Gestalt Core Combinations: feedback please?

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Keeping this restricted to the "Core 11" classes for now, I'm working on a list of how well a certain class works in combination with either other specific classes or with several others in general. Does anybody else have any ideas? Am I at least slightly on the right track for how well different classes could combine? Am I completely wrong about anything, and there's something I haven't thought of? Should I organize this differently? Should I try to add more of the "non-core" classes?



  • Barbarian: Max BAB +20, Hit dice d12, Skill Points per level 4+ INT, Max saves Fort 12 / Ref 6 / Will 6


    • General: Almost any class (except for Monks, Paladins, and some Clerics) would benefit from the maximum health (d12), maximum BAB progression (1/1), and extra speed if nothing else, but especially spellcasters which have to depend on HP due to restrictions on armor, and the STR bonus from Rage would make up for STR being the traditional spellcaster-dump-stat (albiet at a penalty to AC, but one could still cast "Mage Armor" on oneself before going into a no-spells Rage).


      • Specific: Wizards and Barbarians have significantly different class skills, which makes a wizard's assumed-to-be-high INT even more useful.



  • Bard: +15, d6, 4+, 6/12/12


    • General: More dependent on the other class than vice versa


      • Specific: Rogues would benefit from any spellcaster that could provide flanking (Summon Monster and/or Dominate Person) or ways of denying defenders a DEX bonus to AC (Greater Invisibility), but would not necessarily have to be the spellcaster in question, making this a possible distraction against combining Rogue with another combat class and simply having a spellcasting ally.



  • Cleric: +15, d8, 2+, 12/6/12


    • General: Good with any WIS/CHA dominant class (Paladin, Sorcerer, some Rogues)


      • Specific: (see Bard about Rogues/spellcasters) Monks provide the fastest movement for going to allies for healing, high AC, and there is less MAD than with Monks + other spellcasters



  • Druid: +15, d8, 4+, 12/6/12


    • General: Wild Shape works well with anything that provides the maximum BAB (except for Paladins) for more attacks and would allow spellcasters/archers to defend themselves if enemies get close


      • Specific:



  • Fighter: +20, d10, 2+, 12/6/6


    • General: Maximum BAB works well with any combat-class that would have fewer attacks otherwise, high health protects anything that would've had lower, archery feats go well with spellcasters and/or anything that can become stronger up close (Barbarian, Druid)


      • Specific:



  • Monk +15, d8, 4+, 12/12/12


    • General: Increased speed/AC/health allow spellcasters to cast more "Range: touch" spells against enemies that they would generally stay away from, but high risk of MAD


      • Specific: (see Cleric) Unarmed strikes would eventually benefit from the high-level Paladin spell "Holy Sword," as combining both Flurry with max BAB and high AC with high Reflex saves would make sacrificing heavy armor more worthwhile



  • Paladin: +20, d10, 2+, 12/6/6


    • General: Maximum BAB, high health


      • Specific: (see Monk)



  • Ranger:  +20, d8, 6+, 12/12/6


    • General: Maximum BAB, spellcasters could benefit from having archery feats, non-casters would benefit from even more attacks per turn from the TWF chain


      • Specific: Rogues could select favored enemies to be more competent against enemies generally immune to Sneak Attack, both classes are encouraged to use the same armor (light-none)



  • Rogue: +15, d6, 8+, 6/12/6


    • General: Massive extra damage works really well with anything that deals more attacks per turn (Ranger/Fighter for BAB + high health + TWF, Monk for Flurry, Barbarian for BAB + max health), high assumed DEX works well with anything requiring little-no armor (Monks, Rangers, spellcasters)


      • Specific: (see Rogue/spellcaster, Ranger) 



  • Sorcerer: +10, d4, 2+, 6/6/12


    • General: Increased spell-casting ability for anything CHA-dominant (Bard, Cleric, Paladin, some Rogue) that can go without armor (Paladins should have enough health to make it work)


      • Specific: (see Rogue/spellcaster)



  • Wizard: +10, d4, 2+, 6/6/12


    • General: Assumed high-INT works well with high skill point classes (especially Ranger or Rogue)


      • Specific: (see Barbarian, Rogue/spellcaster)



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Paladin + Sorceror gives high saves, full BAB, full casting (though a level behind the wizard), and Charisma synergy. You'll have crap for skill points, however.
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56788208 wrote:
I do, however, have one last lesson on this subject. That last one? The only build in this post that can one-shot average opponents[by dealing twice as much damage as they have HP? I would argue that it is not optimized. Why isn't it optimized? Because it's overkill. Overkill is NOT optimizing. This means that there are portions of this build dedicated to damage which can safely be removed and thrown elsewhere. For example, you probably don't need both Leap Attack AND Headlong Rush at the same time. You could pick up Extra Rage feats for stamina, feats to support AoO effects, feats that work towards potential prestige classes, and so on. However, you could also shift our ability scores around somewhat. I mean, if you're getting results like that with 16 starting Strength, maybe you can lower it to 14, and free up four points to spend somewhere else - perhaps back into Charisma, giving you some oomph for Intimidating Rage or Imperious Command if you want. You can continue to tune this until it deals "enough" damage - and that "enough" does not need to be "100%". It could easily be, say, 80% (leaving the rest to the team), if your DM is the sort who would ban one-hit killers.
Tempest_Stormwind on Character Optimization
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When she meets CJ's mom?
Resident Pithed-Off Dragon Poon Slayer of the House of Trolls
Paladin + Sorceror gives high saves, full BAB, full casting (though a level behind the wizard), and Charisma synergy. You'll have crap for skill points, however.

...And since when do skill points really matter? Worst case scenario, be a human with intelligence above 10.

I'm also gonna have to bring up Druid/Cleric. And fighter is a respectable addition to just about anything.

I do love, though, how the OP was claiming rogues get "massive damage." It was lulzy.
Customer Disservice of the House of Trolls Resident Secretly Ron Paul God of Spite and Sloth
I recently took log of this actually. Here are some good ones that RT and I found, some among the less obvious. In addition to the classic that draco1119 brings up, there are the following.

Ranger/Cloistered Cleric (Uses another UA variant) Full BAB, Full saves, amazing class skill list (6+Int skills), great Wis synergy. Only d8 hd though

Bard/Barbarian  Full BAB, All good saves, amazing combat bonus's (some of which apply to allies), D12 HD, can't cast or perform while raging (song in motion remains in motion however)

Druid/Rogue All good saves, can make mad sneak attacks/round at a fairly early level (5 really), has amazing skills. Another combo with only d8 HD though, and 3/4 BAB


There's a nice list of non-core stuff we messed with as well but I'll save that.
EA, he says extra damage. They do get one of the easier access bonus damage progressions, especially when you're talking core, he also explicitly indicates a bonus to adding it onto multiple attacks. No Rogue's not amazing damage, but in a core environment when all you've really got for melee damage are Power Attack, Sneak Attack and Favored Enemy, it's pretty good.
Wildshape Ranger/Cloistered Cleric (Uses another UA variant) Full BAB, Full saves, amazing class skill list (6+Int skills), great Wis synergy,. Only d8 hd though


EA, he says extra damage. They do get one of the easier access bonus damage progressions, especially when you're talking core, he also explicitly indicates a bonus to adding it onto multiple attacks. No Rogue's not amazing damage, but in a core environment when all you've really got for melee damage are Power Attack, Sneak Attack and Favored Enemy, it's pretty good.

