint work with Conan's DV and DR systems:

What if a successful feint simply halved (rounding down) the DV (whether they were dodging or parrying) of your opponent?

-I don't know. I'm just still hunting for a better solution that isn't quite so unbalancing. I'd love better ideas and am open to persuasive arguments.
 

GhostWolf69

Mongoose
Johannixx said:
If you successfully Feint (and most of the NPC's have spent Int-bonus skill points on Sense Motive, so it's tough to pull off), the target is flat-footed. Uncanny Dodge doesn't help, just as in standard D&D.

This is the way I do it to. If you "fall for" the feint you are essentially flat-footed against that attack. Sneak attack will get you, and uncanny dodge or reflexive parry won't help.

/wolf
 
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