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Willingly Failing to Resist Combat Manouvers


Rules Questions


One of my players brought up the idea of using the Drag combat manouver to move a comrade away from an enemy and toward the cleric. Normally, moving out of a threatened area provokes, but using the Drag combat maneuver without Greater Drag doesn't cause the moved target to provoke. Is this a legitimate tactic? Is there a way to willingly let the combat manouver happen (like with willingly failing a save against a spell) or would the Dragger still have to beat the Dragged's CMD?


They can choose to not resist, but the devs assume that attacks will be used to attack. I would allow it since the person using the maneuver is giving up an attack. If they found a way to do it without giving up anything I might have 2nd thoughts.

PS:CMD assumes you are resisting so not resisting should remove the strength and dex modifiers. It won't remove any deflection bonuses, or anything else that applies to CMD though.


BAB would also be an element of resisting... Dodge bonuses as well.
But if the target is NOT resisting, i.e. they are willing, then the movement SHOULD provoke...
same as if a horse is running with an unconscious rider on top of it...


Quandary wrote:

BAB would also be an element of resisting... Dodge bonuses as well.

But if the target is NOT resisting, i.e. they are willing, then the movement SHOULD provoke...
same as if a horse is running with an unconscious rider on top of it...

I disagree. Firstly, why would allowing yourself to be distracted by fighting to resist it make you harder to attack?

Secondly, this is pretty much exactly the kind of thing you would use to be heroic. Grabbing a friend and pulling them to safety is classic.

Looks to me that there's no reason to change the drag rules. The only thing is where or not you can willingly let yourself be combat maneuvered, and I see no reason why not.


but what is the diffence then, between a horse moving around (provoking) with a rider on board,
and a horse using the drag maneuver on a rider?
i don't think there's a good answer RAW.


Quandary wrote:

but what is the diffence then, between a horse moving around (provoking) with a rider on board,

and a horse using the drag maneuver on a rider?
i don't think there's a good answer RAW.

The horse isn't wasting actions for one. It's a standard action to drag anyone. You could use the Withdraw action and then everyone is good.

Taldor RPG Superstar 2011 Top 32

This came up before a while ago and there wasn't really a consensus. Allowing combat maneuvers to be used to move around allies sets up a bunch of potentially abusive and bizarre situations. Bull rushing and dragging don't provoke, unless you have the Greater feats, so suddenly you're so good at the maneuver that one use of it gets worse for you?

Can a lightly/no armored fast mover like a monk use his turn to push full plate guy into full attack position?

I also personally have a tough time visualizng what's going on with "friendly combat maneuvers" without turning the battlefield into a board/video game. Characters aren't standing there like lumps between their turns; all the action is happening nearly simultaneously, we are just using turns to be able to make the combat understandable. To me, the best way to represent "I pull my friend out of danger" is to ready an action to move with the friend then both move on the friend's turn. this version has the advantage of being both rules and visually "clean", but the disadvantage of being fairly tactically worthless.

I just have a hard time seeing the difference between "allow myself to be pushed" and "moving on my own while someone pushes me," in a "what's going on in the game world" sense.

Grand Lodge RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

Keep in mind that there's already precedent in the rules for being able to auto-succeed on a willing target while needing an attack roll for an unwilling target of the same action.

Touch spells in combat: "You can automatically touch one friend or use the spell on yourself, but to touch an opponent, you must succeed on an attack roll."

With that precedent in mind, it seems that a similar process should be used for combat maneuvers (unless someone has a more relevant rule to cite, of course).

Shadow Lodge

I've always allowed this. I've also allowed a combat maneuver check to be used to "swap places" with someone - a tactic that was most recently used in my Kingmaker game, where one character swapped places with another to put himself between her (caster) and the boss enemy. (Granted, it didn't work out so well when someone let the owlbear loose behind him...)

Also... why do the Greater feats make you provoke but the non-feat use of the ability does not? O.o?


ryric wrote:

This came up before a while ago and there wasn't really a consensus. Allowing combat maneuvers to be used to move around allies sets up a bunch of potentially abusive and bizarre situations. Bull rushing and dragging don't provoke, unless you have the Greater feats, so suddenly you're so good at the maneuver that one use of it gets worse for you?

