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  1. - Top - End - #391
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    Default Re: Togo's Planar Adventure set partly in Sigil (OOC)

    Quote Originally Posted by Autopsibiofeeder View Post
    12 (Base), 7 (str), 5(mag), 1(haste), 8(song). Nope all included. I am 'just' a sorcerer.

    Edit: holy ******, 4d6+23 damage!
    Yeah, I was looking at the damage, I didn't think your Strength modifier was +2

    And ah yes, you're a sorcerer, Umbriel suddenly understands why Derk chose to stay surrounded by enemies, it all makes sense now (she has something of the usual wizardly attitude of amused superiority to non-Int-based arcanists)
    Last edited by Ifni; 2011-08-26 at 02:45 AM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by The_Snark View Post
    I must not argue on the Internet.
    Internet argument is the mind-killer.
    It is the little death that brings total aggravation.
    I will face my annoyance.
    I will permit it to pass over me and through me.
    When it has gone past I will turn my inner eye to see its path.
    Where the irritation has gone there will be nothing. Only I will remain.


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  2. - Top - End - #392
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    Default Re: Togo's Planar Adventure set partly in Sigil (OOC)

    Cespenar, the way this spell works is that I give each of you a free ticket through the Astral. Your character controls where they go (and it doesn't need to be within my line of sight, for example - conversely, you can't go somewhere within my line of sight but not yours).

    Straight up should be a valid option unless there's some other effect in play that we don't know about.
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    Quote Originally Posted by The_Snark View Post
    I must not argue on the Internet.
    Internet argument is the mind-killer.
    It is the little death that brings total aggravation.
    I will face my annoyance.
    I will permit it to pass over me and through me.
    When it has gone past I will turn my inner eye to see its path.
    Where the irritation has gone there will be nothing. Only I will remain.


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  3. - Top - End - #393
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    Default Re: Togo's Planar Adventure set partly in Sigil (OOC)

    Nice. No problem then.
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  4. - Top - End - #394
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    Default Re: Togo's Planar Adventure set partly in Sigil (OOC)

    I didn't include any bonus on the rock's damage, but I'm also not sure he could do it in that round, either.
    Pointing out hypocrisy is not disrespect.


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  5. - Top - End - #395
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    Default Re: Togo's Planar Adventure set partly in Sigil (OOC)

    First I resolve the teleport, then the enemy actually get to take some actions, then I resolve your actions...

    Incidently, teleport and summoning by RAW only works onto solid surfaces (Argueable, but I think the case is pretty convincing). However, this is a rule I suspend for creatures that could ordinarily travel in such a medium. So you can summon/teleport sea creatures into water, and flying creatures into air. Rhion is a flying creature (at the moment), so he can teleport into the mid air just fine.

  6. - Top - End - #396
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    Default Re: Togo's Planar Adventure set partly in Sigil (OOC)

    By my calculation that's 114hp on Derk. Derk, do you agree?

    I'm now working on the actions that most of you have posted. Please let me know of any changes as soon as you can.

    And any sign of sthrer?
    Last edited by Togo; 2011-08-26 at 03:30 PM.

  7. - Top - End - #397
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    Default Re: Togo's Planar Adventure set partly in Sigil (OOC)

    Quote Originally Posted by Togo View Post
    First I resolve the teleport, then the enemy actually get to take some actions, then I resolve your actions...

    Incidently, teleport and summoning by RAW only works onto solid surfaces (Argueable, but I think the case is pretty convincing). However, this is a rule I suspend for creatures that could ordinarily travel in such a medium. So you can summon/teleport sea creatures into water, and flying creatures into air. Rhion is a flying creature (at the moment), so he can teleport into the mid air just fine.
    Summoning I agree, teleport I disagree personally (that is, as a GM I run it differently), but I'm fine with your ruling - it has distinct advantages, in particular if I roll a teleport error when transporting the party, I can't end up dropping us in mid-air (unless we're flying) or the middle of the ocean

    I don't think Umbriel provoked - she moved up to the corner, next to the man, but then could see everyone so didn't need to move further, and then the teleport took her the rest of the way. The "if she needs to she'll provoke" was only if she'd realized she had to keep going after getting to the corner. (Not that it matters much - if she had to go further to get her spell off, just let me know.)
    Last edited by Ifni; 2011-08-27 at 02:15 AM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by The_Snark View Post
    I must not argue on the Internet.
    Internet argument is the mind-killer.
    It is the little death that brings total aggravation.
    I will face my annoyance.
    I will permit it to pass over me and through me.
    When it has gone past I will turn my inner eye to see its path.
    Where the irritation has gone there will be nothing. Only I will remain.


