Rend + Power Attack


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RPG Superstar 2010 Top 16

1 person marked this as FAQ candidate.

Simply: does Rend gain a damage bonus from Power Attack?

I'm seeking official clarification on this one. The "additional damage" text makes me strongly believe that the answer is no, but others hold the opposite opinion and have reasonable arguments.


tejón wrote:

Simply: does Rend gain a damage bonus from Power Attack?

I'm seeking official clarification on this one. The "additional damage" text makes me strongly believe that the answer is no, but others hold the opposite opinion and have reasonable arguments.

I do not have official clarification, but power attack clearly states that the damage of all melee damage rolls until your next turn is increased. Why would it NOT apply to rend?


Because there's no melee attack roll for a Rend, for one thing. It's just bonus damage, not really an extra melee attack. Same with Constrict.


I suspect it's not spelled out so that individual DMs have some flexibility. If you want heroic fights where a 2nd level character can survive a troll's rend, then don't allow it. If you prefer a "grittier," more dangerous combat in which a bear hug is typically fatal, add the bonus, or even a 2-handed bonus.


Yeah, but its written nowhere that an attack roll is needed. The only restriction mentioned is

Quote:
The bonus damage does not apply to touch attacks or effects that do not deal hit point damage.

Rend surely does not fall under these restrictions.

Further it is stated that the bonus damage applies

Quote:


on all melee damage rolls

Which Rend surely is.


Kirth Gersen wrote:
I suspect it's not spelled out so that individual DMs have some flexibility. If you want heroic fights where a 2nd level character can survive a troll's rend, then don't allow it. If you prefer a "grittier," more dangerous combat in which a bear hug is typically fatal, add the bonus, or even a 2-handed bonus.

No, I do not believe that. Letting things like this unclear on purpose is completely against D&Ds (and Pathfinders) design philosophy.

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 16

Rend is thematically similar to Sneak attack dice. There is no combat roll to trigger its damage...it just activates, much like a critical hit.

Think of it as bonus damage dice that occur on a specific set of trigger effects, like Sneak Attack, and the question answers itself...no, power attack doesn't do anything, Rend is similar to a critical hit, it is not an attack of its own. It just adds a dollop of damage on top of the base attack.

==Aelryinth


I had the same exact thought a moment ago, power attack surely does not apply to sneak attack damage and one could argue that rend and sneak attack damage are very similar.

Still: STR - bonus applies to rend damage, but not to sneak attack damage.

I think this point is really a bit unclear in the rules and one could make a point for and against.


Hyla Arborea wrote:
No, I do not believe that. Letting things like this unclear on purpose is completely against D&Ds (and Pathfinders) design philosophy.

Pathfinder is a giant step backwards from D&D, insofar as most of the rules are now LESS clear, rather than more so. Basic questions, debated ad nauseum up since 3.0 was released -- things like, does STR count for rend? Does an Empowered CLW cure (1d8+5) x 1.5 or (1d8 x 1.5) + 5 -- these are understandable for a version 3.0 game, but unforgivable in a 3.3 release unless they're intentional.

See, either (a) the designers left these open intentionally, or else (b) they just couldn't be bothered to address them (presumably because they don't really care about clarity of rules and are just churning for fan dollars?). Or else (c) they were in such a big hurry to release the new rules that they did a slapdash job with them in their haste.

As a fan, I personally prefer to assume (a) is correct.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

1 person marked this as FAQ candidate. 3 people marked this as a favorite.

Rend adds damage to an attack; it's not an attack in and of itself. Just as power attack won't increase sneak attack damage or constrict damage, it won't increase rend damage (although it DOES increase the damage inflicted by the attacks that are necessary to trigger rend in the first place). Rake attacks ARE attacks, so power attack applies there.

Rend kills enough PCs anyway. There's no need to increase its damage, for the same reason there's no reason to tie a machine gun onto a nuclear bomb!


@James, there's still the aspect of how Rend damage is applied, specifically re: DR.
Unlike other 'additional damage', there isn't an obvious link to a single existing attack.
And as worded, it isn't triggered by two attacks applying DAMAGE, but two attacks HITTING.