Can a lightly/no armored fast mover like a monk use his turn to push full plate guy into full attack position?

Dunno. It's more plausible than a fastball special. Likewise, this sort of thing is actually common fare in movies with lots of elaborate fight scenes (especially martial arts flicks) where someone pushes someone out of the way before they are hit, assists someone getting into position to make an attack, etc, etc. Heck, tackling an ally out of the way of oncoming harm is not only plausible but down right necessary sometimes.

A great example would be if the monk readied an action to bull-rush the Fighter out of the way of a blue dragon's lightning bolt. The monk shoves the fighter out of the way with his readied action and either takes the hit himself, which can either be heroic self sacrifice or he might be more apt to take it and survive (the monk has good Reflex and Evasion, while an armored defender might pull a terminator and allow himself to take the arrow instead of the dude he pushes).

Quote:
I also personally have a tough time visualizng what's going on with "friendly combat maneuvers" without turning the battlefield into a board/video game.

See above. Most combat maneuvers could be preformed with specific purposes. A trip can easily be another player going "Get down!" and throwing their ally to the ground to avoid oncoming fire. A great example of how this would work is if the party's diviner wizard is walking behind the Fighter and realizes they are under attack. He has a great initiative due to his extrasensory awareness. He goes first in combat and grabs the Fighter "Get down!" he insists, pushing the Fighter and himself to the ground (standard action during surprise round to trip Fighter, free action to fall prone himself) just as the volley of arrows is coming (+4 to AC due to being prone).

A drag can easily be someone pulling an ally to safety, or could even be used to preform a surprise move to get someone into position (which is less likely given how AoOs work, but it might be possible to give the rogue a soft shove at the right moment to get inside some reach).

A steal or disarm maneuver could easily be grabbing something from your ally that is needed (such as a spare weapon), but I'm pretty sure that most GMs would allow an adjacent ally to draw a weapon or other item from an ally as they would themselves (but I don't think this is actually covered in the rules), but a disarm or steal could be used in this manner if not.

Quote:
Characters aren't standing there like lumps between their turns; all the action is happening nearly simultaneously, we are just using turns to be able to make the combat understandable. To me, the best way to represent "I pull my friend out of danger" is to ready an action to move with the friend then both move on the friend's turn. this version has the advantage of being both rules and visually "clean", but the disadvantage of being fairly tactically worthless.

This isn't clean because it doesn't do anything. There is in fact no difference between grabbing your friend and pulling them to safety and saying "Hey, let us take a walk together at the same time". That's not clean, that's fail. It's clunky mechanics that don't work. It is akin to Prone Shooter. Time to go back to the drawing board.

Quote:
I just have a hard time seeing the difference between "allow myself to be pushed" and "moving on my own while someone pushes me," in a "what's going on in the game world" sense.

Try using your imagination.

EDIT: If anything, this sort of thing should be encouraged as it is effectively akin to an "aid another" being used in terms of action economy, except instead of adding a flat bonus to attack rolls or armor class, it actually has some tactical merit that continues to be worth spending actions on at higher levels. EDIT 2: Furthermore, I believe that rewarding PCs for assisting their allies with their actions not only leads to a more engaging game but fosters ideals and concepts of teamwork, working together, and good spirits. One of my biggest complaints about gamers today is often it appears that many tabletop gamers these days play their games out of tolerance for their teammates rather than appreciation of them.

Everything seems to be "me, me, me". "This player keeps stealing my fun", "I'm here because I have no where else to be", etc. I miss the days when I felt like RPGs encouraged teamwork, taught people to be more accepting of other people, and fostered good spirits between strangers.


I can see the "that was not what the devs intended" side. I also "this is a creative use of an ability" side. I am fine with either side as a player, after taking the time to think about it. As a GM I would allow it also, but the players should know the NPC's are not above using the idea either. As long as that was agree on there would be no issues.


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wraithstrike wrote:
I can see the "that was not what the devs intended" side. I also "this is a creative use of an ability" side. I am fine with either side as a player, after taking the time to think about it. As a GM I would allow it also, but the players should know the NPC's are not above using the idea either. As long as that was agree on there would be no issues.

If anything I totally see my kobolds using this in the future.