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  8. - Top - End - #398
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    Default Re: Togo's Planar Adventure set partly in Sigil (OOC)

    Quote Originally Posted by Ifni View Post
    Summoning I agree, teleport I disagree personally (that is, as a GM I run it differently), but I'm fine with your ruling - it has distinct advantages, in particular if I roll a teleport error when transporting the party, I can't end up dropping us in mid-air (unless we're flying) or the middle of the ocean
    I don't know. Teleporting into the air is a pretty common trope in fiction. Look at Nightcrawler in X-Men, for example. Or V in Order of the Stick.


    Togo, I have two questions.
    1) Was Xiulcoatl able to reach the statue and return? Or is he presently at the statue waiting for his turn to pull it up and fly back to do a bombing run?

    2) What was your ruling on talking in-character in between your turns?
    Pointing out hypocrisy is not disrespect.


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  9. - Top - End - #399
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    Default Re: Togo's Planar Adventure set partly in Sigil (OOC)

    Quote Originally Posted by Togo View Post
    By my calculation that's 114hp on Derk. Derk, do you agree?

    I'm now working on the actions that most of you have posted. Please let me know of any changes as soon as you can.

    And any sign of sthrer?
    I counted 104, which is similarly disturbing: 56 hp remaining. This means Derk will choose to attack the brutes, a definitive priority. I will focus my power on any brute I can reach that preferably already recieved some damage. Also, Derk will use 5th level arcane strike: things are getting tight now.

    Will just roll here, quickly, Togo, if you do not mind. If you already rolled somewhere, feel free to ignore these rolls. But it appears I got engaged yesterday and it is very clear someone does not like me typing right now .

    attack 1 (1d20+38)[43]
    confirm 1 (1d20+38)[52]
    damage 1 (4d6+23)[39] + (5d4)[13]

    attack 2 (1d20+33)[50]
    confirm 2 (1d20+33)[46]
    damage 2 (4d6+23)[45] + (5d4)[11]

    attack 3 (1d20+28)[36]
    confirm 3 (1d20+28)[31]
    damage 3 (4d6+23)[40] + (5d4)[13]

    attack haste (1d20+38)[42]
    confirm haste (1d20+38)[49]
    damage haste (4d6+23)[44] + (5d4)[7]

    And a merry cheers from sunny Italy!
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  10. - Top - End - #400
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    Default Re: Togo's Planar Adventure set partly in Sigil (OOC)

    Quote Originally Posted by Obrysii View Post
    Togo, I have two questions.
    1) Was Xiulcoatl able to reach the statue and return? Or is he presently at the statue waiting for his turn to pull it up and fly back to do a bombing run?
    He's going to and picking up the statue this turn, unless you want to change your mind. I don't think he can move away from where he picked up the statue yet.

    Quote Originally Posted by Obrysii View Post
    2) What was your ruling on talking in-character in between your turns?
    Yes, go right ahead.

    The only thing I usually ask is that you don't tell characters things that only you know/spotted at the start of combat until you get to act in combat.

  11. - Top - End - #401
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    Default Re: Togo's Planar Adventure set partly in Sigil (OOC)

    I'm waiting to see how Derk (and possibly Rhion) do at slaughtering the brutes before I take my action - Togo, if you can let me know whether Derk took any of them down with his attacks, that would be helpful.

    Also, a note: as indicated in my signature, I'm in the target zone for Hurricane Irene. I'm not in an evacuation area, but I may lose power - tomorrow is the most likely time for that to happen, but if it goes down it may stay down for a few days. Thus, if I stop showing up, that's probably why - sorry for any inconvenience.
    Last edited by Ifni; 2011-08-27 at 08:02 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by The_Snark View Post
    I must not argue on the Internet.
    Internet argument is the mind-killer.
    It is the little death that brings total aggravation.
    I will face my annoyance.
    I will permit it to pass over me and through me.
    When it has gone past I will turn my inner eye to see its path.
    Where the irritation has gone there will be nothing. Only I will remain.


