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Calimehter
2011-06-06, 10:36 AM
So . . .

Dropping massive objects onto creatures for massive amounts of damage is something I've seen on the forums from time to time, usually in the form of "this is one of many things a high level caster can do to mess you up no matter how big your numbers are".

However, Heroes of Battle has a (seemingly) obscure rule in it allowing for a DC 15 Reflex save to avoid *all* damage from a falling object.

Does this negate the use of 'Mages as mass-drivers' as anything other than a Hail Mary?

Edit: Sorry to edit a post before any replies, but I forgot to give credit to facepalm for bringing this up in the Seraphim thread. I had actually read it much earlier, but clean forgotten about it till he mentioned it.

sreservoir
2011-06-06, 11:05 AM
evasion, I think you mean?

Boci
2011-06-06, 11:18 AM
However, Heroes of Battle has a (seemingly) obscure rule in it allowing for a DC 15 Reflex save to avoid *all* damage from a falling object.

Does this negate the use of 'Mages as mass-drivers' as anything other than a Hail Mary?

Only if that rule is in affect. If the group doesn't use HoB they may not use it, whether or not they know about it.

Doc Roc
2011-06-06, 11:19 AM
Dodging is great but we don't drop the moon to kill piddling ants one by one. We're in the business of extermination, in short, we're after your planet.

druid91
2011-06-06, 11:24 AM
Dodging is great but we don't drop the moon to kill piddling ants one by one. We're in the business of extermination, in short, we're after your planet.

And this helps you how?

Now you simply made everything worse, as the martial types with all their magical gear harvest all of earth/toril/ whatever natural resources and attack your wizardly space castle with a 100 mile long star cruiser, flanked by giant mecha powered by the sheer manliness and fighting spirit of those within....

Yes I did indeed just turn the battle between Martial types and Magic types into tengen toppa gurren lagaan.

Doc Roc
2011-06-06, 11:43 AM
And this helps you how?

Now you simply made everything worse, as the martial types with all their magical gear harvest all of earth/toril/ whatever natural resources and attack your wizardly space castle with a 100 mile long star cruiser, flanked by giant mecha powered by the sheer manliness and fighting spirit of those within....

Yes I did indeed just turn the battle between Martial types and Magic types into tengen toppa gurren lagaan.

Um. Yes, they'll make all these great things with their 8 int, no knowledge skills, and no ability to make magic items. GLHF.

The-Mage-King
2011-06-06, 11:47 AM
And this helps you how?

Now you simply made everything worse, as the martial types with all their magical gear harvest all of earth/toril/ whatever natural resources and attack your wizardly space castle with a 100 mile long star cruiser, flanked by giant mecha powered by the sheer manliness and fighting spirit of those within....

Yes I did indeed just turn the battle between Martial types and Magic types into tengen toppa gurren lagaan.

...I want to play in that campaign.

druid91
2011-06-06, 12:45 PM
Um. Yes, they'll make all these great things with their 8 int, no knowledge skills, and no ability to make magic items. GLHF.

Experts and artificers.

Boci
2011-06-06, 12:50 PM
Experts

Still no ability to craft magical gear.


artificers.

Not martial.

druid91
2011-06-06, 01:24 PM
Still no ability to craft magical gear.



Not martial.

Why not?

Are you about to tell me bruenor battlehammer isn't a martial character?
Dwarves whole existence undermines that argument.

It certainly isn't a spellcaster, so what is it then? Because it is either martial or magical.

And making awesome swords seems like a martial thing to me.

Doc Roc
2011-06-06, 01:28 PM
Why not?

Are you about to tell me bruenor battlehammer isn't a martial character?
Dwarves whole existence undermines that argument.

It certainly isn't a spellcaster, so what is it then? Because it is either martial or magical.

And making awesome swords seems like a martial thing to me.

That's because you're invested in them not being something, because you want to win this argument. Artificers have as their core skill use magical device. I consider magical devices to be moderately magical, and the use of them to be also moderately magical. Thus, constructing magical devices with your magical skills sounds to me like it might be... brace.... magical.


Also. Dwarves are commonly competent arcanists, and competent arcane artisans.

druid91
2011-06-06, 01:40 PM
That's because you're invested in them not being something, because you want to win this argument. Artificers have as their core skill use magical device. I consider magical devices to be moderately magical, and the use of them to be also moderately magical. Thus, constructing magical devices with your magical skills sounds to me like it might be... brace.... magical.


Also. Dwarves are commonly competent arcanists, and competent arcane artisans.

Yet dwarves made magical equipment in many sources, despite not being able to be wizards/sorcerers until 3.X.

The stereotypical dwarf can't cast spells or use magic. but they can make magical items. Without explaining that you can't simply say artificers are on the magical side.

More like constructing magical devices with your expert craftsmanship. Which sounds dwarfy to me.

Anyway it's a moot point. Because, their is a skill known as architecture and engineering.

Give em a few years and they have a fleet of star destroyers.

EDIT: And aren't you similarly invested in them being something to win this argument? I've always seen artificers as more akin to fighters than wizards. I just thought "Oh ok, so they are like dwarves cool."

Boci
2011-06-06, 01:40 PM
And making awesome swords seems like a martial thing to me.

It may, and in many fantasy novels it certainly is, but in D&D 3.5 it isn't, since unless by awesome you mean masterwork or some obscure PrC, martial characters cannot craft awesome weapons.


Yet dwarves made magical equipment in many sources, despite not being able to be wizards/sorcerers until 3.X.

Sorcerors didn't exist and they could be wizards. Also, this is a D&D 3.5 discussion.

The stereotypical dwarf can't cast spells or use magic. but they can make magical items. Without explaining that you can't simply say artificers are on the magical side.[/QUOTE]

Yes I can. You are talking about a fantasy novel, not D&D 3.5 rules.


More like constructing magical devices with your expert craftsmanship. Which sounds dwarfy to me.

That explains why you need to be able to cast spells to craft most kinds of magical gear.


Anyway it's a moot point. Because, their is a skill known as architecture and engineering.

Give em a few years and they have a fleet of star destroyers.

And what can the wizards do in so much time (assuming they were board and actually gave them a fighting chance)?



EDIT: And aren't you similarly invested in them being something to win this argument? I've always seen artificers as more akin to fighters than wizards. I just thought "Oh ok, so they are like dwarves cool."

They have medium BAB, meager proficiencies, little class features relating directly to combat and the ability to magically improve, alter and disable items and mechanical beings. What about that says martial?

Doc Roc
2011-06-06, 01:52 PM
I can't believe we're having this argument. It just boggles my mind. But let me be clear here: This is a game, it has rules, and these rules are used to discuss the game under most circumstances. If you'd like to instead discuss your favorite fantasy novels, I'd love to have the conversation there, but it's not the same one. In fact, I'd prefer that conversation, since I'm running low on books in my reading list.

I think here, your argument is best described as hugely tenuous.
Artificers are generally described in the fluff as arcane artisans, even more deeply invested in the hermetic\vancian tradition of preparation as the root of magical power.

The-Mage-King
2011-06-06, 02:01 PM
And why is no-one bringing up the (IIRC) dwarf only magic weapon and armor crafter class from MoI?

druid91
2011-06-06, 02:01 PM
It may, and in many fantasy novels it certainly is, but in D&D 3.5 it isn't, since unless by awesome you mean masterwork or some obscure PrC, martial characters cannot craft awesome weapons.



Sorcerors didn't exist and they could be wizards. Also, this is a D&D 3.5 discussion.

The stereotypical dwarf can't cast spells or use magic. but they can make magical items. Without explaining that you can't simply say artificers are on the magical side.

Yes I can. You are talking about a fantasy novel, not D&D 3.5 rules.



That explains why you need to be able to cast spells to craft most kinds of magical gear.



And what can the wizards do in so much time (assuming they were board and actually gave them a fighting chance)?



They have medium BAB, meager proficiencies, little class features relating directly to combat and the ability to magically improve, alter and disable items and mechanical beings. What about that says martial?

Yet that's what we are arguing over, I believe that the artificer is "the martial character who makes awesome wepons." You don't.

Actually no I'm talking about the stereotypical dwarf presented in the players handbook and my dim recollections of races of stone. Dwarven culture extols the virtues of combat, The multitude of bonuses they get to attack due to the special martial training of the dwarves, favored class fighter. In every way you look at it dwarven wizards are the oddity not the rule.
And thus are we to expect that these odd ones are the ones who craft every magical weapon attributed to the dwarves? What about that greatsword crafted by the dwarf in Tome of battle? He certainly wasn't a spellcaster.

