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A GM's Conundrum: To Kill or Not to Kill?


Advice

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Osirion

Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Cards, Companion, Maps, Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Glendwyr wrote:

Some kind of house rule like

I wrote:

When taking the full attack action, for each attack you forego, you may move 10 feet, up to a maximum of your speed

might provide an appropriate mechanical incentive. If, in the course of doing that, it increases the mobility of melee types, I'm fine with that.

You may want to contact TOZ, for that.

I believe he's been using such a house-rule quite successfully for some time.

Shadow Lodge

We have such a houserule, yes.


Being a GM is like being the new guy in prison. You gotta kill a player character to assert dominance. Or else, you'll just end up their b~~$!.

:D


TOZ wrote:
We have such a houserule, yes.

Do these replace the normal rules where you can end a full attack after your first one, allowing you to move your full speed so long as you haven't 5 foot stepped? Or are those in addition to?

Andoran

Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

Odraude:
TACTICAL MOVEMENT
When making a full attack, a character can also move up to half his or her speed that round. Movement can be taken before, in between, or after attacks, or in any combination thereof, but it must be made in 5-ft. increments. For example, a character with Speed 30 ft. and BAB +16 could attack once at +16, move ten feet, attack again at +11, then move five more feet and attack again at +11. Because this is normal movement, rather than a series of 5-ft. steps, you still provoke attacks of opportunity for leaving a threatened area.
If you are using Two-Weapon Fighting, you must take your attacks in pairs (one primary, one off-hand) when possible, unless you also have the Improved Two-Weapon Fighting feat.
An attack of opportunity can be traded for a 5-ft. step (this supersedes the Evasive Reflexes feat from the Tome of Battle).

In short, it is an addition. You can choose either.

Silver Crusade

I have played in a group that handled this issue this way (note, I don't agree with it):

At the start of your turn, you state all your (or the monsters) actions that you plan to take. Then you roll the dice and take the chances. If a monster drops after first round, sorry charlie, you committed to your actions.

The point of the above way (declaring actions before rolling) was to simulate a simultaneous 6 second round... shrug... yes, four people could basically waste their attacks while the fifth drops the goblin with 1 HP and the other six with 12 come running up your backside.

First, I am not saying this is the way to handle this (I don't do it this way in the games I run now). Second, it harkens back to days of old where everyone declares their actions before the dice start to roll (if you've played that way).


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Pawns Subscriber
theoposite wrote:

The only question/issue I have with an overwhelming portion of the posts on this thread is that some have made the inference that the Full Attack is a simultaneous action or an action that happens together (such as the two claws coming down at the same time).

While I don't disagree (or agree) with this interpretation, I am just supremely curious at how many of those particular people would immediately abandon that logical argument if that same bite/claw/claw monster could drop an opponent with the first two hits then take a 5 foot step then take that last attack against another foe.

Trying to interpret the mechanics of the game and the physics of the game I fear sometimes lead to metagaming. If you assume those attacks are simultaneous or part of series and you take a full round against a PC, then it shouldn't matter if the first two hit and bring the creature below 0 or below 10 or below 100, that third attack per your action should already be reserved to follow through.

However, if you assume that attacks are meant to follow more the rules and less the physics, then you are more likely to let the creature drop and move to another prey.

Just curious as to this scenario and any thoughts those that speak of the iterative attacks in a full attack as simultaneous...

I am not a PFS GM by any stretch of the imagination, so I go by the Gamers: Dorkness Rising approach of 'story trumps rules'.

According to RAW, a fighter with 3 attacks per round and a lion with 2 claws and a bite are virtually identical; both get 3 attacks per round, and both should be able to hit once, take a 5' step, then hit a different opponent.

My approach is to do what many other gaming systems have done extremely successfully: Ask the player for his or her 'statement of intent' before they roll any dice. "This is what I am planning to do during my phase." It is an absolute violation of the Pathfinder RAW, and I suspect many players would refuse to play in my game because of it. But the players who do play in my game like it, because even the monsters have to play by those rules. "This is what I'm planning on doing, and in order to change it I'm going to have to make a high-DC roll on an appropriate skill at the appropriate time or I'm going to end up following through no matter what happens."

