Reflexive Dodge - Immediate Interrupt question

4th Edition

Pathfinder Maps, Starfinder Maps Subscriber

I wonder if anyone would give their views on a particular ranger power:


Reflexive Dodge:

As the attack explodes toward you, your reflexes allow you to remain one step ahead of it.

Immediate Interrupt Personal

Trigger: An area or a close attack hits you

Effect: You make an Acrobatics check and reduce the damage you take from the triggering attack by half the check result. You then shift half your speed.

From reading the power, it seems pretty clear that you take the damage and then shift, even if the shift takes you outside the area of effect (or beyond range). However, the nature of immediate interrupts is that they occur before the triggering effect is resolved and may well result in a triggering attack which initially 'hits' ending up being a miss or being otherwise ineffective.

Any thoughts on what would happen if you shifted outside of the area of effect of the triggering effect? Would you still take damage? Am I alone in thinking that the wording of the power is more like an immediate reaction?


My feeling is that, in this case, it does not matter whether the power is an immediate reaction or interrupt. The wording tells us what to do (reduce the damage) and no amount of shifting around is going to save you from that because this was an immediate interrupt on actually being hit.

I will however give you that they could have at least avoided This question by making it an immediate reaction since, while it does not matter, it would have at least been clearer with an immediate reaction.

Yeah, I think the power could use rewording. I don't think it needs to be relabelled a reaction - the check to reduce the damage happens before the power is resolved, of course. But they should have made clearer the shift doesn't also process at immediate speed.

Something like:

"Effect: You make an Acrobatics check and reduce the damage you take from the triggering attack by half the check result. Once the triggering attack is resolved, you can shift half your speed."

I think that the interrupt comes in if the attack has any side effects. For instance, if you were hit by an attack that did damage and knocked you prone, you'd take some of the damage and shift away, not being knocked prone.

I'd have to say you take all the effects, you just get your benefits before you suffer them.

So an attack hits you, you (for example) take 42 damage and are immobilized. You use the interrupt, after the hit, but before the resolution, and instead you take 21 damage, shift half your speed... then are immobilized.

Even in the case of a grab, the power would work the same, it just lets you escape the grab (best use of the power now).

*Grabbed ends if the creature ends up outside the range of the grabbing power or effect*

ghettowedge wrote:
I think that the interrupt comes in if the attack has any side effects. For instance, if you were hit by an attack that did damage and knocked you prone, you'd take some of the damage and shift away, not being knocked prone.

I suspect Aardvark is correct. There is no parsing of such effects in the text of the powers. Its an all or nothing circumstance.

You're right. The confusion comes because this power doesn't interrupt an attack, it interrupts the damage. Weird.

Pathfinder Maps, Starfinder Maps Subscriber

Thanks for these comments - I was going to follow up about effects which prevent you from moving as this seems to be a somewhat odd result.

I figured I'd have the discussion now as the power hasn't come into play yet. "The forum guys said..." is a quick way to win an argument about rules interpretations with our group. :)

Well really its Customer Service that should be the final arbitrator. I mean we could be wrong...I don't think so but its certianly possible.

Customer Service is hardly a guarantee, either. I'd say our odds of an accurate response are probably as good if not better than theirs. ;)

The problem is, this is an area where the rules are simply unclear. The main issue is that, as written, Interrupts invalidate the triggering action no matter when the occur. But in practice, many powers seem to assume they can invalidate the trigger itself, but not earlier stages of the action.

Here is the process for resolving attacks (PHB, page 269):
1. Choose the attack you’ll use. Each attack has an attack type.
2. Choose targets for the attack (page 272). Each target must be within range (page 273). Check whether you can see and target your enemies (page 273).
3. Make an attack roll (page 273).
4. Compare your attack roll to the target’s defense (page 274) to determine whether you hit or miss.
5. Deal damage and apply other effects (page 276).

Now, Interrupts can be triggered by any of these steps. Many powers seem to assume that if they happen later in the process, they don't cancel out the earlier stages. For example, the Deadstalker Utility 12 (Instant Escape) is an interrupt triggered on a grab, which lets you escape the grab and shift 2 squares. No one assumes that this means that, if that shift puts you out of reach of the initial attack, that the entire attack is negated.

In the same situation here - Reflexive Dodge triggers when you are hit by an attack (stage 3). Even if you shift outside of the initial area, it doesn't invalidate the choosing of targets, which happened in stage 2.

Let's look at another power along these lines:
Evade Explosion, Battlemind Utility 2
Immediate Interrupt
Trigger: A close or an area attack hits you and deals damage
Effect: You shift 1 square. If the shift places you outside the area of the triggering attack, you take half damage from the attack.

So, this one makes clear that shifting outside the area doesn't negate the damage entirely.

Except... other powers assume it does work this way.
When your enemy launches his attack, you leap out of the way, leaving your foe to hit nothing but air.
Evade the Blow, Ranger Utility 16
Immediate Interrupt
Trigger: An enemy hits you with a melee attack
Effect: Shift 1 square away from the enemy.

Based on power level and descriptive text, the design here is clearly to let you completely negate the attack by shifting out of its reach when hit. And this is what the actual rules for Interrupts say: "If an interrupt invalidates a triggering action, that action is lost."

So the only conclusion I can reach is that different designers interpreted the Interrupt rules differently. Some let it negate the entire attack, no matter where in the process it occurs. Some let it only negate the part of the action in which it is triggered.

What does that all mean? It means, I think, that we have no strict answer by the rules. Some powers clearly handle it differently. For myself, this is an area where I would look to intent - given that the effect assumes you take damage from the attack, explicitly saying that you do so before you can shift, then I would say that the shift does not let you negate the power entirely by moving out of the area.

Another power, with similar design but different wording, might be handled differently.

In the end, though, it is an unclear matter. I'd say a DM would be well within their rights to go with either interpretation.

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