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Gamebird
2007-03-07, 01:50 PM
Let's imagine we have the standard four person party of 6th level fighting a will o' wisp (CR 6 monster).

The will o' wisp has:

Immunity to Magic (Ex): A will-o-wisp is immune to most spells or spell-like abilities that allow spell resistance, except magic missile and maze.
It also has INT 15 and WIS 16, so it's no mental slouch. And it has AC 29 (same AC for touch attacks), 40 hp and Fly 50' (Perfect). It can do 2d8 electrical per round and with a +16 to hit, it's going to be hitting most of the time.
The wizard has Magic Missile, among other choices:
The missile strikes unerringly, even if the target is in melee combat or has less than total cover (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/combat/combatModifiers.htm#totalCover) or total concealment (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/combat/combatModifiers.htm#totalConcealment).

But:
Natural Invisibility (Ex): A startled or frightened will-o-wisp can extinguish its glow, effectively becoming invisible as the spell.

No mention of what sort of action this is. Free, partial, standard? It's not a spell-like ability, and most Ex are feat-like or natural, the sort of thing that doesn't take an additional action by themselves. I would assume a will o' wisp could do it voluntarily. Invisibility grants total concealment and...
A Spot check result higher than 20 generally lets you become aware of an invisible (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/conditionSummary.htm#invisible) creature near you, though you cant actually see it.

So even with a successful Spot check, you can't target the creature with Magic Missile.

Is there any reason why the will o' wisp couldn't attack (standard action), go invisible, then 5' step for its action each round? This would negate Magic Missile, most ray attacks (assuming its formidable touch AC doesn't stop those), cause a 50% miss chance for melee attacks, etc. Of course someone could ready an action for when it next appears.

How does a party without See Invisible kill these things? Are they going to be able to take it?

Bears With Lasers
2007-03-07, 01:56 PM
Well, why wouldn't your party have See Invisible? What, isn't your arcanist a Diviner?

Okay, okay, maybe he's not. He should have Glitterdust (hey, look, no-SR) prepared anyway, though. With Will +9 vs. a DC of, oh, 10, plus... level 6, 17 base INT, +1 for level 4, +2 item, +5 from int, +2 from the spell level, a DC 17 on the Glitterdust, the Wisp's got a better chance of saving than not, so it's probably not blinded, but it's still visible.

Also, I'd say that abilities use a standard action unless they specify otherwise, so the tactic you're describing couldn't work.

And if the party really wants to beat the wisp, they can just grapple it. It's got -3.

Swordguy
2007-03-07, 01:57 PM
Let's imagine we have the standard four person party of 6th level fighting a will o' wisp (CR 6 monster).

The will o' wisp has:[/I]
It also has INT 15 and WIS 16, so it's no mental slouch. And it has AC 29 (same AC for touch attacks), 40 hp and Fly 50' (Perfect). It can do 2d8 electrical per round and with a +16 to hit, it's going to be hitting most of the time.
The wizard has Magic Missile, among other choices:

But:

No mention of what sort of action this is. Free, partial, standard? It's not a spell-like ability, and most Ex are feat-like or natural, the sort of thing that doesn't take an additional action by themselves. I would assume a will o' wisp could do it voluntarily. Invisibility grants total concealment and...

So even with a successful Spot check, you can't target the creature with Magic Missile.

Is there any reason why the will o' wisp couldn't attack (standard action), go invisible, then 5' step for its action each round? This would negate Magic Missile, most ray attacks (assuming its formidable touch AC doesn't stop those), cause a 50% miss chance for melee attacks, etc. Of course someone could ready an action for when it next appears.

How does a party without See Invisible kill these things? Are they going to be able to take it?

Mage Glitterdusts the area, then spams True Strike on the fighters. Fighters kill it dead.

Swordguy
2007-03-07, 01:58 PM
DAMN it Bears! I spent an extra 2 minutes on the d20 SRD double-checking that glitterdust allowed no SR on any portion of its effects, and you ninja me!

Boo. :smallwink:

Gamebird
2007-03-07, 02:01 PM
Okay, let's assume the wizard doesn't have True Strike or Glitterdust memorized (which I believe is the case in my game). What now?

Lord Lorac Silvanos
2007-03-07, 02:02 PM
Also, I'd say that abilities use a standard action unless they specify otherwise, so the tactic you're describing couldn't work.

Extraordinary abilities are free actions unless otherwise noted.


Extraordinary: Extraordinary abilities are nonmagical, don’t become ineffective in an antimagic field, and are not subject to any effect that disrupts magic. Using an extraordinary ability is a free action unless otherwise noted.



Is there any reason why the will o' wisp couldn't attack (standard action), go invisible, then 5' step for its action each round? This would negate Magic Missile, most ray attacks (assuming its formidable touch AC doesn't stop those), cause a 50% miss chance for melee attacks, etc. Of course someone could ready an action for when it next appears.

How does a party without See Invisible kill these things? Are they going to be able to take it?

Going invisible is a free action, so the party would have to rely on ready actions, Resist Energy, Protection from Energy and the fact that they usually avoid combat.
(Apart from what was mentioned above, of course)


COMBAT

Will-o’-wisps usually avoid combat. They prefer to confuse and bewilder adventurers, luring them into morasses or other hazardous places.

zife
2007-03-07, 02:02 PM
Mage Glitterdusts the area, then spams True Strike on the fighters. Fighters kill it dead.

True Strike can't be cast on others as far as I know.

Swordguy
2007-03-07, 02:05 PM
True Strike can't be cast on others as far as I know.

No, you're right. I was getting my homebrew stuff (cast True Strike on someone else as a 3rd level spell, all other things like duration are unchanged) confused with reality.

