Paizo Top Nav Branding
  • Hello, Guest! |
  • Sign In |
  • My Account |
  • Shopping Cart |
  • Help/FAQ
About Paizo Messageboards News Paizo Blog Help/FAQ
Pathfinder Roleplaying Game
Pathfinder Society

Pathfinder Beginner Box

Pathfinder Adventure Card Game

Pathfinder Comics

Pathfinder Legends

Spell ruling regarding undead


Rules Questions


I'm sure some of you remember me from the monk thread last week. Well here we go again. First...to rant. Trip attack is a single attack and should be useable during an AOO. Too bad our DM said "Nope, house ruled that all you can make with an AOO is a plain ole vanilla attack" So tripping a foe and keeping them on the ground is largely useless. His theory is that if you trip a foe then they are tripped until they are standing up, but them attempting to stand up means they aren't standing yet so you can't attempt to trip them. And apparently while they are grappled they can cast (defensively) until they are pinned. Really? Is this last part a fact or is it more BS being fed to us by a rules-wonking DM?

Now for the real question. Our cleric cast a spell at a mummy (same one from last time. Apparently the mummy is at least a Level 13 cleric (two harm spells, one slay living) AC is over 30 and apparently so is the CMD.) The spell was Reverberating Word (I think...maybe Resonating Word). DM said nope, Undead are immune to that. Since undead are immune to Fort-save based spells, and the spell did not specifically say it targetted Inanimate Objects or is otherwise listed as Harmless then the undead are completely immune to it. Is this a fact?

After I mentioned that the game was less than fun and more work to look stuff up to be able to function as a group I think he (DM) lightened up, but jesus what do you do with a DM that is making the game seem more like work than fun and has less story than rules referencing? We can't just boot him (been in group for 12 years) but this is just ridiculous.

Sorry for going off and all but if this is supposed to be fun I'd hate to see what "difficult" is like...


Your GM is correct about trips, though this has been argued exhaustively before. You can hunt down a thread or two on the topic here in the Rules Questions.

Also, your GM is citing the rules about undead vs. Fortitude-save attacks correctly, assuming the original effect requires a Fort save and is unable to affect inanimate objects or undead specifically, as described in the text of the effect. As I'm unfamiliar with the exact effect, I can't say one way or the other if the call is valid.


Brox RedGloves wrote:
Trip attack is a single attack and should be useable during an AOO. Too bad our DM said "Nope, house ruled that all you can make with an AOO is a plain ole vanilla attack" So tripping a foe and keeping them on the ground is largely useless. His theory is that if you trip a foe then they are tripped until they are standing up, but them attempting to stand up means they aren't standing yet so you can't attempt to trip them.

The Game Mastery:Combat section mentions that an AoO is just a melee attack. A Trip is a Combat Maneuver that uses a melee attack roll, but it is not a plain melee attack.

The FAQ goes into more detail on this:
"A: (Jason Bulmahn 7/9/10) You can use your AoO to trip a creature that is standing up from prone, but it has no effect, since the AoO is resolved before the action is completed, meaning that the creature is still prone. Once the AoO resolves, the creature would stand up normally. [Source]"

Brox RedGloves wrote:


And apparently while they are grappled they can cast (defensively) until they are pinned. Really? Is this last part a fact or is it more BS being fed to us by a rules-wonking DM?

See Condition:Grappled

"A grappled character who attempts to cast a spell or use a spell-like ability must make a concentration check (DC 10 + grappler's CMB + spell level), or lose the spell."

Brox RedGloves wrote:


Now for the real question. Our cleric cast a spell at a mummy (same one from last time. Apparently the mummy is at least a Level 13 cleric (two harm spells, one slay living) AC is over 30 and apparently so is the CMD.) The spell was Reverberating Word (I think...maybe Resonating Word). DM said nope, Undead are immune to that. Since undead are immune to Fort-save based spells, and the spell did not specifically say it targetted Inanimate Objects or is otherwise listed as Harmless then the undead are completely immune to it. Is this a fact?

