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View Full Version : Don't EVER put the halfling in your mouth!



Quietus
2009-07-12, 04:27 AM
One of my friend's favorite tactics, with his... sorta Halfling Rogue, is to get himself eaten. At least, when playing under another DM. The reasoning? "I'm inside its stomach! The AC is lower, and anything I hit has to be vital!".

having put some thought into this, I've realized that generally, this doesn't apply.. for a halfling. You can't sneak attack something that has concealment against you, and the inside of a stomach is, naturally, pitch black.

That being said, what if the halfling brings a light source? Or if it's a dwarf or half-orc instead, who can see in the dark? The monster that ate them clearly cannot see them (although I suppose technically by the rules, it COULD, if only because there's no "facing" rules?), so would you allow sneak attack? If so, what would you say regarding someone who wanted to STAY inside the monster instead of escaping through the hole it makes, to maintain their apparent combat advantage?

Melamoto
2009-07-12, 04:33 AM
I would personally rule that the enemy doesn't count as having concealment, on the basis that it is physically impossible to miss them. But any creatures which naturally produce contact poison would probably get the halfling in the process of being eaten, in addition to the stomach acids.

HamsterOfTheGod
2009-07-12, 04:39 AM
How does he get the monsters to eat him specifically? Does he cover himself in whip cream?

I would allow the sneak attack but I would vary the monsters. In some the tactic would work. Some would grapple him. Some would do more damage. Some would poison...

daggaz
2009-07-12, 04:46 AM
Its not even a case of would you or wouldnt you, so long as you play by RAW, then attacking a creature from inside of its stomach automatically grants sneak attack as the swallower is denied its dex bonus to the swallowee.

I cant even imagine trying to pull the whole concealement argument on my players... That is almost as logical as closing your eyes and claiming invisibility because well, you cant see them so they cant see you. Seriously??:smallconfused:

Basically, all they need is a small slashing weapon (short sword, dagger, etc) and enough hit points to handle the initial swallowing process as well as the acid damage and bludgeoning from the stomach itself.. Most higher level rogues make short order (pun intended! :smallbiggrin:) of anything stupid enough to swallow them whole.

Moral of the story? Chew, chew, chew till you count till twenty-two!

Cicciograna
2009-07-12, 05:02 AM
As an house rule, I won't allow sneak attack at all. In my opinion, a rogue needs concentration to perform a SA, concentration, firm ground, a precise target and so on. Once swallowed, in a creature stomach, having the hardest time to keep balance in the belly of a moving creature, sliding all along on the gastric juices, feeling the skin corroded from acids and bouncing all arond due to the peristalitc movements, I don't think anyone would have the right conditions to perform a successful sneak attack; you could say that a sneak attack hits a particularly vulnerable zone and, being into a stomach, everywhere would be a vital zone: but then why could only rougues make sneak attacks? Why not a barbarian, or a fighter, who would strike with more force, as precision doesn't count in this situation? These are the reasons that would lead me to say "no" to a rogue asking for a SA in the belly of, say, a purple worm.

Gaiyamato
2009-07-12, 05:14 AM
One of my friend's favorite tactics, with his... sorta Halfling Rogue, is to get himself eaten. At least, when playing under another DM. The reasoning? "I'm inside its stomach! The AC is lower, and anything I hit has to be vital!".

having put some thought into this, I've realized that generally, this doesn't apply.. for a halfling. You can't sneak attack something that has concealment against you, and the inside of a stomach is, naturally, pitch black.

That being said, what if the halfling brings a light source? Or if it's a dwarf or half-orc instead, who can see in the dark? The monster that ate them clearly cannot see them (although I suppose technically by the rules, it COULD, if only because there's no "facing" rules?), so would you allow sneak attack? If so, what would you say regarding someone who wanted to STAY inside the monster instead of escaping through the hole it makes, to maintain their apparent combat advantage?

My mother always said: "Chew your food at least three times before swallowing"

Problem solved.

Irreverent Fool
2009-07-12, 05:45 AM
Technically, an opponent who has swallowed a character is denied its dex bonus against that character and the character is allowed to sneak attack. I feel that disallowing it is a little unfair because it's already hard enough to be a rogue, and why punish him for being clever? (I'm reminded of the first Men In Black movie...)

Besides, halflings are delicious.

Being swallowed whole in 3.5 has never really been that dangerous. Since combat rarely lasts long enough for the damage to kill a character, it is at worst an inconvenience.

Most creatures that can swallow whole have enourmous grapple modifiers. Any creature can take -20 to a grapple check to hold an opponent with only one part of its body. This 'part of the body' can include the mouth. Gaiyamato's mother's advice may come in very handy from discouraging the halfling's course of action if that's what you want to do.

Some monsters that swallow opponents whole cause the character inside to take partial damage when anyone outside deals damage to the monster.

Also, I believe after a certain amount of damage, the character escapes the stomach. You could easily rule that he is forcibly ejected from the stomach in many interesting ways (and knocked prone to boot) after dealing damage to the creature's innards. A creature that had eaten the halfling once probably wouldn't try again. This will allow him to use his trick but will also give you a way to prevent him from intentionally spending the whole combat inside the monster.

I still think punishing a player from being clever is wrong. This will discourage all players from being clever in the future and will reduce fun for all involved. I say: Let him do it.

obnoxious
sig

AslanCross
2009-07-12, 06:51 AM
What really bothers me is that a swallowed creature can free itself by doing X damage to a creature's gut.

1. Does this damage apply to the creature's full HP? RAW doesn't seem to say that it does; after all, another creature has to cut its way out.

2. Shouldn't attacking a creature's guts to cut your way out disembowel the creature?

Vorpal word
2009-07-12, 06:58 AM
What really concerns me is whether you can death attack a monster from inside like that :smallbiggrin:. I'd say no, but...

Haven
2009-07-12, 07:00 AM
2. Shouldn't attacking a creature's guts to cut your way out disembowel the creature?

Nah, the skin just automatically reseals itself afterwards, you know, like in real life.

ZeroNumerous
2009-07-12, 07:00 AM
What really concerns me is whether you can death attack a monster from inside like that :smallbiggrin:. I'd say no, but...

You're cutting open it's stomach. I'd be damned if that wasn't a death attack if I ever saw one.

Adumbration
2009-07-12, 07:10 AM
This raises an interesting question.

If the swallower has sneak attack, does it get it on his crushing or acid damage? After all, I would imagine it counts as flanking... :smallbiggrin:

For some reason I have this mental image of a stomach side poking the halfling inside it at a specific place, shouting SNEAK ATTACK! Also, dripping acid in the eye.

BobVosh
2009-07-12, 08:49 AM
This raises an interesting question.

If the swallower has sneak attack, does it get it on his crushing or acid damage? After all, I would imagine it counts as flanking... :smallbiggrin:

For some reason I have this mental image of a stomach side poking the halfling inside it at a specific place, shouting SNEAK ATTACK! Also, dripping acid in the eye.