The glitterdust part is the important part, though.

Jacob Orlove
2007-03-07, 02:11 PM
Using an extraordinary ability is usually not an action because most extraordinary abilities automatically happen in a reactive fashion. Those extraordinary abilities that are actions are standard actions unless otherwise noted.

And yeah, Glitterdust is a good spell to have at those levels anyway. Magic Missile is not, though; you have better things to do than 3d4+3 damage. (besides, do you really have four memorized? It has 40 hp.)

edit: gah, massively simuposted beause I checked the SRD. Lord Silvanos: where is your quote from? Mine is from http://www.d20srd.org/srd/specialAbilities.htm#extraordinaryAbilities

Second edit: you guys should probably ready actions to attack it when it becomes visible (grapple would be good, as Bears noted), or try to find a way to not fight it.

Bears With Lasers
2007-03-07, 02:11 PM
Okay, let's assume the wizard doesn't have True Strike or Glitterdust memorized (which I believe is the case in my game). What now?

The wizard should have Glitterdust memorized, is what! Second-level spells don't get much better than that.

But if that's so, just have everyone ready actions to grapple. Squish it like Tinkerbell.

Swordguy
2007-03-07, 02:22 PM
As for the Will-O-Wisp:

cast Major Image of another adventuring party so it goes and bothers them.

wind wall will keep it away from you

I can't recall: Do extraordinary abilities detect as magical? If they do, cast Arcane sight. Now you know where it is.

Summon a monster with the scenting ability and tell it to go after the wisp.

Sleet storm will make it lose you (blocks all sight, even darkvision).

Protection from Energy (electrical) or Resist Energy will help

Darkness will give it a miss chance

Web the area where it last attacked

give an Unseen Servant a bunch of sand and tell it to sprinkle sand over an area where someone was last attacked.

Throw Orbs of X at it. No SR, requires a ranged touch attack (so yo may miss or get miss chanced, but its something)

That's all I've got off the top of my head.

Gamebird
2007-03-07, 02:23 PM
Hm. Useful answers. I'm the DM in this situation, incidentally. We stopped in the middle of combat last game. Faced with an ambiguous rules situation, I had the will o' wisp withdraw, since it wasn't imperative that the thing fight it out.

Hmmm. Grapple. Assuming you could hit it - doesn't that require hitting its touch AC?

Though really for this exact case, that's not a problem. The PCs are around 10th and they're busy fighting the big boss's main minions. The will o' wisp is just a local nuisance/hanger-on. It has no loyalty to the boss. Having made at least one attack, it could retreat and have credibility later that it "fought bravely" if the big boss survives. It would rather the boss was gone. Too bad the PCs will probably try to kill it anyway afterwards. It's willing to bargain.

Bears With Lasers
2007-03-07, 02:25 PM
Oh, Web's another good choice. Good luck moving through that with your STR, sparky!

Aximili
2007-03-07, 02:38 PM
Hmmm. Grapple. Assuming you could hit it - doesn't that require hitting its touch AC?

It's really not that absurd. Sure, it might take a few tries. But once you get the thouch, the wisp becomes useless. Succeeding on both grapple and pin should be a piece of cake.

Spiryt
2007-03-07, 02:41 PM
And if the party really wants to beat the wisp, they can just grapple it. It's got -3.

But, as i can see the whole problem is to hit it. And it's touch AC is 29 anyway. ANd with + 16 to hit it can easily ruin the grapple atemtp. Unless improved grab of course

Lord Lorac Silvanos
2007-03-07, 02:41 PM
edit: gah, massively simuposted beause I checked the SRD. Lord Silvanos: where is your quote from? Mine is from http://www.d20srd.org/srd/specialAbilities.htm#extraordinaryAbilities



MM page 315 or
http://www.wizards.com/default.asp?x=d20/article/srd35

Swordguy
2007-03-07, 02:43 PM
It's really not that absurd. Sure, it might take a few tries. But once you get the thouch, the wisp becomes useless. Succeeding on both grapple and pin should be a piece of cake.

THAT's where the True Strike comes in. Mage gives hisself TS and grapples the Wisp. Then the strong PCs can jump in...

Jasdoif
2007-03-07, 02:53 PM
MM page 315 or
http://www.wizards.com/default.asp?x=d20/article/srd35Huh. That's odd, I'm looking at that one right now, and it doesn't have the sentence that says it's a free action unless otherwise specified. Which is weird because I remember reading that part in the MM myself.

The first section on combat, however, says:

Extraordinary Abilities: Using an extraordinary ability is usually not an action because most extraordinary abilities automatically happen in a reactive fashion. Those extraordinary abilities that are actions are usually standard actions that cannot be disrupted, do not require concentration, and do not provoke attacks of opportunity.
I guess that was changed since the MM came out.

Aximili
2007-03-07, 02:54 PM
But, as i can see the whole problem is to hit it. And it's touch AC is 29 anyway. ANd with + 16 to hit it can easily ruin the grapple atemtp. Unless improved grab of course
Does it have Combat Reflexes? If he does, grappling him gets way tougher. But if he doesn't he can only ruin one attempt per round.

Bears With Lasers
2007-03-07, 02:57 PM
But, as i can see the whole problem is to hit it. And it's touch AC is 29 anyway. ANd with + 16 to hit it can easily ruin the grapple atemtp. Unless improved grab of course

So make several grapple attempts. Geez, the poor thing needs SOMETHING to counteract its glaring weaknesses so it's CR 6.

Lord Lorac Silvanos
2007-03-07, 02:59 PM
Huh. That's odd, I'm looking at that one right now, and it doesn't have the sentence that says it's a free action unless otherwise specified. Which is weird because I remember reading that part in the MM myself.