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  12. - Top - End - #402
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    Default Re: Togo's Planar Adventure set partly in Sigil (OOC)

    Quote Originally Posted by Ifni View Post
    I don't think Umbriel provoked - she moved up to the corner, next to the man, but then could see everyone so didn't need to move further, and then the teleport took her the rest of the way. The "if she needs to she'll provoke" was only if she'd realized she had to keep going after getting to the corner. (Not that it matters much - if she had to go further to get her spell off, just let me know.)
    Didn't realise you were teleporting the rest of the way. That's fine then, no provocation.

  13. - Top - End - #403
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    Default Re: Togo's Planar Adventure set partly in Sigil (OOC)

    Actually, one other question: Brute 2 started swinging at Rhion, that was what triggered the Dimension Step (the point of readying that way was to make him waste an attack, as his weapon swept through the space where Rhion had just been). So shouldn't he only get his last two attacks against Derk? *hopeful*
    Last edited by Ifni; 2011-08-27 at 08:47 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by The_Snark View Post
    I must not argue on the Internet.
    Internet argument is the mind-killer.
    It is the little death that brings total aggravation.
    I will face my annoyance.
    I will permit it to pass over me and through me.
    When it has gone past I will turn my inner eye to see its path.
    Where the irritation has gone there will be nothing. Only I will remain.


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  14. - Top - End - #404
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    Default Re: Togo's Planar Adventure set partly in Sigil (OOC)

    Obrysii, can you possibly add a to hit roll to your statue bomb attack? I generally go for a to hit roll rather than a reflex save for dropped objects, as discussed way back in the recruitment thread. Since you're rolling to hit, it will count as an attack, and thus you get the benefit of Godot's bonuses.

  15. - Top - End - #405
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    Default Re: Togo's Planar Adventure set partly in Sigil (OOC)

    I'm waiting on Xiuhcoatl's attack roll, and then Umbriel's action. Brute 4, Man2, Man3, and Man4 all remain standing, although Ma3 is still attacking Man2.

    (Man, next time I'm going to think of some more evocative placeholder names. I didn't realise that at this point I'd have to describe an entire fight with you not knowing their real names.)

  16. - Top - End - #406
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    Default Re: Togo's Planar Adventure set partly in Sigil (OOC)

    I liked the setup for the statue dropping in the IC I'll post Umbriel's action once that's resolved, in case it knocks Brute 4 out.
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    Quote Originally Posted by The_Snark View Post
    I must not argue on the Internet.
    Internet argument is the mind-killer.
    It is the little death that brings total aggravation.
    I will face my annoyance.
    I will permit it to pass over me and through me.
    When it has gone past I will turn my inner eye to see its path.
    Where the irritation has gone there will be nothing. Only I will remain.


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  17. - Top - End - #407
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    Default Re: Togo's Planar Adventure set partly in Sigil (OOC)

    Quote Originally Posted by Autopsibiofeeder View Post
    If you already rolled somewhere, feel free to ignore these rolls. But it appears I got engaged yesterday and it is very clear someone does not like me typing right now .
    <rolls snipped>
    And a merry cheers from sunny Italy!
    Wow! I missed this the first time around. I've used your rolls as requested. Congratulations! And feel free to pass on congratulations from a strange person on the internet neither of you have ever met!

    (Where in Italy?)

  18. - Top - End - #408
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    Default Re: Togo's Planar Adventure set partly in Sigil (OOC)

    Er .... do you need me to roll? It's AC 5 to hit the a particular medium-sized square, AC 4 for a Large one.

    That's what the reflex save is for - he's targeting the square. They just happen to be in the same square.
    Pointing out hypocrisy is not disrespect.


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  19. - Top - End - #409
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    Default Re: Togo's Planar Adventure set partly in Sigil (OOC)

    Quote Originally Posted by Obrysii View Post
    Er .... do you need me to roll? It's AC 5 to hit the a particular medium-sized square, AC 4 for a Large one.

    That's what the reflex save is for - he's targeting the square. They just happen to be in the same square.
    Togo, as far as I understand, directly swaps the nature of the attack from "requires reflex save" to "normal attack roll". Like, I don't know, converting a Fireball to a ray spell, to give a poor analogy?
    Last edited by Cespenar; 2011-08-28 at 06:27 PM.
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  20. - Top - End - #410
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    Default Re: Togo's Planar Adventure set partly in Sigil (OOC)

    I'd note that given the fairly low DC on the reflex save, and the awesome bonuses Godot is giving to attack rolls, this is almost certainly to your benefit Just don't roll a 1!
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    Quote Originally Posted by The_Snark View Post
    I must not argue on the Internet.
    Internet argument is the mind-killer.
    It is the little death that brings total aggravation.
    I will face my annoyance.
    I will permit it to pass over me and through me.
    When it has gone past I will turn my inner eye to see its path.
    Where the irritation has gone there will be nothing. Only I will remain.


