Uncanny Dodge & Sneak Attacks

Voltumna

Mongoose
"Ucany Dodge: from 4th level and above, the barbarian retains his dodge or parry bonus to DV (if any) if caught flat-footed or struck by an invisible attacker."

"Sneak Attack: any time the thief's target would be denied dodge or parry bonus to defence value ("wether the target has a dosge bonus or not), or when the thief flanks the target, the thief's attack deals extra daamage."

Still using the 1st edition rules. In our last game session a discussion arised, about wether a character with uncanny dodge can still be subject to sneak attacks, since they retain their dodge or parry bonuses.

I think it is clear they are still subject to sneak attacks, although being able to benefit from their defense bonuses, but subjet to the sneak attak nonetheless, becauuse they WOULD have been denied those bonuses. Now this parry and dodge bonuses they retain, are base bonuses granted by class alone? Or combined base bonus + ability (str or dex)? Feats?

Do the AE has any changes pertaining this?

I know -from other threads here- that now, if caugth flat-footed or feinted, you don't have any bonuses to DV, so your DV is considered 10. Nasty as someone said there. So Uncanny Dodge is a greater advantage now.
 

Mayhem

Mongoose
They are not subject from sneak attacks from loss of Dodge and Parry bonus, such as being flat-footed or unaware of their attacker.

They are still subject to sneak attacks from being flanked.
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
Well, there you have it, Voltumna.

After much time spent on solving the problem, Mongoose decided to do it that way. Not that I agree to such reasoning, but still it's "official" as one calls it.

If you posted your question because you wanted clarifiacation, you have received one :)
If you wanted to confirm your suspition, you might feel a bit disappointed.
Either way I can tell you that after some consideration, I decided to use Uncanny Dodge just as you described it in your post.
That is: It only allows you to use Dodge Defence if caught flat-footed, it still leaves you open sneak attacks, only that they are somewhat more difficult to deliver.
Barbrian is already a uber-powered class compared to for example Borderer and especially Soldier. If B. didn't have the versatility class feature (which is insanely overpowered) I would have left Uncanny Dodges as they are officially explained. But now, Barbarian has to many advanteges in my opinion, and having experienced it on my own skin (everybody in my group wanted to play as a B.) I decided to "nerf" Uncanny Dodge. That's the emotional explanation. Now for the logical one:
1. Uncanny Dodge would be too strong compared to Reflexive Parry (it even allows you to use P a r r y defence, lol)
2. Even in Atlantean Edition Mongoose did a bit lousy (no offence Mongoose :) job explaining it - I still could have been nitpicky and say that I am right, because:
In the book, barbarian class section, it says: "...use DD or PD WHEN caught flat footed" which logically means - they are still flat footed (only their "flat footed DV" is higer) therefore stiil open to sneaks. That is what it means, actually. Partially it corresponds (but also partially contradicts) with the Sneak Attack rules in combat section.

Ok, I'm done :)

You got clarified, yet you will still probably have to make a choice whether to follow this clarification. I decided not to.
 

Mayhem

Mongoose
Whilst I respect your "emotional" reasons, I'm afraid I must disupte your "logical" reason:

Anonymous said:
In the book, barbarian class section, it says: "...use DD or PD WHEN caught flat footed" which logically means - they are still flat footed (only their "flat footed DV" is higer)....

I don't dispute this. The character is indeed flat footed, and doesn't get attacks of opportunity, for example.

However:

Anonymous said:
...therefore stiil open to sneaks.

This, I dispute.

The book DOESN'T say is that you get a sneak attack when your foe is flat footed.

It says you get a sneak attack when your target is unable to dodge or parry. Flat footed, whilst being the most common cause for losing your dodge and parry bonus, is not mentioned.

And since a flat-footed 4th level Barbarian or Pirate is able to dodge or parry he is not subject to sneak attacks.
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
You're only partially right Mayhem.

Read the Sneak Attack description in the combat section. It goes like this: "A sneak attack can only be made against a character who is unable to use DD or PD to defend himself...". Ok that would be clear , but then it says - "A character who is blinded, FLAT FOOTED, stunned..."

Which could mean - he can use PD and DD, but as you yourself admitted, he is still FFooted, therefore open to sneaks.

In other words, you can treat this as "he is open to sneaks beacuse he has no PD or DD while FF" or as "he's open to sneaks beacuse he's FF regardles how is it counted". The first method of reasoning is the "official" one, the second - the one i use.

I stated my main reasons though - even if it said Uncanny dodge gives you SA immunity, dodge and parry bonuses and makes you coffee every 2 hours I would still use it my way, because I want to see somebody play Thief or Soldier or Borderer or Nomad in my team. Basically that's it. I'm a balance freak, if the uberness of something takes away half the fun.

