Defeating Siren


Rules Questions and Gameplay Discussion


So we're are having some difficulty figuring something out. A specific example is the Siren Monster.

To defeat the Siren it shows that it requires a Wisdom 8 check.

Is this, or is this not, a combat check?

If it is not a combat check then I would be lead to believe that you could play Blessing Of Shelyn (add 2 dice to a noncombat Wisdom check)to modify that check. Is this accurate?

If it is a combat check then I would be lead to believe that you could use any number of checks to defeat it. Such as a normal strength or melee check that every character can default to, or a lightning tough spell. Is this accurate?

I do know that this question was asked before, sorry for the repeat but I was hoping to get a better answer this time. The last post focused on only one of two questions.

Thanks.


I've been playing that it was not a combat check, since it does not say combat, just check to defeat wisdom. I never considered what it meant to the Blessing of Shelyn, good call. Looking forward to hearing a ruling. The same would apply with the Satyr and blessing of Calistria.

Liberty's Edge

I thought tall checks to defeat monsters were Combat checks. So this would be Combat and you can't use the Blessing of Shelyn. You can't use Stenght or Melee. I don't see why you couldn't use spell, or at least Divene spells like Inflict.
If it's not a Combat and you fail, what kind of damage do you take?


Both the Siren and the Satyr say they deal Mental damage. The rule book states:

If you fail a check to defeat a monster it deals damage to you. Subtract your check results from the difficulty, choose that number of cards from your hand, and discard them.

It does mention Combat check or damage. Most armors and shields (maybe all, didn't look through them) state that they effect Combat damage. So, I am leaning towards this isn't a Combat check. It's an encounter but not all encounters are combat.

To put into traditional gaming terms, it seems to be more of a save. To avoid the Siren's song you make a Will Save and that defeats it. The Satyr seems similar.


Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Maps, Pathfinder Accessories, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Starfinder Superscriber

On page 11 - Take damage, if Necessary is says "If you fail a check to defeat a monster, it deals damage to you."

So I dont think it matters in that regard if it's a combat check or not - if you fail, you take damage.


You can not play spells or weapons, since these are not combat checks.


A Wisdom Combat check... check out Holy Light. On my previous post that I tried to get this answered Mike cleared up that a check that is for a specialty skill (divine based on wisdom, etc.) can be modified by a card/power that affects the base skill. So the Blessing of Shelyn can modify a Divine check that is based on Wisdom (as opposed to based on Charisma, see Lem). But, the Blessing could not modify a check using Holy Light because that is a Combat check.


Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Maps, Pathfinder Accessories, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Starfinder Superscriber
J Scot Shady wrote:
A Wisdom Combat check... check out Holy Light. On my previous post that I tried to get this answered Mike cleared up that a check that is for a specialty skill (divine based on wisdom, etc.) can be modified by a card/power that affects the base skill. So the Blessing of Shelyn can modify a Divine check that is based on Wisdom (as opposed to based on Charisma, see Lem). But, the Blessing could not modify a check using Holy Light because that is a Combat check.

Ah, thanks.

That would lead me to think this isnt a combat check then. Thus Shelyn's blessing would be usable.


Steve Geddes wrote:
J Scot Shady wrote:
If it is a combat check then I would be lead to believe that you could use any number of checks to defeat it. Such as a normal strength or melee check that every character can default to, or a lightning tough spell. Is this accurate?

The wording of Shelyn's blessing suggests that there is such a thing as a combat wisdom check and I think situations like the Siren are what is being referred to.

I dont see why that would mean you can use something else like strength or melee.

I mention that you could use Strength or Melee because that is the default any character can use on a Combat check. It states:

Most Monsters can be defeated with a combat check. Weapons and many other cards that can be used during combat generally tell you what skill to use when making a combat check; if you don't play such a card, use your Strength or Melee skill.


Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Maps, Pathfinder Accessories, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Starfinder Superscriber
J Scot Shady wrote:
Steve Geddes wrote:
J Scot Shady wrote:
If it is a combat check then I would be lead to believe that you could use any number of checks to defeat it. Such as a normal strength or melee check that every character can default to, or a lightning tough spell. Is this accurate?

The wording of Shelyn's blessing suggests that there is such a thing as a combat wisdom check and I think situations like the Siren are what is being referred to.

I dont see why that would mean you can use something else like strength or melee.

I mention that you could use Strength or Melee because that is the default any character can use on a Combat check. It states:

Most Monsters can be defeated with a combat check. Weapons and many other cards that can be used during combat generally tell you what skill to use when making a combat check; if you don't play such a card, use your Strength or Melee skill.

Cheers. I've changed my mind now (and hence deleted most of my posts :p).

I think it's not a combat check. You still take damage if you fail (irreducible damage, as per the card), you can't use cards which affect combat checks and you can use Shelyn's blessing as this is a noncombat wisdom check.


Thanks, I appreciate the feedback. I'm still waiting for something official with this but digging into it and talking it out with you guys is making me feel more confident in my opinion.


Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Maps, Pathfinder Accessories, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Starfinder Superscriber

Yeah, sorry for the prevarication. I find it useful to hear others' thinking on the rules. Sometimes I'll be over-focussing on one bit and neglecting another, quite straightforward section clarifying my uncertainty. :/

Hopefully Vic or Mike will clarify at some point.


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NOt that you really need any further input. But, I really think of this as a Wisdom Check...NOT Combat Check. If I had a card that would modify a Wisdom check, I would use it. I think of the Siren as trying to influence your mind...not fight you, per se. So, If you can mentally fight back, you win. So, weapons, armor, etc. do not apply. Reinforcing the thought of it not being a combat check.


The Ghost has two checks , one is combat 12 and the other is Wisdom 8. That just confirms to me that the wisdom check to defeat it is not not considered combat, since there is also a combat check on the card.

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

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If the check you're making doesn't say Combat above the number, it's not a combat check.

And it's monsters, not combat, that trigger damage. So you can make a noncombat check against a monster and still take damage, or you could (potentially) have a combat check against a nonmonster that doesn't result in damage.


Vic Wertz wrote:
And it's monsters, not combat, that triggers damage. So you can make a noncombat check against a monster and still take damage, or you could (potentially) have a combat check against a nonmonster that doesn't result in damage.

I think this is likely the best clarification of the whole thread. Thank you. This makes the thought process clear and the logic easy to understand.


Ogee wrote:
Vic Wertz wrote:
And it's monsters, not combat, that triggers damage. So you can make a noncombat check against a monster and still take damage, or you could (potentially) have a combat check against a nonmonster that doesn't result in damage.
I think this is likely the best clarification of the whole thread. Thank you. This makes the thought process clear and the logic easy to understand.

Agreed. Thanks everyone.


Vic,

You say that it is monsters, not combat, that triggers damage. So if you make a non-combat check against a monster and fail, does that result in combat damage or just regular damage?

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

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It's only Combat damage if you're making a Combat check, or if the monster specifically tells you that it deals Combat damage. All of the monsters that require checks other than Combat checks specifically tell you what type of damage they deal; in the case of the Siren, it's Mental damage. So things that reduce Combat damage do not help with the Siren—only things that reduce Mental damage (or "all" damage).


Great, thank you Vic.

Liberty's Edge

Vic Wertz wrote:
It's only Combat damage if you're making a Combat check, or if the monster specifically tells you that it deals Combat damage. All of the monsters that require checks other than Combat checks specifically tell you what type of damage they deal; in the case of the Siren, it's Mental damage. So things that reduce Combat damage do not help with the Siren—only things that reduce Mental damage (or "all" damage).

Doesit mean that you can Banish an Armor to reduce the Mental damage to 0, even though it says kn the card that damage cannot be reduced?


What about this scenario specifically, I believe the Enchantress does "before the encounter" damage and "after the encounter" damage.

I'm assuming that I can reveal a shield of fire resistance to prevent "before the encounter" damage and then go on to use a 2-handed weapon during the combat check. Going further, I assume I can use the same shield on "after the encounter" damage. Clearly, I can't use the shield on damage I take as a result of being short on the combat check since I used a 2 handed weapon on the combat check.

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

No—the damage from the Siren explicitly says it cannot be reduced. (My example was more for the sake of discussion—if it didn't have that phrase, that's what you'd need to do.)


Is "Combat" a mutually exclusive damage type? Or can you have damage that has both the "Combat" and "Fire" traits?

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

Damage can have more than one trait, yes. (I don't recall whether there's anything in the set that actually *does* that with Combat damage off the top of my head...)


Siren is still the scariest monster in the game and we are in deck 5. My brother didn't want to remove it even though it is a bane with the elite trait because it is so challenging.

Scarab Sages

Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber

Siren is only challenging for some of the characters. Kyra and Lini have no problem with it. Scouting ahead can also be a powerful tool to reduce the "difficulty" of this monster and others simply by matching the monster to the character best suited to it.

Sovereign Court

Jirikki wrote:
Siren is still the scariest monster in the game and we are in deck 5. My brother didn't want to remove it even though it is a bane with the elite trait because it is so challenging.

My brother felt the same way. So I pointed to where the AP card says that only removing boons is optional, not banes, and said NO NO NO NO NO. Sirens can all burn in Pathfinder bell.


Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber

Especially those new ones am I right? D: Stupid water sirens.


Just to follow up on the details and implications of the word "Combat":

This is what I understand from the thread so far:
* If the check to defeat a monster says "Combat" it is a combat check.
* If the check doesn't say "Combat" it is not a combat check.
* Damage from failing a check that says "Combat" is combat damage.
* Damage from failing a check that does not say "Combat" is not combat damage.

This leaves me with two questions:

First:

Am I right in the following belief?:

If the check to defeat a monster says "Combat" you must use either the Melee skill (which defaults to Strength), or the Ranged skill (which defaults to Dexterity), unless a card (such as a spell) specifically allows you to use some other skill (such as Arcane or Divine).

