Hold Person + coup de grace... should target be allowed extra save?


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Dire Mongoose wrote:
InsaneFox wrote:
It's more of a balance issue than anything. The additional save wouldn't break the effect, just prevent it from being exploited in a specific but devastating manner.

My disconnect with you is that you see this as an exploit, and I see it as what this spell is for.

Otherwise it'd inflict Dazed or Stunned or something that didn't make you helpless.

And I see Hold Person as a spell that completely neutralizes an opponent temporarily, not one that allows for a free kill.

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InsaneFox wrote:
And I see Hold Person as a spell that completely neutralizes an opponent temporarily, not one that allows for a free kill.

So taking advantage of a limited time window under specific circumstances, using multiple party members and/or turns, qualifies as a "free" kill?

I was playing a PFS scenario once, where the BBEG was an evil cleric, fighting alone. Monk PC wins initiative and moves up to the cleric and attacks once. Next PC puts her to sleep (she rolls a 1 on her save). Round 2, Monk PC CdG's her.

All totally legit, but you think if it's Hold Person instead of Sleep, somehow it's different?

I think the real issue is that you personally think of Hold Person as a spell used for capturing someone (perhaps for questioning), and feel offended/violated at the suggestion of doing something else with it because that's not what it's "supposed to be for".

Interestingly enough, you didn't write the game. If it makes them helpless, it makes them helpless. The PCs can use the window of time during which that person is helpless to do anything that's legal against a helpless character - coup de grace, paint facial hair onto them, tie them up for later questioning, tie an anvil to their feet and drop them in the river, whatever. Just because it's not what you're used to or traditionally thought it was for doesn't mean it doesn't work.

That said, if you're the GM in a home game, houserule however you like (just make sure you announce your houserules to your players in a timely fashion). The perk of GMing is that you can turn your preferences into rules. But that doesn't mean that the "real" rules work that way, or that they should work that way, or that people who agree with how the rules work are being exploitative.

Own up to the difference between rules and preferences.


More or less since Basic/Expert D&D, 1st edition, and so on, Hold person has been a 'save or die to my minions who will tie you up/slit your throat, etc' spell. Basically, it was a death spell with a delay that required a helper. It was a reason to be afraid of clerics, especially bunches of them (1st edition hold person could hit 3 targets, or fewer targets with a save penalty). Generally we never really had a problem with this---sleep was a similar spell (and in those days, it was no save, you either were high level enough to be immune, an elf, or asleep). Pathfinder's version is if anything far more forgiving.


If you're saying that it's okay because it's how the rules are written, then by that logic, there shouldn't have been a 2E, 3E, 3.5E, 4E, or Pathfinder for that matter. We should have all been happy with First Edition and left it at that.

The point is, we should keep an open mind to the rules and strive to perfect them.

Now saying how I'm feeling is rather pretensious of you. I'm not offended nor do I feel violated. I actually appreciate TriMega, john, and the others' imput.

They picked at my proposals and helped me improve them.

That's constructive debate. Telling me I'm plain wrong and that I should shut up and take it is not.


EWHM wrote:
More or less since Basic/Expert D&D, 1st edition, and so on, Hold person has been a 'save or die to my minions who will tie you up/slit your throat, etc' spell. Basically, it was a death spell with a delay that required a helper. It was a reason to be afraid of clerics, especially bunches of them (1st edition hold person could hit 3 targets, or fewer targets with a save penalty). Generally we never really had a problem with this---sleep was a similar spell (and in those days, it was no save, you either were high level enough to be immune, an elf, or asleep). Pathfinder's version is if anything far more forgiving.

Telling me how long things have been this way, and how they functioned compared to now is all well and good.

But it doesn't tell me why it should function the way it does.

Dark Archive

To the OP: Homerule it, and move on! =D

InsaneFox wrote:


That level range is played often and player characters shouldn't be facing save or die effects, in my opinion.

To this, my only reply is: I know a lot of "old school" GMs that would disagree with you here.

