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


Rules Questions

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InsaneFox wrote:
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.

Then I would say your disconnect with everyone else is a problem of reading comprehension.

You have decided Hold Person is something other than what the rules clearly say it is..

It's not as good now as it was in 3.0 and earlier. It's balanced fine the way it is. It's certainly not the spell of its level I'd most fear.

If you must, just go ahead and ban Coup de Grace from your games and go ahead and make the Hold spells a level or two lower each so someone might possibly ever cast them. But you're fixing something that isn't broken and, frankly, your game isn't one I'd want to play in.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

IMO this is a bad house rule and a bad idea. It's completely unneeded, as Hold Person and Coup de Grace already have enough restrictions on them already.


I don't see why any effect that renders you helpless should allow you an instant cdg attempt at any level. Spells designed to kill you are what should be 'save or die'.

You could also state that the act of tying somebody up qualifies as 'rendering them helpless'.

Good input though, I like it.

I'm fully aware that the devs won't accept my suggestion. This thread allows me to flesh out my idea for use towards my own purposes.


InsaneFox wrote:

I don't see why any effect that renders you helpless should allow you an instant cdg attempt at any level. Spells designed to kill you are what should be 'save or die'.

You could also state that the act of tying somebody up qualifies as 'rendering them helpless'.

Good input though, I like it.

I'm fully aware that the devs won't accept my suggestion. This thread allows me to flesh out my idea for use towards my own purposes.

It's not an instant CdG effect. The couper still has to take a full round action. They still have to eat the AoO or position themselves somewhere that they won't be taking them (possibly spreading that full-round across 2 rounds in so doing). And that still has to be the best option available to them in the heat of battle.

And the reason that any effect which renders the target helpless allows an "instant" CdG attempt is that that is the very purpose of rendering somebody helpless. It's like saying you don't see why any effect which deals HP damage should allow you to instantly check to see if they are below 0 and fall unconscious and start bleeding. Or you don't see why an effect which causes the confused condition makes you "instantly" check to see whether you can act normally or if you attack randomly or if you just flail about uselessly for a round.

Any idea how you would handle the reducing somebody's dex to 0 aspect of helpless as regards non coup-de-grace attacks? Or effects which render someone helpless which aren't given spell levels (slumber hex, tying up). Or how you would handle a heightened HP? These are all things which WILL happen.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
InsaneFox wrote:
I don't see why any effect that renders you helpless should allow you an instant cdg attempt at any level.

Because helpless people can't defend themselves? Because this isn't whacking a monster in an RPG? If someone is flat out stuck like that, yea, poking them in a vital spot is not that hard.

For your houserule, I would actually suggest instead that you limit CDG. That's your issue, just make it take two rounds or something, and disallow 5 foot steps during it. Munging around with every spell that may or may not be balanced similarly to hold person is just a bad cookie to start on.


That's all well and good if you wouldn't want to play in my game.

I'm tired of saying the same things over and over.

Truth be told, I've lost sight of my original purpose. Instead of arguing the same thing to every new person who wanders in here, I'm going to focus on the important things.

If you have a problem with my changes, please post them so that I can further evolve my idea.

If you don't think anything needs changing, or just don't like my idea, your concern has been noted. Please review my previous posts and select an adequate response.


InsaneFox wrote:

That's all well and good if you wouldn't want to play in my game.

I'm tired of saying the same things over and over.

Truth be told, I've lost sight of my original purpose. Instead of arguing the same thing to every new person who wanders in here, I'm going to focus on the important things.

If you have a problem with my changes, please post them so that I can further evolve my idea.

If you don't think anything needs changing, or just don't like my idea, your concern has been noted. Please review my previous posts and select an adequate response.

Fox, you can't get upset with people for looking at your question and your responses and saying "those aren't the rules." You posted this in the rules forum. I suggest you close the thread and open a new one in the homebrew forum, as those are the people you want to be talking to.


The only thing my change does is prevent a situation that allows a character to be instagibbed without regards to hp.

A character rendered helpless still has no effective dex. Fails ref saves, eats SA damage, ect.

Any effects that render a subject helpless would be affected by this rule, regardless of spell levels.


First off. I'm not upset. BUT, you are right about the new thread idea.

Thank you for your input.


InsaneFox wrote:

The only thing my change does is prevent a situation that allows a character to be instagibbed without regards to hp.

A character rendered helpless still has no effective dex. Fails ref saves, eats SA damage, ect.

Any effects that render a subject helpless would be affected by this rule, regardless of spell levels.

Wait, so now you're saying that if a level 10 fighter with, say, 80 hp left is put to sleep by Deep Slumber or a Witch's hex, or paralyzed by Hold Person, or just regularly sleeping, that a Coup de Grace shouldn't be able to be executed to kill him instantly? I'm not trying to be obtuse here; that sounds like what you're saying right here, which appears to be in contradiction to your earlier statements. If that's what you're saying, then basically you're looking to change the entire fundamental concept of Coup de Grace, which is to override the luck/roll with the punches concept of the game for characters unable to defend themselves (which, sorry, Hold Person instantly renders someone -- it's a magic spell and that is this spell's purpose.)


