Feats

This forum provides information about which skills and feats are available in this Mass Effect d20 system
Joined: July 8th, 2013, 1:52 pm

January 17th, 2014, 7:08 pm #61

But melee fighters still have a lot of options, their movement bonus (up to +4 normally), and a bonus against ranged in melee (+4), the ability to patsy with martial artist, and the ability to dodge yet another attack with tumble.
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Isair
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Joined: December 26th, 2011, 3:56 am

January 18th, 2014, 3:15 am #62

Melee combatants won't simply be targetted by melee attacks, quite the contrary. Even if they have some Defense bonuses (don't know why you claim they have +4 Defense bonus against ranged attacks, that's only if they are prone), it will never be enough to resist the barrage that is to come. Ever. The game was made that only with Cover can you avoid taking fire. If you are in the thick of it, it is rare to have some cover bonuses
Also, if the enemy succeeds in the Tumble against the melee attack, it means the melee combatant just lost an entire action (if not an entire round) without any effect, while ranged characters can still hit. And trust me, becomes problematic if you attempt to melee someone, he tumbles away then unloads on you. If that player is using a shotgun even worse
"This is all Joker's fault! What a tool he was! Now I spend all day computing pi because he plugged in the Overlord."
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Joined: July 8th, 2013, 1:52 pm

January 18th, 2014, 9:28 am #63

Sorry, I meant against ranged *when* in melee:
"Shooting Into Melee: When you are targeting, with a ranged or thrown weapon, an enemy that is threatened by one of your allies, you take a -4 penalty on your attack roll because you have to be careful to avoid hitting your friend. Two characters are engaged in melee if they are enemies of each other and either threatens the other (an unconscious or otherwise immobilized character is not considered engaged unless he is actually being attacked)."
As I listed, you have options to avoid at least the first attack, no matter what type it is (unless it has an AoE). And then to top it all off, if you have spring attack you have to opportunity to move to cover (or the next enemy). I can at least speak for the first 5 levels when I say that a well built melee character completely outclasses any ranged character. Don't get me wrong, I like the feat, but maybe put a BAB requirement on it?
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Isair
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Joined: December 26th, 2011, 3:56 am

January 18th, 2014, 9:58 am #64

Yes, at low levels melee completely outclasses any ranged, no arguments there. But at higher levels it simply doesn't. Even with a Defense of 14+ it cannot deal damage fast enough or avoid attacks well enough.
And if the enemies have Tumble you don't do much, period. Losing an entire round with a failed melee is extremely bad (trust me, I've seen it happen in various sessions). I've also seen melee combatants fall easily after the first round. They get one attack, two with luck, then puff their down.
Also, don't think that with a single to move you can reach far, especially if you have to get close to the enemy to attack.
"This is all Joker's fault! What a tool he was! Now I spend all day computing pi because he plugged in the Overlord."
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Isair
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Joined: December 26th, 2011, 3:56 am

January 18th, 2014, 10:02 am #65

Also, there's another problem against melee attacks: shield regen. Since you make only one attack, if the enemy regens at least 1 point of Shield HP, your attack will do nothing.
"This is all Joker's fault! What a tool he was! Now I spend all day computing pi because he plugged in the Overlord."
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Joined: July 8th, 2013, 1:52 pm

January 18th, 2014, 10:05 am #66

So it still stands, you can do a little balancing by throwing in a BAB requirement. Even if they try to tumble, at low levels against a decent melee character it's not very likely they'll beat the attack. And one of the largest necessities of balancing melee at low levels that I see is the ability to respec/retrain your character when melee is finally outclassed.
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Joined: July 8th, 2013, 1:52 pm

January 18th, 2014, 10:05 am #67

Unless you get a critical, or utilize a quick strike.
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Isair
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January 18th, 2014, 10:47 am #68

Actually it is far easier to tumble at any level, as long as you have ranks in Tumble. They can grow faster than BAB itself. IF they have ranks.

Two: if you hit with a Critical it is far likely you will knock someone dead. Especially if you have a melee weapon. (Don't) try this at home: pick up a bat and hit someone's head. You'll see that even a guy with little muscles (like myself) can knock down another person :P. Critical hits, however, are an exception and more difficult to achieve.

Three: a BAB requirement not only makes no sense, it also would mean the feat would be selected at level 3rd instead of 1st so no true balance there. Higher BAB requirement than +1 or +2 makes no sense at all.

