My proposed Feint fix

Shonuff

Mongoose
Thanks to everyone who worked so hard to convince me about the Feint maneuver on the Bluff thread.

This is the result of my brainstorming and rule book research:
--------------------------------
I think I've come to a decision that fits with the rules.

The Beginning:
Summary from the book- Feint is a standard action. Make Bluff vs. Sense Motive+BAB. If Bluff wins, your next attack causes the target to suffer the following - "does not allow him to use his Dexterity bonus to DV (if any)."

Result:
Many believe this results in not only a loss of Dex bonus, but a loss of your entire Dodge defense. Continuing with this, people argued that you lost your Parry defense as well. (NO official ruling here yet from the publisher.)

Additional Point:
The Persuasive feat allows you to feint in combat even better.:roll: - Sorry :)

Moving on:
As a martial artist, a rpg player, and GM, I see feinting as a fighting skill - not the skill of a liar/actor. Feinting is represented by increasing BAB. For me, I'd rather refer to Feint as "Dirty Fighting" to represent the sly/sneaky attacks made by thieves, sorcerers, and the like in order to hold their own in combat.

The rule from the book I'm thinking of using if a feint/dirty fighting maneuver does result in a complete loss of DV:
Skills page 87. Bluff examples: the Bluff ". . . puts the target at significant risk"

This results in the target getting a +10 Sense Motive Modifier on his opposed check.

Also from the book: "For instance, if the target gets a +10 bonus on its Sense Motive check because the bluff demands something risky, and the Sense Motive check succeeds by 10 or less, then the target didn't so much see through the bluff as prove reluctant to go along with it. A target that succeeds by 11 or more has seen through the bluff."

Therefore:
Action 1: Attacker feints using Bluff and Target fails Sense Motive roll, even with +10 bonus.
Result 1: Target's DV is 10 and Target is subject to sneak attacks. (Full effect. The sucker fell for it)

Action 2: Attacker feints using Bluff and Target succeeds at Sense Motive roll by beating Attackers roll by 1 to 10 points.
Result 2: Target’s DB (Dodge or Parry) is cut in half (rounding down), allowing him only a desperate attempt to leap out of the way or deflect the blow at the last second. No sneak attacks allowed since the Target isn’t helpless. (Partial effect based on Bluff skill rule book description. The sucker sort of fell for it and is penalized.)

Action 3: Attacker feints using Bluff and Target succeeds at Sense Motive roll by beating Attacker’s roll by 11 or more points.
Result 3: Feint (Dirty Trick) failure. Target keeps full Defense Values and Attacker’s trick failed. (Yep – He/she didn't fall for that crap. Nice try.)


Conclusion:
It is in the rules just as much as the Feint maneuver is and I'm planning on using it (although the partial success of the feint, being in the favor of the tricky attacker, is my interpretation of the Bluff description quoted from the book above). To me, this is actually more clear in the rules than the original question about feint posted above (complete loss of ALL DV). It also makes as much sense to me as allowing the Persuasive feat to allow you to feint better in combat.

My reasoning:
It needs to be a darn good Bluff to cause an experienced fighter to open themselves up to a skewering. Great bluffers will still be able to manipulate the heck out of lesser foes (with a low BAB and probably a lack of Sense Motive), but seasoned and experienced fighters will be much less likely to fall for it.

It is in the book - it makes sense - I can reference the rule in print - and I can live with it now.

So --- You can do it in my game, you've just got to be good at it. Naive opponents are toast for sorcerer's dirty trick & death touch combos and thieve’s fake right & sneak attack left.


whew!!!

Thoughts from my most respected opponents? :)
 

argo

Mongoose
I am not going to run through the math again but just point out that as it stands now a feinter with max ranks in bluff trying to feint a equal leveled warrior has an advantage of only 3 points. If you give the guy an additional +10 to his sense motive roll then the contest looks like

Soldier d20 + 7 + Sense Motive ranks + Wis
Thief d20 + Cha

You might find it faster and easier to simply remove the feint option from your game entierly since at this rate nobody is ever going to be able to feint. Ever. I will also point out that it is a misinterpretation of the rules to use the chart of circumstance modifiers for feinting. Feinting is a special use of the bluff skill opposed by a special use of the Sense motive skill, regular modifiers do not apply.

If you want my more complete analysis of the situation you know where to find it on the other thread. Good luck with your game, be sure to let us know if anyone succesfuly feints and what your players think of the rule.
 

Shonuff

Mongoose
Thanks for the reply Argo.

I personally don't see feints/dirty tricks working that often against characters of an equal level. This is why Conan survives his encounters with his powerful foes (pirates, thieves, sorcerers, etc) and other less experienced characters drop like red-shirted Federation Officers on Kirk's Star Trek.

