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Help regarding goblin powers.

   
Help regarding goblin powers.

One of my tabletop players is using a goblin character and has requested to use the Sniper feature from the Goblin Sharpshooter (MM pg. 137). I am not adverse to the idea, but I have no idea how to approach the issue from a balance standpoint. She has asked to take it as a second level feat. So here are my questions:

1) Is it advisable to offer such things as PC options?
2) How does one go about evaluating the balance of it?
3) Is it appropriate as a feat?
4) If appropriate, at what level should it be available?

Thanks in advance for your comments.

There are numerous racial feats stronger than "normal" feats. I think the Sniper feature isn't terribly unbalanced – have some prerequisites like "15 Dexterity, Trained In Stealth" and it should be fine. If you find it unbalanced for your game, you could edit in some conditions – for example, that it only work on At-Will ranged attacks.

It's generally a bad idea to offer this kind of thing as a feat, but a paragon feat might be okay...or a rogue utility around levels 6-16, lower as an encounter power and higher as an at-will.

As a feat? No. This is one of those feats that everyone would take ... which is a pretty good indication that's it's overpowered.

As a rogue Encounter attack power?
How's this sound?

Sniper's Shot Rogue Attack 7
Encounter ✦ Martial, Weapon
Standard Action Ranged Weapon
Requirements: You must be wielding a crossbow, a light
thrown weapon, or a sling. Trained in Stealth. You must
be hidden to use this power.
Target: One creature
Attack: Dexterity vs. AC
Hit: 2[W] + Dexterity modifier damage.
Miss: You remain hidden if you miss with this power.
Sure.

Part of a goblin rogue paragon path? Even better!

Greetings! I am the player with the annoying goblin.

Quote:
Originally Posted by DrMorganes View Post
As a feat? No. This is one of those feats that everyone would take ... which is a pretty good indication that's it's overpowered.
Except not everyone could take take it because it would be a Goblin racial feat.

Quote:
Originally Posted by DrMorganes View Post
As a rogue Encounter attack power?
How's this sound?

Sniper's Shot Rogue Attack 7
Encounter ✦ Martial, Weapon
Standard Action Ranged Weapon
Requirements: You must be wielding a crossbow, a light
thrown weapon, or a sling. Trained in Stealth. You must
be hidden to use this power.
Target: One creature
Attack: Dexterity vs. AC
Hit: 2[W] + Dexterity modifier damage.
Miss: You remain hidden if you miss with this power.
Sure.

Part of a goblin rogue paragon path? Even better!
Except my character is a ranger, not a rogue...

This power is part of a Level 2 monster from the Monster Manual. Maybe it should be a bit higher level than a 2nd level feat, but if it's too overpowered for anything less than a paragon-level character, then there are already some serious game balance issues.

This ability is duplicated by the Rogue Paragon Path, Cloaked Sniper, from Martial Power as a level 12 Utility at-will. However, this utility power activates as a free action and also allows a shift as part of this free action, making it substantially better than this proposed feat.

The typical racial feat is already a little better than other feats, based on its exclusivity to one race while building on racial strengths. That said, I think that with some stiff prerequisites this feat isn't terribly overpowered as a heroic tier feat. As someone else suggested, Dex 15, Trained in Stealth, is a good place to start, and obviously Goblin race, with possibly Ranger or Rogue as well.

I agree with Masaryk in that if you need to be Paragon tier to duplicate an ability available to a level-2 monster, then this game already has serious balance issues. That isn't to say I think every monster ability should be available as a feat or power to any character, because that would be silly, but when it makes sense, as in this case, I don't see the harm.

Another thing to consider is that this isn't a general feat, to be proposed and included in a compendium or anything. This is a feat for one race, used by one player, that won't exactly lift him above the rest of the party in any unfair way.

Good catch on the Paragon Path, Nemesis. This serves to strengthen the argument against a Heroic Tier feat.

