Assassin - Murderous Arts 1

Murderous Arts 1 - When your successful attack causes an opponent to move -1 step along the condition track, that oppoent immediately takes an additional +1d6 damage(SV29)

My question for this talent is that is it an additional 1d6 damage PER -1 CT or just +1d6 no mater how many you move them down the condition tracker? Also, if adding the 1d6 to the original damage puts them over the threshold, would this also move them another -1 down the condition tracker?
Once the target moves -1 down the CT, they take the +1d6 damage. End of talent, period. There's nothing about 1d6 damage per CT movement, which would be something else entirely that we generally don't see in Saga.

If the +1d6 damage when added to the original damage is enough to exceed the Threshold, then I would say that they move another -1 CT.


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The trigger is "does the attack cause the opponent to move -1 step (-2 or -3 steps hit -1 on the way) down the CT" and if that is met then you get the extra damage. So no;  The talent is only good for a single +1d6 damage event.

Also, if adding the 1d6 to the original damage puts them over the threshold, would this also move them another -1 down the condition tracker?

NO!?!  I'm unclear on the question because the way it is asked.

On the surface you're asking "If my initial damage is 18 points which exceeds the target's DT and thus lower him on the CT do I now get to add the 1d6 to that 18 and check again to move him ANOTHER step down the CT?"  At its core your damage moves targets down the CT so asking if this damage can add to that damage and move the target down again it always will for a -2 step CT hit.

Now maybe you are refering to those times where your successful attack automatical moves the target down the CT (most likely Dastardly Strike but maybe including Hunter's Mark or Debilitating Attack) and here I'm not as certain.  To count as a "hit" to trigger the talents the targets must take damage which indicates that the initial damage should already have been checked and if it didn't exceed the DT then you may not add this extra damage and check again.  Would it be 'broken' to allow this extra damage to get added to the primary damage when checking against the DT if the target is moving down the CT anyway?  Most likely not but but when read litterally it seems like a seperate damage event.

Now if we just look at that 1d6 damage as a seperate damage event it potentially COULD move a target down the CT all by itself.  This certainly means the target has a very low DT and is very unlikely to happen except against non-heroic (or very low level heroic) characters.  As a seperate damage event it would also be subject to any DR/SR the target may have.

THE WAY I'D PLAY THE TALENT:  Check everything normally as if the talent does not exist.  Make determinations about CT movement.  If any downward CT movement will ocure add +1d6 to the damage rolled before applying that damage towards the target's hitpoints.  I'll admit this means it is a relatively weak talent (conditional +3.5 damage) but it does lead to a talent that can give all of your attacks against a certain target +1d6 damage every time.
On the surface you're asking "If my initial damage is 18 points which exceeds the target's DT and thus lower him on the CT do I now get to add the 1d6 to that 18 and check again to move him ANOTHER step down the CT?"  At its core your damage moves targets down the CT so asking if this damage can add to that damage and move the target down again it always will for a -2 step CT hit.


I understand the confusion. My understanding was this:

If your target's Threshold is 20, and you deal 18 damage and move the target down the CT using Dastardly Strike (or some other effect), then you add +1d6 damage with Murderous Arts. You roll a 2, which when added to the 18 beats the Threshold, then the target moves another -1 CT. Total CT movement is -2.

However, you normally don't move a target more than -1 CT for beating the Threshold.

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On the surface you're asking "If my initial damage is 18 points which exceeds the target's DT and thus lower him on the CT do I now get to add the 1d6 to that 18 and check again to move him ANOTHER step down the CT?"  At its core your damage moves targets down the CT so asking if this damage can add to that damage and move the target down again it always will for a -2 step CT hit.


I understand the confusion. My understanding was this:

If your target's Threshold is 20, and you deal 18 damage and move the target down the CT using Dastardly Strike (or some other effect), then you add +1d6 damage with Murderous Arts. You roll a 2, which when added to the 18 beats the Threshold, then the target moves another -1 CT. Total CT movement is -2.

However, you normally don't move a target more than -1 CT for beating the Threshold.


The good ole "question asked" vs. "question intended" issue.

In your example I can see a GM ruling either way although I really believe the RAW would be you do NOT get to add that 1d6 into the 18 damage allowing it to overcome the DT.  Consider if the target has DR8 and SR 10 which completely negates the damage and thus also negates Dastardly Strike; there would be no CT movement which means Murderous Arts I doesn't trigger although if it had it would have given enought damage to cause the CT movement.  This is why I say you figure out all the CT movement before you actually get to include this extra damage.

Perhaps an interesting side question is "how would the extra damage work with stun?"  Because I don't include that damage in my initial dmg vs. DT checks I'm not so sure I'd only apply half of it to hitpoints.  This means I'll let it be an additional 1d6 hitpoints lost instead of only losing half that many due to Stun.
 
...although I really believe the RAW would be you do NOT get to add that 1d6 into the 18 damage allowing it to overcome the DT.   


Why? Extra damage is almost always combined and applied to the initial damage, like Sneak Attack, Battle Strike, etc.

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...although I really believe the RAW would be you do NOT get to add that 1d6 into the 18 damage allowing it to overcome the DT.   


Why? Extra damage is almost always combined and applied to the initial damage, like Sneak Attack, Battle Strike, etc.


Because that damage is added AFTER you check for CT movement.  Even for those talents that cause CT movement damage will be required which, at least to me, implies that it has also been checked against the target's DT.

