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Surge of Success


Rules Questions


My GM and I were debating the exact manner in which I will be able to use surge of success. I created a TWF-kukri-crit build character, which mixed with surge of success in any manner is nice. The debate comes over when the circumstance bonus must be used. We are all in agreement that the bonus should not stack, the question is whether or not more than one bonus can be "held" at a time. In other words, can I accumulate a number of bonuses with this feat and use them as I see fit, or can only one bonus be held at a time? The books seem vague to me on the matter, but you can guess which way I would like it to read.

Any thoughts on the matter would be appreciated.

Surge of Success (Human)
Your success drives your further actions.

Prerequisites: Human.

Benefit: When you confirm a critical hit or roll a natural 20 on a saving throw, you gain a +2 circumstance bonus on a single attack roll, saving throw, skill check, or ability check of your choice before the end of your next turn. You must choose to use this bonus before you make the attack roll, saving throw, skill check, or ability check.

Andoran

It only lasts until the end of your next turn.

Sczarni

I would say no, you cannot have multiple bonuses saved up at a time.

Quote:
you gain a +2 circumstance bonus on a single attack roll, saving throw, skill check, or ability check of your choice before the end of your next turn.

As you already said, the bonuses wouldn't stack so they would have to be used on more than one roll which is in direct conflict with what the feat says. *Shrug* My 2cp worth.

Edit: I think he was referring to if he confirms a crit (1 bonus) then in the same round he rolls a nat 20 against a spell an enemy cast on him (2 bonuses) could he then, on his next round, take a full attack and apply a +2 to two of his attacks.

Andoran

I don't see anywhere in the text stating he cannot meet the conditions to have 2 surges ready to go next round and apply the bonus on two separate rolls.

That's perfectly legal by my reading, and with the 1 in 400 (or less with an expanded crit range weapon) odds of that happening, it's perfectly fine with me as a GM.


My RAW says yes. My reasoning says no. This is going to become a case of "whatever the DM says", and my advice is that would be a little overpowered, and that's keeping in mind that you're already a TWF Kukri build which does not need help inching even closer to 'broken' than you already are.


Winterwalker wrote:

I don't see anywhere in the text stating he cannot meet the conditions to have 2 surges ready to go next round and apply the bonus on two separate rolls.

That's perfectly legal by my reading, and with the 1 in 400 odds of that happening, it's perfectly fine with me as a GM.

1 in 400 for a typical character. But this ability also triggers on confirmed criticals. As a kukri wielder, you threaten on an 18-20. As a smart kukri wielder, you're going to get that down to threaten on a 15-20. We had one in our party; around level 10 he was getting two criticals a round easily. It was going to get worse at higher levels.

Andoran

Troubleshooter wrote:
My RAW says yes. My reasoning says no. This is going to become a case of "whatever the DM says", and my advice is that would be a little overpowered, and that's keeping in mind that you're already a TWF Kukri build which does not need help inching even closer to 'broken' than you already are.

I fail to see the overpowered nature of the feat. It's situational at best. It only triggers on a natural 20 saving throw roll (5% chance), or a confirmed crit, mileage there may vary. And then it only lasts 1 round before it's wasted, and then only provides a meager +2 to a roll.

How is that overpowered compared to other feats that provide always on bonuses like Dodge, Power Attack, and many others?

Andoran

Troubleshooter wrote:
Winterwalker wrote:

I don't see anywhere in the text stating he cannot meet the conditions to have 2 surges ready to go next round and apply the bonus on two separate rolls.

That's perfectly legal by my reading, and with the 1 in 400 odds of that happening, it's perfectly fine with me as a GM.

1 in 400 for a typical character. But this ability also triggers on confirmed criticals. As a kukri wielder, you threaten on an 18-20. As a smart kukri wielder, you're going to get that down to threaten on a 15-20. We had one in our party; around level 10 he was getting two criticals a round easily. It was going to get worse at higher levels.

Ya, OK. So at best he'll have +2 on every attack, assuming he has multiple attacks, and can confirm every critical threat...that's still not very overpowered.

Edit: By the time he can take improved critical (8th level minimum) a +2 to a roll isn't really going to unbalance anything.

At 8th, or 9th level depending on what he has for feats available, a +2 circumstance bonus to an attack roll, or whatever else he chooses to apply it to, is scaling just fine against whatever he is up against.

Sczarni

Winterwalker wrote:
I don't see anywhere in the text stating he cannot meet the conditions to have 2 surges ready to go next round and apply the bonus on two separate rolls.

you gain a +2 circumstance bonus on a single attack roll, saving throw, skill check, or ability check of your choice before the end of your next turn. Single. One. Uno. Less than more than one but more than none at all. That being said I don't know that it would be overpowered to let it apply to more than one. As a GM I'd be more focused on the whirling blender of kukris spinning around the mat making mincemeat of my npcs. If he's critting that often then +2s aren't going to be all that rewarding to begin with.

