Tumbling Strike doesn't make sense to me.

I was just thinking about Tumbling Strike, the Rogue feature for certain subclasses. It states:
When you make an attack, you have advantage if you started your turn 20' or more away from your target. (Or something along those lines.)

1. What if you made a ranged attack from more than 20' away?

2. What if you moved, but you started your turn next to them?

So, why isn't it just this:
When you make an attack, you have advantage if you moved at least 15' this turn.
That is more powerful, but under the current rules, it's weaker than the other two options because when you do it and melee attack and the creature you attacked doesn't move away from you, you can't do it on the same creature again.  

What I'm trying to figure out is the logic behind this ability at all... either version...

Why would you gain Advantage for moving before attacking? 
@MF^2:  I like your proposed change, as the wording is now a little tighter and it works with ranged attacks.  I'd keep the distance at 20' however.  It encourages the rogue to seek out new targets, which encourages creative movement and creates tension by enabling both OAs and the rogue OA dodge abilities.

@Rastapopolouuuuu (I love your name):  It simulates the advantage an acrobat might gain by rolling, jumping, or somersaulting into combat, thus engaging his opponent from an unexpected angle.  Does this ever happen in real life?  Lord, I have no clue.  I can SORT of see it, but I agree that as a passive at-will benefit to simply moving, it strains the imagination.

I think an active-use tumble type ability that you have to roll (dice) or something for would be both more fun and make more sense.

I'm with you on that last bit.
An actual use of tumble or something like that would be both more interesting and make more sense, although I think some sort of defensive bonus instead of Advantage to attack roll would make even more sense.

In theory, if the guy knows how to make an attack that has Advantage, why would he be able to deliver that attack only after a jump-and-roll and not while simply standing behind the target?

The only explantion I see for that to happen is some kind of "feint" distracting the target, or something like that. The target is distracted by your ninja-spiderman moves and you catch him off-guard, but that would require some sort of roll for this "feint" to work opposed to the targets wits in perceiving your feint. Maybe something like an Int Save for the target based on a Dex/Tumble based DC of the attacker?

In that case, anyway, I don't think distance should matter. You could just as well tumble around, or back and forth, before striking.


As it is, the ability feels very weird and nonsensical. Move 20ft = Gain Advantage.
I just can't picture this in my head unless it's something like a Charge + Bull Rush... hardly the move you'd expect from a Rogue. Tongue Out 
Don't worry, it doesn't make sense to anyone.

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First of all, are you reading the 060713 version of classes? Page 41: 'on your turn when you make a melee attack, you can give yourself advantage if you started your turn at least 20 feet away'.

1. you cannot use tumbling strike with ranged attacks. 
2. you cannot use tumbling strike when you started your turn next to them.

 This is the "Acrobat" roge scheme. Your character is doing a fancy flip/cartwheel towards your enemy and they're so distracted by it that you have a better chance to hit.
Why would you gain Advantage for moving before attacking? 



  It makes perfect sense for Night Crawler who teleports to the target.  It makes Monty Python sense for anyone else.

www.youtube.com/watch?v=yGztjzEuysM

www.youtube.com/watch?v=GJoM7V54T-c



@mikemearls don't quite understand the difference

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Enough chitchat!  Time is candy! - Pinky Pie

@MF^2:  I like your proposed change, as the wording is now a little tighter and it works with ranged attacks.  I'd keep the distance at 20' however.  It encourages the rogue to seek out new targets, which encourages creative movement and creates tension by enabling both OAs and the rogue OA dodge abilities.

@Rastapopolouuuuu (I love your name):  It simulates the advantage an acrobat might gain by rolling, jumping, or somersaulting into combat, thus engaging his opponent from an unexpected angle.  Does this ever happen in real life?  Lord, I have no clue.  I can SORT of see it, but I agree that as a passive at-will benefit to simply moving, it strains the imagination.

I think an active-use tumble type ability that you have to roll (dice) or something for would be both more fun and make more sense.


