Do characters with a low strength score have a chance?

quigs

Mongoose
One of my players has a hyrkanian nomad, he's a horse archer. He has a Strength bonus of +0 and is getting extremely frustrated with his damage.

So far he has taken only archery feats, and he is still unable to deal damage to most foes. Why? Because of armour. He has a measly AP rating of 3 with his bow, which only goes down with each range increment. That's enough to pierce a quilted jerkin and that's it. As soon as his target slaps on a leather jerkin or helmet, his damage potential is halved.

While I find it helps using the minimum damage rule, he is getting a little frustrated scoring 1-4 damage per attack.

I have told him that Strength is very important in this game, even to archers, but he is convinced he needs to remake his character into something else. He also has a couple others in the group convinced that ranged attacks are weak and easily ignored.

Any ideas on how to curb this kind of whining? Although they have yet to run into my den of Stygian thieves using stygian bows and sneak attack :)

One other thing, does anybody else find the ranged finesse feat to be extremely underpowered? Sacrificing an entire round for one ranged finesse attack is a little steep. I am going to modify this feat in my game to allow the character a shot at the end of his full round action, rather than having to wait until his next turn entirely. I'm also ruling that as long as the target is within 30 feet, no matter how far he has moved this round, he can be targeted.
 
Unless one has sneak attack, Strength is simply the defining characteristic if one wants to deal damage. Period.

Your friend should multiclass into thief and choose the Hykanian bow as his sneak attack style. That will boost his damage potential in many situations.
 

quigs

Mongoose
Thanks Vince. That is pretty much what I told him. Both in regards to Strength and the multiclassing. My group are hardcore D&D players so they're not quite used to Conan yet.

What about the Ranged Finesse feat? Any reason why it was worded the way it is? It seems a little inefficient since every other full round action I have seen allows the action to be performed just before your turn next round or sooner. Forcing the archer to take one shot every other round is just too much of a penalty for me.
 
quigs said:
What about the Ranged Finesse feat? Any reason why it was worded the way it is? It seems a little inefficient since every other full round action I have seen allows the action to be performed just before your turn next round or sooner. Forcing the archer to take one shot every other round is just too much of a penalty for me.

I don't have an answer for that since I didn't write the feat. I imagine it is to illustrate the difficulty of such a shot.
 

Trodax

Mongoose
Strength is really, really important for archers. I actually think its more important than Dexterity. Maybe you don't have to be uberstrong, but I think a Strength bonus of like +2 (as opposed to +0) would make a huge difference because it would let you penetrate a much wider range of armour (might still have trouble against the heavier stuff, though).

IMO, archers can be very deadly in the game. One of the PCs in my previous was a Bossonian Soldier. I think he had only around Strength 14 but with all his feats (Weapon Focus, Specialization etc) he was deadly.

Getting sneak attack is an option, but it will limit you to attacks within 30 feet, and doesn't totally fit with being a far-shooting horse-riding Hyrkanian.
quigs said:
One other thing, does anybody else find the ranged finesse feat to be extremely underpowered?
Yes; its quite crappy. I've basically just ignored it in my game (no one has taken the feat); haven't come up with a fix for it.
 

quigs

Mongoose
I am tempted to just get rid of the Ranged Finesse feat in my game and just allow archers to perform a finesse attack with a bow just like any melee fighter.

The rules all look to be the same, and the only difference is the archer already uses his Dex to attack. Now he can choose to attempt a finesse shot making the target harder to hit, but can bypass the armour if successful. I don't think it would break anything as the bows in Conan have virtually the same damage potential as any melee weapon, as well as the same AP. Their damage would technically be less since they don't get the same 1.5 times the wielder's strength modifier for a 2 handed weapon.

A finesse attack to me would signify aiming for vulnerable parts in the armour such as joints or exposed areas like the legs, arms, face, or neck. The difficulty of the shot is already accounted for with range increment penalties, and the increased defense score of the target.