Thus an example I've seen here:
two attacks hit for 1d4+4 dmg but don't do damage because target has DR100/-.
If applied 'separately', it's a question of if Rend bypasses DR or not (not being an attack), letting it completely bypass DR100. If 'attached' to one or the other attack (or split between them) no damage would bypass DR 100 (like-wise if it is applied 'separately' but is itself subject to DR).
Regardless of silly scenarios, it does matter if the damage is a separate 'attack' for many purposes, as even simple DR 5/X would mean a difference of 5 damage, depending on how Rend damage is applied.

I think Rend's wording should be clarified to either:
A) trigger when two attacks DO DAMAGE and Rend damage automatically bypasses DR,
or B) apply as bonus damage to one or the other attack (i.e. you would choose the one already defeating DR),
or C) like B) but split between the two attacks (messy).

-+------+-------+-

As for "why" vague wording like this persists, I personally think it's more along the lines of time-crunch (mostly), which hopefully will be rectified in Errata, and plain just being happy with 3.5 and not feeling the need to alter it's wording style...


Thankss for clarifying that. I believe however that its unclear from the RAW. The rules for Power Attack does not state that the bonus is for attacks, but for melee damage rolls. Perhaps that should go into the errata.

Suggestion:

Quote:


The bonus damage does not apply to touch attacks or effects that do not deal hit point damage.

->

Quote:


The bonus damage does not apply to touch attacks, effects that do not deal hit point damage or any extra damage that does not require a separate attack roll.


They are never going to rules-lawyerese the game to the extent some folks require. Doing so to every rule would require them to print about 2 more books just of special language for whatever person it is for any given rule who refuses to read it, make a decision, and go on.

This isn't a bash against the OP. Its largely an issue that has been around since 3.0 and before. This game requires a DM, and it requires that Dm to make decisions. Its part of the game. It's not part of the game because they want the rules to be obscure- its part of the game because it is impossible to craft every single rule in such fashion that some other person can't try to find some other meaning in it.

If you doubt that- go check into your local legal system. People are paid professionally to write rules, and those rules are constantly requiring interpretation in the courts of the land. And these are people who don't have to worry about page count!

-S


Quandary wrote:
how Rend damage is applied, specifically re: DR.
Quandary wrote:


A) trigger when two attacks DO DAMAGE and Rend damage automatically bypasses DR,
or B) apply as bonus damage to one or the other attack (i.e. you would choose the one already defeating DR),
or C) like B) but split between the two attacks (messy).

I realize you directed the post at James, but I would like to second the question as in need of answering. Looking in the rules only confuses me further about this.

In the glossary, under Damage Reduction, it says that "special effects that accompany the attack, such as injury poison, a monk's stunning, and injury-based disease" don't apply if DR soaks all the damage of an attack. This could point to an answer, but I don't know if TW Rend should be considered a special effect or not.

Edit: I think that in addition to the interpretations from Quandry's post, a fourth possibility needs to be added. That TW Rend deals damage which bypasses DR, on any turn in which both weapons hit a target, even if DR soaks all the damage from the weapon attacks.


James Jacobs wrote:

Rend adds damage to an attack; it's not an attack in and of itself. Just as power attack won't increase sneak attack damage or constrict damage, it won't increase rend damage (although it DOES increase the damage inflicted by the attacks that are necessary to trigger rend in the first place). Rake attacks ARE attacks, so power attack applies there.

So which attack does Rend add the damage to?

Does it then get added to it before DR is applied?

-James

Paizo Employee Creative Director

james maissen wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:

Rend adds damage to an attack; it's not an attack in and of itself. Just as power attack won't increase sneak attack damage or constrict damage, it won't increase rend damage (although it DOES increase the damage inflicted by the attacks that are necessary to trigger rend in the first place). Rake attacks ARE attacks, so power attack applies there.

So which attack does Rend add the damage to?

Does it then get added to it before DR is applied?

-James

Rend does its extra damage once the conditions requiring it to be activated occur (such as "being hit by two claw attacks"). It adds damage to the attack sequence. Rend damage can be reduced by DR. (At least, that's how I run things in games I run.)


James Jacobs wrote:


Rend does its extra damage once the conditions requiring it to be activated occur (such as "being hit by two claw attacks"). It adds damage to the attack sequence. Rend damage can be reduced by DR. (At least, that's how I run things in games I run.)

Then it's not additional damage like sneak attack, is it?

Now the constrict damage is a more reasonable comparison, but still has issues.

Rend simply does damage once the conditions are met. That it doesn't require a separate hitroll is the real issue here.

But if you are applying DR to it separately you are admitting that it is a separate source of damage.

