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View Full Version : Moment of Prescience on Initiative - Yes or No?



Tormsskull
2007-01-10, 09:44 PM
The following is from the "By the RAW" thread.




Q 403
Can moment of prescience apply to initiative as it is not a "any single attack roll (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/combat/combatStatistics.htm#attackRoll), opposed ability or skill check (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/skills/usingSkills.htm#skillChecks), or saving throw (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/combat/combatStatistics.htm#savingThrows). Alternatively, you can apply the insight bonus to your AC against a single attack (even if flat-footed (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/conditionSummary.htm#flatFooted))."

A 403

No. Moment of prescience cannot be used to improve your initiative rolls. It can only be used on the types of rolls outlined in the section you quoted.

A. 403

Initiative is a dex-check, but not an opposed one.
Moment of Prescience can therefore not be used.


Agree? Disagree? I know back in the whole huge fighters versus wizards thing a lot of the "Wizard's own all" people used Moment of Prescience as an "I win Initiative" button.

MetalKelt
2007-01-10, 09:55 PM
I think you already cleary demonstrated that MoP cannot be used on initiative quite clearly with your quote. Any disagreement would have to be a house rule.

If you are asking whether or not we would prefer the house ruled variant, I would not.

Fax Celestis
2007-01-10, 09:55 PM
Right, it says "opposed skill check or ability check". Initiative is not opposed, and therefore you can't.

Fluff says otherwise, though, since one would htink that being prescient would allow you to predict and ready oneself for a battle better.

I_Got_This_Name
2007-01-11, 12:23 AM
You win initiative with Foresight (to not be flat-footed), and Celerity (to take a standard action before anyone else, when not flat-footed). You then cast Time Stop, and proceed to win D&D.

This, of course, presupposes near-20th level, but Moment of Prescience is a pretty highly-leveled spell, too, so this isn't that much higher.

Amiria
2007-01-11, 02:35 AM
Of course initiative is an opposed Dexterity check. You roll, the bad guy rolls, whoever gets the highest result goes first.

Its the same mechanics like the Strength checks for tripping and the Charisma checks for Planar Binding spells.

Renegade Paladin
2007-01-11, 02:50 AM
Except that the character with the lower result does not fail; he merely goes second. The lower bull rush result doesn't get to push the other guy back after he's been pushed; he loses.

Lord Lorac Silvanos
2007-01-11, 03:12 AM
Of course initiative is an opposed Dexterity check. You roll, the bad guy rolls, whoever gets the highest result goes first.

Its the same mechanics like the Strength checks for tripping and the Charisma checks for Planar Binding spells.

As Renegade Paladin said; you do not fail if you do not "win" initiative.
For a check to be opposed, check results are compared against each other to determine succes and failure.
If you "lose" initiative you still get to act.



Opposed Checks

An opposed check is a check whose success or failure is determined by comparing the check result to another characterís check result. In an opposed check, the higher result succeeds, while the lower result fails.

Bears With Lasers
2007-01-11, 03:35 AM
But you *don't* get to act *before the other person*.

Lord Lorac Silvanos
2007-01-11, 03:48 AM
No, initiative checks determine the order the combatants act in.
But nowhere are they described as opposed rolls and results are not compared to each other (only indirectly).

Looking at is an opposed roll is a player perspective, not a rules perspective.

Bears With Lasers
2007-01-11, 03:52 AM
It's pretty dang opposed. I mean, you actively want to roll higher than the other guy. If he beats you, you might even do something like cast Nerveskitter. The results are compared to each other, to see which is higher, just as with the opposed roll; then that has results--you won initiative (yeah, "won initiative"--sure sounds opposed to me), so you go first; you won the strength check, so you push them back.

You compare your initiative check to everyone else's. If you won, you get to go before them.

Renegade Paladin
2007-01-11, 03:56 AM
Every opposed roll has the result of one of the parties failing to do something. If you have the lower initiative result, you have not failed to act (unless you're killed before your initiative result comes up, but that's a different issue); it just means someone else goes first.

Lord Lorac Silvanos
2007-01-11, 04:00 AM
It's pretty dang opposed. I mean, you actively want to roll higher than the other guy. If he beats you, you might even do something like cast Nerveskitter.
(my emphasis)

Sure YOU do, as a player. That is exactly what I meant with the player perspective.
However, the rules do not treat it like an opposed roll.



The results are compared to each other, to see which is higher, just as with the opposed roll; then that has results--you won initiative (yeah, "won initiative"--sure sounds opposed to me), so you go first; you won the strength check, so you push them back.

You compare your initiative check to everyone else's. If you won, you get to go before them.


Initiative is only indirectly compared. It is just used to assign a number to each combatant.
No comparison and no success or failure (except in the sense we as players view a bad roll as a failure.


Initiative Checks: At the start of a battle, each combatant makes an initiative check. An initiative check is a Dexterity check. Each character applies his or her Dexterity modifier to the roll. Characters act in order, counting down from highest result to lowest.

Bears With Lasers
2007-01-11, 04:01 AM
That's pretty arbitrary semantics. I could as easily and as correctly say that if I lose init compared to you, then I have failed to act before you. Initiative isn't a roll to see whether you act. You always act unless something stops you. Initiative is a roll to see whether you act *before the other guy*.

There's no unambiguously correct answer, here.

Lord Lorac Silvanos
2007-01-11, 04:23 AM
An Initiative check is a check to see WHEN you act.
It assigns you a number, nothing more.

The RAW does not talk about success or failure, any such notion is player inferred.
The character is not making an opposed check, but simply acting as soon as he/she can.

Thomas
2007-01-11, 05:55 AM
It's not defined as an opposed check; therefore it's not an opposed check. It's "a Dexterity check" not "an opposed Dexterity check."

Ikkitosen
2007-01-11, 06:17 AM
Yep, can't be used. Not opposed, just "everyone make a dex check" not "make a dex check against this guy".

