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More on Grapple vs. (Quickened) Still Silent Eschewed casting


Rules Questions

Shadow Lodge

2 people marked this as FAQ candidate.

So, like many here, I'm still waiting for an official clarification re: grapple and metacasting. At the moment, if my search-fu is up to par, the most we have is a one-line response that seems to imply that grapple is as deadly to casting (even without somatic, verbal, and material components) as we fear: the concentration check is nearly impossible to succeed, especially at higher levels.

One thing I haven't run into, however, is addressing a quickened silent still eschewed cast. For example, Dimension Door has only verbal components: could a silent, quickened DD bypass the check? RAW, it would seem to be at least plausible, given the definition of a Swift action (i.e., requires barely any effort on your part). Such spells already avoid attacks of opportunity, so, the question would be whether it also bypasses the grapple check. It doesn't seem game-breaking for a level 9 spell to allow this; but if the devs intended grapple to be so severe, then a level 9 spell should be a 'fair price' to pay...

On the other hand, I have two questions about Contingency (being our best, current solution):

1-) Can you set the trigger condition to something you can control? Say, when you say a specific, made-up word? Or snap your fingers in a specific pattern? This would give much more control and flexibility over when a contingent dimension door triggers.

2-) Failing that, can the trigger condition be "whenever I fail a grapple check"? That way, you avoid the risk of DD triggering from a low-level grapple that, in theory, should be easy-ish to overcome.

Thanks in advance for the insights.

Cheliax

Contingency; as far as I'm aware, you can set it up to trigger off of;

a) a specific action that you take, up to and including speaking a specific nonsense word or phrase

b) as a response to a specified event that you percieve to have occured/be occuring. (i.e., while you could set a trigger of 'cast displacement when an invisible creature comes within 30 ft of me', the contingency isn't 'smart' - it would only trigger if *you* noticed said invisible creature approaching, either with spells or mundane senses.)


And ofcourse RAW wise there is absolutely no argument for quickened still silent exchewed spells to not be covered by the grapple rules. I agree that logically it makes absolutely great sense, but rules wise then the paragraph under grappling covers all spellcasting while grappled, as it doesnt mention any exceptions, and neither does quickened, still, silent or any of the other meta feats.

Shadow Lodge

Anomander: Agreed, RAW it's not an option, but not ruled out, if you consider Swift Action RAW (minor effort, no Attack of opportunity).

Hence, I said 'it seems like a plausible interpretation'.

Thanks guys!


Khashir El'eth wrote:

Anomander: Agreed, RAW it's not an option, but not ruled out, if you consider Swift Action RAW (minor effort, no Attack of opportunity).

Hence, I said 'it seems like a plausible interpretation'.

Thanks guys!

Well, the reason that it requires a concentration check isn't the same reason casting provokes an AO as far as I understand.

Here's the way I read it. Casting provokes an AO because you're focusing on the spell, not on your surroundings. Casing without an AO requires a concentration check because you're splitting your attention between the spell and not leaving an opening.

Grappling requires a concentration check because someone essentially has you in a headlock giving you a noogie. A still/eschewed spell would allow you to cast in a grapple, but that doesn't mean that it wouldn't still be hard to concentrate in a headlock or bear hug.

That said, divine casters have a simple way to get out of this at mid-higher levels. Freedom of movement before combat, or as soon as it starts. As far as I can tell arcane are either going to have to be really good at avoiding getting into that situation, or invest in the 40k ring.


No Component, Swift Spells still require Concentration, in a Grapple, and in a violent sleet storm.
They just avoid AoO, which is just a potential boost to the Concentration DC.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

SLA's which are just casting, but without the components also have the same issues with grappling. Why should spells get a free pass? I know you invested feats, but neither the person using spells(metamagic'd) or the person using an SLA is doing anything except trying to concentrate.

Unless the rules grant an exception the general rule applies.

Shadow Lodge

Lol, seems like I struck a nerve here.

Anyway, I'm quite happy with QS as it is, I was just curious, since it seems that, without any way of avoiding the grapple concentration check, a L. 20 caster can be screwed rather easily. Yes, stay out of danger, avoid front-lines, and all that jazz--but it's not unthinkable for a DM to aim for the mage (or a BBEG to charge towards the caster, after taking a critted polar ray, for example).

Edit: re: SLAs, those still require a standard action, as opposed to Quicken. Again, my question arises from the definition of a swift action: namely, something that requires little effort.

Besides, it's not exactly a free pass: you've invested in two feats and you're using a level 9 spell slot (at least to DD out). Giving up one use of Meteor Swarm/Mage's Disjunction/Gate/etc. seems hardly like a free pass.

So... onto the crux of the matter: what are the more viable strats when a caster is grappled? Contingency a DD and call it a day?