The weight of evidence in the dwarven fluff points towards artificers being martial. As dwarves simply don't respect magic, except in the form of craftsmanship.

The "I make a such a good sword, I don't need your skill" part.

I'd assume they'd be doing wizardly things. Like gloating about how they are invulnerable until the mecha smash through their window.

Doc Roc
2011-06-06, 02:04 PM
I'd assume they'd be doing wizardly things. Like gloating about how they are invulnerable until the mecha smash through their window.

These guys are certifiable moon-droppers. They successfully dropped it. They probably got the gloat out of their system a while ago. I might expect there to be some slightly more....intriguing plots afoot. Like endless waves of simulacra, or planar-trait traps, or even just an empty castle.

And should you miraculously defeat our endless legions? Fight your way through our minefields? Find us, without the ability to track teleports or planeshifts? Enjoy your hollow victory. It won't bring your planet back, it won't revive your family. Only magic can do that, the magic you lack, that we have. You have failed so utterly as to be beneath our notice. Go back to playing with swords and ships.

Boci
2011-06-06, 02:08 PM
Yet that's what we are arguing over, I believe that the artificer is "the martial character who makes awesome wepons." You don't.

So your definition of a martial class doesn't include an "is good at martial combat" clause? (In b4 the monk jokes.)


Actually no I'm talking about the stereotypical dwarf presented in the players handbook and my dim recollections of races of stone. Dwarven culture extols the virtues of combat, The multitude of bonuses they get to attack due to the special martial training of the dwarves, favored class fighter. In every way you look at it dwarven wizards are the oddity not the rule.
And thus are we to expect that these odd ones are the ones who craft every magical weapon attributed to the dwarves? What about that greatsword crafted by the dwarf in Tome of battle? He certainly wasn't a spellcaster.

The weight of evidence in the dwarven fluff points towards artificers being martial. As dwarves simply don't respect magic, except in the form of craftsmanship.

And this fluff existed before the artificer class, so your logic doesn't really work.


The "I make a such a good sword using magic, I don't need your skill" part.

Fixed for you.


I'd assume they'd be doing wizardly things. Like gloating about how they are invulnerable until the mecha smash through their window.

Or not, given their intelligence.

CTrees
2011-06-06, 02:29 PM
If you'd like to instead discuss your favorite fantasy novels, I'd love to have the conversation there, but it's not the same one. In fact, I'd prefer that conversation, since I'm running low on books in my reading list.

Well then, have you read Kraken, by China Mieville? Modern fantasy (in and around London, actually) as opposed to the steampunky setting of his amazing Bas-Leg trilogy, but it's a lot of fun. I'll avoid spoilers, but there are some tremendously fun ideas (for example, "angels of memory" - basically guardian angels of museums, which seem like they'd be great in D&D).

Doc Roc
2011-06-06, 02:48 PM
Well then, have you read Kraken, by China Mieville? Modern fantasy (in and around London, actually) as opposed to the steampunky setting of his amazing Bas-Leg trilogy, but it's a lot of fun. I'll avoid spoilers, but there are some tremendously fun ideas (for example, "angels of memory" - basically guardian angels of museums, which seem like they'd be great in D&D).

I've chewed through most of Mieville's stuff except Kraken. Got burned on The City and The City so I gave it a rest for a bit. Any other good ones?

I just finished The Lies of Locke Lamora && Red Seas Under Red Skies, as well as the Tiffany Aching series by Pratchett.

Kalaska'Agathas
2011-06-06, 02:49 PM
Yet that's what we are arguing over, I believe that the artificer is "the martial character who makes awesome wepons." You don't.

Ok, first of all, when you say Martial do you mean "Someone who is capable in the arts of War," or do you mean "Someone without the arts of Magic,"? Because the first does not necessarily require the second.

I will assume for this post that by Martial you mean Mundane, that is, someone without the arts of magic, specifically that which is Divine or Arcane.


Actually no I'm talking about the stereotypical dwarf presented in the players handbook and my dim recollections of races of stone. Dwarven culture extols the virtues of combat, The multitude of bonuses they get to attack due to the special martial training of the dwarves, favored class fighter. In every way you look at it dwarven wizards are the oddity not the rule.
And thus are we to expect that these odd ones are the ones who craft every magical weapon attributed to the dwarves? What about that greatsword crafted by the dwarf in Tome of battle? He certainly wasn't a spellcaster.

Dwarves may get all of those martial bonuses and may have favored class: Fighter, and so Wizards are likely the exception not the rule. However, being that mechanically speaking only those with Arcane or Divine abilities (or class features which allow them to substitute these with other magical abilities) can craft magical items, I do not see how it presents a problem that the "odd ones" are also those who have crafted "every magical weapon attributed to the dwarves." And regarding the greatsword crafted by the dwarf in Tome of Battle - I know not to what you are referring, but would ask what necessitates that said dwarf crafted said greatsword? Was the greatsword magical? These questions need to be answered before the dwarf and greatsword in question may be used as evidence.


The weight of evidence in the dwarven fluff points towards artificers being martial. As dwarves simply don't respect magic, except in the form of craftsmanship.

I don't personally see a problem with a 'Martial' Artificer, inasmuch as I define 'Martial' as "with the art of war." However, it seems to me that you are using 'Martial' when you mean 'Mundane' which Artificers are explicitly not.

And I don't see where you get the idea that dwarves don't respect magic - look at the Forgotten Realms, where Dwarves have ancient and respected magical traditions (i.e. Rune Magic).


The "I make a such a good sword, I don't need your skill" part.

There's a mechanic for that already - it's called making a Masterwork Weapon. This has defined benefits, none of which are magical and none of which really match magic.


I'd assume they'd be doing wizardly things. Like gloating about how they are invulnerable until the mecha smash through their window.

Wizardly things like what? I don't see how gloating is part of a Wizard's daily routine - actively preparing for the contingency of someone 'smashing through their window' however would be right up their alley.

And you seem to assume that Mecha have some sort of supernatural anti-Wizard powers - they don't. Any of the many means a Wizard has of fighting an Iron Colossus would work, and since your mech doesn't have an AMF (as it's mundanely crafted, natch) there are even more options for dealing with it than the Colossus.

Incidentally, the nearest things to mecha in the published D&D corpus, at least that I can find, are Constructs and Clockwork Armor (http://www.wizards.com/default.asp?x=dnd/cw/20070212a), both of which explicitly require casting ability to craft.

The-Mage-King
2011-06-06, 02:56 PM
Hi, me again, trying to say this about the current subject of this already derailed thread!

Ironsoul Forgemaster. It is a dwarf only PrC. Yes, it uses meldshaping, but that isn't magic. It's merely borrowing from other souls. Just sayin' that maybe these guys make the dwarves "magic" swords and armor.

Keld Denar
2011-06-06, 03:02 PM
Also, Battlesmith, I forgot the source but probably Races of Stone, is a non-casting PrC that gains a pseudo-CL with regards to crafting magical swag.

Curmudgeon
2011-06-06, 03:04 PM
Only if that rule is in affect. If the group doesn't use HoB they may not use it, whether or not they know about it.
You don't need to have Heroes of Battle to arrive at exactly the same game effect. Check Dungeon Master's Guide II (page 49) for their collapsing ceiling trap; it's a DC 15 Reflex save to leap clear and take no damage (regardless of how big the ceiling is). DC 15 Reflex is I think the most common saving throw for "traps" (whether intentionally set, or actually just random falling stuff) in D&D. That's also the standard save for cave-ins and collapses in the DMG.

druid91
2011-06-06, 03:13 PM
Ok, first of all, when you say Martial do you mean "Someone who is capable in the arts of War," or do you mean "Someone without the arts of Magic,"? Because the first does not necessarily require the second.

I will assume for this post that by Martial you mean Mundane, that is, someone without the arts of magic, specifically that which is Divine or Arcane.



Dwarves may get all of those martial bonuses and may have favored class: Fighter, and so Wizards are likely the exception not the rule. However, being that mechanically speaking only those with Arcane or Divine abilities (or class features which allow them to substitute these with other magical abilities) can craft magical items, I do not see how it presents a problem that the "odd ones" are also those who have crafted "every magical weapon attributed to the dwarves." And regarding the greatsword crafted by the dwarf in Tome of Battle - I know not to what you are referring, but would ask what necessitates that said dwarf crafted said greatsword? Was the greatsword magical? These questions need to be answered before the dwarf and greatsword in question may be used as evidence.



I don't personally see a problem with a 'Martial' Artificer, inasmuch as I define 'Martial' as "with the art of war." However, it seems to me that you are using 'Martial' when you mean 'Mundane' which Artificers are explicitly not.