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  21. - Top - End - #411
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    Default Re: Togo's Planar Adventure set partly in Sigil (OOC)

    Quote Originally Posted by Cespenar View Post
    Togo, as far as I understand, directly swaps the nature of the attack from "requires reflex save" to "normal attack roll". Like, I don't know, converting a Fireball to a ray spell, to give a poor analogy?
    Quote Originally Posted by Ifni View Post
    I'd note that given the fairly low DC on the reflex save, and the awesome bonuses Godot is giving to attack rolls, this is almost certainly to your benefit Just don't roll a 1!
    Hmm ... okay, I suppose I'll roll then.

    I assume it's a ranged attack?

    (1d20+18)[26]

    And if it's an attack, the +8 should apply to the damage, so he did a total of [40] damage.
    Last edited by Obrysii; 2011-08-28 at 06:49 PM.
    Pointing out hypocrisy is not disrespect.


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    RIP Finney Jr., June 1998 to March 18, 2011. Nearly 13 years of being the best goldfish ever. You, as with Tasha, will be missed forever.

  22. - Top - End - #412
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    Default Re: Togo's Planar Adventure set partly in Sigil (OOC)

    Quote Originally Posted by Ifni View Post
    Actually, one other question: Brute 2 started swinging at Rhion, that was what triggered the Dimension Step (the point of readying that way was to make him waste an attack, as his weapon swept through the space where Rhion had just been). So shouldn't he only get his last two attacks against Derk? *hopeful*
    Was Ifni right about this? It would certainly safe me a big dent in my precious armour (and two half-broken ribs, I guess) .

    Quote Originally Posted by Togo View Post
    Wow! I missed this the first time around. I've used your rolls as requested. Congratulations! And feel free to pass on congratulations from a strange person on the internet neither of you have ever met!

    (Where in Italy?)
    Thank you . I am in the province Varese, at the shore of Lago Maggiore (the Northermost part of Italy, the very green Southern Alps).
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  23. - Top - End - #413
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    Default Re: Togo's Planar Adventure set partly in Sigil (OOC)

    Quote Originally Posted by Ifni View Post
    Actually, one other question: Brute 2 started swinging at Rhion, that was what triggered the Dimension Step (the point of readying that way was to make him waste an attack, as his weapon swept through the space where Rhion had just been). So shouldn't he only get his last two attacks against Derk? *hopeful*
    After a great deal of thought, no, this doesn't waste an action. I'm going with RAW on this one. Readied actions don't go off during someone else's act, they go off before them. If you can get someone to waste one of their actions just by readying one of your own, you open up a huge range of possible abuses, not least that it means that someone gets two actions in a row.

    For instance, one imp with teleport, silence, and improved disarm, and you'd never cast a spell sucessfully ever again. Being interrupted is bad, but it's even worse if it means you don't get a turn, because you couldn't act before, during or after their intervention.

  24. - Top - End - #414
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    Default Re: Togo's Planar Adventure set partly in Sigil (OOC)

    Quote Originally Posted by Togo View Post
    After a great deal of thought, no, this doesn't waste an action. I'm going with RAW on this one. Readied actions don't go off during someone else's act, they go off before them.
    Initiative-wise, they go off beforehand, but they can explicitly interrupt an action: that's why "readying to disrupt a spell", or "readying to counterspell", works the way it does. From the SRD, "If the triggered action is part of another characterís activities, you interrupt the other character. Assuming he is still capable of doing so, he continues his actions once you complete your readied action." (and later, "You can ready an attack against a spellcaster with the trigger "if she starts casting a spell." If you damage the spellcaster, she may lose the spell she was trying to cast (as determined by her Concentration check result)").

    If you can get someone to waste one of their actions just by readying one of your own, you open up a huge range of possible abuses, not least that it means that someone gets two actions in a row.
    You don't increase your number of actions, though - it's always a tradeoff of your standard action for one of their attacks/actions, and if they don't trigger your ready, or trigger it with something like a low-level quickened spell instead of the high-level spell you were trying to stop, you just wasted your standard action. (Note that this is true even if you ready a move/free/swift action: it still costs you a standard action.)

