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Hero's Handbook, page 54.

FREE ACTIONS

"...5-FOOT STEP: You can move 5 feet (one square) in any
direction, but only if you don’t use your move action or
standard action to move [...]
You cannot take a 5-foot step if your movement is slowed or
you are moving into terrain that slows you down."


I guess this is an FAQ, anyway...

The manual states: "You cannot take a 5-foot step if your movement is slowed or you are moving into terrain that slows you down".

Since one of the basic rules of both D&D 3E and Pathfinder is that some types of armor (or even carrying too much) slow you down, does this bars you from taking a 5' step free action. To be clear, can an Elf in plate armor take a 5' step free action?


So, yesterday we started our first adventure with the Beginner Box, with a first time DM at the helm. I had pre-warned her to expect "anything except what is written on the manual" - and this is exactly what happened. However, we also stumbled into a genuinely interesting problem.

Scene: a drunken goblin is hiding right behind the double stone doors leading to the "glowing fountain" room. We hear him, and the stout dwarf fighter KICKS OPEN THE STONE DOOR RIGHT INTO THE GOBLIN FACE.

How would you have solved it?

Our approach was as follows: kicking open the door was automatic (it was not locked or barred) except if the dwarf rolled a "1" (he didn't). He then rolled against the goblin a normal attack: BAB + Strength +1 for racial hate vs. the goblin's flat-footed AC. If the dwarf hit (he did) the damage would have been 1d4 + Strength modifier.

Why 1d4? Well, that was my (accepted by the DM) call: since 1d4 is the most basic damage a weapon can usually do (and a door is a weapon but it isn't a weapon, if you get my gist...) I felt that for a stone door 1d4 was about right - less were it a wooden door.

For the curious: the goblin survived and gave us hell - but this is another story...

Anyway, how would you have managed this situation? Will the Pathfinder manual (which I just ordered) cover situations like this one? It didn't even seem a special case to me: actually, given the tactical situation, it was quite a logical fighting choice.


A friend of mine is trying her hand at DMing for the first time using the Beginner's Box. I'll be one of the players, so I don't know the contents of the adventure; however, she seeked my advice regarding an interesting problem.

From what I understand, somewhere in the adventure there is a magic fountain whose water gives a random bonus/penalty to those who drink it (to be rolled on a table). She asked me if the drinker is aware of the bonus (which can manifests itself later, like "+2 on this skill check, once"), if he isn't at all (and so has to connect the bonus to drinking the water) or if he becomes aware it was the magic water's effect as soon as the bonus manifests itself.

My take as a DM is that if the bonus gives a physical or mental, immediate, bonus/penalty (like "your DEX decreases by 2 for one hour") then the character should be aware of the sudden clumsiness or whatever other effect the water has on him/her.

A variant could be that drinking the water gives either that or, if the bonus/penalty is more tied to a game mechanism ("+4 to hit and damage for the next 3 attacks") then the character could feel a positive (or negative) "tingle" when he drinks the water - so he can connect the two things by itself.

As a more experienced DM I also warned her how NO CHARACTER will ever just "drink the water". They most probably will "wet a finger and lick it to see what happens!" or sprout inanities like "I drink it, but it isn't that I ACTUALLY drink it... I drink A BIT of it.... and it if is feels good, THEN I drink it...!" - and all sort of pitiable attempts at "Opening the door, but without really opening it, ya know?" that make a DM life so interesting.

Anyway, what would be your take on it? My suggestion was to make her call as a judge according to what happens and move on (*), but since, as I said, this is her first whirl at the art of DMing she is still in the "anal" phase (I guess that, by the second game, she will have got over it, as everybody does). And, BTW, it is an interesting question.

Any thoughts?

(*) As a DM since 28 years, should the characters attempt the "I lick a wet finger!" stunt I would make a water elemental appear, have it shaking its head while covering its face in incurable depression, and then have both it and the water's magical power just disappear. But that's me ^^


Sigil wrote:


PC- "So precisely 12 squirrels?"

DM- "Um, yes... 12."

PC- "Can I determine the gender?"

Any DM worth his/her salt will allow you to do that, asking for rolls to see if you catch the squirrels, letting the kidnapped princess being executed while you are busy catching squirrels, and then letting a stray group of goblins ace you character while you are busy checking the squirrels' sex.

And never failing to make a fun story about it, to be told in any social encounter involving gamers.

Same for many other suggestions in this thread. As soon as a DM learns to go with the flux and isn't bothered by players eating live cobras "just to see what happens" (but actually seeing this kind of behaviour as opportunities for the aforementioned stand-up "RPG comedy" acts), there isn't much that the players can do beside distrupt themselves :D


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