No, it still really isn't. Sneak attack always has been crap. It's that simple.

A Rogue's only real function is to play a wannabe wizard through UMD.
Customer Disservice of the House of Trolls Resident Secretly Ron Paul God of Spite and Sloth

I've been toying with the idea of a streetfighter barbarian // deadly hunter druid. It doesn't really pay off until 19th level though. Still, you'd be a competent caster and ubercharger before that, so you could live to see 19th level.

I'll give you the first one. The Wildshape Ranger's a better choice than standard for that idea.

The second one though, regardless of what you say Sneak Attack is an excellent source of damage, most top end monsters for example are not immune to sneak attack, over CR 18 anyway. You add 35 damage per attack even with two weapon fighting vs a power attack of +20 damage per attack or +40 per with a two handed weapon, and you take 0 attack penalty for it. The conditions are easy to meet against most monsters as well.

Oh well, some creatures are immune. So don't put all your eggs in one basket and have the ol' UMD crutch to fall back on so you can pretend your a wizard if need be. If you want to be really weird pretend to be a wizard pretending to be a rogue, or fighter.
The second one though, regardless of what you say Sneak Attack is an excellent source of damage, most top end monsters for example are not immune to sneak attack, over CR 18 anyway. You add 35 damage per attack even with two weapon fighting vs a power attack of +20 damage per attack or +40 per with a two handed weapon, and you take 0 attack penalty for it. The conditions are easy to meet against most monsters as well.

Thirty-five damage that's beyond easy to avoid? On mediocre BAB? Especially with Two-Weapon Missing? I'll stick with a power-attacking greatsword. If your party members(Or just you, if you're clever) are doing their jobs, missing should be basically impossible.
Oh well, some creatures are immune. So don't put all your eggs in one basket and have the ol' UMD crutch to fall back on so you can pretend your a wizard if need be. If you want to be really weird pretend to be a wizard pretending to be a rogue, or fighter.

Meh. Point. I just prefer playing a wizard, rather than an easy to shut down, hideously expensive wizard.
Customer Disservice of the House of Trolls Resident Secretly Ron Paul God of Spite and Sloth

As someone who's put together Gestalts recently, I've got a few things to say about them. Fair warning, I avoid alternate spell systems (psionics, incarnum, ToB) like the plague.
#1) Cleric/Wizard is a 1 level dip that can be VERY nice for any class combo, even if you're just after domain abilities and a Raven familiar. Fighter Feat Wizard alternate class feature and Cloistered Cleric can let these fit together better with your standing class configuration.
#2) Fighter feat or vanilla Rogue is a great choice for when fighter classes have outlived their usefulness. Keep Barbarian or a prestige class around for the full BAB and bathe in those Rogue skill points and fun abilities.
#3) Mixing two full casters can painfully strain your action economy. Each character can only do so many things, and I'll guarantee you that your HP will run out long before your useful spells do.
#4) While the entire party taking the same 1/2 of a Gestalt (Barbarian/X, Wizard/X, Cleric/X, etc) may seem silly, it can actually be a benefit. Each member can specialize on a different aspect of that half and the ability to easily concentrate the party’s items onto the best fit for a situation is a big aid. Plus there’s the RP of it. (The Bard Brothers: Rhythm and Blues Review. Kung Fu dungeon crawl.)
#5) Familiars in this enviroment are awesome. For someone with full BAB and huge hit dice, those little buggers can be almost unkillable.
#6) Unthinkable things become possible. You can get into prestige classes that would otherwise violate “Thou shall never lose a caster level” by pairing them with casting progression when they would normally lose it. Rage mage being almost useful? Madness!

EA, he says extra damage.

Actually, I had used the word "massive," but now I feel like a newb for not knowing about even more powerful extra damage classes and would love to know what they are

Since I didn't know as much as I thought I did, could my thought process on "SA is awesome" be picked to pieces please?
Thirty-five damage that's beyond easy to avoid?

I was under the impression that is was really easy to deal SA (except against undead, constructs, etc. but one could gestalt for "favored enemy"), what with: 

Telling Blow + Improved Critical
Improved Feint + "A bajillion points in Bluff"
Improved Initiative + Move Silently for catching enemies flat-footed
allies for flanking
spellcasting allies for casting "Summon Monster" for flanking or "Greater Invsibility" for denying DEX bonus

On mediocre BAB?

Not if gestalted with a Fighter, Ranger, or a Barbarian

Especially with Two-Weapon Missing? I'll stick with a power-attacking greatsword. If your party members(Or just you, if you're clever) are doing their jobs, missing should be basically impossible.

I would've thought that the TWF chain would be better than Power Attack:
With G-TWF, +20/+15/+10/+5 becomes +18/+18/+13/+13/+8/+8/+3 to-hit at +35 damage per hit (+55 with Craven)
With Power Attack,  +20/+15/+10/+5 becomes -0/-5/-10/-15 to-hit at +20 damage per hit (+40 with two-handed weapon)

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Odds are, if 4-6 people can't figure out an answer you thought was obvious, you screwed up, not them. - JeffGroves
Which is why a DM should present problems to solve, not solutions to find. -FlatFoot
A game is a fictional construct created for the sake of the players, not the other way around. If you have a question "How do I keep X from happening at my table," and you feel that the out-of-game answer "Talk the the other people at your table" won't help, then the in-game answers "Remove mechanics A, B, and/or C, add mechanics L, M, and/or N" will not help either.
hmm ... Half-Dragon >>> Dragon Disciple

Monk without Monk >>> Monk



Rogue 1 / Druid 19  //  Ghost 5 / Monk 2 / near cut-paste a very old core Archer tag on

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EA, he says extra damage.

Actually, I had used the word "massive," but now I feel like a newb for not knowing about even more powerful extra damage classes and would love to know what they are

Since I didn't know as much as I thought I did, could my thought process on "SA is awesome" be picked to pieces please?


Basically, it's pretty easy to get immunity to precision damage (which shuts down critical hits and sneak attack, although most of the blanket immunities can be bypassed with Use Magic Device or the Swift Hunter feat), and while that damage does boost up per hit, the classes that get such bonus damage typically don't lend themselves well to multiple actual hits. (Not only do they need a full-round action to get multiple attacks - which means they need to start their turn next to the target in most cases - most sneak attack classes have medium base attack and lack bonus feats, which means they get fewer attacks, fewer of the attacks they do get will actually hit the target, and they'll have less flexibility in selecting feats since they'll need to learn the Two-Weapon Fighting tree - which further penalizes attack rolls).

Compare to Power Attack, which scales slightly faster, is much harder to block (I think only the Elusive Target feat can actually negate it), and synergizes better with other effects (i.e. anything that doubles damage - and there's a lot of those - will multiply the power attack bonus damage directly). It's not hard to dish out well over half (and in some cases, all) of the average monster's HP in damage on a good power attack / charge build, for instance. (If you look for more info on this, the usual shorthand is "ubercharging".) Not to mention that if you're fighting something where the 3/4 base attack rogue can hit reliably, then the full base attack warriors can take a pretty beefy Power Attack and have the same chances to hit.