    For instance, one imp with teleport, silence, and improved disarm, and you'd never cast a spell sucessfully ever again. Being interrupted is bad, but it's even worse if it means you don't get a turn, because you couldn't act before, during or after their intervention.
    Yep, readied Silence (or readied "I teleport next to them with a Silence field active") is horrible, although only marginally worse than a spellcaster readying orbs of force to disrupt with damage, or an archer readying Manyshots (forcing a DC 50ish Concentration check or lose the spell). It's (part of) why smart spellcasters work with allies

    I mean, if another spellcaster readied an Empowered Orb of Force for "when Umbriel starts casting a spell", and she hit on the touch attack and rolled average damage, I'd have to roll Concentration against a very high DC, lose the spell if I failed, and I wouldn't get my standard action back, right? As far as I can tell, that's absolutely explicit in the RAW, and I don't see how it's especially different from this situation. (And yes, the other spellcaster would get to act ahead of me, and could ready again if they wanted to. Of course, having seen it happen once, I'd probably spend my move action to get out of their line of sight before casting, or cast a quickened spell first in the hope of drawing their readied action, or use an immediate-action spell to get a defense up before their turn came around again, or ask my buddies to disable that horrible enemy spellcaster.)

    Sorry to argue on this - I try not to be a rules lawyer, but you seem to be saying that readied actions can't interrupt another action and cause someone to lose their action (or part of their action) as a result, and that seems to be in direct conflict with the RAW, as far as I can see. If you want to houserule it, that is of course your call.
    Last edited by Ifni; 2011-08-29 at 04:16 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by The_Snark View Post
    I must not argue on the Internet.
    Internet argument is the mind-killer.
    It is the little death that brings total aggravation.
    I will face my annoyance.
    I will permit it to pass over me and through me.
    When it has gone past I will turn my inner eye to see its path.
    Where the irritation has gone there will be nothing. Only I will remain.


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  25. - Top - End - #415
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    Default Re: Togo's Planar Adventure set partly in Sigil (OOC)

    Happy to discuss, but I'm putting the whole thing in spoilers so as not to clog up the thread.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ifni View Post
    Initiative-wise, they go off beforehand, but they can explicitly interrupt an action: that's why "readying to disrupt a spell", or "readying to counterspell", works the way it does. From the SRD, "If the triggered action is part of another characterís activities, you interrupt the other character. Assuming he is still capable of doing so, he continues his actions once you complete your readied action." (and later, "You can ready an attack against a spellcaster with the trigger "if she starts casting a spell." If you damage the spellcaster, she may lose the spell she was trying to cast (as determined by her Concentration check result)").
    In both of those examples, your action happens first, and carrying out the action makes the completion of their action more difficult (hence the concentration check).

    The example we're dealing with is where having decided to perform an action, the target disappears, and then you can can't change your target.

    Take a clearer example. You're looking at two enemies. You decide to cast magic missle at one, but he has a readied action to duck behind a barrel. Do you lose the spell, or just switch targets?

    Or a slightly weirder one. Zondo the 5th level fighter has 5ft reach, and is attacking two goblins in a narrow corridor. One 5ft away, one 10ft away. Each round both goblins ready a 5t step to swap places if attacked. By your reasoning, this would make them both immune to attack, yes?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ifni View Post
    You don't increase your number of actions, though - it's always a tradeoff of your standard action for one of their attacks/actions, and if they don't trigger your ready, or trigger it with something like a low-level quickened spell instead of the high-level spell you were trying to stop, you just wasted your standard action. (Note that this is true even if you ready a move/free/swift action: it still costs you a standard action.)
    Well aware.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ifni View Post
    I mean, if another spellcaster readied an Empowered Orb of Force for "when Umbriel starts casting a spell", and she hit on the touch attack and rolled average damage, I'd have to roll Concentration against a very high DC, lose the spell if I failed, and I wouldn't get my standard action back, right? As far as I can tell, that's absolutely explicit in the RAW, and I don't see how it's especially different from this situation.
    The timing and the effect.

    The timing is different. In the counterspell situation you are trying to cause damage as your opponent tries to cast a spell. In this situation you are trying to insert an action between the successful initiation of an action and it's completion.