Then comes the metagaming: If you, as a fighter attacking with the same weapon state that you're going to attack the same opponent 3 times, I'm perfectly happy to let you notice that after the 2nd hit the opponent drops. However, if you're the lion attacking with 3 different weapons, I'm going to assume you mean to attack with all 3 unless you specifically say, "I'm going to hit with my claws first, and if my victim is still struggling a bit then I'll go for the bite." Again, I'm clear with my players that this is the way my combats work, and I'll ask the player to clarify during his or her statement of intent whether the attacks are going to be simultaneous or 1-2-3.

Statements of intent: Some people hate 'em. I find them one of the most useful game mechanics ever invented.


TriOmegaZero wrote:

** spoiler omitted **

In short, it is an addition. You can choose either.

I can dig it. Might use it.


The Rot Grub wrote:

This question specifically concerns a monster/NPC using the Full Attack action. Here's the scenario:

You're running a monster that has 3 attacks -- two claws and a bite -- and it's standing within 5 feet of a PC. It carries out the Full Attack action. You adjudicate its attacks, and the first 2 knock the PC down into negative HP. There are no other PCs nearby to attack: do you carry out the third attack, which has a reasonable chance of killing the PC?

I have my own thoughts on this but want to hear what other people think.

I can't add anything to the discussion of monster motivation and game mechanics, but I have had this exact same situation recently.

I was running first level characters in a First Steps scenario (PFS). In the very first encounter, the monster gets three attacks off on the monk, with no other character in reach. The first two attacks are max damage and they put him below 0 hps. I am pretty sure that the above- average damage roll on third attack will kill him outright.

In addition to the other considerations about game mechanics, the monster's motivations, and whether the character can get raised (no possible way), I'm also dealing with the first time the player has ever played this character (he was an experienced player with a new character). Also, if the character drops, the player is out of the game, half an hour into the scenario, and sits around doing nothing for the rest of the evening.

Osirion

Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Cards, Companion, Maps, Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
snex wrote:
Think about what "make its final attack" means in the scenario. "Final attack" of what? An arbitrarily designated 6 seconds in which it can make a full attack. But baddies don't know about these arbitrary divisions of 6 seconds.

I understand what you are saying, and sympathise, as I have issues with the limitations to movement based on arbitary divisions of time*.

However, it may help to visualise 'full attack', not as a series of identical attacks ("I lift my sword, I bring it down, I lift my sword, I bring it down, I lift my sword, I bring it down, I lift my sword, I bring it down, etc."), but as committing to an elaborate series of attacks ("I lift my sword, I bring it down, I swing in a figure eight, then spin to deal a third backhand slash").
With the option that highly skilled attackers are able to interrupt the routine after the first attack, but not after the second or subsequent attacks.

In such a case, the attacker has already committed themself to the attack; why would they not make it?

Especially since the opponent may be out of the fight, but may not yet have fallen prone?
Full-face helms may disguise the fact that the opponent's eyes have rolled back in their head. Are the KO'ed? Or are they temporarily reeling?

*Two PCs in a long hallway.
PC1 starts 90' from the corner, so can treble move, then next round, turn on a dime and treble move again.
PC2 starts 60' from the corner, so can only double move, losing 30' of ground...
I favour a 'squares penalty' for turning during a run, rather than flat impossibility.


Snorter wrote:
snex wrote:
Think about what "make its final attack" means in the scenario. "Final attack" of what? An arbitrarily designated 6 seconds in which it can make a full attack. But baddies don't know about these arbitrary divisions of 6 seconds.

I understand what you are saying, and sympathise, as I have issues with the limitations to movement based on arbitary divisions of time*.