But right now, since you have reach of 5', you only need to move 15' anyway. But I'd be cool with 20'.

Also, I think the reasoning behind it granting advantage is this: For melee, the enemy is standing there, you're somewhere, (anywhere,) and suddenly your somewhere else, attacking them. For ranged, you move and immediately make an attack, which comes at the opponent from an unexpected direction. O rperhaps you make it while tumbling, and the opponent is caught off gaurd.
It makes no sense to gain advantage from moving with an attack, if anything the combatant is telegraphing their intent and the enemy may prepare for the attack as a result. The closet thing D&D has done in relation to this is a charge maneuvers, and it wasn't advantage. It may may sense if mutiple attacks are in the game, and you want to sacrifice multiple attacks for one good hit, in reference to advantage. But that has nothing to do with movement.
It makes sense if you like to watch a fist fight in an action movie or kung fu flick.

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I picture a catwoman style handspring assualt.

Before posting, ask yourself WWWS: What Would Wrecan Say?

Can you get hit with a 'Richochet' whilst performing a 'Tumbling Strike'?
Why would you gain Advantage for moving before attacking? 



  It makes perfect sense for Night Crawler who teleports to the target.  It makes Monty Python sense for anyone else.


You've nay seen Pris in Bladerunner, have ye?

I was gunna link a video, but it's a touch violent a clip and I'm not sure the mods would be cool.

"In the game there is magic" - Orethalion

 

Only got words in my copy.

Why would you gain Advantage for moving before attacking? 



  It makes perfect sense for Night Crawler who teleports to the target.  It makes Monty Python sense for anyone else.


You've nay seen Pris in Bladerunner, have ye?

I was gunna link a video, but it's a touch violent a clip and I'm not sure the mods would be cool.


First tumbling strike from Pris : connects because the target is prone and dazed.
Second tumbling strike : the target is prone and have the time to pick his gun and fire, killing Pris who doesn't have any means to dodge, or protect herself in any way.

If you think my english is bad, just wait until you see my spanish and my italian. Defiling languages is an art.

Shocking scene, her death. Aww Pris, she was the best.

I believe the rogue will have a "get advantage if your ally is next to an enemy" in the next packet, enabling ranged rogues. I wouldn't put too much stock in this ability remaining the way it is currently, it is kind of unrealistic to achieve that without a tumble check, and with one, why bother with the ability? Just make getting advantage on a melee attack a natural outcome of any tumble check where you end up in melee range of an enemy.
When you tumble, you are out of balance by definition and your perceptions are hindered.
You are more at disadvantage than an enemy.

The enemy is facing a moving target who alters the positions you can hit, but you are less capable to adapt if the foe changes his position.

In the case of Pris, if you are standing in her way, you just have to shoot toward her gravity point. You have far better chances to hit her on critical areas (you may even shoot her in the head) has she is unable to dodge.

If you think my english is bad, just wait until you see my spanish and my italian. Defiling languages is an art.

It's harder to hit a moving target than a non-moving one, and it's harder still to hit one that's moving by flipping around in erratic ways. I think tumbling should grant Advantage to the tumbler to hit their target once they arrive in melee as well as disadvantage on their foes to hit them (especially with opportunity attacks).

Deckard was a Replicant (in th emovie), but a poor one with human-like stats and the emotional maturity of a four-year old. He often displayed a ruthless lack of empathy and was a rather poor shot. I'd say in D&D terms he rolled against pris with disadvantage, but it was still a point blank shot with her approaching him. Maybe her disadvantage combined with his advantage cancelling each other out, and he rolled a crit. Who knows. He was prone, which in many D&D rules gives a bonus or penalty of some kind.

Or better still, Pris tried tumbling twice but the second time he was ready for it, and either she rolled poorly (and thus he didn't have disadvantage) or he just rolled well enough to hit, twice. Entirely plausible, either way. I hope tumbling success isn't automatic and requires a dex check with a DC assignable by the DM.
When you tumble, you are out of balance by definition and your perceptions are hindered.
You are more at disadvantage than an enemy.