My first question is how your cleric cast Resonating Word... that's a Bard/Sorc/Wiz spell.

Anyway, according to the undead creature info, your GM is right. That is, of course, unless "effect" means "effects from poisons" and not "spell effects"... but I don't think it does.


Lathiira wrote:

Your GM is correct about trips, though this has been argued exhaustively before. You can hunt down a thread or two on the topic here in the Rules Questions.

Also, your GM is citing the rules about undead vs. Fortitude-save attacks correctly, assuming the original effect requires a Fort save and is unable to affect inanimate objects or undead specifically, as described in the text of the effect. As I'm unfamiliar with the exact effect, I can't say one way or the other if the call is valid.

I can't say my opinion of the general consensus sits well with me. The AOO comes from them attempting to stand up. It's like kicking out the hands of a person trying to lift themself up off the ground. The thought that they can get up and cast a spell when I'm on the same initiative as them attempting to trip them and them suffering no penalty beyond a caster check (which is stupidly easy to make) is just dumb. My opinion.

(FYI, couldn't grapple the mummy. Cast Freedom of Movement on himself before combat started. I get the feeling suddenly everything I run into is going to have that spell. Or magic item)

I'd like to link the spell, but (like last time) I'm at work, and the site with the spell descriptions is blocked. Sorry.


Brox RedGloves wrote:


I can't say my opinion of the general consensus sits well with me. The AOO comes from them attempting to stand up. It's like kicking out the hands of a person trying to lift themself up off the ground. The thought that they can get up and cast a spell when I'm on the same initiative as them attempting to trip them and them suffering no penalty beyond a caster check (which is stupidly easy to make) is just dumb. My opinion.

The point is to prevent you from trip-locking someone so that they're stuck on the ground. Besides that, if your concern was that they were going to stand up and cast a spell, what's to prevent that same person from casting while defensively on the ground? You don't take penalties to defensive casting while prone, so they can just as easily Disintegrate you from the ground as they could whilst standing.

If you were really dealing with a caster who was dumb enough to try to stand up and then cast, you'd be better off taking your AoO to inflict damage. Any damage taken during a turn wherein you are attempting to cast a spell increases the DC for the concentration check to cast the spell.

Thus, inflicting damage on the caster is actually your better option.


Your GM is partially correct on the AOO. In the example you state what triggers the AOO is the opponent trying to stand up from prone. Since he is not standing yet when the AOO is triggered he can't be tripped. However there are other abilities that can be used during an AOO (Power Attack, grab, constrict, for instance) it doesn't always have to be a plain vanilla swing of a melee weapon.

Your GM is correct with regard to casting while grappled. You can cast while grappled as long as you make the required concentration check, which is: 10 + grappler's CMB + spell level (not easy!).

Finally, regarding Resonating Word again your GM seems to have it correct; as written undead are immune. Maybe the target of the spell should be "one living creature" just to make the whole thing more clear since it explicitly can not target objects. I guess the spell is actually vibrating your internal organs, so an undead has none to worry about.

I could see the sonic portion of the spell still damaging the mummy (half with a Fort save) but it being immune to the mind-effecting portion of the spell (staggered,stun) entirely. This would be a house rule though and not as written.

Grand Lodge RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

Brox RedGloves wrote:
I can't say my opinion of the general consensus sits well with me. The AOO comes from them attempting to stand up. It's like kicking out the hands of a person trying to lift themself up off the ground.

When a prone character stands up and provokes an attack of opportunity, can I use that attack to trip the character again?

"No. The attack of opportunity is triggered before the action that triggered it is resolved. In this case, the target is still prone when the attack of opportunity occurs (and you get the normal bonuses when making such an attack). Since the trip combat maneuver does not prevent the target's action, the target then stands up."

