At what point does a Coup de Grace break Invisibility?


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3 people marked this as FAQ candidate.

Witch with the Slumber Hex and an ally standing by to CdG is a dangerous combo, sort of a poor man's save or die.

Now the problem arises if you can't apply the CdG without provoking an AoO from the target's allies. But what if it's a Ninja with the Vanish trick or someone else that can turn invisible?

Does invisibility break the moment you start the CdG and then provoke AoO as normal?
Or does it break when you actually deliver the damage, and then wouldn't provoke AoO anymore?


I would rule that it doesn't go off until you hit the enemy. Unless the opponent can see your invisible self focusing they wouldn't be able to do anything about until it's too late.


My visceral reaction is you would become visible and subject to an AoO before the coup de grace was completed. I can't however, find any definitive rules on the subject.

If you were using a full round action to make multiple attacks the first is while your invisible and rest follow while you're de-cloaked. That would seem to suggest full round actions don't stealth you the whole time.

However, all other attacks, spells, and what not (all standard actions) that would cause you to become visible, happen before you've become visible.

I'd have to say by the time you become visible it would be too late for your hapless victim.

Dark Archive

You become visible after you make your attack roll. So unless the guys threatening the square the invisible guy is in has a way to see him, there'd be no AoO provoked.


Just a heads up: It's a standard to wake someone up from Slumber hex.

Silver Crusade

Marthian wrote:
Just a heads up: It's a standard to wake someone up from Slumber hex.

That standard action must be an action specifically made to wake the victim; you can't 'accidentally' wake someone up beyond wounding them, and by the time the CdG has 'wounded' them then it's too late to wake up to avoid being helpless.

I'm not sure if you meant that or not. : )


Dust Raven wrote:
You become visible after you make your attack roll. So unless the guys threatening the square the invisible guy is in has a way to see him, there'd be no AoO provoked.

This is the correct answer.


I would rule that you become visible when you roll damage. While there is no attack ROLL, I think we can all agree that CdG is an attack. Magic missile, has no attack roll, would break invisibility also.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

So, the question is, if invisibility ends before, or after, the AoO provoked by making a Coup de Grace?

Am I right?


Well there's basicly three possibilities that I see:

a) Invisible till damage dealt, then it's too late and no AoO happens.
b) Invisible till you start and AoO provoked normally
c) like a) except you still provoke AoO

c) seems unlikely as AoO usually happen before the act that provokes it.
a) seems to be what most here think (and me too) and it seems to be most in line with normal attacks too (where the first attack is fully resolved while invisible)

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

Well, since an AoO comes before the action that provoked it, you would still be invisible when you provoked.


Invisibility won't break until the weapon is in the victim's throat / skull /etc. You won't have a chance to save your buddy in this situation. Suck it up, and pay for the Raise Dead.

Dark Archive

Complications!

Noticing you suddenly vanished from sight, the adjacent buddy of the slumbering foe has readied his action to strike into any adjacent square you suddenly reappear in.

Technically, your readied action happens just before the action which triggers it, which makes no sense at all but is RAW, and would then allow the buddy to attack the once invisible assassin before the CdG attempt. Should the assassin, surviving the readied attack, wishes to proceed with the CdG, which now provokes an AoO normally as he is now visible.

Or... because you don't actually become visible until after the CdG (or other attack or offensive action) is resolved, nothing is actually interrupted and there is still no chance for an AoO.

I'm currently in favor of the second option here, as I think you don't become visible until after the action which ends the invisibility is completely resolved.

Is there anything which clarifies this?


Quote:
If the subject attacks directly, however, it immediately becomes visible along with all its gear.

Its magic and magic knows your intention to attack someone. So you become visible immediately before your attack and due to this fact you provoke an AoO.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber
Eridan wrote:
Quote:
If the subject attacks directly, however, it immediately becomes visible along with all its gear.

Its magic and magic knows your intention to attack someone. So you become visible immediately before your attack and due to this fact you provoke an AoO.