Pegasos989
2007-01-11, 06:31 AM
I was nearly 100% sure that FAQ answered that it worked but it seems there is no mention on it. Not that anyone here trusted FAQ anyways.

Lord Lorac Silvanos
2007-01-11, 06:38 AM
I was nearly 100% sure that FAQ answered that it worked but it seems there is no mention on it. Not that anyone here trusted FAQ anyways.

The FAQ is fine as long as it does not contradict the RAW, itself or me :smalltongue:


P.s. Pegasos are you ready for the Battle of the Core Classes?

Pegasos989
2007-01-11, 06:46 AM
The FAQ is fine as long as it does not contradict the RAW, itself or me :smalltongue:

Yeah, after those quotes, I would say that by RAW MoP doesn't affect the initiative. I am kinda divided between liking it and hating it: I think that though initiative check by RAW isn't a opposed check, it should be. It is so similar idea. (Characters roll dex against each other to see who goes first.) However, letting wizard auto-win every initiative is a big problem. So, I would like to houserule it to affect it but still not.


P.s. Pegasos are you ready for the Battle of the Core Classes?


OH SH--... I actually forgot I hadn't submitted a character there. :O Well, it is not like it would be very impossible task to build barbarian 10 by core only. You will have the character by tomorrow by the latest. (Sorry for the delay. :()

Zeb The Troll
2007-01-11, 06:51 AM
I agree. It's not an opposed check. The results of your roll would be no different if there were no one else around. Consider the following examples...

Example:


Player of a character who wakes up in a dark room is asked to roll initiative. He rolls a 12 and declares "I go on 14". GM also rolls a d20 but is messing with his head. There's no one else around but he scribbles on a piece of paper as though something happened. Then the GM says, "Okay, what's your action this round?" The player says "I light my torch to see what's around me." "You're in an empty room."

OR


Player of an epic fighter character in a dark room filled with 10 kobolds is asked to roll initiative. He declares that he goes on 14. The GM rolls a d20 to determine when the kobolds go: it's later in the round than that. . . . "I light my torch to see what's around me." "You're surrounded by kobolds."

In both cases the initiative roll is to determine WHEN in the round the player gets to act. Not IF the player gets to act. The GM's initiative roll has no bearing whatsoever on the character acting on 14. Even if the GM had rolled higher, the kobolds could have attacked and failed to accomplish anything but embarass themselves but the character would still act on 14. His decision may change as to what he does, but he still acts on 14.

Moreover, in the first example the character rolled an initiative and determined when in the round he gets to act without anyone else even being present. It was totally unopposed even in the abstracted "succeeded or failed to go first" sort of scenario. A grapple check cannot be made if there are not two grapplers. You cannot succeed at a Bluff check if there is no one around to roll the opposed Sense Motive. You can roll initiative and determine a result whether anyone else is present or not.

I will also disagree with the discussion of "winning" initiative. In the games I've played and run we don't ask each other what we got in order to compare. We roll, we determine, and we make note. Then the GM starts counting. "Does anyone go above 20?" When he gets to your number, you get to act. Sometimes it's first, sometimes it's not. The notion of "winning" is a non sequitur. You could say "I beat your initiative" but you don't "win".

Amiria
2007-01-11, 06:54 AM
However, letting wizard auto-win every initiative is a big problem. So, I would like to houserule it to affect it but still not.

Not every initiative check. If we assume that there are four encounters per day that would require four 8th-level spell slots, quite resource-intensive. With my primary wizard I have usually one memorized and another on a scroll for emergencies.

Thomas
2007-01-11, 07:28 AM
I'm not against the idea of letting a spell like moment of prescience add to your initiative for one round. Letting it affect an entire combat is too much, but letting you get the jump on others in a fight is fine. Change the spell, not the initiative system.

Tormsskull
2007-01-11, 07:35 AM
I think you already cleary demonstrated that MoP cannot be used on initiative quite clearly with your quote. Any disagreement would have to be a house rule.


Are you still of that opinion? :P

I knew this was going to cause some discussion, which is the entire point. I honestly didn't think it should be able to be used for initiative. However, I definitely see the logic behind why someone would consider it an 'opposed' check. But I think Lord Silvanos explained it better than I can about considering it opposed as a player when it isn't really a D&D defined opposed roll.

Pegasos989
2007-01-11, 07:42 AM
Not every initiative check. If we assume that there are four encounters per day that would require four 8th-level spell slots, quite resource-intensive. With my primary wizard I have usually one memorized and another on a scroll for emergencies.

Oh, true. Well, let's change it to every boss fight, which is still quite powerful but maybe not completely rediculous...

Rigeld2
2007-01-11, 08:25 AM
I swear someone had emailed custserv about this at one point, but I cant find the post. Init is an opposed roll to go first in the round. If you arent the highest, you fail to go first.

Renegade Paladin
2007-01-11, 08:30 AM
The golden rule of WotC Customer Disservice is that they are always wrong. NEXT!

Darrin
2007-01-11, 08:33 AM
I swear someone had emailed custserv about this at one point, but I cant find the post. Init is an opposed roll to go first in the round. If you arent the highest, you fail to go first.

One thing that's always bothered me about initiative is *why don't you get better at it as you level up*? You get a better BAB, better saves, better skill ranks, but all things being equal a battle-harded 20th-level veteran has no significant advantage over a 1st-level newb. Almost everything on the character sheet scales up in some way, but not init.

One of the first house rules our group adopted was to replace the Dex bonus to init with your Ref save. It makes infinitely more sense that way, and opens up a lot more avenues to actually improve your init rather than that single lonely "Improved Initiative" feat.

