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View Full Version : Tumble and Level 20



Coldin
11-15-2007, 02:19 PM
With each level increase, I'm noticing a problem that comes with the limitations of the tumble skill. At level 10, maxing out tumble was great, because it was pretty much the only way to access the longer and more flashy tumble animations. And before one hits that mark the tumbling itself gets quicker and quicker.

But now bring us to level 14, soon 16. Tumble doesn't appear to have any payoff past level ~10. One can keep putting ranks and ranks into it, but beyond allowing one to hit backflips and dives more easily, or making those moves faster, there's very little point. Plus with enhancements like Way of the Thief-Acrobat, which grant abilities such as Showtime (+10 to jump, tumble, balance), items that give +13 (and higher as the level cap goes up), and the tumble spell itself, it's not hard for a rogue to reach that magic number 35. Some rogues were even able to reach that number at level 7-8 with some decent buffing.

High tumble skills are relatively easy to reach, yet there's no real advantage to that effort. Currently tumble allows a player to do two things. First, one can dodge out of the way of an incoming attack. It sounds great in theory, but do to client-server lag, and monsters having an uncanny ability to track player movement, it's not very great in practice. It can be useful for avoiding an attack, but not nearly as useful as it should.

Second, the skill allows one to fall far distances, and take little to no damage. Unfortunately, with the abundance of feather-falling items, generally a player is not in danger of dieing after jumping off a cliff. There is one exception to this, the Reaver raid where featherfall doesn't work, but one quest doesn't make a skill useful.

Past level 15, I fully expect featherfall will become even more prevalent. So unless quest design changes considerably where falling quickly is more preferable to slowly, there's not much the devs can do to change this.

So, going to high level content, tumble needs to be enhanced to give it more usability going forward. Lets start with easy changes, and move to more complicated ones.

1. Make Tumble come standard with AC boost.

Since improving client-server synch might be a very difficult thing to accomplish, this change makes up for it. A monster is going to have a hard time hitting a player that's ducking, diving, and weaving in and out, opposed to just standing here. Strangely though, the game treats both players as the same unless they have the Mobility feat, which grants a +4 dodge bonus to AC. Fighters, and fighters only, are allowed to increase this bonus by +6 to +10. This is hardly fair to any other class like rogue which is far more likely to tumble around.

First, Fighter's Mobility should be available to all classes with the exception to Casters and Clerics.

Second, tumbling by itself should give a dodge bonus to AC with the bonus depending on rank and stacks with the Mobility bonuses.


Ranks 1-8 +1 to AC
Ranks 9-15 +2 to AC
Ranks 16-21 +3 to AC
Ranks 22+ +4 to ACWith these changes, Mobility and the Mobility Enhancement may have to be reduced slightly, but this would make tumbling more useful for all classes.

2. Tumble to move past(through) enemies.

This is simple enough. When a player tumble toward an enemy and collides with it's space, a tumbling check is rolled. The player must succeed a DC based on the creatures CR, and success will push the player past the monster to the other side. Failure means falling prone in random direction of the monster for an amount of time determined by how poorly the check was failed. Balance checks can be made to stand up sooner.

This will give tumble a fun and useful utility, plus encourage players to keep tumble as maxed out as possible so the tactic can be used in high levels without failure.

3. Quicker Tumbling and More Tumble Animations

Perhaps the hardest request simply because it would require programming a whole new set of animations. At least 4 more per race, per gender, over 5 races, for 40 new animations. It takes quite long to even get one new emote, which is only 10 animations.

But I do feel that there should be at least one new tier of tumbling animations past the backflips and dives. At level 16, every player that has maxed out tumble and carries a tumble item will be able to always do these. At level 20, they'll be able to do these without items. There needs to be something new and flashy to achieve for those players that dedicated the time.

The other request I make with this is to make tumble animations quicker in general. At a skill of 30, these tumbles should be blazing fast, and at 40, despite having new animations, should be very quick as well. Right now they just feel too slow, and are certainly too slow to be very effective at dodging. Just a few increases would make the skill very useful in fast moving combat.


Those are the suggestions I have to improve tumble, and make it a worthwhile skill up to Level 20. Please comment on these, and post some of your own.

binnsr
11-15-2007, 03:01 PM
/signed

Dwolf
11-15-2007, 04:02 PM
2. Tumble to move past(through) enemies.

