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Coup de Grâce off the table?


Pathfinder Society® General Discussion

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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

worth noting as well that a lot of people forget that CdG is a full-round action (including at times scenario writers):

- this means no "ready a CdG" (for the slumber hex etc to go off)

- this also makes the slumber hex & CdG combo a bit harder to pull off - you have to slumber and either already be w/i a 5' step of the target or move up to the target and take a normal standard then next round perform the CdG (which gives the hexed target's allies a chance to perhaps wake him etc)

CdG by many characters is also a far from certain death - it really depends on the damage output - sure a CdG from the Barbarian wielding the X4 Crit weapon will kill almost anything but I've seen CdG from rapiers or daggers that were barely an annoyance to the target (still dangerous but unlikely to be an instant death)

As a player I tend to play NG characters who prefer not to kill enemies - I'd rather keep them alive and give them a chance to reform/redeem themselves (and perhaps get punished if they deserve that) and I try to avoid killing any innocents. But Pathfinders have many who aren't good and have far fewer compunctions. (including it should be noted some faction leaders that assign missions that involve very non-good acts - something I personally as a player & GM don't really like to see)

Qadira ***

often heard at tables in my area.
"Don't kill 'em, they're worth more alive!"
(said by the Chelaxian, Osirion, Qaderian players)
and the Andorans switch back to doing lethal damage in order to prevent the mooks becomeing slaves. "Kill 'em, it's the 'good' thing to do...".

*****

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

evil Andorans

Qadira ***

Kyle Baird wrote:
evil Andorans

LOL... no, these are the GOOD Andorans, that's why they kill the prisoners.

;)

Grand Lodge ***** Venture-Captain, Illinois—Decatur aka TwilightKnight

Rycaut wrote:
CdG by many characters is also a far from certain death - it really depends on the damage output - sure a CdG from the Barbarian wielding the X4 Crit weapon will kill almost anything but I've seen CdG from rapiers or daggers that were barely an annoyance to the target (still dangerous but unlikely to be an instant death)

To be fair, most who specialize in the slumber hex are not the ones taking the CdG. They wait until the party tank is up in the enemy's grill and then hex him. The tank is already there to perform the CdG on their turn, before the BBEG has a chance to wake up. More the better if the tank is a barbarian with a x3/4 crit weapon, a fighter with lots of damage enhancement feats, a paladin with smite, or a rogue with lots of sneak attack damage. Even a ranger with favored enemy or an inquisitor with the bane ability can make quick work of an enemy with CdG.

Qadira **** Venture-Captain, Ireland—Belfast aka heretic

Chris Bonnet wrote:
heretic wrote:


So frankly attacking a helpless opponent with either a full round or standard action is not really morally different. When you swing your great axe in the surprise round and behead the foe with a crit or a rogue gets someone flat footed and quite literally goes for the jugular the resulting death is no less fatal than a CdG...

There is a huge difference.

During a battle you are fighting for your life. Strike from a weapon or spell can kill, or damage. If there is damage you can trigger morale. With luck you can crit someone, the outcome they loose hit points, becoming closeer to dying, they may surrender. You take them into the negatives they are bleeding. They become helpless.

Helpless you can hit them they have a dex of 0 and you have a +4. If they are asleep you can hit them trying to wake them up, you can attempt to do non-lethal damage. Your buddies can surround them and ready an action to beat them if they continue fighting. You could also tie them up, or do any amount of actions.

CdG takes a full round, the percieved outcome is death. Not loosing hit points, not forcing the opponent to surrender. Attempting to kill a helpless combatant. A single strike targeting a vital spot, causing an auto crit forcing a fort save vs death. CdG outcome will likey be death, at least the outcome will be more likely than the (Evil) Assassin PrC's, Death Attack.

Should CdG happen? Sure.
Should CdG occur every session? Not likely.
Are there tactics that could replace CdG? Yes.
Will some CdG be percieved as Evil? Yes.
Will some CdG be percieved as not Evil? Yes.
Will everyone see it the same? No.
Should CdG's affect PCS diplomacy, intimidate or other tactics after being viewed? Yes (+2 on intimadate, you killed my boss!)(-2 Diplomacy I will not date you you killed my husband!... humor)
If a GM uses CdG against a player is he a bad GM?...
Should a GM use CdG in response to a NPC observing the parties CdG?...

