I have a problem with "Dragon's Tail Cut."

105 posts / 0 new
Last post
Mr. Baker, I know you're trying to be evocative. However, there is already a perfectly good phrase for a cut to the legs that knocks someone prone:

If it's intended specifically to be done with a blade, it's called a hamstring. If not, it's a leg sweep.

There's no need to invent a new term when there's already an accepted one in the english language.

That's all. Thanks for your time.
I don't mind these anime style names but I have to agree this one is pretty terrible. What does knockdown have to do with cutting a dragon's tail?
Well let's look at what the manuver does and think up a good name.

You hit them, do some damage, and knock them down.

Hmm...Hmm...seems familiar to me...

Thinking....:lightbulb



Boot to the Head!

:bounce:
I don't mind these anime style names but I have to agree this one is pretty terrible. What does knockdown have to do with cutting a dragon's tail?

I like anime but the new naming for a lot of things starting to sound anima. Hope they do not over do it. Hate to have silly names for everything, when learning a new system. I would just called it Knockdown
Leg Sweep and Hamstring both sound a lot better than "Dragon's Tail cut." A basic move that's learned early in the game should have a simple-sounding name that references what it actually does (not creatures that do similar things), so it won't confuse newer players. "Was that Dragon's Tail Swipe or Eagle's Feisty Wallop?" Let the more complex higher level ones get the funny names no one can remember.
*Prepares for Wownime Backlash (TM)*

Again; Dragon Tails? With us since 1st Edition.

Is it a good name? Not really. Hell, just call it "Trip."
Actually, I'd prefer "Wallop" over the dragon tail thing. But "leg sweep" or "knockdown" would be good.

What they should do is use fairly simple, descriptive terms for the powers, and then have sidebars and supplements with alternative names and takes on them. Kind of like how they did the monk in PHB II, I thought that was a great write up. But picking one of those styles and writing it into the class would make it needlessly narrow.

(You see the same tendency in the wizard description they posted a while ago... I have to say, I'm a big fan of KISS...)
They should probably just be normal names, then the players can rename them, and even have a theme, such as a stunning move being called Sitting Duck(what?), a jump attack being called Flying Crane, a trip being called Sprinting Crow, etc. Another player might use the same maneuvers with the name Serpent Strike, Dragons Leap, and Twisting Viper. Even though Sitting Duck is the perfect name for a stunning attack.
Indeed! Feats were never given fancy names when a simple one would do. Spells were mainly not given fancy names when a simple one would do.

So why should maneouvers be given fancy names when a simple one would do?

Dragon's Tail Cut has nothing to do with the cutting of dragon's tails. It's a first level power that will likely be used reasonably often. It should have a clear and simple name that actually describes what it does.

Like, maybe, Legsweep.
I spent a little time here and there polishing up some Player's Handbook bits. Yesterday I cast my eye over our list of fighter powers, and spent a couple of hours patching up placeholder names and writing up better flavor text. We had a 1st-level power called "Wallop" that had a knock-you-prone rider on it; I changed the name to "Dragon's Tail Cut" and flavored it as a crouch down and make a long looping swing through target's legs power, sort of like the way a dragon might use a tail whip to knock someone down. Maybe it's dorky, maybe it's cool; hard to tell with flavor you write yourself.

Hate it. Cool it with the flavor text, already. I bet all the placeholder names are better than what WOTC wants in the PHB.
"Sweeping Strike" would be my personal vote. Keep it Simple, but descriptive enough to get the gist in the name of the attack.
"Sweeping Strike" would be my personal vote. Keep it Simple, but descriptive enough to get the gist in the name of the attack.

That's the best name idea for the move I've heard yet.
That's the best name idea for the move I've heard yet.

That's the best name idea for the move I've heard yet.

Seconded!
Y'know I can't fight this growing feeling in my gut that the Marketing department has a whole lot more input into the latest edition of the game than the actual Game Development department.
"Sweeping Strike" would be my personal vote. Keep it Simple, but descriptive enough to get the gist in the name of the attack.

