Level Up (A5E) So much seems wrong with Press The Attack and Fall Back

Rant

Explorer
Rules quoted first for context:

"Press The Attack: When you take the Attack action, you can use a bonus action to make your attacks with advantage. If you do so, until the beginning of your next turn all attacks against you are made with advantage. You may only Press the Attack when you do not have disadvantage on attacks. When you Press the Attack, your target can use its reaction to Fall Back.

Fall Back: Whenever a creature within your reach takes the Press the Attack action, you can use your reaction to yield ground. You move backwards 5 feet, your attacker does not gain advantage against you from using Press the Attack, and you have disadvantage on attacks until the end of your next turn. As part of its action, your attacker can move into the space you vacated. A creature using the Rage class feature cannot choose to Fall Back.

Opportunity Attacks: The melee attack rolls you make are not the only times a character swings their weapon in a round. There are feints, parries, and other movements that are not rolled. As such, if someone drops their guard, they open themselves up to attack. Such an attack is called an opportunity attack. You can use your reaction to attempt an opportunity attack when a hostile creature that you can see moves out of your reach. An opportunity attack is a single melee attack against the provoking creature made immediately before the creature leaves your reach. The Disengage action can be used to avoid provoking opportunity attacks. Movement through teleportation does not provoke opportunity attacks, and unless noted otherwise neither does forced movement (such as if you are pushed away by a creature or effect, or if you move past a creature while falling)."

So much seems wrong with these new combat options it is jarring, for a finalized version of a product. First, Press The Attack is not limited to melee attacks by any text in the section. Fall Back, the counter, is only valid against characters within the defender's reach, so ranged characters can freely use this to gain advantage, despite the text of Press The Attack noting the targets can use their reaction for Fall Back - sometimes they can, but not always, based on their reach and positioning, per Fall Back's actual description. The ranged attacker using Press the Attack still suffers from advantage regarding attacks against themselves, but this suggests Berserker builds are best suited as Ranged Characters, using Rage to soak damage to counteract Press the Attack making them easier to hit, which is an odd pairing, but as Rage now does nothing for melee damage, instead providing HP each round, ranged Berserkers using Press The Attack seem ideal. That's an odd way to funnel that class that seems unintended.

Another odd case based on this wording - an attacker with a reach weapon, attacking a defender without one, can strike from 10 feet away, but the defender cannot use Fall Back because the attacker is not a creature "within your reach" for the defender, the one who would be taking the Fall Back reaction.

The wording of Fall Back suggests the 5 foot step back is required, and the wording of Opportunity Attacks means they will take an OA in response from close range (5ft threat) melee attackers using Press The Attack. Fall back isn't much of an improvement, therefore. Instead of the one to three attacks made as part of an Attack Action having advantage, the defender will now suffer an additional attack from the OA, as well as the Attack Action attacks without advantage. Fall Back is the defender's choice, not "forced movement," so assuming 5ft melee ranged, they will suffer an OA in order to fall back in most instances of close range melee combat. How is Fall Back really helpful, in this case?

Are there mountains of errata and rules clarification on their way to make any of this make sense?
 

log in or register to remove this ad




Rant

Explorer
I take it you've never bought a high-content TTRPG book at launch before, then?
That's an odd thing to infer. I'm not taking offense, but, typically people entirely new to the hobby who have never purchased a "high content TTRPG book at launch" aren't taking deep dives into specific rules interactions. What led you to believe that? To answer the implied question, no, I've purchased and played other tabletop RPGs in the past, this is not my first. This is the first I've seen with these kind of jarring issues present, but it is not my first launch product, no. First via Kickstarter, yes - perhaps that implies a different level of quality I should have been aware of?

We have an errata pushing through for that one. Somehow an older version made it through to layout.

Doesn't apply to ranged attacks, and doesn't provoke oppos.

Thanks for the clarification. That addresses a few of the odd "if-then" scenarios I noted, but I'm not sure I understand the goal of the mechanics at all. The "attack" portion, Press The Attack, is identical to Reckless Attack except for eating up a bonus action. The "defense" portion, without the threat of an OA, is either an overly obvious countermeasure, or a "guessing game" if multiple attackers might be using Press The Attack against a sole defender.