I recently had a summoner's eidolon deliberately let a swallow whole maneuver by a larger monster succeed because it could easily withstand the amount of damage it would take before savagely cutting its way out from inside that monster on its next turn. My group is still wondering whether that is actually a legal maneuver.

Grand Lodge RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

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David knott 242 wrote:

I recently had a summoner's eidolon deliberately let a swallow whole maneuver by a larger monster succeed because it could easily withstand the amount of damage it would take before savagely cutting its way out from inside that monster on its next turn. My group is still wondering whether that is actually a legal maneuver.

Ever seen Men in Black?


Does this mean I can let myself be spellsundered to get a harmful effect off without having to be tied up.

Grand Lodge RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

It could be argued that there's a difference between being a willing target and a helpless target.


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Jiggy wrote:
David knott 242 wrote:

I recently had a summoner's eidolon deliberately let a swallow whole maneuver by a larger monster succeed because it could easily withstand the amount of damage it would take before savagely cutting its way out from inside that monster on its next turn. My group is still wondering whether that is actually a legal maneuver.

Ever seen Men in Black?

Yep -- that is basically what the eidolon did.

Taldor RPG Superstar 2011 Top 32

Orthos wrote:
Also... why do the Greater feats make you provoke but the non-feat use of the ability does not? O.o?

Normally, bull rushing or dragging someone doesn't provoke from the movement. Feats like like Greater Bull Rush make your bull rushes provoke. Normally this is an advantage when used on an enemy (as your forced movement now lets all your threatening allies get free attacks), but it makes this "trick" of using the combat maneuvers against allies also have their movement provoke.

Ashiel, many of your objections already have ways to do them within the system. Bumping your ally out of the way briefly sounds like Aiding their AC. Throwing your ally down or out of the way for a Reflex save is explicitly the purpose of the teamwork feat Duck and Cover. Letting the fighter act during the suprise round is what the teamwork feat Lookout is for.

I understand that you think doing these things this way is weak. A lot of them are substandard choices. I just don't see much difference between "walking together" and "walking together while I tug lightly on you." There should still be a combat maneuver check to use these on friendly targets - I see it as being much more likely that the diviner wizard either ends up prone next to a gently shoved standing fighter or that the wizard is hanging comically off the standing fighter. A spindly, untrained weak guy just isn't going to shove around even a friendly, willing, and unaware but strong and combat-trained target very easily. I'd be hard-pressed to tackle down a pro football player IRL, even if we were friends and I saw an attack coming and he didn't.

I'd say let a willing target get rid of his/her Dex, BAB, and Str to his/her CMD, leaving only things like deflection, size, and the basic 10. The target would have to be aware of the "attack" to drop bonuses in this way, so a flat-footed target would only lose Dex(as normal) - flat footed, the ally has no way to distinguish your sudden maneuver from any other suprise attack.


ryric wrote:
Orthos wrote:
Also... why do the Greater feats make you provoke but the non-feat use of the ability does not? O.o?

Normally, bull rushing or dragging someone doesn't provoke from the movement. Feats like like Greater Bull Rush make your bull rushes provoke. Normally this is an advantage when used on an enemy (as your forced movement now lets all your threatening allies get free attacks), but it makes this "trick" of using the combat maneuvers against allies also have their movement provoke.

I disagree, a feat should always be beneficial to the player. In this case the character may choose to simply do not use the Imporved/greater feats.

Shadow Lodge

ryric wrote:
Orthos wrote:
Also... why do the Greater feats make you provoke but the non-feat use of the ability does not? O.o?
Normally, bull rushing or dragging someone doesn't provoke from the movement. Feats like like Greater Bull Rush make your bull rushes provoke. Normally this is an advantage when used on an enemy (as your forced movement now lets all your threatening allies get free attacks), but it makes this "trick" of using the combat maneuvers against allies also have their movement provoke.

OH. I thought they made the USER provoke, not the guy he's moving around. My mistake.

In that case, yeah I would allow the player to opt to "use the non-improved feat" to not trigger AoOs on his buddy.