The first section on combat, however, says:

I guess that was changed since the MM came out.

It is here:
TYPES, SUBTYPES, & SPECIAL ABILITIES (http://www.wizards.com/d20/files/v35/TypesSubtypesAbilities.rtf)

Bears With Lasers
2007-03-07, 03:00 PM
(Ex) abilities like Improved Grab, Trip, et cetera are free actions, they happen as part of other things. (Ex) abilities like going invisible take a standard action.

Makes perfect sense.

Jasdoif
2007-03-07, 03:16 PM
It is here:
TYPES, SUBTYPES, & SPECIAL ABILITIES (http://www.wizards.com/d20/files/v35/TypesSubtypesAbilities.rtf)Ahh...I didn't find it there the first time because I was looking for a bold "extraordinary ability" entry which didn't exist, when in fact it's covered under special abilities. Combat still says if they're actions in and of themselves, they're generally standard actions.

Bears With Lasers said what makes the most sense and works with both definitions, anything that's part of another action is a free action and everything else is a standard action (unless otherwise noted).

Lord Lorac Silvanos
2007-03-07, 03:18 PM
(Ex) abilities like Improved Grab, Trip, et cetera are free actions, they happen as part of other things. (Ex) abilities like going invisible take a standard action.

Makes perfect sense.

Maybe, but the RAW seems to disagree.

However, I agree that in this case it probably should have been a standard action.

Bears With Lasers
2007-03-07, 04:12 PM
The RAW disagrees?

"Extraordinary Abilities: Using an extraordinary ability is usually not an action because most extraordinary abilities automatically happen in a reactive fashion. Those extraordinary abilities that are actions are usually standard actions that cannot be disrupted, do not require concentration, and do not provoke attacks of opportunity."

Going invisible is an action.

Indon
2007-03-07, 04:17 PM
Personally, I'd go with 'ready an action to hit it when it goes visible on its' turn to attack,' after I figured out its' tactic.

Lord Lorac Silvanos
2007-03-07, 04:46 PM
The RAW disagrees?

"Extraordinary Abilities: Using an extraordinary ability is usually not an action because most extraordinary abilities automatically happen in a reactive fashion. Those extraordinary abilities that are actions are usually standard actions that cannot be disrupted, do not require concentration, and do not provoke attacks of opportunity."

Going invisible is an action.

The first quote is from the PHB and is a general description with loose wording.

Use of the word "usually" could either be a general description of the state of the world when it comes to EX-abilities or it could mean that unless otherwise noted it is a standard action.


Extraordinary Abilities: ... Those extraordinary abilities that are actions are usually standard actions...
(My emphasis)

However, in light of the quote from the MM the latter interpretation would result in a conflict between the two sources.
The first interpretation, that it is just a general description, does not come into conflict with the MM.


Extraordinary: ... Using an extraordinary ability is a free action unless otherwise noted.

I have yet to see something that directly contradicts the MM quote.

Gamebird
2007-03-07, 05:03 PM
Lord Silvanos - that's how I'd read it. That if the monster's entry called out the type of action specifically, then it would usually be a standard action. If it wasn't listed, assume it's free.

Jacob Orlove
2007-03-07, 05:17 PM
I guess the hypertext SRD I linked to is wrong. Is there a better online one, or am I going to have to start using ctrl-f a lot?

Gamebird
2007-03-07, 05:30 PM
I use www.d20srd.org (http://www.d20srd.org). Works for me.

Draz74
2007-03-07, 05:52 PM
Yeah, d20srd.org (http://d20srd.org) rocks.


THAT's where the True Strike comes in. Mage gives hisself TS and grapples the Wisp. Then the strong PCs can jump in...

That's awesome. A situation in which the mage, grappling, isn't useless (or in great peril even), but is actually being creative, and clever, and using sound tactics.

Jacob Orlove
2007-03-07, 07:04 PM
Um, d20srd was the one I linked. You know, the one with the wrong information in it? If they have one error, they might have more, and I'd rather not double check every rule on there. That's why I was looking for any other options. But I found http://www.systemreferencedocuments.org/35/sovelior_sage/home.html so I'm good.

Also, nets would be pretty good against Wisps, if you ever managed to hit with one.

Lord Lorac Silvanos
2007-03-07, 07:07 PM
Um, d20srd was the one I linked. You know, the one with the wrong information in it? If they have one error, they might have more, and I'd rather not double check every rule on there. That's why I was looking for any other options. But I found http://www.systemreferencedocuments.org/35/sovelior_sage/home.html so I'm good.


I think they have done a great job.

However, there is an error :smalltongue:
The Unicorn entry has a minor one.

Jacob Orlove
2007-03-07, 07:49 PM
Pfft, Unicorns. As if I need correct information on those. :smallwink:

Gamebird
2007-03-08, 10:01 AM
What's wrong with the unicorn? ::goes to look::

Edit: Quick examination - I'm not seeing it. What's the error?

Lord Lorac Silvanos
2007-03-08, 10:03 AM
What's wrong with the unicorn? ::goes to look::

Yes, let's see who finds it first :smallwink:

AtomicKitKat
2007-03-08, 10:28 AM
I thought of suggesting Chill Touch(it worked in ToEE and paralysed the little ****), but it allows SR. Your best bet is probably to get the Rogue invisible, purge the Wisp's Invisibility on your turn, and hope your Rogue's Crippling Strike connects(thereby paralysing it as its Str goes to 0 from 1...)

Edit: About the Unicorn. For starters, it seems like they simply averaged all the HP gained from HD. Including the first HD, which should be maxed. I noticed the same problem while looking over some of the Demons in Dragon(Demonomicon of Iggwilv series). In Fiendish Codex 1 as well. I thought everything was supposed to get max HP on their first HD(even if it's 1/2 HD, in which case they get 4 HP or something).