Given this, is it possible both Press the Attack and Fall Back could be simply removed altogether? The corrected version is still a problem, as an option with a built in flaw making it more of a layer of unneeded guesswork as opposed to a legitimate tactic, and also offers less detriment for Spellcasters.

Press The Attack already eats up a bonus action and incurs the attacker a penalty, in that they grant advantage to attacks against themselves, like Reckless Attack, but it is already weaker due to using up a Bonus action. This bit of design would be better off removed altogether, if it is to be paired with Fall Back. 5e needed a lot of things, but a series of "guessing games" wasn't one of them. That's not a tactical decision, it's a rules headache, particularly as the penalty of Fall Back, without the Opportunity Attack, does not apply to most defending Spellcasters who use DC-based abilities rather than Attack Roll-based abilities. It offers an option similar in power to the Dodge action, which is an "action," not a reaction, and does not appear balanced, tested, or well thought out as a mechanic.
 


VanguardHero

Adventurer
What led you to believe that?
Core Rule Books especially have a LOT of moving parts and initial print runs tend to have a lot of errors that seem pretty dumb to get through just because there was so much. Pathfinder 2e had a lot of significant errata right after launch, and I bought the Core book knowing that'd be the case. Honestly, giving it a two week period like EN did to apply fixes is very smart and I appreciate the hell out of it.
 

Rant

Explorer
Core Rule Books especially have a LOT of moving parts and initial print runs tend to have a lot of errors that seem pretty dumb to get through just because there was so much. Pathfinder 2e had a lot of significant errata right after launch, and I bought the Core book knowing that'd be the case. Honestly, giving it a two week period like EN did to apply fixes is very smart and I appreciate the hell out of it.
Ah, I see. Yes, having the PDFs available in a "beta state" before the print run does make sense, for catching errors and whatnot. I did not follow the Pathfinder 2e errata, but I recall the transition from playtest to final with original Pathfinder, 4e and 5e D&D. If it's still early enough for changes to be made for Level Up, I'm hopeful more of these rough edges will get smoothed out.

Press The Attack and Fall Back is an example of something likely better off removed altogether from the final version, otherwise it's something that would need to be house-ruled out, and hopefully some of the other issues can be addressed in the next few weeks as well. Some of the feats need to be fixed, since they are weaker than the base 5e versions, some spells like Counterspell and magic items like the Bag of Holding as well, but if there's still time, I feel better knowing these things might still get corrected to make the game more compatible.
 

Ah, I see. Yes, having the PDFs available in a "beta state" before the print run does make sense, for catching errors and whatnot. I did not follow the Pathfinder 2e errata, but I recall the transition from playtest to final with original Pathfinder, 4e and 5e D&D. If it's still early enough for changes to be made for Level Up, I'm hopeful more of these rough edges will get smoothed out.

Press The Attack and Fall Back is an example of something likely better off removed altogether from the final version, otherwise it's something that would need to be house-ruled out, and hopefully some of the other issues can be addressed in the next few weeks as well. Some of the feats need to be fixed, since they are weaker than the base 5e versions, some spells like Counterspell and magic items like the Bag of Holding as well, but if there's still time, I feel better knowing these things might still get corrected to make the game more compatible.
Pretty confident you're going to find Counterspell at least is very deliberately different (along with the other 'OP' spells that have been nerfed a bit, eg. fireball, tiny hut and animate objects).

I like the concept of Press the Attack/Fall Back a LOT, and for now I'm happy to trust that the playtesters did their jobs and it works at the table, at least until I get a chance to try it out myself.

But the rulebook is clear that everything is optional, at the end of the day.
 

Rant

Explorer
Pretty confident you're going to find Counterspell at least is very deliberately different (along with the other 'OP' spells that have been nerfed a bit, eg. fireball, tiny hut and animate objects).

I like the concept of Press the Attack/Fall Back a LOT, and for now I'm happy to trust that the playtesters did their jobs and it works at the table, at least until I get a chance to try it out myself.