Chris there surely is a huge difference mechanically. My point is that characters don't think in terms of game mechanics. Players do and indeed really have to but characters have no concept of e.g.hit points etc. They either attack to kill or subdue.

When a character is dealing lethal damage they are not attempting to cause "hit point" damage, they are trying to kill. Thus from the character's point of view there is no moral difference between attempting to land a mortal blow on an unaware but awake opponent and one who is unaware because they are sleeping.

I can buy the idea that in a duel between masters, the chances of a mortal blow is sufficiently small that each side might attempt to gain advantage with multiple smaller ones, while hoping to get that mortal blow in at the earliest opportunity. Though 99% of the time if a character's attack draws blood but isn't mortal it is not for lack of trying, it just it wasn't good enough!

When the PC gets the drop on an enemy and uses lethal damage in an attempt to deliver a mortal blow before the opponent knows about it or can react, I honestly, with no disrespect to your position cannot see the moral difference

W

Andoran ***

Bob Jonquet wrote:
Rycaut wrote:
CdG by many characters is also a far from certain death - it really depends on the damage output - sure a CdG from the Barbarian wielding the X4 Crit weapon will kill almost anything but I've seen CdG from rapiers or daggers that were barely an annoyance to the target (still dangerous but unlikely to be an instant death)
To be fair, most who specialize in the slumber hex are not the ones taking the CdG. They wait until the party tank is up in the enemy's grill and then hex him. The tank is already there to perform the CdG on their turn, before the BBEG has a chance to wake up. More the better if the tank is a barbarian with a x3/4 crit weapon, a fighter with lots of damage enhancement feats, a paladin with smite, or a rogue with lots of sneak attack damage. Even a ranger with favored enemy or an inquisitor with the bane ability can make quick work of an enemy with CdG.

To be honest, other than the Fort save, there are other builds that don't need to setup CdG to pretty much hose an enemy.

That fellow with the high crit range weapon using Butterfly's Sting to give the crit to his x3/x4 crit weapon buddy with insane multipliable damage add-ons.

That combat maneuver specialist who always leaves 'em prone. Bonuses to hit always make that PA penalty easier to handle... Especially at higher levels when the target winds up not only prone, but disarmed, and AoOed on the way down, with his weapon way the heck off that-a-way.

Glitterdust/Cause Blindness/Deeper Darkness spellcasters, leaving their target, if they fail the save, if there is one, wide open for sneak attacks.

Believe me, while CdG is ugly, there are plenty of other ugly combos or single shot things available. Suffocation, especially when all your buddies are stuck in a Force Cage, and you can't make a Fort save to save your soul, is a bad thing(tm). Heck, that Force Cage turned ugly for the occupants when the Sirocco spell, which exactly matches the cage size, goes off. Made me, as the GM, feel guilty, actually...

Grand Lodge ***

heretic wrote:
When a character is dealing lethal damage they are not attempting to cause "hit point" damage, they are trying to kill. Thus from the character's point of view there is no moral difference between attempting to land a mortal blow on an unaware but awake opponent and one who is unaware because they are sleeping.

I would disagree. There is no functional difference, but there is a moral difference between attempting to land a potentially killing blow on an aware and threatening assailant, and attacking a helpless target. Whether or not that moral difference separates these actions into good/neutral/evil is a matter of the attacker's motivation and goals, but in general killing a helpless target because it's easier or more efficient is never a good act, but sometimes an evil act.

Grand Lodge *****

As a GM I try to spread the love around and not single any one PC out before moving on to the next.

Translation: If I can drop a PC I'll go take care of any other threat before actually killing PCs (unless tactics say otherwise).

But if I observe players using the "make helpless, CdG" combo or even full attacks on one target without seeing if the first attack drops them, I will change the enemies behaviour to reflect what kind of fight they are in.

Fair is fair.

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