This is simple enough. When a player tumble toward an enemy and collides with it's space, a tumbling check is rolled. The player must succeed a DC based on the creatures CR, and success will push the player past the monster to the other side. Failure means falling prone in random direction of the monster for an amount of time determined by how poorly the check was failed. Balance checks can be made to stand up sooner.

This will give tumble a fun and useful utility, plus encourage players to keep tumble as maxed out as possible so the tactic can be used in high levels without failure.




This one has my vote. The other two suggestions were nice, but this one is almost a "must".


As for option number 1 - rather than giving an always on AC bonus, give the tumbling character a small concealment bonus vs attacks (not necessarily spells) that scales up as the tumble increases.

When you're tumbling, you're dodging, weaving etc, in an unpredictable way. You don't always end up where people think you're going to end up, and you're not always going to be where they swing. Make it a 1% miss chance per two points of tumble. You could actually use that for melee and even make it 1% miss chance per point of tumble vs. ranged weapons.

You have to be tumbling to have this kick in, so this is pretty much purely a defensive option, but one that might actually make tumbling useful and fun.

Imagine tumbling your way through a corridor full of archers. It's very cinematic.

MrCow
11-15-2007, 06:13 PM
I still find shot-on-the-tumble to be highly effective when playing a lower BAB or lower DEX character so that I don't take a -4 penalty on to-hit. Also, monsters with small attack range (kobolds/spiders/oozes) are fairly easy to melee attack/tumble. One of my favorite low level techniques is amassing a few kobolds and doing burning hands/tumble to keep myself safe while dealing damage.

But in regards to your main focus of the thread, I agree, there is a small return for increasing tumble past the new animation breakpoints.

ahpook
11-15-2007, 06:33 PM
I still find shot-on-the-tumble to be highly effective when playing a lower BAB or lower DEX character so that I don't take a -4 penalty on to-hit. Also, monsters with small attack range (kobolds/spiders/oozes) are fairly easy to melee attack/tumble. One of my favorite low level techniques is amassing a few kobolds and doing burning hands/tumble to keep myself safe while dealing damage.

While true, the server sync'ing issues and lag make it hard to shift,tumble,tumble,attack without ending up with a shield bash in there. If the tumble was easier to activate without the shield bash risk I would be happier.



But in regards to your main focus of the thread, I agree, there is a small return for increasing tumble past the new animation breakpoints.

Agreed. More tumble uses would be great. I would even like to see tumble be an alternate mechanism to achieve goals. Passages that can only accessed with a tumble lets you open a door for the party to slip by guards. That kind of thing.

tihocan
11-16-2007, 08:54 AM
On another hand, being able to hit this "magic" number with very little external help (buff or items) is a reward in itself. Being able to save SPs, item slots or feats/enhancements is a bonus you can't totally ignore.

Aspenor
11-16-2007, 09:03 AM
I say at tumble skill 40 or 45 I should be able to tumble *through* (between the legs of or past) enemies.

Wizzly_Bear
11-16-2007, 09:14 AM
/signed

might make me try another rogue if we had this

Lorien_the_First_One
11-16-2007, 09:32 AM
I say at tumble skill 40 or 45 I should be able to tumble *through* (between the legs of or past) enemies.

Actually according to the D&D rules you are supposed to be able to do this with a DC (not even a skill, a skill DC check!) of 25:



25 Tumble at one-half speed through an area occupied by an enemy (over, under, or around the opponent) as part of normal movement, provoking no attacks of opportunity while doing so. Failure means you stop before entering the enemy-occupied area and provoke an attack of opportunity from that enemy. Check separately for each opponent. Each additional enemy after the first adds +2 to the Tumble DC.


I took tumble on my Rogue assuming this would work according to the rules and was rather disappointed that someone could block my path while tumbling.

Aspenor
11-16-2007, 09:45 AM
Actually according to the D&D rules you are supposed to be able to do this with a DC (not even a skill, a skill DC check!) of 25:



25 Tumble at one-half speed through an area occupied by an enemy (over, under, or around the opponent) as part of normal movement, provoking no attacks of opportunity while doing so. Failure means you stop before entering the enemy-occupied area and provoke an attack of opportunity from that enemy. Check separately for each opponent. Each additional enemy after the first adds +2 to the Tumble DC.