    The effect is also different. A counterspell/disrupting attack is a specific
    rule set up for magical spellcasting, and gives a skill check to avoid the effect. It ends up as a constest between how much damage they can do to you versus how good you are at concentration. In this situation there is no skill versus skill at all - you're looking an an automaticallly sucessful disruption effect that works against any sort of action with no contested roll of any kind.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ifni View Post
    Sorry to argue on this - I try not to be a rules lawyer, but you seem to be saying that readied actions can't interrupt another action and cause someone to lose their action (or part of their action) as a result, and that seems to be in direct conflict with the RAW, as far as I can see. If you want to houserule it, that is of course your call.
    Happy to discuss, so long as the game isn't being disrupted. By RAW are there any examples of causing someone to lose their action outside of disrupting spellcasting, where it is specifically spelled out? You seem to be saying that disrupting spellcasting is a specific instance of a more general rule, but I'm unconvinced that there is any such general rule.

  26. - Top - End - #416
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    Default Re: Togo's Planar Adventure set partly in Sigil (OOC)

    Umbriel, still waiting for your standard action. Then it's them (The three remaining, one of whom appears dominated) to go, and then it's you guys again, of which Godot has already posted.

    Have we lost Sthrer?

    Just to warn you guys, I'm going on holiday in two weeks time. I'm going to a country with good internet, but I may not be able to post every day, so you'll see a definite slow down for a week or two. After that, it should be back to normal.

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    Default Re: Togo's Planar Adventure set partly in Sigil (OOC)

    Yup, sorry - I made it through Irene okay, but then the post-Irene flooding knocked out the power here last night. I'll go post in the IC but I think Umbriel's just going to talk to the woman under the wagon, since she doesn't have line-of-sight to Man1 anymore (she figured Sthrer was right there and Simon would get an AoO if he tried to outright run). Godot can come remedy any lack of tact on her part later, I guess

    EDIT: She'll ready an action as well, in a way that will hopefully be compatible with whichever way you're ruling it - I'm going to read your spoilered text now.
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    Default Re: Togo's Planar Adventure set partly in Sigil (OOC)

    Phew....I know I was pretty silly by positioning myself like that, Togo, but that encounter was (is) pretty brutal .... I have this feeling my draconic roots might grant me Stoneskin as a talent in the near future .
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    Meh, you hit on the key to defeating giant-style opponents, which is that what you can't let them do is power attack. That means either staying the heck away from them, or putting the guy with the highest AC in the front line, and hoping they miss with the iterative attacks. Granted, a second round of attacks and they may still have creamed you, but you're getting the tactics about right. Androse/Xiucoatl or Rhion could have possibly performed the same role, with a bit of buffing, but with a lower AC it would have been more of a risk. As it was, trading out people who got hurt and using ranged attacks was pretty sensible.
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    Default Re: Togo's Planar Adventure set partly in Sigil (OOC)

    Yeah... it probably would've helped if I'd cast Glitterdust in the first round, which I was considering (I could've quickened the Benign Transposition using an item), but despite any snarking that Umbriel might do about sorcerers who've clearly been hit on the head one too many times, Derk did actually have the AC and HP to handle that This was very useful for me, it gave me a decent idea of what I should expect the various PCs to do in combat.

    We do need to pick up some items for out-of-combat healing though!

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    I should say first - on rereading everything I've written, there's a lot of, "this is how I model actions like these". This is kind of a simulationist viewpoint, I guess - if I'm trying to make a call on an ambiguous rule, I try to see a self-consistent way to imagine/model it that matches the way I think it should work. This also means that if I have one reading of a general rule that is consistent with a particular special case being an example, and another reading that's consistent with it being an exception, I tend to go with "example" because then I only need to remember one general rule. That is, of course, inherently subjective. I'm going to go back through the rules when I have more time and see if I can find any more actual rules that support the way I've been modeling things, but in the meantime I thought I'd just try to explain my position a bit more.

    In both of those examples, your action happens first, and carrying out the action makes the completion of their action more difficult (hence the concentration check).
    Mm okay. I've always thought of it as an example of the general statement that the interrupting action does go off during the triggering action - if they shot Umbriel before she started casting, it would just be damage, not a Concentration check (from the "Casting Spells" section, "If something interrupts your concentration while youíre casting, you must make a Concentration check or lose the spell" (italics mine)). I guess you're modeling it as "the pain from the damage at the very start of your action makes it harder to concentrate on the spell", and/or not modeling it with anything specific but just applying the explicit rule on how this case works? As I quoted, the description says explicitly that you can "interrupt" their action, and it's mentioned again under the Delay description, as a contrast:
    "You canít, however, interrupt anyone elseís action (as you can with a readied action)." (italics mine)
    If you're reading "action" here as "turn" (so that a readied action could interrupt another person's turn, but not come in halfway through an attack action, which would also be self-consistent I think), then that might explain our different readings.