And I don't see where you get the idea that dwarves don't respect magic - look at the Forgotten Realms, where Dwarves have ancient and respected magical traditions (i.e. Rune Magic).



There's a mechanic for that already - it's called making a Masterwork Weapon. This has defined benefits, none of which are magical and none of which really match magic.



Wizardly things like what? I don't see how gloating is part of a Wizard's daily routine - actively preparing for the contingency of someone 'smashing through their window' however would be right up their alley.

And you seem to assume that Mecha have some sort of supernatural anti-Wizard powers - they don't. Any of the many means a Wizard has of fighting an Iron Colossus would work, and since your mech doesn't have an AMF (as it's mundanely crafted, natch) there are even more options for dealing with it than the Colossus.

Incidentally, the nearest things to mecha in the published D&D corpus, at least that I can find, are Constructs and Clockwork Armor (http://www.wizards.com/default.asp?x=dnd/cw/20070212a), both of which explicitly require casting ability to craft.

When I say martial I mean non-caster.

I do. It makes no sense that the guy who has the mildly disgraceful job of being wizard, is also the guy charged with the task of creating magical dwarven arms and armour.

I am referring to the legacy weapon of the stone dragon discipline. Crafted by a dwarven slave and wielded by his goliath assistant.

When I say martial I do not mean mundane, mundane means boring, ordinary.

I don't know a word to describe it other than earthy, dwarfy.

Wizards and their ilk are the representations of fire, water, and air, fickle and flighty, quick and powerful.

Artificers simply don't fit. They fit more with the slow dirty earthy, types. Strength of hardwork and determination you youngster wizards these days need to get off my lawn...

It's a weird method of explanation but I think I got my point across.

Rune magic, involves inscribed runes yes? Craftsmanship. When I say they don't respect magic I mean the wiggle your fingers and your enemy turns into a potato magic.

Technically their is also dwarvencraft weapons/armour. And the PrC in incarnum mentioned above. But there is also... Artificer, which you have yet to present me with a good reason, aside from the one I discarded of "it makes magic weapons and thus must be magic."

Yep every wizard must get his daily dose of gloating, and mad tinkering in or else he will die from combined curiosity and pride exploding his head off.:smalltongue:

More seriously, wizards are wizards. When have you not known one to gloat a lot? Particularly evil ones?

Actually they do. They are an attended object (Prevents most forms of magical interference), and they block line of effect to the pilot.

And this is the part where we start getting into the fun part of D&D. Setting aside your rulebooks, and instead brainstorming.

What do you need to make a mecha? Well a metal shell that moves, with a pilot inside.

Now how would you do that, don't try and think of rules precedents. Think of how you could apply enchantments and minor engineering bits to make a giant robot.

Boci
2011-06-06, 03:19 PM
I am referring to the legacy weapon of the stone dragon discipline. Crafted by a dwarven slave and wielded by his goliath assistant.

So D&D fluff isn't always suported by the mechanics. Your point? Besides, whilst rare, legacy items can be made from mundane weapons, although the book notes that such an event is rare.


Technically their is also dwarvencraft weapons/armour. And the PrC in incarnum mentioned above. But there is also... Artificer, which you have yet to present me with a good reason, aside from the one I discarded of "it makes magic weapons and thus must be magic."

1. You keep forgetting to add "with magic" after the bit about magic weapons.

2. You're reason for the artificer (a class with a list of limited spells) being martial is "I think it should".

The-Mage-King
2011-06-06, 03:22 PM
I am referring to the legacy weapon of the stone dragon discipline. Crafted by a dwarven slave and wielded by his goliath assistant.

In addition to Boci's point about this, Legacy weapons do not work that way.


You do something suitably legendary with it, and then it gains mystical powers. It isn't crafted to be an item of legacy, it becomes one.

Radar
2011-06-06, 03:26 PM
Even if you are able to dodge the moon, you have to deal with living on a mostly lifeless planet, since such an impact would ruin everyone's life quite significantly. An impact of a Mars-like (in terms of mass) object into Earth resulted in creation of our Moon, so you can expect a world-wide cataclysm of apocalyptic proportions. If only you had a Ring of Sustenance.
Yes, there's nothing in the rules about such an occurance, but it's way beyond the scope of D&D anyway.

(...) If you'd like to instead discuss your favorite fantasy novels, I'd love to have the conversation there, but it's not the same one. In fact, I'd prefer that conversation, since I'm running low on books in my reading list. (...)
I don't know, what have you or haven't read, but "The Wizards of Odd" antology is great in itself and a good place to look for good authors. I recantly read a few books by Trudi Canavan and they're good. It's nothing too original though.
"The High Crusade" by Anderson Poul is inteligent and funny.
Theese guys (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arkady_and_Boris_Strugatsky), if you venture into SF. Lem (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stanis%C5%82aw_Lem) as well, if you can get his books, but his later works are really heavy.
I can give a rundown of books form specific generes, if you want. :smallsmile:

Calimehter
2011-06-06, 03:29 PM
You don't need to have Heroes of Battle to arrive at exactly the same game effect. Check Dungeon Master's Guide II (page 49) for their collapsing ceiling trap; it's a DC 15 Reflex save to leap clear and take no damage (regardless of how big the ceiling is). DC 15 Reflex is I think the most common saving throw for "traps" (whether intentionally set, or actually just random falling stuff) in D&D. That's also the standard save for cave-ins and collapses in the DMG.

Interesting - I hadn't spotted that one before.

So between HoB and the DMG, is the mass-driver method of killing things (reliably, at least) via shrunken items and other wizardly shennanigans now discredited?

Curmudgeon
2011-06-06, 03:53 PM
So between HoB and the DMG, is the mass-driver method of killing things (reliably, at least) via shrunken items and other wizardly shennanigans now discredited?
It never had any credit with me. This is just another example of too much enthusiasm for an exploit and not enough effort in checking for those annoying rules which explain why the scheme isn't actually so Łber. If someone can't point to a rule which states that some scheme is going to automatically deal damage*, I start looking for the rules which explain why it doesn't ─ and it usually doesn't take much digging to discover those rules. :smallsigh:

* I mean real, unambiguous statements like this one, for coup de grace:
You automatically hit and score a critical hit.

Boci
2011-06-06, 03:55 PM
It never had any credit with me. This is just another example of too much enthusiasm for an exploit and not enough effort in checking for those annoying rules which explain why the scheme isn't actually so Łber. If someone can't point to a rule which states that some scheme is going to automatically deal damage*, I start looking for the rules which explain why it doesn't ─ and it usually doesn't take much digging to discover those rules. :smallsigh:

* I mean real, unambiguous statements like this one, for coup de grace:

Given that most such exploits were TO, does it really change that much now that the trick requires a wizard and his hulking hurler minion?

Lord.Sorasen
2011-06-06, 04:02 PM
These guys are certifiable moon-droppers. They successfully dropped it. They probably got the gloat out of their system a while ago. I might expect there to be some slightly more....intriguing plots afoot. Like endless waves of simulacra, or planar-trait traps, or even just an empty castle.

And should you miraculously defeat our endless legions? Fight your way through our minefields? Find us, without the ability to track teleports or planeshifts? Enjoy your hollow victory. It won't bring your planet back, it won't revive your family. Only magic can do that, the magic you lack, that we have. You have failed so utterly as to be beneath our notice. Go back to playing with swords and ships.

We may not be wizards, but there were wizards before us, and their technology exists for us even now. We spellthief'd your golems, we uncannily dodged your falling moon, and its magic now serves us. For all your magic, you underestimate human determination. And there's nothing you can do to stop us. We'll keep pushing forward no matter what. Who the hell do you think we are?









Also on topic because it's only fair: Allowing a reflex save for anything larger than your movement is absolutely silly. To be honest though, allowing the dropping of millions of tons of matter on individuals with no collateral damage is silly. The whole rule is ridiculous... I feel arguing this isn't too different from arguing why you should or should not allow war hulking hurler into a game.

TroubleBrewing
2011-06-06, 04:05 PM
Who the hell do you think we are?

Worms. :smallamused:

*Fell Drain Locate City Bomb* :smalltongue:

Curmudgeon
2011-06-06, 04:12 PM
Also on topic because it's only fair: Allowing a reflex save for anything larger than your movement is absolutely silly.
Those millions of tons of matter aren't going to remain cohesive; you only need to dodge a small part of that large collection of rubble to be unscathed ─ though in the middle of extraordinarily difficult terrain.
Hampered Movement

Difficult terrain, obstacles, or poor visibility can hamper movement. When movement is hampered, each square moved into usually counts as two squares, effectively reducing the distance that a character can cover in a move.