Only if the stomach has 4 more levels of rogue than the halfling.

elonin
2009-07-12, 09:18 AM
Has anyone here seen the movie alien? But then again perhaps the monsters don't eat halfling due to being fat.

Also if your 1/2 ling isn't doing a coup de grace in addition to sneak attack he's doing it wrong. I'd like to see the monster take his attack of opportunity.

Heliomance
2009-07-12, 09:52 AM
Monster's not helpless, coup de grace can't be done.

Eon
2009-07-12, 10:23 AM
Monster's not helpless, coup de grace can't be done.

If you think about it, he would be helpless to defend himself from the pointy object attacking him from the inside so I would say he is helpless.

Weimann
2009-07-12, 11:22 AM
I'd say it'd work. (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0638.html)

Tiki Snakes
2009-07-12, 11:35 AM
Personally, I think that anything dumb enough to swallow a fully armed adventurer without even chewing, deserves to get automatic coup-de-grace sneak attack every round.

Your in it's vitals, you automatically hit, at the very least, the stomach. All you've really got to do is put one puncture wound in the lining and you've just emptied acid into it's body. Congratulations, it's now digesting it's own heart, lung, liver and so on. Really, HP be damned, once you've made a hole in someones innards, all you need to do is thrash around like a moron and pretty much everything you hit is going to be mortally irreplacable. You could coup-de-grace the thing to death by having a fit.

Chew or be damned, basically.

Sinfire Titan
2009-07-12, 11:41 AM
1st rule of fighting a dragon: It's stomach is the safest place from its breath weapon, natural weapons, and a good deal of damage.

CrazedPachyderm
2009-07-12, 11:55 AM
When you've been swallowed whole, it counts as a grapple; checking the grapple rules in the PHB, we see that you lose your Dex bonus to AC against opponents you aren't grappling. The halfling won't get sneak attack damage.

NEO|Phyte
2009-07-12, 12:09 PM
When you've been swallowed whole, it counts as a grapple; checking the grapple rules in the PHB, we see that you lose your Dex bonus to AC against opponents you aren't grappling. The halfling won't get sneak attack damage.

Check the Swallow Whole (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/specialAbilities.htm#swallowWhole) rules in the SRD (not sure what book they're in), the AC for cutting your way free specifically excludes dex modifiers.

Thrawn183
2009-07-12, 12:28 PM
I don't allow it for 2 reasons.
1) Many monsters are totally reliant upon their swallow whole ability. A Tyrannosaurus that can't swallow anything? Yeah, that's one attack per round for... 3d6+13 damage. Suddenly, it's nowhere near the CR 8 it's listed.

2) For the argument about getting closer to vitals. A creature with swallow whole is designed to swallow things whole. You know, kicking, scratching and biting things.

Tiki Snakes
2009-07-12, 12:48 PM
I don't allow it for 2 reasons.
1) Many monsters are totally reliant upon their swallow whole ability. A Tyrannosaurus that can't swallow anything? Yeah, that's one attack per round for... 3d6+13 damage. Suddenly, it's nowhere near the CR 8 it's listed.

2) For the argument about getting closer to vitals. A creature with swallow whole is designed to swallow things whole. You know, kicking, scratching and biting things.

What does it do, when you cut your way out, not of the front of it's chest, but out into the rest of it's body? What does it do, when climb up inside it's chest cavity, push it's lung out of the way, and start cutting off anything that connects to it's heart?
It's already built with the assumption that you can cut free from the Stomach. Who says you're going to head back out?

There's a reason that natural predators RARELY swallow live animals whole.

Adumbration
2009-07-12, 01:20 PM
Not to mention when the halfling decides to go through the whole digestive system, instead of cutting himself out...

wizuriel
2009-07-12, 01:32 PM
Fluff wise I would rule against it. A monster that can swallow stuff hole should have evolved to defend against the type of monsters it normally swallows. Though personally I would also rule cutting yourself free is just damage you do fighting your way back up out of the stomach.

MissK
2009-07-12, 01:56 PM
To add a little more confusion to this debate -- what if the halfling in question casts Otiluke's resilient sphere while being swallowed? Since the sphere is immovable, would the swallower be unable to move without tearing a hole in itself? (Note - this actually happened in a campaign I was in. Halfling sorcerer swallowed by a dire shark.)

AslanCross
2009-07-12, 04:27 PM
Well, the T-Rex can instead get a Rend attack that it can only make against a grappled opponent instead of swallowing. But yeah, the only monster I can think of whom you don't want to get grapple/swallowed by is the Behir. That is one monster that you Should. Not. Grapple.

The funny thing is---despite my advice, a lot of my players don't buy daggers. :D "Oh, you got swallowed? Do you have a dagger?" "...no." "Okay, enjoy the acid bath and the massage."


To add a little more confusion to this debate -- what if the halfling in question casts Otiluke's resilient sphere while being swallowed? Since the sphere is immovable, would the swallower be unable to move without tearing a hole in itself? (Note - this actually happened in a campaign I was in. Halfling sorcerer swallowed by a dire shark.)

Horrible bloody indigestion? I'd think the animal would try to move, feel the pressure against its innards, stop, try to move again, and eventually start thrashing about, doing 3d6 bludgeoning damage to itself per round.

You technically can't cast Resilient Sphere inside another creature's stomach, though. Grapple = can't cast spells with somatic components.

Heliomance
2009-07-12, 05:02 PM
Not true, actually. Obviously, you can Still it, but even so, grapple just = spells with somatic components are really really hard to cast. If you can make a DC 50+spell level Concentration check, you can still cast that spell.

Coidzor
2009-07-12, 05:12 PM
The funny thing is---despite my advice, a lot of my players don't buy daggers. :D "Oh, you got swallowed? Do you have a dagger?" "...no." "Okay, enjoy the acid bath and the massage."

... This seriously made me facepalm. And ask the question of whether they were amateurs before I remembered that we all are. At least gods I hope we are. :smalleek: A dagger is the first entry in any of my characters' utility gear.

Though come to think of it, I've yet to see a price given for a mess kit, and yet surely the characters need, y'know, something to eat with...

Skorj
2009-07-12, 05:16 PM
Fluff wise I would rule against it. A monster that can swallow stuff hole should have evolved to defend against the type of monsters it normally swallows. Though personally I would also rule cutting yourself free is just damage you do fighting your way back up out of the stomach.

This is key, but I don't quite agree: not all monsters that swallow whole would have evolved to swallow adventurers whole. If the monster doesn't usually eat prey with opposable thumbs, it might very well be surprised by the attack.

That being said, real world critters that swallow whole are good at it. Ever see a bird swallow a frog? It's enlightening, and somewhat scary. The bird will hold the frog in it's mouth (legs sticking out) and shake it brutally over and over until the frog stop twitching, and only then swallow. The bird never breaks the frog's skin, just shakes it unconscious before swallowing. The frog's arms and legs are tightly pinned during the trip down the throat, and I assume it can't breath during this time.