However, it may help to visualise 'full attack', not as a series of identical attacks ("I lift my sword, I bring it down, I lift my sword, I bring it down, I lift my sword, I bring it down, I lift my sword, I bring it down, etc."), but as committing to an elaborate series of attacks ("I lift my sword, I bring it down, I swing in a figure eight, then spin to deal a third backhand slash").
With the option that highly skilled attackers are able to interrupt the routine after the first attack, but not after the second or subsequent attacks.

In such a case, the attacker has already committed themself to the attack; why would they not make it?

But this is not how it works as stated in the rules. If the first attack drops the enemy, you can then choose to treat it as a standard action and then take a move action. So clearly it is not some combination attack that you can't stop once you've started.


Snorter wrote:

You may want to contact TOZ, for that.

I believe he's been using such a house-rule quite successfully for some time.

Thanks for the head's up! I figured I couldn't possibly be the first person to have such an idea.

I'm always puzzled by the oft-repeated claim that you have to kill characters because without risk, there's no point. After all, short of a TPK or a weird set of house rules, the only "risk" we're talking about here is the risk to a character's wallet.

That being the case, killing a PC is more or less interchangeable with robbing him, and no one says "if you don't sometimes rob your characters, there's no point."


I always play a character that has gone below 0 as going prone. Unless there is some reason the enemy would continue attacking a target after it hit the floor, the enemy will move on. Finishing a combo is a terrible reason.

When a character is down and out, it doesn't matter if they're dead or dying. The only real risk is if they are other party members up. If there are, they should be taken care of first.


Some other things you might do...

* Take a 5ft step into the downed PC's square, and dare people to come rescue him. The downed PC suddenly has cover against touch-attacking healing clerics...

* Demand the other PC's immediate surrender or you'll make your final attack. Make them decide immediately or else. (Could be tricky for some paladins and other honorable characters.)

Either of these is quite annoying, and will help convince the players you're not going soft on them, while that's actually exactly what you're doing. (I'm assuming you kinda want to go soft on them, but don't want them to know that.)

Osirion

Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Cards, Companion, Maps, Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
snex wrote:
But this is not how it works as stated in the rules. If the first attack drops the enemy, you can then choose to treat it as a standard action and then take a move action. So clearly it is not some combination attack that you can't stop once you've started.

Hence my line about it being able to be halted after the first attack, but once you'd taken the second, third, etc, you were too committed.

I don't believe I'll convince you; I simply offer it as a possible way to justify it, if the concept bothers you, and you want a way to visualise it.

Osirion

Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Cards, Companion, Maps, Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Ragnarok Aeon wrote:
I always play a character that has gone below 0 as going prone. Unless there is some reason the enemy would continue attacking a target after it hit the floor, the enemy will move on. Finishing a combo is a terrible reason.

There is a good reason for taking all the attacks you're entitled to.

Which is, that you want the opponent dead.

Ragnarok Aeon wrote:
When a character is down and out, it doesn't matter if they're dead or dying.

Actually, it does matter, a lot.

A dead opponent is dead.
A dying opponent is not dead.

All the posts that bring up the futility of beating a downed opponent, are missing one vital point; the game takes place in a world where magical healing exists. And is available to even relative nobodies, at the very beginning of their teenage careers.


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...Again please stop riping off my screen name for thread titles thank you!


Animal int creatures will let the dropped foe go, and turn to a new danger- until the battle is over, when it comes back to feed.

Smarter creatures will let the dropped foe go, and turn to a new danger- until the battle is over, when it comes back to loot.

Really strategic monsters kill the healer 1st.

Taldor

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No. Never. Unless the PC is boring. LOL

...

...

That simple statement could be explained in 20 paragraphs, but it always boils down to that. Shhhh. don't tell the players that's what GMs really think. *trade secret*


Snorter wrote:
All the posts that bring up the futility of beating a downed opponent, are missing one vital point; the game takes place in a world where magical healing exists. And is available to even relative nobodies, at the very beginning of their teenage careers.

There is that, yeah. You have to bear in mind that, to a sufficiently intelligent opponent, dead = not coming back into this fight, down = one dive from the cleric and they're back up hitting me.


Kill once in a while, but don't go out of your way to do so.