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InsaneFox wrote:
Telling me I'm plain wrong and that I should shut up and take it is not.

Good thing I didn't do that, huh?


Jason Beardsley wrote:

To the OP: Homerule it, and move on! =D

InsaneFox wrote:

That level range is played often and player characters shouldn't be facing save or die effects, in my opinion.
To this, my only reply is: I know a lot of "old school" GMs that would disagree with you here.

I would love to simply move on... but if people are going to flat out tell me I'm wrong than I want them to adequately tell me why.

I mean, I could very well be wrong. If so, I would like to know in what way.


InsaneFox wrote:
EWHM wrote:
More or less since Basic/Expert D&D, 1st edition, and so on, Hold person has been a 'save or die to my minions who will tie you up/slit your throat, etc' spell. Basically, it was a death spell with a delay that required a helper. It was a reason to be afraid of clerics, especially bunches of them (1st edition hold person could hit 3 targets, or fewer targets with a save penalty). Generally we never really had a problem with this---sleep was a similar spell (and in those days, it was no save, you either were high level enough to be immune, an elf, or asleep). Pathfinder's version is if anything far more forgiving.

Telling me how long things have been this way, and how they functioned compared to now is all well and good.

But it doesn't tell me why it should function the way it does.

Is your fundamental issue that it is effectively a save or die with lots of limitations? There are plenty of spells like it in that level range, with their common thread that they require assistance by other parties to be an efficient SoD. Ghoul touch is one example at Wizard-2, it's a touch spell but only requires one save to do the job typically and has a secondary bonus effect. Sleep and color spray do similar effects, although on multiple targets. By level 4 you start seeing the unassisted SoD spells, although they require 2 saves (phantasmal killer). Later you see better SoD, like stone to flesh (yeah I know its stoning and not death, but the difference is usually academic).

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InsaneFox wrote:
Jason Beardsley wrote:

To the OP: Homerule it, and move on! =D

InsaneFox wrote:


That level range is played often and player characters shouldn't be facing save or die effects, in my opinion.
To this, my only reply is: I know a lot of "old school" GMs that would disagree with you here.

I would love to simply move on... but if people are going to flat out tell me I'm wrong than I want them to adequately tell me why.

I mean, I could very well be wrong. If so, I would like to know in what way.

Okay, I went back and did a little bit of re-reading....

Your OP basically says "would X be a decent house rule?". So why is this thread in the Rules forum instead of the Homebrew forum?

After that, though, it seems like this thread becomes a discussion of whether or not HP+CDG works under current rules. Is that what you're talking about being told you're "wrong" about? Or is it something else?

(I'm starting to think I misunderstood you a bit when I made my longer post up-thread. If so, sorry about that. I guess we'll find out and go from there.)


Do they get an extra save if its a fight near water and the PCs spend thier turn tying a rock to thier feet and pushing them in? ( saw that uothread and had to ask)


Jiggy wrote:
InsaneFox wrote:
Telling me I'm plain wrong and that I should shut up and take it is not.
Good thing I didn't do that, huh?

Paraphrased a bit. 'You didn't write the rules...', 'own up to the differenceblah blah blah'.

Simply put, instead of addressing why my idea doesn't work, or is unfair; you merely assaulted my motives and the fact that I so brazenly declared that a change was needed.

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InsaneFox wrote:
Jiggy wrote:
InsaneFox wrote:
Telling me I'm plain wrong and that I should shut up and take it is not.
Good thing I didn't do that, huh?

Paraphrased a bit. 'You didn't write the rules...', 'own up to the differenceblah blah blah'.

Simply put, instead of addressing why my idea doesn't work, or is unfair; you merely assaulted my motives and the fact that I so brazenly declared that a change was needed.

Forget to read this bit?

I wrote:
That said, if you're the GM in a home game, houserule however you like (just make sure you announce your houserules to your players in a timely fashion). The perk of GMing is that you can turn your preferences into rules.

The main point of my post was to try and get you to separate "how things are" from "how you'd like things to be".