-James
PS: Also if we're dealing with two attacks to qualify for the rend that have different attributes (say a magic fang on one of the claws) which gets applied for purposes of DR on the rend?

Sorry, I think this needs more thought on your part here.


James Jacobs wrote:
Rend does its extra damage once the conditions requiring it to be activated occur (such as "being hit by two claw attacks"). It adds damage to the attack sequence. Rend damage can be reduced by DR. (At least, that's how I run things in games I run.)

Just to clarify what you're saying,

you rule that it ISN'T a 'special effect' requiring the two attacks to overcome DR themselves?

And that Rend damage is 'tacked onto' the damage from the attacks,
and is blockable by DR if the DR is high enough to block the normal attack + Rend?
(But how it is applied, i.e. to one attack or split, isn't mentioned at all, yet is relevant for DR)

Or that it IS a 'separate attack' that applies DR an EXTRA time?
(even though this wording denoting it as an attack isn't used)

...Whatever Jason's intent here, it really seems like it wouldn't take more than a couple extra words to clarify the relevant distinctions so all this would be crystal clear.

Example: (conforming to 'special effect triggers if attacks overcome DR', not subject to additional DR)
If you damage an opponent with both your primary >< and >< off-hand attacks, you deal an additional 1d10 points of damage plus 1-1/2 times your Strength modifier. You can only deal this additional damage once each round. = 2 less words.

Example: (not needing to overcome DR with attacks, but DR applies an extra time)
If you hit an opponent with both your primary >< and >< off-hand attacks, you can make an additional attack, dealing 1d10 points of damage plus 1-1/2 times your Strength modifier. You can only use this additional attack once each round. = 1 more word.

Example: (stacking onto one attack subject to DR, but DR isn't applied an extra time)
If you hit an opponent with both your primary >< and >< off-hand attacks, add additional damage to the strongest attack equaling 1d10 plus 1-1/2 times your Strength modifier. You can only deal this additional damage once each round. = 1 less word.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

james maissen wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:


Rend does its extra damage once the conditions requiring it to be activated occur (such as "being hit by two claw attacks"). It adds damage to the attack sequence. Rend damage can be reduced by DR. (At least, that's how I run things in games I run.)

Then it's not additional damage like sneak attack, is it?

Now the constrict damage is a more reasonable comparison, but still has issues.

Rend simply does damage once the conditions are met. That it doesn't require a separate hitroll is the real issue here.

But if you are applying DR to it separately you are admitting that it is a separate source of damage.

-James
PS: Also if we're dealing with two attacks to qualify for the rend that have different attributes (say a magic fang on one of the claws) which gets applied for purposes of DR on the rend?

Sorry, I think this needs more thought on your part here.

If you mean "more thought on Jason's part as the lead designer," you might be right. Personally, I'd rather have simpler rules that most folks will be able to handle with ease rather than turn every special attack into a two page list of exceptions and qualifications and examples and corner-case clarifications. In my opinion, that's what messageboards and FAQs are for. I've indicated how I would run things in my games, and how I think the rules should work.

I could put more thought into it... but at this specific point I'm using most of my "thought" to get Pathfinder #32 ready for the printer by finishing up an article for it.

Sometimes I wonder if posting rules clarifications and interpretations to these boards is time well spent, since they only seem to spiral into "what if" scenarios and corner case investigations. Hard to not get frustrated... :(


James Jacobs wrote:


Rend does its extra damage once the conditions requiring it to be activated occur

In my opinion, if this statement (which seems like a tautology) is taken to override grey areas, he has answered these questions. Look at the feat description and don't get distracted by other rules.

James Jacobs wrote:


Sometimes I wonder if posting rules clarifications and interpretations to these boards is time well spent, since they only seem to spiral into "what if" scenarios and corner case investigations. Hard to not get frustrated... :(

Sorry about that James, but please don't stop posting.


James Jacobs wrote:
In my opinion, that's what messageboards and FAQs are for.

There's a FAQ?


James Jacobs wrote:
If you mean "more thought on Jason's part as the lead designer," you might be right. Personally, I'd rather have simpler rules that most folks will be able to handle with ease rather than turn every special attack into a two page list of exceptions and qualifications and examples and corner-case clarifications... Sometimes I wonder if posting rules clarifications and interpretations to these boards is time well spent, since they only seem to spiral into "what if" scenarios and corner case investigations. Hard to not get frustrated... :(

I'm sorry this is feeling like a burden that's falling all on your shoulders, James...