Second:

The Blessing of Shelyn talks about a "non-Combat Wisdom checks": Doesn't this imply that there are Combat Wisdom Checks, for which the Blessing of Shelyn would provide only ONE extra die? If so, what would be an example of such a Wisdom Check (that would allow the player to use a Blessing of Shelyn to roll only one extra die)?

Thanks!


Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber

Not quite.

Bill Racicot wrote:

* If the check to defeat a monster says "Combat" it is a combat check.

* If the check doesn't say "Combat" it is not a combat check.

You are correct on those two points.

Bill Racicot wrote:

* Damage from failing a check that says "Combat" is combat damage.

* Damage from failing a check that does not say "Combat" is not combat damage.

This is where you are a bit off. If you fail a check to defeat a Monster, regardless of what kind of check it is, you take Combat damage (unless the monster's power changes that to some other kind of damage).

S&S Rulebook p13 wrote:
Take Damage, If Necessary. If you fail a check to defeat a monster, it deals an amount of damage to you equal to the difference between the difficulty to defeat the monster and your check result. Unless the card specifies otherwise, this damage is Combat damage.

You don't take damage for failing to defeat a barrier, even if the barrier required a combat check (there are some later ones that do.) Of course, the powers on the barrier might say that you take Damage, but is isn't just the difference of what you rolled and the difficulty of the check.

Bill Racicot wrote:

First:

Am I right in the following belief?:

If the check to defeat a monster says "Combat" you must use either the Melee skill (which defaults to Strength), or the Ranged skill (which defaults to Dexterity), unless a card (such as a spell) specifically allows you to use some other skill (such as Arcane or Divine).

If you have to make a combat check, you can use Strength, Melee, or play a card or use a power that says "For your combat check..." That is it. So you can't used Ranged unless you have a card that says "For your combat check, reveal this card to use your Dexterity or Ranged skill..."

S&S Rulebook p12 wrote:
Most monsters and some barriers call for a combat check. Weapons and many other cards that can be used during combat generally tell you what skill to use when you attempt a combat check; if you aren’t playing one of those cards, you must use your Strength or Melee skill.
Bill Racicot wrote:

Second:

The Blessing of Shelyn talks about a "non-Combat Wisdom checks": Doesn't this imply that there are Combat Wisdom Checks, for which the Blessing of Shelyn would provide only ONE extra die? If so, what would be an example of such a Wisdom Check (that would allow the player to use a Blessing of Shelyn to roll only one extra die)?

Kyra or Oloch playing Inflict are making a Combat Wisdom check. They are using their Divine skill, which references their Wisdom skill and Inflict defines a Combat check.


Thanks!


Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber

I think we were deep into our second playthrough of RoRL before we realized not every check to defeat a monster is a Combat check. We kind of figured that beating a Siren was "combat" Wisdom, so we couldn't use a Sage to help out, not realize that "combat" Wisdom is something like Inflict or Holy Light. This is especially confusing because a monster with a Wisdom check to defeat still deals Combat -damage- unless it says otherwise (like Sirens). So Combat damage doesn't necessarily result from a Combat check, but it's the default result from a failed check to defeat a monster.

Sovereign Court

One more correction Racicot. Skills don't "default" to anything. If a skill is listed on your card, then that tells you what it is. If it is not on your card, it's a d4, period. If you don't have Melee on your card and you choose to use it, you don't get your Strength in any way, shape, or form. However, it can still sometimes be a good choice if you have cards that only affect Melee checks and not Strength.


Andrew K wrote:
One more correction Racicot. Skills don't "default" to anything. If a skill is listed on your card, then that tells you what it is. If it is not on your card, it's a d4, period. If you don't have Melee on your card and you choose to use it, you don't get your Strength in any way, shape, or form. However, it can still sometimes be a good choice if you have cards that only affect Melee checks and not Strength.

Oh yeah - this is an important safety tip - thanks for the clarification!!!


Vic Wertz wrote:
It's only Combat damage if you're making a Combat check, or if the monster specifically tells you that it deals Combat damage. All of the monsters that require checks other than Combat checks specifically tell you what type of damage they deal; in the case of the Siren, it's Mental damage. So things that reduce Combat damage do not help with the Siren—only things that reduce Mental damage (or "all" damage).

Whalebone Pick's second check? What sort of damage?


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Troymk1 wrote:
Vic Wertz wrote:
It's only Combat damage if you're making a Combat check, or if the monster specifically tells you that it deals Combat damage. All of the monsters that require checks other than Combat checks specifically tell you what type of damage they deal; in the case of the Siren, it's Mental damage. So things that reduce Combat damage do not help with the Siren—only things that reduce Mental damage (or "all" damage).
Whalebone Pick's second check? What sort of damage?

Vic made a mistake.

See Hawkmoon's quote above from the rules book.

Damage from failing monster checks is Combat unless specified.


Thank you

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