I took tumble on my Rogue assuming this would work according to the rules and was rather disappointed that someone could block my path while tumbling.

Oh I know Lorien :)

I took it for the same reason! Imagine my dismay....

But since we don't make d20 rolls on the Tumble skill, I guess a higher skill req would be okay.

Coldin
11-16-2007, 10:18 AM
Oh I know Lorien :)

I took it for the same reason! Imagine my dismay....

But since we don't make d20 rolls on the Tumble skill, I guess a higher skill req would be okay.

Well, with my suggestion, a roll is made whenever you attempt to tumble past/through something. But with the plethora of tumble bonuses available in the game, a higher DC than PnP should be required.


DC 25 - Tumble at one-half speed through an area occupied by an enemy (over, under, or around the opponent) as part of normal movement, provoking no attacks of opportunity while doing so. Failure means you stop before entering the enemy-occupied area and provoke an attack of opportunity from that enemy. Check separately for each opponent. Each additional enemy after the first adds +2 to the Tumble DC.

I personally prefer in my campaigns to used opposed rolls, as it allows a player to succeed more often at low levels, and still provides a suitable challenge at high levels. The devs could probably emulate this by making the DC based on creature type and CR, much in the same way Trip DC is based.

Shade
11-16-2007, 10:44 AM
Carefully watch the rogue class video.. Note the cooler more advanced tumble animation.

I asked a dev about that once and he said those animations exist in the game, they just aren't implemented yet.

So they could easily add those at some point, requiring perhaps 60-70 or even 80+ tumble.

Lorien_the_First_One
11-16-2007, 10:47 AM
Carefully watch the rogue class video.. Note the cooler more advanced tumble animation.

I asked a dev about that once and he said those animations exist in the game, they just aren't implemented yet.

So they could easily add those at some point, requiring perhaps 60-70 or even 80+ tumble.

Yes, but thats a lot of skill points for "cool".




But since we don't make d20 rolls on the Tumble skill, I guess a higher skill req would be okay.

Ya that confused me too.... I want the roll the rules say I get!

Coldin
11-16-2007, 11:13 AM
Carefully watch the rogue class video.. Note the cooler more advanced tumble animation.

I asked a dev about that once and he said those animations exist in the game, they just aren't implemented yet.

So they could easily add those at some point, requiring perhaps 60-70 or even 80+ tumble.

I noticed that way back when too. I'm pretty sure that's some beta version of tumble. After seeing that, I attempted to achieve whatever level of tumble that is, but failed. I guess 62 [17 (ranks) +13 (item) +6 (Dex) +10 (Tumble Spell) +4 (Greater Heroism) + 2 (Enhancement) +10 (Showtime)] just isn't enough for more advanced forms of tumble.

muffinlad
11-16-2007, 11:24 AM
Active game system, and server lag issues make DC checks while rolling past enemies a nightmare. This is not PnP. I highly doubt it will ever be implemented (perhaps in the next version of the game) but a "near version" of it could be. (FWIW) I like your concepts, and think that skill level could simply substitue for some of the abilites you describe, much the way hearing lets you see "foot steps" and spot lets you "see invis", tumble 35 gives you an AC bonus (+2/+6 with Mobility) 40 gives you the ability to slip though enemies, etc.

Regs

muffinobat

parvo
11-16-2007, 12:32 PM
At least Tumble has some usefullness in it's current state. There are other skills that need love far more than Tumble. Swim and Bluff for two.

Coldin
11-16-2007, 01:00 PM
At least Tumble has some usefullness in it's current state. There are other skills that need love far more than Tumble. Swim and Bluff for two.

I'd say Bluff is arguably more useful than tumble. A rogue can use bluff clear into the higher levels to get sneak attacks, confuse a monster, and bypass certain situations through dialog. One specializing in using Improved Feint will want to keep a high bluff skill all the way to level 20, while tumble has no benefit past being able to access the improved animations more easily.

Swim's usefulness could only be improved by significantly reducing the drop-rate of underwater action items (which would make no difference for high level character anyway), making more quests with strong water currents that require a high skill to swim again (like Crucible), or introducing underwater combat (a major undertaking that we won't see for some time if ever).