No. Even with a normal attack, you become visible after it happens.

Not before.


mh okay .. i was wrong. I need a weekend :)


StreamOfTheSky wrote:
Dust Raven wrote:
You become visible after you make your attack roll. So unless the guys threatening the square the invisible guy is in has a way to see him, there'd be no AoO provoked.
This is the correct answer.

It might be a correct answer but not to this question. Since when do you make an attack roll when using a coup de grace?

The Exchange

Could someone point me towards the rules text which states you become visible only after the first attack lands? I agree it makes sense, but the Invisibility spell says...

'... If the subject attacks directly, however, it immediately becomes visible along with all its gear...' (CRB Page 302)

That implies that the guy declares an attack and (as his player is reaching for the dice) he becomes visible. While not completely logical, it does follow the usual rules for AoO and Readied actions going off 'just before the action that triggered them', including interupting that action. If an unarmed guy punches you, you get an AoO between him declaring the punch, and him landing the punch. If the violence clause on invisibility works the same then you declare an attack, become visible, then land the attack. No?

Silver Crusade

No.

You are invisible before the attack, and visible after the attack.

Therefore, by the time the attacker is visible, the attack (CdG or otherwise) is already in the past.

When an opponent let's his guard down (by peforming a CdG, casting a spell, making a ranged attack, etc.) he provokes an AoO, allowing a threatening opponent to interrupt the provoking action. In the case of an invisible attacker, no-one is aware that he has let his guard down! Therefore no attack is provoked from opponents that are unaware of the provoking action!

If a threatening opponent can See Invisible, that person would be able to take an AoO!

The Exchange

Rules text to support that please?

Silver Crusade

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ProfPotts wrote:
Rules text to support that please?

Invisibility (the spell) wrote:-

'...The spell ends if the subject attacks any creature...'

In this case we cannot use 'when you make the attack roll' as the moment you turn visible, as there isn't a roll for CdG. We must use the damage/saving throw as the moment the attack is made.

In any case, the trigger for turning visible (more correctly, 'losing invisibility') is 'if the subject attacks any creature', not 'Just before the subject is going to attack', or intends to attack! The spell cannot read the subjects mind and turn itself off just before the attack! It happens on the attack. Which means that before the attack the subject is still invisible because he hasn't made an attack yet!


A rogue get to sneak attack while invisible because he is concealed(invisible) for the attack. If the rogue became visible before the attack was completed or before it even started he would not get sneak attack damage.

An even better example is that you lose dex against an invisible opponent. If the opponent became visible in time for anyone to react you would not lose dex.


An invisible attacker gets a +2 bonus on his attack roll (core rulebook, page 195). If you became visible before your attack roll, then you would not qualify for the +2 bonus on the attack, as you are no longer invisible when you make the attack roll.

The only way to get that +2 bonus is if your are still invisible while you are making the attack roll. So you have to become visible after the attack is made, not before.

The Exchange

Malachi Silverclaw wrote:
In any case, the trigger for turning visible (more correctly, 'losing invisibility') is 'if the subject attacks any creature', not 'Just before the subject is going to attack', or intends to attack!

Surely the same logic could apply to any AoO or Readied action?

Malachi Silverclaw wrote:
The spell cannot read the subjects mind and turn itself off just before the attack!

Where does it say that? It's magic... who knows what it can do or how it 'works'?

Malachi Silverclaw wrote:
It happens on the attack. Which means that before the attack the subject is still invisible because he hasn't made an attack yet!

The spell text says it happens immediately as soon as the character attacks. Nothing about the attack landing. If the guy misses completely, he still turns visible, yes? Even if he swung and hit only air?

wraithstrike wrote:

A rogue get to sneak attack while invisible because he is concealed(invisible) for the attack. If the rogue became visible before the attack was completed or before it even started he would not get sneak attack damage.

An even better example is that you lose dex against an invisible opponent. If the opponent became visible in time for anyone to react you would not lose dex.