That's why only an acrobat can do it. 
If it's a check against a flat DC, then there's a point where the Rogue will auto succeed it, and most players will ensure that point is earlier rather than later. Once it's auto success, it might as well be at-will.

It's there to simulate that the Acrobat Rogue can attack from odd angles. You aren't sure when there going to attack. 

Poe's Law is alive and well.

If it's a check against a flat DC, then there's a point where the Rogue will auto succeed it, and most players will ensure that point is earlier rather than later. Once it's auto success, it might as well be at-will.

It's there to simulate that the Acrobat Rogue can attack from odd angles. You aren't sure when there going to attack. 



  This is pretty much the issue with all flat DC based maneuvers.  They exist because of the resonable idea that something shouldn't succeed all the time.  A certain kind of action, particularly a more dramatic one, should be limited in some way to keep it from being constantly spammed.

  But in actual play, one of 2 things tends to happen...

A)  Players who want to perform them will generally optmize to the point where the odds of failing them are statistically negligble.  Thus rendering the DC check moot.

B)  Players who aren't optimized will tend to avoid them entirely, because the odds of beating the DC are lower compared to other actions like simply making a regular attack.

  Maneuvers and other such tricks are much better handeled using per encounter/day, or point spending mechanics (or with Fate or 3e style Action Points) because they allow you to prevent an ability from being spammed indefinately, but still leaves them as a viable option when lives are on the line.

  Or you just make it at-will, like with Tumbling Strike. 
Second tumbling strike : the target is prone and have the time to pick his gun and fire, killing Pris who doesn't have any means to dodge, or protect herself in any way.


You're really seeing that shot as an auto hit - even as, in addition to everything else, an auto hit doesn't even map to the dice rolls of an RPG?

Okay. The random factor disappears. Like die's in rain.

"In the game there is magic" - Orethalion

 

Only got words in my copy.

I play in Encounters with a Treasure Hunter.  She's got the one where you get advantage when there are no other hostile creatures adjacent to the target.  That's the one that makes the least sense to me.  It's like the very opposite of flanking, which actually made sense.

I really want to see the tactical module for this game.  Right now, I think I'm just going to houserule that flanking gives advantage to attacks.  It doesn't help that there aren't really hard and fast rules for how to get advantage.  Apart from these rogue features and stuff like melee-ing a prone target, it's very much a DM fiat thing. 
Second tumbling strike : the target is prone and have the time to pick his gun and fire, killing Pris who doesn't have any means to dodge, or protect herself in any way.


You're really seeing that shot as an auto hit - even as, in addition to everything else, an auto hit doesn't even map to the dice rolls of an RPG?

Okay. The random factor disappears. Like die's in rain.

D&D doesn't handle the range of damage that can be inflicted in this case. You may hit a foot as well as the head.

Tumbling requires a preparation phase to gain speed, longer than when starting walking or running, and leaving you less aware of your surrounding. If this technique was efficient, it would be be used in boxing since a long time at least at the start of a round.

If you choose to speed up while tumbling, it's far more difficult to change direction. One or two steps are enough to avoid your tumbling trajectory.
Spider-man can be really good at tumbling around and instantly changing direction, but spider-man is supernaturally strong and can easily compensate for his body inertia.

The idea that someone can start tumbling (slow action), accelerate (relatively slow process, perception confusing action), and be able to change direction or attack without hindrance goes beyond my suspension of disbelief tolerance level Smile

If you think my english is bad, just wait until you see my spanish and my italian. Defiling languages is an art.

Checks make some people feel like the game is more "realistic" then encounter powers. I think the rule books would just need to spell out what encounter powers are in the world; it's not that you can only try this once per encounter, you just get to choose when you're more likely to succeed (which is why powers that are used after a hit has been determined are better).

Poe's Law is alive and well.