Shadow Lodge

I agree with wraithstrike, Ashiel, and Jiggy that there is no mechanical or game balance reason to disallow willing combat maneuvers, and the dramatic/heroic/teamwork benefits are a good reason to allow it.

ryric, just because a feat lets you do something doesn't mean that someone shouldn't be able to do something similar but less advantageous without the feat. For example, heroes without Combat Expertise can fight defensively, taking a steeper penalty to attack in exchange for the AC benefit. Duck and Cover doesn't require anyone to spend an action, where a willing Trip does. Lookout allows everyone to act freely in a surprise round, where a willing maneuver just lets one character use their standard to give a surprised person a free or move action. If the Diviner and his fighter ally had lookout, the Diviner could use his action to cast a spell, and the fighter could attack or ready an action if he wanted, and both could still drop prone.

Also, if the Diviner tells the fighter to get down and the fighter trusts the diviner, it should be quite easy for the fighter to just buckle under even a light tug, even if he doesn't have the presence of mind to drop on his own initiative.

David knott, getting oneself swallowed by a monster is a classic tactic and perfectly legal.


just to make clear, allowing 'automatic success' doesn't really work for several CMBs like it does for simple attack rolls... some, like Bullrush or Over-Run have their result determined by HOW MUCH you beat the DC by. I suppose the minimum effect would always be achievable though.

i have used bullrush on allies to knock them outside the area of a Black Tentacles where they were Grappled, for instance.


Weirdo wrote:

I agree with wraithstrike, Ashiel, and Jiggy that there is no mechanical or game balance reason to disallow willing combat maneuvers, and the dramatic/heroic/teamwork benefits are a good reason to allow it.

ryric, just because a feat lets you do something doesn't mean that someone shouldn't be able to do something similar but less advantageous without the feat. For example, heroes without Combat Expertise can fight defensively, taking a steeper penalty to attack in exchange for the AC benefit. Duck and Cover doesn't require anyone to spend an action, where a willing Trip does. Lookout allows everyone to act freely in a surprise round, where a willing maneuver just lets one character use their standard to give a surprised person a free or move action. If the Diviner and his fighter ally had lookout, the Diviner could use his action to cast a spell, and the fighter could attack or ready an action if he wanted, and both could still drop prone.

Also, if the Diviner tells the fighter to get down and the fighter trusts the diviner, it should be quite easy for the fighter to just buckle under even a light tug, even if he doesn't have the presence of mind to drop on his own initiative.

David knott, getting oneself swallowed by a monster is a classic tactic and perfectly legal.

+1 to this whole post. It's a cool and creative tactic that encourages teamwork. And it's not gamebreaking or unbalacing.

So why not?

Grand Lodge RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

Quandary wrote:
just to make clear, allowing 'automatic success' doesn't really work for several CMBs like it does for simple attack rolls... some, like Bullrush or Over-Run have their result determined by HOW MUCH you beat the DC by. I suppose the minimum effect would always be achievable though.

Yeah, that's the one real issue.

If we use "CMB vs helpless target" as a precedent, then we're treating it like a natural 20, which could get silly as fighters throw each other across chasms with bull rushes.

In any case, with it not being directly covered, it's up to each GM (even in PFS, unless someone has a compelling citation to the contrary). Maybe an appropriate method is to let non-margin-dependent maneuvers auto-succeed on willing targets, while margin-dependent maneuvers make the roll against a CMD that doesn't include STR, DEX or BAB?

I dunno, just tossing out ideas.

Taldor RPG Superstar 2011 Top 32

I too have no problem with someone willingly allowing swallow whole to work.

I guess the problem I'm having is that my groups do use a lot of teamwork and I see "free moves" from combat maneuvers being abused if allowed. I'd have to be prepared for the barbarian to delay until right after the wizard goes so that the wizard's familiar can bull rush the barb up into melee for a first round full attack, coincidentally negating the creature's reach AoO as well.

Or imagine a summoner/conjurer/archetype with multiple summoned creatures who only push everybody around the battlefield so that no one ever has to use a move action themselves, or provoke movement AoOs. My experience is that today's one-off cool thing becomes tomorrow's standard tactic.

Allowing combat maneuvers to work on allies is house rule territory anyway (all the language about maneuvers in the combat chapter refers to "opponents"), so I'm just saying I'm very wary about consequences here. i'm not utterly opposed to the idea, I just want to make sure that it's a neat thing that happens "sometimes" and not "the standard way of doing battle."