Then you have sea slugs. The halfing would really learn a lesson if swallowed by a giant sea slug! There are sea slugs that not only eat sea anemones without being stung, but take the stingers, migrate them through their bodies, and mount them on thier backs still functional. :smallfrown: What fun! The halfling is disarmed by the stomache, and his swords are move through the giant sea slug's body to it's spine, where they're used to attack the rest of the party. :smalleek:

wizuriel
2009-07-12, 05:45 PM
This is key, but I don't quite agree: not all monsters that swallow whole would have evolved to swallow adventurers whole. If the monster doesn't usually eat prey with opposable thumbs, it might very well be surprised by the attack.

it might be surprised but should still be resilient. Take a T Rex for example. It might not be used to a human wielding a dagger in its gut; but should have had times it swallowed animals/monsters with spines or claws or other sharp pointy things. Not to mention bones from creatures could form into sharp things to stab at the monsters stomach. I would imagine the pitch blackness, the slime, the acid, bad footing (if any) would make it very hard to really attack a creatures innards.

edit: In the future I should find an animal with an int score to take some rogue levels. In T Rex rogue innards, stomach flank and sneak attack halfing.

Alavar
2009-07-12, 06:09 PM
Ya know, since this thread seems to be going towards RAW/RAI arguments and whether reality intrudes, does anyone remember if the rules say anything about breathing when swallowed? :smallbiggrin:

The_Blue_Sorceress
2009-07-12, 06:22 PM
it might be surprised but should still be resilient. Take a T Rex for example. It might not be used to a human wielding a dagger in its gut; but should have had times it swallowed animals/monsters with spines or claws or other sharp pointy things. Not to mention bones from creatures could form into sharp things to stab at the monsters stomach. I would imagine the pitch blackness, the slime, the acid, bad footing (if any) would make it very hard to really attack a creatures innards.

edit: In the future I should find an animal with an int score to take some rogue levels. In T Rex rogue innards, stomach flank and sneak attack halfing.

Except most T-Rex killed and then ate, or scavanged their prey. They might snap up a halfling in one gulp, but they didn't "evolve swallowing things whole." The only thing preventing the our hypothetical rogue from stabbing to the tyrant lizard king's heart is that the heart in an animal that big is probably a bit further away from the stomach than is entirely convenient. I speak only to T-Rex on this, however, not imaginary monsters like dragons and such.

Blue

Indon
2009-07-12, 07:17 PM
If you think about it, he would be helpless to defend himself from the pointy object attacking him from the inside so I would say he is helpless.

I would say that you can't make a coup de grace action against something actively dealing damage to you, which is what swallowing does.

The stomach is hitting whomever is in there, pretty much constantly.


Then you have sea slugs. The halfing would really learn a lesson if swallowed by a giant sea slug! There are sea slugs that not only eat sea anemones without being stung, but take the stingers, migrate them through their bodies, and mount them on thier backs still functional. :smallfrown: What fun! The halfling is disarmed by the stomache, and his swords are move through the giant sea slug's body to it's spine, where they're used to attack the rest of the party. :smalleek:

That would be awesome. A swallow whole ability that comes with Improved Disarm!

Coidzor
2009-07-12, 07:44 PM
It's like a very violent Like-Like!

Quietus
2009-07-12, 08:15 PM
I would personally rule that the enemy doesn't count as having concealment, on the basis that it is physically impossible to miss them. But any creatures which naturally produce contact poison would probably get the halfling in the process of being eaten, in addition to the stomach acids.

Concealment affects attack rolls, not grapple checks - which, mentally, is what the whole "You're being crushed in mah belly" deal looks like to me. It's also why my blind monk preferred grappling; It's a lot easier to get regular damage going when you know EXACTLY where your foe is. Inside the stomach? You can't really tell exactly where they are, I'd imagine.


How does he get the monsters to eat him specifically? Does he cover himself in whip cream?

I would allow the sneak attack but I would vary the monsters. In some the tactic would work. Some would grapple him. Some would do more damage. Some would poison...

Mostly, monsters with Swallow Whole, and throwing himself in front so he's devoured first. At higher levels, the character in question would make Escape Artist checks to get down the throats of some larger creatures (the DM in question was very lenient with how he ran things), specifically so that he could sneak attack their stomach. The DM would also allow said halfling to cut out of the stomach and into the innards, where he could continue getting sneak attack for free without stomach-damage.

The reason I bring all this up : I'm going to be running a campaign for this person sometime soon, and he's either going to be playing a dragonslayer, or a rogue. I want to be prepared for whatever he might do, and this is the sort of thing I could see rules disputes on. I don't want to neuter his "creativity" (not so much creativity now as a precedent set by a previous DM), but I also don't want him to simply break any encounter I send at them that involves monsters that swallow targets. I've been thinking that not allowing him sneak attack unless he can see is a good start, and if he CAN see somehow, allowing the sneak attack until he breaks free and gets ejected - no choice, stomach contractions force him out in the direction of "get the hell out of my stomach" - is a fair middle ground there. Thoughts?

erikun
2009-07-12, 08:24 PM
Well, I find it overly contrived to sneak attack something from inside its stomach - kind of hard to locate the kidneys there - but I can see it working. Especially if you don't want to discourage players.

As for "dislodging" the halfling, I would assume either a standard action or free action to spit him out... dealing Xd6 damage, depending on how far he flies. (And probably the same whoever he flies into.) If said halfling-chomper has a breath weapon, I'd probably use that rather than the Xd6 damage. Full damage to the inquisitive rogue, of course. (no chance to dodge)

Tiki Snakes
2009-07-12, 09:27 PM
You don't need to 'locate the kidneys'. Pick a direction; There lies something it needs. It's not like it can protect it's vitals at this point, really. It going to dodge out of the way? Perhaps it's tough hide or scales will...>_>

Simple answer to OP, don't include creatures that rely on swalllow whole. If you include creatures that CAN swallow whole, remember the cardinal rule! Chew first! Your Dragon isn't dumber than a pelican, right?

If the Halfling manages to jump into somethings mouth, and start trying to crawl down it's gullet, well. It's projectile vomit time. He gets sprayed back out, covered in breakfast and bile. If he did good in getting that far, reward him by making the creature justifyably nausious for a while, or something like that.

Quietus
2009-07-12, 10:45 PM
You don't need to 'locate the kidneys'. Pick a direction; There lies something it needs. It's not like it can protect it's vitals at this point, really. It going to dodge out of the way? Perhaps it's tough hide or scales will...>_>

Simple answer to OP, don't include creatures that rely on swalllow whole. If you include creatures that CAN swallow whole, remember the cardinal rule! Chew first! Your Dragon isn't dumber than a pelican, right?

If the Halfling manages to jump into somethings mouth, and start trying to crawl down it's gullet, well. It's projectile vomit time. He gets sprayed back out, covered in breakfast and bile. If he did good in getting that far, reward him by making the creature justifyably nausious for a while, or something like that.