Thomas
2007-01-11, 08:49 AM
I knew this was going to cause some discussion, which is the entire point. I honestly didn't think it should be able to be used for initiative. However, I definitely see the logic behind why someone would consider it an 'opposed' check. But I think Lord Silvanos explained it better than I can about considering it opposed as a player when it isn't really a D&D defined opposed roll.

I don't think it needs an explanation. If it were an opposed check, it'd be called an opposed check in the rules where it's defined.

Lord Lorac Silvanos
2007-01-11, 08:52 AM
Renegade Paladin: I think you are being to hard on Customer Service.

They are probably fairly good at answering basic questions. The problem is that when we hear about the wacky replies they sometimes come up with it is most often with respect to the more difficult questions. (I am not saying that they do not sometimes make basic mistakes)
Some of the staff is rather good.


P.s. Rigeld how did your hard-drive fare? Is there a cleric coming my way?

Renegade Paladin
2007-01-11, 08:56 AM
Okay, to be eminently fair, I will allow this: If by some chance one of them is right, some other one will release a contradictory answer and be wrong. The people at Customer Service are quite obviously not D&D players, and frankly, given that they answer questions about M:tG, d20 Modern, the Star Wars RPG, and all the various trading card games WotC makes, I don't expect them all to be proficient in every game's rules. By the same token, I don't expect them to know what they're talking about when you go beyond things that are in the FAQ.

Lord Lorac Silvanos
2007-01-11, 09:10 AM
I wonder if they do any quality testing of their Cust.ser. ?

MrNexx
2007-01-11, 09:14 AM
That's pretty arbitrary semantics.

3.5 is arbitrary semantics.

After all, an Amulet of Natural Armor doesn't provide a natural armor bonus, but an enhancement bonus to natural armor.

Rigeld2
2007-01-11, 09:22 AM
P.s. Rigeld how did your hard-drive fare? Is there a cleric coming my way?
Yes, likely tonight. Ive spent a while trying to recover what I could, etc... (insert sob story of lost data because I was retarded and didnt back all of it up)

The FAQs are based (partially at least) off of CustServ's responses from what I understand. So if theyre always wrong, then so is the FAQ........

Person_Man
2007-01-11, 09:30 AM
Greater Celerity, which allows a full round action as an immediate action that interrupts other people, is an 8th level spell, just like Moment of Prescience. So if you're worried about losing initiative, just have that.

Or if you're really worried about it, take Leadership or hire a Marshal/Dread Commando to follow you around, who will grant you his Cha bonus + Dread Commando levels to your Initiative checks.

Lord Lorac Silvanos
2007-01-11, 09:31 AM
The FAQ is written by the Sage (Andy Collins, previously Skip Williams), not Customer Service.

The Sage receives direct emails and input from questions (not responses) to Customer Service.

However, the sage is not always right either and has made mistakes.
The FAQ is not RAW, it is just clarification of the RAW.



P.s. Yeah, back-up's for chickens... until you crash....
I look forward to hearing from you.

Douglas
2007-01-11, 11:15 AM
If he beats you, you might even do something like cast Nerveskitter.
Does anyone else find it odd or amusing that this 1st level spell usually requires a 9th level spell to be even possible to use? It's cast as an immediate action and must be cast when you roll initiative, but you can't take immediate actions at all when you're flat-footed and the only way I know of off the top of my head to already not be flat-footed when rolling initiative is to have Foresight active.

Rigeld2
2007-01-11, 01:33 PM
Greater Celerity, which allows a full round action as an immediate action that interrupts other people, is an 8th level spell, just like Moment of Prescience. So if you're worried about losing initiative, just have that.
MoP is an hour/level buff. Greater Celerity is a one time thing. Youd have to Craft a Contingent Greater Celerity for "If I ever lose initiative." and then recraft it every time you expend it. I guess that would work, but would cost lots of XP/gold.

I still say that Init checks are opposed, RAW.

P.S. As of last night, bwok bwok bwok.

Lord Lorac Silvanos
2007-01-11, 02:06 PM
I still say that Init checks are opposed, RAW.

Based on ...?

The only similarity with opposed checks is the player inferred notion of "winning" initiative and the fact that everyone rolls.

The description does not call it an opposed check or refer to "winning" initiative and it does not even talk about comparing the rolls directly.

Does anyone here really say: "I failed my initiative check", if they do not get to go first in the initiative order? :smalleek:



P.S. As of last night, bwok bwok bwok.

Good for you, I say :smalltongue:

Amiria
2007-01-11, 02:14 PM
Yes, I. But not when other players beat me, rather when it is obvious that the bad guys will do some devasting attacks before I can act (like losing initiative against some beholders).

Lord Lorac Silvanos
2007-01-11, 02:26 PM
Hehe, yes that can be pretty bad, had you said Pit Fiends or Balors you would have had my sympathy. :smallamused:

My kin can be pretty devastating. :smallwink:

Rigeld2
2007-01-11, 03:38 PM
Based on ...?
The similarities between Opposed Attribute checks and Init checks. And the fact that CustServ has said so (I just cant find the post atm).

Opposed checks:
Both parties roll and add relevant stat/skill.
Compare totals.
If tied, compare relevant stat/skill.
If still tied, roll again.

Init checks:
Both parties roll and add Init bonus
Compare totals.
If tied, compare Init bonus.
If still tied, roll again.

Thats a heck of a similarity to not be an opposed check.

Lord Lorac Silvanos
2007-01-11, 03:47 PM
The similarities between Opposed Attribute checks and Init checks. And the fact that CustServ has said so (I just cant find the post atm).

Opposed checks:
Both parties roll and add relevant stat/skill.
Compare totals.
If tied, compare relevant stat/skill.
If still tied, roll again.

Init checks:
Both parties roll and add Init bonus
Compare totals.
If tied, compare Init bonus.
If still tied, roll again.

Thats a heck of a similarity to not be an opposed check.
(my emphasis)

Ok, let us use the things you listed as a starting point.