Has anybody playtested this yet? If not, I can try and let you know the results.

One other question I had was if a finesse attack misses its target by the DR value of the armour, does the attack still hit or not? The finesse rule in the AE book mentions that you don't get to add your strength modifier to your AP for finesse attacks, but since you don't use AP with finesse anyways, why is that mentioned at all?
 

urdinaran

Mongoose
quigs said:
One other question I had was if a finesse attack misses its target by the DR value of the armour, does the attack still hit or not? The finesse rule in the AE book mentions that you don't get to add your strength modifier to your AP for finesse attacks, but since you don't use AP with finesse anyways, why is that mentioned at all?

It still hits, you just can't use your STR mod for the damage result.
 

quigs

Mongoose
urdinaran said:
It still hits, you just can't use your STR mod for the damage result.

I think you meant you can't apply your STR mod to the AP result. You can still apply your STR modifier to damage though as far as I can tell. Finesse means you avoid the armour and hence have no need to pierce it, but your strength should still give you bonus damage.
 

geordiekimbo

Mongoose
you don't apply your strength to a weapon you've used to finesse with, i think this takes into account that you havent used force, but finesse (natch) to make your attack, you don't have to apply as must ommph to the blow as you've got past the armour anyway
 

Tegman

Mongoose
quigs said:
I am tempted to just get rid of the Ranged Finesse feat in my game and just allow archers to perform a finesse attack with a bow just like any melee fighter.

Good idea, I'll try it out. No one in my group has taken the Ranged finesse either, because it's not good enough. Melee weapons are leathal, why not ranged ones?
Now archers may be taken seriously, and remember, the door swings both ways :twisted:
 

Trodax

Mongoose
quigs said:
One other question I had was if a finesse attack misses its target by the DR value of the armour, does the attack still hit or not? The finesse rule in the AE book mentions that you don't get to add your strength modifier to your AP for finesse attacks, but since you don't use AP with finesse anyways, why is that mentioned at all?
Yes, it does definitely hit anyways, and you do get to add your Str bonus to damage with finesse attacks (but not to AP). A finesse attack that fails to bypass armour (but still hits) does have a small chance of penetrating the armour - you use AP as normal but don't add your Str bonus (just like it says). This is a little weird rule that is easy to miss, because you intuitively think that its finesse or AP (and honestly I don't really bother with it in my games).

An example of how it works:

Bob has a Str bonus of +2 and is armed with a broadsword in two hands (damage 1d10, AP 3). He takes a swing at Jim, who has a defense value of 14 and is clad in a quilted jerkin (DR 3). Bob now has a choice; he can either do a regular melee attack or finesse (since the broadsword is a finesseable weapon when used in two hands).

If he goes for the regular attack he makes his attack roll (based on Str); a score of 14 or more will hit and penetrate Jims armour (since his total AP of 3+2=5 is more than the quilted jerkins measly DR of 3). Damage will be 1d10+3 (two-handed wielding) and DR will be 1 (3 halved). This is standard stuff.

If he instead goes for a finesse attack he makes his attack roll (based on Dex); a score of 17 (defense+DR) or more will hit and completely bypass Jims armour. Damage will be 1d10+3 and DR will be 0.
If he scores 14-16 he will still hit but not bypass the armour. This is then resolved as a regular melee hit, with the exception that Str is not added to AP. But because Bobs unmodified AP of 3 is enough to penetrate the quilted jerkin, the armour will actually still be penetrated. Damage will be 1d10+3 and DR will be 1.

Note that, in this situation, Bob was simply better off with the finesse attack (unless he has a much higher Str than Dex, which would affect his chances to hit). However, if Jim had been a smart boy and put on his steel cap (giving him a total DR of 4), it would be a different situation. The regular melee attack would of course still penetrate his armour but the finesse attack would not, and Jim would get his full DR unless Bob rolled 17 or more.
 

quigs

Mongoose
Thanks Trodax, that is what I thought.

