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New Proficiency Type: Unarmed (Fists)

DeeDee Member Posts: 10,438
edited December 2012 in Archive (Feature Requests)
The subject line says it all. Create a new line to allow characters to become proficient with their fists. The obvious military application to this is that a fighter could become specialized and mastered (and grand mastered) with his or her fists, but it would also just make sense in general.

Let any class take it, with the normal restrictions and benefits. Consider letting the monk put two (maybe as many as five?) pips in it (for an early-level boost), but otherwise it's pretty straight-forward.

Thoughts?

AedanPantalionAntonDeltaslayerDarksheerOxford_GuyKidCarnivalCrevsDaakbooinyoureyes

Comments

  • Gustx8Gustx8 Member Posts: 47
    Yes, I agree. As a monk it's weird that he is proficient in all these weapons, but his own fists. This should have be an option

  • DeeDee Member Posts: 10,438
    edited December 2012
    Well, strictly speaking a monk's fists don't require proficiency, so you don't get hit with a penalty there. But in early levels, it would be nice to - as a monk - be able to specialize in your fists to set them apart from the rest of your weaponry. And as a fighter, it's surprising that you can't currently fight with the one weapon you were born with. ;)

    (To clarify further, I would also grant the monk a free pip in "Unarmed" to reflect the way his fists already work. But that's minor.)

  • iKrivetkoiKrivetko Member Posts: 934
    Well, that is ultimately a blatant monk buff, since hardly any other class will even consider using fists, as it were.

  • DeeDee Member Posts: 10,438
    True--although personally, I would use it for a "non-lethal only" playthrough. A kensai with grandmastery in unarmed fighting would deal non-lethal damage, which would be sufficient to progress through the game alone without killing anything. You'd be screwed when you reached an enemy that had to be killed, but until that point it would be kind of interesting to see how far you'd get without gaining kill XP. ;)

    If it's too much for the monk to gain specialization, though, it could just as easily be restricted to a single pip for non-warriors (swashies being an obvious exception).

  • SirK8SirK8 Member Posts: 527
    I think if you could dual wield fists or wield one as your main or off hand while wielding another weapon, this might extend the usefulness to other classes as well. A swashbuckler who fights with a sword in one hand and the punches his foes in the face for surprise could be fun. Also fist weapons to allow enchantments, and lethal damage from a fist would be nice too. Now it's not just a monk buff.

    Antonbooinyoureyes
  • DeeDee Member Posts: 10,438
    That would require some additional modification to the way unarmed weapons work (your fists are considered two-handed weapons), or to the way that fighting styles work (you'd have to be able to "turn on" two-weapon style to take advantage of your off-hand fist, for example). If it could be done simply, though, that wouldn't be a bad thing. A dagger/fist swashbuckler would be interesting, definitely.

  • iKrivetkoiKrivetko Member Posts: 934
    That would require additional animations, wouldn't it?

  • SirK8SirK8 Member Posts: 527
    @Aosaw, could require some sort of glove or gauntlet to be equipped as a weapon to gain the proficiency bonus?

  • DeeDee Member Posts: 10,438
    @iKrivetko
    Yes and no--it could just not show the off-hand fist attacks. But that wouldn't be as fun to watch.

  • The user and all related content has been deleted.

    TJ_Hooker
  • WooWoo Member Posts: 135
    As far as i know unarmed damage isn't permanent it wears off after a couple rounds and can't kill(some exceptions), only KO. Being proficient allows it to be lethal damage, adds specialization bonuses to hit and/or damage.

    I think there is a chunk in Players Hand Book, I know theres a bunch in Fighter's Book and Combat and Tactic Players Options, and Complete Book of Humanoids, Monster's Manual and Dungeon Masters Guide have a little paragraph or two about unarmed combat/Bar Fights etc.

    I'd like to see unarmed proficiency.

  • PantalionPantalion Member Posts: 2,137
    I like this idea, especially for roleplaying purposes. In 3rd edition rules, "Fist proficiency" is what allows characters to deal lethal damage with their fists, so a 1 pip proficiency could simply be that which makes a character's unarmed attack lethal. Further pips would function as normal.

    Worst case, if it somehow made Monks "too good", then they could slow their fist damage progression down one Die size and maintain the overall potency (with possibly an early game boost and even slighter late-game boost). Since Monks can't benefit from specialisation-based extra attacks as a non-Warrior class, they'd benefit comparatively little from specialisation compared to other classes, whilst still being the clear cut winner with their other unarmed advantages (and increasing their minimum damage would be magically delicious).

