Panicked, panicked, and cowering.

Rules Questions

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1 person marked this as FAQ candidate.

Just trying to clear up some of my confusion on this. The PRD (what I have access to here at work) has 2 definitions for panicked both in the glossary.

the first one (call it panick(1)) is under fear and states:

Panicked: Characters who are panicked are shaken, and they run away from the source of their fear as quickly as they can, dropping whatever they are holding. Other than running away from the source, their paths are random. They flee from all other dangers that confront them rather than facing those dangers. Once they are out of sight (or hearing) of any source of danger, they can act as they want. Panicked characters cower if they are prevented from fleeing.

So the panicked character would:

  • drop what they where holding
  • try to run away from the source of the fear on a random path.
  • if unable to do either of the above they would then cower.

    The second panicked is with the general descriptions for the conditions in the glossary. We will call it panicked(2) and here is what it says:


    Panicked: A panicked creature must drop anything it holds and flee at top speed from the source of its fear, as well as any other dangers it encounters, along a random path. It can't take any other actions. In addition, the creature takes a –2 penalty on all saving throws, skill checks, and ability checks. If cornered, a panicked creature cowers and does not attack, typically using the total defense action in combat. A panicked creature can use special abilities, including spells, to flee; indeed, the creature must use such means if they are the only way to escape.

    Panicked is a more extreme state of fear than shaken or frightened.

    So, this version does the following:

  • drop anything being held
  • flee from the source of fear on a random path
  • take a -2 penalty on all saving throws, skill checks, and ability checks
  • if it cannot flee, it cowers, but can take the total defense action
  • must use any special abilities to flee that it can.

    So, it cowers, but does not, since cower states (from the same section) that they can take no actions, lose -2 AC and dex bonus, see below:

    Cowering: The character is frozen in fear and can take no actions. A cowering character takes a –2 penalty to Armor Class and loses his Dexterity bonus (if any).

    So a character who is cowering from panicked(2), some how can get a higher AC then one who is cowering from panicked(1) and take actions that cowering does not allow?

    Am I missing something here?

  • #1 misses the additional penalties of being Shaken.

    Dark Archive

    VRMH wrote:
    #1 misses the additional penalties of being Shaken.

    but panicked(2) still offers better defense (being able to go "total defense") even if it is against what cowering states. (specific overrides general).

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