But the rulebook is clear that everything is optional, at the end of the day.
That is a shame. I was hoping the game would just "add more" instead of tinkering with the core mechanics. That's a lot less "compatible" than I had imagined. The Book of Nine swords, for example, added flexible options like Warblade and maneuvers, but didn't change how core fighters or core mechanics worked in 3rd ed (though they received more options, with feats to learn styles and stances). Adding new rules for social and exploration systems doesn't require changing basic combat rules, spells, feats, etc. It could have been a truly compatible "addition" to the rules, not an alternate rule set altogether, easily.

I was hoping for something along those lines, in terms of rules - additions, not incompatible changes. The changes to a bunch of basic mechanics, feats and spells means its not nearly as "compatible" as I had hoped. It's actually a much more sweeping change that what Pathfinder did to 3.5 D&D, and possibly less compatible with 5e than PF1 was with 3.5 D&D content, factoring in all of the changes to core rules, feats, and spells. Oh well, too late now.

Obviously, people can house rule any system, but the best systems don't require much of that. Press The Attack and Fall Back are flawed enough I would have to remove them both from gameplay altogether. I was hoping to give the system a run, but since it's not actually "compatible" it can't play alongside traditional 5e classes and builds, so I'd need to start a new game altogether that's "exclusively" Level Up, instead of adding Level Up elements to an ongoing 5e game. I might still do that to get some mileage out of the purchase, but it's a lot less enticing after reading the actual rules.

Alternatively: A game where the "core 5e players" use the core 5e versions of things like spells, feats, and magic items, alongside Level Up versions who have access to the Level Up versions, still could be interesting. The core 5e Wizard would have a better Counterspell, Fireball, etc., the core 5e Barbarian has a better Polearm Master, all core 5e characters have better Bags of Holding, etc., and Level Up characters have access to their own suite of tools, crits that multiply static modifiers, etc. That might be do-able. A lot of the balance of core 5e classes ties in with how they synergize with the existing feats, spells, and magic items. Such a game just wouldn't allow mix-and-matching. That might be the way I'll go with it.
 

VanguardHero

Adventurer
Pretty confident you're going to find Counterspell at least is very deliberately different (along with the other 'OP' spells that have been nerfed a bit, eg. fireball, tiny hut and animate objects).
Yeah those are very much working as intended, fixing broken stuff is kind of a selling point after all. Hell, some of it I wish they'd been a bit heavier handed with. Wish Counterspell required a spell on hand of the same school, for example. Same exact spell in 3.5 was a PITA, but I loved the idea of it being essentially you casting the same spell but inverted to cancel theirs out. "Spell that stops spells" is a lot more flat in flavor and dominating at the table.

I love PtA/FB conceptually. I love that it still benefits Berserkers the most, since letting the Berserker with expanded Crit Range and Crit Effects roll with advantage is a risky proposition.
 

It could have been a truly compatible "addition" to the rules, not an alternate rule set altogether, easily.
I mean they literally sold it as the latter. They were pretty clear on that front IMHO. Just because many of us (myself included) bought it as a glorified set of house rules to integrate in a modular fashion into our existing o5e campaigns, doesn't mean that's what they said it's for when they marketed the product. What they said is that it's "fully compatible". And it is, as far as I can see.

Fixed versions of a handful of spells routinely accepted as OP/broken is just that - fixing something. Ditto with Sharpshooter, which everyone agreed was OP.

So with the greatest respect, I think you're over-egging the 'incompatibility' a bit here. At the very least, I would encourage you to be slightly less declarative about your subjective opinion based on what I gather is zero actual playtesting.
 

Rant

Explorer
I mean they literally sold it as the latter. They were pretty clear on that front IMHO. Just because many of us (myself included) bought it as a glorified set of house rules to integrate in a modular fashion into our existing o5e campaigns, doesn't mean that's what they said it's for when they marketed the product. What they said is that it's "fully compatible". And it is, as far as I can see.

Fixed versions of a handful of spells routinely accepted as OP/broken is just that - fixing something. Ditto with Sharpshooter, which everyone agreed was OP.

