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  1. #1
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    Combat Maneuvers in Pathfinder: Kingmaker

    So, it came to my attention that many of you were asking about combat maneuvers. Specifically, which combat maneuvers will be in the game and how will they work. And I think that answering this question also requires an explanation of some reasoning for specific decisions. Also, I will not be talking about other combat actions, such as feint – while it is often included in combat maneuvers, I think it goes into combat skill use, which warrants another thread entirely.

    Just like in the magus archetype thread, please feel free to ask questions, and I will try to answer and elaborate on specific issues. I should also point out that most of these decisions are not final at this point and a lot of them were never even thought about in detail – so suggestions are welcome too.

    Trip will be in the game and mechanics of the specific maneuver will be left unchanged – you use it on the target, the target falls prone. You get the same bonuses as in tabletop Pathfinder, and so on. The most important change to trip is on the other side of the equation – prone characters and monsters will not have an option of not standing up and fighting prone. That option would have required us to double the number of animations that will be in the game – a very bad option, for that would increase production time for everything and will eventually lead to the game having far less content. This might make trip more powerful than in normal Pathfinder, but a lot of opponents have some form of protection against it, mostly from the number of legs they have.

    Dirty tricks will be in the game, although there is no specific list of dirty tricks currently. It will probably be limited to blinded, entangled, shaken and sickened, though.

    Disarm is trickier, and I yet do not know whether it will be in the game or not. Most opponents in the game are monsters, and monsters with weapons usually lack a secondary set of weapons. And teaching monsters to go pick their weapons from the ground is a strange and grueling proposition. Currently, I am taking the side that if disarm will be in the game – it will not drop the weapon on the ground, but will make it unusable for a time similar to a dirty trick.

    Bull rush – while we want to make a bull rush, it is lower on our list of priorities, since its effects are smaller in our game than they are in pen and paper. You fundamentally pay less attention to positioning in CRPG, so in most cases bull rush will be warranted in cases where you want to place the target in some dangerous place. Think more pushing him into a wall of fire instead of pushing him into the flanked position or away from your party. We will revisit bull rush once we have enough battlefield changing abilities and will do some experiments then.

    Drag is similar in ideas to bull rush but far trickier in the application. It will require some humane way to issue both commands of whom to drag and where to drag him, and visual side is also murky at the moment. Just hadn’t thought about it enough, will revisit it right after the bull rush. I want to make both of them anyway, but unfortunately I do not get everything I want.

    Grapple is the most controversial of them all. A game within a game, a combat system nested inside another combat system, and having a grappling character in your party usually has profound effects on the game you play – for most encounters are ill suited for the grapple. This all bloats its development costs to literally unknown size, but that size is surely higher than, for example, making a magus. And archetypes. Together. So our current position is – grapple will only be in the game as a monster ability, and our position will remain like that unless we find some simplified grapple version that can still be considered grapple.

    Reposition will probably not be in the game since flanking, and other positioning rules are simplified in a way. With them simplified it is just drag that cannot place the target into a really dangerous place.

    Sunder will probably not be in the game. It is like a mesh between disarm and grapple, taking problems from both. And it just adds layers and layers of new mechanics to implement just to support this maneuver alone.

    Overrun will probably be in the game as a monster ability and maybe will be accessible to characters as a feat that allows you to charge through opponents. It is unlikely to appear in the game as a separate maneuver.

    This concludes some of my thoughts on this issue. Again, feel free to ask questions and give your suggestions on this topic.

  2. #2
    Senior Member Mat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Perpetual Nothing View Post
    Disarm is trickier, and I yet do not know whether it will be in the game or not. Most opponents in the game are monsters, and monsters with weapons usually lack a secondary set of weapons. And teaching monsters to go pick their weapons from the ground is a strange and grueling proposition. Currently, I am taking the side that if disarm will be in the game – it will not drop the weapon on the ground, but will make it unusable for a time similar to a dirty trick.
    I wouldn't bother including Disarm since the AP is Kingmaker. If you were doing a more humanoid-centric AP then it would probably be worth the effort to code, though.

    Since so many combat maneuvers and, presumably, their feats will not be in the game, are you at all considered with fighters having enough options? Do you think the fighter class will be effectively nerfed since they don't have many combat maneuver feat trees to pursue?

  3. #3
    Senior Member Pathfinder's Avatar
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    Hmm, so things like:
    - you push youself and enemy from cliff while you have ring/spell of levitation / feather fall / fly or to the fire while having resistance / or to the water while being able to breath water and your enemy drown / you grab your enemy, fly high and try to push him/her to fall back down while you have means to fly and so on are not possible to do I assume?

    I guess they go near to category "I use continual light spell for a coin and use it in my hand when need to ready to close my hand if getting even hint of enemies nearby" or more typical "I use continual light spell for a thing (usually coin or so), then use mud around it, let it dry and use it as an "granade" to confuse enemy and spoil they (night)eye sight" = in theory possible but not in computer game
    "Road to the man's heart go through the chest"

  4. #4
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    To Mat: We do not want fighters nerfed, but we are currently concentrating on a basic set of abilities for everyone, we will be adding choices when necessary later, and if we decide that fighters lack in options - we will add some then.

    To Pathfinder:
    Since we are making an isometric game the battlefield environment is pretty much 2d, so specific examples will probably not be possible. But there was an idea to make air walk just a way of movement ignoring ground-based hazards, and if we decide to make it like that – you first example will be possible in combination with some dangerous ground (Obsidian Flow?).