Where does it say that you compare totals for your initiative check?

I am aware that it is probably done for convenience and "fun", but where in the rules does it say that you compare the results, unless there is a tie?

AmoDman
2007-01-11, 03:52 PM
(my emphasis)

Ok, let us use the things you listed as a starting point.

Where does it say that you compare totals for your initiative check?

I am aware that it is probably done for convenience and "fun", but where in the rules does it say that you compare the results, unless there is a tie?

You compare them upon the moment that you magically know who has the highest and who has the lowest. A dex check and/or "roll-off" follows a tie. Seems pretty opposed to me. +1 it works for the first round of initiative.

Rigeld2
2007-01-11, 03:52 PM
Characters act in order, counting down from highest result to lowest.
Its impossible to make a list without comparing.

PinkysBrain
2007-01-11, 04:03 PM
Regardless of the argument (I think it's an opposed check) improvisation works on any ability check, so a persistent improvisation would work.

Douglas
2007-01-11, 04:18 PM
MoP is an hour/level buff. Greater Celerity is a one time thing. Youd have to Craft a Contingent Greater Celerity for "If I ever lose initiative." and then recraft it every time you expend it. I guess that would work, but would cost lots of XP/gold.
No need for a contingent version of it, all you need is the ability to take an immediate action, which you can do any time you have not used your next round's swift action and are not flat footed. The only way to use next round's swift action is to take an immediate action, which I don't think is possible outside of combat, so that swift action is always available when initiative is rolled. That leaves not being flat-footed, which can be taken care of by Foresight (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/spells/foresight.htm), which lasts 10 minutes/level.

So, if you have a habit of casting Foresight every time you might need it in the next 3 hours or so (6 with a Greater Metamagic Rod of Extend Spell), you can cast Greater Celerity as an immediate action the instant initiative is rolled, costing nothing but the action and an 8th level spell slot, and be guaranteed to go first. Unless, of course, an enemy spellcaster did the same thing, in which case the person to declare his use of Celerity last would get to go first.

Lord Lorac Silvanos
2007-01-11, 04:20 PM
Initiative check is not something you "magically" know, you only know it if the players take it upon them self for metagame reasons to shout out their numbers or look at each others rolls and even then you still probably do not know what the DM got.
And not knowing in this case is perfectly fine, since this is not an opposed roll.

The rules do not require that you compare the results (only in the case of a tie where you need to compare the modifiers).

Eventually we end up comparing the results as we are counting down, but direct comparison is not the purpose of the initiative check (as it is of opposed checks).
The purpose is to determine the initiative count you act on, nothing more.
The purpose is not to compare your result with everyone else's to see who succeeds and who fails, because failing or succeeding does not really make sense when looking at initiative.
Everyone gets their initiative count, even the one with the lowest result.

Rigeld2
2007-01-11, 05:55 PM
The rules do not require that you compare the results (only in the case of a tie where you need to compare the modifiers).
So you simply start at an arbitrarily high number, and count down by 1s until someone says, "Thats my init!"? Those would be some horrendously long combat rounds. As I said before, its impossible to make a list of numbers from high to low without comparing said numbers.


Eventually we end up comparing the results as we are counting down, but direct comparison is not the purpose of the initiative check (as it is of opposed checks).
Is your init check higher than (insert PC or NPC)? No? You failed to go before him.

The purpose is not to compare your result with everyone else's to see who succeeds and who fails, because failing or succeeding does not really make sense when looking at initiative.
You either succeed in going first, or you fail. If you fail, you might succeed at going before someone else.

Everyone gets their initiative count, even the one with the lowest result.
Because the lowest result failed to beat anyone elses score. That doesnt mean he doesnt act, it just means that he failed to go first.

Fax Celestis
2007-01-11, 06:48 PM
The RAW does not say that Initiative is an opposed check; it is similar to one, but it does not state that Initiative is one. Therefore, it is not an opposed check and is not a valid target for Moment of Prescience.

Lord Lorac Silvanos
2007-01-11, 06:54 PM
So you simply start at an arbitrarily high number, and count down by 1s until someone says, "Thats my init!"? Those would be some horrendously long combat rounds. As I said before, its impossible to make a list of numbers from high to low without comparing said numbers.

As a matter of convenience the DM could ask if anyone had rolled higher than X as Zeb The Troll suggested earlier in this thread.



Is your init check higher than (insert PC or NPC)? No? You failed to go before him.

You either succeed in going first, or you fail. If you fail, you might succeed at going before someone else.

Because the lowest result failed to beat anyone elses score. That doesnt mean he doesnt act, it just means that he failed to go first.


The use of success and failure in the sentences you made are perfectly valid and they make sense to us semantically and as players.
They make sense because they compare the results with the objective of finding a winner and a loser as other opposed checks.

However, my point is that the objective of the initiative check is not to determine success and failure, find winners and losers, like an opposed check. (Not directly anyway)

The purpose is simply to assign a number to each combatant so they can act in order.

The description of initiative also fail to mention just one of the (n-1)+(n-2)+...+1 (for n>3) opposed checks you are supposed to be making. :smalltongue:

Rigeld2
2007-01-11, 07:11 PM
As a matter of convenience the DM could ask if anyone had rolled higher than X as Zeb The Troll suggested earlier in this thread.
Hence... comparing results.


However, my point is that the objective of the initiative check is not to determine success and failure, find winners and losers, like an opposed check. (Not directly anyway)

The purpose is simply to assign a number to each combatant so they can act in order.
If it was an arbitrary number, there wouldnt be any adjustment based on a stat. Characters (PCs and NPCs) compete for the top spot.


The description of initiative also fail to mention just one of the (n-1)+(n-2)+...+1 (for n>3) opposed checks you are supposed to be making. :smalltongue:
buh? It may be my long days at work recently plus me working out, but my brain doesnt comprehend this.