  • LoremasterLoremaster Member Posts: 201
    This idea is good. If it can give a small boost to low level monks it would be great and I wouldn't mind a weapon-fist-dual-combo option. But, as with everything it will require some work ta accomplish; hope it can be implemented in the future, though.

    dbianco87
  • jfliederjflieder Member Posts: 115
    This would be neat indeed. The differentiation between a one-handed weapon as opposed to duel-wielding a one-hander plus an off-hand fist weapon could be tough to navigate. And maybe have everything work as another proficiency, make it so proficient and above deals lethal damage, allow monks to gain grand mastery...but instead of proficient, specialized, and mastered levels, etc., you could have belt colors instead (grand mastery=black belt).

  • DeeDee Member Posts: 10,438
    iKrivetko said:

    That would require additional animations, wouldn't it?

    Actually, I just checked it out. If you equip a dagger in your off-hand and nothing in your main hand, you'll make attacks with both.

  • AnduinAnduin Member Posts: 5,745
    Me want the ability to knock people out with my fists... How about making it a weapon you can actually equip knuckle wraps you could put on for instance... Enchanted knuckle dusters, garrotte of cheesy doom, +3 sovereign ring of the black eye etc... Monks could I think despise these weapons as they are not with there ethos... However a boxer kit for fighters (wrestlers kit for barbarians?) would be good.

    Keep the - points to THACO with the off hand as just the added difficulty of killing an opponent with your bare hands. If you put point into two weapon fighting just means that you are better at making both fists more dangerous.

  • iKrivetkoiKrivetko Member Posts: 934
    Aosaw said:

    iKrivetko said:

    That would require additional animations, wouldn't it?

    Actually, I just checked it out. If you equip a dagger in your off-hand and nothing in your main hand, you'll make attacks with both.
    Indeed? Now this is getting interesting :D

  • ZanathKariashiZanathKariashi Member Posts: 2,867
    edited December 2012
    It's not really needed since it says blatantly in 2nd edition rules (in the section for weapon proficiencies, no less) all characters are automatically proficient in unarmed combat. And BG1 and BG2 already had it implemented that the default unarmed weapon didn't require proficiency.


    I'm up for giving monks specialization...if you remove their increased fist damage and extra attack progression. That IS their specialization in unarmed combat.

    Also every class would get a free pip in unarmed since as per the rules ALL classes have basic unarmed proficiency. Monk's would merely start with ** which would unlock lethal damage as well as the associated bonuses for specialization (they use the warrior thac0 table when unarmed so it should give them any extra attacks they're due without any trouble). Ultimately, allow them to GM in Unarmed, and get extra attacks at the same rate as a fighter, and +1 for fighting unarmed with their off-hand free (for a total of 5 at 13 with GM) and a total fist bonus of 5-8 counting specialization, before other modifiers.


    IF you want anymore then that though, just leave the system alone, since it's worked perfectly fine in general since BG1, and for Monk's in BG2.

    Post edited by ZanathKariashi on
  • DeeDee Member Posts: 10,438
    Ah--just tested it with a mage. THAC0 with a quarterstaff (non-proficient): 25. THAC0 with fists: 20.

    So the earlier question that sparked this thread about whether you're proficient with your fists, the answer would be yes.

    In which case, @ZanathKariashi's idea of giving everyone a free pip in Unarmed makes sense. Most characters wouldn't be able to exceed that, but a monk could achieve GM, and so could a fighter.

    I'd then want to give the monk an ability similar to the Kensai's, a +1 bonus to attack and damage with his unarmed attacks every three levels, to replace the increased damage die.

  • LoremasterLoremaster Member Posts: 201
    As I said above, I like the idea if it can give low level monks a small boost. But come to think of it; isn't this a mod thing? Could be a component to a tweak pack or something, perhaps a monk rebalancing mod.

  • bigdogchrisbigdogchris Member Posts: 1,336
    edited December 2012
    I wouldn't have a problem with a proficiency like this if it were considered from the beginning of the games design.

    The problem I have with implementing this right now is that Monks THAC0 and damage has already been designed around not having this.

    I also think it's been pointed out several times that Monks are weak at lower levels but get more powerful at higher levels. Adding this proficiency to give them a boost at lower levels is no different than giving Mages more HP at level1.

    The "unbalance" of it (if you think of it that way) is just part of the class, which is no different than the pro/con of other classes.

  • DeeDee Member Posts: 10,438
    edited December 2012
    @bigdogchris
    Right; although to me, that's a separate issue from the feature being requested.

    If it doesn't make sense from a balance perspective to allow the monk to specialize in "unarmed" (I suspect that it wouldn't cause any problems), then you simply don't allow it. But making it an available proficiency for warrior classes makes it a new option that doesn't unbalance other classes.