Jeraa wrote:

An invisible attacker gets a +2 bonus on his attack roll (core rulebook, page 195). If you became visible before your attack roll, then you would not qualify for the +2 bonus on the attack, as you are no longer invisible when you make the attack roll.

The only way to get that +2 bonus is if your are still invisible while you are making the attack roll. So you have to become visible after the attack is made, not before.

Those are both closer to rules support, but in both cases the text just refers to invisible - which is a condition (page 567 to 568 of the CRB, which itself refers to pages 563 to 564). From the invisibility text you'll see that there's a lot of stuff about attacking when you're invisible, and how the people you just attacked have a hard time trying to find you. You can't assume, based on that, that the text under the invisibility spell is somehow incorrect and that when under the effects of that spell you remain invisible for the duration, no matter what.

There are lots of different ways to become invisible in this game. Some - like the level 2 spell and effects based on it - include the extra rule that you become immediately visible when you attack. Others, such as the greater invisibility spell don't have that text or even specify that you remain invisible when attacking.

Just because there are generic rules on handling invisibility in combat, that doesn't somehow invalidate the specific rules text of the spell or effect you're using to achieve invisibility.

I'm happy to concede that you can get one attack in before your invisibility fades if someone can just point me to the rules text which allows that. I'm sure such text must exist, as everyone up-thread seems to agree that's how it is, but the text for the invisibility spell doesn't appear to allow that. I'm honestly asking here - I'm a big fan of the old coup-de-grace!

Silver Crusade

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ProfPotts, if your honestly asking about how it works, why would you need to invent the concept of spells reading the minds of the subject of those spells?

As the spell says, 'if the subject attacks any creature', not 'Just before the subject is going to attack', or 'intends to attack', that is the point when the attacker loses his invisibility. So before that he's still invisible.

Would an invisible creature provoke with movement through a threatened area if the threatening creatures could not see him? No. Why? Because they are unaware that the invisible creature has provoked, because they can't see him.

Similarly, our invisible CdGer does not provoke from creatures that cannot see him as they remain unaware that he did anything to provoke. Therefore, they can't get an AoO while he's invisible, and the trigger that loses the invisibility is the CdG itself. At that point, although visible, the CdG is in the past.

Dark Archive

Some call me Tim wrote:
StreamOfTheSky wrote:
Dust Raven wrote:
You become visible after you make your attack roll. So unless the guys threatening the square the invisible guy is in has a way to see him, there'd be no AoO provoked.
This is the correct answer.
It might be a correct answer but not to this question. Since when do you make an attack roll when using a coup de grace?

At that same point you make an attack role when casting magic missile?

(best to pretend I said "attack action or offensive spell")


Ragnarok Aeon wrote:
I would rule that it doesn't go off until you hit the enemy. Unless the opponent can see your invisible self focusing they wouldn't be able to do anything about until it's too late.

I'd rule it the same way.

Dust Raven wrote:
Some call me Tim wrote:
StreamOfTheSky wrote:
Dust Raven wrote:
You become visible after you make your attack roll. So unless the guys threatening the square the invisible guy is in has a way to see him, there'd be no AoO provoked.
This is the correct answer.
It might be a correct answer but not to this question. Since when do you make an attack roll when using a coup de grace?

At that same point you make an attack role when casting magic missile?

(best to pretend I said "attack action or offensive spell")

Dust Raven's answer is most wise. The question itself was not.

Silver Crusade

I knew I'd seen it somewhere!

Total concealment wrote:-

'You can't execute an attack of opportunity against an opponent with total concealment, even if you know what square or squares the opponent occupies.'

Invisibility grants total concealment.

The Exchange

I'm not suggesting you can AoO an invisible guy you can't otherwise pin-point. That much is clear in the rules. What I'm questioning is when the 'non-violence' clause of the invisibility spell kicks in.

Again...

'... If the subject attacks directly, however, it immediately becomes visible along with all its gear...'