As for the circumstance modifier table, it makes as much sense to me as allowing Persuasive to help you with feinting in combat.

Examples of a master Bluff/feint thief (spending 4 point at 1st level and only 1 each level thereafter):

1st level average guard d20+10+1+0+0 = d20+11
5th level feint attack thief d20+8+cha

1st level average guard d20+10+1+0+0 = d20+11
10th level feint attack thief d20+13+cha(+possible +1 due to ability score jump)

1st level average guard d20+10+1+0+0 = d20+11
15th level feint attack thief d20+18+cha(+possible +1/+2 due to ability increases)

High level Bluff characters will seriously abuse the naive a good bit of the time.

But remember:
That 3 point Bluff advantage you mention will still work just the same mathematically (because of a partial success), but the results are not quite so game wrecking for me (drastic loss of half Dodge/Parry Bonus rather than making you completely stand still and possibly equivalent to naked due to finesse attacks).

With Improved Feint feat, being able to halve your foe's DB each round on a check that fails between 1 and 10 points is not so bad IMO.

As for how it works, I guess we'll have to see.

Thanks again.
 

Shonuff

Mongoose
Just to add another example:

10th level captain of the guard (not trained in Sense Motive) d20+10+10BAB+0 Sense Motive+WIS+2 score increase = d20+22+WIS

10th level feint attack thief d20+13+cha+2 min. ability score jump = d20+15+cha

Yes - He's not as likely to fall for it. Especially if he's trained in cross-class Sense Motive. You may want to be a THIEF, avoid combat with this veteran, and sneak around this guy instead.

If you go toe to toe (which a thief should not want to do) and each roll averaged 10:
Captain 10+22+WIS= 32+wis result
Thief 10+15+cha=25+cha result with this check most likely halving the Captain's DV (since the check failed by 10 or less)

Thanks
 

Taharqa

Mongoose
I agree with Shonuff about Feint being overpowered. The fundamental problem is that Conan split up d20 Armor Class into DV and DR (which is great), but didn't address all of the potential changes this made to standard d20 feats, special abiilities, etc. (which is bad). Thus, all the references to losing your dexterity bonus. Being dropped down to a DV of 10 is not only a problem for feinting, but is a problem anytime a characer is flatfooted. Being open for a sneak attack is one thing, but having absolutely no defense against that sneak attack is another.

I would suggest a slightly different solution: Characters never lose their base parry and dodge bonuses, but only their ability modifiers when they are caught flat-footed, feinted, etc. Thus, they are still open to sneak attacks but are not just sitting ducks.

As to Argo's point that the advantage to the feinter is not huge, I agree with the math. But remember that if a thief is of reasonably high level, a sneak attack is likely to lead to massive damage. Thus, the soldier is basically being required to "save" against death AT A PENALTY every round he is in combat with a thief who has improved feint. I think that is a bit much.
 

argo

Mongoose
Shonuff said:
I personally don't see feints/dirty tricks working that often against characters of an equal level.

1st level average guard d20+10+1+0+0 = d20+11
5th level feint attack thief d20+8+cha

1st level average guard d20+10+1+0+0 = d20+11
10th level feint attack thief d20+13+cha+2 min. ability score jump = d20+15+cha

1st level average guard d20+10+1+0+0 = d20+11
15th level feint attack thief d20+18+cha+3 min ability increase = d20+21+cha

I think there is something seriously and fundamentally wrong with that picture. That a 5th level hero can't feint a 1st level mook.

You don't.

To each his own.
 

Shonuff

Mongoose
I think there is something seriously and fundamentally wrong with that picture. That a 5th level hero can't feint a 1st level mook.

You don't.

To each his own.

What?

Can't feint a mook?!?!?

Sure he can.

Mook rolls average - like a 10 totalling 21.
Thief rolls high - a 15 which totals 23.

Thief beats him and makes the guard's DV 10 and open to sneak attack.

The thief will also most like have a higher CHA bonus than the mook having a high WIS, only increasing the chance.

Anyway - good roll for the thief.

Thief attack roll is decent - maybe 11+3BAB+DEX for finesse attack. He'll bypass the DR5 mail shirt most likely, even with an average roll and decent DEX bonus.

Damage: 1d8+3d6 (min sneak attack). 4 to 26 points damage and most likely NO DR. Average damage totals 13 damage - killing the guard in one hit while going toe to toe!

A worse roll by the thief in the same situation - maybe rolling a 4.
Guard = 21
Thief = 12

Guard succeeded, but by less than 10 points.

Guard's shield parry halves (rounding down) and drops from 3 to 1 making his active Parry DV 11 instead of 13.