Dragons don't generally swallow whole (though there's at least one that does in the campaign world), and really, I think that just having one member of the party write "Sneak attack" on their character sheet is a terrible reason to remove an entire cross-section of potential obstacles from the game world. I'm looking for a way to mitigate that without neutering player creativity, NOT a way to simply say "Okay, this particular dragon is always out for lunch when the party arrives, and the t-rexes that inhabit this area of the world are all invisible when this player is with the party".

TheNameIsDumas
2009-07-13, 01:03 AM
The rogue must be able to see the target well enough to pick out a vital spot and must be able to reach such a spot.
So I'd say no Sneak Attack from inside. Even if you had a lantern in your hand - either it goes out quickly from lack of air, or there's not room to maneuver it around to shine for the nice spots.
I also don't think you could attack the heart/lungs/etc without cutting through the gizzard, which is what the 25 damage to escape represents - so until you've done that 25, no access to vitals.

So, assuming lvl 8 Rogue, 16 Str, +2 dagger:
Round 1 - Moves to get swallowed. Either takes AoO & gets 1 attack, or stays just outside of 10 ft & waits.
Round 2 - Is in mouth of T-Rex, gets to attack twice, at -4 for being Grappled. T-Rex is Grappling, so is denied Dex to AC. 2 attacks, at BAB+6+2Str+2MagicDagger-4Grappled = @ +6/+1 vs 13 AC for d3+4+4d6 each.
Round 3 - Is in stomach of T-Rex, gets to attack twice, at -4 for being Grappled, so +6/+1 vs 12 AC for d3+4 each.
Round 4 - Same
Round 5 - Same, damage now exceeds 25 points & Rogue is now outside of T-Rex

T-Rex:
Round 1 - Bites Rogue for 3d6+13, uses Improved Grab to hold Rogue in mouth.
Round 2 - Swallows Whole for 3d6+13.
Round 3 - Attacks someone else, does 2d8+16 to Rogue & 3d6+13 to 2nd guy.
Round 4 - 2d8 to Rogue & 3d13 to 2nd guy.
Round 5 - Bites Rogue again for 3d6+13, uses Improved Grab to hold Rogue in mouth.

Damage output, assuming Rogue hits with each attempt, and he'll likely miss with over 1/3 of them:
Rogue, 39+11+11+11(+19.5 if attacked in Round 1) = 72, 91.5 if attacked in Round 1. Would most level 8 Rogues have that many hit points? I think not.
T-Rex, 23.5+23.5+25+25+25(+23.5 if Rogue attacked in Round 1) = 122 or 145.5, PLUS another 23.5+23.5+25 against another party member. Probably, the T-Rex is dead by now, from attacks of rest of party anyway, but he's killed the Rogue really well too.

So I say, let the Rogue get swallowed alot! Unless you're the Rogue, who could instead do:
39+39+39+39(+39 if attacked in Round 1)= 156 or 195 damage from outside, by flanking around the T-Rex with a buddy.
And take a heck of a lot less damage in the process.

Mark Hall
2009-07-13, 01:09 AM
I would allow sneak attack. If someone intends to make it a tactic, however, I'd suggest some acid resistance and a necklace of adaptation, allowing you to stay in the stomach as long as you like.

TheNameIsDumas
2009-07-13, 01:17 AM
Only 8 of the damage is from Acid (with T-Rex, that is.), you'd still be taking 2d8+8 bludgeoning per round.

Zen Master
2009-07-13, 02:27 AM
Swallow is stupid. Any monster burdened with this horrible flaw should get some sort of ultra powerful ability to make up for it.

But then, I never use it. In my games swallow is portrayed as:

You are picked up bodily by monster. It's horrible fangs pierce your weak, malleable flesh six ways till sunday - then chew you to a blubbery, bloody paste filled with broken bones and bits of armor.

What remains of you it swallows.

Basically - you die. Or potentially take horrendous (and largely arbitrary) amounts of damage. Along the lines of 'How many hp do you have, 100? Well you take 101 points of damage.'

Another option is to explain to the player that being in the digestive tract of a monster is very much like being shrink-wrapped after being doused in acid. It's not something you can turn to your advantage - but if you manage to do 15 points of damage with nothing but the base damage of your dagger - you escape with your life.

Shining Sadist
2009-07-13, 08:33 AM
Another option is to explain to the player that being in the digestive tract of a monster is very much like being shrink-wrapped after being doused in acid. It's not something you can turn to your advantage - but if you manage to do 15 points of damage with nothing but the base damage of your dagger - you escape with your life.

I agree with this. While by RAW, you may be able to sneak attack while inside a creature it is ridiculous to do so in a realistic campaign.

However, ridiculous does not mean impossible, so my approach to countering this strategy without a flat out no is to:

1. Introduce a feat that allows a balance check to sneak attack while swallowed. (DC=10+damage dealt by stomach in previous round?)

2. Houserule suffocation to affect creatures swallowed whole. If you think about it, it is highly unlikely that there is enough oxygen in a stomach to support humanoid life for any significant amount of time.

3. Increase critical multipliers for anyone swallowed to reflect that a bad hit is a lot worse when it come from the inside.

Another_Poet
2009-07-13, 09:08 AM
I don't allow it for 2 reasons.
2) For the argument about getting closer to vitals. A creature with swallow whole is designed to swallow things whole. You know, kicking, scratching and biting things.

I agree. Remember, Swallow Whole doesn't put you in a creature's stomach (with one exception (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/psionic/monsters/neothelid.htm)). Typically the mosnter description states that you are in its gizzard. A gizzard is a thick-walled organ used to digest food by animals who either don't have teeth (like birds) or who find it safer to swallow first, chew later (like a behir I guess). Creatures with gizzards typically swallow whole rocks, so that there are plenty of grinding surfaces in their gizzard to chew food. In other words, a gizzard is naturally resistant to both thrashing, kicking live prey and to sharp stones grinding around. It is not a vital organ and stabbing through it is not the same as stabbing through the stomach.

/bio lesson

Twilight Jack
2009-07-13, 10:03 AM
I had a character in one of my games actually fashion a strategy out of being swallowed whole. The party was going up against a dragon who had a habit of swallowing the opponent it didn't want to have to keep track of (wizards were a favorite). So the party's wizard prepared for the eventuality. A handful of immovable rods later. . .

Tiki Snakes
2009-07-13, 05:14 PM
I agree. Remember, Swallow Whole doesn't put you in a creature's stomach (with one exception (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/psionic/monsters/neothelid.htm)). Typically the mosnter description states that you are in its gizzard. A gizzard is a thick-walled organ used to digest food by animals who either don't have teeth (like birds) or who find it safer to swallow first, chew later (like a behir I guess). Creatures with gizzards typically swallow whole rocks, so that there are plenty of grinding surfaces in their gizzard to chew food. In other words, a gizzard is naturally resistant to both thrashing, kicking live prey and to sharp stones grinding around. It is not a vital organ and stabbing through it is not the same as stabbing through the stomach.