Andoran

Corren28 wrote:
Winterwalker wrote:
I don't see anywhere in the text stating he cannot meet the conditions to have 2 surges ready to go next round and apply the bonus on two separate rolls.
you gain a +2 circumstance bonus on a single attack roll, saving throw, skill check, or ability check of your choice before the end of your next turn. Single. One. Uno. Less than more than one but more than none at all. That being said I don't know that it would be overpowered to let it apply to more than one. As a GM I'd be more focused on the whirling blender of kukris spinning around the mat making mincemeat of my npcs. If he's critting that often then +2s aren't going to be all that rewarding to begin with.

Yes I see you bolded that a few times, however...

I can make multiple single rolls in a round if I have multiple attacks, or need to make a saving throw before my next turn comes back around and then attack etc. All single rolls are they not?

So your point is not as valid as you think it is.

No where in the benefit desc. does it state that it cannot trigger more than once in a round, nor that he can only use it once a round, what it does state is that it is good for only one 'single' roll. You can have more than one, uno, single roll in a round.

Sczarni

Yes, they're all single rolls. If it were meant to be allowed to be applied multiple times I would imagine we would see some text somewhere along the lines of "This feat can be applied multiple times. It's effects do not stack. Every new bonus triggered by this feat applies to a new roll."

Yes you make multiple single rolls in a given round. They're all single rolls. There's no such thing as a double or triple roll. Since the feat obviously doesn't mean "Single not double" it has to mean "single not multiple", meaning you get to use the feat one, not multiple, rolls.

Andoran

Corren28 wrote:

Yes, they're all single rolls. If it were meant to be allowed to be applied multiple times I would imagine we would see some text somewhere along the lines of "This feat can be applied multiple times. It's effects do not stack. Every new bonus triggered by this feat applies to a new roll."

Yes you make multiple single rolls in a given round. They're all single rolls. There's no such thing as a double or triple roll. Since the feat obviously doesn't mean "Single not double" it has to mean "single not multiple", meaning you get to use the feat one, not multiple, rolls.

Wrong sir, look up the plethora of feats/spells that allow you to roll twice, or more.

A short list of ones I refer to are:


  • Perfect Strike
  • Borrow Fortune
  • Honeyed Tongue
  • Scoundrel's Fortune
  • Charmer

Shall I continue?


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

My guess is that the author intended it to be able to "save up" successes for later. The mention of "single" means only that it applies to one roll, not all rolls. Part of my guess is influenced by who I believe the author to be, as well as the lack of a limitation that states "This can only happen once per round". In addition, the flavor of the feat states that your successes drives your further actions, which is a bit more encompassing than just "One of your successes drives one of your further actions." While it is not rules text, the flavor text can help in many instances figure out what the intent is.

Granted, I can also see a decent case for it not being able to be saved up. I just find the case for it being savable to be a little bit better.

Sczarni

Perfect strike doesn't give you a "double" roll. It gives you two single rolls and you can pick which you want to use for your result. If you apply Surge of Success to Perfect strike you still only get to apply it to one die.

Borrow Fortune is very similar. You make a single roll and if you don't like the way it turns up you can make another single roll.

They're all this way. You roll two dice, sure, but they're still separate rolls with their own results. If your modifier is 8 and you rolls two D20s, one coming up a 6 and the other a 10, then you have two results. A 14 and an 18.

If you can find me an ability where you roll two D20s and add the rolls together for a single result I'll concede the point that my logic is flawed because there are double rolls and the feat could mean you can't apply the bonus to rolls with more than one D20.

Andoran

Corren28 wrote:

Perfect strike doesn't give you a "double" roll. It gives you two single rolls and you can pick which you want to use for your result. If you apply Surge of Success to Perfect strike you still only get to apply it to one die.

Borrow Fortune is very similar. You make a single roll and if you don't like the way it turns up you can make another single roll.

They're all this way. You roll two dice, sure, but they're still separate rolls with their own results. If your modifier is 8 and you rolls two D20s, one coming up a 6 and the other a 10, then you have two results. A 14 and an 18.

If you can find me an ability where you roll two D20s and add the rolls together for a single result I'll concede the point that my logic is flawed because there are double rolls and the feat could mean you can't apply the bonus to rolls with more than one D20.

I think your arguing something completely different from anything I have posted Corren28. To the point I'm not sure how to interpret what you are arguing against right now.