Gamebird
2007-03-08, 10:31 AM
Edit: About the Unicorn. For starters, it seems like they simply averaged all the HP gained from HD. Including the first HD, which should be maxed. I noticed the same problem while looking over some of the Demons in Dragon(Demonomicon of Iggwilv series). In Fiendish Codex 1 as well. I thought everything was supposed to get max HP on their first HD(even if it's 1/2 HD, in which case they get 4 HP or something).

I thought only PCs got that? A one hit dice animal or warrior (see the "elf" entry or "gnome" entry) doesn't get max hit points for 1st.

Swordguy
2007-03-08, 10:31 AM
Yes, let's see who finds it first :smallwink:

The +21 Jump check? :smallconfused:

Person_Man
2007-03-08, 10:35 AM
Well, the fluff text says that Will o' Wisps usually avoid combat. So if for some reason the party is in combat with them and losing, I would simply run away at full speed. The Will o' Wisp is unlikely to chase you down, and even if it does, it can't chase all of you down if you head in different directions. (Bob and Joe are in the woods when they start being chased by a bear. Bob says, "Run!" and he takes off. Joe starts running and yells at Bob, "We can't outrun a bear!" And Bob says, "I don't have to out run the bear, I just have to out run you!") And when I play an Arcane spellcaster, I always have Invisibility (and if possible, Dimension Door and Teleport) memorized for this exact contingency.

And if that doesn't work, I would try a Diplomacy check. Yes, Will o' Wisps are Chaotic Evil. But they have a high Int and Wis. They also have treasure. I'm not sure exactly where they keep that treasure, but their mental ability and the fact that they accumulate wealth implies that they can be bargained with. If you can't win combat, get on your knees and surrender, praise the mighty power of the Wisps, and promise them anything if they would let you live. (Of course, language might be a problem. What do Will o' Wisps speak anyway, light signal Morse code?)

The point is that Will o' Wisps, like most CR appropriate enemies, can easily be defeated if you have the right spells memorized and use intelligent tactics. If the DM surprises you with something you can't defeat, don't blindly charge into combat. Find a creative way to get the heck out of combat, and then come back later with the best possible spells memorized and an ambush of some sort planned.

Lord Lorac Silvanos
2007-03-08, 10:40 AM
I thought only PCs got that? A one hit dice animal or warrior (see the "elf" entry or "gnome" entry) doesn't get max hit points for 1st.

Exactly, it is standard in the MM.


The +21 Jump check? :smallconfused:

Nope, however wacky that may seem it is straight out of the MM.

Some kind of bonus they forgot to mention I guess :smalltongue:

Swordguy
2007-03-08, 10:47 AM
Exactly, it is standard in the MM.



Nope, however wacky that may seem it is straight out of the MM.

Some kind of bonus they forgot to mention I guess :smalltongue:

Ah. I figured that the screwup was the fact they forgot to mention the bonuses. OK, back to the SRD.

Mewtarthio
2007-03-08, 04:27 PM
Well, the fluff text says that Will o' Wisps usually avoid combat. So if for some reason the party is in combat with them and losing, I would simply run away at full speed. The Will o' Wisp is unlikely to chase you down, and even if it does, it can't chase all of you down if you head in different directions. (Bob and Joe are in the woods when they start being chased by a bear. Bob says, "Run!" and he takes off. Joe starts running and yells at Bob, "We can't outrun a bear!" And Bob says, "I don't have to out run the bear, I just have to out run you!") And when I play an Arcane spellcaster, I always have Invisibility (and if possible, Dimension Door and Teleport) memorized for this exact contingency.

Sure, if you don't mind the utter humiliation that causes.

"So what is it you're running from?"
"Uh... A Black Dragon... mating with the Tarrasque..."

Seffbasilisk
2007-03-08, 05:11 PM
And don't try magic missile anyway, it allows SR.

Don't invisibility purge, because it's repressing something to be invisible. So it's not a magical invis.

Throw flour. Glitterdust. Take improved familiar and have your pseudodragon tell you what square it's in. Cast True Strike, then throw an Orb spell.

Splat.

AtomicKitKat
2007-03-09, 01:58 AM
And don't try magic missile anyway, it allows SR.



Immunity to Magic (Ex): A will-o-wisp is immune to most spells or spell-like abilities that allow spell resistance, except magic missile and maze.

I need ten.

Person_Man
2007-03-09, 09:52 AM
Sure, if you don't mind the utter humiliation that causes.

"So what is it you're running from?"
"Uh... A Black Dragon... mating with the Tarrasque..."

Hey, humiliation is better then wasting thousands of gp on Raise Dead/Resurrection, or worse yet, TPK by a freaking Will o' Wisp.

Aximili
2007-03-09, 11:08 AM
Immunity to Magic (Ex): A will-o’-wisp is immune to most spells or spell-like abilities that allow spell resistance, except magic missile and maze.
Does anyone know why is it especifically these two?
I mean, what's special about maze?

