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Castagir
10-07-2009, 04:12 PM
Hello, I have a discussion on Pounce attack. Here is the argument:

Side A: It does not specifically say that a pounce has to be resolved with natural weapons only but instead can use any weapon, natural or not. In fact there is a class in the Complete Champion (Lion Totem Barbarian) that allows a human barbarian to gain "pounce" and gain full attacks after a charge.

Side B: A "pounce" attack implies the use of natural weapons only. All creatures that have the pounce ability have natural weapons listed as the preferred attack. A pounce would allow the charge and then a full attack - but with natural weapons only.

Effects:

Side A - an 11th level Human race lion barbarian can charge and make 2 attacks with his greatsword.

Side B - an 11th level Human race lion barbarian cannot charge and make 2 attacks with his greatsword. He could however charge and take 2 slam attacks (punching the opponent).

The only reason for Side B to take Lion barbarian would be to allow a Race (without pounce as an EX ability) but with natural attacks to take full attacks after a charge as a Pounce (Ex) ability. Otherwise you lose the benefits of pounce when using non-natural weapons.

Anyone else run into this? Any help would be greatly appreciated.
Thanks!

wizarddog
10-07-2009, 09:49 PM
By the description of Pounce, the creature is not limited to natural attacks. It gains a full attack at the end of the charge.

What you have here is that the Lion Totem ability just very powerful in certain circumstances. The Barbarian would be able to get two off two good hits raging and power attacking as he reaches his target (before the other spell caster kill everything else).

This will be most useful at level 6, though will wane after level 11 as the other classes (wizard, druid, cleric) starts commanding the battlefield.


If you claim the totem barbarian could only use slam attacks then he would be provoking unless he had the unarmed strike feat. Fortunately, a barbarian can't multi-class with a monk, otherwise the pounce would be extremely powerful.

Farcaster
10-07-2009, 10:52 PM
I would have to agree that the description of the feat (in the Monster Manual at least) indicates that the attacker may make a full-attack a the end of his charge. If there it is being added as a feat to a player character then I'd just flavor it by changing the name of the ability. The end result is that the character gets a full attack at the end of his charge, not that he is literally pouncing on something.

I do question the appropriateness of a player character having such a feat though. It's a little questionable. If the player combines this with other options, it may quickly result in the character being able to move around the battlefield freely and make full attacks. I'm not sure that the feat is weighted correctly if the PC ends up "spamming," this ability as often as they can.

wizarddog
10-07-2009, 11:22 PM
Farcaster makes good points.

Though the pounce ability is not a feat but a class ability replacing fast movement for animal spirit totem barbarians. The other include an improve grab(bear), +4 to move silently/hide(Fox) +4 search and spot (Eagle) and an additional +2 to flanking (Wolf). In some ways, these abilities are a bit better than extra movement; though pounce with the extra movement would have been sweet. You can also min/max the charge through feats to do hefty damage.

DMMike
10-08-2009, 11:11 AM
Part of the issue is time: a PC can only make one attack at the end of a charge because of the time allotted, most (half?) of it is spent moving. PCs, as humanoids, make their attacks sequentially, requiring more time for each attack.

An animal, in "game" theory, can make its attacks simultaneously, especially while airborne and not relying on its weapons (paws) to hold it off the ground. So the extra time to make extra swings is not required.

How would a PC pull this off? Piercing weapons could be used simultaneously in a charge (but lack the advantage of being reinforced by full body weight). Swung weapons, no, not likely.

The other part of the issue is the intent of the feat. People don't pounce. Animals do. Maybe your person is animalistic, and so could use a pounce - a jumping maneuver - to combine a weapon attack and something else, like a bite, grapple, touch attack, or overrun. Just remember that an animal has four legs to support landing, and the PC...not so many.

Castagir
10-08-2009, 02:27 PM
An animal, in "game" theory, can make its attacks simultaneously, especially while airborne and not relying on its weapons (paws) to hold it off the ground. So the extra time to make extra swings is not required.

How would a PC pull this off? Piercing weapons could be used simultaneously in a charge (but lack the advantage of being reinforced by full body weight). Swung weapons, no, not likely.