... So, you immediately become visible if you attack. It doesn't suggest 'immediately after you attack' or 'as soon as your first attack lands' or anything of the sort. As to the spell detecting your intent... well, we know it already does that, as you can attack unattended objects and not break the spell. If it's just reacting to the violence of your motions (or something) then the spell would fail whenever you attacked anything. If the spell can 'detect' or 'sense' what is an object and what is a 'creature' (and not even a 'living creature' since there's nothing to suggest that you can attack undead or construct creatures and expect to remain invisible) then why all the fuss about it detecting or sensing that you're making an attack against a 'prohibited' target in the first place. 'A wizard did it', yes?

So, unless this particular spell works differently from every other use of 'immediate' in the rules, RAW seems to state that you turn visible the moment you declare an attack. It seems weird, I know, but this sort of 'retroactive reaction' is the only reason AoO or Readied actions work at all in the first place. If you (for example) trigger an AoO by moving out of a threatened space, then the AoO goes off before you move... even if it prevents you from moving and you therefore would theoretically never have triggered the AoO in the first place. Yes, it's weird, but it's all wrapped up in the level of abstraction needed to make the rules work at all. More appropriately, if you trigger an AoO by attacking an armed guy when you're unarmed his AoO goes off before your attack - your attack is the trigger for the AoO, but your attack isn't defined as 'your attack landing', it's defined as 'you declaring your attack'. If he kills you then you never got to attack... so what triggered the AoO? It's paradoxical, but it's the way the rules work. Why would the non-violence clause in the invisibility spell work any differently?

Intent-wise, you have to wonder if the designers wanted a second level spell (or even first level spell now vanish is on the scene) to mimic a goodly part of a Feat like Slaying Sprint - which requires a BAB of +13 (amongst other things) - and allow characters to safely coup-de-grace their enemies even when their enemy's buddies are making the effort to guard the fallen guy? Maybe they did, I honestly don't know.

Silver Crusade

ProfPotts wrote:-

'...you immediately become visible if you attack. It doesn't suggest 'immediately after you attack' or 'as soon as your first attack lands' or anything of the sort.'

It doesn't suggest immediately before you attack either!

Like it or not, a spell does exactly what it says on the tin! You don't lose the invisibility before or after the attack, but:-

'...If the subject attacks directly, however, it immediately becomes visible along with all its gear...'

For an attack that requires an attack roll, such as an arrow, that entire attack from declaration of intent from player to DM through calculating the correct attack modifier, rolling the d20, working out whether you hit or miss, rolling damage, subtracting DR from the damage, to subtracting damage from current HPs, this entire process represents an instantaneous attack, in game terms.

Similarly, if you tell the DM that you are casting Magic Missile, then tell him who gets hit by how many missiles, rolling damage and subtracting damage from hit points, this whole process is instantaneous in game terms. Look at the duration of Magic Missile! Instantaneous!

You can also say to the DM that you are performing a coup de grace on an adjacent, helpless foe. You roll critical damage, subtract this damage from HPs and if it's still alive, require a fort save. Instantaneous.

The game actions consumed by the character are standard, standard and full-round respectively. But the effect of each action is instantaneous.

Which means that there is a period of time before the arrow/Magic Missile/CdG etc, and a period of time after the attack, but the attack itself does not have a duration.

Since the invisibility falls away at the instant of the attack, before the attack you are still invisible and provoke no AoO from anything that can't see you, and after the attack you're visible but the damage has been done!


Malachi is correct.
You are invisible when you attack. Since you are invisible at that point in time you can not provoke an AoO. If the argument is going to be made that you are visible before the attack is made then it also stands to reason that people can see you. If they can see you they are aware of you. If they are aware of you then you don't make them lose dex to AC, but as shown with the invisibility rules they do lose dex to AC, and not only that you get a +2 to attack. Either you are visible or you are not visible. Everything else is decided from that point.

edit: Mr.Potts do you have anything to support the rule of being visible and not gaining the benefits of invisibility changing between editions?


Since the spell says "causing harm indirectly is not an attack" I assume that you need to cause harm, which you have not done until the attack is resolved.

That brings up another question. Do you lose it if you miss?