The RAW does not say that Initiative is an opposed check; it is similar to one, but it does not state that Initiative is one. Therefore, it is not an opposed check and is not a valid target for Moment of Prescience.
will edit in a reply in a moment - called on to cook dinner asap.

Emperor Tippy
2007-01-11, 07:43 PM
Cust. Serve has said numerous times that it works.

Initiative checks are opposed ability checks.

At the start of a battle, each combatant makes an initiative check.
Undisputed.


An initiative check is a Dexterity check. Each character applies his or her Dexterity modifier to the roll.
Initiative checks are ability checks.


Characters act in order, counting down from highest result to lowest. In every round that follows, the characters act in the same order (unless a character takes an action that results in his or her initiative changing; see Special Initiative Actions (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/combat/specialInitiativeActions.htm)).
Ok. The purpose of an initiative check is to determine who goes first. The goal is to roll a higher number than everyone else. You never succeed in going last, you have failed to go first, second, etc. If you go first you can delay your action until later in the round, if you don't win initiative then you can't delay your action to go first.


If two or more combatants have the same initiative check result, the combatants who are tied act in order of total initiative modifier (highest first). If there is still a tie, the tied characters should roll again to determine which one of them goes before the other.



If their is a tie in an initiative check then this is what happens.




An opposed check is a check whose success or failure is determined by comparing the check result to another character’s check result.
An initiative check compares one players check result to another players check result (monsters count as players in this instance, just like NPC's do).



In an opposed check, the higher result succeeds, while the lower result fails. In case of a tie, the higher skill modifier wins. If these scores are the same, roll again to break the tie.
Hmm. This is the exact same as the wording in initiative checks (skill modifier is replaced with initiative modifier). Now isn't that surprising?

How exactly are you arguing that an initiative check ISN'T an opposed ability check? Its an ability check, its compared to the other participants checks, you can fail it.

Person A rolls a 20. His roll is compared to everyone else's roll. No one else's is higher so person A goes first. Everyone else failed in relation to person A. Person B rolled a 17. Person C rolled an 18 and Person D rolled a 10. Person B faield in relation to person C but succeed in relation to person D.

Renegade Paladin
2007-01-11, 07:49 PM
You forget, Customer Disservice is always wrong. With opposed checks you don't fail "in relation to" anything or anyone; you either succeed or you fail, with no relative terms about it. Initiative is a special Dexterity check, not an opposed one as defined by the rules. And as the rules define things is what matters. Sure, you might loosely define it as opposed for the convenience of describing it outside the strict rules context, but the rules as written do not say it is one, so it is not.

endersdouble
2007-01-11, 08:23 PM
You forget, Customer Disservice is always wrong. With opposed checks you don't fail "in relation to" anything or anyone; you either succeed or you fail, with no relative terms about it. Initiative is a special Dexterity check, not an opposed one as defined by the rules. And as the rules define things is what matters. Sure, you might loosely define it as opposed for the convenience of describing it outside the strict rules context, but the rules as written do not say it is one, so it is not.
You forget, "disagree with me" does not mean the same as "wrong."

Emperor Tippy
2007-01-11, 10:21 PM
You forget, Customer Disservice is always wrong.
When you ask a dozen or more times in a dozen or more different ways and with a dozen or more different wordings and get the same response from a dozen or more people they may just be on to something. No one, to my knowledge, has ever got customer service to say that MoP DOES NOT work on initiative checks.


With opposed checks you don't fail "in relation to" anything or anyone; you either succeed or you fail, with no relative terms about it.You fail in relation to the other person. You fail because the other person succeeds. Their is no DC that you have to hit to go first (something that all non opposed checks have). I only go first if my roll is better than your roll. I only succeed in my goal, which is to go first, if you fail in your goal, which is also to go first.

To make an arrow is DC 15. If I hit that DC I succeed, if I don't I fail. You can also hit that DC and succeed, independent of my success or failure. We both can't succeed on an Initiative check.


Initiative is a special Dexterity check, not an opposed one as defined by the rules. Actually the rules NEVER define an opposed ability check. They do define opposed skill check's. So if you want to be perfectly RAW, the rules don't define anything.

Now if you want to go by the opposed skill rules I will humor you. The requirements for something to be an opposed check are simple:
Do you make a roll that is compared to another person's roll to determine anything?

Until you can argue that you can determine Initiative based only on a single persons rolls it is an opposed check.


And as the rules define things is what matters.Exaclty. Find me where in any Errata, SRD, or published WoTC book an opposed ability check is defined. Until you do I guess we will have to use the rules for opposed skill checks. And under those rules Initiative is an opposed check.


Sure, you might loosely define it as opposed for the convenience of describing it outside the strict rules context, but the rules as written do not say it is one, so it is not.Actually the rules do say that it is one. And as a bit of reinforcing evidence both the opposed skill check rules and the initiative rules tell you to do the exact same thing in the event of a tie, which a non opposed check could never have. You can only tie in an opposed check.

AmoDman
2007-01-11, 11:35 PM
Initiative check is not something you "magically" know, you only know it if the players take it upon them self for metagame reasons to shout out their numbers or look at each others rolls and even then you still probably do not know what the DM got.
And not knowing in this case is perfectly fine, since this is not an opposed roll.

The rules do not require that you compare the results (only in the case of a tie where you need to compare the modifiers).

Eventually we end up comparing the results as we are counting down, but direct comparison is not the purpose of the initiative check (as it is of opposed checks).
The purpose is to determine the initiative count you act on, nothing more.
The purpose is not to compare your result with everyone else's to see who succeeds and who fails, because failing or succeeding does not really make sense when looking at initiative.
Everyone gets their initiative count, even the one with the lowest result.