I had a player who, for a while, didn't really put full effort into her tactics and ideas in combat. She was of the opinion: "Who cares? There's nothing in this campaign that can kill us!"

So I played it naturally. No fudging dice, but no need to get overly killer-GMish. Soon enough her alchemist got eaten by a fish and died.

They raised him from the dead, but now she actually shows genuine concern that encounters may be a threat to her character. Meaning I can go back to pulling punches and still be seen as a threat. I don't need to play the monsters as intelligently as I would for more skilled players now, because that death will serve as a reminder by itself that death is a possibility.

In the future, memory of that death may fade, arrogance may return, and I may have to start playing enemies as somewhat competent once again. And the cycle continues.

(tldr: I avoid killing my players' characters, except when the players lack a healthy dose of fear of what I'm able to do to them. Then I just start playing more naturally and soon enough a death will put that fear back into them.)


The issue a lot of people bring up on this topic is that if you're not willing to kill the PCs when the dice fall there and it makes sense, then the game is boring; there are no consequences. It's bad to refuse to kill players.

Thing is, this ties into one of the big consequences of D&D. By the rules of the game, failure means death, and the party can't lose a fight because battles default to being to the death and if the party loses a fight, they're all dead and either you reroll a completely new party or the game is over.

Even on an individual level like we're talking about, failure is either punished in a nigh-absolute sense,completely ending their character's plotline no matter what's going on in the story, or meaningless because you'll just be rez'd tomorrow. Well, that's a problem in a system that has very few consequences other than death.


Omnius wrote:

The issue a lot of people bring up on this topic is that if you're not willing to kill the PCs when the dice fall there and it makes sense, then the game is boring; there are no consequences. It's bad to refuse to kill players.

.

Nothing to do with the question at hand. It's tactics. Why hit a foe that is no longer a danger when someone else is sticking a dagger in your gizzard?

It a PC is down to 5 HP and doesn't go Full defense or withdraw or get healing, and the next hit is a Crit that kills him- so be it. Poor tactics and bad luck killed him.

My Players and in other games, my fellow PC's even stop hitting most foes when they drop.


DrDeth wrote:
Omnius wrote:

The issue a lot of people bring up on this topic is that if you're not willing to kill the PCs when the dice fall there and it makes sense, then the game is boring; there are no consequences. It's bad to refuse to kill players.

.

Nothing to do with the question at hand. It's tactics. Why hit a foe that is no longer a danger when someone else is sticking a dagger in your gizzard?

It a PC is down to 5 HP and doesn't go Full defense or withdraw or get healing, and the next hit is a Crit that kills him- so be it. Poor tactics and bad luck killed him.

My Players and in other games, my fellow PC's even stop hitting most foes when they drop.

Depends on a few things. Are the PCs known for healing ability? Probably best to finish off a PC rather than leave them to be healed back to consciousness with a quick spell. Would it be more intelligent to kill one PC and then flee, regrouping to target the now-weakened party once you've had a chance to heal? Probably best to finish off that PC and make a run for it. Are you a mindless undead with lifesense? What's the difference to you between alive and unconscious? No difference, that's what! They're not done until they're not living, and that one is closest to being not-living.

(tldr: a few reasonable reasons an enemy might spend a round finishing off an unconscious PC rather than leave them and move on to the others.)


Also, keep in mind that the original example was a beast with no one else in reach. No reason not to kill.


Trayce wrote:

Yeah. Depends on the monster. Is it a big dumb monster who wants to eat the PCs? Is it defending itself or its young? is it some sort of demon?

Also, it's worth noting that a round is six seconds - not a lot of time to stop and consider the consequences of carrying out the rest of his attacks.

On the contrary I have actually been in real combat and I can tell you 1 second feels like an hour thus 6 second. Feels like 6 hours the adrenaline speeds up the time you prosses your environment granted a person who is not used to killing or streesers might get tunnel vision and or a conflict of personal morales obstructing their ultimate disistion to kill or not


The Rot Grub wrote:

This question specifically concerns a monster/NPC using the Full Attack action. Here's the scenario:

You're running a monster that has 3 attacks -- two claws and a bite -- and it's standing within 5 feet of a PC. It carries out the Full Attack action. You adjudicate its attacks, and the first 2 knock the PC down into negative HP. There are no other PCs nearby to attack: do you carry out the third attack, which has a reasonable chance of killing the PC?