Monthy Python...hilarious, almost forgot that scene, thanks for refreshing =D


Now to the guys with the blackbelt in realistic fighting..... this is not meant to be realistic, the rogue solely gets a possibility on using his sneak attack without disadvantage. That is pretty much it. Playing as a squishier character in melee should have some kind of balance when it comes to attacking/damage. Tumbling Strike is very situational but mainly dependent on your style of fighting. It sometimes might even be harder to get CA with tumbling strike than it is with backstab/isolated strike.

Tumbling Strike, isolated strike and backstab are not necesarrily meant to be realistic, they are balancing the rogues dmg output. If the balance is right? I don't know yet and you could discuss that, but "tumbling slows you down and makes you easier to hit in reallife...." seriously? -.- I am gonna magic missile your ..... Wink

/edit

to ask this question officialy: How much damage were the rogues in your playtests doing? Could they keep up with the fighter/ranger/monk? Were they even stronger? Or much less efficient when it came to combat?

I think this is the important question.
Monthy Python...hilarious, almost forgot that scene, thanks for refreshing =D


Now to the guys with the blackbelt in realistic fighting..... this is not meant to be realistic, the rogue solely gets a possibility on using his sneak attack without disadvantage. That is pretty much it. Playing as a squishier character in melee should have some kind of balance when it comes to attacking/damage. Tumbling Strike is very situational but mainly dependent on your style of fighting. It sometimes might even be harder to get CA with tumbling strike than it is with backstab/isolated strike.

Tumbling Strike, isolated strike and backstab are not necesarrily meant to be realistic, they are balancing the rogues dmg output. If the balance is right? I don't know yet and you could discuss that, but "tumbling slows you down and makes you easier to hit in reallife...." seriously? -.- I am gonna magic missile your ..... Wink

/edit

to ask this question officialy: How much damage were the rogues in your playtests doing? Could they keep up with the fighter/ranger/monk? Were they even stronger? Or much less efficient when it came to combat?

I think this is the important question.



The whole Thief/Rogue Class has been problematic since the inception of the game back in the 70's.
If I had my druthers I'd split the Classes into two main sections - Fighters and Magic-Users. 
I always envision the Thief/Rogue as sort of a light/skirmisher type of Fighter who also has some training in other skills. You know there's a problem when the designers have to come up with stuff like 'Tumbling Strike' to give the Rogue some value aside from picking locks and climbing into second story windows.

I get the whole question as to why a game that allows one class to 'work magic' and another class to 'work miracles' should balk when it comes to 'creative combat styles'...
But the problem is that we have very limited exposure to real magic and miracles in our prestent time/space continuum...while on the other hand MMA shows are on the TV every night, and we do have LARPing, the SCA and various Medieval Martial Arts groups demonstrating what the Sword half of Sword and Sorcery really looked like.

In combat, I'd see the Thief/Rogue class as having real advantages when it comes to 'dodging blows', 'feinting', 'parrying' and delivering 'critical hits'... in essense, expert at avoiding combat while manuvering the opponent into a situation that allows the Rogue to attack with maximum effect.

How could you represent this in game terms?

- Increase AC to represent the Rogue's 'dynamic' combat style?
- Give the Rogue a 'Save' roll to avoid a blow or reduce damage - with an increasing bonus as Level increases?
- Advantage for striking from flanks or behind and...
- Give the Rogue a chance to move through an opponent's 'zone of control' without triggering an opportunity attack?              
- Use 'feinting' to apply 'Disadvantage' to an opponent's attacks - regardless of target?
- Advantage in rolling for initiative? 
- Improved ability to move and shoot?
- Bonus to thrown weapon To Hit and Crit rolls?

As you might be able to tell from the above - I'm something of a simulationist when it comes to D&D. Everyone has a weakness - I have several.     
When you tumble, you are out of balance by definition and your perceptions are hindered.
You are more at disadvantage than an enemy.

The enemy is facing a moving target who alters the positions you can hit, but you are less capable to adapt if the foe changes his position. 