Each to his own. It's about having fun.
 

Mayhem

Mongoose
Anonymous said:
You're only partially right Mayhem.

Read the Sneak Attack description in the combat section. It goes like this: "A sneak attack can only be made against a character who is unable to use DD or PD to defend himself...". Ok that would be clear , but then it says - "A character who is blinded, FLAT FOOTED, stunned...".

Just before it says that, in the very same paragraph, it says "A sneak attack can only be made against a character who is unable to use dodge defence or parry defence to defend himself, or is being flanked.

This gels 100% with the description of the sneak attack ability in either the Theif or Pirate class description.

Flat footed is just being used as a situation in which most people lose their bonuses.

The very same section in teh Combat chapter then goes on to say "If a character is able to defend himself with either dodge defence or parry defence then he is not susceptable to a sneak attack unless the sneak attack is of a kind that the chosen defence cannot help against."

How much clearer does it need to be?

****

Anyone is, of course, free to use whatever houserule they like, but there is no reason to claim it is anything other than a house rule, when the rules in question are quite clear.
 

Voltumna

Mongoose
If that is the case Uncanny Dodge is way overpowered. A character at 4th level shouldn't have that kind of immunity. Keeping their dodge and parry bonuses to DV are boon enough in my opinion, and I am gonna house rule that in my game. Just as Guest says, I can see all players taking 4 levels of barbarian or nomad or pirate, just to evade those sneak attacks.

On the other hand, if a barbarian of 4th level or higher, are still subject to sneak attacks when feinted in combat, that could be more balanced. I don't have the AE rules, so I have to ask again.
 

Mayhem

Mongoose
Voltumna said:
If that is the case Uncanny Dodge is way overpowered. A character at 4th level shouldn't have that kind of immunity.

Not really. The vast majority of opponents don't have sneak attacks.

The ones that do only get them when they win initiative.

And then they get it for the 1st round of combat only.

So, a minority of opponents, only the ones that beat your initiative (which is good, as a barbarian) and only for the first round of a combat.

An ability that protects you against that isn't exactly a game breaker. Heck, when the first round of combat is over, *nobody* who is on their feet is subject to the sneak attacks that Uncanny Dodge protects you from.

Voltumna said:
On the other hand, if a barbarian of 4th level or higher, are still subject to sneak attacks when feinted in combat, that could be more balanced.

This is indeed the case - uncanny dodge offers no defence against any other reason for losing Dodge or parry. Only for being flat footed. Anthing else that causes dodge or parry loss still results in a sneak attack.

And of course, in combat, most uses of sneak attack come via flanking, which uncanny dodge offers no defence against. (Improved uncanny dodge being another matter entirely)

**********

If your players are clamouring to play barbarians, I reckon that either they are interested in the other, far more powerful barbarian abilities (like the Mobility chain or the Versatility chain), or you need to stop having every encounter be an ambush by high initiative theives, pirates, and Zingarans.

Seriously, how often are your players being caught flat-footed by enemies with sneak attack?
 

Voltumna

Mongoose
If they can still be feinted and be denied bonus to DV, that's another matter entirely. So we should differentiate between a feinted character (who is denied dodge or parry) and a flat footed character- basicaly a character that is being surprised and looses initiative on the first round. He is flat footed because he was unaware of enemies. A feinted character IS NOT flat footed, he can not dodge or parry. I have to point this out, because on another thread here -Feint and Finesse- there's a post (by you Mayhem) in answer to a question, that says a feinted character is "Effectively..." considered flat footed, and although you say here that a character with uncanny dodge is still subject to sneak attacks from being feinted in combat, I think it is necessary to clarify. I guess this also will answer the question, posted twice by myself about the brutal attack feat; it can't be used on a feinted character, as the feat says it can be used agains a flat footed foe.

I don't know about other parties, but we have had confussion with these two terms: flat-footed and feinted character, hence all the above. Then we have 'heard' rule changes on the AE here, but still use the old book.
 

Mayhem

Mongoose
Ahh.

Sloppy language on the part of myself and others in the other thread, I'm afraid.

Flat footed is a lot easier to type than "has lost his Dodge and Parry bonuses"

And in most cases the fact that a flat footed character has lost his Dodge and Parry (and is thus vulnerable to sneak attack) is the most important considertion.

This has led to flat footed commonly being used as an "abbreviation" of "has lost his Dodge and Parry bonuses", when in fact, the latter is just one of the effects of the state of being flat footed and the two terms should not be used interchangably.

In most cases, the distinction does not matter. In the case of uncanny dodge, it does. I shall edit my response in the other thread accordingly.
 
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