A simple, consise (as possible) rule-set that doesn't get in the way of fun is what I'd like PRPG to be as well,
and what I hope comes out of mine and others contributions to the Errata threads here.

I really feel that your personal dedication, as seen by your prolific posting answering people's many questions, is astounding and I think the community around Paizo/Pathfinder is immeasurably enhanced by your dedication.

In many cases though, I think the outcome people are looking for is not only just an "I would rule it this way" response (since anybody can make a house-rule call), but more of a concrete response like "It should work like this, AND I'm adding this to the quo for Errata updates so no FAQ will be needed (for future printings/online PRD)". (this is doubly important given PFS which isn't quite as wide-open to house-rule interpretations as normal games) ...I'm not sure if that's within your role as Editor to specify subjects needing Updates, or if it's completely Jason's game. I certainly don't expect YOU to say "OK, we will be changing ABC to XYZ" because writing the rules isn't your job. And it's not as if you can read Jason's mind for every ambiguous issue, not do I think people expect you to.

But again, thanks for your diligent, always helpful responses!
And don't think it's all on your own shoulders to answer/act upon every post that is worth answering.

RPG Superstar 2011 Top 4

Errata wand
-Before-

Quote:
The bonus damage does not apply to touch attacks or effects that do not deal hit point damage.

-After-

Quote:
The bonus damage does not apply to touch attacks, effects that do not deal hit point damage, or damage from a source with no attack roll.

I can honestly think of no situation where a creature could use Power Attack on an attack that did not require an attack roll. Isn't the point of Power Attack to put more oomf in the swing at the cost of percision?

Kind of like how Deadly Aim makes hitting the target harder in order to make it a more damaging shot.

ps. Don't feel too bad James, Sean is getting all sorts of words over in the Mirror Image question thread. You guys are providing an amazing service unrivaled by many companies. It's not often you get to peak into the minds of the creators regarding these questionable rules.

Dark Archive

Scipion del Ferro wrote:


I can honestly think of no situation where a creature could use Power Attack on an attack that did not require an attack roll. Isn't the point of Power Attack to put more oomf in the swing at the cost of percision?

Well what about a two weapon fighter using two weapon rend? Does he add the extra damage? seems like he ought to. He's power attacking after all. If power attack causes the loss of precesion on the front end (the attacks that can trigger rend) then the bonus should still apply on the extra dice the fighter or cat gets to roll for rending.


Scipion del Ferro wrote:
I can honestly think of no situation where a creature could use Power Attack on an attack that did not require an attack roll. Isn't the point of Power Attack to put more oomf in the swing at the cost of percision?

The problem with this is that Rend does require an attack roll. Actually, it requires two attack rolls. Using Power Attack makes Rend much less likely to trigger. Why, then, should Rend (which does take a precision penalty when using Power Attack, and does apply separately to DR) not gain the benefits of Power Attack?


In case you missed it, this question was already answered.

James Jacobs wrote:

Rend adds damage to an attack; it's not an attack in and of itself. Just as power attack won't increase sneak attack damage or constrict damage, it won't increase rend damage (although it DOES increase the damage inflicted by the attacks that are necessary to trigger rend in the first place). Rake attacks ARE attacks, so power attack applies there.

Rend kills enough PCs anyway. There's no need to increase its damage, for the same reason there's no reason to tie a machine gun onto a nuclear bomb!

RPG Superstar 2011 Top 4

By attack I meant a damage source that requires no roll. The damage from Rend has no attack roll. It's applied when a condition is met, and that condition is two successful melee attacks.

And yes it causes a loss of precision but you are adding Power Attack to two damage rolls already. (damage granted from a successful attack)


Scipion del Ferro wrote:

By attack I meant a damage source that requires no roll. The damage from Rend has no attack roll. It's applied when a condition is met, and that condition is two successful melee attacks.

And yes it causes a loss of precision but you are adding Power Attack to two damage rolls already. (damage granted from a successful attack)

Care to answer my question instead of repeating yourself?


Dilvish the Danged wrote:
In case you missed it, this question was already answered.

My question was not answered, actually.