So with the greatest respect, I think you're over-egging the 'incompatibility' a bit here. At the very least, I would encourage you to be slightly less declarative about your subjective opinion based on what I gather is zero actual playtesting.
Sharpshooter seems an odd example to call out, since it's one feat that's been made better than it's O5E version. Did you mean a different feat for your example?

The issue isn't "false advertising" per se, more the needlessness of it. Core rule changes weren't "needed" to remove dead levels or expand social and exploration pillars of add martial maneuvers. It could have been a much more useable product if it was compatible with the original rules and added on to them. As a "replacement," that's a much more niche usage.
 

That may be true, but that ship sailed 2 years ago with this particular product.

DungeonCoach just did a detailed homebrew book on kickstarter, if you'd rather that sort of thing.
 

Sharpshooter seems an odd example to call out, since it's one feat that's been made better than it's O5E version. Did you mean a different feat for your example?
Sharpshooter (now Deadeye) is level-locked to 8th+ level, and now only gives +20' to short range, rather than turning long range into short range. So a longbow now has a short range of 170 feet, not 400 feet. A shortbow becomes 100 feet, not 320 feet.

The 'called shot' is now -PB/+PBx2 rather than -5/+10 as well, which I imagine most people would consider a nerf.
 

Morrus

Well, that was fun
Staff member
Press The Attack and Fall Back is an example of something likely better off removed altogether from the final version, otherwise it's something that would need to be house-ruled out,
That’s not going to happen.
and hopefully some of the other issues can be addressed in the next few weeks as well. Some of the feats need to be fixed, since they are weaker than the base 5e versions, some spells like Counterspell and magic items like the Bag of Holding as well, but if there's still time, I feel better knowing these things might still get corrected to make the game more compatible.
Compatible does not mean identical. Every one or those things is compatible with 5E.
 

Ah, I see. Yes, having the PDFs available in a "beta state" before the print run does make sense, for catching errors and whatnot. I did not follow the Pathfinder 2e errata, but I recall the transition from playtest to final with original Pathfinder, 4e and 5e D&D. If it's still early enough for changes to be made for Level Up, I'm hopeful more of these rough edges will get smoothed out.

Press The Attack and Fall Back is an example of something likely better off removed altogether from the final version, otherwise it's something that would need to be house-ruled out, and hopefully some of the other issues can be addressed in the next few weeks as well. Some of the feats need to be fixed, since they are weaker than the base 5e versions, some spells like Counterspell and magic items like the Bag of Holding as well, but if there's still time, I feel better knowing these things might still get corrected to make the game more compatible.
Just want to point out that just because you think something needs to be fixed doesn’t mean it actually needs to be fixed.
 

Sharpshooter seems an odd example to call out, since it's one feat that's been made better than it's O5E version. Did you mean a different feat for your example?

The issue isn't "false advertising" per se, more the needlessness of it. Core rule changes weren't "needed" to remove dead levels or expand social and exploration pillars of add martial maneuvers. It could have been a much more useable product if it was compatible with the original rules and added on to them. As a "replacement," that's a much more niche usage.
What may seem needless to you feels essential to others. I get that this product is not what you want or thought it was, but it is what others wanted and need. I certainly joe they don’t change it to make it more like what you want. That would be a real shame.
 

Morrus

Well, that was fun
Staff member
(Incidentally in our games PTA and FB make for some delightfully dynamic and mobile combats — we’re enjoying that aspect immensely! The other week somebody was being pushed back towards a cliff edge, with the attacker fully intending a Shove action when they got there. It was very cinematic!)
 

lichmaster

Adventurer
(Incidentally in our games PTA and FB make for some delightfully dynamic and mobile combats — we’re enjoying that aspect immensely! The other week somebody was being pushed back towards a cliff edge, with the attacker fully intending a Shove action when they got there. It was very cinematic!)
THIS!
I'm already seeing a necromancer commanding a large number of zombies to use PTA on a scattered group, so that they can push each character closer to each other and finally enable the master to cast a nasty AOE spell :devilish:
 

Level Up!

An Advertisement

Advertisement4

Top