I have my own thoughts on this but want to hear what other people think.

Absolutely not. That is quite unfair, and is a good way to lose players. If a GM did that to me, I would have to inflict physical violence upon them... as I have done in the past.

Yes, I have problems with anger management. Deal with it.


John-Andre wrote:
The Rot Grub wrote:

This question specifically concerns a monster/NPC using the Full Attack action. Here's the scenario:

You're running a monster that has 3 attacks -- two claws and a bite -- and it's standing within 5 feet of a PC. It carries out the Full Attack action. You adjudicate its attacks, and the first 2 knock the PC down into negative HP. There are no other PCs nearby to attack: do you carry out the third attack, which has a reasonable chance of killing the PC?

I have my own thoughts on this but want to hear what other people think.

Absolutely not. That is quite unfair, and is a good way to lose players. If a GM did that to me, I would have to inflict physical violence upon them... as I have donin the pas

Yes, I have problems with anger management. Deal with it.

Thats a little over the top dont you think. Personally I'd be really pissed but most of my gm's have no problem killing us off but they also have us play in the under world or heaven of the given campaign and have plenty of ways we can return to game be it reincarnation or resurrection or even being an undead creator XD I hate zombies and I hate nombes even more and I've been reincarnated as one so I had my pc kill its self XD makes for a good laugh


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John-Andre wrote:
The Rot Grub wrote:

This question specifically concerns a monster/NPC using the Full Attack action. Here's the scenario:

You're running a monster that has 3 attacks -- two claws and a bite -- and it's standing within 5 feet of a PC. It carries out the Full Attack action. You adjudicate its attacks, and the first 2 knock the PC down into negative HP. There are no other PCs nearby to attack: do you carry out the third attack, which has a reasonable chance of killing the PC?

I have my own thoughts on this but want to hear what other people think.

Absolutely not. That is quite unfair, and is a good way to lose players.

Why is it unfair? What if everyone's expectation for the game was that it would be dangerous and highly lethal?

Quote:

If a GM did that to me, I would have to inflict physical violence upon them... as I have done in the past.

Yes, I have problems with anger management. Deal with it.

Assaulting people is not a good recommendation, nor a good choice.

It is not the obligation of other people to deal with your mental issues around anger. It's your obligation to limit how those affect other people.

But well done for coming across as the sort of player I'd cross the street to avoid!


Break out your acting face. Emphasise how vicious the damage was, and put the player on -4.


Celendria deBois wrote:

I have played in a group that handled this issue this way (note, I don't agree with it):

At the start of your turn, you state all your (or the monsters) actions that you plan to take. Then you roll the dice and take the chances. If a monster drops after first round, sorry charlie, you committed to your actions.

The point of the above way (declaring actions before rolling) was to simulate a simultaneous 6 second round... shrug... yes, four people could basically waste their attacks while the fifth drops the goblin with 1 HP and the other six with 12 come running up your backside.

First, I am not saying this is the way to handle this (I don't do it this way in the games I run now). Second, it harkens back to days of old where everyone declares their actions before the dice start to roll (if you've played that way).

This is the only way that makes sense really. Otherwise you basically have everyone take there full turn in 1 second.


[
Depends on a few things. Are the PCs known for healing ability? Probably best to finish off a PC rather than leave them to be healed back to consciousness with a quick spell. Would it be more intelligent to kill one PC and then flee, regrouping to target the now-weakened party once you've had a chance to heal? Probably best to finish off that PC and make a run for it.

In sitrep 1, the best option is to drop the healer. Option 2 does't work so much as replacements arrive.


Sir Ophiuchus wrote:


Why is it unfair? What if everyone's expectation for the game was that it would be dangerous and highly lethal?