/bio lesson

It doesn't really matter what it is you are in. There is acid capable of breaking down AT LEAST bone, if not metal. Once you cut your way out, that acid is in the rest of the creature's body. Creature should by all rights die a prompt, but agonizing death.
If you can cut your way out, you are going to be letting acid out also. Hell, want to get creative? Okay. The Gizzard closes through 'Muscular Action'. It's not even a magical, supernatural ability! So instead of cutting your way all the way out of the gizzard, cut yourself a hole, and insert about a foot of adamantine pipe. Wait for the clench, and cut your way out the other side, trigger a gag reflex, force your way through the system the scenic way, whatever gets your giggle on.

The creature has now got a gaping hole in their gizzard, draining their adventurer-digesting acid directly into their body. Not much they can do about it, as their gizzards have such powerful muscular reflexes to seal themselves shut after having man-sized openings cut in them, that pipe will be wedged tight.

I could go on, or try and point out in just how many ways the whole concept of attacking via-gizzard fails biology forever, but I won't.

Suffice it to say that for my money, it just breaks verisimilitude so badly as to be unforgivable, really, except in the case of Oozes, perhaps, for the obvious sea-slug-esque reasons. :)

I tried to trope for fails-biology forever, but apparently Tv tropes is paying for it's crimes. By which I mean, is down. Oh well.

Another_Poet
2009-07-14, 09:30 AM
I see what you're saying, Tiki. And I agree it breaks verisimilitude. It's clear they made those rules around game balance only, and came up with the excuses/reasons afterward to justify the rules (why can't you use the same hole? uhhhh.... "muscular action" of course!!).

That said, I think the point still stands that cutting from a gizzard to the outside will, at most, release acid onto some muscles (muscles which are apparently built for re-sealing the gizzard, so may have some resistance) and the outside skin of the monster. It does not release the acid onto the heart, lungs, etc like other posters have suggested. The only way you could really do that is if you intentionally burrowed deeper into the monster's viscera, which I think can be safely described as a Bad Idea.

In a world where dragons have acid-, fire-, or lightning-proof mouths and tongues I can accept that behirs and purple worms have acid-resistance muscles around their acid-loaded gizzards.

Also, even if the stomach/gizzard acid got out onto the vital organs, it wouldn't digest them to death. A relatively small amount would leak out before the stomach/gizzard would stop producing acid. Certainly it wouldn't be good for the other organs, but let's put it this way: they'd die of internal bleeding before they die of acid burns, and internal bleeding can take 1-3 days to kill a human (let alone some magical beast). Plenty of time to regain hit points by resting :smallsmile:

ap

The Dark Fiddler
2009-07-14, 10:18 AM
Swallow is stupid. Any monster burdened with this horrible flaw should get some sort of ultra powerful ability to make up for it.

But then, I never use it. In my games swallow is portrayed as:

You are picked up bodily by monster. It's horrible fangs pierce your weak, malleable flesh six ways till sunday - then chew you to a blubbery, bloody paste filled with broken bones and bits of armor.

What remains of you it swallows.

Basically - you die. Or potentially take horrendous (and largely arbitrary) amounts of damage. Along the lines of 'How many hp do you have, 100? Well you take 101 points of damage.'

Another option is to explain to the player that being in the digestive tract of a monster is very much like being shrink-wrapped after being doused in acid. It's not something you can turn to your advantage - but if you manage to do 15 points of damage with nothing but the base damage of your dagger - you escape with your life.

So you're unconscious? :smallamused:

Anyway... I'd say maybe, maybe not. I'd probably give it a % chance of failure.

AslanCross
2009-07-14, 10:24 AM
After reading up on what a gizzard is, I've come to realize that it is very different from the human stomach. It's a reinforced biological grinder. Some real creatures have teeth in their gizzards.

Draconomicon is perhaps the only D&D book that actually details the internal anatomy of a creature. Here's what it's like inside the gizzard of a dragon:
-Elemental energy. All of a dragon's systems are charged with its associated elemental energy type.
-Thick muscular walls, which is true for all gizzards.
-Bony plates. (Draconomicon, p. 8)

In other words, the gizzard of a dragon is not a squishy sofa that happens to be acidic. It's a combination trash compactor, industrial shredder and blast furnace. (A cold-based dragon's would be a blast freezer, turning its victims all brittle before it shreds them to shattering glass.)

The book also mentions that the dragons frequently eat inorganic material and can metabolize it, thanks to the elemental energy inside.

I'm beginning to see the sense in the rule, thanks to Another Poet. Creatures that have grinding gizzards do so not because they're too lazy to chew. It's because that is how they dispose of their food. Creatures that don't swallow their food whole make sure it's very dead before they start eating it.

Of course, I still don't understand how one exactly gets out. Maybe by slashing at the gizzard wall, one irritates the monster enough into throwing oneself up. At least from hereon that's how I'm going to describe it.

Tiki Snakes
2009-07-14, 11:06 AM
I see what you're saying, Tiki. And I agree it breaks verisimilitude. It's clear they made those rules around game balance only, and came up with the excuses/reasons afterward to justify the rules (why can't you use the same hole? uhhhh.... "muscular action" of course!!).

That said, I think the point still stands that cutting from a gizzard to the outside will, at most, release acid onto some muscles (muscles which are apparently built for re-sealing the gizzard, so may have some resistance) and the outside skin of the monster. It does not release the acid onto the heart, lungs, etc like other posters have suggested. The only way you could really do that is if you intentionally burrowed deeper into the monster's viscera, which I think can be safely described as a Bad Idea.

In a world where dragons have acid-, fire-, or lightning-proof mouths and tongues I can accept that behirs and purple worms have acid-resistance muscles around their acid-loaded gizzards.

Also, even if the stomach/gizzard acid got out onto the vital organs, it wouldn't digest them to death. A relatively small amount would leak out before the stomach/gizzard would stop producing acid. Certainly it wouldn't be good for the other organs, but let's put it this way: they'd die of internal bleeding before they die of acid burns, and internal bleeding can take 1-3 days to kill a human (let alone some magical beast). Plenty of time to regain hit points by resting :smallsmile:

ap

I'd say that rather than burrowing to safety outside, you very much should be burrowing deeper! You open the gizzard up right, and you've just emptied an entire gut-full of acid into the creature. If that acid is dangerous enough to kill you in a few seconds, no matter what armour you are wearing, then it'll split it's way through the creatures stomach quick enough, I'd warrant, when combined with the weight of a small-to-medium-creature suddenly dropping down on it.

The Gizzard re-seals through muscular action, the gut remains disembowled from the inside out. :)

Seriously though, yeah. Outside of rampant Vore fantasies, it's pure gameism, which is at best excusable. I'm all in favour of simply replacing the whole thing with a good 'chew' mechanic, frankly, especially in the case of creatures modelled on rl creatures, or specifically non-magical ones. T-Rex had one of the most ferocious sets of nashers in the natural kingdom, why not, you know, make a feature of them?