The free action bit is to resolve issues arising from Immediate Actions. Specifically, you can't use an Immediate Interrupt or an Immediate Reaction on your turn. Feat effects are, incidentally, no action to activate. The 1-square shift is incidental. Rogues and rangers have a host of powers beginning at Level 1 which allow them to shift 1 or more squares.

As for this being a Level 2 power ... it's not. Compare it to other Level 2 utility powers and other Heroic Tier feats. It's clear that it's vastly superior. The monster is Level 2 artillery, sure. But there's a lot more going into determining a monster's level than just it's powers. Much of it has to do with what else the monster can do, it's Defenses and Attack Bonus, and HP total. Take a look up the same page in the Monster Manual ... The Goblin Warrior gets +1d6 damage to a ranged attack (that doesn't draw Opportunity Attacks) and total movement of 9 squares. Every round.By the current argument in favor, this should be available to a Level 1 goblin PC. The Goblin Warrior is a Level 1 monster, after all...

The ability to attack and remain hidden is a huge tactical advantage. Rogues, with their stealth-related Utility powers, are the stealthiest class in the game. The fact that rogues don't gain ability to fire and remain hidden on a miss EVER, except as a Level 12 paragon utility power, should be an indication of just how potent this is.

Normally, simply attacking - regardless of hit or miss - is sufficient to draw enough attention to yourself to break stealth. Re-hiding can take a round or more, depending on circumstances. Re-hiding also requires another Stealth Check. Multiple checks increase the risk of a low result; you may be spotted anyway. There is opportunity cost here that's an important balancing component: it takes time to hide and attack, but it's safe(r) than closing to melee.

Allowing a Heroic Tier feat - even one that's limited to a specific race or race/class combo - to duplicate the bulk of the effect of a Paragon Rogue power is just ... no. There is much less opportunity cost here.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Meek
Another thing to consider is that this isn't a general feat, to be proposed and included in a compendium or anything. This is a feat for one race, used by one player, that won't exactly lift him above the rest of the party in any unfair way.
I disagree completely, Meek. Rogues are the best PC class in the game for stealth, and have the At-Will utility powers to prove it. It's entirely unfair to tell a not-goblin rogue's player that his character must be Level 12 and follow the Cloaked Sniper paragon path to do what the goblin ranger's character can do at Level 4 (and maybe even Level 1).

Additionally, it's elevating the PC above the opponents in an unfair way that ultimately matters in terms of game balance.

And I understand your disagreement entirely. I'm giving him a different point of view. As a DM, with some heavy editing (such as my aforementioned "making it only work on At-Wills (or even ranged basic attacks)" suggestion), he could definitely throw the player a bone in the form of that ability. If the other players want something comparable, they can be given a chance to pick something as well. It'd be more work, but thems the breaks. He can always just say no too. I'd personally put in the work to make everyone happy with their characters. That's the viewpoint I'm coming from.

Quote:
As for this being a Level 2 power ... it's not. Compare it to other Level 2 utility powers and other Heroic Tier feats. It's clear that it's vastly superior. The monster is Level 2 artillery, sure. But there's a lot more going into determining a monster's level than just it's powers. Much of it has to do with what else the monster can do, it's Defenses and Attack Bonus, and HP total. Take a look up the same page in the Monster Manual ... The Goblin Warrior gets +1d6 damage to a ranged attack (that doesn't draw Opportunity Attacks) and total movement of 9 squares. Every round.By the current argument in favor, this should be available to a Level 1 goblin PC. The Goblin Warrior is a Level 1 monster, after all...
I fail to see how this example makes your point. Other PC classes can do +1d6 damage every round without drawing opportunity attacks, sometimes even +1d8 (with a feat). They're called Rangers and Warlocks, and unlike the Goblin Warrior, they don't even need to move to do it. You don't even have to pay for the power - it's built right into the class. They may not get movement as part of the action, but it isn't even a power in the cases I mentioned, so it can be combined with them.

I see plenty other Heroic Tier feats, particularly racial ones, that I would consider just as good as this.

I also fail to see how making one of the PCs have an ability that is equal to that of their opponents makes them somehow better. Last time I checked, 'the same as' does not mean 'better than'.




 

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