This is my view - and as a member of a group of DM's that handle a single game I am trying to make the point that the game "implies" animal/natural weapons only when talking about the pounce ability. I also believe that this was the intention of the original writers and creators of "pounce" and that because it was implied as common sense, it was therefore not written. The others, however, are looking at it just from a ruling standpoint rather than making a decision outside the rules of the game for the good of the game.

The exact situation is this:
A feral template half ogre that has taken Lion Totem Barbarian. We are playing 13th-14th level and this thing can roll upwards of 20 dice just for the weapon damage - not to mention the strength score.

My argument was that pounce implies natural weapons only (animalistic) and that because the feral templates add fangs and claws - then these were the weapons intended for the pounce ability - not a great axe.

Any more thoughts?

WhiskeyFur
10-08-2009, 03:23 PM
I would think, if I were in that situation I would say you can only pounce with light weapons, which is what fists and natural weapons are classified as in some cases. E.G. Sword + punch = two weapon attack with your punch as a light. Or in mixed martial arts, coming out from your corner at full speed, fists flying.

Daggers, nekode's, kukris, hooked daggers I think are appropriate for pounce. Trying to get a full attack after you jump at someone with a great sword? That's a lot harder.

Part of the great sword's power when it hits isn't so much the edge, but just the amount of MASS behind that edge. Swinging it in short little strokes won't have the power of a full fledged attack. Same argument can be made of most other weapons too.

Bottom line though is that it's YOUR game. If you feel it's game breaking, it's game breaking, 'nuff said.

d-_-b
10-14-2009, 08:20 AM
Pouncing is what cats do when fighting each other: it is a simultaneous strike with both its front paws utilizing its forward momentum. As such it makes no sense to allow two attacks with the same hand/hands one after the other as the momentum would have been used up on the first strike.

There is a feat in PHB2 called Two Weapon Pounce that allows a character to make an off-hand attack along with his/her main hand attack on a charge. IMO this should be good enough to satisfy any warrior, and to start adapting feats to light weapons etc. is unnecessary.

Castagir
10-15-2009, 08:28 AM
Thanks for your input everyone.

I did mis-state the option B where the barbarian rushed in - would not be a "slam" attack, it was supposed to be with claws - so a natural weapon attack.

I think the biggest thing for me is that, in my opinion, it is a loophole in the rules that has been taken advantage of by many other entries on the books. A buddy of mine came up with a huge list of classes, spells, and creatures that gave the pounce ability to a character - and all referred back to the few lines in the monster manual that did not discriminate against natural weapons or manufactured weapons.

I am playing with a group of 4 other people - one of which is a friend and co-player of more than 20 years. Two of the others are brand new to the game and one has played (but never DM'd) for over 15 years. The game we are playing is one where ALL of us are taking turns with DM'ing - so the others are learning the game not only as players, but also as Judges.

What I saw was a ruling in the books that A) did not make physical sense and B) was way overpowered as it was written. Even though the books allow pounces to be executed with weapons, I don't believe that was the original intention of the use of "pounce". However, all in my playing group were voting to go by the rules because "that's what the rules say" - even though they would state that "yeah that doesn't make sense with the meaning of the word pounce."

Surprised the hell out of me because my buddy of over 25 years used to be a huge "if we need to make a house rule then let's make it" player. But not this time because of the sheer amount of entries within all of the books regarding pounce.

So, to make a point about blindly following rules even though they don't make sense and favor playing advanatges, I used Pun-Pun.

Delivered it as a Trojan Horse (none of them knew why I was playing a little kobold) and when all of a sudden the little kobold became an almost literal god and all of them were scrambling in the books to read the rules that supported it - I think they got the point then. I know it was overkill but thought it would at least be a memorable example of "that's what the rules say".

Think I went too far on that one? The DM currently handling the game was all upset about me getting thief abilities (since they are Ex), regeneration, fly at will, any and all supernatural powers and whatnot. Was even able to give myself wish and wished the monsters away. On top of that - I gave the Kobold the ability to "pounce" and used a quarterstaff to do it with (with a strength of 100 of course).