Berserk Monk
2009-07-14, 12:47 PM
One of my friend's favorite tactics, with his... sorta Halfling Rogue, is to get himself eaten. At least, when playing under another DM. The reasoning? "I'm inside its stomach! The AC is lower, and anything I hit has to be vital!".

having put some thought into this, I've realized that generally, this doesn't apply.. for a halfling. You can't sneak attack something that has concealment against you, and the inside of a stomach is, naturally, pitch black.

That being said, what if the halfling brings a light source? Or if it's a dwarf or half-orc instead, who can see in the dark? The monster that ate them clearly cannot see them (although I suppose technically by the rules, it COULD, if only because there's no "facing" rules?), so would you allow sneak attack? If so, what would you say regarding someone who wanted to STAY inside the monster instead of escaping through the hole it makes, to maintain their apparent combat advantage?

First off, regarding the title of the thread, if I can ever stretch my mouth wide enough to place a small sized creature in, I'm gonna to it just to say I did.

Second, I don't think getting swallowed is such a great idea even if you can sneak attack them: crushing and acid damage, not to mention the damage from the bite attack. It's a one shot trick: you slice open their stomach, and after that, I doubt the creature will be willing to eat you again.

Another_Poet
2009-07-14, 02:47 PM
I'm beginning to see the sense in the rule, thanks to Another Poet.

Yea! I'm useful!

*gets tackled by lizardmen*

ericgrau
2009-07-14, 04:13 PM
Concealment disables the sneak attack b/c the rogue can't pick out a spot to hit any better than a non-rogue. Even if he's guaranteed to hit something. Just bring a light source or a source of magical darkvision.

Technically I don't think it's an auto hit, but the AC is rather low so practically it will often be an auto hit. Don't forget natural armor.

Delaney Gale
2009-07-14, 04:35 PM
So I'd say no Sneak Attack from inside. Even if you had a lantern in your hand - either it goes out quickly from lack of air, or there's not room to maneuver it around to shine for the nice spots.

I'd still question whether any spot inside an internal organ isn't a nice spot. Damage to an organ usually means death without magical healing at D+D tech level because even if you survived the initial blow, the infection would get you.

ericgrau
2009-07-14, 05:36 PM
You're not inside an organ, unless you count the stomach. If anything hitting the kidneys or w/e from the stomach would take an especially good understanding of anatomy and clear vision, assuming you could hit a vital at all. Creatures that swallow other creatures tend to already have stomach rules, and their stomachs are far from sensitive spots. As for being in the mouth, I think you still need to be able to aim up and even then you better not hit the nasal cavity instead of the brain.

As for any other sensitivity, again it's just as good/bad for a non-rogue as a rogue and again I think everyone's underestimating the toughness of the insides of creatures that tend to swallow things whole.

Myatar_Panwar
2009-07-14, 05:46 PM
Whats wrong with just allowing him the sneak attack. I mean hell, he is allowing extra damage to be done to himself without hardly any effort on the monsters part. And for what, SA? Thats so easy to get without taking acid/crushing damage its not even funny.

If the monster doesn't have any sort of damage to do while swallowing a guy, why is the creature eating him?

And if he is just eating him to eat him on the DM's word, it still isn't that big of a deal. SA is not that hard to get. If he needs to put himself in harms way to get it, let him?

edit: And looking at some of the posts above, I'm not sure some people understand what swallow whole is good for. Even if it isn't optimal, its fun for the players. It varies things up, gets them excited to face a different kind of threat. If you are changing it to just another insta-gib, you are probably doing it wrong.

Otodetu
2009-07-14, 06:03 PM
Swallow whole is dumb, and should be replaced with some other attack or discourage the DM from using creatures with the ability.

My 2 kroner.

AslanCross
2009-07-14, 06:43 PM
Again, people seem to be underestimating what a gizzard is. It's a stomach specifically adapted for grinding through muscular action. In some creatures it has teeth inside it.

Now the RAW is kind of stupid in that it assumes one can slash through the gizzard lining. I'd think that something that specifically swallows its prey whole would have a gizzard that can take the constant poking about of broken bones. Ever bit down on a badly-made chicken or fish fillet that still had bones in it? It hurts a lot, but that's because we're not made to swallow meat whole. And that's just in your mouth. How would you feel if you swallowed a chicken rib and it began poking about in your stomach?

What I'm saying is, creatures that swallow their prey whole would have gizzards that can specifically resist the poking about of bones of creatures larger than Medium size, ie, have stomachs that are way tougher than ours. A halfling's 4-inch dagger isn't likely to seriously damage a wall of muscle capable of churning ogre ribs, let alone cut all the way through it.
Heck, a Purple Worm can swallow a T-Rex!

I'm all for swallowing, but I'm going to houserule that instead of "cutting your way out," your dagger, after doing 25 damage (more than enough to kill a commoner), would only irritate the monster into throwing you up.

This is what I propose:
-No sneak attack: A creature that can easily digest an ogre's churning bones should be able to resist the damage of a human's 6-inch dagger, let alone a halfling's 4-inch one. The churning motion and powerful muscular walls are tough enough to deal damage to you just by moving and squeezing. They're not going to be half an inch thick. I'd say a huge-sized creature would have a gizzard wall at least 2 feet thick.
Now if you really want to play up the heroism, you could probably allow Sneak Attack if either your Rogue has at least as much levels as the creature has HD, or if he succeeds on the appropriate knowledge check (or else someone who can/does make the knowledge check tells the rogue where to strike.
-No autohitting: You have to wrestle the stomach lining to get a strike strong enough to deal damage. It's dark, cramped, and you're likely being tossed around inside.
-No "haha, digest yourself from the inside out!": Again, the gizzard lining isn't a thin translucent sack. It's powerful muscle. It's meant to resist cutting and poking. I'd say you need to deal at least double the threshold to cut through. However, as soon as you hit the damage threshold, the monster instinctively throws you up.
-Dealing damage to the gizzard wall is not fatal, just highly irritating. The creature will regurgitate you if you hit the damage threshold.

HamsterOfTheGod
2009-07-14, 08:02 PM
So a player wants to be swallowed whole to fight gigantic creatures....Ok, how often is this going to happen and how terrible is it?

Spose the first time it's against a Behir against a rogue who is level 8. Now according to the RAW (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/monsters/behir.htm) "A swallowed creature takes 2d8+8 points of bludgeoning damage and 8 points of acid damage per round from the behirís gizzard. A swallowed creature can cut its way out by using a light slashing or piercing weapon to deal 25 points of damage to the gizzard (AC 15). Once the creature exits, muscular action closes the hole; another swallowed opponent must cut its own way out."

So in round 1, after grabbing the rogue, the behir does 25 points on average of damage. The rogue will do on average something like a little less than 25 points of damage with sneak attack. (Sneak attack damage he would have had in the same amount, more or less, anyway). So if he does 25, he and behir are about even in damage and the rogue gets out.