Because it's bad tactics on the part of the foe, that's why. It's the foe taking a round to kill a PC, thus possibly losing the battle as a result.

Taldor

johnlocke90 reminds me of running the original game in the early 80s.
The DM would roll 1d6, and 1 volunteer from the player group would roll 1d6. The unique part that Gygax designed is that each side was rolling initiative for the other. Players determined which random count the NPCs/Monsters acted on, and the DM determined which random count the players acted on.

The benefit to this in many ways was, of course, the ability for the DM to set the beginning of encounters easily and with flavor because he controlled the Players Initiative count.

That said... it moved right into declaring actions. What made this cool (although you'd never see modern gamers willing to do this today) was that everyone declared their actions... very.. very quickly.

The DM would execute any ranged missile and magic fire unless longer duration casting was at work. Then the table quickly acted on action they'd already declared. This avoided the wibbly-wobbly discussions at modern game tables... you know the kind, the ones where every possible permutation of potentiality or action is dicussed by each player with the whole group - turning each persons turn into some kind of optimized absolute best possible reality because they're making choices by committee.

Anyhow... to keep on topic, when I watch beasts on National Geographic... sometimes they attack then pause to reasses other threats in the area. Thus I don't see the need to "kick the player when they're down" unless I have a compelling reason to do so. As a rule, a mindless creature might keep attacking or for similar reasons stop attacking. An animal or magical beast might stop attacking the fallen PC because they're no longer a threat and similarly an intelligent NPC might do the same thing, even a nasty evil one - having been satisfied that he defeated the PC, there's little joy in killing a great adversary. So it's beneficial to consider this issue to be contextual and depends on the many variables I mention in my early post.

Shadow Lodge

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John-Andre wrote:
Yes, I have problems with anger management. Deal with it.

Luckily, I don't have to.


Unless the monster has a reason or special rule to do so (like brain eater zombies), my NPC don't attack people in the floor. My PCs don't do it either.


John-Andre wrote:
The Rot Grub wrote:

This question specifically concerns a monster/NPC using the Full Attack action. Here's the scenario:

You're running a monster that has 3 attacks -- two claws and a bite -- and it's standing within 5 feet of a PC. It carries out the Full Attack action. You adjudicate its attacks, and the first 2 knock the PC down into negative HP. There are no other PCs nearby to attack: do you carry out the third attack, which has a reasonable chance of killing the PC?

I have my own thoughts on this but want to hear what other people think.

Absolutely not. That is quite unfair, and is a good way to lose players. If a GM did that to me, I would have to inflict physical violence upon them... as I have done in the past.

Yes, I have problems with anger management. Deal with it.

It is not unfair at all. It is just a playstyle preference. Other discussions similar to this one have had posters say they get upset of a GM fudges the die roll or takes it easy on them. Many like myself don't want the GM's assistance. Just play the monster realistically. As an example if the monster is intelligent, and knows that cleric will just heal me again, then he should kill me if he gets the chance. Other people don't like dying so they should find a GM who is more willing to help them stay alive. There is no one correct way to play the game.


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"A GM's Conundrum: To Kill or Not to Kill?"

Kill!

ALWAYS KILL ! !

KILL KILL KILL ! ! !

Taldor

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion Subscriber
TOZ wrote:
John-Andre wrote:
Yes, I have problems with anger management. Deal with it.
Luckily, I don't have to.

+1


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The Rot Grub wrote:

This question specifically concerns a monster/NPC using the Full Attack action. Here's the scenario:

You're running a monster that has 3 attacks -- two claws and a bite -- and it's standing within 5 feet of a PC. It carries out the Full Attack action. You adjudicate its attacks, and the first 2 knock the PC down into negative HP. There are no other PCs nearby to attack: do you carry out the third attack, which has a reasonable chance of killing the PC?

I have my own thoughts on this but want to hear what other people think.

So, you claw and do damage. Then you claw, and do damage and the target falls down. Then you nomnomnomnomnomnomnom until you are full. I'd say it's a good day to be that monster.