RPG Superstar 2010 Top 16

Okay, let me go into more detail on my own rulings, so that all the relevant issues are addressed, and perhaps the Jason will smile upon me with a point-by-point confirm/deny. ;)

1. Does rend gain bonus damage from Power Attack?

  • I say no. It is contingent extra damage. It has no attack roll of its own, therefore is not a melee attack, therefore does not create melee damage, therefore does not qualify to be enhanced by Power Attack. From a simulation perspective, you're playing a game of leverage with Power Attack, and the diversion of momentum needed to subsequently rend flesh between two points of contact is harder than with a more controlled swing (not simply more difficult, literally a less efficient action; no commensurate reward is appropriate for pulling it off).

    2. Is the criterion for rend damage to be applied, i.e. "hitting with both hands" actually intended to be "dealing damage with both hands," to prevent rend from triggering when DR negates the hits?

  • Again, and this may be a surprise to some, I say no. Damage reduction does not prevent you from getting two solid grips, and it does not prevent you from yanking or twisting between them. Rules-wise, some will rule that the general rule about extra damage on an attack means that DR negates the rend, but once again, rend is not tied to any one attack roll. That means it's not extra damage on an attack, creating an exceptionally special condition which IMO goes beyond the normal rule.

    3. Does damage reduction apply to rend damage?

  • A third and final no, with all due respect to James. :) And it's because, once again, rend damage is not from any particular attack. It doesn't even have a damage type. Literally tearing apart flesh is different than cutting, pummeling or puncturing it. There are precedents which indicate that just because it's physical doesn't mean DR is mandatory; two solid examples are falling and bleed. Furthermore, if DR did apply, what happens when an individual with Two-Weapon Rend has one weapon which overcomes it and one which doesn't?

    Please note that Zurai, who is a rather smart individual with strong rules knowledge, disagrees with me pretty much across the board and has equally well-described reasons for his opposite rulings. That's what spawned this thread in the first place. (I think we agree on point #2, but our disagreement on point #1 is partly based on him feeling the two to be mutually exclusive.) Neither one of us is confused by the text, we're just interpreting it very differently. That's why I think clarification is desperately needed.


  • tejón wrote:
    Please note that Zurai disagrees with me pretty much across the board and has equally well-described reasons for his opposite rulings.

    I think the main source of my disagreement with you is this:

    tejón wrote:
    It has no attack roll of its own, therefore is not a melee attack, therefore does not create melee damage, therefore does not qualify to be enhanced by Power Attack.

    There is no source in the rules for this ruling. Nothing in the rules state that a melee attack needs to have a melee attack roll, nor that melee damage must come from a melee attack which must have a melee attack roll*. To me, it's a simple matter of applying a pre-existing Paizo ruling, namely "if it isn't defined in the book, use the dictionary definition and a little common sense". The dictionary definition of melee damage would be "damage inflicted in close combat" (or something similar), and common sense indicates that Rend is by its very nature damage inflicted in close combat -- you have to have both claws literally digging into your target's flesh to Rend. Thus, I rule that Power Attack applies to Rend.

    No disrespect intended to the badger at all. I definitely see where the "Rend is additional damage" part of the Universal Monster Rules text blurs things. I just don't think it changes anything.

    ---

    * Indeed, using this definition, coup de graces wouldn't be melee attacks and wouldn't deal melee damage.

    RPG Superstar 2010 Top 16

    Zurai wrote:
    There is no source in the rules for this ruling. Nothing in the rules state that a melee attack needs to have a melee attack roll, nor that melee damage must come from a melee attack which must have a melee attack roll*.

    Actually, upon review just now, I found that nothing in the rules states that any attack requires an attack roll. The rolls are described at the beginning (but nothing about when to make them), the attack actions are described later (but nothing about requiring rolls). Kind of funny, really.

    But, to the point. :) The above quirk of editing aside, "attack" is well-defined. "Melee attack" is a modifier on "attack." (So is coup-de-grace; it specifies that "you automatically hit and score a critical hit" which forces a result on the attack roll, not the same as removing it.) So I think the crux of our difference lies in me assuming that "melee damage" is associated with the well-defined "melee attack," whereas you assume it means "damage dealt in melee" in a default English sense. I take the fact that the keyword is defined in a related context to mean there is a rules-specific sense to the full term; you do not.