Edit 2: Can a contingency trigger be a thought or some other non-somatic, non-verbal 'state'? So, it will trigger whenever I choose to trigger it with my mind.


Khashir El'eth wrote:

Lol, seems like I struck a nerve here.

Anyway, I'm quite happy with QS as it is, I was just curious, since it seems that, without any way of avoiding the grapple concentration check, a L. 20 caster can be screwed rather easily. Yes, stay out of danger, avoid front-lines, and all that jazz--but it's not unthinkable for a DM to aim for the mage (or a BBEG to charge towards the caster, after taking a critted polar ray, for example).

Edit: re: SLAs, those still require a standard action, as opposed to Quicken. Again, my question arises from the definition of a swift action: namely, something that requires little effort.

Besides, it's not exactly a free pass: you've invested in two feats and you're using a level 9 spell slot (at least to DD out). Giving up one use of Meteor Swarm/Mage's Disjunction/Gate/etc. seems hardly like a free pass.

So... onto the crux of the matter: what are the more viable strats when a caster is grappled? Contingency a DD and call it a day?

Edit 2: Can a contingency trigger be a thought or some other non-somatic, non-verbal 'state'? So, it will trigger whenever I choose to trigger it with my mind.

Honestly, allot of it comes down the party. In a recent session as an oracle I cast a mass harm spell when we were fighting a bunch of pirates. Thanks to AO's and stand still, most of the ones that tried couldn't even get to me. The couple that did grappled me. The rest of the party didn't like the idea of the caster (me being the only full caster in the party) being CCed, so as soon as they could, they murdered the piss out of the guys on top of me. Teamwork is a huge deal.


Khashir El'eth wrote:

Lol, seems like I struck a nerve here.

Anyway, I'm quite happy with QS as it is, I was just curious, since it seems that, without any way of avoiding the grapple concentration check, a L. 20 caster can be screwed rather easily. Yes, stay out of danger, avoid front-lines, and all that jazz--but it's not unthinkable for a DM to aim for the mage (or a BBEG to charge towards the caster, after taking a critted polar ray, for example).

Edit: re: SLAs, those still require a standard action, as opposed to Quicken. Again, my question arises from the definition of a swift action: namely, something that requires little effort.

Besides, it's not exactly a free pass: you've invested in two feats and you're using a level 9 spell slot (at least to DD out). Giving up one use of Meteor Swarm/Mage's Disjunction/Gate/etc. seems hardly like a free pass.

So... onto the crux of the matter: what are the more viable strats when a caster is grappled? Contingency a DD and call it a day?

Edit 2: Can a contingency trigger be a thought or some other non-somatic, non-verbal 'state'? So, it will trigger whenever I choose to trigger it with my mind.

Nobody is upset. If you want an example of upset posters go to the "Flurrying of changes to flurry of blows" thread. :)

Shadow Lodge

concerro wrote:
Khashir El'eth wrote:

Lol, seems like I struck a nerve here.

Anyway, I'm quite happy with QS as it is, I was just curious, since it seems that, without any way of avoiding the grapple concentration check, a L. 20 caster can be screwed rather easily. Yes, stay out of danger, avoid front-lines, and all that jazz--but it's not unthinkable for a DM to aim for the mage (or a BBEG to charge towards the caster, after taking a critted polar ray, for example).

Edit: re: SLAs, those still require a standard action, as opposed to Quicken. Again, my question arises from the definition of a swift action: namely, something that requires little effort.

Besides, it's not exactly a free pass: you've invested in two feats and you're using a level 9 spell slot (at least to DD out). Giving up one use of Meteor Swarm/Mage's Disjunction/Gate/etc. seems hardly like a free pass.

So... onto the crux of the matter: what are the more viable strats when a caster is grappled? Contingency a DD and call it a day?

Edit 2: Can a contingency trigger be a thought or some other non-somatic, non-verbal 'state'? So, it will trigger whenever I choose to trigger it with my mind.

Nobody is upset. If you want an example of upset posters go to the "Flurrying of changes to flurry of blows" thread. :)

Good grief, that's a long thread. Is there a TL;DR version? A buddy of mine is starting a Monk (he played 3.5e, but 1st time w/ PF), I definitely don't want to point him towards a 30+ page thread to know the finer details of his class...

Or is there no verdict yet?


Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

No verdict yet.


Of course there is a verdict. The feats don't help. The rules say that if you are grappled you must make the concentration check, and there are no rules to counter it.

I even pointed out SLA's as a logical way to look at it.

PS:There is not a unanimous verdict, but there is not much I can do about taht.

Shadow Lodge

concerro wrote:

Of course there is a verdict. The feats don't help. The rules say that if you are grappled you must make the concentration check, and there are no rules to counter it.