I found it amusing, but they did not. However, the pounce rule was changed in our game to only include natural weapons very quickly. Unfortunately the use of Manipulate Forms was forbidden, but I was not too upset about that one.

d-_-b
10-15-2009, 10:18 AM
I love Pun-Pun:D

DMMike
10-15-2009, 10:30 AM
A druid could use pounce...maybe in bunny rabbit form???

d-_-b
10-15-2009, 10:43 AM
But wouldn't a bunny rabbit use it's big sharp teeth and go AAAARRGGHH!!! ?

rabkala
10-26-2009, 07:08 PM
The pounce ability allows a full attack at the end of the charge, period.
Trying to nerf this combo just necesitates the nerfing of at least twenty other combos like a the dervish class ability. Don't worry about a character being too powerful, worry about the players having fun. Then, make a few NPC's with super powers for them to fight against to see how they like it. :laugh:

d-_-b
10-29-2009, 01:49 PM
If I remember correctly Pounce is a monstrous ability and not available to players, under normal circumstances. Hence the Two Weapon Pounce Feat which allows a charging character to make an off hand attack in addition to his/her main hand attack. No one is nerfing anything;)

wizarddog
10-29-2009, 04:18 PM
The pounce ability is offered as a class trait for the Totem Spirit Barbarian. In this case, pounce is offered as a players ability. As written it makes no mention that you need natural attacks to make it work. The issue is if it's overpowering. Considering that it will only come into play by multiple attacks (6th at minimum) and beyond, the DM has to determine if it's too powerful.

If he/she wants to allow it but under the rule you can only be used with natural attacks, then it loses it's appeal unless you build specifically to exploit it. That is a nerf by definition.

Two weapon pounce is totally different. That is a feat with prerequisites for 2weapon fighting.

In either case, the build of unarmed attacks or two weapons is not an ideal build for a class that relies on strength.

However, the ability could be quite powerful at mid level depending on the campaign. In a campaign where the spell casters are just not living up to their potential, the Barbarian would take center stage. Is that such a bad thing? Some DM's seem to always have problem giving the melee combatants an extra edge. That edge usually disapears pretty soon.

d-_-b
10-31-2009, 05:21 AM
In my campaign I have a Frenzied Beserker who, when he takes the feat Leap Attack, will add more than 100 points of strength bonus damage to a charge, which will be multiplied if he scores a critical!
Taking this into account I would not call the Pounce ability "over powered", even with weapons. Also, as previously mentioned, two weapon fighting is a inferior build for a barbarian.

Inquisitor Tremayne
10-31-2009, 10:16 AM
Yeah I was gonna suggest why not just take leap attack, its essentially the same thing as pounce and avoids all the legality issues since its not in the MM.

d-_-b
10-31-2009, 10:21 AM
Leap Attack is nothing like Pounce. Leap Attack multiplies the damage bonus you get from Power Attack -by two if you're using a one-handed weapon or by three if you're using a two-handed weapon.

Inquisitor Tremayne
10-31-2009, 10:34 AM
Leap Attack is nothing like Pounce. Leap Attack multiplies the damage bonus you get from Power Attack -by two if you're using a one-handed weapon or by three if you're using a two-handed weapon.

It also lets you combine a jump with a charge provided you move more than 10 ft. and land in a space that you threaten your target.

In addition to the doubling and tripling of damage...

I guess it is a matter of do you want a full attack or one big damage attack. If your DM wont allow pounce then Leap attack is the next best thing. IMO.

Pushkins
11-01-2009, 11:06 PM
Since I am the person Castagir spoke about of 25 years, let me first say I felt that pounce was more mislabeled than it was to be taken.

The whole point is the act of leaping through the air and landing on something or someone what actually can be done. This is a pounce by definition. My take on the "pounce" attack was not literal but based on what was presented in a number of books. The rules never stated any restrictions on weapon types, whether this was to be implied logic or some crazy idea by someone I do not know.