Grand Lodge RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

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ryric wrote:
I guess the problem I'm having is that my groups do use a lot of teamwork and I see "free moves" from combat maneuvers being abused if allowed.

First, "one person's standard action instead of someone else's move action" is an interesting definition of "free".

Second, we're assuming the rest of the rules about combat maneuvers would be followed:

Quote:
I'd have to be prepared for the barbarian to delay until right after the wizard goes so that the wizard's familiar can bull rush the barb up into melee for a first round full attack, coincidentally negating the creature's reach AoO as well.

Bull rushes don't work at all against a creature 2+ sizes bigger, and if memory serves all familiars are Tiny. So it'd have to be the wizard himself shoving the barbarian in. Instead of casting a spell.

Quote:
Or imagine a summoner/conjurer/archetype with multiple summoned creatures who only push everybody around the battlefield so that no one ever has to use a move action themselves, or provoke movement AoOs. My experience is that today's one-off cool thing becomes tomorrow's standard tactic.

Right, because a field full of summoned creatures is normally so weak - using them to move the PCs around is a HUGE jump in power. /sarcasm


wizard casting dimension door and having familiar deliver it/be transported as the 'you' in the wizards place is alot more powerful, albeit uses a spell slot.

but definitely this house rule territory, and alot of the relevant rules are so opponent-centric (e.g. AoOs on Bullrush movement is about the 'balance' of forcing extra attacks against your enemies) that you need to feel free to ad-lib on a pretty broad spectrum of rules. that said, it definitely makes home games more dynamic when you can do this.

re: bullrush example I gave, i also used the black tentacles CMD (if higher) since it only seemed fair.


I remember pointing out the ability to move team mates when they decided to take the AoO away from manoeuvres without the greater feat that it opened up this sort of abuse...

Thread from when we were play testing the game

So Jason was aware of the use before it went to print, but specifically mentions CMB and CMD, and the possibility of failing to move the ally, and wasting an action.

I'd take that as a blanket you can't willingly fail from the developer.

Eric


actually, thinking about, we don't really even have to invoke the maneuvers at all for the stuff that want them to do on willing targets:

over run: irrelevant, you can move thru allies' squares. if you want to try 'knocking them over' as you move thru them, i guess you can use a modified CMD as per bullrush (below), although this is kind of a case where the core rules don't really cover that even for objects - over-running and knocking over a willing person shouldn't be much different than vs. a mannequin.

pull: if willing, i don't see why you can't treat allies as objects that you are dragging, so basically if you have the movement/encumbrance capacity to do so, you just do it. any character/object moving thru space potentially provokes (bullrush is a specific exception), and this applies to your ally.

bull rush: same thing, just pushing instead of pulling, and you would have to follow them with your own movement (not bullrush them 20' ahead of you). only the 'bullrushing them ahead of you' aspect really needs a roll... technically i guess you could strip BAB, STR, DEX, and everything but Deflection bonuses from their CMD and roll vs. that number. (all other bonus types seem predicated on them helping your willing resistance, so shouldn't apply... SOME circumstance bonuses may also be relevant to making it harder to do something to a willing target. Deflection is a physical force that doesn't seem under one's control, so would 'interfere' even on a willing target.)

reposition: same thing

disarm/dirty trick: not much different than taking a sword off a table, or a manequin, etc.

sunder: if they aren't resisting at all, it's just an unattended object (wierd case anyways)

trip: if you can feasibly support their weight (within your max encumbrance), i don't see why 'manipulating' them to now be prone requires a check, any more so than for a manequin.

grapple: if un-opposed, then you are really just holding onto them like any other object... which shouldn't require any check at all, but if an enemy now wants to 'grab' them back from you, it would require a disarm check...? actually, that's an area where the normal grapple rules are less than ideal, they don't cover cases where gangster A is trying to maintain a hold (grapple) on the Princess and gangster B is trying to both pry the Princess away from gangster B AND get a hold of her too... that probably SHOULD be a grapple check (and thus so should trying to grab a WILLINGLY held/grappled target). that same idea of a 3-party CMB contest applies to if you want to bullrush somebody who is being grappled/held by another party (who doesn't want you to do so).


Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Pawns, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
The_Scourge wrote:
One of my players brought up the idea of using the Drag combat manouver to move a comrade away from an enemy and toward the cleric. Normally, moving out of a threatened area provokes, but using the Drag combat maneuver without Greater Drag doesn't cause the moved target to provoke. Is this a legitimate tactic? Is there a way to willingly let the combat manouver happen (like with willingly failing a save against a spell) or would the Dragger still have to beat the Dragged's CMD?

Personally, I think I would steer clear of this by not calling it a combat maneuver at all. Drag sure sounds like Manipulate an item to me.

"Manipulate an Item
Moving or manipulating an item is usually a move action. This includes retrieving or putting away a stored item, picking up an item, moving a heavy object, and opening a door. Examples of this kind of action, along with whether they incur an attack of opportunity, are given in Table 8–2."

Let's assume it is an object, a dead body.

So it provokes an Attack of Opportunity. So those who threaten the person 'dragging' a body can make an AoO. In addition if you move out of your square while moving an object you also provoke an additional AoO.

Next question if they threaten both, can the enemy attack the object being moved. If it was an object that you picked up the answer would definitely be yes, sunder as an AoO. But they would have to threaten the character picking up (or dragging) the object's square.

In the end I'm thinking that this would allow you to grab and move an object (or friend) without anyone being able to get an AoO against the object in the square it left.

So, let's see this could work like this: Move Action to pick-up object. Another Move Action to move them. They avoid any AoO in the first square they left at the cost of another characters full round. Doesn't sound too over-powered.

Taldor RPG Superstar 2011 Top 32

Jiggy wrote:

[

Bull rushes don't work at all against a creature 2+ sizes bigger, and if memory serves all familiars are Tiny. So it'd have to be the wizard himself shoving the barbarian in. Instead of casting a spell.

Your memory has betrayed you. There are Small familiars in UM. Even a Tiny familiar could give a free move to any halflings or gnomes in the party without costing the caster's actions.

Jiggy wrote:


Right, because a field full of summoned creatures is normally so weak - using them to move the PCs around is a HUGE jump in power. /sarcasm

Personally, I think using summon monster I to give Mr Full Plate an 80 foot speed and the ability to full attack every turn (summoned Eagle, size Small) is a pretty darn good use of a summoned critter.

Wait, I just reread bull rush. Sometimes the eagle can shove Mr. Full Plate 150 feet (by charging him, if the eagle has a round to position 10 feet away each time). This is why I think there should still be a check.

Also, sometimes my standard action is worth less than a free move action for someone else. At high levels that move could gain a fighter or barb 3 attacks, which can easily mean 150+ extra damage to the bad guy.

Grand Lodge RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

ryric wrote:
Your memory has betrayed you.

CURSES!

*shakes fist*

Osirion Contributor

For a formal setting, like OP, I could see requiring full CMD be used in all cases.

If I'm running a game fro friends, I'd be inclined to say "You may choose to not apply your bab, and ability mods, to your CMD if you so choose, and if the result seems reasonable."

Pulling a friend out of harms way with drag? Seems reasonable. Having an eagle bull rush a paladin 150 ft? Seems ridiculous -- full CMD is required.

Having a GM able to make these kinds of distinctions is one reason I prefer roleplaying games over computer and board games. Of course this approach requires player/GM trust, but I'm fine with that.

Taldor RPG Superstar 2011 Top 32

Owen K. C. Stephens wrote:

For a formal setting, like OP, I could see requiring full CMD be used in all cases.

If I'm running a game fro friends, I'd be inclined to say "You may choose to not apply your bab, and ability mods, to your CMD if you so choose, and if the result seems reasonable."

Pulling a friend out of harms way with drag? Seems reasonable. Having an eagle bull rush a paladin 150 ft? Seems ridiculous -- full CMD is required.

Having a GM able to make these kinds of distinctions is one reason I prefer roleplaying games over computer and board games. Of course this approach requires player/GM trust, but I'm fine with that.

I can agree with this sentiment. I don't think there's any easy way to apply a blanket rule for this that covers all situations.

Shadow Lodge

I can get behind the "if it sounds ridiculous, DM can veto it" rule.

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