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Epic Precision - or similar alternative

This is one thing that has bugged me for a while in NWN - and thought it was worth mentioning.

Rogues and Assassins (or anyone that uses Sneak attacks) have real trouble doing damage against a large number of enemies you meet in the game. NWN 2 "solved" this by adding the feat "Epic Precision", which meant you did half your sneak dice (rounded down) against enemies immune to sneak attacks.

Any chance we can get something like this in NWN EE? As it stands, DEX Rogues are not particularly viable because of this issue and forces the player to go STR based instead (should not be the case).

I seem to recall there was a particular class variation in D&D 3e called "Penetrating Strike" (or something) that allowed a Rogue to sacrifice their "Trap Sense" ability for half sneak damage against sneak immunes. This could be another great way of fixing it.

AtrophiedericProontJuliusBorisov

Comments

  • FreshLemonBunFreshLemonBun Member Posts: 709
    I'd prefer official methods of doing this also. An ACF like penetration strike or the item properties in MIC, maybe some of the spells I can't remember. Essentially an item property or an effect with parameters for creature type, dice number, critical hit, and sneak attack. For example effect PrecisionDamageEffect(int nCreatureType, int nCritical=TRUE, int nSneak=TRUE, int nDice=0) with nDice=0 resulting in full sneak dice used.

    ACF Penetrating Strike: Only when flanking you can use sneak attack against otherwise immune targets for half dice. You cannot sneak attack such creatures that cannot be flanked, don't have a flank, and cannot use it in circumstances that deny dexterity bonus, it has to be flanking. Replaces trap sense.

    ACF Death's Ruin: Apply sneak attack normally at any time whether flanking or denied dexterity at one half sneak attack dice, but only to undead in addition to normal targets. Replaces trap sense.

    Vine Strike (plants, for ranger and druid), Golem Strike (constructs, wizard, sorcerer), Grave Strike (cleric, paladin), are all 1 round duration spells that allow sneak attack normally at full dice. You have to multiclass or use scrolls/wands.

    Deathstrike bracers are activated 3/day for 1 round and allow the wearer to critical hit and sneak attack any creature normally immune, but not against other sources of immunity like items and class features.

    For the crystal socket system there is the Truedeath crystal with the greater version granting the weapon the ability to bypass undead immunity to critical hit and sneak attack. There is also the Demolition crystal that does the same for constructs.

    AtrophiedericProont
  • JimbobslimbobJimbobslimbob Member Posts: 199
    All good ideas. We do really require something like these suggestions for Sneak-Attackers.

    AtrophiedericProont
  • Drewbert_ahoyDrewbert_ahoy Member Posts: 68
    The system is balanced as is. If you want to be a better melee fighter against sneak immune take some fighter levels. Sneak attack is my least favorite part of 3e/3.5e btw, as it is basically back stab from the early editions of the game that you can spam endlessly. Back stab was a one shot that required set up.

  • JimbobslimbobJimbobslimbob Member Posts: 199

    The system is balanced as is. If you want to be a better melee fighter against sneak immune take some fighter levels. Sneak attack is my least favorite part of 3e/3.5e btw, as it is basically back stab from the early editions of the game that you can spam endlessly. Back stab was a one shot that required set up.

    Taking Fighter levels does not help with damage AT ALL. You still require the build to be Strength based to do any kind of damage against Sneak Immune enemies. All Fighter brings to the table is AB and feats - which isn't something we are discussing here.

    The very fact that such a workaround exists in both PnP and NWN 2 proves that it's less than ideal. A class who's entire purpose is Sneak Attack damage that is completely screwed against Sneak Immune enemies (of which there are many) is a severe flaw.

    AtrophiedericProont
  • FreshLemonBunFreshLemonBun Member Posts: 709
    In 3.5 sneak attack can't be spammed and requires a lot of set up too, tho the implementation in NWN misses the nuances so it can be spammed.

    NWN 2 generally isn't a good basis to draw from in terms of analyzing 3.0/3.5 design because they did so many things differently and made up their own rules.

    dTdAtrophiederic
  • SelpheaSelphea Member Posts: 23
    edited April 2018
    Fighter gives 6 damage from specializations but my solution was to take levels in spellcasting classes.

    Paladin gives Deafening Clang, Divine Favor, Holy Sword and Divine Might for about 25ish to 30 damage with a token 13 str investment.

    Cleric would give Divine Power, Divine Favor, War Domain, Darkfire, easily 20 to 30 damage there, not to mention healbombs.

    Wizard/Sorc is just Flame Weapon for about 12 damage but has other goodies in it's kit like Negative Burst and Interposing Hand for tanking.

    Rogue does need some help dealing with sneak immunes, but the way it scales encourages multiclassing.