To move forward from here: what specifically do you still want addressed/answered/explained/etc?


@InsaneFox

You are either proposing a house rule or suggesting a different direction of the spell level power to be taken with the game.
Both of these things don't belong in the rules sub-forum.


This thread was originally, "heres my suggestion, what could be improved upon it."

Whereas, it then became a bunch of people telling me that there is no problem with hp+cdg.

I disagreed and stated my reasoning as to why.

They began throwing out counters to prove hp+cdg was not a viable tactic or how hard it was to set up.

I then showed them how it is viable and easy.

TriMega suggested that maybe my problem lay with the cdg rules entirely, somebody else compared it to sleep, and I was like, "Maybe that is the problem, how about if we make it so that one can't cdg on the first round a character is made helpless?"

Then more people came in, who probably didn't read the entire thread, and either told me there was no problem, ect.

Still no comments as to how or why my change is not an improvement.


leo1925 wrote:

@InsaneFox

You are either proposing a house rule or suggesting a different direction of the spell level power to be taken with the game.
Both of these things don't belong in the rules sub-forum.

Well move it, then.

EDIT: Sorry for being short with you, but it's been stated twice thus far. And there's nothing I can do about it now.

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InsaneFox wrote:
Still no comments as to how or why my change is not an improvement.

I suspect that perhaps you are intended to take all the power level arguments as demonstrating "why [your] change is not an improvement".

For something to be an improvement, it needs to fix a problem or provide a new benefit. If (as suggested by lots of people) there's no problem to be solved, then the burden is left to you to demonstrate that your change provides some new benefit, if your goal is for it to be an improvement.


InsaneFox wrote:
Jiggy wrote:
InsaneFox wrote:
Telling me I'm plain wrong and that I should shut up and take it is not.
Good thing I didn't do that, huh?

Paraphrased a bit. 'You didn't write the rules...', 'own up to the differenceblah blah blah'.

Simply put, instead of addressing why my idea doesn't work, or is unfair; you merely assaulted my motives and the fact that I so brazenly declared that a change was needed.

I guess many of us are just not sure why a change is needed. As has been pointed out many times before, this hinges on the target first failing a will save. Then the defending party being totally unprepared for something bad happening when the caster has just shouted out "Hey, BSF/Rogue; don't attack until my mark... casting casting casting... MARK!" and so nobody being ready to interrupt the casting or the CdG. Then the defender has to fail a (admittedly difficult) fortitude save.

Reasonable preparations might be "ready an action to shoot the caster when he casts" or "ready an action to bull rush the BSF/Rogue on the caster's mark."

Of course, even if the party isn't doing anything special to prepare, odds are, there is somebody adjacent to the BSF/Rogue besides the one guy who is being targeted with this because that is just generally what happens. So somebody is going to be standing there and see the BSF/Rogue lining up his CdG and will then have an AoO. As they will theoretically know what is coming (from good DM description of the events and the fact that it just provoked), this might be a good opportunity for a disarm attempt.

So the bad guys are spending a standard and a full-round action in order to get off this combo, which is really far from reliable and targets two different saves. So people are taking issue with the very idea that it needs revision. There hasn't been much of a response to these points as to why it is a relatively weak combination. Also, the fact that sleep can be ended with a standard action is fine and a reasonable weakness to that similar level effect. Of course, sleep only grants 1 save; hold person is 1 per round. So they are both weakened by different things. On the first round, though, both are identical for the purposes of CdG.

If it is to be resolved, one of two things must be true. Either it must need revision for balance issues, which I don't think you've proven, or it needs revision because it was never intended to work this way. Since I don't think the first has been at all proven, then you claiming it needs resolution means it must fall in the second. Thus the people talking about you claiming to know designer's intention.


InsaneFox wrote:
leo1925 wrote:

@InsaneFox

You are either proposing a house rule or suggesting a different direction of the spell level power to be taken with the game.
Both of these things don't belong in the rules sub-forum.