After all, have you "attacked"? or tried to?

Dark Archive

As I understand it, you do still become visible even if the attack missed, or the target makes his save. You have still attacked, regardless of its success or failure.

The Exchange

Malachi Silverclaw wrote:
It doesn't suggest immediately before you attack either!

True... it's just that's the way it works everywhere else in the rules as far as this reactive stuff goes.

concerro wrote:
edit: Mr.Potts do you have anything to support the rule of being visible and not gaining the benefits of invisibility changing between editions?

Professor Potts - I didn't spend five years in evil medical school to... no, wait... wrong film... :)

To which other edition of Pathfinder are you refering? Or is this presumption that you remain invisible for one attack a hold over from 3.5? A quick check tells me that the wording of the invisibility spell in the old 3.5 Player's Handbook doesn't say anything about getting that one attack in first, and the Rules Compendium doesn't mention it either. Was there an old blog post or something?

Hopefully we can agree that...

a. If you attack, but miss, the invisibility spell fails.

b. If you target a room with a damaging area spell, and there's a foe inside that room, the invisibility spell fails, even if you didn't know that the foe was there.

c. If you attack what you think is an unattended object, but it turns out to be a creature (such as an animated statute), the invisibility spell fails.

... so we know that the results or even intent of the attack aren't what cause the invisibility spell to fail. The fact you're making an attack which breaches the spell's non-violence clause is.

The spell clearly states that you immediately become visible if you breach the non-violence clause. The question then becomes, at what point are you considered 'making an attack'? Everywhere else in the rules, it's at the point you declare the attack, not after it lands, or after it misses. Why would this spell be the one exception to that way of doing things?

So...

Player: I punch the armed guard.

GM: do you have Improved Unarmed Strike, or anything similar?

Player: nope, I just punch him.

GM: okay... no, put down that d20 - the guard gets an AoO first.

... that's how it works: the unarmed attack triggered the AoO, but before the die is even rolled for that attack, the AoO gets to go off.

I can't see any reason why the invisibility spell works any differently...

Player: I walk over with my invisibility spell up and attack the guy.

GM: you're now visible. Okay, roll that d20 to attack.

... It's the same basic principle. It's what 'immediate' generally means in the context of the rules.

Silver Crusade

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As I mentioned, the entire attack process, from 'declaration' to 'loss of hit points', while taking some time at the gaming table, is instantaneous in-game.

An unarmed attacker (without IUS) provokes an AoO from an armed attacker. This AoO occurs before the attack that provoked it.

But, the reason actions like this (spellcasting, moving, ranged attacks, etc:) provoke at all is not the action itself, it's the letting down of your guard caused by concentrating on the action you're about to perform, instead of paying attention to the dangers around you.

Attacks of Opportunity wrote:-

'Sometimes a combatant in a melee lets her guard down or takes a reckless action. In this case, combatants near her can take advantage of her lapse in defense to attack her for free. These free attacks are called attacks of opportunity. See the Attacks of Opportunity diagram for an example of how they work.'

This 'lapse' occurs before the action you're going to take, and the AoO also occurs before that reckless action. This is why the AoO rules are timed as they are.

Since this 'lapse' occurs before the actual attack is executed, an invisible character is still invisible at that point.

The Invisibility spell wrote:-

'...If the subject attacks directly, however, it immediately becomes visible along with all its gear...'

When the AoO occurs, it occurs before the attack that provoked it! Therefore the provoking attack has not yet occurred, by definition!

But before the attack the invisible character is invisible, he only loses the invisibility immediately when he attacks. Thus, when an AoO would take place, the subject is still invisible and therefore does not provoke!

The Exchange

Quote:
As I mentioned, the entire attack process, from 'declaration' to 'loss of hit points', while taking some time at the gaming table, is instantaneous in-game.

It's not really instantaneous, it's abstracted - there's a difference, and the difference lets stuff like AoO work. If an attack was in fact instantaneous, then you'd not have any time to 'let your guard down' so that the other guy can get an AoO in. So either attacks are instantaneous or they're not - saying they are in one part of the rules, but they're not in another doesn't seem consistent... well, to me in any case.