I have no idea what you're babbling on about. Most (all?) D&D games I have EVER seen the DM asks everyones init and makes a list of action. He/She does not usually proclaim what the monsters' init is, but everyone "knows" (meta-game wise) eventually anyway. Apparently you do it differently, but as per the rules, everyone's checks are eventually compared to declare order of action. My "magically" comment was a jibe at your statement in the first place, as I have no idea how one could possibly come to the conclusion that the rules do not say to compare checks when they state to go in the order of highest to lowest with extended rules in the cases of ties...

Tormsskull
2007-01-12, 01:04 AM
Well, I checked the customer service site, and I found their article very funny. Here it is:


When you combine the wealth of information available in Dungeons & Dragons 3.5 with the boundless imagination of Dungeon Masters and players everywhere, an enormous variety of questions are bound to come up! In the past, we in Customer Service have done our best to answer every rules related question that has come to us. We found that more and more often, there simply was no answer in the rules to what the players and Dungeon Masters were asking.

But this is the nature of Dungeons & Dragons! We sometimes get so caught up in all the rules and crunchy aspects of the game that we as players and Dungeon Masters forget one very important detail Ė The Dungeon Master is in complete control of the play experience that he/she is providing for the players. There are many situations that are not specifically covered in the rules Ė situations that require someone to interpret and apply the rules creatively, and situations that require someone to make new rules on the fly. The Dungeon Master is that someone. The Dungeon Master has always been, and will always be, the final arbiter on how things work in his/her campaign or adventure.

What does this mean for us and you? It means that if you are a player with a rules question, you should work with your Dungeon Master to form an answer that works in that campaign. What your Dungeon Master says trumps any answer we could possibly give you.

This also means that if you are a Dungeon Master looking for an answer to a complex rules question, we in Customer Service are not able to help you. You have many resources available to you, and youíll first want to make sure youíve looked through all the relevant rules sources. If you donít feel you have enough information to make a ruling after going through those books, you may want to check the errata (http://www.wizards.com/default.asp?x=dnd/er/20040125a) and FAQ (http://www.wizards.com/default.asp?x=dnd/er/20030221a) on the D&D website (http://www.wizards.com/default.asp?x=dnd/welcome&dcmp=ILC-DND062006FP). If at that point you are still unsure of what to do, you may want to visit the message boards (http://boards1.wizards.com/forumdisplay.php?f=8) and discuss the situation with other DMs and players, to see if any of them can provide a solution that you are comfortable with.

What counts as a complex rules question? Basically anything that you canít find rules for in the books. For example, if you want to know how a specific spell interacts with another spell, feat, ability, etc., and the rules simply do not mention anything about the interaction, then it is up to the DM to make a decision. That is a complex rules question. However, if you want to know how a specific spell, feat, ability, etc. works on its own and the text simply doesnít make sense to you, then give us a call or drop us an e-mail (http://wizards.custhelp.com/cgi-bin/wizards.cfg/php/enduser/acct_login.php?p_sid=_ZhYdqli&p_lva=&p_sp=cF9zcmNoPSZwX3NvcnRfYnk9JnBfZ3JpZHNvcnQ9JnBfc m93X2NudD03NjEmcF9wcm9kcz0mcF9jYXRzPSZwX3B2PSZwX2N 2PSZwX3NlYXJjaF90eXBlPWFuc3dlcnMuc2VhcmNoX25sJnBfc GFnZT0x&p_li=&p_next_page=ask.php)! Weíll be more than happy to help you understand the rules.

We will also continue to pass on errata suggestions and feedback to the good folks that make the game, so if you find some incorrect or obviously missing information, feel free to send that in as feedback. Weíll make sure it gets to the right people.

Even though we wonít be able to help you with those complex questions, it is important to remember that the game belongs to the Dungeon Master, and he/she is sharing it with the players! The Dungeon Master has all the power in the world to make and break the rules as he/she sees fit! As long as players are informed on what rules are being applied and how they work, and everyone is doing their best to make the gaming experience fun and exciting, then everyone is already following the real ďrulesĒ of the game


Anyone else find it funny that they basically say if you can't figure it out on your own, don't ask customer service? I bolded the particular section in the spoiler that stands out to me. Of course we all know that in the end it comes down to the DM's discretion, but it makes life a lot easier when they add this stuff to FAQ or errata.

Viscount Einstrauss
2007-01-12, 01:06 AM
Well, the only other way for them to answer the question for you is to have a bunch of D&D afficianados talk about a topic for days on end together, possibly in a forums of some sort.

Levant
2007-01-12, 01:35 AM
You don't win intiative. You go first if you roll the highest, which is the most ideal situation, but if you don't that doesn't mean you fail to go that turn (assuming you don't get killed or held or something.) Like Lord Silvanos keeps saying, it's just a roll to get a number to determine the order of combat, there are no winners or losers just first and so on to last.

AmoDman
2007-01-12, 01:38 AM
You don't win intiative. You go first if you roll the highest, which is the most ideal situation, but if you don't that doesn't mean you fail to go that turn (assuming you don't get killed or held or something.) Like Lord Silvanos keeps saying, it's just a roll to get a number to determine the order of combat, there are no winners or losers just first and so on to last.

In your average opposed skill check one character is usually allowed one advantageous action over another. Acting first? Same.

Lord Lorac Silvanos
2007-01-12, 03:34 AM
I emailed Andy Collins and this is his answer:


I agree with your reasoning and do not believe an initiative check is an
opposed check.

Initiative checks don't have "success" or "failure"--going first in combat
isn't a "successful" initiative check, it's just a result.

Andy Collins
RPG Designer

http://www.andycollins.net (http://www.andycollins.net/)

Lord Lorac Silvanos
2007-01-12, 03:54 AM
Well, I checked the customer service site, and I found their article very funny. Here it is:


When you combine the wealth of information available in Dungeons & Dragons 3.5 with the boundless imagination of Dungeon Masters and players everywhere, an enormous variety of questions are bound to come up! In the past, we in Customer Service have done our best to answer every rules related question that has come to us. We found that more and more often, there simply was no answer in the rules to what the players and Dungeon Masters were asking.