--I'm not sure of the problem.
--It can work, just not as easy as those that disagree with me wish it to.
--It is the SAME as in the book, only you have to succeed by 11 more on a die roll to get the full effect. Think of that as a superior success! Rolling as printed (but not getting 11 more) halves the DB (Parry/Dodge) of the defender.

Now the Captain of the Guard (10th Soldier) and 10th level Thief using same rolls (each rolling 10). . .

10th level captain of the guard (not trained in Sense Motive) 10roll+10bonus+10BAB+0 Sense Motive+WIS= 30+WIS

10th level feint attack thief 10roll+13ranks+cha= 23+CHA

A good try! A roll of 18 would have gotten him totally defenseless!

Anyway – Captain’s DV (shield parry) is halved due to the Captain succeeding by less than 10. This drops his Parry (with a str bonus of +2 let’s say) from 12 to 6 (total DV=16 now instead of 22).

Well done for the thief– even with the failure against a man who has been in melee all his life!

Getting around the DR is much easier now due to the lowered DV. A finesse attack roll totaling 22 slips right past the Captain’s DR of 6. (DV = 10+6 parry)

With a minimum BAB of +7 and a good DEX bonus (say +3 or +4 for a 10th level thief), the thief will ignore the Captain’s armor with a finesse attack roll around 12+.

Still sounds pretty good – taking into consideration the Soldier’s superior combat experience in toe to toe fighting.

Someone tell me if I’ve goofed the numbers here.
I think this is reasonable.

Thanks
 

Shonuff

Mongoose
OK – If all my quoting from the book, explaining what I mean, and my running of the numbers is turning you off, please look at it this way:

Feint works JUST THE SAME as in the book.

Success means you halve your foe’s Defensive Bonus (Parry or Dodge), thus making them easier to hit and finesse attack.

A superior success, by 11 points or more, catches them totally off guard and they lose ALL DB and go to a DV of 10. In this state, they are also open to sneak attacks since their head is obviously up their whoopsadaisy.

That’s it.

Compared to Feint in DnD3.x (which takes away Dex bonus, not other bonuses to AC), I think this is actually good and can fit in with Conan's different DV and DR mechanics.
 

GhostWolf69

Mongoose
Shonuff said:
1st level average guard d20+10+1+0+0 = d20+11
5th level feint attack thief d20+8+cha

1st level average guard d20+10+1+0+0 = d20+11
10th level feint attack thief d20+13+cha(+possible +1 due to ability score jump)

1st level average guard d20+10+1+0+0 = d20+11
15th level feint attack thief d20+18+cha(+possible +1/+2 due to ability increases)

I don't get it friend... In what way would a 15th level character ever feel the need to feint a 1st level guy??? I'mean... I he/she could just kill him straight up. You seem to argue that Feint is still intact and can be used if the level difference is big enough... I must counter that and ask simply: Yes but why would I want to? If I'm lvl 5 and my enemy is lvl 1 I'd probably win that fight easily enough without Feint.

If you feel like it is such a big deal, just drop the maneuver alltogether and save us all the trouble.

/wolf
 

Hyena

Mongoose
GhostWolf69 said:
I don't get it friend... In what way would a 15th level character ever feel the need to feint a 1st level guy??? I'mean... I he/she could just kill him straight up. You seem to argue that Feint is still intact and can be used if the level difference is big enough... I must counter that and ask simply: Yes but why would I want to? If I'm lvl 5 and my enemy is lvl 1 I'd probably win that fight easily enough without Feint.

If you feel like it is such a big deal, just drop the maneuver alltogether and save us all the trouble.

/wolf

Seconded. If your house rule improves your game, more power to you. But I still think the intent of the feint rule is to deprive the target of active defense and open him to sneak attacks. Adding the BAB of the target to his Sense Motive roll is a sufficient safeguard for me. And applying the +10 modifier for 'endangering the target' sounds like a misinterpretation of the rules IMO.

Anyway, it's all a matter of opinion : I think a 5th thief should be able to feint easily a 1st level guard, you don't. Nothing wrong with that. I like feint precisely because it has this 'botte secrète' flavor.
 

Shonuff

Mongoose
Understood guys.

I just see it differently. I do not think the maneuver should leave you totally defenseless. That is a HUGE leap from what it was intended to do in DnD and opens the door for massive abuse (IMO). You're not convincing me and I'm not convincing you. That's fine.

I've asked the question of the Rules Masters to please clarify how this should be used in the game, considering their DV and DR system (including feint's effect - if any - on Parry).

We need a ruling.

I'll go with what they decide.

Moving on . . .
 