Well move it, then.

EDIT: Sorry for being short with you, but it's been stated twice thus far. And there's nothing I can do about it now.

Ok sure.

Just flagged the first post.


InsaneFox wrote:
Still no comments as to how or why my change is not an improvement.

Because it is far more trouble than it is worth.

If the helpless target is able to react enough to avoid the CdG, can they not react enough to avoid a lightning bolt? Or how about to avoid the person tying them up and dumping them in a river? Or how about to just avoid that guy stabbing at them?

What is the difference between dodging a person normal stabbing at you and avoiding a coup de grace? What is the difference between avoiding a coup de grace and avoiding a non-mechanical means of death (e.g., binding and drowning)? You are allowing effects to be partially negated for one very specific set of circumstances but not other, similar circumstances, which is immersion breaking.

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The burden of proof is not on those who an individual seeks to convince.

You're homerule is no better nor worse than what is already in play.

Simply put, the different is qualitative. Qualitative difference has no truth value.


InsaneFox wrote:

I would love to simply move on... but if people are going to flat out tell me I'm wrong than I want them to adequately tell me why.

I mean, I could very well be wrong. If so, I would like to know in what way.

It's pretty clear at this point that there is no argument anyone can make which will convince you if you are wrong or not. Several people have pointed out that the spell has worked this way for decades, that it is completely within the rules to do a coup de grace on a helpless character (which this spell renders someone), that there are lower level spells (such as Sleep) which can achieve this same result, and that using this method not only affords the victim multiple saving throws but requires multiple characters acting in conjunction with each and consuming limited resources (the spell) other to take down a single enemy. If those are not convincing to you, then I doubt anything will be and I will echo the sentiments of someone else that you should just accept that your personal preferences are at odds with the way the spell is intended to be used (as proven by its use in this manner for decades without any RAW made to prevent it by this point.)


Looking at it from a different angle.

Imagine a 4v4 player vs player battle. Everybody gets the same statblock, same creation gp. It's as balanced as it's going to get.

Death ward is likely going to be used to prevent phantasmal killer, ect.

There's a legit defense against that. If it fails, so be it, 4th level spells are tactically expensive.

2nd level spells... not so much.

During the heat of melee Chad the cleric sees Rick the rogue, and Fred the fighter being threatened by only one target each. By chance, Fred is next in initiative... so Chad decides to blow one of his cheaper 2nd level spells, Hold Person.

Fred's opponent is Billy the barbarian. Billy has a lower will save, even with iron will... he is held... Fred cdgs him, and since Fred is not a small child, Billy's cdg fort save requires a natural 20. He fails and dies, rather unfairly.

I see this as a balance issue.


Bascaria wrote:
InsaneFox wrote:
Still no comments as to how or why my change is not an improvement.

Because it is far more trouble than it is worth.

If the helpless target is able to react enough to avoid the CdG, can they not react enough to avoid a lightning bolt? Or how about to avoid the person tying them up and dumping them in a river? Or how about to just avoid that guy stabbing at them?

What is the difference between dodging a person normal stabbing at you and avoiding a coup de grace? What is the difference between avoiding a coup de grace and avoiding a non-mechanical means of death (e.g., binding and drowning)? You are allowing effects to be partially negated for one very specific set of circumstances but not other, similar circumstances, which is immersion breaking.

You did read the change, right? They only can't be cdg'd the same round theyre made helpless.


InsaneFox wrote:
Deeper Slumber would work just like sleep. No cdg on the first round, can still be dealt with by a standard action.

Protip: So can hold person. I introduce you to the drag combat maneuver. Standard action to move a target at least 5 feet. Dun dun dunnnnnn, the coup de grace is negated by a standard action.

Quote:
Suggestion fails if it's obviously harmful, "sit down and crochet while I kill you," is a harmful suggestion.

"Sit down" is not a harmful suggestion. Note that suggestion already has rules for when the target is attacked, so your straw man is blindingly obvious.


I know that's how it's worked for decades. Doesn't mean it's balanced.