  5. #5
    Senior Member Pathfinder's Avatar
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    @Perpetual Nothing: mostly not possible, but walls, towers, cliffs in mountain (or mountain paths) are there. I just think it would need more of scripting instead of actual animation (just like climb wall or so). Edit: meaning: if you can sneak behind enemy you might push him/her over the wall but if you fail to sneaking there is normal battle

    Actually it is quite hard to try and fight IF you are forced to move backward and are in stairway or so. So it is not really needed to actually "one shot" enemy, forcing him/her in disadvantage can be a battle changer (I guess it would give some "-" for offence and defence in game mecanic I believe?)

    Allso if you have ever wonder why most stairs are made to curve in right reason is fighting. When you attack in castle (or other place) it is way harder to swing your sword in right arm [most are right handed] if stairs are curving that way so it is easier for defender to fight there. They have larger space for they sword arm to swing and so on)

    But "dangerous ground" might easily mean caltrops or pretty much any traps adventurers (or even enemies) have put down before. After all there are plenty of changes if you can force enemy movement or even stop it still if you can obtain certain things for youself. Like if druid can cast creeping doom in one place and enemies are somehow prevented to move away from there. Like one room or so (where are no winds and you can block the door).

    One of the oldest tricks is (I bet) web to prevent enemies to move, then maybe grease and add torch => watch them to burn (or attack you in nasty additude if they are high enough level). Just not sure how easy it is to make in the game or how much you (developers) want to even hear ideas like these?
    Last edited by Pathfinder; 08-29-2017 at 05:39 PM.
    "Road to the man's heart go through the chest"

  6. #6
    Senior Member Wraith's Avatar
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    Trip being present is awesome, I'm saddened by not being able to attack from prone and hope it shows up in future projects within the Pathfinder universe.
    [I]Vivat Grendel![/I]

  7. #7
    Member esotericist's Avatar
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    Implementing disarm as something akin to a status effect makes quite a lot of sense to me, personally. Dealing with all the minutia that would surround the weapon not being in hand would be pretty troublesome, and Kingmaker doesn't seem to have as high a humanoid component as some other adventure settings would.

    Counterpoint on bull rush: Sometimes I just want to get some guy off of my casters. Being able to bowl into the guy to let my wizard/cleric/whathaveyou have a chance to move away would be very helpful sometimes, as an alternative to trip that involves a practical formation change.

    I can definitely understand not wanting to deal with all of the UX issues drag and reposition present but bull rush as a knockback effect seems like it would still have quite a lot of value even absent environmental hazards without greatly increasing the complexity from the user-facing side of things.

  8. #8
    Member Victus_Shanks's Avatar
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    As someone who's inordinately fond of Fighters and Maneuver heavy characters, I do have a few comments.

    Trip: I understand not letting someone wildly flail from the ground from an animation (RIP Monkey Style Monks), but I am curious if standing up is still going to provoke smacks or not.

    Disarm: I second Esotericist's notion of a 'status effect' for disarmed. Should automatically be rearmed after a period, but perhaps for a turn or two would resort to a 'disarmed' profile with less effective stats. Sunder might also benefit from a 'status effect' style of implementation, lowering AC or attack rolls, though from what I gather you guys are aiming for a more direct implementation of the core rules rather than abstracting them (which I'm TOTALLY about, by the way).

    Bull Rush: I, again, agree with Eso on the notion of forcing enemies off of certain characters as a primary use/concern.

    Grapple: On the one hand, oh no my grapple, on the other hand, oh thank god no grapple. I assume enemy 'grab' attacks will be very simplified? How will breaking OUT of them work? Will a character roll the best of their BAB or their Mobility Skill? (as the Escape Artist analogue) A LOT of big ol' beasties have grab attacks, and how grabs are handled feels like it might be fairly important. Will you be able to still make people grappled via Black Tentacles or other similar spells or will they not be brought into the game?

    Overrun: I would really like Overrun or an analogous ability, as reaching the back line and Geeking the Mage is my life's calling. So even if it's just a feat, please don't overlook this for non-monsters.

  9. #9
    Senior Member Grifta's Avatar
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    I love this format for these design discussions. Trip and Dirty Tricks are the main ones, so that's good.

    Trip: Will this use the standard AOO when they stand up? Have you considered; no AOO and a limited time "prone" status (-4 attack & melee AC, and +4 ranged AC) since they are forced to stand? Maybe a 50/50 chance of either triggering an AOO, or a "prone" status? That might a way to limit the power increase.

    But what do you mean multiple ground attack animations? You only need one
    Last edited by Grifta; 08-29-2017 at 10:48 PM. Reason: Reworded for clarity

  10. #10
    Member Dragao_Preto's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pathfinder View Post
    One of the oldest tricks is (I bet) web to prevent enemies to move, then maybe grease and add torch => watch them to burn (or attack you in nasty additude if they are high enough level). Just not sure how easy it is to make in the game or how much you (developers) want to even hear ideas like these?
    I realize this is a bit of a deviation from the main topic of the thread, but you do bring up a very good point. Does anyone know if we'll be able to "combo" certain effects such as these? The ability to devise devious tactics such as these has always been one of my favorite parts of both tabletop and some CRPGs.

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