    The example we're dealing with is where having decided to perform an action, the target disappears, and then you can can't change your target.

    Take a clearer example. You're looking at two enemies. You decide to cast magic missle at one, but he has a readied action to duck behind a barrel. Do you lose the spell, or just switch targets?
    Good question - after reading this I tried to think through how I've been modeling spells and attacks, since this is also relevant for immediate actions. I guess I judge readies essentially exactly like immediate actions, except that you need to prepare them in advance.

    For spells, I would break down the spellcasting action into steps:
    (1) Select spell to cast
    (2) Begin casting
    (3) Complete casting
    (4) Select target(s)
    (5) Spell goes off
    (6) Resolve effects of spell
    Steps (2)+(3) are a standard action. Steps (5)+(6) are usually rolled into the spellcasting action, but can be a separate action if the spell is held to a subsequent round (e.g. in the case of a touch spell, or something like Moonbow).

    A readied action can interpose at any point in this sequence, but you never get to reverse yourself - once part of the action is done, it's done.

    So in your example, for me, it would depend on the triggering condition. If he readied "I duck behind a barrel when Umbriel starts casting a spell", it would go between step (2) and step (3). So I couldn't change the spell I was casting, but targets are chosen at the end of spellcasting*, so I could choose to target someone else.

    *PHB p.174: "You make all pertinent decisions about a spell (range, target, area, effect, version, and so forth) when the spell comes into effect. For
    example, when casting a summon monster spell, you need not decide
    where you want the monster to appear (or indeed, what monster you
    are summoning) until the spell comes into effect in the round after
    you begin casting."

    If, on the other hand, he readied "I duck behind a barrel if Umbriel casts a spell at me", then it wouldn't trigger until between step (5) and step (6) (or between step (4) and step (5) if he was a mind-reader, I guess). Assuming no mind-reading, the spell would have to have some kind of discernible effect, prior to step (6), for this to work: I wouldn't have a problem with him jumping into total cover to avoid a Scorching Ray or Magic Missile, but I would have a problem with him doing it to avoid Dominate Person, or a spell modified by the Invisible Spell metamagic feat (assuming no extraordinary senses that could detect such things).

    Or a slightly weirder one. Zondo the 5th level fighter has 5ft reach, and is attacking two goblins in a narrow corridor. One 5ft away, one 10ft away. Each round both goblins ready a 5t step to swap places if attacked. By your reasoning, this would make them both immune to attack, yes?
    Heh. Cute example. If they were both jumping out of the square being targeted, then yes, but this is a little ambiguous for me because he's still swinging through an occupied square after the ready. I would probably let Zondo keep his attack, but with the usual 50% miss chance for targeting an occupied square rather than a person.

    For an attack, rather than a spell, the sequence is simpler because you don't have the "casting action" lead-up: I would describe it just as,

    (1) Declare attack action
    (2) Select target(s)
    (3) Attack goes off
    (4) Resolve effects of attack
    Steps (3)+(4) are the attack action.

    So with the example you gave, it would look like:

    Goblin1 (5ft away) is terrified of the fighter, having already taken several hard blows, and readies an action to leap out of his way if Zondo swings at him!
    Goblin2 (10ft away), being a brave goblin warrior, decides to leap in to save her brother when the opportunity arises, and readies an action to move into his space when she can!

    (1) Zondo decides he will make an attack! (as opposed to e.g. moving)
    (2) Zondo designates Goblin1 as the target of his attack. Goblin1 doesn't know this yet, although he can make a reasonable guess, and is nervous.
    (3) Zondo swings his mighty longsword at Goblin1!
    -Who jumps backward out of the way, and who WOULD bump into his sister and be unable to move into her square, leaving him open to Zondo's swing, except...
    -Triggering Goblin2's readied action, which interrupts his 5ft step as Goblin2 moves into Zondo's line of attack. Goblin1 can now complete his 5ft step, and breathes a sigh of relief.
    (The GM is being a little generous here, since Goblin1's square isn't technically empty until he leaves it, which he can't do until Goblin2 moves, but it seems entirely reasonable)
    (4) Zondo no longer has his original target, and he can't go back and change things (the rapid rearrangement has thrown off his aim - the sword-blow that was meant to take Goblin1's head off is not going to have the same effect on Goblin2, who is both several inches shorter and jumped in slightly to the left of where her brother was standing). However, he is still swinging a sword through an occupied square, which means he can still roll an attack against her, it just has a 50% miss chance.