But this is the nature of Dungeons & Dragons! We sometimes get so caught up in all the rules and crunchy aspects of the game that we as players and Dungeon Masters forget one very important detail Ė The Dungeon Master is in complete control of the play experience that he/she is providing for the players. There are many situations that are not specifically covered in the rules Ė situations that require someone to interpret and apply the rules creatively, and situations that require someone to make new rules on the fly. The Dungeon Master is that someone. The Dungeon Master has always been, and will always be, the final arbiter on how things work in his/her campaign or adventure.

What does this mean for us and you? It means that if you are a player with a rules question, you should work with your Dungeon Master to form an answer that works in that campaign. What your Dungeon Master says trumps any answer we could possibly give you.

This also means that if you are a Dungeon Master looking for an answer to a complex rules question, we in Customer Service are not able to help you. You have many resources available to you, and youíll first want to make sure youíve looked through all the relevant rules sources. If you donít feel you have enough information to make a ruling after going through those books, you may want to check the errata (http://www.wizards.com/default.asp?x=dnd/er/20040125a) and FAQ (http://www.wizards.com/default.asp?x=dnd/er/20030221a) on the D&D website (http://www.wizards.com/default.asp?x=dnd/welcome&dcmp=ILC-DND062006FP). If at that point you are still unsure of what to do, you may want to visit the message boards (http://boards1.wizards.com/forumdisplay.php?f=8) and discuss the situation with other DMs and players, to see if any of them can provide a solution that you are comfortable with.

What counts as a complex rules question? Basically anything that you canít find rules for in the books. For example, if you want to know how a specific spell interacts with another spell, feat, ability, etc., and the rules simply do not mention anything about the interaction, then it is up to the DM to make a decision. That is a complex rules question. However, if you want to know how a specific spell, feat, ability, etc. works on its own and the text simply doesnít make sense to you, then give us a call or drop us an e-mail (http://wizards.custhelp.com/cgi-bin/wizards.cfg/php/enduser/acct_login.php?p_sid=_ZhYdqli&p_lva=&p_sp=cF9zcmNoPSZwX3NvcnRfYnk9JnBfZ3JpZHNvcnQ9JnBfc m93X2NudD03NjEmcF9wcm9kcz0mcF9jYXRzPSZwX3B2PSZwX2N 2PSZwX3NlYXJjaF90eXBlPWFuc3dlcnMuc2VhcmNoX25sJnBfc GFnZT0x&p_li=&p_next_page=ask.php)! Weíll be more than happy to help you understand the rules.

We will also continue to pass on errata suggestions and feedback to the good folks that make the game, so if you find some incorrect or obviously missing information, feel free to send that in as feedback. Weíll make sure it gets to the right people.

Even though we wonít be able to help you with those complex questions, it is important to remember that the game belongs to the Dungeon Master, and he/she is sharing it with the players! The Dungeon Master has all the power in the world to make and break the rules as he/she sees fit! As long as players are informed on what rules are being applied and how they work, and everyone is doing their best to make the gaming experience fun and exciting, then everyone is already following the real ďrulesĒ of the game


Anyone else find it funny that they basically say if you can't figure it out on your own, don't ask customer service? I bolded the particular section in the spoiler that stands out to me. Of course we all know that in the end it comes down to the DM's discretion, but it makes life a lot easier when they add this stuff to FAQ or errata.

I think what they are mostly saying is that they will refrain from rules-guessing, qualified or not.
In other words, they simply cannot handle complex questions consistently.
And who can really blame them? They are not designers and do not have access to a wide range of divination spells.

If anyone receive a dodgy email from Customer Service they should politely write back and tell them what the problem is.

Renegade Paladin
2007-01-12, 05:33 AM
You forget, "disagree with me" does not mean the same as "wrong."
No, but "wrong" means the same as "wrong," and they are wrong. They're not wrong because I say otherwise; they're wrong because they are evidently illiterate and as a result cannot read the rules. Or something. They even admit to their own worthlessness; I was about to go get the article Tormsskull posted, but he already posted it.

Oh, and Silvanos... writing back to tell them why the answer they gave doesn't make any sense, with fully supported rules citations and all, gets no results. They won't respond. I've tried.

Lord Lorac Silvanos
2007-01-12, 05:54 AM
Well I have heard that they have responded to others and have taken note of the corrections.

But if your experience is that bad I can certainly understand the frustration.

Rigeld2
2007-01-12, 08:14 AM
I emailed Andy Collins and this is his answer:
I'd like to see your email to him, but thats good enough for me. Craft Contingent Greater Celerity it is (Or Extended Foresight/Greater Celerity).

Zeb The Troll
2007-01-12, 10:30 AM
So you simply start at an arbitrarily high number, and count down by 1s until someone says, "Thats my init!"? Those would be some horrendously long combat rounds.That is exactly how we do it. And we don't start with "arbitrarily high". We start with "does anyone go over 20?" because our roguish character is phenomenally luck when rolling initiative and with a very high dexterity frequently goes above 20. Then the GM counts down by two's and if you have an odd number higher than what he just called out you say so when he passes it. (20's? 18? 16? "I go on 17." Okay, what's your action?")



In an opposed check, the higher result succeeds, while the lower result fails. In case of a tie, the higher skill modifier wins. If these scores are the same, roll again to break the tie. Hmm. This is the exact same as the wording in initiative checks (skill modifier is replaced with initiative modifier). Now isn't that surprising?Not true. The description of Initiative does not use the terms "success" or "failure" or any derivative of these terms.