Now the behir's advantage is that the swallow whole of the rogue allows the "behir that swallows an opponent can use its Cleave feat to bite and grab another opponent" and if that happens to be the cleric or the wizard :smallsmile:...and the rogue cutting his way out does not free the 2nd character :smalltongue:

So though I would not think I would play the behir to attempt to swallow the rogue again (if the combat lasted that long) I doubt this is a "broken" tactic. And I doubt you could make it "broken" or any more "broken" than the thief getting his sneak attack any way without being swallowed whole.

Now if the player wants to play this "tactic" anyway for role play, I would let him just for the fun, ie "Just what are you doing to get the monster to swallow you whole?" :smallbiggrin: Except, I would vary the results. For ex, next opponents, a tyranausaurus. Same CR. Similar end result. After that a tendriculous, lower CR but higher damage, and a Fort save for the rogue and no sneak attack and the rogue gets targeted for swallow whole even if he does not want to be :smallamused: And then how about a purple worm or advanced gibbering mouther, higher CR, moderate damage to the rogue except it's a monster with "spring attack" who burrows/swims away after swallowing the rogue so when the rogue cuts himself out...:smallcool:

Zen Master
2009-07-15, 01:59 AM
So a player wants to be swallowed whole to fight gigantic creatures....Ok, how often is this going to happen and how terrible is it?

To me, that's not really the point. I can't speak for anyone else, but for a monster to have a special attack that makes basically kills it is just too retarded to contemplate.

Which is why I use a different version of it. A version so unpleasant my players worry about getting swallowed, rather than go around hoping for it.

HamsterOfTheGod
2009-07-15, 02:13 AM
To me, that's not really the point. I can't speak for anyone else, but for a monster to have a special attack that makes basically kills it is just too retarded to contemplate.
And how does swallow whole do that? At best swallowing the rogue whole lets the poor monster, who is bound to die anyway, damage the rogue AND another party member while the rogue gets the same sneak attack damage he was going to get any way. At worst, swallow whole is bye-bye rogue:

Tendriculous (*immune to crits*), CR 6: A tendriculos can try to swallow a grabbed opponent by making a successful grapple check. Once inside the plantís mass, the opponent must succeed on a DC 20 Fortitude save or be paralyzed for 3d6 rounds by the tendriculosís digestive juices, taking 2d6 points of acid damage per round. A new save is required each round inside the plant. The save DC is Constitution-based.

Remorhaz, CR 7: When a remorhaz begins its turn with a grappled opponent in its mouth, it can swallow that opponent with a successful grapple check. Once inside, the opponent takes 2d8+12 points of bludgeoning damage plus 8d6 points of fire damage per round from the remorhazís gizzard.

Mu Spore (*immune to crits*), CR 21: If the mu spore begins its turn with an opponent held in its mouth, it can attempt a new grapple check (as though attempting to pin the opponent). If it succeeds, it swallows its prey and the opponent takes bite damage. A swallowed creature takes the twice the damage given for the mu sporeís bite [4d6+6/19-20] every round. A swallowed creature is considered grappled, while the creature that did the swallowing is not. A swallowed creature can try to cut its way free with any light piercing or slashing weapon, if it can deal 33 points of damage in this fashion, or it can just try to escape the grapple. If the swallowed creature chooses the latter course, success puts it back in the mu sporeís mouth, where it may be bitten or swallowed again.

Zen Master
2009-07-15, 03:37 AM
And how does swallow whole do that?

By allowing sneak attacks and pretty much assuring every attack hits. Pulling plant creatures out of the hat hardly proves anything.

Two things:

I'm not getting into a shouting match with you over this - it's unimportant.

To me, the important thing is that by raw, in most cases the benefits of being swallowed far outweigh the hazards. To you, something else is important - fine, we leave it at that.

EDIT: I'm not saying a shouting match is what you are looking for. I'm just saying I'll post no further on this issue.

HamsterOfTheGod
2009-07-15, 04:22 AM
I was not shouting. No capital letters were involved. I was just emphasizing the encounters I pullled out a hat...hat...R...A...W...hat.

Now whether the "the benefits of being swallowed far outweighing hazards", that's the argument. The swallowed rogue gets a higher to hit roll but takes auto damage. Having played it, I just did not see it as that "overpowered" an effect.

And that gets to what is important to me, whether the players are having fun, not whether my monsters are "stupid". Hell if I removed the monsters that don't make sense, I would have to remove most of the staple D&D monsters.

As for the OP's implication that rogue can somehow use this as a "tactic" of getting swallowed to sneak attack to his advantage, that makes little sense. It is not a "tactic" the player can initiate. The damage the rogue can do is capped and is probably less than he can do if not swallowed whole. There are so few monsters that swallow whole so it should only come up rarely. And of those monsters that have it, many can make it really bad for the rogue once he is swallowed whole.

Quietus
2009-07-15, 04:35 AM
The idea isn't just that he can sneak attack and get extra damage, the idea is that he can :

A) Choose not to escape when he cuts a hole out, and instead keep Sneak Attacking

B) Turn around when he cuts through and sees light, then cut out of the stomach/gizzard/whatever and into the creature's other organs

And C) Some monsters are a lot scarier when you aren't inside of them. A dragon with the feats to swallow someone whole is DECIDEDLY less frightening from the inside, by RAW, because at least now he can't full attack you or catch you in his breath weapon.

daggaz
2009-07-15, 05:00 AM
I would allow sneak attack. If someone intends to make it a tactic, however, I'd suggest some acid resistance and a necklace of adaptation, allowing you to stay in the stomach as long as you like.

You dont even need to go that far tho, Mark. By RAW, all they need to deal is X amount of damage (like one sneak attack for a half way decent rogue) and they create a slit and pop out on the outside.

Would I allow a character to willingly stay on the inside? Well...shoot yeah I guess I would..sometimes. They are in control of their actions. I can see two things happening here..

DM: You deal sic amount of damage. A huge rent opens up and you can see blinding daylight. Convulsive muscular contractions force you outwards in a an ejaculation of blood and slime and pain. Congratulations, you have been reborn.

Player: I try to hang on and stay inside for more sneak attacks!!!

DM: Make a very difficult strength check (no good handhold, you are blind, everything is really, really slippery and covered in blood and mucus)

-or-

DM: The Dragon takes you in its jaws, and proceeds to chew on you for the next ...3 rounds. After that, it holds you in its teeth and sprays its breathweapon past you into the party. Feel free to roll your strength checks now to see if you can escape...

HamsterOfTheGod
2009-07-15, 09:37 AM
The idea isn't just that he can sneak attack and get extra damage, the idea is that he can :

A) Choose not to escape when he cuts a hole out, and instead keep Sneak Attacking

OK The rogue tries this once. Then next time, lather, rinse, repeat? First, when is there a next time? You as the DM choose the monster and whether the monster is vulnerable to sneak attack and whether the monster chooses to swallow the rogue instead of somebody else. The next monster to swallow the rogue whole can 1) choose to expel the rogue or 2) be immune to crits or 3) give the swallowed rogue a Fort save or grapple the rogue when swallowed



B) Turn around when he cuts through and sees light, then cut out of the stomach/gizzard/whatever and into the creature's other organs

A yes the old trick of do something that is not in the rules...