The GM had an opportunity with my last character, something like this: We were fighting two gricks. We were fighting next to a pool of water that the gricks swam out of to attack us. I was dropped to negative hit points. The DM took pity on me and had the grick turn on the paladin. I called foul. That grick should have grabbed me and swam to the bottom of the pool to eat in peace. Anyone who has ever had a pet knows that food comes first. Winning fights don't matter if you're still hungry or dead at the end. When the opportunity to get away with food presents itself, animal intelligence and instinct take over and that animal will try to make off with the meal.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
The Rot Grub wrote:

This question specifically concerns a monster/NPC using the Full Attack action. Here's the scenario:

You're running a monster that has 3 attacks -- two claws and a bite -- and it's standing within 5 feet of a PC. It carries out the Full Attack action. You adjudicate its attacks, and the first 2 knock the PC down into negative HP. There are no other PCs nearby to attack: do you carry out the third attack, which has a reasonable chance of killing the PC?

I have my own thoughts on this but want to hear what other people think.

You carry out the third attack regardless of the status of the PC, especially if the monster has no other reachable threats around it. If there were other targets? then by all means share the wealth.

I dont really see PC's in general showing the level of restraint that some of the people here say that the DM/GM should be showing.

I dont see MMA fighters walking away from a downed opponent. They keep up the pounding until the ref physically puts himself between the combatants or pulls the dominant fighter off the prone fighter. The same with boxing.

Listen people have different play styles, I get that and if your house rule says the PC's can only die in certain circumstances then yeah I dont personally get that, but hey that's your thing and I respect it. But if that wasn't laid out at the outset? Then what's the problem? your character is in a profession where they are using weapons (sword or spell) to physically harm and or kill other sentient beings. I dont understand the whining about this occupation possibly NOT going well for adventurers.

If I'm a owlbear who is fighting a lone opponent and you as that lone opponent are wielding a weapon of some kind that can cause me grievous harm or kill me? God forbid that you may have actually already hurt me with it? If I get the chance I'm gonna Claw/claw/Hug - bite the living CRAP out of you until you stop moving. And that would be the same if I were a bug bear, a human fighter (not so much with the claw/claw/bite part) or a Ghoul.

This is what happens when you bear arms against other sentient beings who may in turn have arms to bear against you.


DrDeth wrote:
Gluttony wrote:


Depends on a few things. Are the PCs known for healing ability? Probably best to finish off a PC rather than leave them to be healed back to consciousness with a quick spell. Would it be more intelligent to kill one PC and then flee, regrouping to target the now-weakened party once you've had a chance to heal? Probably best to finish off that PC and make a run for it.
In sitrep 1, the best option is to drop the healer. Option 2 does't work so much as replacements arrive.

The healer's not necessarily in a position to be dropped, and the enemies don't necessarily know that the PCs have the capacity to call in replacements.


The Rot Grub wrote:


If I'm a owlbear who is fighting a lone opponent and you as that lone opponent are wielding a weapon of some kind that can cause me grievous harm or kill me? God forbid that you may have actually already hurt me with it? If I get the chance I'm gonna Claw/claw/Hug - bite the living CRAP out of you until you stop moving. And that would be the same if I were a bug bear, a human fighter (not so...

Interesting choice of words... "until you stop moving". This is not the same thing as "dead."

Osirion

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Sir Ophiuchus wrote:
dead = not coming back into this fight, down = one dive from the cleric and they're back up hitting me.

That's true. But it's even more true than you state there.

It no longer even requires a cleric, nor does it still require them to come near their buddy.

Back in the OD&D days, there was a perception that the PCs were a rare breed, one in a million types, whose abilities caused awe in the Normal Men (0-level NM).

Since every edition since, that notion of specialness has been toned down, to the current point, where being a 1st-level anything is no big deal.
There are no '0-level' anyone any more, and you don't have to be a PC class to possess spells, or perform magic via scrolls & wands, using the Use Magic Device skill.