Sweeping strike is a good name, but it sounds more like a strike that would target multiple adjacent enemies. What the "Flashing sun" maneuver from Bo9S should have been called.

JohnSnow called it a leg sweep. It's not a fancy, cool sounding name and so what? You sweep the guys legs under him, it's an effing leg sweep. Simple attack, simple name.
JohnSnow called it a leg sweep. It's not a fancy, cool sounding name and so what? You sweep the guys legs under him, it's an effing leg sweep. Simple attack, simple name.

Ineffective on Nagas and people doing handstands? :P
At least I have my proper avatar now, I guess. But man is this cloud dark.
Ineffective on Nagas and people doing handstands? :P

Yeah, I know... However when we are talking about a game where you can trip a snake we might as well call it a leg sweep. :D
I have a problem with the people who have a problem with this name. Sense when is it "Anima" to give something a name that's more fantasy then SCA? I for one whould rather have a fantasy label for combat menuvers in my fantasy game the a boring leg sweep. That's why people love the Kung Fu [Crane Riseing to Dawn] over Kick Boxing [Front Kick].
So long as players aren't screaming "Dragon's Tail Cut!" in a bad chinease accents every time they use the move, I really don't care... and as far as clarity is concerned, if you are having trouble remembering what the power does and think you would remember better if it was "Leg sweep" or w/e, then why not just write that on your character sheet instead? I used to change the names of spells all the time when I played a wizard.
I don't like the name, not only does it indeed sound like it comes from a cheap anime, but it also is not "class neutral". By that I mean that I can't imagine for myself that someone in full plate who wields a greatswords performs a move which is called "Dragon Tail Cut". Imo that sounds too much like a kung fu move or a special dragon slaying technique.
Agreed, it's a very stupid-sounding name. It's even worse than those wizards tradition things... Hidden Flame, Golden Wyvern, or whatever they were called.

I mean all these names really suck.
I actually sent this PM to Baker yesterday after reading his blog entry:

At the risk of becoming one in a multitude:

In response to your latest blog entry.

You mention having the name Wallop for a Fighter Power, and renaming it to "Dragon's Tail Cut". While I can appreciate making it a sweeping kick as far as appearances, I think everyone would appreciate a more neutral sounding name for the power.

A lot of people are already upset at the inclusion of any special abilities from the Fighter. I'm not one of them (in fact I'm probably one of the few who expect and hope for high level powers that are akin to teleporting, force-strikes, and other such things that are traditionally associated with anime. [and in an ironic note I'm possibly the -only- one who supports it without watching anime...]). However, the Fighter's powers, -especially- at low levels where everyone is relatively mundane, should remain as neutral in flavor as possible.

Unfortunately, I'm at a loss for a better name, or I'd supply it (though then I might come off as more arrogant than I already have. "Hey your name sucks use mine!"), but I'm certain you have a lot of PMs coming your way on this subject(or already beating me to it), some of which probably have other interesting ideas.
Hey Rich, I understand the use of flavor text as well as cool sounding names, but I think you also need to keep in mind that what you come up with can't be out of place for the majority of characters, otherwise you risk pulling the player out of their 'suspension of disbelief'. Nothing draws me out of character quicker than something that my character wouldn't do in the way it's described.

For example, the "Dragons Tail Cut" and it's flavor text might sound appropriate for a martially trained and weapon focused fighter that has learned a technique that drops his foe by slicing through the legs with his weapon. However, for a light fighter wielding a rapier it makes little sense as they'd likely be sweeping with their leg. Also, the name itself sounds just too refined of a technique for a brutish fighter that likes to smash, pound, and pummel.

Instead, I would recommend sticking to a more generic name and offering alternatives in the flavor text for different types of characters. I'm sure it's easier said than done when you're limited to only a couple lines of flavor text, but it's important not to alienate the some of the major playstyles.

