United Blow & Archery

tieran

Duke
Gettysburg Staff
Marshal
United blow specifically states that it needs to be from behind.

Does archery circumvent this requirement?
 
Like every other skill that specifies "from behind", if it doesn't require a melee weapon then both Archery and Thrown Weapons allow you to use it from any direction.
 

Draven

Count
Seattle Staff
Marshal
An example: Waylay (Sleep/Paralysis Blow) specifies a melee weapon and can’t be done at range.
 

Feldor

Scholar
Marshal
And interestingly, unlike all the other "from behind" skills that add damage, United Blow does full 2x damage with a bow, whereas backstab/critical attack only add 1 to ranged damage instead of 2.
 

Alkalin3

Administrator
Chief Technology Officer
South Michigan Staff
Marshal
And interestingly, unlike all the other "from behind" skills that add damage, United Blow does full 2x damage with a bow, whereas backstab/critical attack only add 1 to ranged damage instead of 2.
A couple things.
Backstabs are passive.

Unified blow still requires the expenditure of a signature spell that you have to have memorized. If you are a celestial caster, expending a spell for the same damage and a worse carrier that has to hit isn't a good trade off.

Unified Blow loses its body carrier with ranged weapons. This is a big deal, and makes it significantly worse when using it with ranged weapons (Although still not bad).
 

tieran

Duke
Gettysburg Staff
Marshal
Why would it lose the body carrier with a ranged weapon?

Is that somewhere other than the 2.0 packet?
 

Alkalin3

Administrator
Chief Technology Officer
South Michigan Staff
Marshal
It for sure looks like that didn't make it to the packet, or the advanced copy of the rulebook I have.

It's something ARC wanted and put up in a proposal. Trying to limit the amount of thrown straight to body damage as to not take away from the power of the cause spells.
 

Polare

Count
Alliance Rules
Moderator
Seattle Staff
Yep, this is my fault. This went to proposal and vote and I missed adding it in :( Here's the exact text change from the proposal:

"Update United Blow to specify that when used with a ranged weapon, the Body carrier is not available from this skill (just the bonus damage)."
 

Feldor

Scholar
Marshal
A couple things.
Backstabs are passive.

Unified blow still requires the expenditure of a signature spell that you have to have memorized. If you are a celestial caster, expending a spell for the same damage and a worse carrier that has to hit isn't a good trade off.

Unified Blow loses its body carrier with ranged weapons. This is a big deal, and makes it significantly worse when using it with ranged weapons (Although still not bad).
Backstabs are passive. Backattacks are sort of passive (you activate, then they run for 10 minutes.)

To be clear, it wouldn't be the same damage. It'd also be adding the ranged weapon damage, since unified blow is additive with weapon damage (unlike combined strike, where it replaces). And before the body clarification, it was also converting spell damage to body damage which had value in many cases.

I do appreciate the removal of body with ranged, but I'm not clear how big of a deal it is. I suspect by the time I using a spell of any significance, the 'doubling' quickly takes you over/through most armor values.
 

Alkalin3

Administrator
Chief Technology Officer
South Michigan Staff
Marshal
Backstabs are passive. Backattacks are sort of passive (you activate, then they run for 10 minutes.)

To be clear, it wouldn't be the same damage. It'd also be adding the ranged weapon damage, since unified blow is additive with weapon damage (unlike combined strike, where it replaces). And before the body clarification, it was also converting spell damage to body damage which had value in many cases.

I do appreciate the removal of body with ranged, but I'm not clear how big of a deal it is. I suspect by the time I using a spell of any significance, the 'doubling' quickly takes you over/through most armor values.
Given that you haven't actually played yet right? Lemme shed some light on the situation.

If you're running in an undead heavy game, Body is a big deal. A 2nd or 3rd level spell pops a ton of high level undead with United blow. You can also be able to do this with healing but, very few builds can generate healing on demand. (Spellswords, and Scholars obviously but, Scholars would have to pump some high magic or use a higher level spell)

Given how much easier it is to rep armor now, a lot of monsters (At least in Somi) can pretty easily put on a 30 suit. There's a lot of ways around armor, shatters, whatever. This is another tool in the kit. So given your example, let's say a 25 suit is averageish. You've got to put in at least another 5 spell levels of damage (At 5 point per) to get around that.