Bender
2007-03-09, 12:01 PM
I just wondered, for the sake of realism: if you grapple it, even if you pin it, wouldn't it constantly shock anything it touches (melee touch attack to give electric shocks), which would be very annoying and trigger your muscles in uncontrollable spasms... :smallconfused:
I know the RAW strictly say otherwise, but that just doesn't make any sense to me. (Of course, the rules aren't designed to be realistic)
So you'd need to be protected from electricity if you grapple it from my point of view.

cheers

Person_Man
2007-03-09, 01:46 PM
I just wondered, for the sake of realism: if you grapple it, even if you pin it, wouldn't it constantly shock anything it touches (melee touch attack to give electric shocks), which would be very annoying and trigger your muscles in uncontrollable spasms... :smallconfused:
I know the RAW strictly say otherwise, but that just doesn't make any sense to me. (Of course, the rules aren't designed to be realistic)
So you'd need to be protected from electricity if you grapple it from my point of view.


http://www.errantstory.com/comics/es20060807.jpg

Bears With Lasers
2007-03-09, 01:49 PM
I just wondered, for the sake of realism: if you grapple it, even if you pin it, wouldn't it constantly shock anything it touches (melee touch attack to give electric shocks), which would be very annoying and trigger your muscles in uncontrollable spasms... :smallconfused:

No, see, it's MAGIC electricity. If it hits water, it doesn't electrocute everything in the water, either.

The Great Skenardo
2007-03-09, 01:57 PM
I just wondered, for the sake of realism: if you grapple it, even if you pin it, wouldn't it constantly shock anything it touches (melee touch attack to give electric shocks), which would be very annoying and trigger your muscles in uncontrollable spasms... :smallconfused:
I know the RAW strictly say otherwise, but that just doesn't make any sense to me. (Of course, the rules aren't designed to be realistic)
So you'd need to be protected from electricity if you grapple it from my point of view.

cheers

Also: Given its dexterity, I think its Escape Artist Check should be good enough to escape the hands of a wizard on anything like a decent roll.

Swordguy
2007-03-09, 02:00 PM
Personman, that needs to just be put up as a background around here...


...It also assumes that the poster doesn't hate catgirls and in fact WANTS them dead. Which I do.

Vance_Nevada
2007-03-09, 05:42 PM
Does anyone know why is it especifically these two?
I mean, what's special about maze?

Folklore traditionally has Will-o'-wisps luring travellers into bogs and other maze like areas, where the traveller would eventually die from starvation or some other natural hazard.

Turnabout - trapping the Wisps in a maze - is fair play, I guess.

afternoon
2007-03-09, 05:57 PM
I'm pretty sure any DM would rule that you would get electrocuted when grappling a ball of electricity. I can't imagine anyone arguing it at the table... er, I hope none of you would?

Bears With Lasers
2007-03-09, 06:04 PM
After, of course we would. It's not real electricity. It's magic electricity. It doesn't work the way real electricity does.

Aximili
2007-03-09, 08:54 PM
After, of course we would. It's not real electricity. It's magic electricity. It doesn't work the way real electricity does.
And how do we know it doesn't work the same way?
Actually, who's to say it really is magic electricity? It might just be real electricity created by magical means.

I'm not saying it's a certain way, I'm just saying it could be either.

Borogove
2007-03-09, 09:24 PM
Pyrotechnics is the easy way of dealing with wisps.


Smoke Cloud

A writhing stream of smoke billows out from the source, forming a choking cloud. The cloud spreads 20 feet in all directions and lasts for 1 round per caster level. All sight, even darkvision, is ineffective in or through the cloud. All within the cloud take -4 penalties to Strength and Dexterity (Fortitude negates). These effects last for 1d4+1 rounds after the cloud dissipates or after the creature leaves the area of the cloud. Spell resistance does not apply.
will o' wisps only have 1 str, so the penalty drops them to 0, which renders them helpless.

Clementx
2007-03-09, 09:55 PM
Their ability references a spell that is a standard action, and is an activated extraordinary ability. Both of which make it a standard action, and either would require an explicit note to define its action as anything else. A wisp can go invisible tactically, and do all sorts of harrying, but that is it.

Borogove
2007-03-09, 10:03 PM
incidently, where exactly are people getting the impression that a will o' the wisp is a ball of electricity?

Will-o-wisps can be yellow, white, green, or blue. They are easily mistaken for lanterns, especially in the foggy marshes and swamps where they reside. A will-o-wisps body is a globe of spongy material about 1 foot across and weighing about 3 pounds, and its glowing body sheds as much light as a torch.

Bender
2007-03-10, 11:08 AM
First: My apologies about the catgirl :smallfrown:

now forget the spasms real (or magical) electricity might give you. Now: the Will o'Wisp is a sphere that attacks by dealing touch attacks. I imagine it as a pulsing ball dancing quickly through the air and bumping in to you to deal electricity damage. It only needs a touch attack to do it, so if it touches you anywhere, it is a hit.

Now if you are grappling or pinning it, why should it make an attack roll? It is in fact already touching you, and that's all it needs ==> inevitable electricity damage (whether this electricity is magical or not)

(of course if you have some resistance/protection against electricity, it doesn't necessarily damage you, on the other hand, depending on where the electricity comes from, having it grappled you are touching it continuously and over a larger surface, which might shock you even harder, but nothing is stated about that, so we don't know, that's why I put it into brackets)

(btw: do you also try to grapple a gelatinous cube? it's grapple modifier isn't that high, and according to the RAW it's possible, but it's a freaking cube, 10 ft in every direction, which just starts digesting you if you touch it, and you want to embrace it?)

Variable Arcana
2007-03-10, 02:17 PM
*lol*

Player: "I grapple the gelatinous cube!"
DM: "It will start digesting you."
Player: "Not if it doesn't succeed on a grapple check to make a natural weapon attack it won't!"
DM: Bashes head against the table and adds one more houserule to the ever-growing list.

Jasdoif
2007-03-11, 02:08 AM
now forget the spasms real (or magical) electricity might give you. Now: the Will o'Wisp is a sphere that attacks by dealing touch attacks. I imagine it as a pulsing ball dancing quickly through the air and bumping in to you to deal electricity damage. It only needs a touch attack to do it, so if it touches you anywhere, it is a hit.