This also sets aside how it's often better to use non-damaging methods in gameplay (i.e. a monster at 1 HP fights as well as it would if it had 400 HP, so why are you whittling down those hit points instead of just saying "you're not fighting me anymore" with a spell that removes them from battle?), since if you're drawn to sneak attack, you probably aren't interested in playing a spellcaster.

It is possible to get a +20 base attack, +12d6 character with the full TWF tree without resorting to magic or gestalt, but it's not actually all that good except in that one dimension and it comes online rather late. (Specifically, you go Swashbuckler 20, grab the Martial Study (Cloak of Deception) and Martial Stance (Assassin's Stance) feats, and then grab Daring Outlaw.)
Thirty-five damage that's beyond easy to avoid?

I was under the impression that is was really easy to deal SA (except against undead, constructs, etc. but one could gestalt for "favored enemy"), what with: 

Telling Blow + Improved Critical
Improved Feint + "A bajillion points in Bluff"
Improved Initiative + Move Silently for catching enemies flat-footed
allies for flanking
spellcasting allies for casting "Summon Monster" for flanking or "Greater Invsibility" for denying DEX bonus


All of these are actually easy to foil in their own way even against critters that aren't blanket-SA-immune. Improved Critical has a high base attack requirement which puts it outside the reach of most rogues, and the rogue is feat-starved enough to consider Telling Blow a poor investment as a result (not to mention it leaves it up to chance, and they still need to confirm the critical hit...). Improved Feint only gives them time for a single attack afterwards even if it works (remember that critters get their base attack as a bonus to resist feints!), which means the biggest advantage to Sneak Attack (that it works on multiple hits) is negated. Flat-footedness is unreliable at best and easy to negate in many cases, particularly once good detection spells or feats come online (and this is usually around levels 5 or 6). Flanking bonuses are among the most reliable here, and even they aren't too hard to shut down (Improved Uncanny Dodge).

Then there's the unspoken drawback: It takes a full-round action to make multiple attacks. Without action advantage in some other way, this means you're nailed to the floor if you want to take advantage of sneak attack's per-hit nature (and, quite likely, about half of your feats). The easiest way to avoid this problem while staying a warrior-centric character - namely, using the Tome of Battle - also provides you with better alternatives to over-specializing on Sneak Attack.

On mediocre BAB?

Not if gestalted with a Fighter, Ranger, or a Barbarian


Gestalt changes a lot of things, but as I was pointing out with my Daring Outlaw suggestion above, it still won't be all that impressive compared to what else is available.

For instance, a while back, someone asked for help on a gestalt barbarian//rogue. He wasn't sure if he should use the feat rogue variant (no sneak attack, but gets the fighter's bonus feats) or the sneak attack rogue. On such a character, TWF+Sneak Attack well underperformed what he could get with Power Attack and a two-hander, and the second one cost fewer feats anyway. The benefit from +10d6 Sneak Attack on such a character is small compared to what you can do with the fighter's bonus feats.

I think, of those three, only the ranger//rogue could make SA worthwhile, and even then it relies on magic (specifically, Hunter's Eye, which gives him increased sneak attack; not to mention wand chambers with the bypass-critical-hit-immunity spells in them), unusual feat choices (Practiced Spellcaster, needed to hit a particular breakpoint on the spell (Ranger 20+PSc+orange ioun stone = CL 15, or +5d6 sneak attack; Ranger 20 would only give +3d6); Assassin's Stance and the PHB2 spring attack feats might help here too), and willingly giving up better choices (in this case, the wild shape ranger variant, since UA is already allowed, and Wraithstrike, which also benefits PA better than it does SA). Interestingly, Ranger is also useful in bypassing blanket critical hit immunity in other places as well (it's the backbone of the Swift Hunter style of builds, which rely on Skirmish (related to Sneak Attack), and can uniquely bypass critical hit immunity on favored enemies). Despite this, ranger is still considered a generally poor class on its own; it's only in gestalt pairings (or Swift Hunters) that effects like this begin to show up.

Especially with Two-Weapon Missing? I'll stick with a power-attacking greatsword. If your party members(Or just you, if you're clever) are doing their jobs, missing should be basically impossible.

I would've thought that the TWF chain would be better than Power Attack:
With G-TWF, +20/+15/+10/+5 becomes +18/+18/+13/+13/+8/+8/+3 to-hit at +35 damage per hit (+55 with Craven)
With Power Attack,  +20/+15/+10/+5 becomes -0/-5/-10/-15 to-hit at +20 damage per hit (+40 with two-handed weapon)


You're not factoring in the opponent's AC nor the base weapon damage here. -20 might not be the optimal power attack for this situation.

Similarly, if you're allowing the rogue Craven and three feats spent on TWF, then you should allow the warrior Improved Bull Rush, Shock Trooper, and Leap Attack plus the pounce ability (the same cost in feats, except you can get all four by level 6 without gestalt with Barbarian 2 / Fighter 4; if you're using UA that's probably Wolf Totem Barbarian, so you have Improved Trip as well), which means that the attack routine would actually be +22/+17/+12/+7 at +80 damage per hit.

As for the "if your allies are doing their job" thing - it's not hard for teammates to buff the entire team or debuff the target to the point where the fighter will still "always" hit on most attacks even with a significant Power Attack penalty. A prone target, for instance, gives melee attacks against it an extra +4, and if you're alreay accurate enough to begin with, you just shunt that over to extra damage with PA at the same level of accuracy. (To put this in context, you might follow the Dead for Nothing link in my signature - and that's pretty far from the upper limit of what's possible!)

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These are NOT all my creations! The lead authors are identified as follows: [TS] Tempest Stormwind, [AR] Andarious Rosethorn, [RT] Radical Taoist, [SN] Sionnis, [DH] DisposableHero_, [SH] Seishi.