    That's the master domino. If I saw it falling the other way, yeah, I'd come to the opposite conclusion about Power Attack at the very least. (I'd have to think some more about DR.) And I see how your position is also perfectly solid, so I don't think either of us needs to budge. I think the source needs to be clarified. :)

    RPG Superstar 2011 Top 4

    Zurai wrote:
    Why, then, should Rend (which does take a precision penalty when using Power Attack, and does apply separately to DR) not gain the benefits of Power Attack?

    Well I'll try this again.

    The damage from Rend, does not require an attack roll. It hits 100% of the time.

    Damage from Rend is only applied if the conditions are met. These conditions being two successful melee attacks. Rend is being counted as a completely separate source of damage and that is why it would also be reduced through DR.

    The damage however from Rend will never, ever, ever miss ever.

    There is no precision penalty to Rend for it to benefit from Power Attack. The attacks that are done beforehand both receive a penalty and a bonus. The fact that they succeed generates the criteria for Rend to be activated.

    An example of Rend requiring an attack roll would be as follows;

    -First attack hits
    -Second attack hits
    -Roll to see if you hit the target for Rend damage


    tejón wrote:
    That's the master domino...

    huff. puff. go... DOMINO!!! :-)


    Scipion del Ferro wrote:
    The damage however from Rend will never, ever, ever miss ever.

    Neither will the damage from a coup de grace.

    Quote:
    There is no precision penalty to Rend for it to benefit from Power Attack.

    False. Creature with +10 to hit vs a target with AC 21. Creature attacks once with each claw and needs to hit with both claws to Rend. Without Power Attack, the chance to Rend is 25%. With a -1 to hit from Power Attack, the chance to Rend is 20.25%. How is that not a precision penalty? Rend is less likely to succeed if you use Power Attack, period.


    I think I'm agreeing with James more:

    Quote:
    Sometimes I wonder if posting rules clarifications and interpretations to these boards is time well spent, since they only seem to spiral into "what if" scenarios and corner case investigations. Hard to not get frustrated...

    He already said he doesn't think the game needs to strap a machine-gun on top of a tactical nuke.

    That's why they don't intend Power Attack to apply to Rend damage.
    If you disagree, you can play your own house-rules, not Paizo's house rules.

    RPG Superstar 2011 Top 4

    The attacks you use are less likely to hit if you Power Attack, but the Rend damage will not miss if the conditions for it to be applied are met. There is no circumstance where you can hit with both attacks and your Rend damage will miss.

    Coup de grace actually requires an attack roll, the details of the action just cause it to succeed automatically and critical no matter what. This is not the case with the wording of Rend. That damage simply happens when its conditions are met.


    Quandary wrote:

    He already said he doesn't think the game needs to strap a machine-gun on top of a tactical nuke.

    That's why they don't intend Power Attack to apply to Rend damage.
    If you disagree, you can play your own house-rules, not Paizo's house rules.

    Calling Rend a tactical nuke is silly. That's why I ignored it. Rend is nothing even vaguely reminiscent of a tactical nuke, or any grade of bomb for that matter. It's less damage than Sneak Attack is no matter what creature is using it, and Sneak Attack isn't even remotely reminiscent of a tac nuke.

    Rend is a very minor source of extra damage compared to most other options. Furthermore, it gets even more marginalized when Power Attack enters the picture (because, AFAIK, every creature that Rends has Power Attack). Why? Because creatures with Rend actually get less relative benefit from Power attack than other creatures. The Power Attack damage bonus partially to completely overlaps the Rend damage bonus, if Power Attack doesn't apply to Rend.

    That's just backwards design.


    Scipion del Ferro wrote:
    Coup de grace actually requires an attack roll, the details of the action just cause it to succeed automatically and critical no matter what. This is not the case with the wording of Rend. That damage simply happens when its conditions are met.

    <Picard facepalm>

    The difference here is purely, 1,000,000% trivial, petty semantics. There is no practical difference between an attack not needing to make an attack roll and ... an attack not needing to make an attack roll.

    RPG Superstar 2011 Top 4

    One has a roll which automatically succeeds and even gives you a critical (cdg). The other just happens, there is no roll for it to automatically succeed the damage just happens when it's conditions are met (rend). This is completely RAW mind you.

    If like I was saying you added the wording into Power Attack so it only applied to attacks that required a roll it would still work on coup de grace damage, but it would not add to Rend damage.

    That's the difference, that's all I'm saying.