To those screaming about nerfing things, I ask you one simple question, which is exactly the question that now rules all arguments in our game

Does this make sense? Does it lend to Role play?, or is it just another way of proclaiming "King of the Table"

For those of you who grew up in Final fantasy land. If you want to play a strategic combat game, then keep on rolling dice. The game under WoTC has lended itself that aspect, However I am from the older school of TSR, hell back to even before 2nd edition. It's a game about Role playing for me, creating a story and playing it each week, like episodes of a good tv series. Combat is deadly, and ideally if you were a real live character in the D&D realm you'd try to avoid death wouldn't you? So it also lends to a bit of realism

I feel sorry for you if you haven't been able to play this game with a really good DM and a great story, where the role playing was far better than any dice rolling that was done.

I guess I acknowledge a division between play styles, but lets be serious for one second. The Pun-pun is straight up retarded. Go buy a damn video game if you want to waste that much time, The root of the Pun-Pun's problem in the Sarrukh itself, This creature is labeled wrong, It should be an outsider thus killing the whole pun-pun chain, Not to mention the Sarrukh should also have 0 levels of Divinity, but that is another issue. Plain and simple The Sarrukh came out in the final days of 3.5 with WoTC, it was either lazily reviewed and mislabeled, or intentionally handled this way to drum up sales before WoTC turded all over the core concepts of Gygax and laid out the loaf of 4.0 on the world.

:mad::confused::(


And just to note, the person who wanted to take "Pounce" as a full attack at the end of a charge wished to do such with a 2H-weapon, in fact a 2H weapon that was oversized by 2 ranks, and then ontop of it, wanted to also add leap attack bonuses ontop of the whole thing.
So in the end 2H weapon in Leap attack is 3x damage, Pounce for a full attack round , and I am sure shock trooper was going to come next as well, all ontop of a telephone pole with a compact car stuck to the end of it, which I am sure he wanted to use in a dungeon setting

WhiskeyFur
11-09-2009, 06:12 PM
So in the end 2H weapon in Leap attack is 3x damage, Pounce for a full attack round , and I am sure shock trooper was going to come next as well, all ontop of a telephone pole with a compact car stuck to the end of it, which I am sure he wanted to use in a dungeon setting

I just had this image of an adventurer calling out "This dungeon sucks!" all because he couldn't fit the minivan through the front door. :)

Inquisitor Tremayne
11-10-2009, 08:06 AM
In my campaign I have a Frenzied Beserker who, when he takes the feat Leap Attack, will add more than 100 points of strength bonus damage to a charge, which will be multiplied if he scores a critical!
Taking this into account I would not call the Pounce ability "over powered", even with weapons. Also, as previously mentioned, two weapon fighting is a inferior build for a barbarian.

How is he getting more than 100 points of Strength bonus damage? Are you talking combined attacks or in a single hit?

d-_-b
11-10-2009, 12:43 PM
When the Barbarian uses his rage and frenzy abilities his strength rises to 30. This adds +10 to his attack which he promptly uses for power attacking. Being a frenzied beserker he gets 3 points per +1 attack bonus he exchanges for damage via the power attack feat thus adding 15 points of strength bonus from his Scythe (2 handed) and 30 points from power attack.
Upon a successful jump before he connects with his charge attack the leap attack feat lets him triple the damage he deals from his power attack which gets it up to 90 (30x3). As a result he adds 105 points of strength damage to his damage roll to determine the outcome of his charge. The Barbarian in question uses a +1 keen adamantine scythe which has a x4 crit. multiplier. As the 105 points are a bonus gained from strength they multiply to 420 (4x105) bonus points of damage on a successful critical.

That dwarven barbarian is pure nasty evil on the battlefield -and a great character to boot:)

Pushkins
11-10-2009, 02:46 PM
When the Barbarian uses his rage and frenzy abilities his strength rises to 30. This adds +10 to his attack which he promptly uses for power attacking. Being a frenzied beserker he gets 3 points per +1 attack bonus he exchanges for damage via the power attack feat thus adding 15 points of strength bonus from his Scythe (2 handed) and 30 points from power attack.
Upon a successful jump before he connects with his charge attack the leap attack feat lets him triple the damage he deals from his power attack which gets it up to 90 (30x3). As a result he adds 105 points of strength damage to his damage roll to determine the outcome of his charge. The Barbarian in question uses a +1 keen adamantine scythe which has a x4 crit. multiplier. As the 105 points are a bonus gained from strength they multiply to 420 (4x105) bonus points of damage on a successful critical.