[TS] The Pinball Brothers: Large And In Charge (Melee, Lockdown, Charge, Juggling)
[TS] Ashardalon Reborn: I Will Swallow Your Soul (Melee, Fear, Negative Levels, AoE, Theme)
[AR] "A"-Game Paladin: Play That Funky Music, Knight Boy! (Team Support, Melee, Theme, Single-Class)
[RT] Uncanny Trapsmith: Get in, make it look like an accident, get out. (Skillmonkey, Stealth/Scout/Infiltration, Unorthodox Methods, Theme)
[AR] Wizsassin: *Everything* is permitted. (Spellcaster, Support, Sneak Attack, Utility)
[TS] Phantom Rush: General Gish Gouda. (Gish, Theme, Setting-Specific(Eberron), Early-Entry PrC)
[TS] Storm Knight: Another kind of gish. (Melee/"Gish", Theme, Setting-Specific(Eberron), Unorthodox Methods)
[TS] Inevitable Nightmare: The weapon you only have to fire once. (Melee, "Unorthodox" Methods (no charging), Reliability)
[AR] Captain Constitution: The number one threat to America. (Melee, TOUGHTOUGHTOUGH, Defense, Theme)
[AR] Nuker: I casts the spells that makes the peoples fall down! (Spellcaster, damage, blasting, damage)
[TS] Dread Lord of the Dead: Let the Reaping Begin! (NPC-only, Variable (combat/casting/leadership), Iconic Villain, Theme)
[AR] Heavy Crusader: No Rest. No Mercy. No Matter What. (Melee, Damage (No charging), Variable, Theme).
[TS] Gun Fu: It's bullet time (Ranged, THEORETICAL, Twin weapons, Theme)
[RT] Face First: We should talk. (Psionic, social, mind-control, info-management)
[SN] Chaingun Porcupine: Never Enuff Dakka. (Ranged, Skirmishing, Spike Damage, Incarnum)
[RT] Always On Edge: The Mortal Draw deals death. (Melee, Generalist, Dungeoneering, Stunt)
[AR] Feral Druid: Real feral taste. Zero druid calories. (Melee, offense, damage, murder)
[RT] Rusty!: Man's Best Friend (Sentry, Support, Backup, Rearguard)
[RT] The T3 (Tashalatora Triple Threat): My Kung Fu is More Powerful (Hybrid, Flex-Function, Melee, Caster)
[RT] The #1 Snoipah: Boom. 'Eadshot. (Caster, Theme, Spike, Trapscout)
[AR] Dreamblade: Rest in Pieces. (Melee, Damage, Single-Class, Combo/Momentum)
[AR] Evasion Tank: “When fighting angry blind men, is best to stay out of the way.” (Melee, Tank, Unorthodox Methods (attack negation), Theme)
[DH] Psycarnum Warrior: ↑↑↓↓←→←→BA Start (Melee, Tank, Psionics, Incarnum, 1337 h4x)
[AR] Heavy Weapons Elf: WHO TOUCHED MY BOW? (Ranged, Cohort, Damage, Unorthodox Methods (ranged ToB))
[RT] Gnowhere Gnome: A little man who wasn't there (Caster, Stealth, Single-Class, Elusive)
[AR] Uberflank: I got your back. (Melee, support, stunt, teamwork)
[TS] Flip the Bird: Everyday I'm shuffling (Ranged, harrier, unorthodox methods (ranged ToB / off-turn movement), support)
[DH] Eat Sleep Gank: Real Ultimate Power (Stealth, Assassination, Spike, Magic Versatility)
[AR] Slash and Burn: Mind, Body, Blade, Flame / Aspects of a greater whole / which delivers death. (Melee, Theme (flex-style), Damage, Stunt)
[RT] Edge of the Light: Cut, Fade to Black (Melee, Defense/Offense, Momentum, Tactical)
[RT] Quiet Murder: Cut throats, not corners. (Melee, Stealth, Harrier, Tactical)
[TS] Wand Overdrive: Say Hello to my little friends. (Caster, support/artillery/variable, wand specialist)
[RT] God Hand: What did the five fingers say to the face? (Melee/Gish, Unarmed, SAD, Theme)
[AR] Zero Buff Time Gish: Try to keep up! (Gish, Speed, Movement, Opportunity)
[TS] Robo Tackle: I Am Iron Man. (Melee, setting-specific (Eberron), positioning, theme, stunt)

[TS] Holy Fire: Just getting warmed up! (Casting, damage, theme (fire), theme (sacred), blasting)

[TS] Groundhog Mage: ♪Let’s do the time warp again♪ (Casting, stunt, setting-specific (Faerun), spell stamina / versatility, spontaneous wizard)

[RT] Captain Charisma: All she wants to do is dance (Hybrid (melee/support), SAD, Theme (criticals), Theme (flex-style))

[TS] Assassin's Speed: A blade in the crowd (Melee (technical), iaijutsu, SAD, theme (Assassin's Creed), tutorial)

[RT] Something for Everyone: A.K.A. The Last Sorcerer RT Will Ever Build (Caster, Damage, Trapscout, Takedowns)

 

Want to see how the entire group rolls?
[All] Party Optimization Showcase: Dead for Nothing
[TS/RT/AR] Optimization Article: The Flash Step
[RT] Optimization Article: Kung Fu Witchcraft

 

Seishi: I think it might be fun to have a one-off [game] tuned fairly, but with the intention of wiping the party. 

DisposableHero_: if [my campaign] has taught me nothing else, it is that with this group, nothing tuned fairly will ever wipe the party

RadicalTaoist: I've been throwing **** at this group that's 5 levels over CRed in DFN, and have yet to wipe the party.

Since I didn't know as much as I thought I did, could my thought process on "SA is awesome" be picked to pieces please?

Gladly. First off, it doesn't work. I mean, it's mediocre damage, basically always outpaced by Power Attack, and everything and their dog is immune to. Beyond functional immunity being below 3000GP, and several types being totally immune to it, everything that's capable of casting spells will be immune to it, through things like the mediocre, but low level, Living Undeath, Stone Body, Iron Body, etc. There's no excuse for anything with WBL or casting to be hit by it, and, really, if it isn't equiped with magic items, doesn't have spellcasting, and lets you get near it, it probably wasn't a threat to begin with.
I was under the impression that is was really easy to deal SA (except against undead, constructs, etc. but one could gestalt for "favored enemy"), what with: 

Telling Blow + Improved Critical

Crap. Keen Kukris is fine, but there are better crit-fishing build than rogues, anyways.
Improved Feint + "A bajillion points in Bluff"

I'm just going to say "hell no," and leave it at that. Feint is truly awful.
Improved Initiative + Move Silently for catching enemies flat-footed

Until you run into anything with decent senses.
allies for flanking
spellcasting allies for casting "Summon Monster" for flanking or "Greater Invsibility" for denying DEX bonus

And here, you're running into the problem of having the caster buddy do all the real work.
Not if gestalted with a Fighter, Ranger, or a Barbarian

And a better(And by better, I mean actually decent) combination would be superior. Power Attack is simply superior to sneak attack at all times.
I would've thought that the TWF chain would be better than Power Attack:
With G-TWF, +20/+15/+10/+5 becomes +18/+18/+13/+13/+8/+8/+3 to-hit at +35 damage per hit (+55 with Craven)
With Power Attack,  +20/+15/+10/+5 becomes -0/-5/-10/-15 to-hit at +20 damage per hit (+40 with two-handed weapon)

AC is LOL. Especially with WBL. So you're looking at +40 plus a higher strength score versus a couple of piddly attacks that eat up a huge number of feats, and get shut down by everything and their dog.

So, sneak attack is great at killing things that weren't dangerous anways. I don't view that as particularly valuable.

I can go on, but I'm tired and I think I got everything important, anyways. 
Customer Disservice of the House of Trolls Resident Secretly Ron Paul God of Spite and Sloth
I'm just going to say "hell no," and leave it at that. Feint is truly awful.

Actually, a newb (like me) looking for new information from people who have been doing this longer would probably like some clarification (thank you Tempest_Stormwind for the reminder about the target adding their BAB to the Sense Motive check.)

And here, you're running into the problem of having the caster buddy do all the real work.

And yet it sounded like that's what you were talking about for making up for the Power Attack penalty, before simply resorting to "AC is LOL," a snark which, to somebody like me who is clearly new enough to the game to think that 7 * 55 = 385 extra damage per turn is amazing (thank you again Tempest_Stormwind for the reminder on why knowing spellcasters is important, although I could possibly counter with adding Crippling Strike), would probably need some clarification about why AC vs. BAB isn't as important as it sounds.

It also sounds like you're saying that if (and only if) one is using Power Attack, than their allies can provide good hit accuracy, but without contrasting how two-weapon "missing" is so fundamentally different as to not get any.