Lastly, Body *should* affect everything. Which is also why it's very powerful. A lot of monsters take reduced or 1 damage from things. So you can bust an enhanced blade / healing blade, or you can expend a low level spell to affect them on demand. Monsters that are X to hit fights are no longer not fun. It's not about haves and have nots but, rather about what some builds can do to affect these creatures.

Body is a good catch all. It's not the best carrier in every situation but, it's generally pretty good to have some folks in your group who can do it a decent amount.
 

Feldor

Scholar
Marshal
Our game has been pretty undead light, and the ones we did run in to were fodder for something else, and didn't really need skills used against them. (I mean, I 2'd one to death solo.)

I think you are forgetting its not 5x damage per spell level, but 10x, and its adding to weapon damage. So to get to 25 damage to pop the armor for future attacks, you probably need a 2nd list spell. (Assuming 60 pts in stealth for prereqs included 2 backstabs; using a longbow.) Or its adding 2-3 levels if you want to do equivalent body damage as 'from behind'. At the same time "75 damage" from a 7th list spell sounds like it might just pop many things in one shot.

I'd not thought about Body negating damage reduction. That _is_ really good. (Lately, the significant things we've been fighting seem to reduce damage a good bit. ) Removing that property from archers using this is definitely good.
 

Draven

Count
Seattle Staff
Marshal
Healing vs Undead is potentially more powerful than Body, in that NPCs should not commonly be able to defend against Healing per guidelines. But this’ll likely be different chapter to chapter or plot to plot.
 

Alkalin3

Administrator
Chief Technology Officer
South Michigan Staff
Marshal
I think you are forgetting its not 5x damage per spell level, but 10x, and its adding to weapon damage.

United Blow
[Adept Mastery] - 10 XP (Adept), 60 XP Stealth Skills and 75 XP Scholarly Skills, Passive - once this skill has been purchased, the character may expend any Signature Spell of the appropriate aspect from memory to gain 10x the level of the spell in damage and gain the Body carrier for a single swing From Behind. This may be done any number of times per day.
 

Feldor

Scholar
Marshal
Right its a gain on top of normal damage, not replacing normal damage. Just like a back attack allows you to gain 2 additional damage on attacks from behind. There was a big thread where this was a point clarified in the archived pre-2.0 rules discussion. Compare this to the wording for Combined Strike, where it uses very different wording.
 
Personally, I'm furious about this stealth-change. I've been playtesting Celestial Archery Adept builds that build toward United Blow for the entire playtest period, since my character doesn't have enough build to actually obtain UB. Now I feel like I have no reason to work toward it, and no more time to playtest something else.
 

Feldor

Scholar
Marshal
Personally, I'm furious about this stealth-change. I've been playtesting Celestial Archery Adept builds that build toward United Blow for the entire playtest period, since my character doesn't have enough build to actually obtain UB. Now I feel like I have no reason to work toward it, and no more time to playtest something else.
I mean, its still really good. It is double spell damage against normal monsters. But against special monsters, there will be times when you might choose to use a spell instead of bow (elementals, maybe) where they are weak to a carrier; or on monsters that reduce weapon damage.
 
I think the thing I'm frustrated about is that this version of UB lets Earth get the "favored enemy" bonus of double damage against Celestial's favored foe (elementals), but doesn't let Celestial get Earth's benefit against Undead. I was already frustrated that UB gives Earth a meaningful choice for their Signature Spells (curing vs dealing double damage), where it almost entirely replaces Celestial's option (dealing elemental damage vs dealing double damage).

UB just seems really stacked against Celestial, and I find that to be a huge bummer. It should feel very attractive to every Adept regardless of school. It's a capstone.
 

Feldor

Scholar
Marshal
UB just seems really stacked against Celestial, and I find that to be a huge bummer. It should feel very attractive to every Adept regardless of school. It's a capstone.
I mean, it is less stacked against, and more that it does not add as much flexibility as it does to earth. It is adding significantly to its effectiveness. But this is true regardless of this change, and I think says more about Earth vs Celestial than about this skill.
 

Jaerc

Newbie
Marshal
Utah Staff
Personally, I'm furious about this stealth-change. I've been playtesting Celestial Archery Adept builds that build toward United Blow for the entire playtest period, since my character doesn't have enough build to actually obtain UB. Now I feel like I have no reason to work toward it, and no more time to playtest something else.
I strongly, strongly agree.
 
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