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Author Topic: Knives... how nasty are they?  (Read 1669 times)
Bhurano
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« on: July 27, 2011, 07:31:35 AM »

Hi there,

in another thread paddyfool pointed out that knifes are potential powergamer fodder. I hadn't the chance to ask why. So I would like to take that chance now, since one of my players uses knives, and at least one of his lieutenants (a fan blade actually). Mostly because I urged him to do so, seeing how fitting a knife would be for his noble courtier/captain/burglar instead of a big damn sword - which he likes to use out of reflex for many of his characters (old habits die hard I assume Smiley)

So, are the knife feats really that nasty? I know that you can use any knife that is carried around and do quite a bit of sneak damage - if the enemy is properly setup. But what else might be unusally devastating about knives? Is it perhaps Knife Supremacy which gives a knife user additional sneak attack damage? Even so an enemy must be setup properly to use sneak attack damage.

So, please enlighten me on that matter. Thanks for the help.
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Sletchman
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« Reply #1 on: July 27, 2011, 08:02:45 AM »

Knives are no worse then any other weapon chain in my opinion.  The potential for 3 dice of sneak attack sounds pretty powerful, but for 2/3 of them the character is rooted on the spot - have a mobile enemy, or one with reach, or doing ride by attacks and it seriously diminishes their damage output.

Supremacy has a "fail damage save" attack, as do many of the chains, no big drama there.  Mastery has a multi-strike trick, but it's not that bad - knife damage is pretty low, and they only get sneak attack on their first attack - the big benefit is the DM has to roll 3 damage saves, so the potential for a low roll is greater (plus they have to hit by 10 for max effect - doesn't come up a lot in my experience, most get 1 or 2 hits).

As long as you remember that they have to make a move action to get into their stance (and can't simply "live in it"), and lose it if they are helpless, prone or sprawled, as well as not being able to move you won't have any real problems - just don't have the enemy walk up, and stand around while being flanked and shanked to death.
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Bhurano
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« Reply #2 on: July 28, 2011, 06:15:21 AM »

Thanks Sletchman,

good to know, that I don't need to worry about knife any more than any other weapon feat chain. Smiley At the beginning I let the whole changing in stances or out of them a bit slide, which made some things easier for the guys. But that doesn't happen anymore. Smiley

Besides the sneak attack damage is nice and with a burglar or scout surely devastating, but even these have to set someone up to inflict sneak damage. So it evens out, at least that seems to me.

Thx, again.
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Rhishisikk
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« Reply #3 on: July 28, 2011, 12:35:23 PM »

Yes, the knife is no more deadly than a greatsword - but it isn't as weak as your experience with other systems would have you believe, either.  So it isn't so much that the knife is an uber-weapon as it is an ACTUAL WEAPON, and to be feared as such.

Not just something to cut cheese with.
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ironpeanut
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« Reply #4 on: August 02, 2011, 02:22:42 AM »

Knife Basics is also useful in that you don't need to use a knife that often to benefit from it. Having all your knives readied all the time can be useful even if it's not your primary weapon, and the Wicked Dance stance only specifies 1h weapon, so it can be used with whatever you like.

It's also useful when a new convert from 3.x complains about his Assassin or Burglar not having sneak attack damage. Just tell him to get Knife Basics.
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Takeru
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« Reply #5 on: August 04, 2011, 12:29:39 AM »

Knives are fairly nasty, but no more so than other weapon feats. I've got an Assassin who can, with Ambush Basics and Mask: Sneak Attack, get five dice of sneak attack on a stab. Combined with free action Ambush checks from being an Assassin, and you can get some pretty Alta´r-style instant kills thrown about even without shank.

But the one true downside of knives is how single-target and flatfoot reliant they are. Which makes a lot of sense, really, knives aren't exactly the go-to weapon for fighting off a room full of dudes. Being mostly immobilized due to your most damage-inducing stance can be slightly gotten around with a Lure Weapon and some Hurling Razors, but it's fairly balanced with all the neat tricks that all the other trees get. Knives lose out on the range and multi-target attacks, but make up for it with massive single-target damage if set up properly.

I'm a Pathfinder/3.x old hat, and I am simply loving how knives are actually a weapon to be feared and respected in this game.
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Bhurano
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« Reply #6 on: August 06, 2011, 06:19:22 AM »

Ok, they are nasty but not better than other weapons. So no concerns from my side with knives. Good to know.

In general I enjoy FC more than other RPG's just because you have different weapons who are different. Pick up one of the weapon feats and you can enhance the effectivness of your favorite weapons even more. It's just awesome with a cherry on top. Grin

P.S.: When Spellbound comes out I will put together a elven chaneller with a greatsword. Just to give my buddies pause. Grin
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paddyfool
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« Reply #7 on: August 23, 2011, 09:49:42 AM »

My point about knives came up in a bows thread, and it was that with the Mastery multi-strike feat, the melee equivalent of blackened sky (sorry not to remember the name, but I'm a long way from my books) and a suitably beefed up stiletto you can pull off pretty much the same damage as with bows, except with one fewer feat (not that you wouldn't want supremacy anyway) and only against adjacent opponents.
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Desertpuma
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« Reply #8 on: September 11, 2011, 02:01:07 AM »

I saw this in a scary revelation as a friend of played in Living Spycraft where he played a Scout to 12th level. He could in the right situation hit someone with a kukri and deliver 7D6 of Sneak Attack Damage. Of course in SC2.0 the rules are slightly better for causing Sneak Attack Damage but still it is no small feat, especially when combined with the crit range on the weapon. More than once, he got guys in a flanking or ranged flanking situation and delivered a killing blow. Nothing like a 40 point crit to Wounds to put a damper on the villains' day.
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Crusader Citadel

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Sletchman
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« Reply #9 on: September 11, 2011, 03:15:15 AM »

How about:

Goblin Soldier

Ambush Chain: 2d6
Wolfpack Chain: 2d6
Nasty Little Git: 1d6
Knife Basics: 2d6

7d6 Sneak Attack (while flanking) from about 6th level.  More if you go scout (though it will take longer).
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Desertpuma
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« Reply #10 on: September 11, 2011, 03:27:27 AM »

Well this was a Scout from SC2.0 with a sizable number of Terrain feats, Knife Basics, Animal Partner and Ambush Basics. Those were the only Feats he had. No entire chain, nothing Wolfpack, and obviously no Nasty Little Git.
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Crusader Citadel

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Sletchman
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« Reply #11 on: September 11, 2011, 04:09:13 AM »

Well this was a Scout from SC2.0 with a sizable number of Terrain feats, Knife Basics, Animal Partner and Ambush Basics. Those were the only Feats he had. No entire chain, nothing Wolfpack, and obviously no Nasty Little Git.

How's that then?

Scout 12 = 3 Dice
Ambush Basics = 1 Die
Knife Basics = 1 Die

That's still 2 short.  Wolfpack would fill in the blanks there, but with no wolfpack I can't see how he did it.
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Desertpuma
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« Reply #12 on: September 11, 2011, 04:26:26 AM »

I know that is what he had .. not sure what else .. it is past 2am here and I don't have his character sheet to look at
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Crusader Citadel

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Sletchman
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« Reply #13 on: September 11, 2011, 06:31:54 AM »

I know that is what he had .. not sure what else .. it is past 2am here and I don't have his character sheet to look at

Fair cop, and sorry - I tend to forget not everyone has a memory like mine (borderline eidetic).
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Desertpuma
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« Reply #14 on: September 11, 2011, 02:25:11 PM »

How many years has it been since LSpy too? .. 4 or 5 years now?
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Crusader Citadel

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