Silver Crusade

ProfPotts wrote:
Quote:
As I mentioned, the entire attack process, from 'declaration' to 'loss of hit points', while taking some time at the gaming table, is instantaneous in-game.
It's not really instantaneous, it's abstracted - there's a difference, and the difference lets stuff like AoO work. If an attack was in fact instantaneous, then you'd not have any time to 'let your guard down' so that the other guy can get an AoO in. So either attacks are instantaneous or they're not - saying they are in one part of the rules, but they're not in another doesn't seem consistent... well, to me in any case.

It's undeniable that, if an AoO takes place, that the AoO occurs and is completely resolved before the Provoking action takes place!

In this case, any AoO would take place before the CdG, at a time when the subject is still invisible. Thus, no AoO!

The Exchange

Quote:

It's undeniable that, if an AoO takes place, that the AoO occurs and is completely resolved before the Provoking action takes place!

In this case, any AoO would take place before the CdG, at a time when the subject is still invisible. Thus, no AoO!

LOL! Nice one!

But that's still applying one rule to one, one rule to the other. Multiple interuptions to one's actions occur elsewhere in the rules too, and can be confusing, but the sequence really should be:

1. Invisible guy declares attack.
2. Invisibility spell immediately fails.
3. GM checks to see if anything else has been triggered - spots the potenial for an enemy AoO.
4. Enemy makes AoO
5. Formerly-invisible guy's attack gets to go ahead (barring further interuptions to the turn sequence).

Just imagine if 'immediate' didn't interupt stuff in the game system. What use would a feather fall spell be if it didn't interupt your fall before you hit the floor? Emergency Force Sphere wouldn't be game-breaking! Just imagine that! ;)


ProfPotts wrote:


3.5 Player's Handbook doesn't say anything about getting that one attack in first, and the Rules Compendium doesn't mention it either. Was there an old blog post or something?

Rules of the game articles for 3.5 does. Rules of the Game is the same as our FAQ blogs for PF.

Rules of the game wrote:


Perhaps the most common form of total concealment is the invisibility spell. A regular invisibility effect is broken when you attack. If you begin your turn under such an effect and you're making multiple attacks, you'll be invisible only for the first attack and your opponent will be denied Dexterity bonus to Armor Class (if any) against that first attack.

Note that you are invisible for the first attack.

Silver Crusade

ProfPotts, you started by saying that you genuinely want the correct answer. I understand the concept of playing Devil's advocate to get closer to the truth, but you have gone way beyond that! At the moment you're having the spell go back in time!

What allows AoOs is the letting down of your guard in order to concentrate on performing a reckless action. This lapse takes place before the AoO that it provoked. The lapse cannot have occurred after the attack it provokes!

If the AoO takes place, by RAW, it takes place after the lapse and before the original provoking action occurs.

Let's guard down--->AoO--->cast spell/CdG/ranged attack/whatever

This is the sequence of events. In our case, the subject is invisible before the CdG and visible after. At the point where the subject let's down his guard he is invisible therefore does not provoke from creatures unable to see him.

The above sequence of events is the RAW for AoOs in PF, 3.0 and 3.5. You asked for rules support; here it is.

If you look at it objectively, here is the answer you seek. In order for it to work as you suggest, the sequence of events would have to be:-

Invisibility falls away->let's guard down->AoO->CdG

According to the Invisibilty spell, the subject loses the invisibility immediately he attacks. If the wording was 'declares an attack' or 'intends to attack' it would work differently.

If the sequence was:-

Let's guard down-> invisibility falls away

Then the invisibility would be there when the guard was let down, so there would be no AoO. I don't know why you wish it said 'when the subject intends to make an attack', but it just doesn't.

Dark Archive

ProfPotts wrote:
Quote:

It's undeniable that, if an AoO takes place, that the AoO occurs and is completely resolved before the Provoking action takes place!