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.

The guy who can survive the two barbarians obviously has a bad will save, the guy with a good will save wont survive the two barabarians, so both are instant kill depending on opponent, you havent shown one to be worse then the other. Fighter dies to hold person+cdg, wizard dies to barbarian full attackx2.

Unless its a paladin then neither tactic will save you....


Ultrace wrote:
InsaneFox wrote:

The only thing my change does is prevent a situation that allows a character to be instagibbed without regards to hp.

A character rendered helpless still has no effective dex. Fails ref saves, eats SA damage, ect.

Any effects that render a subject helpless would be affected by this rule, regardless of spell levels.

Wait, so now you're saying that if a level 10 fighter with, say, 80 hp left is put to sleep by Deep Slumber or a Witch's hex, or paralyzed by Hold Person, or just regularly sleeping, that a Coup de Grace shouldn't be able to be executed to kill him instantly? I'm not trying to be obtuse here; that sounds like what you're saying right here, which appears to be in contradiction to your earlier statements. If that's what you're saying, then basically you're looking to change the entire fundamental concept of Coup de Grace, which is to override the luck/roll with the punches concept of the game for characters unable to defend themselves (which, sorry, Hold Person instantly renders someone -- it's a magic spell and that is this spell's purpose.)

No, what he is saying is that he wants to create a houserule which says any magic (or supernatural) effect which renders a character instantly helpless does not leave them open to a coup de grace until one full round has passed since the casting of the spell. After that, they are fully vulnerable to coup de grace. If you hold and they fail their 2nd save, then you can CdG. If you sleep and they aren't awoken, you can CdG. If you come across them already naturally asleep, you can CdG.

Fox, you should put a post explicitly asking for this thread to be closed.


If he's sleeping naturally, he's been helpless for more than one round.

Anyway, made a more suitable thread in Homebrew.

I explicitly state that I wish for this thread to be closed.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber
InsaneFox wrote:


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

But your houserule still allows for a free kill one round later!

Edit: Well, that's what I get for not reading ALL the new posts...


Is it really that big of a deal? Performing a coup de grace without any type of feat takes a full-round action that provokes an attack of opportunity. So unless I am within a 5-foot step I cant even do it in the same round. And since you get a save every round on your turn, the percentage of kill potential is significantly reduced. Also, even without the coup de grace mechanic, being paralyzed in combat is pretty much a death sentence anyway. Then the whole time I'm taking attacks from other hostile creatures in the area from the attack of opportunity. Then finally, hold person only works on humanoids. I dunno anything about the games yall are playing, but a majority of the things you will just randomly encounter aren't even affected by the spell. Though I am a fan of the combo, it is so conditional. I personally think that if your players manage to hit it on someone, they should be rewarded rather than punished. And if you're doing it on your players... They should be more careful. :D

Silver Crusade

Yet another 2 year old conversation responded to as if it just occured today... seems to be the trend lately. ;)


InsaneFox wrote:

You know what? I'll throw you a bone. I will make ONE last on-topic post. Anything after that will involve shocker lizards and erotica.

The reason why the combo is easy to pull off is this:

All it takes.

Is one spellcaster, and one of his 2-5 party members to be in, or adjacent to, a square that's threatened by only one enemy.

The spellcaster, on the aforementioned player's turn can say, "hey, John attack on my mark!" Whereas John would respond, "LOL K".

John holds, caster casts hp, john smash. Not a damn thing anybody can do.

Also, many dms run monsters on the same turn... or it works out naturally. This is an easy to set up combo; so easy that I can set it up without intending to.

OK, assuming all the monsters go on the same turn then it MAY be feasible.

Even then you tell John to attack on yoru mark he woud attack nto Coup De grace. If you tell him to coup de grace he waits for him to make his save and if he makes it well he jsut wasted shi turn tryign to coup de grace someone who could not be coup de graced.

IF they are goign on differnt turns here are several differnt possibilities.

1) You speak at any time so before John moves... he delays til you cast.
During this time if someone on the opposition gets a turn, they may hold person on John. They may ready a bull rush to move him away from someone if eh tried to coup de grace, they could disarm John. they coudl stun him (he drops his weapon). There are a number of options the party has to elimiate the threat and stop john from getting his turn (which he might have gotten if not delaying).

2) You go before John, cast the spell and are successful! You tell John to COup De Grace him.

Unless John is next the party again has all those options to stop John, and could also remove paralysis the target.

Now if you as a GM allow all the mobs to go on the same turn with perfect coordination then you are probably giving them an advantage.

Require them to communicate and sometimes do what to THEM seems like the better plan. John the fighter if he is goign first might rather Power Attack the mage he got next to rather then wait for you to hopefully delay a foe. After all he wants to stop the mage before the mage can get a spell off and he has initiative on him (while you may not).

So basically, no I do not think there needs to be any change to the spell or the action.

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