Four: melee combat follows the same tactic as mounted combat in D&D: high-risk, high-reward. You only get one attack but you can have that attack deal huge amounts of damage even for other characters of the same level. If you fail the attack, or the enemy manages to dodge it, you just lost an entire round. Also, the high-risk part comes from the fact that you become the greatest target of all which against multiple enemies will kill you.
If you do hit, however, you deal huge loads of damage at lower levels. But given the lack of additional means to continuously increase the weapon damage or gain additional multipliers, as you have in D&D, you will soon hit the maximum damage you can deal, which eventually is completely put behind by the large amount of shields that enemies have.
Various enemies also carry weapons that are dangerous at close range (shotguns, Heavy Weapons). Against those the risk is higher once more.

Five: in many situations you have to cross a large space to reach your enemy so melees have that disadvantage. During the time you are crossing it, you are also being targetted (most likely)

Six: the high dependance on Str means you will have other low stats. In this game this means less powers, less defense, less skill points, etc. Is that good? In some situations yes, in others (especially ones where you have difficulties reaching your target or there are far too many enemies for you to simply risk going in) not so much. In social encounters having few skills can be problematic. Now you may say that you can have good rolls when determining stats but remember that a game is made for the average, and the average is assuming the character starts with 74 points.

Seven: don't forget that there are enemies that can make a one-kill attack in melee. Like the YMIR or Banshee. I truly don't see melee attackers charging a Large enemy at all, too much risk. Against a Thresher Maw or flying enemies all you can do is eat popcorn while others deal with it. Against Klixen you are in trouble if you kill them (explode on deah and all that)

Eight: By level 10th you have a DPR (damage-per-round) far lower than ranged-focused characters. You also have fewer powers so other character have advantage over you on that. You will, however, have special attacks that can do cool and very useful stuff (the special attack that allows a character to change places with anoher is awesome)

Nine: If you remember correctly, in the ME2 and 3 games whenever you got close to an enemy in melee that enemy was dead unless he too had some powerful melee attack (which, if I'm not mistaken, occurred only in ME3). That target would die without doing much against you, and every melee attack done against him would deal a lot of damage even not using weapon mods that increased the melee damage.

Ten: some power mods (example: Flamer and Snap Freeze) make melee combat even more dangerous. While standard NPCs don't have them, GM made NPCs can have them (and will have them if there is a player that focuses too much on melee).

Various points against and many in favor of melee combat. Make what you will of it but the fact remains at high levels melee combat becomes far too risky and though still rewarding, it may mean death for the character. So at low levels the melee combat has to be better. Similar to the monk class in D&D 3.3: it sucked completely until it reached levels 8th and above. Here's the opposite: quite good until it reaches levels 6th-8th and then it's usefulness compared to others will not be so different and the risk associated with it will increase exponentially.
Retraining is not even an option since you cannot retrain ability scores. Spend many points in Str and the best you can retrain to is possibly a sniper. Thing is, those that go into melee spend themselves on Str and likely Constitution (if you are likely to lose your shields fast, you want to be sure your HP are high and don't depend solely on the dice rolled at every level). You will lack Dexterity for ranged attacks and other scores for powers. You also lose quite a lot of resources retraining, which is always problematic.
"This is all Joker's fault! What a tool he was! Now I spend all day computing pi because he plugged in the Overlord."
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Joined: December 30th, 2017, 11:40 pm

January 5th, 2018, 8:48 am #69

Small question, but I can see it mattering.

With the Simple _____ Training Feats, you specify that the number of points gained scales with further levels. What about changes to your Int/Charisma modifiers?

On the one hand I can imagine it not growing with you, as you aren't fully trained and only have the basics, and as such your ceiling is still limited by your knowledge even though your experience will grow. On the other I can also see it the other way, that while you aren't an adept/engineer now you have the tools needed to grow now in both ways now.
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Isair
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Joined: December 26th, 2011, 3:56 am

January 5th, 2018, 5:20 pm #70

It always grows with ability scores. The number of points is always increased by the current Int/Charisma modifiers so if these change, so do the points ;)
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Joined: March 19th, 2014, 2:41 am

April 28th, 2018, 1:29 pm #71

I've noticed that the Improved Defense feat disappeared at some point in 2017 or 2018 but can't find it in the errata. What happened?
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Isair
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April 28th, 2018, 2:04 pm #72

Yes, that feat disappeared a long time ago, back when BAB started to give Defense bonus. Strange that I didn't mention it in the errata.
"This is all Joker's fault! What a tool he was! Now I spend all day computing pi because he plugged in the Overlord."
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Joined: March 19th, 2014, 2:41 am

April 28th, 2018, 2:19 pm #73

Oh, BAB gives Defense bonus now. Nice, didn't notice that, thanks for pointing out.
Also, noticed a typo in the Combat Aptitude paragraph: "rounde down".
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Isair
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April 28th, 2018, 2:42 pm #74

Thanks for pointing it out :)
"This is all Joker's fault! What a tool he was! Now I spend all day computing pi because he plugged in the Overlord."
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