That dwarven barbarian is pure nasty evil on the battlefield -and a great character to boot:)

Now add in if that Barbarian had the Totem Lion class varient, granting him Pounce attack.. If pounce attack IS allowed to be used with weapons as some think, Now that barabarian gains all his attacks Each with the 420 point str bonus. This is way over powered!, thus the reason logic is being used to state pounce attack is natural weapons only. If you want to use the Lion Totem barbarian for this ability, just work out your build to use natural weapons, it still makes for a disgusting combo

Inquisitor Tremayne
11-10-2009, 09:40 PM
When the Barbarian uses his rage and frenzy abilities his strength rises to 30. This adds +10 to his attack which he promptly uses for power attacking. Being a frenzied beserker he gets 3 points per +1 attack bonus he exchanges for damage via the power attack feat thus adding 15 points of strength bonus from his Scythe (2 handed) and 30 points from power attack.
Upon a successful jump before he connects with his charge attack the leap attack feat lets him triple the damage he deals from his power attack which gets it up to 90 (30x3). As a result he adds 105 points of strength damage to his damage roll to determine the outcome of his charge. The Barbarian in question uses a +1 keen adamantine scythe which has a x4 crit. multiplier. As the 105 points are a bonus gained from strength they multiply to 420 (4x105) bonus points of damage on a successful critical.

That dwarven barbarian is pure nasty evil on the battlefield -and a great character to boot:)

Does your GM regularly throw creatures at you now with more than 100 hitpoints? How do you challenge such a character?

d-_-b
11-11-2009, 01:50 AM
I am the DM/GM in the campaign which includes the Barbarian and challenging him has been a source of some worry.
First of, I usually do not send the group up against single monsters and if I do I try and play them so that they are difficult to charge since to gain the benefit of Leap Attack you have to charge an opponent. This means that most of the time he's fighting at +45 damage (strength bonus + power attack) IF he elects to take -10 to his attack rolls. Against well armored opponents he normally only uses 5-6 points on power attack.
Secondly I challenge them with other tasks than fighting -sadly the whole party is rotten to the core:) so I can't have them rescue/help people unless I pay or trick them into doing so.

In the end the biggest problem with such a hard hitting character is that WHEN I have to confront them with a single powerful monster for it to be a challenge I have to make it more powerful than it ought to be for a party their level. If the Barbarian fails to make his impression felt there is a big risk that I accidentally wipe out the party. I don't worry too much about it, though, as I believe that the party also have a responsibility to know when to run away and not just throw themselves blindly at any foe.
--- Merged from Double Post ---

Now add in if that Barbarian had the Totem Lion class varient, granting him Pounce attack.. If pounce attack IS allowed to be used with weapons as some think, Now that barabarian gains all his attacks Each with the 420 point str bonus. This is way over powered!, thus the reason logic is being used to state pounce attack is natural weapons only. If you want to use the Lion Totem barbarian for this ability, just work out your build to use natural weapons, it still makes for a disgusting combo

BTW to my knowledge 1) Pounce Attack does not allow multiple attacks with the same hand/weapon. It allows a creature to charge and attack with all it's natural weapons, that is left and right claw and a bite. Even if it were to be allowed with weapons it would still have to be left and right hand weapons NOT two attacks with a two-handed weapon.
For creatures such as those players usually play which does not have natural attacks there is the Two Weapon Pounce feat which allows an offhand attack to be made during a charge.
-Neither would do the barbarian in question any good. You could, however, go for and unarmed combatant since most of the damage is done by strength bonuses rather than a weapon. Attacking with your fists which are technically single handed weapons would, however, drastically reduce the benefits of the Power Attack + Leap Attack combo.

alex3337
11-17-2009, 06:48 AM
Sorry for the late reply, I just landed on this discussion through Google, and I may be too late to actually contribute to it.

As far as I understand, the Pounce ability allows you to make *simultaneous* attacks with all your natural weapons. If you were able to carry a weapon on each hand, then use those weapons, but it should not allow an iterative attack (even if that is what full-attack actually means).