I know that's what the rules say, hence why I proposed a change to the rules.

I know that sleep functions the same way, the new proposal (now attached as an edit on the OP) affects sleep the same way.

I believe my change improves on the RAW. Tell me why it doesn't.


Fozbek wrote:
InsaneFox wrote:
Deeper Slumber would work just like sleep. No cdg on the first round, can still be dealt with by a standard action.

Protip: So can hold person. I introduce you to the drag combat maneuver. Standard action to move a target at least 5 feet. Dun dun dunnnnnn, the coup de grace is negated by a standard action.

Quote:
Suggestion fails if it's obviously harmful, "sit down and crochet while I kill you," is a harmful suggestion.
"Sit down" is not a harmful suggestion. Note that suggestion already has rules for when the target is attacked, so your straw man is blindingly obvious.

If the enemies are acting on the same initiative. Allies don't have time to save them.

Can't cdg somebody with suggestion as easily. Might help you get them flat-footed at best.


InsaneFox wrote:
If the enemies are acting on the same initiative. Allies don't have time to save them.

Hey, where did the goalposts go? You just moved them!

You said that sleep-CDG can be prevented with a standard action. Well, so can paralysis-CDG.


InsaneFox wrote:
Bascaria wrote:
InsaneFox wrote:
Still no comments as to how or why my change is not an improvement.

Because it is far more trouble than it is worth.

If the helpless target is able to react enough to avoid the CdG, can they not react enough to avoid a lightning bolt? Or how about to avoid the person tying them up and dumping them in a river? Or how about to just avoid that guy stabbing at them?

What is the difference between dodging a person normal stabbing at you and avoiding a coup de grace? What is the difference between avoiding a coup de grace and avoiding a non-mechanical means of death (e.g., binding and drowning)? You are allowing effects to be partially negated for one very specific set of circumstances but not other, similar circumstances, which is immersion breaking.

You did read the change, right? They only can't be cdg'd the same round theyre made helpless.

But what about EVERYTHING ELSE that round?

Can they be hit by a lightning bolt? Can they be tied up? Can they be sneak attacked? Why is coup de grace specifically being called out as something which they are immune to in that first round? I read the change, I just don't think it works.


InsaneFox wrote:

Looking at it from a different angle.

Imagine a 4v4 player vs player battle. Everybody gets the same statblock, same creation gp. It's as balanced as it's going to get.

Death ward is likely going to be used to prevent phantasmal killer, ect.

There's a legit defense against that. If it fails, so be it, 4th level spells are tactically expensive.

2nd level spells... not so much.

During the heat of melee Chad the cleric sees Rick the rogue, and Fred the fighter being threatened by only one target each. By chance, Fred is next in initiative... so Chad decides to blow one of his cheaper 2nd level spells, Hold Person.

Fred's opponent is Billy the barbarian. Billy has a lower will save, even with iron will... he is held... Fred cdgs him, and since Fred is not a small child, Billy's cdg fort save requires a natural 20. He fails and dies, rather unfairly.

I see this as a balance issue.

And it is Billy the Barbarian's fault for letting himself get caught in melee alone with nobody helping him while against a BSF and a rogue. And not just is nobody helping him in melee, but nobody helped him with a readied action when the cleric shouted out "Hey, Fred, don't attack the barbarian just yet, wait until I tell you!"

Nobody readies an action against a cleric? Nobody readies an action against Fred? Nobody readies a drag to get poor Billy out of there? (and just to be clear, a readied action to pull Billy out on casting would go off before Fred's held action to attack, unless Fred is readying an action, in which case he is spending 2 rounds on these shenanigans).

What are all of Billy's allies doing as Fred and Chad are working on this? Are they perhaps laying waste to the now completely unguarded wizard cowering in the back because his allies are all focusing on Billy the meat-shield? Or perhaps Billy's allies are absolutely destroying poor Ricky the rogue all on his lonesome and suddenly abandoned by his tank?