You don't need to succeed on a Knowledge check, or a Spellcraft check, to positively identify one of the remaining combatants as a cleric, before you play for keeps.
Every. single. person. still in the fight, is a potential healer.

Even the village idiot, playing his banjo on the porch, and watching the proceedings, may wander over to help his hurt friend, and knows that 'when someone is hurt, you give him his medicine.'.
And that 'medicine' comes in vials with the temple symbol on.


snex wrote:
The Rot Grub wrote:


If I'm a owlbear who is fighting a lone opponent and you as that lone opponent are wielding a weapon of some kind that can cause me grievous harm or kill me? God forbid that you may have actually already hurt me with it? If I get the chance I'm gonna Claw/claw/Hug - bite the living CRAP out of you until you stop moving. And that would be the same if I were a bug bear, a human fighter (not so...
Interesting choice of words... "until you stop moving". This is not the same thing as "dead."

Well the owlbear is likely going to eat you. That pretty much counts as a continuation of the attack since you will be bitten. As for making sure you are dead it depends on the monster in question. Of course the monster could also roll low on the damage dice, and you still might live. It would not know you were not dead, and should move on if there are other threats around.

Osirion

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John-Andre wrote:

Absolutely not. That is quite unfair, and is a good way to lose players. If a GM did that to me, I would have to inflict physical violence upon them... as I have done in the past.

Yes, I have problems with anger management. Deal with it.

Does 'pointing and laughing' count as 'dealing'?


Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
snex wrote:
The Rot Grub wrote:


If I'm a owlbear who is fighting a lone opponent and you as that lone opponent are wielding a weapon of some kind that can cause me grievous harm or kill me? God forbid that you may have actually already hurt me with it? If I get the chance I'm gonna Claw/claw/Hug - bite the living CRAP out of you until you stop moving. And that would be the same if I were a bug bear, a human fighter (not so...
Interesting choice of words... "until you stop moving". This is not the same thing as "dead."

True, it's not.

I'm also assuming that the PC's are playing by the same rules and tend to make sure that anything that they fight is DEAD, DEAD, DEAD.

I think that in almost 30 years of gaming that I've had more players ask of an NPC or a monster "is he dead?" as opposed to "is he still moving?"

So yes I should have been clearer in what I was trying to say.

Osirion

Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Cards, Companion, Maps, Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
ShinHakkaider wrote:

I'm also assuming that the PC's are playing by the same rules and tend to make sure that anything that they fight is DEAD, DEAD, DEAD.

I think that in almost 30 years of gaming that I've had more players ask of an NPC or a monster "is he dead?" as opposed to "is he still moving?"

It would be interesting to know;

a) how many of those players, who admit they would throw their toys out of their pram, if their downed PC took damage, think nothing of stabbing a downed NPC, and

b) how many of the GMs, who advocate never utilizing creatures to their full potential, would step in and tell a player that they aren't allowed to perform the last attacks in a full-attack routine, "because that's not what your character would do. You think he's dead, you have to leave them alone...".

c) if the two were placed at the same table, how long before a table was flipped?


Personally I make sure the NPC is dead. A GM once told me to make a heal check if I wanted to know if an NPC was dead, so I just stabbed him a few more times. I was sure he was dead after that.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Snorter wrote:
ShinHakkaider wrote:

I'm also assuming that the PC's are playing by the same rules and tend to make sure that anything that they fight is DEAD, DEAD, DEAD.

I think that in almost 30 years of gaming that I've had more players ask of an NPC or a monster "is he dead?" as opposed to "is he still moving?"

It would be interesting to know;

a) how many of those players, who admit they would throw their toys out of their pram, if their downed PC took damage, think nothing of stabbing a downed NPC, and

b) how many of the GMs, who advocate never utilizing creatures to their full potential, would step in and tell a player that they aren't allowed to perform the last attacks in a full-attack routine, "because that's not what your character would do. You think he's dead, you have to leave them alone...".

c) if the two were placed at the same table, how long before a table was flipped?

a) Most of them.

b) Very few to none of them.

c) 2 seconds

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