    Pre-epic it has mediocre BAB so there's a big incentive to multiclass for Divine Power or higher BAB to get that extra attack. Post-epic, benefits just die off after level 19 so there's even less reason not to go into something else. And because multiclass Rogues can be very strong and Dex builds have very high AC this is quite a complicated problem.

    Post edited by Selphea on
    dTdAtrophiederic
  • JimbobslimbobJimbobslimbob Member Posts: 199
    Selphea said:

    Fighter gives 6 damage from specializations but my solution was to take levels in spellcasting classes.

    Paladin gives Deafening Clang, Divine Favor, Holy Sword and Divine Might for about 25ish to 30 damage with a token 13 str investment.

    Cleric would give Divine Power, Divine Favor, War Domain, Darkfire, easily 20 to 30 damage there, not to mention healbombs.

    Wizard/Sorc is just Flame Weapon for about 12 damage but has other goodies in it's kit like Negative Burst and Interposing Hand for tanking.

    Rogue does need some help dealing with sneak immunes, but the way it scales encourages multiclassing.

    Pre-epic it has mediocre BAB so there's a big incentive to multiclass for Divine Power or higher BAB to get that extra attack. Post-epic, benefits just die off after level 19 so there's even less reason not to go into something else. And because multiclass Rogues can be very strong and Dex builds have very high AC this is quite a complicated problem.

    If you were going with Paladin you would have even worse of an attribute spread than keeping it "Pure". Paladin's suffer enough from this as it is - adding Dex to the table as well will be insanity.

    As for Cleric - more is better. You may want to dip 1 or two Rogue levels for skill access, but there is no way in hell I would split the classes more evenly as it would create a pretty crappy build. If you were going Cleric purely for Divine Power for AB bonuses then I would wager there are better class combinations out there anyway - like a Strength based Rogue/Fighter/Shadowdancer. However, the whole point of this being that Dexterity based Rogues are almost completely useless against a large number of enemies.

    None of which solves the inherent problem that Rogues have - which is that their main class feature (Sneak Attacks) are useless against a large portion of the enemies you face. Dealing half of that damage, rounded down to such enemies at the cost of an epic feat or class feature is a reasonable trade-off. It's something that exists in PnP - and something the devs realised was needed in NWN 2.

    DerpCityAtrophiedericProont
  • SelpheaSelphea Member Posts: 23
    edited April 2018
    Name a mod that uses unmodified spells. I'll gladly Rogue/Cleric cheese through it as a proof of concept, or even Rogue/Paladin. Dex Rogue can do a lot with a few augmentations from other classes.

    Post edited by Selphea on
  • JimbobslimbobJimbobslimbob Member Posts: 199
    Selphea said:

    Name a mod that uses unmodified spells. I'll gladly Rogue/Cleric cheese through it as a proof of concept, or even Rogue/Paladin. Dex Rogue can do a lot with a few augmentations from other classes.

    You are missing the point - the Rogue class (which itself is a Dex/Int based class) should not REQUIRE Cleric or Paladin to be viable. A Cleric doesn't require Rogue to be viable, just as a Paladin doesn't.

    AtrophiedericProont
  • SelpheaSelphea Member Posts: 23
    edited April 2018
    The point is dex Rogue by itself is weak, but multiclassed dex Rogue is borderline OP. If you buff the bottom, the top tier that uses the same tools gets even stronger.

    Which is not to say the bottom doesn't need help, but that a house rule feat like Epic Precision won't be an elegant solution. For a single rapier pure Rogue, it's a nice buff. For a dual wielding kama Monk with a metric ton of buffs, not many things will survive an Improved Knockdown followed by 10 Sneak Attacks.

    What Epic Precision will do though, is add yet another must-take feat for Dex builds to become viable, as though Finesse, Ambi, 2WF, I2WF, Imp Eva, Def Roll, Epic Dodge wasn't enough. If anything I want less must-have feats to take. Merge 2WF and Ambi together to save a feat. Have a switch to turn on that makes Finesse innate and add dex to damage, like a "D&D5Finesse=1" or something. I'd be happy with that rather than one more feat to take.

  • JimbobslimbobJimbobslimbob Member Posts: 199
    Selphea said:

    The point is dex Rogue by itself is weak, but multiclassed dex Rogue is borderline OP. If you buff the bottom, the top tier that uses the same tools gets even stronger.

    Which is not to say the bottom doesn't need help, but that a house rule feat like Epic Precision won't be an elegant solution. For a single rapier pure Rogue, it's a nice buff. For a dual wielding kama Monk with a metric ton of buffs, not many things will survive an Improved Knockdown followed by 10 Sneak Attacks.

    I am gonna just have to disagree with you there. Dexterity Rogues shouldn't require another class to make them viable, regardless of the fact that it can be done or not. The same argument could be made about pretty much every class in the game ("It's better when multiclassed"). It's true, it is, but then so is 99% of all builds in NWN so that argument holds no weight.