Actually the rules NEVER define an opposed ability check. They do define opposed skill check's. So if you want to be perfectly RAW, the rules don't define anything.Didn't your parents tell you never to say never? :smallsmile:


Initiating a Bull Rush

First, you move into the defenderís space. Doing this provokes an attack of opportunity from each opponent that threatens you, including the defender. (If you have the Improved Bull Rush feat, you donít provoke an attack of opportunity from the defender.) Any attack of opportunity made by anyone other than the defender against you during a bull rush has a 25% chance of accidentally targeting the defender instead, and any attack of opportunity by anyone other than you against the defender likewise has a 25% chance of accidentally targeting you. (When someone makes an attack of opportunity, make the attack roll and then roll to see whether the attack went astray.)
Second, you and the defender make opposed Strength checks. You each add a +4 bonus for each size category you are larger than Medium or a -4 penalty for each size category you are smaller than Medium. You get a +2 bonus if you are charging. The defender gets a +4 bonus if he has more than two legs or is otherwise exceptionally stable.

Bull Rush Results

If you beat the defenderís Strength check result, you push him back 5 feet. If you wish to move with the defender, you can push him back an additional 5 feet for each 5 points by which your check result is greater than the defenderís check result. You canít, however, exceed your normal movement limit. (Note: The defender provokes attacks of opportunity if he is moved. So do you, if you move with him. The two of you do not provoke attacks of opportunity from each other, however.)
If you fail to beat the defenderís Strength check result, you move 5 feet straight back to where you were before you moved into his space. If that space is occupied, you fall prone in that space.

A Bull Rush is resolved through an opposed ability check. It is not a grapple check or a bull rush check. It is an opposed strength check, complete with the use of the term "fail" and the consequences for failure.

Now let's just see what the Initiative block says and see if I'm crazy for counting down...


Initiative Initiative Checks

At the start of a battle, each combatant makes an initiative check. An initiative check is a Dexterity check. Each character applies his or her Dexterity modifier to the roll. Characters act in order, counting down from highest result to lowest. In every round that follows, the characters act in the same order (unless a character takes an action that results in his or her initiative changing; see Special Initiative Actions).
If two or more combatants have the same initiative check result, the combatants who are tied act in order of total initiative modifier (highest first). If there is still a tie, the tied characters should roll again to determine which one of them goes before the other.
Flat-Footed

At the start of a battle, before you have had a chance to act (specifically, before your first regular turn in the initiative order), you are flat-footed. You canít use your Dexterity bonus to AC (if any) while flat-footed. Barbarians and rogues have the uncanny dodge extraordinary ability, which allows them to avoid losing their Dexterity bonus to AC due to being flat-footed.
A flat-footed character canít make attacks of opportunity.
Inaction

Even if you canít take actions, you retain your initiative score for the duration of the encounter.
Nope, no "success" or "failure" there. And whoa! It actually SAYS to count down! I guess it's not such a silly idea after all. The only comparing even mentioned is if two actors have the same initiative. (Even then it's not a comparison it's a coincidence.) You COULD, I suppose, then determine that in that very specific instance it is opposed and then, and only then, might have a chance of this "MoP for initiative" thing working. But frankly I think that's grasping.


When you ask a dozen or more times in a dozen or more different ways and with a dozen or more different wordings and get the same response from a dozen or more people they may just be on to something. No one, to my knowledge, has ever got customer service to say that MoP DOES NOT work on initiative checks.Likewise, no one has been able to show a link where they say that it DOES work. Let alone the "dozen or more" you claim. Being more adamant doesn't mean being more right.

The rest of this discussion is pointless. Each side vehemently agrees with their point of view and will not be dissuaded from it. I will run my games this way (and no one has ever bothered to dispute it, or even consider that this might work, for that matter) and those who disagree will run it their way and the sun will continue to rise. In the end, for topics like this, the RAW is irrelevant and the GM is free to do what they feel is right. It doesn't even require a house rule, just a declaration that "this is how I interpret it" and that has to be enough for players.

Thomas
2007-01-12, 11:09 AM
That is exactly how we do it. And we don't start with "arbitrarily high". We start with "does anyone go over 20?" because our roguish character is phenomenally luck when rolling initiative and with a very high dexterity frequently goes above 20. Then the GM counts down by two's and if you have an odd number higher than what he just called out you say so when he passes it. (20's? 18? 16? "I go on 17." Okay, what's your action?")

That's pretty much how all games I have do initiative, officially. Of course, I have all the combat-relevant stats up in a .rtf file open on my computer screen when running the game, so I can just go "Your turn, your turn, my turn, your turn..."

If I didn't write stuff up, I'd be running down the initiative numbers, too. In RuneQuest 3E, that's what I did, only the other way around. Declaration of actions followed by: "Strike rank one. Two. Three. Four --" and the players interrupted me when their strike rank was up.

Counting down takes no time. "20, 19, 18, 17, 16..."

Lord Lorac Silvanos
2007-01-14, 06:14 AM
I'd like to see your email to him

Certainly



The question is rather simple:
Are Initiative Checks opposed checks?

Opposed checks require that you compare one result with another and they result in success and failure.
Initiative checks assign a number to each combatant, any comparison is indirect and the terms success and failure does not really have much meaning in connection with initiative, since you still get to act etc.
Even if one say that success and failure are just terms used loosely I still see any comparison of the actual initiative results only as a consequence of the ordering and not of opposition.

I hope you can either tell me what my reasoning fails to take into account or confirm my result.

I have provided the rules text from the SRD for easy reference.(Slightly edited: removed SRD references (quoted earlier in this thread) and personal information)

And here is the answer again:


I agree with your reasoning and do not believe an initiative check is an opposed check.

Initiative checks don't have "success" or "failure"--going first in combat
isn't a "successful" initiative check, it's just a result.

Andy Collins
RPG Designer

http://www.andycollins.net (http://www.andycollins.net/)
(Slightly edited: removed personal note)

Rigeld2
2007-01-14, 11:02 AM
Thanks Silv.