Thothmekra

Mongoose
Feint doesn't leave you totally defenseless you can still parry the incoming attack. And with a decent Parry DV and good hard armor (like most soldiers have) the theif is still going to have to have a good roll to finesse through DR of the soldier. I personally don't see the problem with feint I think it works very well.

But then again that's just my opinion.
 

Shonuff

Mongoose
From a more comprehensive reading, some of us are thinking the author meant "a loss of Dex bonus" to mean "a loss of ability modifiers to DV" since it appeares that - at one time in the writing - the author may have considered DEX to modify both Dodge and Parry (if you read the ability descriptions early in the book).

This is being discussed on the Conan Rules and Clarifications thread.
http://www.mongoosepublishing.com/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?t=1756&sid=cc4b037ca001de8c57de943d5b9c353d

It goes beyond this Feint thread and covers a number of other issues that have an impact on combat.

EDIT: Due to how the whole picture is looking now, I'm dropping this fix because I think it is not needed.
 

Johannixx

Mongoose
Just my $.02 and personal interpretation:

If you get feinted, that's too bad for you. Your Dodge and Parry bonuses are gone. You fell for a trick, and it's gonna hurt. Want to avoid that? Take Reflexive Parry, or a few levels in Pirate or Barbarian. Otherwise, spend some of those Int-bonus skill points on Sense Motive.
 

argo

Mongoose
Johannixx said:
Want to avoid that? Take Reflexive Parry, or a few levels in Pirate or Barbarian.

In Conan, neither Uncanny Dodge nor Reflexive Parry protect against loss of Dex due to a feint. (That is also how I rule in other d20 games in general though the SRD leaves room for argument on the issue. However Conan is clear on the subject.)

Otherwise, spend some of those Int-bonus skill points on Sense Motive.

Hear hear! Good advice for any gullible soldier who wants to stay alive.
 

Johannixx

Mongoose
argo said:
Johannixx said:
Want to avoid that? Take Reflexive Parry, or a few levels in Pirate or Barbarian.

In Conan, neither Uncanny Dodge nor Reflexive Parry protect against loss of Dex due to a feint. (That is also how I rule in other d20 games in general though the SRD leaves room for argument on the issue. However Conan is clear on the subject.)

Whoops, forgot about that. You are correct. My second answer still stands: take some ranks in Sense Motive with your Int bonus points.
 

Taharqa

Mongoose
You guys are all missing the point. Mongoose simply dropped the ball on this one because they never resolved all of the issues involved with switching from AC to DV and DR. Everyone seems to be suggesting that Shonuff is suggesting a house rule which deviates from an existing rule, but their is no existing rule: there is only a massive rules inconsistency.

I repeat my former solution: characters never lose their base dodge and parry bonuses, only the ability modifiers. Thus, thieves can still sneak attack, but it will be more difficult to hit a high-level flatfooted character than a low-level flatfooted character.

A few other points

- That Conan is supposed to be a deadly and gritty game does not justify an overpowering rule or a rule inconsistency

- The idea that soldiers should have to pump cross-class skill points into sense motive to avoid something that is clearly a rules inconsistency is absurd. Sense motive is really supposed to be a "diplomatic" style skill. Why should every soldier in the Hyborian Age be such a good diplomat?
 

Yuan-Ti

Mongoose
Luckily, it will all be moot soon...

http://www.mongoosepublishing.com/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?t=1740

Mongoose Bob said:
Yuan-Ti said:
Please! pretty-pretty-please, Mongoose!

I already have a player with a 1st level Hyborian Thief who has designed his character around Improved Feint, finesse attacks, and his +7 Bluff. :?

Will have a decision tomorrow, just wanted to make sure we read the current rules and had a look at the implications before we say which way we are to go with this.

I can see good arguements for both sides and wanted to discuss it here a little more first.
 
Taharqa said:
You guys are all missing the point.

<snip>
Thus, thieves can still sneak attack, but it will be more difficult to hit a high-level flatfooted character than a low-level flatfooted character.

<snip>

- The idea that soldiers should have to pump cross-class skill points into sense motive to avoid something that is clearly a rules inconsistency is absurd. Sense motive is really supposed to be a "diplomatic" style skill. Why should every soldier in the Hyborian Age be such a good diplomat?

I think you are missing a key point. A feint is resisted by Sense Motive plus BAB, so soldiers don't have to put cross-class skill points into it if they don't want to... they will always get better at resisting feints as they go up in level. It will always be more difficult to feint (and thus bypass the defenses of) a high level character than a low level one of the same class.

Of course, any soldier could put some of their INT skill points into a bit of sense motive for an edge in the issue should they so desire. Serves those who treat INT as a dump stat right too ;)

Cheers
 
Top