You are also making an unexpected movement with grace that the adversary is unlikely to predict... (kind of like a deception this benefit is usually gained once per adversary and would in 4e be an encounter power ). I am thinking your capability of adjusting while doing any given tumble may or may not be impaired.
  Creative Character Build Collection and The Magic of King's and Heros  also Can Martial Characters Fly? 

Improvisation in 4e: Fave 4E Improvisations - also Wrecans Guides to improvisation beyond page 42
The Non-combatant Adventurer (aka Princess build Warlord or LazyLord)
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Reflavoring the Fighter : The Wizard : The Swordmage - Creative Character Collection: Bloodwright (Darksun Character) 

At full hit points and still wounded to incapacitation? you are playing 1e.
By virtue of being a player your characters are the protagonists in a heroic fantasy game even at level one
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@Kazadvorn

I agree.

While I like to deal damage I like it because it makes me usefull. If we would have cool options to set up targets for our allies (like moving them around, impair, immobilize them, hindering them at casting spells, interupting them, AofO on pushing archers to miss their shots etc.)

I would be very much OK with that. I just don't want the rogue or thief to be a pure skill-monkey, I personally consider that boring. But shaping the combat to our parties advantage while dealing less damage but having high sustain would be certainly worth a try. Damage is basically usefullness to some degree, you just change the usefullness away from damage to a different kind of play/balance.
@Kazadvorn

I agree.

While I like to deal damage I like it because it makes me usefull. If we would have cool options to set up targets for our allies (like moving them around, impair, immobilize them, hindering them at casting spells, interupting them, AofO on pushing archers to miss their shots etc.)

I would be very much OK with that. I just don't want the rogue or thief to be a pure skill-monkey, I personally consider that boring. But shaping the combat to our parties advantage while dealing less damage but having high sustain would be certainly worth a try. Damage is basically usefullness to some degree, you just change the usefullness away from damage to a different kind of play/balance.



I feel uncomfortable beginning any post with the phrase "If I were designing..." whatever... because if I were so smart... I'd be getting paid for designing RPG's.

That said...

If I were designing the Rogue, and focusing on Combat abilities vs. 'thieving' I'd look at two situations..

1. The Rogue-type Character in stand alone combat.

2. The Rogue-type Character as part of a team.

If I were playing a Rogue, I'd certainly want to be able to function, at least in part, as an individual.
 
So in that type of circumstance I'd focus on 'abilities' that would make the Rogue much harder to hit... The AC bonus, the Dodge and Parry abilites, some sort of 'fade away' skill that would give the Rogue a chance of stepping back out of 'Reach' just before the opponent strikes.

In terms of offense, I'd focus on increased Ranged Combat skills... Move and Shoot, Rate of Fire, Increased Crit.
I'd also give some sort of ability that allows the Rogue to gain an advantageous position and then deliver a blow that has EITHER an increased chance of Hitting or delivers a significant amount or type of damage. In terms of type of damage, I'm referring to a hit that trips, stuns, disarms, exhausts or cripples the opponent. Against a Mage - an attack that's designed to distract or discomfit the Wizard to the point that he/she can't cast spells (or at least casts with some type of significant disadvantage).   

In team combat, I'd see the Rogue as getting an advantage in Initiative, allow the Rogue to act earlier in the round. In this situation, the Rogue should be able to Distract, Delay or Confuse an opponent opening the enemy up to be attacked more successfully by other members of the group.

I guess I'm saying - "think INSIDE the box but look around the corners to come up with creative, realistic (yikes! that word) ways to represent a more intelligence and agility based combat style."     
              

@Kazadvorn

 You are really touching the issue here. Not only balance in Combat but also balance out of combat.

 As I said earlier, skillchecks (like "find traps, disarm traps") are neccessary if your DM puts them in front of you. He might not choose to do so when your party does not have a rogue in it. That often means for DM's or other players of the group that the role of the rogue is to suceed on those skillchecks. But just because he is necesarry for the party to detect traps doesn't mean he shouldn't get other justifications for existance.

