View Full Version : [3.5] Attacks carrying multiple effects: discerning priorities

2010-11-01, 02:28 PM
So let's say I'm one of those funny evil monks that rubs contact poison that I'm immune to onto my skin so I can poison people I punch. My poison deals CON damage and I just hit an orc with a stunning fist. Does the CON damage lower their save to stunning fist made as the attack that delivered the poison?

So now I'm a spellthief with a flaming sword. I just hit some sort of giant with fire resistance. I traded in some sneak attack to lower his fire resistance. Does the fire resistance get lowered first? or does it take effect AFTER this very attack?

Now I'm a rogue/swordsage with sickening strike, terrifying strike, aleval school (all 3 of these are from Drow book). I initiate a maneuver against a flanked foe, trading in 3d6 sneak attack to make the foe shakened, sickened, and with a standalone -2 to fortitude saves, all for one round starting NOW. Thing is, that maneuver has a fortitude save. Do they have a -6 on fortitude saves from that very maneuver?

As far as I can tell, there simply is no precedent for this. The closest I can think of is that rule for stuff that says "stack effects in the manner most beneficial" which, in this case, is more subjective instead of simply numbers.

Personally, I like the idea of breaking it down to 3 categories: first, attack augments (things that change the attack itself, such as added sneak attack damage and things that occur as part of attacks in general), then internal attack addenda (standalone effects that happen to be appended to the attack, such as stunning fist or channeled spells), then external addenda (such as poison or special effects from weapons). Which would make my first example not work but the other 2 would stack favorably.

I think it works but there's really no RAW to run it like that.

Anyone have ways they'd rule this or some better RAW to consult?

2010-11-01, 02:34 PM
I'd probably rule that since it's all part of the same action, one part of the action wouldn't affect other parts of the action. For example: the poison wouldn't have an effect on the save DC of the stun since the impact of the fist is causing both the stun and the poison simultaneously.

2010-11-01, 02:48 PM
This sounds like the sort of thing that would be addressed in the Rules Compendium. I'll check my copy at home later on.

2010-11-01, 02:53 PM
My thoughts are that most of those extra effects require time for the body to react so in most cases I would say no it does not work. In your specific examples I might allow the rogue because its a magic effect and you could say that the fire is still there when the resistance is lowered.

2010-11-01, 03:00 PM
This sounds like the sort of thing that would be addressed in the Rules Compendium. I'll check my copy at home later on.

That'd be fantastic if you could look. Thanks.