Another issue to take into account is that such full-attack only happens if the target is *flat-footed*. If you don't get a surprise round, or you don't get the initiative advantage, there is no Pounce.

If you want to put that barbarian in trouble, give your big monster Uncanny Dodge (or Improved Uncanny Dodge, if necessary), and it's safe. But then, it is frustrating for a player to invest in a set of combo abilities, only to have the GM prevent you from using them all the time.

I play a Thri-Kreen in a Spelljammer campaign, and I'm gonna follow the Leap attack, Pounce, Shock Trooper, Combat Brute path. Believe me: it's sub-optimal, there are better combos out there. But it just fits so well with a monstruous humanoid with 4 arms and a +30 jump skill ...

DMMike
11-18-2009, 02:28 AM
When the Barbarian uses his rage and frenzy abilities his strength rises to 30. This adds +10 to his attack which he promptly uses for power attacking. Being a frenzied beserker he gets 3 points per +1 attack bonus he exchanges for damage via the power attack feat thus adding 15 points of strength bonus from his Scythe (2 handed) and 30 points from power attack.
Upon a successful jump before he connects with his charge attack the leap attack feat lets him triple the damage he deals from his power attack which gets it up to 90 (30x3). As a result he adds 105 points of strength damage to his damage roll to determine the outcome of his charge. The Barbarian in question uses a +1 keen adamantine scythe which has a x4 crit. multiplier. As the 105 points are a bonus gained from strength they multiply to 420 (4x105) bonus points of damage on a successful critical.


I'd be tempted to treat power attack damage as additional, non-multiplying damage to an attack. Since sneak attack damage doesn't multiply, why should power attack damage?

The way to deal with a melee nightmare is simple: stay away from him. A blink effect, or incorporeality would be my next choices. Heck, let him fight an illusion for five rounds or so. That'll keep him busy.

But if someone's gonna go to the trouble to stack up broken rules, you've gotta give him one or two chances to shine!

Inquisitor Tremayne
11-18-2009, 07:40 AM
I'd be tempted to treat power attack damage as additional, non-multiplying damage to an attack. Since sneak attack damage doesn't multiply, why should power attack damage?

Think I just found another house rule! Power Attack is just extra damage so I think it is safe to say it doesn't multiply similarly to sneak attack damage.


The way to deal with a melee nightmare is simple: stay away from him. A blink effect, or incorporeality would be my next choices. Heck, let him fight an illusion for five rounds or so. That'll keep him busy.

Yeah but you can only pull that so many times, just like;


But if someone's gonna go to the trouble to stack up broken rules, you've gotta give him one or two chances to shine!

you can only pull that so many times. Really, I can't imagine combats being that much fun with a monster like this in the party. Everything would be geared to setting up that character to maximize his potential. And dealing just 105 points of str damage is nuts.

I can't imagine this character is very good at much else though, right?

d-_-b
11-18-2009, 02:13 PM
I can't imagine this character is very good at much else though, right?

True. That Barbarian is a one trick pony. That's the way it is with The Frenzied beserker Prestige Class. AND, just to make it clear, the "just" 105 strength damage is his present potential. Most of the time it will be markedly less as he either won't commit 10 points of attack bonus -because it means he has a very slim chance of connecting with his target- or he is not charging.

Pushkins
11-18-2009, 06:13 PM
While we played with a fairly large group, once the Barbarian came on the scene, it changed game play drastically. As the core of the group was spell casters and prior to our Monsterous companion barbarian the Savior of the day was the druid's animal companion all buffed out by the druid.

Once the Half Ogre barbarian came on the scene, we all just pointed the raging beast at the bad guys and waited. Of course another important issue that arose from his introduction was the flow of the game, eventually traveling with such a hulking mass the bad guys begain to be bigger and badder. Which lead to the Druid and a mage falling and being mauled horribly, meanwhile these improved beasts bearly challenged the Tree swinging Feral Half ogre

d-_-b
11-19-2009, 05:30 AM
I think that "problem" you experienced with the barbarian was probably more due to the fact that he was a monstrous humanoid than his class.

Pushkins
11-19-2009, 11:52 AM
Both problems...... however the barbarian monkey grip huge hammer ordeal, very much did cause a lot of problems