Tempest_Stormwind, on the other hand, has been promoting a similar position to you, but, by using something known as "information" as part of an obscure rhetorical technique known as "defending one's position," has referred me to a very specific attack sequence and the amount of damage it could do, and I am going to double check his math and other information next chance I get becuase (1) he actually provided math/information to be verified to show that he actually knows what he is talking about and (2) his sequence given sounds Extremely Super Cool™ .

All in all, Erudite-Ape, I would like to thank you for your contributions to this discussion, as our little exchange got Tempest_Stormwind involved in the covnversation to provide reasonable arguments and alternatives that I will definitely look into at the next opportunity.

Founder and figurehead of Just Say Yes!

Member of LGBT Gamers

Odds are, if 4-6 people can't figure out an answer you thought was obvious, you screwed up, not them. - JeffGroves
Which is why a DM should present problems to solve, not solutions to find. -FlatFoot
A game is a fictional construct created for the sake of the players, not the other way around. If you have a question "How do I keep X from happening at my table," and you feel that the out-of-game answer "Talk the the other people at your table" won't help, then the in-game answers "Remove mechanics A, B, and/or C, add mechanics L, M, and/or N" will not help either.
*sporfle*
Actually, a newb (like me) looking for new information from people who have been doing this longer would probably like some clarification (thank you Tempest_Stormwind for the reminder about the target adding their BAB to the Sense Motive check.)


There's more to it than this. By default, feint takes a standard action and you have to threaten the target. This means you need to move close to the target (in which case you're giving up your one opportunity to hit them this turn if you want to feint) or you had to start your turn next to them to begin with (in which case you could have full attacked, which would give you sneak attack's only real advantage in that it's constant over multiple hits). It takes a feat to learn Improved Feint, which usually isn't a prereq for anything, and even that makes it a move action (meaning you either had to move close to the target as before - no real advantage compared to not having the feat - or you're right next to them already, in which case you give up your multiple attacks to get a single attack that might not be a sneak attack). Compare with the ease at which flanking occurs (example: you're next to the target and it's your turn, but there's no flanker. Do you A: Improved Feint or B: Delay, knowing your buddy will act next and can reach a flanking position?).

Feinting in general only saw use in Invisible Blade builds - the one and only time it actually raised CO's attention - but that was completely destroyed by errata. (Invisible Blades can feint as a free action - but errata said even then it's only once per round). Some feint-style abilities still exist and are still sometimes used, but typically these don't use feint-like mechanics (i.e. there are some feats that, under specific conditions, catch targets off-guard without needing an action or a Bluff check: the Acrobatic Backstab skill trick is one example of this and bears special mention because it costs 2 skill points instead of a feat. It also uses Tumble, which is a more useful combat skill than Bluff in most cases (although Bluff is still useful!)).

There are some things that use feint-like mechanics that aren't total wastes of space (several of the deceptive moves in the Tome of Battle are the same conceptual idea but a very different execution, although some - i.e. Sapphire Nightmare Blade - still work with sneak attack), and there are a few things that accomplish the same thing as feint but are much better mechanically (i.e. invisibility - unless the target's got Blind-Fight or anti-invisibility senses, all your attacks bypass his Dex bonus. Again, the Tome of Battle made this easy for melee, thanks to the wonderful Martial Study: Cloak of Deception feat.).

 I could go on, but that covers most of the basics. It also assumes a melee paradigm again - and assumes you're trying to deal damage instead of incapacitate their actions. ("Action advantage" - the idea that you get more opportunities to act than your opponent (either by getting extra actions on your part or denying your opponent theirs), and that when you act, you do so freely, while when they act, their options are limited - is probably the single biggest factor to victory in D&D. Melee usually contributes to this via tripping or making advanced use of Attacks of Opportunity; less frequently you might see a grappler or a throw-heavy character in this position as well.)

And yet it sounded like that's what you were talking about for making up for the Power Attack penalty, before simply resorting to "AC is LOL," a snark which, to somebody like me who is clearly new enough to the game to think that 7 * 55 = 385 extra damage per turn is amazing (thank you again Tempest_Stormwind for the reminder on why knowing spellcasters is important, although I could possibly counter with adding Crippling Strike), would probably need some clarification about why AC vs. BAB isn't as important as it sounds.


EruditeApe has a history on this board that can be, charitably, described as confrontational and elitist. Still, the essence of his point is correct even though I might take issue with the practicability of its specifics. Simply put, if you're swinging a sword, it's in your best interests to make sure that sword will connect with more than air. It's also pretty easy to get bonuses on your attack rolls and penalties on your opponent's AC. Finally, if you're keeping up with appropriate weapons and keeping your Strength at a decent level, a full-base-attack character has a very good chance of hitting on his first attack even without serious optimization in the other areas. This means that he's basically guaranteed to deal damage and any tactical advantage he gains only serves to increase this.)

You can check the numbers yourself here for monsters. A decent first-order estimate of an "average" offensive character to compare against that would be 15 Strength at level 1, +1 every 4 levels, with strength items roughly at levels 8, 13, and 15, and an enhancement bonus on their weapon equal to one-quarter their level. WotC uses statistics similar to that to handle elite NPCs (although the equipment is based on a PC budget), and this assumes no racial abilities or specific feats (although Power Attack is typically in there somewhere - if you're swinging a weapon, it's kind of the required feat). A dedicated melee PC should at least be this effective, or he should consider a different career. If you're doing the math yourself, remember that the "optimal" Power Attack isn't always "for everything". (I use a quick spreadsheet to figure out chances to hit and "expected damage" (average damage * chance to hit, summed across each attack I'm making) to figure out ideal Power Attack numbers when I fight. I have to rely on AC estimates, of course, but you get a pretty good sense of what those are with experience.)
It also sounds like you're saying that if (and only if) one is using Power Attack, than their allies can provide good hit accuracy, but without contrasting how two-weapon "missing" is so fundamentally different as to not get any.


The strategies used with one weapon (always two-handed, except in extremely rare corner cases like Snowflake Wardance) and two weapons (only if you have a source of per-hit bonus damage) are somewhat different. Typically, there are ways of making a single weapon ridiculously accurate that won't also apply to two weapons - the "classic" example is Shock Trooper (a tactical feat that, if you're charging and power attacking for -5 or more, transfers the penalty to your AC instead of your attack rolls for 1 round), which will benefit a two-hander dramatically more than two weapons (the Pounce ability changes how this works, but doesn't really change the conclusions.) Meanwhile, two weapons rely on a full round action to strike at all, and suffer extra attack penalties just for using them (not to mention the high Dexterity requirement for the advanced feats in this chain - if you want higher TWF attacks, it's almost always better to stop with TWF itself and just buy Gloves of the Balanced Hands.).

There's more to it than that, but that's the entry-level description. A slightly more advanced one is to point out that EA probably isn't just referring to accuracy but is taking expected damage into account. I'm not entirely sure about the nuance here (that's a drawback with being dismissive).

Tempest_Stormwind, on the other hand, has been promoting a similar position to you, but, by using something known as "information" as part of an obscure rhetorical technique known as "defending one's position," has referred me to a very specific attack sequence and the amount of damage it could do, and I am going to double check his math and other information next chance I get becuase (1) he actually provided math/information to be verified to show that he actually knows what he is talking about and (2) his sequence given sounds Extremely Super Cool™ .