Maybe I'm alone in this but if someone is attacked with that attack triggering Dastardly Strike, Hunter's Mark, and Debilitating Attack I am checking the damage vs. CT to see if there would be movement there BEFORE apply the CT movement.  In this situation if I deal 11 damage to someone at the top of the CT with DT 15 he'll only be moving three steps down the CT; if I just took the talents first they'd drop the DT to 10 which would let the damage cause another step.

As you said "extra damage is ALMOST always combined and applied to the initial damage;" this is one of those cases that is a little different.
 
...although I really believe the RAW would be you do NOT get to add that 1d6 into the 18 damage allowing it to overcome the DT.   


Why? Extra damage is almost always combined and applied to the initial damage, like Sneak Attack, Battle Strike, etc.


Because that damage is added AFTER you check for CT movement.  Even for those talents that cause CT movement damage will be required which, at least to me, implies that it has also been checked against the target's DT.

Maybe I'm alone in this but if someone is attacked with that attack triggering Dastardly Strike, Hunter's Mark, and Debilitating Attack I am checking the damage vs. CT to see if there would be movement there BEFORE apply the CT movement.  In this situation if I deal 11 damage to someone at the top of the CT with DT 15 he'll only be moving three steps down the CT; if I just took the talents first they'd drop the DT to 10 which would let the damage cause another step.

As you said "extra damage is ALMOST always combined and applied to the initial damage;" this is one of those cases that is a little different.
 


I think I understand what you're saying. I'm thinking that Murderous Arts is pretty crappy for a PrC talent, so it would be nicer if the whole damage were combined. Anyway, it probably won't make much difference as is. This talent should be +2d6 damage.

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I don't play favors for talents just because they are found in a PrC.  As I pointed out earlier it does lead into Murderous Arts II which IS a damage bonus for every attack against a specified (Marked) target.

It is a little extra damage putting in on par with Weapon Specialization except the damage works a little differently, can be used with any weapon, but can only be used in certain circumstances.
 
I don't play favors for talents just because they are found in a PrC.  As I pointed out earlier it does lead into Murderous Arts II which IS a damage bonus for every attack against a specified (Marked) target.

It is a little extra damage putting in on par with Weapon Specialization except the damage works a little differently, can be used with any weapon, but can only be used in certain circumstances.
 

Murderous Arts is so highly situational that I wouldn't even compare it to Weapon Spec.

As for Prestige Class talents, I think they should be good. After all, it takes effort to get into Prestige Classes; some are downright difficult to get into with so many prerequisites. Others require you to take feats that you may not use, like Melee Defense for Martial Arts Master. I find it annoying that every Martial Arts Master requires an INT of 13 minimum. Also that every Bounty Hunter needs Acute Senses.

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It may take "effort" to get into PrCs but, at least in some cases, that effort is so straight forward that a character who may want to take that class already has the prereqs without even looking at them.  I'll admit most PrCs have one or two things that many not always be 'wanted' to meet their requirements but there are still many that are stupid simple to qualify for.

As for Murderous Arts being "so highly situational" we can say the same thing about Sneak Attack which may even be more situational.  If you consider that Dastardly Strike is a requirement to enter Assassin then the probability of an assassin moving someone down the CT to trigger the talent is actually pretty good.  It may not directly compare to Weapon Specialization but you can't really dispute any comparison to Sneak Attack (and we've seen people who want to take that multiple times) because most situations that would allow Sneak Attack damage will also trigger Dastardly Strike which in turn triggers Murderous Arts with even a small amount of damage.
 
Is there an advantage of taking Murderous Arts 1 over simply taking another Sneak Attack?


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Is there an advantage of taking Murderous Arts 1 over simply taking another Sneak Attack?



It is a prereq for Murderous Arts II which IS a +1d6 damage increase on attacks against the "Marked" target.  There are also times when Murderous Arts damage will kick in when Sneak Attack/Dastardly Strike would NOT making it a touch more useful that way.
 
In your example I can see a GM ruling either way although I really believe the RAW would be you do NOT get to add that 1d6 into the 18 damage allowing it to overcome the DT.  Consider if the target has DR8 and SR 10 which completely negates the damage and thus also negates Dastardly Strike; there would be no CT movement which means Murderous Arts I doesn't trigger although if it had it would have given enought damage to cause the CT movement.  This is why I say you figure out all the CT movement before you actually get to include this extra damage.

Perhaps an interesting side question is "how would the extra damage work with stun?"  Because I don't include that damage in my initial dmg vs. DT checks I'm not so sure I'd only apply half of it to hitpoints.  This means I'll let it be an additional 1d6 hitpoints lost instead of only losing half that many due to Stun.

As you say here, both adding the damage before and after you check for CT-movement has its problems. For example, what if target of the attack is already down a step or two on the CT? The Assassin uses Dasterdly Strike and aiming to move the target 2 steps down the CT, one from the damage and one from the talent. If he also have Devastating Attack or some other effect that reduce the DT, that 1d6 may in itself (with the penalty for being down the CT) be enough to move the target an extra step down the CT! So this way you have to check for CT movement twice. This is why I would go with RB10 on this one.
Extra damage is almost always combined and applied to the initial damage, like Sneak Attack, Battle Strike, etc.

Exactly, if nothing else, then for the simplicity. I try to keep the game as streamlined as possible. That means try to treat similar effects as similar as possible, without breaking the rules.

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