If more than one condition applies, multiply together all additional costs that apply. (This is a specific exception to the normal rule for doubling)

In some situations, your movement may be so hampered that you donít have sufficient speed even to move 5 feet (1 square).

TroubleBrewing
2011-06-06, 04:14 PM
Wait.

You're saying you can uncannily dodge things even when you can't move?

OracleofWuffing
2011-06-06, 04:24 PM
It may, and in many fantasy novels it certainly is, but in D&D 3.5 it isn't, since unless by awesome you mean masterwork or some obscure PrC, martial characters cannot craft awesome weapons.
Oh! Oh! Oh!

Oriental Adventures Samurai! ...Except it's just one weapon. ...And you didn't really make it, you kinda just inherited it and are unlocking its secret powers that coincidentally just so happen to be what you want them to be. ...But you at least do that part all by yourself! ...By praying to your dead ancestors. Crud.

Calimehter
2011-06-06, 04:26 PM
Uncanny, isn't it?

:smalltongue:

I am regretting that I tried to be clever when I titled this thread. I was less concerned about the specifics of planetary bodies or the Uncanny Dodge mechanic as I was about the simpler notion that (from a D&D mechanics standpoint) large falling objects are not the "autowin" button that I have seen discussed in multiple other threads (including the recent Seraphim one).

TroubleBrewing
2011-06-06, 04:26 PM
Oh! Oh! Oh!

Oriental Adventures Samurai! ...Except it's just one weapon. ...And you didn't really make it, you kinda just inherited it and are unlocking its secret powers that coincidentally just so happen to be what you want them to be. ...But you at least do that part all by yourself!

All by yourself.

And the inherited ancestral weapon.

JaronK
2011-06-06, 04:27 PM
Note that Complete Warrior also uses the DC 15 thing, in this case to dodge an arrow volley. So DC 15 is the generic "stuff is falling towards your square, dodge it" save.

JaronK

CTrees
2011-06-06, 04:30 PM
I've chewed through most of Mieville's stuff except Kraken. Got burned on The City and The City so I gave it a rest for a bit. Any other good ones?

I just finished The Lies of Locke Lamora && Red Seas Under Red Skies, as well as the Tiffany Aching series by Pratchett.

Kraken is pretty good. I'd even call it Mieville getting back to form. Unfortunately most of my reading lately has been either scifi of spy stuff, so I'm a little short on current suggestions. Ooh, there's stuff most people seem to have not read-the Incarnations of Immortality series, by Piers Anthony. Most of his stuff... well, it gets OLD. IoI, though, it's about people becoming Death, Time, War, etc. Everyone I've gotten to read the first book has had to go read the rest.

TroubleBrewing
2011-06-06, 04:34 PM
I've chewed through most of Mieville's stuff except Kraken. Got burned on The City and The City so I gave it a rest for a bit. Any other good ones?

I just finished The Lies of Locke Lamora && Red Seas Under Red Skies, as well as the Tiffany Aching series by Pratchett.

Her Majesty's Dragon is a pretty solid series, as is Glen Cook's The Black Company.

I have to plug for Robert E. Howard here, as well. Ditto for Lovecraft, and Arthur Machen if you can find any of his stuff.

Curmudgeon
2011-06-06, 04:35 PM
You're saying you can uncannily dodge things even when you can't move?
As sreservoir already pointed out, the ability to not take damage from stuff falling on you (with a Reflex save) is evasion, not uncanny dodge. (Uncanny dodge applies when you're flat-footed or the attacker is invisible; neither of these match this massive falling object scenario.) You pretty much only lose the ability to make a Reflex save when you're dead, and you can still evade things as long as you're not helpless. Being able to move an inch is as good as being able to move a mile for evasion. (There's an element of luck involved; maybe you exhaled at just the right moment and avoided having your ribcage sheared off by just that tiny fraction of displacement.)

CTrees
2011-06-06, 04:37 PM
Those millions of tons of matter aren't going to remain cohesive; you only need to dodge a small part of that large collection of rubble to be unscathed ─ though in the middle of extraordinarily difficult terrain.

1) make the moon cubic (hey, for a high level wizard, should be doable)
2) drop it on an enemy, flat side first
3) the surface is even, the only logical way to avoid it is moving hundreds or thousands of miles away
4) the enemy movement speed is less than 'a million feet per round'
5) enemy is a lvl 1 commoner, rolls a 16 on their reflex save
6) no one considers suffocation or crushing, round after round
7) ???
8) profit!

Um... yeah.

Edit: as to why a wizard would go through the trouble of sculpting the entire moon and propelling it in order to kill a lvl 1 commoner, rather than using say, a fireball... if you CAN massively alter reality at will, why WOULDN'T you?

TroubleBrewing
2011-06-06, 04:38 PM
As sreservoir already pointed out, the ability to not take damage from stuff falling on you (with a Reflex save) is evasion, not uncanny dodge.

Of course. I was more referencing the thread title than the actual ability.

As to the rest of it, I agree in theory, but lets look at an example:

In the Tomb of Horrors, there is a trap which has the ceiling fall on a character. The ceiling is solid stone, and exactly the same dimensions as the room it drops on.

How does a character evade that? I mean, I know the crunch supports this type of thing, but I'm curious as to how it gets justified in fluff.

CTrees
2011-06-06, 04:47 PM
Oh! Better example!

DM: That's it! Rocks fall, everyone dies!
PC1: I have improved evasion
PC2: Natural twenty on the reflex save!
PC3: My reflex save is +15, and I didn't roll a one, so I'm good.

Yeah... do you see that working?

ffone
2011-06-06, 04:50 PM
1) make the moon cubic (hey, for a high level wizard, should be doable)
2) drop it on an enemy, flat side first
3) the surface is even, the only logical way to avoid it is moving hundreds or thousands of miles away
4) the enemy movement speed is less than 'a million feet per round'
5) enemy is a lvl 1 commoner, rolls a 16 on their reflex save
6) no one considers suffocation or crushing, round after round
7) ???
8) profit!

Um... yeah.

For the object to fall to the ground it must displace all the air that was underneath ....so maybe that push of air allows - even forces sometimes - the target to move fast enough.

Also you want the fallen-to surface to be perfectly flat. Unlike random terrain.

So you want a vacuum. Note that some other DnD mechanics are based on atmosphere, such as winged flight, terminal velocity, nonmagical fire, speaking and verbal components, etc.

Curmudgeon
2011-06-06, 04:53 PM
In the Tomb of Horrors, there is a trap which has the ceiling fall on a character. The ceiling is solid stone, and exactly the same dimensions as the room it drops on.

How does a character evade that? I mean, I know the crunch supports this type of thing, but I'm curious as to how it gets justified in fluff.
Isn't that what DMs get paid the big bucks for? :smallbiggrin: A stone ceiling the same size as the room is pretty much guaranteed to get hung up as it falls; once a slight bit of greater friction on one wall slows down the descent on that side the falling ceiling will start to tilt, and as it tilts it will gain increasing friction on the high side. A tilted ceiling of any thickness will have greater width than in its non-tilted state so at best only one edge will reach the floor; the whole thing is actually more likely to get wedged after dropping partway. Avoiding damage from that sort of poorly-designed trap is really easy.

So: the dramatic fluff is that the ceiling tilts just a bit as it falls, and the character rolled in the right direction to be under the high side, squeezed but unharmed.

OracleofWuffing
2011-06-06, 04:54 PM
In the Tomb of Horrors, there is a trap which has the ceiling fall on a character. The ceiling is solid stone, and exactly the same dimensions as the room it drops on.

How does a character evade that? I mean, I know the crunch supports this type of thing, but I'm curious as to how it gets justified in fluff.
Well, you know how annoying it gets when you add in a third dimension to PnP combat, and you have to stop every round or so to calculate a hypotenuse? It's kinda like that (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Four-dimensional_space), but nobody who's on the dodging end of things ever invests in the skill ranks needed to know how it works, they're just satisfied that it works.

Alternatively, a Wizard did it.

Alternatively alternatively, your question assumes that you will survive the Tomb of Horrors.

Doc Roc
2011-06-06, 04:58 PM
We may not be wizards, but there were wizards before us, and their technology exists for us even now. We spellthief'd your golems, we uncannily dodged your falling moon, and its magic now serves us. For all your magic, you underestimate human determination. And there's nothing you can do to stop us. We'll keep pushing forward no matter what. Who the hell do you think we are?


Rats and vermin. Who do I think I am? An equally determined and equally angry human? Even if I can't remember why I dropped the moon on you, I probably had a reason, right? No one would do something like that out of boredom. I mean, no one else. Okay, so maybe I'm not exactly determined, but I am a human, and I am a wizard. And I have a lot of wizard friends.