Be advised that the methods I've suggested are actually pretty low-grade: they only require some basic knowledge about the game to do and they won't reshape reality like a solid understanding of the action economy and spell synergies will. However, an understanding of the ideas behind power attack and expected damage will help you avoid a large number of poor choices as your understanding in other areas grows.

EDIT: I just ran the numbers for the two routines described above.
See them here.
These routines assumed an attack ability modifier of +8 (15+5 level+6 enhancement; tomes would probably be involved but with different ability score priorities) and +5 weapons. The sneak attacker is probably using Weapon Finesse and TWF doesn't reward Strength that much, so he's assumed to have a Strength modifier of 0. I omitted quite a lot (swords of subltety, Assassin's Stance, Valorous weapons, etc) to keep the comparison clean.
"Typical" sneak attacker weapons are short swords. "Typical" ubercharge weapons are the greatsword. Critically for this discussion, I assumed that every single "hit" the sneak attacker would deliver was a successful sneak attack. Since I'm being lazy I ignored critical hits (this biases it towards the sneak attacker) but I did include natural 1s.

Note that this is for your context, so it allows for full base attack, 10d6 rogue//warrior gestalts. This really biases it towards the rogue by a substantial degree.

Here's the sneak attacker against assorted ACs. The left column is the attack bonus for a given hit; numbers in the table are expected damage (98.5 damage per hit - I did assume Craven, to really bias it further in his favor - weighted by the chance for an attack of that bonus to hit a given AC). The bottom row gives grand totals against a particular AC.



































































30354045
1893.57578.854.17529.55
1893.57578.854.17529.55
1378.854.17529.554.925
1378.854.17529.554.925
854.17529.554.925
854.17529.554.925
329.554.925
TOTAL482.65329.975177.368.95


For the pure warrior, remember that this is on an ubercharge (which makes Power Attack far simpler than it would otherwise be - normally there's a song and dance you go through to figure out the ideal power attack based on your best guess at the enemy's AC and your situational modifiers). Since this approach includes Pounce by the usual means (Complete Champion), Rage is also present, but this really doesn't change the numbers as much as you'd think (the 107 average damage per hit includes +3 damage from increased Strength, compared to +80 from Leap Attack).














































30354045
22101.65101.6590.9564.2
17101.6590.9564.237.45
1290.9564.237.4510.7
1185.658.8532.15.35
TOTAL379.85315.65224.7117.7


Additionally, I should note that the power attack numbers can be made to scale even faster than you'd think: they're compatible with multipliers (i.e. Valorous weapons deal double damage on a charge, meaning it goes from +80 to +160), while no analogue exists like this for sneak attackers.

As you can see, even with all of the assumptions I made that bias things towards the sneak attacker (ignored critical hits, ignored multipliers/Power Attack boosters, assumed you're already in position, and assuming that every hit is a successful sneak attack, among other things), sneak attack only outperforms a very basic ubercharge if the enemy has low AC (check the link above: "average" CR 20 AC is 36). And if that enemy's AC was already that low, chances are they weren't that much of a threat in the first place.

Thinking of this IN CONTEXT, this is also assuming full base attack on the sneak attacker through gestalt. The numbers look particularly sad for a pure rogue outside of gestalt (+13/+13/+8/+8/+3/+3 for a GTWF rogue works out to 325.05, 177.3, 68.95 and 9.85 damage against those four ACs. Yes, a full attack from a single-classed rogue against AC 40 can expect to deal less than 10 damage with full sneak attack.).


You might also want to look through my signature. There are better builds out there (the CO community for 3.5 is actually vast and well-established), but there's technical problems on the main CO forums at the moment, so you might as well start here.




EDIT: There's also this long argument, which might be worth looking through.

Weekly Optimization Series

Show
These are NOT all my creations! The lead authors are identified as follows: [TS] Tempest Stormwind, [AR] Andarious Rosethorn, [RT] Radical Taoist, [SN] Sionnis, [DH] DisposableHero_, [SH] Seishi.

[TS] The Pinball Brothers: Large And In Charge (Melee, Lockdown, Charge, Juggling)
[TS] Ashardalon Reborn: I Will Swallow Your Soul (Melee, Fear, Negative Levels, AoE, Theme)
[AR] "A"-Game Paladin: Play That Funky Music, Knight Boy! (Team Support, Melee, Theme, Single-Class)
[RT] Uncanny Trapsmith: Get in, make it look like an accident, get out. (Skillmonkey, Stealth/Scout/Infiltration, Unorthodox Methods, Theme)
[AR] Wizsassin: *Everything* is permitted. (Spellcaster, Support, Sneak Attack, Utility)
[TS] Phantom Rush: General Gish Gouda. (Gish, Theme, Setting-Specific(Eberron), Early-Entry PrC)
[TS] Storm Knight: Another kind of gish. (Melee/"Gish", Theme, Setting-Specific(Eberron), Unorthodox Methods)
[TS] Inevitable Nightmare: The weapon you only have to fire once. (Melee, "Unorthodox" Methods (no charging), Reliability)
[AR] Captain Constitution: The number one threat to America. (Melee, TOUGHTOUGHTOUGH, Defense, Theme)
[AR] Nuker: I casts the spells that makes the peoples fall down! (Spellcaster, damage, blasting, damage)
[TS] Dread Lord of the Dead: Let the Reaping Begin! (NPC-only, Variable (combat/casting/leadership), Iconic Villain, Theme)
[AR] Heavy Crusader: No Rest. No Mercy. No Matter What. (Melee, Damage (No charging), Variable, Theme).
[TS] Gun Fu: It's bullet time (Ranged, THEORETICAL, Twin weapons, Theme)
[RT] Face First: We should talk. (Psionic, social, mind-control, info-management)
[SN] Chaingun Porcupine: Never Enuff Dakka. (Ranged, Skirmishing, Spike Damage, Incarnum)
[RT] Always On Edge: The Mortal Draw deals death. (Melee, Generalist, Dungeoneering, Stunt)
[AR] Feral Druid: Real feral taste. Zero druid calories. (Melee, offense, damage, murder)
[RT] Rusty!: Man's Best Friend (Sentry, Support, Backup, Rearguard)
[RT] The T3 (Tashalatora Triple Threat): My Kung Fu is More Powerful (Hybrid, Flex-Function, Melee, Caster)
[RT] The #1 Snoipah: Boom. 'Eadshot. (Caster, Theme, Spike, Trapscout)
[AR] Dreamblade: Rest in Pieces. (Melee, Damage, Single-Class, Combo/Momentum)
[AR] Evasion Tank: “When fighting angry blind men, is best to stay out of the way.” (Melee, Tank, Unorthodox Methods (attack negation), Theme)
[DH] Psycarnum Warrior: ↑↑↓↓←→←→BA Start (Melee, Tank, Psionics, Incarnum, 1337 h4x)
[AR] Heavy Weapons Elf: WHO TOUCHED MY BOW? (Ranged, Cohort, Damage, Unorthodox Methods (ranged ToB))
[RT] Gnowhere Gnome: A little man who wasn't there (Caster, Stealth, Single-Class, Elusive)
[AR] Uberflank: I got your back. (Melee, support, stunt, teamwork)
[TS] Flip the Bird: Everyday I'm shuffling (Ranged, harrier, unorthodox methods (ranged ToB / off-turn movement), support)
[DH] Eat Sleep Gank: Real Ultimate Power (Stealth, Assassination, Spike, Magic Versatility)
[AR] Slash and Burn: Mind, Body, Blade, Flame / Aspects of a greater whole / which delivers death. (Melee, Theme (flex-style), Damage, Stunt)
[RT] Edge of the Light: Cut, Fade to Black (Melee, Defense/Offense, Momentum, Tactical)
[RT] Quiet Murder: Cut throats, not corners. (Melee, Stealth, Harrier, Tactical)
[TS] Wand Overdrive: Say Hello to my little friends. (Caster, support/artillery/variable, wand specialist)
[RT] God Hand: What did the five fingers say to the face? (Melee/Gish, Unarmed, SAD, Theme)
[AR] Zero Buff Time Gish: Try to keep up! (Gish, Speed, Movement, Opportunity)
[TS] Robo Tackle: I Am Iron Man. (Melee, setting-specific (Eberron), positioning, theme, stunt)