I even pointed out SLA's as a logical way to look at it.

PS:There is not a unanimous verdict, but there is not much I can do about taht.

-_-' read my post again please.

About the second point: SLA's are not the logical way to look at it, since they are standard actions (more demanding) than swift actions.

Anyway, thanks all!


Khashir El'eth wrote:
concerro wrote:

Of course there is a verdict. The feats don't help. The rules say that if you are grappled you must make the concentration check, and there are no rules to counter it.

I even pointed out SLA's as a logical way to look at it.

PS:There is not a unanimous verdict, but there is not much I can do about taht.

-_-' read my post again please.

About the second point: SLA's are not the logical way to look at it, since they are standard actions (more demanding) than swift actions.

Anyway, thanks all!

In that case you still need rules that say quickened SLA's or quickened spells get a pass.

Why should you not need to concentrate just because they are cast faster?

Like I said the verdict is there.

Shadow Lodge

Lol, you still haven't re-read my post, haven't you? The one where I use the word verdict referring to another matter entirely.

Another question! Do you automatically succeed with touch attacks when grappled? Or is it reasonable to get bonuses? Penalties? Just curious about the possibility of setting a contingency with a touch attack (enervation comes to mind), and whether it auto-hits.

Not as useful as Dimension Door, but I like the RP of draining levels from someone who just grappled you.

Shadow Lodge

What about Fire Shield? If you set up a contingency to cast fire shield on grapple: do they take damage when their turn comes up? (I.e., grappling counts as striking you with its body)

Edit: What about polymorph spells? If you transform into a non-humanoid (say, Medium dragon), does the attacker retain his grapple?


I think you know the answer to all these questions... They aren't unclear per RAW.
You can diverge from RAW in your games, but then one doesn't need to worry about the details of RAW.
Swift Actions don't provoke AoOs... no other difference vs. other actions = Concentration still applies.
Grappled condition says nothing about auto-success of Touch attacks.
Fire Shield says: 'the attacker takes damage... at the same time they strike you with body or non-Reach weapon', so if/when they Maintain/Re-Establish a Grapple on you, Fire Shield would apply... but not until the attack roll (the time they 'strike you').
Polymorph doesn't remove Grapple status conditions, it just gives you ability boosts and other special attacks/bonuses.

Shadow Lodge

I was more certain about Fire Shield, and I can see why (RAW), polymorph makes no difference.

But it's kind of weird/funny if you're grappling a caster by the hands (easiest example to see), and Form of the Dragon triggers, the hands are forelegs (which are on the ground now), so either the grappler is on his belly, crouching, or has super long arms.

Edit: And he's smack in front of your face, which breathes elemental damage. Or if he grappled from behind, then he's pretty uncomfortable, what with wings and scales, but def. in a better position than the alternative.

Am I missing something here (in the situation itself, not the rules: I get that part).


Khashir El'eth wrote:

Lol, you still haven't re-read my post, haven't you? The one where I use the word verdict referring to another matter entirely.

Another question! Do you automatically succeed with touch attacks when grappled? Or is it reasonable to get bonuses? Penalties? Just curious about the possibility of setting a contingency with a touch attack (enervation comes to mind), and whether it auto-hits.

Not as useful as Dimension Door, but I like the RP of draining levels from someone who just grappled you.

No, I did not read your post the last time. I am stubborn like that sometimes. :)

After reading it the answer is still the same. Remember that while we take turns in real life the battle is constant. You are trying to cast a spell or SLA, and the opponent is either trying to hurt you with his grapple, or move it into a pin(technically a worse grapple). I don't know if you watch UFC, but imagine that someone has you in a clinch, and they are either trying to knee you in the face or put you in a more restricting hold, while you are trying to fight them off. Imagine trying to read some complex formula or a read a novel. Now in the case of the metamagic feats you still need the same level of concentration. Never in D&D or PF has been about to cast as swift action been a freebie for not having to make a concentration check if you are grappled, or Violent motion while casting, or even rough weather. I am sure it is easier to do concentrate when it is raining than it is when someone is trying to put you in a full nelson or an armbar. The game also supports this with its modifiers.

Quote:


Wind with rain or sleet while casting 5 + spell level
Quote:
10 + grappler's CMB + spell level

The above is why casting on defensive is called out for quickened spells. When you cast defensively you are not actively being affected by anything. Every other situation on the table for concentration check has you already being affected by external forces, and being quick does not help you.


Khashir El'eth wrote:

I was more certain about Fire Shield, and I can see why (RAW), polymorph makes no difference.

But it's kind of weird/funny if you're grappling a caster by the hands (easiest example to see), and Form of the Dragon triggers, the hands are forelegs (which are on the ground now), so either the grappler is on his belly, crouching, or has super long arms.