Now if you are grappling or pinning it, why should it make an attack roll? It is in fact already touching you, and that's all it needs ==> inevitable electricity damage (whether this electricity is magical or not)
It's a touch attack. It requires a touch attack roll. A Will o'Wisp has no special ability that lets it damage creatures merely by being in a grapple with them, the way a balor does.


(btw: do you also try to grapple a gelatinous cube? it's grapple modifier isn't that high, and according to the RAW it's possible, but it's a freaking cube, 10 ft in every direction, which just starts digesting you if you touch it, and you want to embrace it?)To maintain a grapple you have to move into its space, and if my reading of its transparent quality is correct then you're automatically engulfed if you walk into it. And it can automatically paralyze those it's engulfed.

Bender
2007-03-11, 02:57 AM
It's a touch attack. It requires a touch attack roll. A Will o'Wisp has no special ability that lets it damage creatures merely by being in a grapple with them, the way a balor does.

I guess I'm one of those people who can't live with a very strict interpretation of the rules when they contradict my common sense too much. The Will o'Wisp doesn't even have limbs to make the attack, what are you restraining in a grapple?



To maintain a grapple you have to move into its space, and if my reading of its transparent quality is correct then you're automatically engulfed if you walk into it. And it can automatically paralyze those it's engulfed.

It only automatically engulfs you if you fail to notice it, it doesn't say anything about engulfing you when you noticed it (which I think is necessary to start a grapple). It's just a matter of how rigidly you hold on to the literally spelled out rules.

Conclusion: grappling can be a very good way to beat a Will o'Wisp, but don't be too surprised when your DM decides it shocks you anyway, depending on his vision of DnD

PinkysBrain
2007-03-11, 05:12 AM
And when I play an Arcane spellcaster, I always have Invisibility
I always have a potion of invisibility on me as soon as I can afford it, even if I can cast it myself.

Jasdoif
2007-03-11, 05:19 AM
I guess I'm one of those people who can't live with a very strict interpretation of the rules when they contradict my common sense too much. The Will o'Wisp doesn't even have limbs to make the attack, what are you restraining in a grapple?I was just looking at the grappling rules, and using a natural weapon has a -4 penalty but doesn't require an opposed grapple check. So it can certainly use its touch attack during the grapple, but it can't freely shock whoever touches it whenever they touch it.

The point of grappling would be that it negates the Will o'Wisp's Dex bonus to AC against people who aren't in the grapple, and pinning it drops it another 4 points. AC 16 isn't exactly impressive. A fighter or rogue standing by (assuming level 6 to match the CR) shouldn't have a lot of trouble hitting it then, and the rogue will get sneak attack damage as well.

Or I guess you could just try to crush it into submission with opposed grapple check damage, if the invisibility is the issue.


It only automatically engulfs you if you fail to notice it, it doesn't say anything about engulfing you when you noticed it (which I think is necessary to start a grapple). It's just a matter of how rigidly you hold on to the literally spelled out rules.It says you're automatically engulfed if you walk into it, which I imagine includes any act of entering its space regardless of your awareness of its presence. It is subject to interpretation, of course.

Clementx
2007-03-11, 12:08 PM
There is a specific exception for creatures that completely fill its space (like the gelatinous cube)- you can't share its space. They bring this up mostly for movement purposes, but it certainly has implications for grappling.

marjan
2007-03-11, 03:40 PM
and the rogue will get sneak attack damage as well.


The rogue can't sneak attack something that doesn't have discernable anatomy, which Will o' Wisps don't have.

Clementx
2007-03-11, 06:30 PM
The rogue can't sneak attack something that doesn't have discernable anatomy, which Will o' Wisps don't have.

Show me where will-o-wisps are immune to critical hits, you know, because every creature that is has it explicitly stated either in their Type description or their MM entry. Just because you can't figure out where their mouths are doesn't mean you get to nerf rogues. They can become invisible, that does not mean you can't SA when they are visible.

marjan
2007-03-11, 06:48 PM
Sneak attack works only on living creatures with discernible anatomies. That is in description of sneak attack. As far as I can see you cannot tell where the Will o' Wisp's weak spots are because it is an orb, which would imply that either it is immune to sneak attack or it can be sneak attacked all the time.

It is not in its description but it should be obvious.

Bears With Lasers
2007-03-11, 06:54 PM
" A rogue can sneak attack only living creatures with discernible anatomies—undead, constructs (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/typesSubtypes.htm#constructType), oozes (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/typesSubtypes.htm#oozeType), plants (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/typesSubtypes.htm#plantType), and incorporeal creatures (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/typesSubtypes.htm#incorporealSubtype) lack vital areas to attack. Any creature that is immune to critical hits (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/combat/actionsInCombat.htm#criticalHits) is not vulnerable to sneak attacks."

Sneak attack fails against Constructs, oozes, plants, and incorporeal creatures, plus crit-immune creatures.
If Wizards wantes Will-o'-Wisps to be non-sneak-attackable, they should've given it immunity to critical hits.
How do you critically hit a Will-o'-Wisp? The same way you sneak attack it.

Bender
2007-03-12, 01:53 AM
I have a problem with the Will o'Wisp's creature type. My intuition is for some reason against it being an abberation, I can't help it. I wouldn't know what else it could be, it has to be something, and of course, abberations are just a collection of bizarre creatures...

Of course, I don't really care that much what Wizards wanted or not (or what they might have forgotten). The next time I use a Will o'Wisp, I'll probably make a homebrew variant that fits my intuition better...

Leon
2007-03-12, 05:59 AM
After, of course we would. It's not real electricity. It's magic electricity. It doesn't work the way real electricity does.

And what stops magic electricity from behaving like RL electricity?