Determined. Angry. And notably, vastly more powerful. Yesterday, the moon, tomorrow, a nearby planet. Today? Today? Sorbet.

CTrees
2011-06-06, 05:00 PM
For the object to fall to the ground it must displace all the air that was underneath ....so maybe that push of air allows - even forces sometimes - the target to move fast enough.

Also you want the fallen-to surface to be perfectly flat. Unlike random terrain.

So you want a vacuum. Note that some other DnD mechanics are based on atmosphere, such as winged flight, terminal velocity, speaking and verbal components, etc.

Make the target a skeleton. Put it on a cubic asteroid, 10mi to a side, out in deep space, well away from any other objects. Throw another cubic asteroid, same specs, at it, flat side to flat side. How, exactly, is a skeleton going to make that Ref slave?

You want a suitably complete hypothetical, I can give it to you, but the specific 'well it was pushed by the wind!' bits aren't the problem with the logic of 'any falling object has a 15 Ref save, regardless of circumstances.'

ffone
2011-06-06, 05:01 PM
Isn't that what DMs get paid the big bucks for? :smallbiggrin: A stone ceiling the same size as the room is pretty much guaranteed to get hung up as it falls; once a slight bit of greater friction on one wall slows down the descent on that side the falling ceiling will start to tilt, and as it tilts it will gain increasing friction on the high side. A tilted ceiling of any thickness will have greater width than in its non-tilted state so at best only one edge will reach the floor; the whole thing is actually more likely to get wedged after dropping partway. Avoiding damage from that sort of poorly-designed trap is really easy.

So: the dramatic fluff is that the ceiling tilts just a bit as it falls, and the character rolled in the right direction to be under the high side, squeezed but unharmed.

This. This is how to DM. Think of fluff to fit the rules.

If you let fluff dictate the rules:

-brace for endless discussions over physics, medieval weaponry, and emergency medicine. Which likely no one involved is actually an experience in.

-brace for every Search check to be 'roleplayed, not rollplayed' in excruciating detail ('say, how many bricks are in this section of wall?'), every Diplomacy check to involve a nauseating number of sugary adjectives, every PC to never ever roleplay any weaknesses, etc.

Doc Roc
2011-06-06, 05:03 PM
I must say, I am consistently delighted with the generally excellent tastes of my fellow forumites. Unfortunately, the fact that I know your tastes are excellent is derived from the fact that I've read most of these books. I did particularly delight in the Black Company, and much recommend his other works as well. Also, if you'ven't read anything by Jack Vance, he's actually really rather quite good.

Curmudgeon
2011-06-06, 05:09 PM
Make the target a skeleton. Put it on a cubic asteroid, 10mi to a side, out in deep space, well away from any other objects. Throw another cubic asteroid, same specs, at it, flat side to flat side. How, exactly, is a skeleton going to make that Ref slave?
You don't have enough skill to make "flat side to flat side" perfect along 10 miles of surface with a thrown object. The cubes are going to bounce off each other, likely breaking up if the collision occurs at a speed even close to a cube's miniscule escape velocity. The skeleton doesn't need much luck to avoid damage.

Doc Roc
2011-06-06, 05:12 PM
You don't have enough skill to make "flat side to flat side" perfect along 10 miles of surface with a thrown object. The cubes are going to bounce off each other, likely breaking up if the collision occurs at a speed even close to a cube's miniscule escape velocity. The skeleton doesn't need much luck to avoid damage.

That's debatable, actually.... It's just a matter of getting your CL high enough for telekinesis and having an arbitrarily high skill check for knowledge engineering, isn't it?

Dr.Epic
2011-06-06, 05:13 PM
Are you trying to build a mockingbird?

ffone
2011-06-06, 05:15 PM
Make the target a skeleton. Put it on a cubic asteroid, 10mi to a side, out in deep space, well away from any other objects. Throw another cubic asteroid, same specs, at it, flat side to flat side. How, exactly, is a skeleton going to make that Ref slave?

You want a suitably complete hypothetical, I can give it to you, but the specific 'well it was pushed by the wind!' bits aren't the problem with the logic of 'any falling object has a 15 Ref save, regardless of circumstances.'

Obviously I was aware of such hypotheticals, as my prior post also suggested using 2 perfectly flat surfaces in a vacuum.

DnD uses discrete distances and times (and event probailities, usually out of 20) to portray a continuous world. Of course it can be 'unrealistic'.

-why should perfect smoothness and parallel alignment be assumed to be able to been crafted and maintained? What's the creation process? Is there a craft DC for such smoothness, setting of angles, etc.?

-why is it worth the complexity cost of a better rule subsystem for large moving bodies? How often does this come up at your table?

-as a DM you are welcome to individualize trap DCs. Or did you have a suggested formula as a function of surface sizes, flatness, relative angle, etc?

-if ultrarealism is so important, are 6 second rounds and the 'discretized' positions of a falling body (or endangered creature) a problem.

Curmudgeon
2011-06-06, 05:18 PM
That's debatable, actually.... It's just a matter of getting your CL high enough for telekinesis and having an arbitrarily high skill check for knowledge engineering, isn't it?
Knowledge tells you how things work, but by itself doesn't give you any ability to manipulate things. (Certain feats and class abilities leverage Knowledge checks into benefits beyond just knowing things.) No, for fine control of Telekinesis you need a different skill: Sleight of Hand.
An object can be telekinetically manipulated as if with one hand.

Doc Roc
2011-06-06, 05:21 PM
Knowledge tells you how things work, but by itself doesn't give you any ability to manipulate things. (Certain feats and class abilities leverage Knowledge checks into benefits beyond just knowing things.) No, for fine control of Telekinesis you need a different skill: Sleight of Hand.

OH! So, think we can jimmy together a formula for the DC? :)

Lord.Sorasen
2011-06-06, 05:25 PM
Maybe this whole thing is like in Brawl, where you can press r at the right moment to dodge a solid wall of lava.

Eldariel
2011-06-06, 05:34 PM
I think somewhere in the DMG (might be another book or even one of the Rules of the Game-articles; been a long time, could find it with a quick scan) there is a clause that the DM should adjudicate when Evasion (or Reflex-save for that matter) doesn't work/isn't possible. A closed, smooth-walled room with no objects entirely filled by a Fireball is given as an example of a situation where the DM should revoke the rights to a Reflex-save. Again, though, I don't remember where I read that (I remember it was in some DMing advice opus but that's it; it's been aeons since I read the core books cover to cover) so I'm not sure where it is.

There's also a clause (and of this I'm sure) in e.g. wall crush traps (DMG page 70) that state "When the entire dungeon wall moves to crush you, your quick reflexes wonít help, since the wall canít possibly miss. A trap with this feature has neither an attack bonus nor a saving throw to avoid, but it does have an onset delay (see below)." and those allow no Reflex-saves, so there's precedent for big enough things being undodgeable.

CTrees
2011-06-06, 05:44 PM
-why should perfect smoothness and parallel alignment be assumed to be able to been crafted and maintained? What's the creation process? Is there a craft DC for such smoothness, setting of angles, etc.?

Wish how did you think I was throwing planetoids?

Etc. My point is, dc15 for avoiding anything falling on you outside of a trap doesn't just feel unrealistic; it feels unrealistic enough to take me out of the game. Arrow volley? Sure. Shrink item'd giant cube of heaviness? Moon? That strikes me as... wrong. If something takes me out of the game to the extent this does, I personally think it needs a houserule. Though I don't think 'lol I drop a boat on you' should be an instant win, either. The solution is... likely complex, if we're not going with 'have the gm eyeball it.'

JaronK
2011-06-06, 06:40 PM
Knowledge tells you how things work, but by itself doesn't give you any ability to manipulate things. (Certain feats and class abilities leverage Knowledge checks into benefits beyond just knowing things.) No, for fine control of Telekinesis you need a different skill: Sleight of Hand.

Note that you do make Knowledge Architecture and Engineering checks to build boats and other large structures. So, there is some precedent for using the skill to directly do things.

JaronK

ffone
2011-06-06, 09:03 PM
Wish how did you think I was throwing planetoids?

Etc. My point is, dc15 for avoiding anything falling on you outside of a trap doesn't just feel unrealistic; it feels unrealistic enough to take me out of the game. Arrow volley? Sure. Shrink item'd giant cube of heaviness? Moon? That strikes me as... wrong. If something takes me out of the game to the extent this does, I personally think it needs a houserule. Though I don't think 'lol I drop a boat on you' should be an instant win, either. The solution is... likely complex, if we're not going with 'have the gm eyeball it.'