Note, however, that a trip maneuver CAN normally be substituted in an AoO, as it's listed as replacing an attack rather than having an action of its own. So if someone tries to walk past you (for example), you can use your AoO to trip them.

Quote:
The thought that they can get up and cast a spell when I'm on the same initiative as them attempting to trip them and them suffering no penalty beyond a caster check (which is stupidly easy to make) is just dumb. My opinion.

IIRC, the DC to cast defensively is 15+double the spell level. Even with Combat Casting, I wouldn't call that "stupidly easy" unless they're casting a weaker spell.

Also you got to smack them when they stood up. So there's that.

Quote:
I'd like to link the spell, but (like last time) I'm at work, and the site with the spell descriptions is blocked. Sorry.

If it's from the CRB, APG, UM, UC, or one of the Bestiaries, you have access to it. Paizo hosts its own reference, the PRD (not to be confused with the fan-made and not-technically-official SRD). Since it's hosted on the same site as the messageboards, you have access to it. :)


Jiggy wrote:


If it's from the CRB, APG, UM, UC, or one of the Bestiaries, you have access to it. Paizo hosts its own reference, the PRD (not to be confused with the fan-made and not-technically-official SRD). Since it's hosted on the same site as the messageboards, you have access to it. :)

Ah see you're right. I do have access to it. I tried looking at a spell that was linked in a different thread, and *that* link was blocked by work. Had realized the blocked link and what you provided here were two different animals.

I still stand by my opinion regarding fun, work, rules and story however. If the game is nothing more than a series of encounters and nothing else, if the mechanics are so complex that they get in the way of fun, what is the purpose?

NOTE: My tacit silence regarding the trip and all else is indicative that while I may disagree, I will concede the argument and consider it closed.

Grand Lodge RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

I always suggest making the PRD your first resource, and using the SRD when you need a more obscure item/feature that's not in the PRD.


Brox RedGloves wrote:
After I mentioned that the game was less than fun and more work to look stuff up to be able to function as a group I think he (DM) lightened up, but jesus what do you do with a DM that is making the game seem more like work than fun and has less story than rules referencing? We can't just boot him (been in group for 12 years) but this is just ridiculous.

This, too, shall pass.

You are playing a complex system with a lot of rules, so expect to spend time looking stuff up until you all get familiar with the mechanics. Once you've gotten past the learning curve, things will smooth out. I promise.

What I can't tell from your post, is if it's the DM looking stuff up and slowing things down, or if he knows the rules and it's everyone arguing with him that slows it down. Either way, consider cutting him some slack.
Unless he's being smug. No mercy, then.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

I think you have a trust issue with your DM. This is a problem, because you simply should not play a game with a DM you don't trust to adjudicate rules fairly. While I am a rules geek and love to really get down to the mechanics of how the Rules As Written work together, you need to remember rule 0: Whatever the DM says is the rule. If the person who is DM'ing your campaign is someone you do not trust to be fair about the rules, well then you are playing a game with the rules stacked against you, and that doesn't sound fun.

Your dm seems to have adjudicated the rules correctly if you base that judgement on what is written in the rule books. (with the exception of AOO being only a vanilla attack, which is a common house-rule) I would advise that you put a little trust in the dm, especially when it comes to rules you do not know off the top of your head, as it seems he has a good grip on the rule books, and try to only expect what happens, and not try to second-guess your dm. The best dm's even alter the rules on the fly to make the adventure more exciting or to better tell the story, so relax a bit and give him the opportunity to be the type of great dm who keeps you on the edge of your seat.


Ok, to clarify, (totally my mistake as well, sorry), the spell was cast by our Bard (player was covering his character and the cleric, whose player was absent)

And the spell was:

http://paizo.com/pathfinderRPG/prd/ultimateMagic/spells/resonatingWord.html #_resonating-word

Resonating word.