In this case, any AoO would take place before the CdG, at a time when the subject is still invisible. Thus, no AoO!

LOL! Nice one!

But that's still applying one rule to one, one rule to the other. Multiple interuptions to one's actions occur elsewhere in the rules too, and can be confusing, but the sequence really should be:

1. Invisible guy declares attack.
2. Invisibility spell immediately fails.
3. GM checks to see if anything else has been triggered - spots the potenial for an enemy AoO.
4. Enemy makes AoO
5. Formerly-invisible guy's attack gets to go ahead (barring further interuptions to the turn sequence).

Just imagine if 'immediate' didn't interupt stuff in the game system. What use would a feather fall spell be if it didn't interupt your fall before you hit the floor? Emergency Force Sphere wouldn't be game-breaking! Just imagine that! ;)

Alternate scenario:

1. Invisible rogue declares attack.
2. Invisibility spells immediately fails.
3. GM checks to see if anything else has been triggers - spots that target is not denied his DEX bonus to AC against a visible target.
4. Rogue makes his attack against the target's full AC, and may not add his Sneak Attack damage.

I'm reasonably certain most of us would agree this is just not the case. Ever. The invisible rogue would get to make his attack vs the target's AC sans DEX bonus and apply his Sneak Attack damage. Why? Because he doesn't actually turn visible until after the attack is resolved.

The same rules apply to performing an action which provokes an AoO and drops invisibility. The invisibility drops after the action is resolved, and since it's resolved, there is no option for the AoO to take place prior to that action.

Another scenario:

1. Invisible guy declares attack.
2. Invisibility spell immediately fails.
3. GM checks to see if anything else has been triggered - spots the potenial for an enemy AoO.
4. Enemy makes AoO, deals enough damage to drop the previously invisible attacker.
5. Previously invisible attack then never became visible, because he never actually attacked.
6. Enemy cannot make an AoO against the invisible target (has full concealment).
7. Invisible guy, not actually killed by the AoO, may continue with his attack.
8. Invisible spell immediately fails.
9. GM checks to see if anything else has been triggers - spots the potential for an enemy AoO.
10. Rocks fall, everyone dies.

The Exchange

@concerro: thanks - I imagine that's where this is all coming from. It'd be nice if it was written up in PF, but since they didn't change the wording on the spell itself, I generally think it's easiest to go with whatever was adjudicated back in the day being correct (unless the PF guys come up with something different, natch).

Malachi Silverclaw wrote:
ProfPotts, you started by saying that you genuinely want the correct answer. I understand the concept of playing Devil's advocate to get closer to the truth, but you have gone way beyond that! At the moment you're having the spell go back in time!

No more so than any AoO.

It's the same with Dust Raven's 'infinite loop' example - that example applies equally to an AoO when you drop the guy before he gets to do the triggering action. It's not about going back in time, it's about the abstraction of time within the system. Attacks and actions are not 'instantaneous' by any stretch of the imagination, and that's why things like AoO work. In the case of an Invisibility spell and a coup-de-grace the guy doing the coup-de-grace is taking his full 6 second turn to do it - plenty of time for the spell to fail, the enemy standing next to him to notice that he's standing there, both hands way back over his head ready to execute the enemy's buddy lying KOd on the floor, and make his own attempt to stab the formerly-invisible dude before he does so. No time travel required.

But there's no real reason to assume that the grandfather rule concerro kindly found doesn't still stand, so more power to the coup-de-grace! :)


Actually, there is no reason to assume that rule still exists/stands in PFRPG. There are many rules with the same wording as they have in 3.5 that no longer work like they did. Just go through the forum archives from when the PFRPG was put out. While being compatible with 3.5, you cannot use that game to be the basis of a rules call in this one (as has been shown numerous times before).

RAW, invibility drops when you take a harmful action against another creature. A CdG is a full round action which includes an 'special' type of attack on a creature. Mechanically the game doesn't say at the end of this action, make an attack. The whole action is the attack. Due to the wording, as it stands in the CRB, your invisibility would drop when you start the full round action of a CdG.