I guess what I'm saying is that the hypothetical, Tron- or video-game-like scenario of perfectly parallel, flat, smooth, extensive surfaces moving towards each other (like those Super Mario levels with the falling ceilings) in a vacuum and meeting to create an atomic seal miles wide.....seems as unrealistic (especially in a pseudo-medieval setting, even with magic, which tends to have more 'organic texture') as the dodging. It's like complaining about the lack of rules for machine guns or nuclear bombs in the non-modern SRD.....even though I suppose it's possible for a group of Forgotten Realms humans to develop them, if they have all the same intelligences and mine-able metals we do.

Shy of that extreme case, I'd have no objection to a DM making a falling-ceiling trap with a higher DC due to 'superior craftsmanship and circumstances' or whatever. Although you get into the territory where the "you can always make a 20 so Joe Commoner has a 5% survival chance" is annoying. One sol'n is a compound trap with multiple rolls involved. Or you could houserule that for inanimate things like traps, 1s and 20s are not auto-success and failure, and the reactive saves are more akin to skill checks.

And if a PC wanted to create such a thing, then some sort of checks (like the craft check referenced in Minor Creation, or the Sleight of Hand for Telekinesis referenced by other posters above) are certainly called for.

And if we're just gonna rag on 3.5 for not covering every scenario in Einsteinian perfect fidelity to physics, there's much lower-hanging fruit. Like the fact that you need a 30' long leash to walk a leashed dog at 3 miles per hour (or 60' to hustle at 6 mph).



I think somewhere in the DMG (might be another book or even one of the Rules of the Game-articles; been a long time, could find it with a quick scan) there is a clause that the DM should adjudicate when Evasion (or Reflex-save for that matter) doesn't work/isn't possible. A closed, smooth-walled room with no objects entirely filled by a Fireball is given as an example of a situation where the DM should revoke the rights to a Reflex-save. Again, though, I don't remember where I read that (I remember it was in some DMing advice opus but that's it; it's been aeons since I read the core books cover to cover) so I'm not sure where it is.


Although if the DMG mentions Fireball specifically I'd defer to it in that case when DMing, I've always considered the Fireball example to be a weak example of showing 'Evasion is unrealistic.'

AFAIK nothing says 'a Fireball is an utterly perfect sphere of flame with no gaps'; precisely because Evasion exists, I would fluff it as consisting of a ragged flower of flame tendrils with narrow gaps which a skilled individual can use to snake/roll/jump through. Perhaps the flames and flaps move during the instant of the spell (like an incendiary grenade in the movies), which is why a non-Evasion character can't avoid all damage by luck. (I know the spell is Instantaneous but most things are not, in-character, literally instantaneous and moving faster than light - an arrow takes a few milliseconds to arrive and whatnot).

This also lends itself to a nice interpretation of spell DCs....a higher-Int wizard is more skilled at creating fireballs which are closer to flawless, and possibly expand faster, and thus harder to avoid the brunt of. A caster with higher caster level has learned to create hotter fireballs which thus do more damage. (Apparently natural talent, and experience, improve your fireballs but in different ways.)

Whereas reflex saves and Evasion don't help you with a Cloudkill - apparently it fills the area more homogeneously (which comports with my understanding of nonmagical gas expansion from high school chem).

Calimehter
2011-06-06, 09:56 PM
And if we're just gonna rag on 3.5 for not covering every scenario in Einsteinian perfect fidelity to physics, there's much lower-hanging fruit. Like the fact that you need a 30' long leash to walk a leashed dog at 3 miles per hour (or 60' to hustle at 6 mph).

Ready actions should solve this, right? At least until you get to a fire hydrant . . .

Thanks for the answers (and extra sources for the DC15 save) folks!

ffone
2011-06-07, 01:41 AM
Ready actions should solve this, right? At least until you get to a fire hydrant . . .

Thanks for the answers (and extra sources for the DC15 save) folks!

I think the readied action occurs before the trigger rather than 'during'. The issue is that your movement and the dog's movement have to occur one before the other, so regardless of which one is first, you'll be 30' apart at some point.

If delay actions could be used mid-turn in order to alternate 5' increments, that'd pretty much do it though. Readying wouldn't work since it's a standard action, which means you can only do it once per round each, and then you could no longer hustle.

I've actually run into this sort of issue DMing when I tried to do interesting things like fighting in flowing water or on a moving platform with passing obstacles....whether you have everyone in the water get moved with the flow at the same time (say, end of the round) or on their own initiative, you can get funny little discretization effects.

In some cases you can just keep a convenient frame of reference, like if everyone is on the same moving boat and no one is using stationary spell effects that aren't physically anchored like Web, but when you have things like different boats, shore vs boat, it's a bit annoying.

Falling is funny this way too - you go several hundred feet, and then (if capable of acting) you do a full round of action's at one particular altitude, then do more falling. Like if you want to fall past and full attack a flying foe, you better get the distance offset just right (i.e. start an integer number of rounds above it)!

Curmudgeon
2011-06-07, 03:33 AM
The issue is that your movement and the dog's movement have to occur one before the other, so regardless of which one is first, you'll be 30' apart at some point.
Half that (15') actually. You're only using one move action per round (because the dog is using the rest of the round to sniff things or do other business), and you overlap your movement. A 15' leash will work just fine.

Darrin
2011-06-07, 05:46 AM
How does a character evade that? I mean, I know the crunch supports this type of thing, but I'm curious as to how it gets justified in fluff.

Crushing things with large objects requires bringing physics into D&D. If a sufficiently large amount of physics gets involved, a proportionally large number of catgirls is likewise indiscriminately slaughtered. Since we know all living catgirls have a certain nonzero amount of hammerspace at their disposal, the sudden collapse of all that hammerspace creates wormholes in the fabric of the grid map, allowing particularly evasive individuals to tell Euclidian geometricians to go suck it.

Brainstomper
2011-06-07, 12:05 PM
I might have to review the rules for readied actions again. We are pretty liberal with allowing simultaneity with readied actions, and maybe we are being too much so. Though I suppose if we are avoiding problematic issues through some accidental rule zeroing, then there's not much harm in it.

Edit: Its me Calimehter - that's what I get for using a friend's computer w/o checking the login settings. :smallredface:

The Cat Goddess
2011-06-07, 03:07 PM
Of course. I was more referencing the thread title than the actual ability.

As to the rest of it, I agree in theory, but lets look at an example:

In the Tomb of Horrors, there is a trap which has the ceiling fall on a character. The ceiling is solid stone, and exactly the same dimensions as the room it drops on.

How does a character evade that? I mean, I know the crunch supports this type of thing, but I'm curious as to how it gets justified in fluff.

Unless the ceiling is magically held together, it doesn't fall as a single unit. The reflex save is the ability to dodge between pieces of the ceiling.

Same with a "Moon" dropping on you... air friction causes the object to break apart.

Doc Roc
2011-06-07, 03:17 PM
Star Warsian spoiler ahead.
So Chewbacca should have had evasion?

CTrees
2011-06-07, 03:36 PM
okay, time to get silly. I'm a thrallherd, and my thralls are a wizard w/ some crafting feats and a hulking hurler. The hulking hurler's favorite throwing weapon is the moon (relatively light for an optimized hurler, I'll admit), and so the wizard enchanted it, making it a +1 ghost touch, returning moon.

I see a lvl 1 gnome truenamer someone made ethereal. This makes me very angry, so I borrow my hurler's ghost touch moon and drop it on the truenamer, from about sixty feet up (so it lacks the time or friction to break apart). I'm just dropping the moon, not throwing it, so it shouldn't try to return to me. Ethereal should mean the wind from a falling moon won't push it away, but to be sure I laid down some walls of force around him, first, as an open-topped box, and used (insert random force effect here-subterranean force cage? Walls of force adjacent to one another with no gaps? Whatever) to create a 'floor' he can't be pushed through.

Are you going to tell me that should be a dc15 ref save for the truenamer to dodge that dropped moon?

ffone
2011-06-07, 04:05 PM
okay, time to get silly. I'm a thrallherd, and my thralls are a wizard w/ some crafting feats and a hulking hurler. The hulking hurler's favorite throwing weapon is the moon (relatively light for an optimized hurler, I'll admit), and so the wizard enchanted it, making it a +1 ghost touch, returning moon.

I see a lvl 1 gnome truenamer someone made ethereal. This makes me very angry, so I borrow my hurler's ghost touch moon and drop it on the truenamer, from about sixty feet up (so it lacks the time or friction to break apart). I'm just dropping the moon, not throwing it, so it shouldn't try to return to me. Ethereal should mean the wind from a falling moon won't push it away, but to be sure I laid down some walls of force around him, first, as an open-topped box, and used (insert random force effect here-subterranean force cage? Walls of force adjacent to one another with no gaps? Whatever) to create a 'floor' he can't be pushed through.