[TS] Holy Fire: Just getting warmed up! (Casting, damage, theme (fire), theme (sacred), blasting)

[TS] Groundhog Mage: ♪Let’s do the time warp again♪ (Casting, stunt, setting-specific (Faerun), spell stamina / versatility, spontaneous wizard)

[RT] Captain Charisma: All she wants to do is dance (Hybrid (melee/support), SAD, Theme (criticals), Theme (flex-style))

[TS] Assassin's Speed: A blade in the crowd (Melee (technical), iaijutsu, SAD, theme (Assassin's Creed), tutorial)

[RT] Something for Everyone: A.K.A. The Last Sorcerer RT Will Ever Build (Caster, Damage, Trapscout, Takedowns)

 

Want to see how the entire group rolls?
[All] Party Optimization Showcase: Dead for Nothing
[TS/RT/AR] Optimization Article: The Flash Step
[RT] Optimization Article: Kung Fu Witchcraft

 

Seishi: I think it might be fun to have a one-off [game] tuned fairly, but with the intention of wiping the party. 

DisposableHero_: if [my campaign] has taught me nothing else, it is that with this group, nothing tuned fairly will ever wipe the party

RadicalTaoist: I've been throwing **** at this group that's 5 levels over CRed in DFN, and have yet to wipe the party.

While I do appreciate some good snark, I think you should work on the creativity a bit. It got a bit stale by the end of the post. Just some friendly advice.
And here, you're running into the problem of having the caster buddy do all the real work.

And yet it sounded like that's what you were talking about for making up for the Power Attack penalty, before simply resorting to "AC is LOL," a snark which, to somebody like me who is clearly new enough to the game to think that 7 * 55 = 385 extra damage per turn is amazing (thank you again Tempest_Stormwind for the reminder on why knowing spellcasters is important, although I could possibly counter with adding Crippling Strike), would probably need some clarification about why AC vs. BAB isn't as important as it sounds.

It also sounds like you're saying that if (and only if) one is using Power Attack, than their allies can provide good hit accuracy, but without contrasting how two-weapon "missing" is so fundamentally different as to not get any.

Except for the fact that AC simply is LOL. Think about it. Let's just take a typical Fighter/Barbarian Gestalt, just for the simplicity and being on-topic. Now, at level 20, even if you Power Attack for full, your base attack bonus will be 18+4(Race)+5(Level)+6(Enhancement)+5(Book), for a modifier of 14, higher if you're raging, and that's before your own magic mojo, and more interesting strength and attack bonus items.

Now, that's ignoring Shock Trooper, which lets you keep your BAB and still lets you keep the Charge bonus, turning your +23 or so into a +45, and this is without any non-core items or any party support, or any real attempt to optimize attack bonuses, with no ToB support, and only one attack booster. This was about as bland and weak as a charger gets, and a single hit would be very likely out-damage that entire sneak-attack full attack.
math
(2d6(7)+21(str)+80(PA))4=enough, even without raging

Do note this is the pretty mundane valorous+Vaulting+Headlong Rush, and without getting into things like Rhino's Rush and other more interesting multipliers, or any fun damage additions. If you're willing to jump off a horse, you should be able to top five figures, and that's without pseudopounce stacking.
The best part about that is that it works. It isn't shut down by the first thing that even thinks about stopping SA.

This is also ignoring the fact that, as I've previously stated, Sneak Attack just doesn't work. Look up the Talisman of Undying Fortitude in the MiC, Stone Body and Iron Body spells, Living Undeath spell, any form of concealment, and so on. If you know much about WBL optimization(Which I believe is just about the most important thing in the game), Sneak Attack is even more LOL than AC.
EruditeApe has a history on this board that can be, charitably, described as confrontational and elitist.

Aw, I'm blushing.
There's more to it than that, but that's the entry-level description. A slightly more advanced one is to point out that EA probably isn't just referring to accuracy but is taking expected damage into account. I'm not entirely sure about the nuance here (that's a drawback with being dismissive).

Yep.
See them here.
These routines assumed an attack ability modifier of +8 (15+5 level+6 enhancement; tomes would probably be involved but with different ability score priorities) and +5 weapons. The sneak attacker is probably using Weapon Finesse and TWF doesn't reward Strength that much, so he's assumed to have a Strength modifier of 0. I omitted quite a lot (swords of subltety, Assassin's Stance, Valorous weapons, etc) to keep the comparison clean.
"Typical" sneak attacker weapons are short swords. "Typical" ubercharge weapons are the greatsword. Critically for this discussion, I assumed that every single "hit" the sneak attacker would deliver was a successful sneak attack. Since I'm being lazy I ignored critical hits (this biases it towards the sneak attacker) but I did include natural 1s.

Note that this is for your context, so it allows for full base attack, 10d6 rogue//warrior gestalts. This really biases it towards the rogue by a substantial degree.

Here's the sneak attacker against assorted ACs. The left column is the attack bonus for a given hit; numbers in the table are expected damage (98.5 damage per hit - I did assume Craven, to really bias it further in his favor - weighted by the chance for an attack of that bonus to hit a given AC). The bottom row gives grand totals against a particular AC.



































































30354045
1893.57578.854.17529.55
1893.57578.854.17529.55
1378.854.17529.554.925
1378.854.17529.554.925
854.17529.554.925
854.17529.554.925
329.554.925
TOTAL482.65329.975177.368.95


For the pure warrior, remember that this is on an ubercharge (which makes Power Attack far simpler than it would otherwise be - normally there's a song and dance you go through to figure out the ideal power attack based on your best guess at the enemy's AC and your situational modifiers). Since this approach includes Pounce by the usual means (Complete Champion), Rage is also present, but this really doesn't change the numbers as much as you'd think (the 107 average damage per hit includes +3 damage from increased Strength, compared to +80 from Leap Attack).














































30354045
22101.65101.6590.9564.2
17101.6590.9564.237.45
1290.9564.237.4510.7
1185.658.8532.15.35
TOTAL379.85315.65224.7117.7


Additionally, I should note that the power attack numbers can be made to scale even faster than you'd think: they're compatible with multipliers (i.e. Valorous weapons deal double damage on a charge, meaning it goes from +80 to +160), while no analogue exists like this for sneak attackers.

