Disrupting readied / delayed actions


Pathfinder First Edition General Discussion


I am having what I perceive as a problem in my campain:

Abuse of the ready and delay actions. I am not talking about "Rogue readies action until fighter gets into flanking position", or "Delay until after caster so I stay out of fireball". Those are obvious actions for anyone working in a party.

I am talking about exceptional hive-mind war-gaming where the party works in tandem even when there is no Telepathic Bond to serve as justification of doing so in-game. An example of play is:

- Rogue delays until after monster, moves in to position, readies attack until fighter comes into flanking position.
- Fighter delays until after wizard, since the wizard asks him to. (without being able to explain exactly what is going on)
- Cavalier charges, and benefits from flanking.
- Wizard casts benign transposition or one of his 100 other spells to alter the battlefield.
- Fighter and cavalier changes place, rogue and fighter delays kicks in, attacks.
- Monster is now usually dead. Rogue delays until after wizard
- Monster 2 acts according to its nature.
- Cavalier delays until after fighter.
- Wizard casts some obscure spell that lets him short-range teleport 2 PCs wherever he wants within range. Places fighter and rogue in flank on monster 2.
- Rogue delay kicks in, takes full attack.
- Fighter does the same. If monster lives, he 5-foots so the cavalier can charge again.

Etc etc. Tactics is one thing, but this kind of stuff is waaaaaaaaay beyond "We train during downtime"

So instead of doing the same, having monsters do hive-mind tactics, ready bull-rushes, awesome blows and whatnot to foil flanking because I as the GM is aware of their intentions, and completely wash away my last vestige of sustained disbelief, I was thinking of making ready and delay actions similar to concentration, and if you are struck by a hard blow while reading, you might lose that action. Mechanics will come when I figure them out.

Thoughts on this?

Sovereign Court

Talk to your players, and ask them for some justification for their obviously drawn out OOC battle plans. Or make them cut down on the OOC and battle plans full stop. This is a role-playing game, not a strategic wargame.

If they want to continue to use these tactics, require the arcane caster to get a telepathic bond going, and the cleric to have status (so he can justify knowing what hp a party member is on)


Are they taking time out of game during the combat to work out tactics?
If so, then yes, require the Rary's.
If not, then consider that the people that meet once or twice a week to throw dice have worked out the trust and tactical training to pull this maneuvering off, as opposed to the fictional folks that live and sleep and eat and bleed together. And also consider that the lynchpin of this is a God wizard, the reason why kill-the-mage-first is a universal tactic and mantra.


Kamelguru wrote:


So instead of doing the same, having monsters do hive-mind tactics, ready bull-rushes, awesome blows and whatnot to foil flanking because I as the GM is aware of their intentions, and completely wash away my last vestige of sustained disbelief...

In my opinion, don't take away their fun. They obviously love doing crazy shenanigans in combat, and if you make that inaccessible, they'd probably feel discouraged. It's not that it stretches the boundaries of realism-- their characters are just really good.

Also they can only delay down to 0 initiative before losing their turn. This was an obscure rule that I didn't pick up on for a bit, so you may be missing out on it's goodness--

Quote:

If you take a delayed action in the next round, before

your regular turn comes up, your initiative count rises to
that new point in the order of battle, and you do not get
your regular action that round.

So if they're like, doing what you said and what my party was doing and delaying constantly, if they take their turn before their init comes up, that's their whole action to get that initiative. Then they are done.

To be honest, I think they'd be really engaged if you did what they do back; it's probably what they're looking for. Of course, disregard that if they're the "WE'RE NOT SUPPOSED TO WIN IT'S TOO HARD" and "THE CARDS ARE STACKED AGAINST US WHY ARE YOU TRYING TO KILL US" players.


Ice Titan wrote:
Quote:

If you take a delayed action in the next round, before

your regular turn comes up, your initiative count rises to
that new point in the order of battle, and you do not get
your regular action that round.
So if they're like, doing what you said and what my party was doing and delaying constantly, if they take their turn before their init comes up, that's their whole action to get that initiative. Then they are done.

O_O

THIS CHANGES EVERYTHING!


Remember that when dealaying, you are changing what initiative you act on. If you are initiative 18, and delay until after another party member on initiative 9 acts, your new initiative is now 8. Now if you delay into the next round, you lose a whole round of action.

It sounds to me like this strategy would be good short term for the first round or so, but after that you're losing actions and potential by over-strategising and spending full rounds delaying just to get higher on the initiative again once you delay too far down.


Just realized that ready action can be used to render charge actions completely useless.

According to RAW, you can take a 5' step as part of your ready action. A ready action can interrupt. So if you are the target of a charge, you can ready until you are within opponent's reach, step into their reach if they use a lance, or to the side if they don't have reach. Both instances invalidates the parameters of a charge. And then strike them while their AC is down.

But, charge is a single action, and I don't know if you'd be able to interrupt IN an action. Before the charge, opponent is far away, and after charge, you are struck. But then... what of brace? Hmm.


You have to state what action you ready and when you use it, you can't just act when someone is busy doing their action at wyour whim.

You can also only ready a standard action and your initiative shifts.. so effectively giving up part of your round.

You can not interupt any action with delay action and your initiative still shifts. If you wait an entire round you just lost your action that round.

If they communicate among eachother without telpathic bond or the like your monsters might pick up on it and counter. If they speak common.

Their tactics seem to be mostly flanking, it gives some bonus.. but doesnt seem much of a big deal.

many creatures can't be flanked, rough terrain will make mobility harder and 5 foot steps impossible, ready actions to disrupt their actions, have enemies flee and pick up on their tactics for the next time.

These things usually happen when encounters are too straightforward.. make encounters more interesting by adding terrain effects and some surprises. Feel free to force some motivation from them for their actions if you think it goes too far.


They can not have moved earlier in the round for the 5 foot step with readied action, feel free to say some things can't be done if it doesn't seem right or turn the tables and have your monster do the same manouever if in doubt, it is the most honest feedback you will get from your players. If they can do it so can the bad guys.


As long as you've been playing by the correct delay rules, nothing the party is doing seems unfair. They're paying the price in initiative to get in position, and reaping the reward of their patience.
Just make sure that they are changing their count appropriately -- whenever each character finishes his action, it's another full round from that count before he acts again.
BTW, if your rogue moves and readies, make sure his ready only triggers on the exact condition he specifies; otherwise he loses his action.

The Exchange

Agree with previous poster.

Disallow significant talk in the round.
Require that players clearly announce both the trigger and the action.

Ex.: I'm going to ready a "fireball" if I am charged.

Both a clearly specified trigger and action are required by RAW.

Finally, up your game a little. Use different tactics, if you can. If the monsters are firing and retreating (archery, spell casting), etc,. the usefullness of ready's and delays are much less.

Similarly, let your monsters use the ready action. Giving an archer of some kind a 'ready for spell casting order' or an invisible thief the same will do .. wonders.

Community / Forums / Pathfinder / Pathfinder First Edition / General Discussion / Disrupting readied / delayed actions All Messageboards

Want to post a reply? Sign in.