Strong does not equal broken. Is HP+CdG strong? Absolutely it is. Is it also easily counterable? Most certainly.


Because a cdg instantly kills them.

Lightning bolts don't.

Sneak attacks don't.

If you have your rope out in combat, ready to tie them up. Well s$@!, you deserve to tie them up. Good job.

The change doesn't prevent them from dying. Just from dying to a specifically exploitable game mechanic.


The 5ft step makes this possible. Even if Billy has a friend next to him, it's likely that Fred can 5ft step then cdg without hindrance.

The problem lies in that this can be set up on the fly. With no real warning.

EDIT: In this senario, Chad didn't say anything, he knew Fred was next, cast the spell. Fred then simply noticed the free kill.


InsaneFox wrote:

Because a cdg instantly kills them.

Lightning bolts don't.

Sneak attacks don't.

If you have your rope out in combat, ready to tie them up. Well s$%*, you deserve to tie them up. Good job.

The change doesn't prevent them from dying. Just from dying to a specifically exploitable game mechanic.

But saying it is exploitable doesn't make it so. At least, not any more so than my barbarian is "exploiting" the wizard's low AC and HP, or the cleric is "exploiting" the fighter's low will save, or the rogue is "exploiting" the ranger's lack of Improved Uncanny Dodge, etc. etc. etc.

It is a completely viable game mechanic.

What if I don't have my rope out, but always carry it on my belt (opening myself up to somebody stealing it, ohs no!), and have quick draw? How is that different from me CdG?

I had my weapon out and was in the perfect place (adjacent or 5' away with no difficult terrain) at the perfect time (right before the cleric's turn with a held action on hand) in the perfect situation (nobody threatening me or the cleric or the space I'm about to move into and no readied actions and my opponent fails his will save vs lvl 2 spell) for my cleric buddy and I to get off a nasty combo. Well s$%*, don't I deserve to get off my highly circumstantial full-round action?


As far as the rope goes, you can't hold him, tie him up, then kill him in one round. His allies will have a chance to do something.

The question boils down to whether or no players should be allowed to instantly kill another player with one passable save using a level 2 spell.

I don't believe they should.


InsaneFox wrote:

As far as the rope goes, you can't hold him, tie him up, then kill him in one round. His allies will have a chance to do something.

The question boils down to whether or no players should be allowed to instantly kill another player with one passable save using a level 2 spell.

I don't believe they should.

... except, once again, it is not an instant kill. It requires MANY, MANY things, one of the most important of which is that nobody on Billy's team tries to help him. Or that Billy, if he acts after Fred starts holding but before Carl casts his hold, doesn't just charge the cleric and eat the AoOs. Or that one of many many other things doesn't happen.

Your reason for this is "because it is an 'instant-kill' ability, you can't do it." For me, that completely breaks immersion. There is no logical in-game reason why a CdG is different from a lightning bolt, or a sneak attack, or a grease spell, or a well-aimed lasso. The only difference is an out-of-game, disassociated mechanical one.

Dark Archive

InsaneFox wrote:

As far as the rope goes, you can't hold him, tie him up, then kill him in one round. His allies will have a chance to do something.

The question boils down to whether or no players should be allowed to instantly kill another player with one passable save using a level 2 spell.

I don't believe they should.

And we respectfully disagree with you for the reasons stated above. Can this thread die now?


So this is down to, if you fail your eave against a spell you shouldnt be boned, funny I thought every spell with a fort or will save killed whatever failed it, bestow curse effectively shuts down an opponent until you feel like killing him. Hell witch hexs are much scarier then hold person.


I posted earlier about the problem with immersion. It can be explained as the effect taking a few moment to take full effect. Since actions, while being done in order, are said to occur in the same 6 sec window... one could argue that the target is not entirely helpless because either they haven't fully stopped moving, or their body went into ragdoll physics as they fell to the ground, making it not possible to cdg.

There are many other ways I'm sure it can be described.

Now tell me. Why exactly is my proposal a bad thing?