Being able to find and disarm traps is an extra. They fixed the issue of a priest being soley a healer by giving him the possibility to heal with minor actions and attacks which do something awsome while healing the closest ally or smth like that. Now it is the rogues turn I hope. I mean, not that I don't see the importance of avoiding traps but...seriously.... wanting me to spend 2 or more of the 4 feats i get on a skill contest vs a dc the DM is free to adjust? .... I rather die with the rogue I play in a trap and just create his twinbrother and keep playing than taking out the fun of spring attack etc..

(sorry for my english)
Though we haven't seen it yet, I suspect the next packet will also treat sneak attack somewhat differently. Many of the monsters in the A-series bestiary have sneak attack, and they get the damage either when they have advantage or when another condition is met (they do not give up advantage for the extra damage). 

If the A-series bestiary (see Ketta or any of the assassins) is the new model, then the Acrobat probably will get the bonus damage whenever he moves 20+ feet, but won't necessarily be more accurate. Does this make much sense? Probably not, but I think it's meant to represent the Acrobatic character using a series of feints and tumbles that confuse the enemy. At the very least it encourages the "Thief-Acrobat" to dash around the battlefield - if the subclass/scheme also has a way to mitigate opportunity attacks and enhance mobility (perhaps through something like the Cunning feature we've seen recently), then such a character should feel like an acrobat during combat. 
Though we haven't seen it yet, I suspect the next packet will also treat sneak attack somewhat differently. Many of the monsters in the A-series bestiary have sneak attack, and they get the damage either when they have advantage or when another condition is met (they do not give up advantage for the extra damage). 



  They also do less damage compared to PCs and have multi-attack to help the DM be inefficient and spread damage across the party rather than nuking one PC with deadly strike.  It's tough to say what will happen with PC's sneak attack, but I think they have gotten the feedback no one likes it so hopefully something will change.

@mikemearls don't quite understand the difference

I don't make the rules, I just think them up and write them down. - Eric Cartman

Enough chitchat!  Time is candy! - Pinky Pie

Second tumbling strike : the target is prone and have the time to pick his gun and fire, killing Pris who doesn't have any means to dodge, or protect herself in any way.


You're really seeing that shot as an auto hit - even as, in addition to everything else, an auto hit doesn't even map to the dice rolls of an RPG?

Okay. The random factor disappears. Like die's in rain.

D&D doesn't handle the range of damage that can be inflicted in this case. You may hit a foot as well as the head.

Tumbling requires a preparation phase to gain speed, longer than when starting walking or running, and leaving you less aware of your surrounding. If this technique was efficient, it would be be used in boxing since a long time at least at the start of a round.


I don't recall them starting 20 feet away from each other at the start of boxing.

If you choose to speed up while tumbling, it's far more difficult to change direction. One or two steps are enough to avoid your tumbling trajectory.
Spider-man can be really good at tumbling around and instantly changing direction, but spider-man is supernaturally strong and can easily compensate for his body inertia.

The idea that someone can start tumbling (slow action), accelerate (relatively slow process, perception confusing action), and be able to change direction or attack without hindrance goes beyond my suspension of disbelief tolerance level 


I've played FPS's where people in light gear merely dash or jump left and right before closing in to inflict their melee attack or close range shotgun attack.

How'd you cope with older editions in regard to charge, where you'd get a bonus for just running at someone real fast? Before you get into ac penalties for doing so, the rogue already can't wear top armour - it's a penalty of sorts.

Do you have zero amount of a favourable reading of mundane attacks, even in a setting with magic and high adventure?

"In the game there is magic" - Orethalion

 

Only got words in my copy.

I think the key is to establish what is considered a mundane attack, then associate bonuses or penalties, and then discuss maneuvers or feats. Assuming there is a bonus to hit and penalty to AC for charging (and everyone can do it), then maybe the maneuver removes the penalty, versus doubling the chance to hit.
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