The bard allowed that the mummy should be immune to the additional effects (stun, sickened etc) but the damage should have been dealt.

This is all just to clarify my OP btw.


Brox RedGloves wrote:

Ok, to clarify, (totally my mistake as well, sorry), the spell was cast by our Bard (player was covering his character and the cleric, whose player was absent)

And the spell was:

http://paizo.com/pathfinderRPG/prd/ultimateMagic/spells/resonatingWord.html #_resonating-word

Resonating word.

The bard allowed that the mummy should be immune to the additional effects (stun, sickened etc) but the damage should have been dealt.

This is all just to clarify my OP btw.

Your bard was wrong, unless the spell says specifically that it would affect undead or inanimate objects, the mummy is immune to the damage and the additional effects because of Undead Traits:

Undead Traits (Ex) Undead are immune to death effects, disease, mind-affecting effects (charms, compulsions, morale effects, phantasms, and patterns), paralysis, poison, sleep, stun, and any effect that requires a Fortitude save (unless the effect also works on objects or is harmless). Undead are not subject to ability drain, energy drain, or nonlethal damage. Undead are immune to damage or penalties to their physical ability scores (Strength, Dexterity, and Constitution), as well as to fatigue and exhaustion effects. Undead are not at risk of death from massive damage.

Format: undead traits; Location: Immune.


Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Think of it this way: If one of the DM's bad guys were targeting your PC with an effect that you thought was against the rules, wouldn't you want him to take the time to look it up and get it right instead of just hand-waving it? As stated by others, once a spell or attack has been used a time or two, you'll all know how it works and won't have to look it up anymore. It's just a learning curve.


In reference to trust issues, I agree, I DO have a trust issue with him. I've told him as such as well. I have no reason to hide it.

I also conceded the argument a bit ago. I provided links for clarification purposes.

Taldor

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
AerynTahlro wrote:

If you were really dealing with a caster who was dumb enough to try to stand up and then cast, you'd be better off taking your AoO to inflict damage. Any damage taken during a turn wherein you are attempting to cast a spell increases the DC for the concentration check to cast the spell.

Thus, inflicting damage on the caster is actually your better option.

Just wanted to pop in to point out that this isn't actually the case. Only damage received while casting prompts the need for a concentration check (such as when taking an AoO triggered by casting or an attack readied against casting). Also, continuous damage (such as bleeding or being on fire) prompts a concentration check, but only half the damage is used in calculating the DC, since the damage is spread out over the round.

See the Table on concentration check DCs and the paragraph on Injury under that chart in the Magic chapter in the PRD.


Brox RedGloves wrote:
suffering no penalty beyond a caster check (which is stupidly easy to make)

Under dnd rules, concentration checks were, for the most part, 'stupidly easy'....

This is not the case in Pathfinder. Casting defensively in pathfinder is roughly about 50% chance of success for your best spells, less as you drop down to lower level spells.

Casting while grappling is no cake walk either, especially if you've a good CMB.

To be honest, it sounds like your GM is correctly adjudicating most of the rules, not sure why you're so hostile towards him because of it.


EvilMinion wrote:


To be honest, it sounds like your GM is correctly adjudicating most of the rules, not sure why you're so hostile towards him because of it.

http://paizo.com/forums/dmtz56pj?Snake-Style-Monk#16

That was last week's post. Here is this week's post. I expect another post next week Thursday.

I pride myself in not having to "check up" on the people at my table. But I also know the current DM. I've played various games with him throughout the years. and as I said previously, I do have a trust issue with him, esp since last week.

Quote:

Just wanted to pop in to point out that this isn't actually the case. Only damage received while casting prompts the need for a concentration check (such as when taking an AoO triggered by casting or an attack readied against casting). Also, continuous damage (such as bleeding or being on fire) prompts a concentration check, but only half the damage is used in calculating the DC, since the damage is spread out over the round.