InsaneFox wrote:
Now tell me. Why exactly is my proposal a bad thing?

Its flawed because the majority of people here think its completely unnecessary. Its a overcomplicated fix to a non-problem.


Shadow_of_death wrote:
So this is down to, if you fail your eave against a spell you shouldnt be boned, funny I thought every spell with a fort or will save killed whatever failed it, bestow curse effectively shuts down an opponent until you feel like killing him. Hell witch hexs are much scarier then hold person.

This is tiring. See the rest of the thread for details.


KrispyXIV wrote:
InsaneFox wrote:
Now tell me. Why exactly is my proposal a bad thing?
Its flawed because the majority of people here think its completely unnecessary. Its a overcomplicated fix to a non-problem.

Because a few people said so, is not a reason.


Mergy wrote:
InsaneFox wrote:

As far as the rope goes, you can't hold him, tie him up, then kill him in one round. His allies will have a chance to do something.

The question boils down to whether or no players should be allowed to instantly kill another player with one passable save using a level 2 spell.

I don't believe they should.

And we respectfully disagree with you for the reasons stated above. Can this thread die now?

Yep, you're free to go.


InsaneFox wrote:

I posted earlier about the problem with immersion. It can be explained as the effect taking a few moment to take full effect. Since actions, while being done in order, are said to occur in the same 6 sec window... one could argue that the target is not entirely helpless because either they haven't fully stopped moving, or their body went into ragdoll physics as they fell to the ground, making it not possible to cdg.

There are many other ways I'm sure it can be described.

Now tell me. Why exactly is my proposal a bad thing?

And if they are not entirely helpless, then why are they considered entirely helpless for the purposes of the lightning bolt? Or the sneak attack? Or the regular attack? You have singled this out with no in-game explanation for why it applies helpless-lite, aside from you don't like the results of full helpless.

InsaneFox wrote:
Because a few people said so, is not a reason.

But because you say it is a problem is not a reason why it is either. As has been said repeatedly before, if you want to houserule it that way, then that is fine. Do so. Announce it to your players beforehand, but do so.

But you aren't just proposing a houserule. You are submitting this as a serious flaw in the game which developers should be aware of and consider when working on future editions. You are submitting this to the courts as a grievance for redress, and as such you have a higher burden of proof than we do to demonstrate that this actually is a problem. So far, you're the only one who has said it is a problem, and your only proof is you saying "because..."

Dark Archive

InsaneFox wrote:
KrispyXIV wrote:
InsaneFox wrote:
Now tell me. Why exactly is my proposal a bad thing?
Its flawed because the majority of people here think its completely unnecessary. Its a overcomplicated fix to a non-problem.
Because a few people said so, is not a reason.

It's just ridiculous how you've put the burden of proof on us as to why hold person + coup de grace is balanced. It is you who has yet to show us where the problem is.

So I ask you: What is the problem with two coordinated allies focusing on one enemy to bring him down? Consider that your problem with this spell is at low levels. Well two Greatsword-wielding barbarians could probably drop one of your players at low levels too. Certainly if you ever gave one of your NPCs a scythe there would be a possibility for a quick death.

I know you feel that it seems unfair, but in my opinion it is unfair to take that kill away from two coordinated allies who are focusing and taking several risks just to bring down one enemy permanently. The opponent has to A: fail a save, B: have been put in a threatened position, and C: have no allies around to help him. That, in my opinion is not as easy to accomplish as you claim it to be.

So to answer your question, your proposal is a bad thing because it is nerfing something that needs no nerf.


I have explained my case throughout the course of this thread.

Not one person has convinced me that my idea is flawed or unnecessary.

Therefore, I should not be expected to concede my arguement.

Those other conditions do not rely on the target being helpless, they only require him to lose his Dex bonus to ac for them to be effective.

Even if my solution isn't perfect, doesn't mean that it can't be improved upon.

As such, I believe there is a problem that should be addressed.