And C) Some monsters are a lot scarier when you aren't inside of them. A dragon with the feats to swallow someone whole is DECIDEDLY less frightening from the inside, by RAW, because at least now he can't full attack you or catch you in his breath weapon.
A dragon best option (againts a PC) is almost always to full attack with power attack. By that logic you should remove SLA's and the breath weapon because they make the dragon less scary.

Geez, I mean the point of swallow whole is create a combat scenario where one of the party needs rescuing/escape.

And the whole question of whether the rogue is more effective inside or out is situational, dependent on the rogue, party and monster. Take a behir, it gets a single attack. Swallowing the rogue allows the behir to attack again because of cleave. Once swallowed, the behir auto attacks the swallowed pc and attacks another pc that is not swallowed. The rogue is only at +2 to hit inside. It's CR 8 monster that does on average does 25 hp to the swallowed pc. The pc can cut his way out with 25 hp. A relatively non-optomized rogue of level 8 can be expected to do a little less than 25 hp per round whether inside or outside the behir. Now optimize the rogue so he is resistant to acid damage, is dual wielding daggers, etc. Ok, now the optimized level 8 rogue is a little better inside. And the complaint is that the monster is "stupid" for the metagame reason that it did not challenge the party enough?

How often do we see this kind of question here? "My dm thinks my barbarian is overpowered because I can do X damage per round." "My dm thinks my mystic theurge is overpowered because I use <insert 4th level spell>."

Part of job, and fun, of being the dm is to come up with interesting and varied ways to challenge the party. It is one to say that you don't like or use a tactic, another to say that one tactic would not work against a pc, another to say that one tactic is suboptimal, but another to say that a perfectly usable tactic in some circumstances is a "design flaw".

Thurbane
2009-07-15, 05:03 PM
When my group first started 3.5, we were amazed that there were no rules for spiked armor to inflict damage on a swallow whole. We have contemplated house-ruling auto damage each round.

ericgrau
2009-07-15, 08:40 PM
IIRC spiked armor always takes an action to use, even when you get grappled with it on. I think you have to press it against someone with a grapple check.

And is your avatar now a stick figure version of the Dungeonmaster??



And C) Some monsters are a lot scarier when you aren't inside of them. A dragon with the feats to swallow someone whole is DECIDEDLY less frightening from the inside, by RAW, because at least now he can't full attack you or catch you in his breath weapon.

Less scary to you, perhaps, but he can still full attack your allies AND hurt you a little at the same time.

IMO killing stuff from the inside is just dandy for the movies, but if it becomes so that it's always the better option for the swallowed, then why are monsters swallowing enemies whole in combat to begin with?

Tiki Snakes
2009-07-15, 09:12 PM
IIRC spiked armor always takes an action to use, even when you get grappled with it on. I think you have to press it against someone with a grapple check.

And is your avatar now a stick figure version of the Dungeonmaster??



Less scary to you, perhaps, but he can still full attack your allies AND hurt you a little at the same time.

IMO killing stuff from the inside is just dandy for the movies, but if it becomes so that it's always the better option for the swallowed, then why are monsters swallowing enemies whole in combat to begin with?

When the damage you are taking is from the walls of your little fleshy prison pressing against you as if with a grapple check, surely automatic damage makes a lot of sense?

And the fact that depending on how much common sense you apply to it, that killing monsters from the inside could well be the better option and that it DOESN'T make sense for monsters to swallow enemies whole in combat to begin with. :)

And yes, that is clearly ol' DM. ^_^

HamsterOfTheGod
2009-07-15, 09:19 PM
When the damage you are taking is from the walls of your little fleshy prison pressing against you as if with a grapple check, surely automatic damage makes a lot of sense?

Yes and no...depends on what is common sense...

You can google for videos of snakes, birds and fish swallowing seemingly impossible prey with antlers or claws and other spiky bits included. In particular I remember seeing videos of large snakes swallowing horned animals and eels swallowing spiky crabs whole.

Equally, you can google for videos of animals spitting out something that "tickled" the throat the wrong way. In particular I remember a flounder type fish swallowing a small dogfish in a giant gulp only to spit it out a second later because the dogfish had a very sharp and sturdy barb sticking straight up in front of its dorsal fin.

I'm at work now so I can't google for videos but maybe later...

But even people and dogs have been known to swallow strange items like razors and pass them...
http://www.terrificpets.com/forum/25958_2.asp
http://www.thepetcenter.com/xra/ball.html

The internal walls of the digestive tract of even our own non-fantastical soft flesh are pretty tough...

Tiki Snakes
2009-07-15, 09:32 PM
Yes and no...depends on what is common sense...

I was mostly referring to the idea that pressing Spiked-Armour Stuff A against Fleshy Wall B causes Damage to Fleshy Wall B because it is spikey. If this is the case, how can Fleshy Wall B pressing against Spiked Armour Stuff A in exactly the same way, relative motion and all that, cause no damage to Fleshy Wall B? The same pressure is being applied to it at the end of the spikes.

Can a PC negate the damage of a wall of spikes trying to crush him, by instead bull-rushing it? >_>

HamsterOfTheGod
2009-07-15, 09:55 PM
I was mostly referring to the idea that pressing Spiked-Armour Stuff A against Fleshy Wall B causes Damage to Fleshy Wall B because it is spikey. If this is the case, how can Fleshy Wall B pressing against Spiked Armour Stuff A in exactly the same way, relative motion and all that, cause no damage to Fleshy Wall B? The same pressure is being applied to it at the end of the spikes.

Can a PC negate the damage of a wall of spikes trying to crush him, by instead bull-rushing it? >_>

Oh no, that's OK. Sorry for the confusion. My bad. I have no objection to the spike armor causing auto damage to the monster in game.

I just meant that strange stuff does happen out IRL -- which has nothing to do with the game mechanics discussion -- and some times animals swallow seeminly impossible spiky things and pass them, surprisingly none the worse for wear.

Tiki Snakes
2009-07-15, 10:16 PM
Yeah, dogs in particular will swallow anything that'll fit down their gullet, or so I get the impression. Of course, for every one that is largely unharmed, I'm sure there's a number who die a horrible, horrible death when something gets ruptured in there. (iirc, having your intestines split even a little bit is a ticket to a prolonged and horrific death.)

Similarly, snakes are not quite so bright as they sometimes seem. I'm sure we've all seen pictures of snakes who've died because they tried to swallow something that just...didn't fit?

I recall one that made the newspapers, was a snake that had died trying to eat a crocodile. It took it a looong, long time to even get most-way through swallowing it. But then the croc got riger-mortis, stiffened, straightened, and tore the snake practically in half. I guess that's why you ain't supposed to swallow stuff of your own size, eh? ;)