  • ZanathKariashiZanathKariashi Member Posts: 2,867
    edited December 2012
    Then you have the problem of who would bother? Punch daggers are still governed by the dagger skill, and gauntlets or knuckles don't apply enhancement bonuses (they just allow you to deal lethal damage since you're considered armed). You'd be unable to hit any enemies requiring magical weapons, since you lack the monk's innate ki-fist related class features. Not to mention, you'd be dealing dart damage but with fewer base attacks and requiring very close melee. In the long run, the reason no one specializes in unarmed, even in 3rd edition is because without a kit bonus to boost it up, it's a waste of time.

    (The Brawler base class gives up bonus feats (aside from automatic weapon focus and specialization unarmed at 4 and 6 respectively), all simple and martial weapon proficiencies, and heavy armor in order to get class based bonus damage to unarmed, most people just go with a monk instead unless alignment conflicts or the monk multi-class rules are enforced (and even then a 3 lvl dip is worth starting lawful for just for all the free feats and bonuses it gives)

  • MadhaxMadhax Member Posts: 1,416
    It would be a nice roleplaying boost. For example, I remember on a different forum a poster who was lamenting that his Princess Bride-theme party wouldn't work, because Fezzik's unarmed attacks would be worthless unless he was a monk, and that makes even less sense.

    I'd see it as a low-priority adjustment, however. I don't see most players making use of this proficiency.

  • PantalionPantalion Member Posts: 2,137

    I also think it's been pointed out several times that Monks are weak at lower levels but get more powerful at higher levels. Adding this proficiency to give them a boost at lower levels is no different than giving Mages more HP at level1.

    So it's the monk version of Find Familiar?

    the reason no one specializes in unarmed, even in 3rd edition is because without a kit bonus to boost it up, it's a waste of time.

    It's actually quite viable in 3e to run an unarmed combatant, two feats gives you level-scaling lethal unarmed damage that increases all the way up to greatsword damage at level 16 or so, and can be combined with wearing Gauntlets for both enchantment and material purposes with no "ki" argument to oppose it. It's not necessarily optimal, but it is viable.

  • karnor00karnor00 Member Posts: 665
    If this were to be implemented then I don't think monks should be allowed to put more than one pip into unarmed (i.e. the amount that all classes would get as default).

    Monks are already specialised with fists - hyper specialised in fact. Most of their levelling up abilities increase the power of their fists far above and beyond even grandmastery in a weapon style.

    I wouldn't have any objection to warriors being able to put more than one point into fists if they wanted to specalise in fists (and down to grandmastery if they so desired). But the only reason for doing so would be roleplaying reasons - it wouldn't offer any gameplay advantages over a normal weapon.

  • ZanathKariashiZanathKariashi Member Posts: 2,867
    edited January 2013
    two feats from some 3rd party splat book. Improved unarmed strike just allows you to deal lethal damage and avoid AoO it doesn't boost damage at all. While technically, you could have a druid cast Magic fang on your hands to by-pass the no-ki thing, that requires having a druid on hand to do so, or be part one yourself. And gauntlets or knuckles just allow you to change the type of damage and/or be considered as armed, they don't actually increase the base damage any. You could put spikes on a glove to change your type to piercing, or some claws for slashing, but unless you enchant them, they won't increase your damage directly, and even then only up to their enhancement bonus, so you'd be a base of 1d3 + enhancement. And they keep you from using other gauntlets or gloves since they take up that slot on your character, unless you've got some of the epic feats that expands your equip slot capacity. On, and they wouldn't be considered unarmed, you'd actually have to take proficiency spiked and/or bladed gauntlet, which would be exotic weapons for most classes and any focus or specialization would apply to them, rather then your unarmed attacks, despite having the same effective damage and fighting style.

  • DeeDee Member Posts: 10,438
    @ZanathKariashi
    Actually, the first is in the SRD (Improved Unarmed Strike) and the second is in Tome of Battle, which was written and published by WotC, so by no means third party. That said, Tome of Battle is widely reputed as being overpowered (much like every other 3.5e splatbook), but "Superior Unarmed Strike" isn't why. In fact, most DMs I've played with have disallowed everything in that book except for that feat.

  • ZanathKariashiZanathKariashi Member Posts: 2,867
    edited January 2013
    Yeah, I meant one in a splat book...I knew he was talking about Improved Unarmed strike for one of them, which doesn't alter the viability at all and is in fact a waste of a feat (except for the fact that other OP piece of garbage has it as a pre-req) since just using a pair of brass knuckles (which do fall under the unarmed attack state) count as armed and allow you to deal lethal damage..and they're like 2 gp..tops..

    People allow it because they often add a bunch of extra restrictions on being monks to prevent a lot of OP munchkin-ism of going on, but don't want to have to listen to people whine that they can't make their unarmed Übermensch character due to the ruling.

  • DeeDee Member Posts: 10,438
    Broad generalizations aside, I think we're getting just a little bit off topic.

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