See the Table on concentration check DCs and the paragraph on Injury under that chart in the Magic chapter in the PRD

Which roll would be made if I had held to the mummy's action, hit twice for 16 dam and 14dam, and the opponent was casting Blindness defensively?

21 or

43?


Since blindness doesn't have a full round casting time, and he is casting defensively so I am assuming that your attacks are not coming from AoOs triggered by the spell casting (or a readied action to smack him if he casts, or some similar situation that interrupts his turn), it would be 15 plus double the spell level, blindness is a 3rd level cleric spell, the concentration check would be DC 21.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Joana wrote:
If one of the DM's bad guys were targeting your PC with an effect that you thought was against the rules, wouldn't you want him to take the time to look it up and get it right instead of just hand-waving it?

+1 This simple bit would calm many a disagreement!

Grand Lodge RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

Brox RedGloves wrote:

Which roll would be made if I had held to the mummy's action, hit twice for 16 dam and 14dam, and the opponent was casting Blindness defensively?

21 or

43?

The only ways to act during another character's turn are via an AoO, an immediate action, or a readied action. None of those will get you two attacks.

If you delay your entire turn, you may end up on the same numerical initiative count, but that does NOT land you acting on the enemy's turn - you have to go either before or after it.

You can use an AoO when a character casts a spell, unless they cast defensively. If they do so, you get no AoO, but they have to make a concentration check or lose the spell.

If you have an immediate action that lets you do something to the spellcaster, the text granting you that ability should probably spell out how it works.

If you ready an action, you can only ready something that would normally be a standard, a move, or a swift action (whereas you need a full-round action to get more than one attack). So if you ready an action to attack the caster when they start casting, your readied action will get you ONE attack. If you hit, they have to make a concentration check with a DC based on the damage dealt.


what I do... before a player joins my group I explain to that if he or she has a problem with a ruling I make at the table, they should make a note of it, and approach me about it after the session ends so as to not interrupt play. I will listen to what they have to say, look over any rules citations they might use to back up their argument, and then make a decision on how the situation will work in the future. Once I make that decision the ruling is final, but I like to give the players a chance to make their case (and it has led to changes in my games in the past).


Jiggy wrote:


If you ready an action, you can only ready something that would normally be a standard, a move, or a swift action (whereas you need a full-round action to get more than one attack). So if you ready an action to attack the caster when they start casting, your readied action will get you ONE attack. If you hit, they have to make a concentration check with a DC based on the damage dealt.

And in this case I believe the opponent would have to make two separate concentration checks, one for casting defensively and one for the damage dealt... rather than a single check with an added together DC.

Paizo / Messageboards / Paizo Publishing / Pathfinder® / Pathfinder RPG / Rules Questions / Spell ruling regarding undead All Messageboards

Want to post a reply? Sign in.

©2002–2014 Paizo Inc.®. Need help? Email customer.service@paizo.com or call 425-250-0800 during our business hours: Monday–Friday, 10 AM–5 PM Pacific Time. View our privacy policy. Paizo Inc., Paizo, the Paizo golem logo, Pathfinder, the Pathfinder logo, Pathfinder Society, GameMastery, and Planet Stories are registered trademarks of Paizo Inc., and Pathfinder Roleplaying Game, Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Pathfinder Adventure Path, Pathfinder Adventure Card Game, Pathfinder Player Companion, Pathfinder Modules, Pathfinder Tales, Pathfinder Battles, Pathfinder Online, PaizoCon, RPG Superstar, The Golem's Got It, Titanic Games, the Titanic logo, and the Planet Stories planet logo are trademarks of Paizo Inc. Dungeons & Dragons, Dragon, Dungeon, and Polyhedron are registered trademarks of Wizards of the Coast, Inc., a subsidiary of Hasbro, Inc., and have been used by Paizo Inc. under license. Most product names are trademarks owned or used under license by the companies that publish those products; use of such names without mention of trademark status should not be construed as a challenge to such status.