Ignoring low-level characters, a mid-level character with full hp, who could survive a salvo from two barbarians, could find himself suddenly dead, not dying, without being able to take a single action to prevent it.

I think that's a flaw in game mechanics.


InsaneFox wrote:

I have explained my case throughout the course of this thread.

Not one person has convinced me that my idea is flawed or unnecessary.

Therefore, I should not be expected to concede my arguement.

Those other conditions do not rely on the target being helpless, they only require him to lose his Dex bonus to ac for them to be effective.

Even if my solution isn't perfect, doesn't mean that it can't be improved upon.

As such, I believe there is a problem that should be addressed.

But helpless does more than just lose dex. It sets Dexterity to 0.

So in order for this to make internally consistent sense, you would have to say that on the first round of an effect that makes you helpless, but which is of spell level 3 or lower (since 4 is the threshold, apparently, for SoD/SoS effects), then you are not helpless, but you do lose their dexterity bonus to AC.

And then that raises the question of what happens if a 9th level wizard heightens her HP to be a 5th level spell. Does it take effect in the first round fully now? It is of the appropriate spell level.

And what about a witch's slumber hex? Does it take this penalty while the witch is below 7th level, but once she hits 7th then it takes effect immediately?

How about somebody with the grapple feat chain buffed out all the way, letting them make grapple checks as a standard, move, and swift, thus tying someone up in one full-round action. Does that no longer work since it opens someone up to a CdG with "no ability to counter it" aside from the dice being friendly (and semi-competent allies)?


InsaneFox wrote:

Ignoring low-level characters, a mid-level character with full hp, who could survive a salvo from two barbarians, could find himself suddenly dead, not dying, without being able to take a single action to prevent it.

I think that's a flaw in game mechanics.

That mid-level character could also be targeted by a phantasmal killer. Or he could have competent allies who have used any of the many strategies we have listed above to counter this overpowering technique. Or he could recognize that will saves are a weak point and take the iron will feat and work on getting his wisdom up (maybe a +2 headband is worth more to him than getting his armor from +2 to +3).

Dark Archive

InsaneFox wrote:

Ignoring low-level characters, a mid-level character with full hp, who could survive a salvo from two barbarians, could find himself suddenly dead, not dying, without being able to take a single action to prevent it.

I think that's a flaw in game mechanics.

And at mid-levels stuff like Phantasmal Killer comes along, which is much easier to use. If the problem is your level 8 characters are failing saves against level 2 spells, then I'll reiterate my first post.

Teach them to up their will saves. Teach them by killing them.


InsaneFox wrote:

Ignoring low-level characters, a mid-level character with full hp, who could survive a salvo from two barbarians, could find himself suddenly dead, not dying, without being able to take a single action to prevent it.

I think that's a flaw in game mechanics.

Ah, but that character could have taken many actions to prevent it. He could have:

1) Taken Iron Will.
2) Taken Improved Iron Will.
3) Chosen a character class with great Will saves.
4) Chosen to put a high stat in Wisdom.
5) Gotten an owl's wisdom spell from an ally or a potion.
6) Killed the caster first.
7) Silenced the caster first.
8) Done this same thing to the caster first.
9) Received the benefits of the 1st level spell, protection from evil.
10) Boosted his saves overall with a cloak of resistance, a paladin's divine grace, or monk levels.

And so on.

The character even got an action to prevent his death; it was the saving throw itself. Sure, that's not how actions are mechanically defined. But he still got one last chance to avoid being rendered helpless.

You seem to be rather unfond of this scenario because the character got no chance to save himself. You've thought about it, then came up with a solution. Empowered by that solution, you now have a new problem. You set yourself a precedent. So now you have to deal with these:

1) The character only has 1 hp left when the enemy wizard blasts him with a burning hands spell. He fails his save and drops.
2) The character has 24 hp when your two previously-mentioned barbarians attack him. They both hit with their greatswords while using rage and Power Attack. Character dies with no ability to take an action to prevent it.
3) High level character is hit with power word-kill and falls over dead.

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