As it stands, the RAW says they can do it, as theres no rule to say they can't. It calls out when they get the bonus, what it can be applied to, and how long they have to use it.

If they manage to gain the benefits of this feat more than once in a round, they can apply it to a single 'roll' of their choice before the next round ends.

That can apply to attacks of opportunity, more saving throws, a reactionary spot check, or any other single roll (even my multiple roll examples above), as these are all valid 'rolls' of the dice.

If they happen to have two attacks in a round they still have 2 single rolls, both of which could in theory have a +2 bonus applied.

Are you arguing that this is not the case? because if so you need some RAW example of why this is not allowed, or you are simply incorrect here.

Sczarni

I think you're right. I think we're on different wavelengths here. I'll try to clarify.

Quote:
If they happen to have two attacks in a round they still have 2 single rolls, both of which could in theory have a +2 bonus applied.

This is a good example of where I'm standing opposite. You're using single as a descriptor whereas I'm using it as a numerical representation. I'm interpreting your usage of the term "single" as in single, double, triple, meaning 2, 3, or 4 dice are used and added together like a fireball's damage.

My suggestion is that the bonus applies to one roll. You can't benefit from the bonus more than once because it specifically says one roll.

Quote:
If they manage to gain the benefits of this feat more than once in a round, they can apply it to a single 'roll' of their choice before the next round ends

Competence bonuses don't stack. Even if we decide multiple bonuses can be stored you can't apply all of them to one roll for a +4 or +6.

Hope that helps clear up my stance. :)


Corren28 wrote:

This is a good example of where I'm standing opposite. You're using single as a descriptor whereas I'm using it as a numerical representation. I'm interpreting your usage of the term "single" as in single, double, triple, meaning 2, 3, or 4 dice are used and added together like a fireball's damage.

My suggestion is that the bonus applies to one roll. You can't benefit from the bonus more than once because it specifically says one roll.

My take would be that the word "single" is used to prohibit the use of the +2 on ALL rolls before the end of the next turn.

Sczarni

That's pretty much what I'm saying. If you roll up and confirm 4 crits and then roll a nat 20 later in the round on a reflex save you still only get to use the benefit on a single (one) roll. Not all four of your attacks on a full attack. Like we said before though, if your GM decides you can accrue multiple bonuses in a single round it still isn't all that overpowered. If you're pumping out that many crits will you even have a chance to use the bonuses before the thing is dead? :P

Andoran

This is where we diverge again then. The benefit can be used on 4 single rolls next round if they did meet the criteria to have 4 available for use.

A full attack action, where they have 4 dice rolls, 1 for each attack, is still 4 'rolls.' One for each attack made, and by RAW that's a legal target to apply the benefits of this power.

No where does it say, you can only benefit from this ability once per round, so you cannot add that yourself and be correct by the RAW here.

For that line of thought to be correct, you need to point to that written out in the ability. As it's not there, it's simply not there, and you are adding your own interpretation to the effect.

Sczarni

I don't know how much more specific I can be. The feat clearly states you can use the benefit on one roll before the end of your next turn.

You're still using single as a descriptor. As in rolling damage for a longsword (1d8) is a single roll while a critical would be a double roll (2d8). Roll it up twice for one result. There's no attack, skill, saving, or ability roll which allows you to roll 2 dice and add the results together. They aren't differentiating between single, double, or triple rolls. They're saying one roll before the end of your next turn.

I'm adding nothing into the feat here. No, it doesn't say you can only benefit once per round in those exact words. It also doesn't say the benefits of this feat do not stack, multiple benefits resulting from this feat apply to separate rolls. Many feats have this type of wording to clarify that you're supposed to use the feat exactly how you're trying to use this one. Except that text is omitted with this feat.

Andoran

Corren28 wrote:

I don't know how much more specific I can be. The feat clearly states you can use the benefit on one roll before the end of your next turn.

You're still using single as a descriptor. As in rolling damage for a longsword (1d8) is a single roll while a critical would be a double roll (2d8). Roll it up twice for one result. There's no attack, skill, saving, or ability roll which allows you to roll 2 dice and add the results together. They aren't differentiating between single, double, or triple rolls. They're saying one roll before the end of your next turn.

I'm adding nothing into the feat here. No, it doesn't say you can only benefit once per round in those exact words. It also doesn't say the benefits of this feat do not stack, multiple benefits resulting from this feat apply to separate rolls. Many feats have this type of wording to clarify that you're supposed to use the feat exactly how you're trying to use this one. Except that text is omitted with this feat.

You just proved my entire argument.

Sczarni

Really? You're going to bold half a statement, take it out of context, and claim it proves your point?

/headache

Happy gaming.

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