As you can see, even with all of the assumptions I made that bias things towards the sneak attacker (ignored critical hits, ignored multipliers/Power Attack boosters, assumed you're already in position, and assuming that every hit is a successful sneak attack, among other things), sneak attack only outperforms a very basic ubercharge if the enemy has low AC (check the link above: "average" CR 20 AC is 36). And if that enemy's AC was already that low, chances are they weren't that much of a threat in the first place.

Thinking of this IN CONTEXT, this is also assuming full base attack on the sneak attacker through gestalt. The numbers look particularly sad for a pure rogue outside of gestalt (+13/+13/+8/+8/+3/+3 for a GTWF rogue works out to 325.05, 177.3, 68.95 and 9.85 damage against those four ACs. Yes, a full attack from a single-classed rogue against AC 40 can expect to deal less than 10 damage with full sneak attack.).

Tempest, you forgot about Whirling Frenzy, and a very large amount of other things. Your damage calculations are way off.
Customer Disservice of the House of Trolls Resident Secretly Ron Paul God of Spite and Sloth
Tempest, you forgot about Whirling Frenzy, and a very large amount of other things. Your damage calculations are way off.


Which is part of the reason I qualified myself throughout the entire post by saying I was being simplistic, and biasing things towards the sneak attacker. I'm doing proof of concept for someone who asked for it (politely, too), not anything terribly comprehensive.

Weekly Optimization Series

Show
These are NOT all my creations! The lead authors are identified as follows: [TS] Tempest Stormwind, [AR] Andarious Rosethorn, [RT] Radical Taoist, [SN] Sionnis, [DH] DisposableHero_, [SH] Seishi.

[TS] The Pinball Brothers: Large And In Charge (Melee, Lockdown, Charge, Juggling)
[TS] Ashardalon Reborn: I Will Swallow Your Soul (Melee, Fear, Negative Levels, AoE, Theme)
[AR] "A"-Game Paladin: Play That Funky Music, Knight Boy! (Team Support, Melee, Theme, Single-Class)
[RT] Uncanny Trapsmith: Get in, make it look like an accident, get out. (Skillmonkey, Stealth/Scout/Infiltration, Unorthodox Methods, Theme)
[AR] Wizsassin: *Everything* is permitted. (Spellcaster, Support, Sneak Attack, Utility)
[TS] Phantom Rush: General Gish Gouda. (Gish, Theme, Setting-Specific(Eberron), Early-Entry PrC)
[TS] Storm Knight: Another kind of gish. (Melee/"Gish", Theme, Setting-Specific(Eberron), Unorthodox Methods)
[TS] Inevitable Nightmare: The weapon you only have to fire once. (Melee, "Unorthodox" Methods (no charging), Reliability)
[AR] Captain Constitution: The number one threat to America. (Melee, TOUGHTOUGHTOUGH, Defense, Theme)
[AR] Nuker: I casts the spells that makes the peoples fall down! (Spellcaster, damage, blasting, damage)
[TS] Dread Lord of the Dead: Let the Reaping Begin! (NPC-only, Variable (combat/casting/leadership), Iconic Villain, Theme)
[AR] Heavy Crusader: No Rest. No Mercy. No Matter What. (Melee, Damage (No charging), Variable, Theme).
[TS] Gun Fu: It's bullet time (Ranged, THEORETICAL, Twin weapons, Theme)
[RT] Face First: We should talk. (Psionic, social, mind-control, info-management)
[SN] Chaingun Porcupine: Never Enuff Dakka. (Ranged, Skirmishing, Spike Damage, Incarnum)
[RT] Always On Edge: The Mortal Draw deals death. (Melee, Generalist, Dungeoneering, Stunt)
[AR] Feral Druid: Real feral taste. Zero druid calories. (Melee, offense, damage, murder)
[RT] Rusty!: Man's Best Friend (Sentry, Support, Backup, Rearguard)
[RT] The T3 (Tashalatora Triple Threat): My Kung Fu is More Powerful (Hybrid, Flex-Function, Melee, Caster)
[RT] The #1 Snoipah: Boom. 'Eadshot. (Caster, Theme, Spike, Trapscout)
[AR] Dreamblade: Rest in Pieces. (Melee, Damage, Single-Class, Combo/Momentum)
[AR] Evasion Tank: “When fighting angry blind men, is best to stay out of the way.” (Melee, Tank, Unorthodox Methods (attack negation), Theme)
[DH] Psycarnum Warrior: ↑↑↓↓←→←→BA Start (Melee, Tank, Psionics, Incarnum, 1337 h4x)
[AR] Heavy Weapons Elf: WHO TOUCHED MY BOW? (Ranged, Cohort, Damage, Unorthodox Methods (ranged ToB))
[RT] Gnowhere Gnome: A little man who wasn't there (Caster, Stealth, Single-Class, Elusive)
[AR] Uberflank: I got your back. (Melee, support, stunt, teamwork)
[TS] Flip the Bird: Everyday I'm shuffling (Ranged, harrier, unorthodox methods (ranged ToB / off-turn movement), support)
[DH] Eat Sleep Gank: Real Ultimate Power (Stealth, Assassination, Spike, Magic Versatility)
[AR] Slash and Burn: Mind, Body, Blade, Flame / Aspects of a greater whole / which delivers death. (Melee, Theme (flex-style), Damage, Stunt)
[RT] Edge of the Light: Cut, Fade to Black (Melee, Defense/Offense, Momentum, Tactical)
[RT] Quiet Murder: Cut throats, not corners. (Melee, Stealth, Harrier, Tactical)
[TS] Wand Overdrive: Say Hello to my little friends. (Caster, support/artillery/variable, wand specialist)
[RT] God Hand: What did the five fingers say to the face? (Melee/Gish, Unarmed, SAD, Theme)
[AR] Zero Buff Time Gish: Try to keep up! (Gish, Speed, Movement, Opportunity)
[TS] Robo Tackle: I Am Iron Man. (Melee, setting-specific (Eberron), positioning, theme, stunt)

[TS] Holy Fire: Just getting warmed up! (Casting, damage, theme (fire), theme (sacred), blasting)

[TS] Groundhog Mage: ♪Let’s do the time warp again♪ (Casting, stunt, setting-specific (Faerun), spell stamina / versatility, spontaneous wizard)

[RT] Captain Charisma: All she wants to do is dance (Hybrid (melee/support), SAD, Theme (criticals), Theme (flex-style))

[TS] Assassin's Speed: A blade in the crowd (Melee (technical), iaijutsu, SAD, theme (Assassin's Creed), tutorial)

[RT] Something for Everyone: A.K.A. The Last Sorcerer RT Will Ever Build (Caster, Damage, Trapscout, Takedowns)

 

Want to see how the entire group rolls?
[All] Party Optimization Showcase: Dead for Nothing
[TS/RT/AR] Optimization Article: The Flash Step
[RT] Optimization Article: Kung Fu Witchcraft

 

Seishi: I think it might be fun to have a one-off [game] tuned fairly, but with the intention of wiping the party. 

DisposableHero_: if [my campaign] has taught me nothing else, it is that with this group, nothing tuned fairly will ever wipe the party

RadicalTaoist: I've been throwing **** at this group that's 5 levels over CRed in DFN, and have yet to wipe the party.

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