Edit: And he's smack in front of your face, which breathes elemental damage. Or if he grappled from behind, then he's pretty uncomfortable, what with wings and scales, but def. in a better position than the alternative.

Am I missing something here (in the situation itself, not the rules: I get that part).

The rules don't say exactly how you are held(grappled) only that you are. That would be fluff and up to the GM to describe why/how the grapple is maintained if he wants to.

Quandary handled the other questions.


Here's where I feel the concentration check breaks down: when you're tied up. Nobody's jostling you around, maybe you're sitting quietly in a closet in the dark... Yet as I understand the rules, since being tied up "works like a pin effect" you still have to make the same concentration check to cast a spell that could get you out.

Shadow Lodge

Gordon the Whale wrote:
Here's where I feel the concentration check breaks down: when you're tied up. Nobody's jostling you around, maybe you're sitting quietly in a closet in the dark... Yet as I understand the rules, since being tied up "works like a pin effect" you still have to make the same concentration check to cast a spell that could get you out.

Actually, that was something I was thinking about a while back, thanks for bringing it up: if you're in a SPA-quality bed, tied up, does it really make sense to claim that you have to pass this über difficult check, when you're casting without somatic and verbal?

Anyway, at this point, it's up to the DM, but that also seems a bit silly.


it's pretty to imagine that being Pinned/Tied to the point that you are 'immbolized' could be painfully tight, impede your breathing to some extent, or otherwise be something that is constantly impinging upon your consciousness for every minute that your are Pinned/Tied: not just something you 'forget about'.


I agree. I think it is something that nobody thought of at the time though.

Shadow Lodge

Quandary wrote:
it's pretty to imagine that being Pinned/Tied to the point that you are 'immbolized' could be painfully tight, impede your breathing to some extent, or otherwise be something that is constantly impinging upon your consciousness for every minute that your are Pinned/Tied: not just something you 'forget about'.

Right, but Gordon's point is that, RAW, whether you're tied up as you describe, or tied up with silk on a sateen bed, it makes no difference.


if the situation is substantially different from a normal Pin,
just call it 'immobilized' (overcome-able by CMB/EscapeArtist) and not a normal Pin per se.
voila.

fyi: the description of 'being tied with silk atop a satin, SPA quality bed' (which wracked the acronym part of my mind) didn't make me feel less hampered or constrained then if I imagined being on a dirt floor with electric cord.

Shadow Lodge

Quandary wrote:

if the situation is substantially different from a normal Pin,

just call it 'immobilized' (overcome-able by CMB/EscapeArtist) and not a normal Pin per se.
voila.

fyi: the description of 'being tied with silk atop a satin, SPA quality bed' (which wracked the acronym part of my mind) didn't make me feel less hampered or constrained then if I imagined being on a dirt floor with electric cord.

So, you'd be equally uncomfortable on a dirt floor tied with a cord? Seems odd as well, no? Each situation can reasonably have different effects on concentration.

I mean, seriously: imagine you're infiltrating a Drow compound (properly polymorphed, etc.), and as soon as you walk in, a concupiscent Priestess orders you to perform some ... services. After tying you up (comfortably), she's like

'Now do a magic trick!'
'Oops, I failed my concentration check.'
'Is that what you call it nowadays?'

How disappointing would that be? x)

Sorry for the SPA, dunno what I was thinking.


I'd go with the being tied up so tight it's hard to breathe type of thinking. If you're tying something up that's trying to kill you, you're not likely to be putting much slack on the rope (or chain or silk or whatever).

I usually try to knock the spellcaster out after I've tied them up.


I agree, in a world full of spellcasters, it is probably a good idea to tie everyone up as tightly and distractingly as possible. As far as I know, tie up is a standard action, and I'm not sure how tightly I believe someone can be tied up in less than 6 seconds, but that's an abstraction I can live with.

From a balance perspective, it does make sense. If spellcasters can cast spells while tied up, then why would even moderately intelligent villains tie up PC casters? Why bother to have rules for tying up? If you can't hold them, it would be better to kill them; in the end, being unable to cast while tied up is good for casters.

But consider this: The DC to cast a spell while tied up by a person with +8 CMB is 18+spell level. +8 is not a particularly high CMB; that's achievable at level 1 with standard races (+1 BAB, 20 Str, Improved Grapple). It's also not a huge concentration DC; with combat casting and a decent casting stat, a low-level caster can make that most of the time.

But it is the same DC as casting a spell while you are being hit by an arrow from a longbow for maximum damage. The same as the DC to cast while being stabbed with a dagger for average damage 3 times by a person of average strength.

Really?

Surely, one of those DCs has got to be out of whack.

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