I'm going to try the ranged finesse ruling on Tuesday and I'll post on how it goes next Wednesday. I'm scrapping the need for a feat to do it, but it can only be done within 30 feet, like sneak attacks and all the other archery feats.
 

MadDog

Mongoose
The Eagle Eye feat allows you to increase the 30 foot range limit to 60 feet.

Use a warhammer, they have good AP

Unfortunately, with a D6 damage, the warhammer is not particularly useful.

Mad Dog
 

Voltumna

Mongoose
I think allowing finesse with ranged weapons without the feat is a good option. It doesn't seem unvalancing, since you already have a penalty to hit per range increment to yor target, meaning it is harder to aim for that vulnerable spot from afar. Maybe a good optional rule is that you would get a bonus to hit if you spend time aiming to counter the penalties a bit. Maybe a +1 per attack not made.

There are also the variant rules for the Master Archer (soldier-borderer) from Hyboria's Finest. Instead of a formation combat at 3rd, 7th and 11th levels, the soldier may take Master aim ( I think that's the name). It grants an additional 1d6 per application of the Master aim. The damage is added to all succesful hits with a bow and at any range. I personaly considered this a bit harsh, since the bonus damage dice is similar to that of sneak attacks, and the Master archer isn't limited by the same rules of sneak attack to inflict the extra damage. We had one of those stalk our party recently, and he almost dispatched everyone in the group, if not for fate points, although he also had sneak attack and what not. Nomad cultures usually have good archers as well, so maybe you could allow the Master archer rules for a soldier-nomad.
 

Trodax

Mongoose
There is one aspect of ranged finesse attacks that might be considered a bit weird (depending on what you consider weird :wink: ):
If you aim for an opening in your opponents armour and miss that opening, hitting the armour instead (i.e. rolling more than defense but less than defense+DR), why would the shot be less armour-penetrating? For a sword its easy to imagine that a finesse attack actually uses less force, so if it misses the opening its worse off penetrating the armour. But for a bow? Are you drawing back the string a shorter distance? And if you are, what about for a thrown weapon (I can't really imagine a light spear-throw)?

A fix to this problem (if you consider it a problem) would be to always have Str apply to AP, even on an finesse attack. This was discussed in this old thread, along with a lot of other ideas being tossed around about ranged finesse: Link

How about this version of the Ranged Finesse feat:

Ranged Finesse
Prereqs: Precise Shot
You may perform a finesse attack with a ranged weapon (including thrown weapons). Doing so requires that you spend a Move action on aiming, and it may only be done against targets within 30 feet (or perhaps one range increment if you want it more powerful). You still get to add your Strength bonus to AP (if applicable for the weapon), even though it is a finesse attack.

Too powerful?
 

quigs

Mongoose
Personally I would make a failed ranged finesse attack not able to apply a strength modifier to AP (just like a melee one). If you could apply your Str to AP, that would make them much better than melee finesse attacks, and there would never be any reason to NOT finesse with a bow.

It might not make a whole lot of sense, but a lot of rules in this game don't :) Its a game after all!
 

Trodax

Mongoose
quigs said:
Personally I would make a failed ranged finesse attack not able to apply a strength modifier to AP (just like a melee one). If you could apply your Str to AP, that would make them much better than melee finesse attacks, and there would never be any reason to NOT finesse with a bow.
Yes, there has to be a downside of course, or else, just as you say, you would always be better off finessing. In my suggestion above, the downside is that it costs a move action to aim (so you'll miss out on attacks). Also, it does require a feat to do it.

quigs said:
It might not make a whole lot of sense, but a lot of rules in this game don't :) Its a game after all!
I agree; the stuff about Str to AP I mentioned above is really not a big deal. I think it will work great just ignoring it. :)
 

quigs

Mongoose
Just curious, are there ANY ranged combat manouevres in any of the Conan books? I can't seem to find any in the 6 or so books I own.

Perhaps ranged finesse could become our first unofficial ranged manouevre!
 
Top