I thought of "topple" which seemed too wimpy of a term, so I used the thesaurus: http://thesaurus.reference.com/browse/topple

This offered some better alternatives. "Knock down" automatically jumped out, and that made me think of "Take down". There are lots of others that have potential without restricting playstyle.
I agree with the OP..

Please change the names to less "KungFu" esk names
I actually sent this PM to Baker yesterday after reading his blog entry:

Thank you.. I was thinking about sending a PM myself but guessed his e-mail box would be overflowing with such comments
WTF, After all the interesting things I have heard about 4th ed. They go and do something like this. Rich Baker needs to chill and remember that this is D&D and not Feng Shui or BESM. The Name "Wallop" fit it just fine and there was no need to change it.
WTF, After all the interesting things I have heard about 4th ed. They go and do something like this. Rich Baker needs to chill and remember that this is D&D and not Feng Shui or BESM. The Name "Wallop" fit it just fine and there was no need to change it.

Rich Baker is not the only one making these decisions. He's just the one who reports most of it to us.
Well personally, I thought "wallop" sounded terrible because it doesn't evoke any of the concept of knocking someone over. To me it just sounds like hitting someone hard over the head, or similar. So I don't think that worked.

Also, apparently I'm the only person who realises that in "dragon's tail cut" you're using "dragon's tail" as a descriptive term and it has absolutely nothing to do with cutting off a dragon's tail. That would be, wait for it, "cutting a dragon's tail," or, "cutting the dragon's tail".

Now that said, I also would prefer something that's shorter and more neutral while simply describing the manauver. "Sweeping strike" gets my vote as it really captures the idea of a low sweeping manauver to knock the guy down. It's shorter and clearer. For starters, using the term "cut" makes it sound like something that's limited to a slashing weapon, which doesn't sound like the case with this attack.

There's been a certain amount of backlash to ToB from some circles and a lot of that really comes from the naming, I think if the names sounded simply more "martial" rather than "mystical" or "eastern" that would really help mitigate some of that resistance and allow for a more "down to earth" feel that some people want with their fighters. Yes, you can rename either way but let's face it, it's hard to overcome that initial impression and making things more neutral makes it workable for more settings "out of the box".
Can you seriously think of a Campaign where a "Dragon's Tail Cut" woudln't fit?

Can you imagine Drizzt performing a "Dragon's Tail Cut?" Why, yes I can.

Can I imagine Drizzt Learning the tecnic from his father?

"Why don't they call it Trip or Leg Sweep, father?"

"Trip is a slightly diffferent manuever, and well everyone knows Leg Sweep is that higher level ability that strikes many foes."

"What about knockdown then?"

"No, that's how you describe this technique." Head butts Drizzt, Drizzt falls unconsious.

Yes, yes I can.

And the name "Whollop" sucked. Whollop?
I'm not sure that it's "Too Anime", but it does sound a bit too Eastern for me. I've never been a fan of Oriental Adventures (even though I do like some Anime!) for my D&D games.

I also prefer "Sweeping Stike" or "Leg Sweep".


Just my two cents...
Be well in all things,
Rave
Answers never come to those who refuse to face the fact that there are questions. -R. Ryder
"Sweeping Strike" would be my personal vote. Keep it Simple, but descriptive enough to get the gist in the name of the attack.

I would be happier with any of the alternatives presented. This one is particularly good because it doesn't use a name that too simple...and might be needed for more general things.
Can you seriously think of a Campaign where a "Dragon's Tail Cut" woudln't fit?

Yup. I have run many campaign worlds without dragons at all.

"Sweeping Strike" or even "Sweeping Trip" would be better, and have a lesser tendency to provoke players in to proudly shouting the maneuver's name before rolling.


...and they would...