Bears With Lasers
2007-03-12, 06:09 AM
And what stops magic electricity from behaving like RL electricity?

The rules that say it doesn't in this case.

Seriously, why are you trying to apply physics to a magical creature?

Wippit Guud
2007-03-12, 06:14 AM
A startled or frightened will-o-wisp can extinguish its glow, effectively becoming invisible as the spell.

I've got a wisp as a creature in my latest Monster Mash, and I've ruled that it's a standard action, just like casting the spell. Doesn't help much against a dragon's breath weapon, at the moment...

Jayabalard
2007-03-12, 06:28 AM
It's a touch attack. It requires a touch attack roll. A Will o'Wisp has no special ability that lets it damage creatures merely by being in a grapple with them, the way a balor does.It doesn't have any anatomy to be restrained; if you grapple it, you're touching it it, so no roll needed, it just automatically succeeds.

Bender
2007-03-12, 07:10 AM
Seriously, why are you trying to apply physics to a magical creature?

I think there is a distinction between applying physics and a certain degree of common sense.

imho, applying physics is saying the Will o'Wisps does less damage in the rain, because it looses charge in the humid air, or hitting it with an iron, conductive sword causes an electric discharge, halfway through his charging cycle. Also your wooden shield should be able to stop the electricity, so it has to make an attack against your (touch AC+all non-conductive armour).

common sense is in game thinking that when you touch something that is hot, it doesn't have to be written somewhere in the rules that it burns.
It is of course possible that squeezing a Wisp the right way, you somehow refrain an internal organ that's responsible for the electric shock, but unless you character has carefully studied Will o'Wisps in the past, he is unlikely to know how that works, or even that it's possible.

Of course, strictly applying the rules as they are spelled down is a perfectly good way to play dnd. I just like to fight monsters, not stat blocks

Leon
2007-03-12, 09:34 AM
The rules that say it doesn't in this case.

Seriously, why are you trying to apply physics to a magical creature?

Why not, after all the Material Component needed to create a lighting bolt is a bit of fur and an amber, crystal, or glass rod.

there are also a number of Electrical Spells that ethier deal more damge to or affect those wearing metal armour in some way

Gamebird
2007-03-12, 09:45 AM
Will o' wisps in my game are actually a type of undead that are immune to nearly all the undead-affecting spells. They are the elemental essence of a mass, unhallowed grave that coelesce into a sentience that yearns to be set free.

Will-o-wisps are commonly believed to be undead and in essence, they are. Their type is not undead, however, and thus they are immune to any power specific to undead (such as turning, invisibility to undead, being harmed by curing spells, etc.) They arise from mass graves or corpses left in bogs or swamps. The gases released from the decomposing, unsanctified bodies combine with the trapped spirits to create an aberration of the air. Despite their intelligence, will-o-wisps have little understanding of their prior life and less memory of it. They have little purpose or motivation to exist, except to haunt the site of their burial and lure others to it. Interestingly, if you follow the lights to their corpse, exhume the body (or bodies) and lay them to rest normally, the aberration is dispelled. Indeed, they usually only kill those who attempt to leave the site of their grave or refuse to follow them.

I could go either way on the sneak attack thing. They definitely don't have a discernable anatomy, but I'd be inclined to let the rogue sneak it anyway. Rogues get gimped a lot.

If someone grappled it, I'd just have it shock them with the +16 touch attack (well, +12 after taking the -4 for using a natural weapon in a grapple). Really, that will nail every PC in the game unless I roll a 1.

BrokenButterfly
2007-03-12, 09:52 AM
The group that I DM came across a Will O Wisp at level 5, and they were having so much trouble with it that I had to have the thing negotiate with them after kicking their asses for five rounds.

Fixer
2007-03-12, 10:17 AM
First: My apologies about the catgirl :smallfrown:

now forget the spasms real (or magical) electricity might give you. Now: the Will o'Wisp is a sphere that attacks by dealing touch attacks. I imagine it as a pulsing ball dancing quickly through the air and bumping in to you to deal electricity damage. It only needs a touch attack to do it, so if it touches you anywhere, it is a hit.

Now if you are grappling or pinning it, why should it make an attack roll? It is in fact already touching you, and that's all it needs ==> inevitable electricity damage (whether this electricity is magical or not)

(of course if you have some resistance/protection against electricity, it doesn't necessarily damage you, on the other hand, depending on where the electricity comes from, having it grappled you are touching it continuously and over a larger surface, which might shock you even harder, but nothing is stated about that, so we don't know, that's why I put it into brackets)
The Will-o-wisp is not a ball of electricity. It is a ball of spongy material that can generate a sporadic electrical charge for an attack. Given it is not an elemental type (elemental type would suggest it is made of an element) it cannot be reasonably argued that it is 'made out of electricity'. It is a spongy ball that can generate electrical charges. If someone grapples the spongy ball then it can generate an electrical charge (just like a normal attack, on its turn) to defend itself.

Clementx
2007-03-12, 10:34 AM
The group that I DM came across a Will O Wisp at level 5, and they were having so much trouble with it that I had to have the thing negotiate with them after kicking their asses for five rounds.

So your character weren't able to deal enough damage in the round following its attack (before it can be invisible again) to make up for its surprise attack? They not know what a readied attack is either? Even in the most-tactically sound will-o-wisp, attacking from invisibility then moving upwards/under cover until it recasts its invisibility, exposes itself to AoOs, exposed rounds, ranged attacks, and readied actions. If your players didn't treat it like a goblin, lvl5 characters, who don't have the money or depth of classes to have all that many unique abilities compared to any other possible party, would be able to kill it. It will take longer than a straight-melee fight, but it is less threatening in each round. If the Will-o-wisp was a lvl5 rogue, then that becomes a dangerous CR10 encounter, to be countered with lvl10 defenses and attack routines/save-or-dies.