    Actually, an Attack Roll is specifically defined in the rules as requiring a d20 roll and determining the effect by the result of the roll. CDG does not incorporate an attack roll, because it does not require rolling a d20 and does not compare the result of such a roll to the defender's AC. CDG also automatically short-circuits any other defensive measure, including spells like blur that grant miss chances. So, no, if you re-worded Power Attack to only apply to attacks that require attack rolls, it would not function for coup de graces (coups de grace? Sorry, don't know the correct French plural).

    Paizo Employee Creative Director

    Obviously a nuke does more damage than rend. I was merely trying to be colorful with my language. If you think rend needs to boost, by all means let power attack work with it.

    I'm just looking at it from the vantage point of a player whose had more characters die from rend damage than ANY other type of attack, I guess. Usually from trolls or giralions or dire apes.


    To be clear (because I know it must seem otherwise at times), I have no issue with you providing input into rules questions like these, James. I don't always agree with what you say, but I do appreciate that you're willing to take time out of your busy schedule to address these for us.


    Zurai wrote:
    There is no source in the rules for this ruling. Nothing in the rules state that a melee attack needs to have a melee attack roll, nor that melee damage must come from a melee attack which must have a melee attack roll*.

    So do you think a monster can Power Attack with a Trample? Why or why not?


    hogarth wrote:
    Zurai wrote:
    There is no source in the rules for this ruling. Nothing in the rules state that a melee attack needs to have a melee attack roll, nor that melee damage must come from a melee attack which must have a melee attack roll*.
    So do you think a monster can Power Attack with a Trample? Why or why not?

    Sure, although I'd probably make the attack penalty apply to the save DC. Trample is simply an advanced version of Overrun which replaces the attack roll with a Reflex save and adds damage.

    And before I'm asked, yes I would apply it to Constrict as well (although I have a hard time justifying that from a simulationist perspective, I'm not a simulationist designer). That one's even easier, because Constrict is directly tied to an attack roll.


    James Jacobs wrote:


    If you mean "more thought on Jason's part as the lead designer," you might be right. Personally, I'd rather have simpler rules that most folks will be able to handle with ease rather than turn every special attack into a two page list of exceptions and qualifications and examples and corner-case clarifications. In my opinion, that's what messageboards and FAQs are for. I've indicated how I would run things in my games, and how I think the rules should work.

    I could put more thought into it... but at this specific point I'm using most of my "thought" to get Pathfinder #32 ready for the printer by finishing up an article for it.

    Sometimes I wonder if posting rules clarifications and interpretations to these boards is time well spent, since they only seem to spiral into "what if" scenarios and corner case investigations. Hard to not get frustrated... :(

    Sorry if I ruffled feathers here, but if you want DR to apply to rend it immediately begs the question: how does it qualify to bypass that DR?

    Well sorry again if I offended you, it was not my intent. It was simply to point out that things here were a bit more complicated than you were putting forth,

    James


    ... and all this again makes me happy there's no offical FAQ or clarification for this particular case. Zurai and I can go ahead and make STR apply to rend attacks. James can omit it. Both games will still run just fine, so it boils down to a matter of personal preference: do you want rending Power Attack monsters to be really scary, so that characters will do anything to stay out of their grasp? Or do you prefer threats that score less total damage, so that you can throw ambushing girallons at the PCs without worrying about mook TPKs?

    An official ruling hurts the game in this instance, by pigeonholing style to one alternative.


    Sorry Kirth, but I beg to differ.

    Anybody is free to run Power Attack however they want WITH a 110% rock-solid, consise wording in the Core Rules. Leaving arbitrary sections of a rule-based game system insufficiently defined just means people don't know how to play it when they DO want to just play by the book, say in PFS, or when they don't care "strongly" enough that they want to diverge from the game author's assumptions. Saying that it's necessary to troll (in the fishing sense of the word) messageboards or FAQs to divine the author's intent is absurd (IMHO). I really hope something like the example Erratas I posted make it into the updated Core Rules (I don't really care which one) - I feel that they demonstrate that a consise, consistent, rock-solid wording IS possible and desirable.


    Quandary wrote:
    Sorry Kirth, but I beg to differ.

    Feel free to differ. Like I said upthread, if your intrepretation is that Paizo just doesn't give a damn, that's OK. Personally, I kind of like this particular thing to be left open. Maybe they could even spell out options, like for starting hit points in the Beta -- that way people like you would have something "offical" in print to reference. But on the whole, providing built-in methods for the DM to better customize his game is a good thing, IMO.

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