    I personally don't consider it a balance problem that a character can spend their standard action to become immune to a single attack from a single enemy (of course, it is not my opinion on balance that matters here - your game, your call). There are cases when it's very valuable (e.g. "the spirited-charging enemy lancer is trying to kill the stupid noble kid the party is protecting, and ignoring the PCs! Hey, stupid noble kid, ready an action to jump out of the way!"), but in most cases it corresponds to a PC declaring themselves effectively a noncombatant in exchange for not getting hit. Compared to total defense, its disadvantages are that it only works against one attack from one person, its advantage is that it's much more reliable against that one attack.

    Well aware.
    I'm sorry if that came across as condescending. When I played Living Greyhawk it was one of the common misconceptions about readies in one of the regions I played in (the other common one being "I ready a partial charge", not in the surprise round - certain players would regularly attempt "I move and then ready a partial charge"). I clearly didn't need to say it here.

    The timing and the effect.

    The timing is different. In the counterspell situation you are trying to cause damage as your opponent tries to cast a spell. In this situation you are trying to insert an action between the successful initiation of an action and it's completion.
    Yeah - see above. I guess the gap here is that you're not making the actions as modular as I tend to, so you take a spell as an extended action that can be interrupted, and an attack as a single uninterruptable unit? Or rather, since a spell has an explicit rule about interruption-from-damage, it doesn't matter for you if it's modeled as an extended action or not - you would probably just model it as an uninterruptable action except when the explicit rule applies? If this is the case, could I ask how you rule on immediate actions? If someone swings a sword at a wizard with an immediate-action short-range teleport ability, and they hop away, does the sword-swinger get to re-target?

    On a similar note, how would the Delay Death spell from Spell Compendium work for you? I suspect in this case your ruling might be more generous than mine - because I regard attack resolution and damage resolution as part of the same step (there's no time-gap between an attack hitting and dealing damage), I as a GM don't generally let people cast Delay Death after they know the orc has landed a critical hit (well, they can cast it, but it resolves after the attack, so if the crit killed the PC, Delay Death won't help - they'd need something like Close Wounds which has an explicit clause for this). But if it works like readied actions as you've described them, the spell would resolve prior to the attack if cast in response to the attack, if I understand you correctly?

    The effect is also different. A counterspell/disrupting attack is a specific
    rule set up for magical spellcasting, and gives a skill check to avoid the effect. It ends up as a constest between how much damage they can do to you versus how good you are at concentration. In this situation there is no skill versus skill at all - you're looking an an automaticallly sucessful disruption effect that works against any sort of action with no contested roll of any kind.
    True, although it tends to be a bit of a moot point, given that damage can scale a lot faster than skill checks.

    Okay, so related question: suppose instead of damage, we go back to the Silence example. An enemy cleric readies a Silence spell - to be cast in the air next to Umbriel - when Umbriel begins casting a spell with verbal components. The timing now seems the same as "interrupting with damage", but there is no opposed check, she just cannot continue the casting. She doesn't have the option to replace her spellcasting with "I move out of the Silence"; her standard action is wasted. Do you agree? If not, why not? (just trying to work out if the disagreement between us is mostly about the timing or the effect)

    And another related question - in the sword-swinger example, if it's their first attack, can they choose not to take a standard action at all, and replace it with a move action? Or are they locked into the attack action, they just have the option to change their target?

    Happy to discuss, so long as the game isn't being disrupted. By RAW are there any examples of causing someone to lose their action outside of disrupting spellcasting, where it is specifically spelled out? You seem to be saying that disrupting spellcasting is a specific instance of a more general rule, but I'm unconvinced that there is any such general rule.
    That's fair. Apart from the "interrupt" language in "delay" and "ready", I couldn't find much in the PHB and DMG, there just aren't many examples of readied actions. The Rod of Negation (DMG) says "To negate instantaneous effects from an item, the rod wielder needs to have used a ready action", but it only applies to spell-like functions of items and involves an opposed roll, so maybe this isn't sufficiently different from the spellcasting case. I just mention it because it's a case where there's no "cast a spell" action that's being disrupted, it can stop (at least as I read it) actions like using a command-word healing item.
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