Dark Archive

Skylancer4 wrote:
RAW, invibility drops when you take a harmful action against another creature. A CdG is a full round action which includes an 'special' type of attack on a creature. Mechanically the game doesn't say at the end of this action, make an attack. The whole action is the attack. Due to the wording, as it stands in the CRB, your invisibility would drop when you start the full round action of a CdG.

I don't believe the way RAW is worded leads to that conclusion. There is simply no way to apply "immediately" to an action that is not instantaneous. To me, the only way to interpret "immediately" is to begin any immediate event immediately after the action which triggers it, and immediately prior to any other actions. To have it occur at any other time defies logic and causality.


Dust Raven wrote:
Skylancer4 wrote:
RAW, invibility drops when you take a harmful action against another creature. A CdG is a full round action which includes an 'special' type of attack on a creature. Mechanically the game doesn't say at the end of this action, make an attack. The whole action is the attack. Due to the wording, as it stands in the CRB, your invisibility would drop when you start the full round action of a CdG.
I don't believe the way RAW is worded leads to that conclusion. There is simply no way to apply "immediately" to an action that is not instantaneous. To me, the only way to interpret "immediately" is to begin any immediate event immediately after the action which triggers it, and immediately prior to any other actions. To have it occur at any other time defies logic and causality.

How does it not? The entire action is a long drawn out attack. The type of action which is specifically explained and called out to break the invisibility spell.

The game, mechanically doesn't split up or detail that the attack resolution breaks the spell, just the type of action that breaks the spell. Mechanically, as far as the spell is concerned, it doesn't matter if it is the attack is a full round multiple attack action, a single standard action attack, an AoO, or swift action attack. The intent/harmful outcome of the action, regardless of action cost, is what breaks the spell effect. Immediately is exactly that, immediate. Once you choose to make a harmful action, regardless of duration or action cost, the spell effect is broken. Your choice to commiting such an action is what breaks the spell effect, resolution is irrelevant.


This made me think about a related issue.

Does a Rogue get a Sneak Attack once he attacks from Invisibility, even if said attack breaks the Invisibility effect?

The Exchange Contributor, RPG Superstar 2010 Top 16

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ProfPotts wrote:


'... If the subject attacks directly, however, it immediately becomes visible along with all its gear...'

... So, you immediately become visible if you attack. It doesn't suggest 'immediately after you attack' or 'as soon as your first attack lands' or anything of the sort.

You become visible after the action, it is a triggered thing. Otherwise there is too much ridiculousness, for example: "I ready an action: If he appears next to me, I 5 foot step away and cast wall of fire on his space"

Suddenly invisibility is nearly worthless?

The Exchange Contributor, RPG Superstar 2010 Top 16

Skylancer4 wrote:
RAW, invibility drops when you take a harmful action against another creature. A CdG is a full round action which includes an 'special' type of attack on a creature. Mechanically the game doesn't say at the end of this action, make an attack. The whole action is the attack. Due to the wording, as it stands in the CRB, your invisibility would drop when you start the full round action of a CdG.

This is true, save you cannot interrupt the action. It is a problem with causation. If you prevent him from doing the harmful act, then he would never become visible.


Skylancer4 wrote:

Actually, there is no reason to assume that rule still exists/stands in PFRPG. There are many rules with the same wording as they have in 3.5 that no longer work like they did. Just go through the forum archives from when the PFRPG was put out. While being compatible with 3.5, you cannot use that game to be the basis of a rules call in this one (as has been shown numerous times before).

RAW, invibility drops when you take a harmful action against another creature. A CdG is a full round action which includes an 'special' type of attack on a creature. Mechanically the game doesn't say at the end of this action, make an attack. The whole action is the attack. Due to the wording, as it stands in the CRB, your invisibility would drop when you start the full round action of a CdG.

What is the percentage of rules work the same with the same wording vs those that don't?

Better yet could you list examples?

I doubt there are many.

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