I had a guy in a campaign who used to shout "Hassan, Chop!" before swinging his sword. It was kinda cute the first few times. Granted, its far from the most annoying thing ever, but still, if the whole book is filled with "Dragon's Tail Cut", "Monkey's Posterior Antagonization", "Rabbit's Terrified Exit", "Goose's Annoying Pinch", "Cat's Condescending Glare", etc....Well that's gonna make for some long sessions. Probably wear out a sharpie editing my book.
I think he should call it "The Super Zen Fighter Hyper-Dragon Leg Sweep Maneuver".
I wouldn't describe "Dragon's Tail Cut" as too-anime, but as too-specific. I know they have this points-off-light core campaign world in mind, but stuff in the first round of releases should be fairly generic so we can run with it in any direction we choose.

I can come up with my own fluff and my own special names for powers, spells, maneuvers, wizard traditions, etc. When it comes down to it, I hardly ever use any of the WotC fluff for any class, setting, organization, etc.

However, it becomes a little easier and a little less confusing for others if I don't have to throw out a lot of pre-existing fluff before inserting my own. This is my objection to the "Golden Wyvern" stuff from the wizard-class article, and to this naming choice as well.
I think he should call it "The Super Zen Fighter Hyper-Dragon Leg Sweep Maneuver".

That would be the name of a lvl 15 ability....
Sweeping Strike sounds like "you hit a lot of people around you", not "you trip someone".

Put in me in the pile that thinks it's just fine for the PHB, if maybe not suited for my hypothetical homebrew.
I'd much rather that it had a normal name that described what it did. Knockdown or Trip or Sweep all work nicely in my mind. If a player's particular fighter went to a martial school then have a special name in mind. But if s/he just learned the technique through practise or actual combat, then they're going to call it something different entirely.

Which is why we need generic names for maneuvers, even if they are somewhat flashy.
Yup. I have run many campaign worlds without dragons at all.

Earth never had dragons yet we came up with the idea. Just saying that it might fit into the mythology of your worlds without necessitating the need for dragons to actually exist.

However, I agree that it's too fluffy/clunky and should be changed to something that just says what it does in a concise and descriptive way that's crunchy. I agree that sweeping strike could mean attacking multiple targets but it also fits really well for the low tripping attack so not a huge issue, especially if it's clearly explained in the fluff for the attack.

The thing I'd like is a general description and a nice flavour-neutral name for stuff like this. Then I'd like to maybe come up with names for it in-game. So maybe something like:

Thrugnar protector of the northern borders: "I'll use my dragon's tail cut to knock him down."

Shinran warrior of the south: "Hmm, I know a similar technique but we call it slicing the reeds, it's much the same but we do it this way (demonstrates)."

That's great in-character flavour that describes the exact same mechanical effect. I think that going for generic names encourages you to come up with these things if you want to but helps get you away from stuff that doesn't fit the flavour of your campaign if you don't want to.

Fortunately, it sounds like this is very work in progress as he even comments that he just wrote the fluff and new name and was trying it out, hopefully they'll listen to the comments on the board and adjust this. Love the flavour, hate the name.
I had a guy in a campaign who used to shout "Hassan, Chop!" before swinging his sword. It was kinda cute the first few times.

So you see how it dosn't matter if they put Annoying things in the PHB. Even if they don't your Annoying players will export them from somewhere else. Because they are innately Annoying and don't need anything to make them Annoying any more then a Rose needs rose coloured paint.

And would it be a little more cute and little less grating if that very same player instead of shouting "Hassan, Chop" with every normal mellee attack, instead shouted almost randomly "Hassan, Chop!" "Dragon's Tail Cut!" "Steel Lotus Strike!" "I choose you Jiggily Puff!" and "Raven's Wing Dive!" Varying his war cry with his manuevers?
I don't mind more flavorful names, but I do agree that Dragon's Tail Cut doesn't really serve. For me, it's more the Cut part, which doesn't suggest knocking down at all. I would think that Dragon's Tail Sweep or Dragon Sweep would be better. Dragon's Tail Cut just doesn't bring knocking an opponent down to mind. And I think while it's good to have some flavor in the names, you've got to evoke the effect pretty clearly in it.