Will-o-wisp tactics for dummies:
1) In rounds where it is visible, attempt to negate its mobility or invisibility. Attack it physically if possible.

2) In rounds where it starts invisible, move into defensive arrangements so that everyone is within a move (or even better, a 5ft step) of a melee type.

3) Fragile characters go into total defense action in preparation of getting shocked. Robust ones ready step-and-melee or ranged attacks when the wisp attacks their charge.

Bender
2007-03-12, 11:01 AM
The Will-o-wisp is not a ball of electricity. It is a ball of spongy material that can generate a sporadic electrical charge for an attack. Given it is not an elemental type (elemental type would suggest it is made of an element) it cannot be reasonably argued that it is 'made out of electricity'. It is a spongy ball that can generate electrical charges. If someone grapples the spongy ball then it can generate an electrical charge (just like a normal attack, on its turn) to defend itself.

I never said it was a ball of electricity, but it was mentioned in a similar argument as my own, so confusion is possible...

anyway, I agree that it can generate an electrical charge during grappling, but since it only needs to touch the target to deliver the charge, it's impossible for it to miss while grappling (or being pinned). I know this isn't written in the rules anywhere, it's how I would rule it.

Gamebird: nice story behind the Will o'Wisps :smalltongue:

Jacob Orlove
2007-03-12, 01:43 PM
So you're saying that Wizards can automatically hit with touch attack spells if they're being grappled? Assume that they were holding the charge on the spell from an earlier casting.

kamikasei
2007-03-12, 02:08 PM
So you're saying that Wizards can automatically hit with touch attack spells if they're being grappled? Assume that they were holding the charge on the spell from an earlier casting.

Only if all the wizard needs to deliver the charge is for any part of his body to touch yours. Since in fact the wizard would need to succeed in getting an attack in with his hand, which can be pinned in a grapple, the situations are not analogous.

Whether a will o' wisp can make an attack merely by having any part of its body in contact with its target is questionable, but there's certainly a case to be made, since the creature is a homogenous sphere. Think of it like this: what if you grappled a wizard who had a charge for a spell in his hand, and as part of the grapple, made sure his hand was firmly gripping your arm? What if you couldn't make a grapple without doing that?

Seffbasilisk
2007-03-12, 04:24 PM
My warmage/rogue did that. Cast Shocking Grasp, Cast Shocking Grasp, Cast Chill Touch. The barbarian grappled me.

and it smelled like crispy elf.

Raum
2007-03-12, 05:20 PM
Only if all the wizard needs to deliver the charge is for any part of his body to touch yours. Since in fact the wizard would need to succeed in getting an attack in with his hand, which can be pinned in a grapple, the situations are not analogous.Where does it say a mage has to use a hand to deliver touch attack spells? Monks specifically do not have to hit with a hand, is it different for a wizard?


Whether a will o' wisp can make an attack merely by having any part of its body in contact with its target is questionable, but there's certainly a case to be made, since the creature is a homogenous sphere. Think of it like this: what if you grappled a wizard who had a charge for a spell in his hand, and as part of the grapple, made sure his hand was firmly gripping your arm? What if you couldn't make a grapple without doing that?The touch attack still requires intention and direction...hence an actual attack roll for both the Will-O-Wisp and wizard.

kamikasei
2007-03-12, 05:31 PM
Where does it say a mage has to use a hand to deliver touch attack spells? Monks specifically do not have to hit with a hand, is it different for a wizard?

The touch attack still requires intention and direction...hence an actual attack roll for both the Will-O-Wisp and wizard.

Huh. You're right.

Lord Lorac Silvanos
2007-03-12, 06:02 PM
My warmage/rogue did that. Cast Shocking Grasp, Cast Shocking Grasp, Cast Chill Touch. The barbarian grappled me.

and it smelled like crispy elf.

You are aware that you can only hold the charge on one touch spell at the time, yes?

Gamebird
2007-03-13, 11:43 AM
I think there's a feat that allows you to hold the charge on an extra spell, sort of like Two-Weapon Fighting with charged hands. But I can't think of one that allows three touch spells at once.

About the level 5 party - it seems very easy for a will o' wisp to kick their asses if they're not specifically prepared for it. Your classic party has a Fighter, a Wizard, a Cleric and a Rogue. The best attack roll in there is the Fighter, with a +5 BAB, +3 STR, +1 Weapon Focus and +1 Misc. (masterwork weapon, etc.). The wisp has an AC of 29. The only way he's going to hit it is to roll a natural 20. That's the wisp's touch AC as well, so it's damn hard to get a grapple as well. It has a +16 to hit using the PC's touch AC, so it hits anyone in the party on anything but a 1. Every round.

If the wizard has Magic Missile, then he can hit it a few times (assuming it doesn't get in his face as a result and AoO him - with its fly speed, it can get in the square directly above the wizard, making it impossible for the wizard to 5' step in any direction and be out of threat range). If the wizard or cleric happen to have the right spells they can foil it somewhat, but it's very possible they won't, especially if they were expecting to fight non-flying, basically corporeal creatures.

I think it's better than CR 6. I'd put it more at CR 8. An 8th level party of the 4 basics will be able to deal with it using 25% of their resources. The casters will be a lot more likely to have the right spells (or scrolls or wands of them), the fighter will be able to hit it on something other than a natural 20... the rogue still sucks, but he sucks for a lot of things. Maybe if the cleric wastes his time buffing the rogue instead of the fighter, then the rogue can contribute some.

Edit: You know what would really rock? A will o' wisp with one level of Sorceror, and the Shield spell. :smallbiggrin: