Author Topic: Ask a Simple Question, Get a Simple Answer (For DMs)  (Read 24917 times)

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RobbyPants

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Re: Ask a Simple Question, Get a Simple Answer (For DMs)
« Reply #160 on: September 30, 2011, 05:41:08 PM »

Q40:
I had a darkstalking vampire surprise a group of PC's and battlejump on top of them. They didn't spot them so the vamp gains the surprise round. The spiked chain weilding half-ogre has improved initiative so he was able to AoP the vamp. This how we read RAW. But that rankled in my mind. You don't know it's there, you don't know it's dropping on you head, but you can attack it. Does anyone know of a rule/ruling that makes an attack like that not provoke an AoO?
A40: Well, if he can't see him, he has to pick the square to target when attacking. So, he has to know where the attack is even coming from. If he guesses the right square, he still has a 50% miss chance due to concealment.
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Agita

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Re: Ask a Simple Question, Get a Simple Answer (For DMs)
« Reply #161 on: September 30, 2011, 05:44:01 PM »
New question (about a ruling)

Q40:
I had a darkstalking vampire surprise a group of PC's and battlejump on top of them. They didn't spot them so the vamp gains the surprise round. The spiked chain weilding half-ogre has improved initiative so he was able to AoP the vamp. This how we read RAW. But that rankled in my mind. You don't know it's there, you don't know it's dropping on you head, but you can attack it. Does anyone know of a rule/ruling that makes an attack like that not provoke an AoO?
A 40

There's multiple layers to this. First of all, only creatures able to act in the surprise round even roll Initiative. Creatures that aren't aware of what's going on are simply flat-footed and unable to act until regular combat begins and they roll Initiative.
Flat-footed creatures never get an attack of opportunity, unless they have the Combat Reflexes feat. If the half-ogre has Combat Reflexes (he probably does, looking at the weapon he's wielding), then he rightly got to take an AoO, though for the wrong reasons. If he doesn't have Combat Reflexes, he shouldn't have gotten any AoOs.
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Unbeliever

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Re: Ask a Simple Question, Get a Simple Answer (For DMs)
« Reply #162 on: September 30, 2011, 05:44:51 PM »

Q40:
I had a darkstalking vampire surprise a group of PC's and battlejump on top of them. They didn't spot them so the vamp gains the surprise round. The spiked chain weilding half-ogre has improved initiative so he was able to AoP the vamp. This how we read RAW. But that rankled in my mind. You don't know it's there, you don't know it's dropping on you head, but you can attack it. Does anyone know of a rule/ruling that makes an attack like that not provoke an AoO?
A40: Well, if he can't see him, he has to pick the square to target when attacking. So, he has to know where the attack is even coming from. If he guesses the right square, he still has a 50% miss chance due to concealment.

A40:  According to the SRD (and the PHB as well, I believe):  

"You can’t execute an attack of opportunity against an opponent with total concealment, even if you know what square or squares the opponent occupies."

I also don't think you can make attacks of opportunity if you're flat-footed.

EDIT:  looking at it again, the vampire might not have had total concealment at the beginning of combat.  There's also the cover rule that negates AoOs, though I don't know if that applies.
« Last Edit: September 30, 2011, 05:47:49 PM by Unbeliever »

Agita

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Re: Ask a Simple Question, Get a Simple Answer (For DMs)
« Reply #163 on: September 30, 2011, 05:48:14 PM »
Presumably, if the vampire "battlejumped on top of them", he was no longer hidden by that point.
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Unbeliever

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Re: Ask a Simple Question, Get a Simple Answer (For DMs)
« Reply #164 on: September 30, 2011, 08:30:30 PM »
Presumably, if the vampire "battlejumped on top of them", he was no longer hidden by that point.
Yeah, though I don't know how the ordering of things works in D&D.  Like, does he still count as "concealed" till his attacks or something.  I think I was confused with RobbyPants concealment comment, though.

But, really, your post has the right of it with the whole flat-footed thing.

Agita

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Re: Ask a Simple Question, Get a Simple Answer (For DMs)
« Reply #165 on: September 30, 2011, 08:32:23 PM »
Presumably, if the vampire "battlejumped on top of them", he was no longer hidden by that point.
Yeah, though I don't know how the ordering of things works in D&D.  Like, does he still count as "concealed" till his attacks or something. 
I don't think so, assuming he doesn't attack from a square that provides concealment.
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Sjappo

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Re: Ask a Simple Question, Get a Simple Answer (For DMs)
« Reply #166 on: September 30, 2011, 11:03:57 PM »
Right, some more info. The half-ogre had combat reflexes. I wrote improved initiative, but I meant this. So yeah, RAW he could make an AoO against the attacking vamp.

Thing is, the vamp was hidden in the rafters and was waiting for them to pass. They didn't spot it, didn't hear it until it jumped. I can see how with combat reflexes you can attack an ogre you didn't know is there until it charges you. In this situation the vamp is unnoticeable until it is on top of you. I know DnD has no facing so you should be able to see something as soon as it leaves the shadows it is hidden in.

Still rankles though. I guess the only way to defeat combat reflexes is being invisible?

Agita

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Re: Ask a Simple Question, Get a Simple Answer (For DMs)
« Reply #167 on: September 30, 2011, 11:10:40 PM »
Right, some more info. The half-ogre had combat reflexes. I wrote improved initiative, but I meant this. So yeah, RAW he could make an AoO against the attacking vamp.

Thing is, the vamp was hidden in the rafters and was waiting for them to pass. They didn't spot it, didn't hear it until it jumped. I can see how with combat reflexes you can attack an ogre you didn't know is there until it charges you. In this situation the vamp is unnoticeable until it is on top of you. I know DnD has no facing so you should be able to see something as soon as it leaves the shadows it is hidden in.

Still rankles though. I guess the only way to defeat combat reflexes is being invisible?
Yes. Think of it as hearing the vamp as it starts moving and looking up and swinging reflexively. It doesn't rankle that much when you translate it into dramatic tropes and realize it happens all the time in action stories.
Had the vampire maintained some form of concealment (such as magical darkness) when attacking, the half-ogre wouldn't have gotten that AoO.
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Sjappo

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Re: Ask a Simple Question, Get a Simple Answer (For DMs)
« Reply #168 on: September 30, 2011, 11:14:08 PM »
Right, some more info. The half-ogre had combat reflexes. I wrote improved initiative, but I meant this. So yeah, RAW he could make an AoO against the attacking vamp.

Thing is, the vamp was hidden in the rafters and was waiting for them to pass. They didn't spot it, didn't hear it until it jumped. I can see how with combat reflexes you can attack an ogre you didn't know is there until it charges you. In this situation the vamp is unnoticeable until it is on top of you. I know DnD has no facing so you should be able to see something as soon as it leaves the shadows it is hidden in.

Still rankles though. I guess the only way to defeat combat reflexes is being invisible?
Yes. Think of it as hearing the vamp as it starts moving and looking up and swinging reflexively. It doesn't rankle that much when you translate it into dramatic tropes and realize it happens all the time in action stories.
Had the vampire maintained some form of concealment (such as magical darkness) when attacking, the half-ogre wouldn't have gotten that AoO.
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Re: Ask a Simple Question, Get a Simple Answer (For DMs)
« Reply #169 on: October 01, 2011, 12:09:54 AM »
Q41: I know that all Dragnons are under-CRed, but in particular I'm curious about Young Adult Pyroclastic Dragons.  They seem particularly under-CRed.  That is a save-or-die breath weapon it has, isn't it?

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Re: Ask a Simple Question, Get a Simple Answer (For DMs)
« Reply #170 on: October 01, 2011, 12:20:08 AM »
Q41: I know that all Dragnons are under-CRed, but in particular I'm curious about Young Adult Pyroclastic Dragons.  They seem particularly under-CRed.  That is a save-or-die breath weapon it has, isn't it?
A 41

Sure looks like it. The DC isn't too shoddy for the relative CR, either.
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Sjappo

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Re: Ask a Simple Question, Get a Simple Answer (For DMs)
« Reply #171 on: October 03, 2011, 10:22:32 PM »
Q42: A successful knowledge check will reveal important (or not) information about a creature. If said creature has taken class levels do you hand out this info as well? If so, what DC would you make the check?

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Re: Ask a Simple Question, Get a Simple Answer (For DMs)
« Reply #172 on: October 03, 2011, 10:55:48 PM »
AFAIK, knowledge checks tell you about a species (e.g., Humans), not a specific creature (Joe Schmoe, Bartender).

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Re: Ask a Simple Question, Get a Simple Answer (For DMs)
« Reply #173 on: October 03, 2011, 11:37:01 PM »
AFAIK, knowledge checks tell you about a species (e.g., Humans), not a specific creature (Joe Schmoe, Bartender).
Well, I'd say that depends.

If we're talking about Humanoids, then a Knowledge (local) check should give some hint as to what any given creature's class levels are (because you should also know something about traditional garb for creatures of certain professions).

If we're talking about creatures in general, then a Knowledge (local) or Gather Information check can reasonably also let you know if you're fighting a creature that's distinctive enough to have gained a class level (these creatures are usually somewhat in/famous), as well as some clue as to what that class level might be.  Granted, the way I'd work Gather Information in this case would be a bit different than Knowledge (local).

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Re: Ask a Simple Question, Get a Simple Answer (For DMs)
« Reply #174 on: October 04, 2011, 02:35:51 PM »
AFAIK, knowledge checks tell you about a species (e.g., Humans), not a specific creature (Joe Schmoe, Bartender).
Well, I'd say that depends.

If we're talking about Humanoids, then a Knowledge (local) check should give some hint as to what any given creature's class levels are (because you should also know something about traditional garb for creatures of certain professions).

If we're talking about creatures in general, then a Knowledge (local) or Gather Information check can reasonably also let you know if you're fighting a creature that's distinctive enough to have gained a class level (these creatures are usually somewhat in/famous), as well as some clue as to what that class level might be.  Granted, the way I'd work Gather Information in this case would be a bit different than Knowledge (local).
Problem is, I tag on classlevels on every other monster I use. For instance in the last few sessions I had a Gargoyle with fewer racial HD and a few levels in sorcerer, gargoyles with fighter levels and the dungeon crasher variant and a vampire with rogue levels.

I'll give an other example of something I might dream up. I'm just thinking out loud now.

Corpsecrafted Firbolg skeleton with fighterlevels and willing deformity Tall or Inhuman Reach. So, what knowledgecheck gives what?
I'm leaning toward 3 checks, but that will be much to identify 1 creature
Religion. DC 15 gives skeleton traits, DC 20 gives corpsecrafted. DC 25b will give the extra reach
Nature to recognise the Firbolg (assuming it is a giant. AFB)
Local to recognize the classlevels

What if I give it Martial study Thicket of blades or something. Martial Lore? This is getting ridiculous.

So, any suggestions on how to handle it? Just make it 1 check and keep pumping the DC? Are classlevels even visible? Martial stances?

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Re: Ask a Simple Question, Get a Simple Answer (For DMs)
« Reply #175 on: October 04, 2011, 03:42:19 PM »
AFAIK, knowledge checks tell you about a species (e.g., Humans), not a specific creature (Joe Schmoe, Bartender).
Well, I'd say that depends.

If we're talking about Humanoids, then a Knowledge (local) check should give some hint as to what any given creature's class levels are (because you should also know something about traditional garb for creatures of certain professions).

If we're talking about creatures in general, then a Knowledge (local) or Gather Information check can reasonably also let you know if you're fighting a creature that's distinctive enough to have gained a class level (these creatures are usually somewhat in/famous), as well as some clue as to what that class level might be.  Granted, the way I'd work Gather Information in this case would be a bit different than Knowledge (local).
Problem is, I tag on classlevels on every other monster I use. For instance in the last few sessions I had a Gargoyle with fewer racial HD and a few levels in sorcerer, gargoyles with fighter levels and the dungeon crasher variant and a vampire with rogue levels.

I'll give an other example of something I might dream up. I'm just thinking out loud now.

Corpsecrafted Firbolg skeleton with fighterlevels and willing deformity Tall or Inhuman Reach. So, what knowledgecheck gives what?
I'm leaning toward 3 checks, but that will be much to identify 1 creature
Religion. DC 15 gives skeleton traits, DC 20 gives corpsecrafted. DC 25b will give the extra reach
Nature to recognise the Firbolg (assuming it is a giant. AFB)
Local to recognize the classlevels

What if I give it Martial study Thicket of blades or something. Martial Lore? This is getting ridiculous.

So, any suggestions on how to handle it? Just make it 1 check and keep pumping the DC? Are classlevels even visible? Martial stances?

I don't think there's any RAW way to do that, but I would probably make it one roll and just base it all on whatever the knowledge for the race is, and then have the DC scale up for what they learn.  They way I think about it is, if you know the base creature well enough, you can spot abnormalities and have a decent chance of figuring out something about what they do; "Well, that's a firblog, but wtf is up with his arms?!?"  Class levels should probably be at a pretty high DC though, and only allowed if there's something visible that would tip someone off.  "Do trolls normally dual wield sword-chucks?"

Sjappo

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Re: Ask a Simple Question, Get a Simple Answer (For DMs)
« Reply #176 on: October 04, 2011, 04:01:13 PM »
AFAIK, knowledge checks tell you about a species (e.g., Humans), not a specific creature (Joe Schmoe, Bartender).
Well, I'd say that depends.

If we're talking about Humanoids, then a Knowledge (local) check should give some hint as to what any given creature's class levels are (because you should also know something about traditional garb for creatures of certain professions).

If we're talking about creatures in general, then a Knowledge (local) or Gather Information check can reasonably also let you know if you're fighting a creature that's distinctive enough to have gained a class level (these creatures are usually somewhat in/famous), as well as some clue as to what that class level might be.  Granted, the way I'd work Gather Information in this case would be a bit different than Knowledge (local).
Problem is, I tag on classlevels on every other monster I use. For instance in the last few sessions I had a Gargoyle with fewer racial HD and a few levels in sorcerer, gargoyles with fighter levels and the dungeon crasher variant and a vampire with rogue levels.

I'll give an other example of something I might dream up. I'm just thinking out loud now.

Corpsecrafted Firbolg skeleton with fighterlevels and willing deformity Tall or Inhuman Reach. So, what knowledgecheck gives what?
I'm leaning toward 3 checks, but that will be much to identify 1 creature
Religion. DC 15 gives skeleton traits, DC 20 gives corpsecrafted. DC 25b will give the extra reach
Nature to recognise the Firbolg (assuming it is a giant. AFB)
Local to recognize the classlevels

What if I give it Martial study Thicket of blades or something. Martial Lore? This is getting ridiculous.

So, any suggestions on how to handle it? Just make it 1 check and keep pumping the DC? Are classlevels even visible? Martial stances?

I don't think there's any RAW way to do that, but I would probably make it one roll and just base it all on whatever the knowledge for the race is, and then have the DC scale up for what they learn.  They way I think about it is, if you know the base creature well enough, you can spot abnormalities and have a decent chance of figuring out something about what they do; "Well, that's a firblog, but wtf is up with his arms?!?"  Class levels should probably be at a pretty high DC though, and only allowed if there's something visible that would tip someone off.  "Do trolls normally dual wield sword-chucks?"
Yeah, maybe I'm thinking to hard about this. Playing it by ear and just pump DCs may be the quickest solution. Quick is always good at the table.

ksbsnowowl

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Re: Ask a Simple Question, Get a Simple Answer (For DMs)
« Reply #177 on: October 11, 2011, 10:11:16 PM »
Q 43: I'm running a d20 Modern game, and my PC's are trying to find a secret government bunker and break into it.  They will have to overcome ID cardswipes without any specialized tools beyond a basic electrical tool kit.  The d20M rules don't clearly define that this type of thing is a function of the computer use skill, but I'm assuming it is.  Problem is they will only have the card swipe/keypad as an interface, trying to get into a secured (but unmanned) gov't bunker.  How should I go about setting this up as a skill check?  The bunker should have exceptional (DC 35) or Maximum (DC 40) security, and the DC to alter passcodes would be the same.

FYI- this is actually a apoc campaign, and it's one of the Rip Van bunkers from the Plague World mini-setting.

Once inside they'll have computers to interact with, but using the computer use skill with such limited assets, seems ... odd.
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Re: Ask a Simple Question, Get a Simple Answer (For DMs)
« Reply #178 on: October 11, 2011, 10:32:58 PM »
A basic electrical tool kit like a soldering iron and such?

Well, they should be able to rig the keypad such that it doesn't show limited output (read: says more than code accepted/denied) and to re-connect it to the security computer in a way that would allow them to hack in and download an access code, fool the computer into thinking that a correct code was punched in, or something of that sort.  I would allow a Craft (electronics), Disable Device, or Repair check with a DC of 40 for the first part, and at least one Computer Use check with a DC of 40 for the second.  If they have an I/O device of their own, even if it's something simple like a Cell Phone, then I'd reduce the DC of the first check by 5.

ksbsnowowl

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Re: Ask a Simple Question, Get a Simple Answer (For DMs)
« Reply #179 on: October 11, 2011, 10:56:44 PM »
A basic electrical tool kit like a soldering iron and such?

Well, they should be able to rig the keypad such that it doesn't show limited output (read: says more than code accepted/denied) and to re-connect it to the security computer in a way that would allow them to hack in and download an access code, fool the computer into thinking that a correct code was punched in, or something of that sort.  I would allow a Craft (electronics), Disable Device, or Repair check with a DC of 40 for the first part, and at least one Computer Use check with a DC of 40 for the second.  If they have an I/O device of their own, even if it's something simple like a Cell Phone, then I'd reduce the DC of the first check by 5.
Ah, good thinking, I like that.

They have a few cell phones (including an iPhone), all with dead batteries, and a GPS unit with the same problem.  They also have a security card from their own bunker.  So, DC 35 electronics check to interface one of the phones with the keypad, then a DC 40 Computer Use check to "change passcodes" to get one of their ID cards to work on the lock.

Of course, they'll also probably try to "garage door opener" the bunker (which is a possibility) - possibly by retasking the GPS unit in some way. (That's how their bunker was raided, and they were accidentally awakened early).  Of course, that seems too easy for a military bunker - theirs was just riddled with flaws... maybe...
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