Are you going to tell me that should be a dc15 ref save for the truenamer to dodge that dropped moon?

Ghost touch only helps with incorporeal, not ethereal - but you might as well have this all in a vacuum anyway (give everyone necklaces of adaptation and whatever they need to not explode from zero pressure).

Also - do walls of force block stuff 'on edge'? I think the walls of force around the gnome might stop the moon once it hits their top edges (and even of Walls of Force don't block stuff with their edges - unless you have absolutely perfect perpendicular angles, they will be hitting the faces at a shallow angle).

Also, the moon is not perfectly smooth. Maybe the dude found a little crater to move towards. (You could make an example up where it's a perfect sphere - point is, such objects are rarer in a medieval-fantasy setting than 'rough' objects).

Also, throwing a moon is going to involve all sorts of interesting physical effects. Throwing the moon 10' in a vacuum and with no footing for friction should push back the hurler by 10' x (ratio of masses), if I recall my Newtonian physics. The rules for throwing weapons may not say this...but then again they don't say that when you throw a weapon, the Newtonian physics don't apply (it's just that due to the size of normal thrown weapons, and the friction at your feet, it's gonna be negligible vs 5'). In fact I believe the DMG or SRD has a passage to the effect of 'where not specified otherwise, normal physics applies'.

The TO hulking hurler is indeed silly as you said, and the exponential-in-Str carrying capacities allow optimized characters to throw planets. This is indeed an 'unrealistic example', but it's not like the DC 15 save is the one ridiculous piece of a situation which otherwise would have verisimilitude. TO hurlking hurlers are just going to generate a number of silly things you can do, because the DnD rules typically deal with scales where, for example, you have a stable gravity (which might be zero gravity) and frame of reference. For example, the hurling hurler can use the Newtonian physics to make "jump" checks which are exponential in his Str rather than linear as normal (by 'throwing' the planet at his feet so he's shot high into the air).

No one's claimed that the DC 15 save is 'realistic' in every possible situation. In fact, above, I suggested higher DCs for 'superior craftmanship' falling ceiling traps (and as always the DM should eyeball the trap CR by comparing to preexisting traps). However, I would claim:

- DC 15 is more realistic than "no DC" (i.e. "DC infinity and you fail on a 20 too") for the overwhelming majority of situations which exist in the books or will be plausibly found in a medieval-fantasy setting.

- Therefore, if we're gonna have one simple rule (a flat DC), I'd take 15 over infinity. If you want something 'better', by all means suggest a DC formula based on angles, distances, smoothness (and maybe Craft etc. DCs for creating such things) etc. or perhaps a list of successively harder situations and their DCs (such as found in many skill descriptions like Climb).

- Since the only effect of a houserule to this effect is going to be to encourage the boring, TO tactic of dropping things on people and demanding they get no save (or a really high one), I have no motivation to invest time in figuring out a "more realistic" houserule when that time could be spent finding or making houserule that actually improve the gaming experience (and would come up more often in a 'normal' game where people aren't trying to optimize around the houserule).

- The no-DC situation is an extreme corner case involving silly things like miles-wide perfect cubes or TO hulking hurlers. No one's claiming you can't find silly corner cases in DnD rules in general. Honestly, does someone just have a link to a nice list of such things (like the Chuck E Cheese who moves faster than light)? A 'wiki' like approach with a master list of 'here's a hole in physics vs DnD rules' examples would be more interesting than a monthly thread where someone else rediscovers the same things.

The Cat Goddess
2011-06-07, 04:35 PM
Evasion vs. Fireball.

Seeing the fireball coming (or sensing it through some preternatural ability of player-character-dom), the Rogue ducks and rolls... his cloak flapping about. His constant motion keeps him from catching fire, and the cloak prevents the fire from touching his skin.

A nude Rogue evading a fireball... less believable. A Rogue wearing a chain shirt evading a lightning bolt (without there being some other large metal object nearby)... even less believable.

ffone
2011-06-07, 04:53 PM
Evasion vs. Fireball.

Seeing the fireball coming (or sensing it through some preternatural ability of player-character-dom), the Rogue ducks and rolls... his cloak flapping about. His constant motion keeps him from catching fire, and the cloak prevents the fire from touching his skin.

A nude Rogue evading a fireball... less believable. A Rogue wearing a chain shirt evading a lightning bolt (without there being some other large metal object nearby)... even less believable.

Nude rogue vs fireball: how do we know the Fireball a perfect sphere with absolutely no (smaller-than-a-5'-cube) gaps?

Lightning bolts move in a line because that's what the spell says. They don't follow the paths that nonmagical electricity from e.g. lightning or a Tesla coil might. I suppose you could fluff it as a sudden negative charge at the caster's end and a positive charge at the far end which are strong enough to pull the current along the line from negative to positive (or a barrier it hits and may stop at on the way) irrespective of nearby metal.

Doc Roc
2011-06-07, 04:55 PM
Nude rouge vs fireball: how do we know the Fireball a perfect sphere with absolutely no (smaller-than-a-5'-cube) gaps?

It's a spread, so we can't be sure, really, but a Burst doesn't have these issues, and a Spread is technically a burst that turns corners.

ffone
2011-06-07, 04:58 PM
It's a spread, so we can't be sure, really, but a Burst doesn't have these issues:

"A burst spell affects whatever it catches in its area, even including creatures that you canít see. It canít affect creatures with total cover from its point of origin (in other words, its effects donít extend around corners). The default shape for a burst effect is a sphere, but some burst spells are specifically described as cone-shaped. A burstís area defines how far from the point of origin the spellís effect extends."

That's rules text, not fluff, and unless you're arguing that by RAW Evasion doesn't apply to burst effects (to which I'd reply specific trumps general and/or the effect is 0 damage according to the formula Evasion gives us) such as Sunburst, I don't see the issue.

Also, it says 'whatever it catches in its area', not 'everything in its area'. If you used Evasion successfully, apparently you were not 'caught'. (I'm not saying this is the intended meaning of 'caught' in the text - but if you're extrapolating the mechanical definition of caught in the area to the fluff of it, there you go).

If it's really a verisimilitude issue for some players/groups, my advice would be:

1. Try double checking your own 'mental movie' assumptions about what each effect 'actually looks like'; IMO finding explanations that are consistent with the rules is part of creative roleplaying and the fun.

2. Failing that, have an Evading character take 1 damage. Very small balance difference (except maybe right at 2nd level for a rogue with a Con-penalized race like elf). Now "it's unrealistic" falls back to the inane threads about biology and medicine and what HP really represent and how much 1 HP is.

3. Declare that with Evasion you take 1/2 HP of damage and it rounds down, sort of like the random bruises and scrapes that wilderness travelers never seem to suffer in DnD.

4. Make sure your Evasion characters always wear Badass Capes (which are fire-retardent, non-conducting material). Maybe houserule it requires some unspecified 'masterwork prop'. And as DM don't give 2 levels of rogue or monk to any nekkid monsters.

5. If your fluff that justifies evasion suggests anyone *could* do it by dump luck, then houserule 'critical saves' where on a 20 you roll again, and if that saves, you get free Evasion for that effect.

Doc Roc
2011-06-07, 05:15 PM
Um. I wasn't arguing evasion shouldn't apply. I really don't care too much, the rules-is-the-rules, and verisimilitude can chuffle away.

It's pretty much incontrovertible that the intent was each square in a burst be evenly affected, and each square in a spread be similarly equivalent in its exposure. The granularity of simulation never really dips below 5ft squares, so I mean, if you want a swiss-cheese fireball as your explanation, that's fine... It's just also kinda weird given what we know.. I always just assumed they dodge along some path orthogonal to 4space.

ffone
2011-06-07, 06:14 PM
Um. I wasn't arguing evasion shouldn't apply. I really don't care too much, the rules-is-the-rules, and verisimilitude can chuffle away.

It's pretty much incontrovertible that the intent was each square in a burst be evenly affected, and each square in a spread be similarly equivalent in its exposure. The granularity of simulation never really dips below 5ft squares, so I mean, if you want a swiss-cheese fireball as your explanation, that's fine... It's just also kinda weird given what we know.. I always just assumed they dodge along some path orthogonal to 4space.