    Atrophiederic
  • JimbobslimbobJimbobslimbob Member Posts: 199
    Let's take, for example, "Uncanny Dodge" - which is a Rogue feat that allows Rogues to keep their Dex bonus to AC if caught flat-footed. It's a Dex based feat. There is also "Evasion", which is also Dex based. Then the skills - Tumble, Hide, Move Silently, Open Lock - all Dex based. The class's "main" stat is Dexterity, followed by Intelligence.

    I am not debating whether or not you can create a good Rogue in the game - we are all aware you can. It still doesn't make this any more right. Like I said before, the very point that a work-around exists in PnP and the second game is due to the class's issue's against Sneak Immunes. No-one is saying to forget it entirely, but there should be a way for a Dexterity based Rogue to damage enemies other than relying on elemental/divine damage from other classes. No other base class has a requirement to take other classes because its inherent abilities suck (exaggeration, but you get my point).
    Selphea said:

    What Epic Precision will do though, is add yet another must-take feat for Dex builds to become viable, as though Finesse, Ambi, 2WF, I2WF, Imp Eva, Def Roll, Epic Dodge wasn't enough. If anything I want less must-have feats to take. Merge 2WF and Ambi together to save a feat. Have a switch to turn on that makes Finesse innate and add dex to damage, like a "D&D5Finesse=1" or something. I'd be happy with that rather than one more feat to take.

    You have just proven my point with this statement by saying that Epic Precision is a "must-take feat". It is - because it's essential to a dexterity based Rogue!

    Besides, I did specifically say in my original post that Epic Precision isn't the "only option" - it just happens to be something that has been done before and works. If there is a better way of going about doing it then that's what we can discuss.

    AtrophiedericProont
  • SelpheaSelphea Member Posts: 23

    You have just proven my point with this statement by saying that Epic Precision is a "must-take feat". It is - because it's essential to a dexterity based Rogue!

    Besides, I did specifically say in my original post that Epic Precision isn't the "only option" - it just happens to be something that has been done before and works. If there is a better way of going about doing it then that's what we can discuss.

    Giving Dex builds more damage is essential. That's something I acknowledged since my first post.

    Epic Precision isn't, because it has potential for far too much damage which will force all Dex builds down the same route.

    So It's a problem, just that it's a complicated one and I'd rather have a solution that doesn't just do right by Rogues, but also works for Dex Monks, fencer-type Fighters, Dex Bards and other classes that can have a Dex flavor but are in need of more damage.

  • Drewbert_ahoyDrewbert_ahoy Member Posts: 68
    Crit/sneak immune enemies are uncommon anyway. The main categories, of course, being undead and constructs. Undead already have a hard counter in the cleric class. And they generally have poor hit point totals and AC, to balance out the fact they are crit immune. Golems are just plain tough... the type of enemy you have to wear down over a long time.

  • FreshLemonBunFreshLemonBun Member Posts: 709
    Regardless of how common monsters are in the modules played by a random sample of players the benefit of opening up modder options remains. Remaking sneak attack as a modder can be time consuming but the process can be simplified so those that haven't already made their own can use built in options without also requiring additional haks to play.

    Opinions about sneak attack like many mechanics may differ and that's because opinions are personal. If a module creator doesn't want to use an available option it is usually far easier to remove it.

    AtrophiedericProont
  • dTddTd Member Posts: 182

    The system is balanced as is. If you want to be a better melee fighter against sneak immune take some fighter levels. Sneak attack is my least favorite part of 3e/3.5e btw, as it is basically back stab from the early editions of the game that you can spam endlessly. Back stab was a one shot that required set up.

    I agree, it's balanced as it is but sneak attack is one of my favorite things about 3e. Want to be a front line fighter, be a fighter. I do think, that if it's something added as a an actual feat, making rogues choose to give up some of their skills to get it is the best option and I would make them give up 2 rather than just one.

  • RananRanan Member Posts: 13
    What's important to remember is that rogue isn't strictly a combat based class, they get the largest amount of skill points per level out of any other class, can reliably disable traps and unlock locks and have enough left over to do things that most other classes are barred from entirely. Despite the fact that sneak attack immunities exist on certain creature types, it enables them to deal significant damage to the enemies that aren't immune. Definitely feel like rogue is the support class that can also deal high damage when the opportunity presents itself.

    DerpCity
  • pscythepscythe Member Posts: 116
    What about UMD? Doesn't that give pure Rogues options against sneak immunes?

  • NeverwinterWightsNeverwinterWights Member Posts: 196
    You can really say things like this about every class for different reasons. Such and such class it terrible against wizards because it has no spell resistance. Such and such class is terrible because it can't use any magic. Etc, etc. Every class has It's strengths and weaknesses. Some classes can kick butt against other classes and others can kick theirs. Pretty much every class combo I play doesn't necessarily do well against a group. So I shadow dance them to death. Or use UMD to cast ice storm or something.

    DerpCity
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