I genuinely don't get the feel from that passage that the fluff of spreads has to be physically homogenous (although IIRC most spreads don't allow reflex saves, like the 'gas' type conjuration effects), it's just saying they cover every square in the area and that 'affected' means something like 'has to make a reflex save' (or whatever for that particular effect) not 'definitely takes some heat and fire damage'. Lots of spreads may be Fort or Will negates, in which case many characters won't be 'affected',

The very fact that fireball has a reflex save, whereas say Cloudkill has none, suggests to me that there are things more homogeneously area-filling than fireball, i.e. fireball's not as homogeneous as it could be. (The fact that it has a DC at all, which means some fireballs are harder to take part or zero damage from than others, also suggests this. "Hotter" seems better accounted for by caster level / damage die, empowering etc.)

A case I DO have trouble explaining and buying fluff for:

A Colossal creature could have Evasion (and say it's a really big area like a widened Sunburst and the creature is a long way from any edges of the affect - he might dodge a regular Fireball like a Medium rogue dodges an Orb of Fire!) My fluff would require pretty darn big gaps, potentially as big as an actual Fireball to begin with....and despite that, a Fine creature without Evasion has zero chance to take no damage.

(Maybe if you're that small, the mere heat nearby tends to be damaging - physics of scale makes smaller things more sensitive to environmental temps - but that's a case specific to cold and fire damage).

Fortunately this rarely comes up in my experience since

- big creatures don't often take rogue levels (a monk dip might be good but I've not yet run across it at least). I don't think I've ever seen a Huge+ creature with Evasion in my games, or a Large+ creature that had it and used it.

-Really big creatures may be so big relative to the more typical area effect sizes of 20' that you can fluff it as dodging the way regular creatures dodge non-area effects. It's not a perfect explanation since they don't actually move on the board (Evasion doesn't confer free movement or commit upcoming move actions, although I recall some CAdv feat for using such effects to hide - Dive for Cove?), but fortunately big creatures are usually found in big or outdoor spaces where they are not trapped by walls in the exact space of the fireball.

Doc Roc
2011-06-07, 07:21 PM
It's probably best to think of evasion as avoiding damage. Remember, this is an extraordinary ability, not a natural ability. This is easy to forget, because extraordinary has come to be synonymous with mundane, which I think is hilarious.

In other words, it doesn't need to work how we'd expect. Maybe the rogue knows the seven names of the wind, maybe the monk hardens his skin with a thought, maybe the.... Okay. So maybe the monk just dies like an overgrown spoo (http://meyerweb.com/other/humor/spoo.html), but whatever. Not only is this a game, but this is a game where rogues can pick apart magical runes with a toothpick, two unfortunate frogs, and a pack of marlboros.

OracleofWuffing
2011-06-07, 09:34 PM
...Maybe the monk hardens his skin with a thought...
Snnnrrrk giggle giggle giggle.

Guttermind interpretations aside, that's a fair point. First sentence under Extraordinary abilities does say that they may break the laws of physics.

ffone
2011-06-07, 09:45 PM
Actually the 'goes into 4D' bit someone said above, in jest as it was, got me thinking...perhaps it's like they can indeed dodge into the ethereal plane (are there any Force effects evasion applies to?) for a split second (not long enough to pass through a wall, and don't ask me why this doesn't also help with dodging arrows and swords). Moving around on the ethereal plane isn't intrinsically magical (it's just that all the other ways to get there are), and there's no real-life ethereal plane anyway, so one might say that IF it were to exist, it'd be nonmagically possible to access it by bits.

Or perhaps a random 'extradimensional space', like tucking yourself into a nonexistent bag of holding for a split second.

(I don't actually LIKE this, b/c down this road is explaining every not-perfectly-true-to-physics aspect of DnD as 'oh yeah, more of the not-Magic-magic we call Ex abilities' with some nonilluminating explanation.)

Oh, and speaking of the Bada** Cape earlier - I think Batman Forever has a bit where he crouches under his cape to avoid a consuming fiery explosion. I'm sure it's on Youtube.

Though I'm not sure I like the B-Cape explanation....if the cape weren't resistant to the energy types I'm not sure why it would help, and if it were and did, everyone would just walk around in suits made of that stuff (Bad** Capes are invariably light and flexible). Batman has the world's greatest materials science at his disposal, but a typical medieval-fantasy L2 rogue doesn't.

Or maybe something with air currents is going on (but again, combat in a vacuum).

Qwertystop
2011-06-28, 09:29 AM
To all the people who say that you can't get a perfect, no-gap, miles-wide seal between the two moving objects, I say: You don't need to. You only need to get it close enough that there is no gap large enough to fit the crushee within the 5-foot square of the crushee (since a Reflex save will not actually change your location noticably on the map).

only1doug
2011-06-28, 10:22 AM
I must say, I am consistently delighted with the generally excellent tastes of my fellow forumites. Unfortunately, the fact that I know your tastes are excellent is derived from the fact that I've read most of these books. I did particularly delight in the Black Company, and much recommend his other works as well. Also, if you'ven't read anything by Jack Vance, he's actually really rather quite good.

I Hate to turn down a challange, and us Wizards have to do something while we rest in our skycastles.

The Painted Man (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Painted_Man) by Peter Brett. Fantasy.
a world plagued by the attacks of demons known as corelings, which rise each night to feast upon humans. The ongoing attrition of these attacks have reduced humanity from an advanced state of technology to a 'dark age'.
Caution: 3rd book in the series hasn't been published yet, this may lead to frustration.... (certainly has in my case)

Live free or Die (http://www.amazon.com/Live-Free-Die-Troy-Rising/dp/1439133972/ref=pd_bxgy_b_img_c) by John Ringo. Sci-Fi.
based on Schlock Mercenary, Live Free or Die covers the introduction of humanity to galactic society. (Set Long before the Schlock Webcomic)

CTrees
2011-06-28, 11:16 AM
I alluded to it elsewhere, but after this thread started, I found the Pathfinder rules for falling/dropped objects (http://www.d20pfsrd.com/gamemastering/environment/environmental-rules#TOC-Falling-Objects). There's a chart and whatnot (so I won't just copy/paste), but they very simply lay out damage caused by falling objects (it's dependent upon size, composition/weight, and height), and gives the following:

Dropping an object on a creature requires a ranged touch attack. Such attacks generally have a range increment of 20 feet. If an object falls on a creature (instead of being thrown), that creature can make a DC 15 Reflex save to halve the damage if he is aware of the object. Falling objects that are part of a trap use the trap rules instead of these general guidelines.
It actually looks like you get a choice of how to try to hit whatever you're dropping things on (ranged touch v. provoking a Ref save, but that save is only for half(!!!)), and specifically exempts traps from those rules.

I'm sure we could come up with rules about when this is or is not realistic, but really... it's concise, it scales appropriately, and it covers most situations without seeming completely and utterly ridiculous ("I drop the moon - how are you dodging?" becomes "using the strength necessary to move the moon, I overcorrected for the weight and missed" or "well, you rolled well and were only half as atomized as I expected"). For realistic, non-cheese scenarios (dropping shrunken objects, for instance), I really like it, for the stated reasons.

mint
2011-06-28, 11:40 AM
Lud-in-the-Mist

Iron Dragon's Daughter, Stations of Tide, Dragons of Babel and Dancing with Bears by Swanwick. Preferably in that order.
"The dog said bow wow" is ok too. Its a book of shorts though.

The Half Made World by Felix Gilman.

His Dark Materials by Pullman and Patrick Rothfuss books if you haven't already.

Calimehter
2011-06-28, 12:57 PM
It actually looks like you get a choice of how to try to hit whatever you're dropping things on (ranged touch v. provoking a Ref save, but that save is only for half(!!!)), and specifically exempts traps from those rules.

Nice. I don't use Pathfinder, but I could see myself "porting" that over to 3.5 when I run again. Still leaves the little problem of Evasion and Improved Evasion, though. :smalltongue:

After thinking more about it, my "conclusion" (if you want to call it that) is that the only time that using a simple mechanic to unrealistically dodge an oversized object is when simple mechanics are used to unrealistically toss the oversized object in the first place. How much of the latter you allow in your games is exactly how much trouble you are going to have trying to come up with a suitable "fluff description" for the former. If you can fluff up some wizard/hulker team tossing the moon without breaking verisimilitude, then fluffing up evasion should be a piece of cake. :smallwink:

Darthteej
2011-12-24, 01:44 PM
This kind of bullcrap is why I converted to 4th edition.

JadePhoenix
2011-12-24, 02:29 PM
This kind of bullcrap is why I converted to 4th edition.

I believe you're on the wrong forum, then.

TroubleBrewing
2011-12-24, 10:11 PM
NNNNeeecccrroooooooooo...

averagejoe
2011-12-24, 11:20 PM
The Mod They Call Me: Thread necromancy.