Escaping giant creatures (aka Not being a giant creature snack.)


Rules Questions


In the past few sessions a party member has been swallowed and killed by giant monsters that like to grapple and eat their prey. Both times the pc 'snack' gets eaten and usually can't do the dmg required to escape (or has a light weapon). The party healer cannot heal them as there is no line of sight and Channel Energy is a burst (won't go through obstructions). The party's level is 7-8ish at the moment.

Dimension door does not work as there is no line of sight. Unless I'm reading that wrong? The only sure fire way I can think of to not to get swallowed (often because the CMB/CMD of giant monsters is ridiculously high)is to always cast an Enlarge spell on melee characters before a fight.

Can you think of any magic items/spells that would save a character that's been swallowed? I know there is an Armor enchantment that can be added which causes monster nausea...yuck...but the Fortitude save is DC 14ish? It seems any giant creature would laugh at that kind of Fort DC. Items that can turn people ethereal or use teleportation, seems to high for the current party level as well. I was just curious if anyone had any ideas as this situation seems to keep happening to this group. :)


Freedom of Movement is your go-to spell, making you immune to grapple, which AFAIK always precedes swallow whole.

If you are low level... buy a shortsword for a few gold. Any martial character should be able to cut their way out. I can't imagine why not.

Grease is the low-level adventurer's Freedom of Movement, making it very hard to grapple you for 1m/level.


You have no excuse if you never had the foresight to purchase a light slashing weapon. A dagger costs 2gp. The bellies of most monsters are not that heavily armored (mine being an exception, of course - even my eyeballs are armored).

Unless the swallowed victim is very near death, the damage he takes in a creature's belly is usually not too terrible, and the damage he can do to cut free is usually not a whole lot.

My favorite solution? Carry a potion of Gaseous Form. It's only 750gp, far less expensive than a Raise Dead.


Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Rulebook Subscriber
DM_Blake wrote:


My favorite solution? Carry a potion of Gaseous Form. It's only 750gp, far less expensive than a Raise Dead.

Somehow I know the story of the "Fighter who Became a Fart" will echo through the ages with my group.


shiiktan wrote:
DM_Blake wrote:


My favorite solution? Carry a potion of Gaseous Form. It's only 750gp, far less expensive than a Raise Dead.
Somehow I know the story of the "Fighter who Became a Fart" will echo through the ages with my group.

X D

Ahahahahahaha!


LOL, that's pretty funny, but I think the path back up through the mouth is the shorter route. And almost certainly less obstructed, unless the big thing that swallowed you has a bad case of dysentery...

So I see it as the monster suddenly looking like an extra in Cheech & Chong's movie Up In Smoke, blowing a cloud of smoke out through its mouth and nose, smoke that curiously takes the form of your fighter before it solidifies and resumes attacking the monster.


DM_Blake wrote:

smoke that curiously takes the form of your fighter before it solidifies and resumes attacking the monster.

Or rather, before it hides in the corner and hopes the rest of the party can finish the monster. Gaseous form lasts 2 minutes/level, so 10 minutes for a minimum level version, and you can't voluntarily end the effect if it's a potion.

Just ask the dragon we fed one to a couple of campaigns ago (oh wait, you can't, he didn't last very long after losing all his natural armour).


Thrund wrote:
DM_Blake wrote:

smoke that curiously takes the form of your fighter before it solidifies and resumes attacking the monster.

Or rather, before it hides in the corner and hopes the rest of the party can finish the monster. Gaseous form lasts 2 minutes/level, so 10 minutes for a minimum level version, and you can't voluntarily end the effect if it's a potion.

Just ask the dragon we fed one to a couple of campaigns ago (oh wait, you can't, he didn't last very long after losing all his natural armour).

Are you sure that's RAW?

The potion's creator makes decisions, such as, if he brews a Potion of Energy Resistance, he must decide which type of energy. But the drinker is both the target and the caster and the CRB says "though the potion indicates the caster level, the drinker still controls the effect".

I would say that this allows the drinker to end any dispellable effect.

Is there a clarification or errata I've missed?


DM_Blake wrote:
My favorite solution? Carry a potion of Gaseous Form. It's only 750gp, far less expensive than a Raise Dead.

Love to see where that actually helps the character escape or stops the acid damage. Some sphincters might be called cracks by the crass, but they are quite airtight.

http://paizo.com/pathfinderRPG/prd/spells/gaseousForm.html#_gaseous-form

DR10 / magic just slows down the inevitable.


Good point. Wouldn't work.


Thank you everyone for the ideas. I thought gaseous form would work, but your right there are issues there. It seems Freedom of Movement is the way to go if there are enough 4th lvl spells to go around. I'm thinking Enlarge Person is a bit easier for those with less spell power. I 'think' most of those type of creatures can't eat things unless they are two size categories smaller? That might be a 3.5 thing. Grease is also a great one (ty awp832 I never noticed it) is a good +10 bonus to grapple CMD, which still may not be enough to beat some of these crazy giant grapple DC's but I'm sure it would help.

On a related note, would Shield-Other work to split dmg on someone swallowed? Would Line of Effect be an issue with that?


How are these guys not cutting themselves free? I thought the swallow whole mechanics to be quite viciously nerfed since I last looked.

A swallowed creature can try to cut its way free with any light slashing or piercing weapon (the amount of cutting damage required to get free is equal to 1/10 the creature’s total hit points), or it can just try to escape the grapple. The Armor Class of the interior of a creature that swallows whole is normally 10 + 1/2 its natural armor bonus, with no modifiers for size or Dexterity.

If you get eaten by something with 100 hp you can cut yourself free by dealing a massive 10! damage.


Quote:
If a creature with this special attack begins its turn with an opponent grappled in its mouth (see Grab), it can attempt a new combat maneuver check (as though attempting to pin the opponent). If it succeeds, it swallows its prey, and the opponent takes bite damage. Unless otherwise noted, the opponent can be up to one size category Smaller than the swallowing creature. Being swallowed causes a creature to take damage each round. The amount and type of damage varies and is given in the creature’s statistics. A swallowed creature keeps the grappled condition, while the creature that did the swallowing does not. A swallowed creature can try to cut its way free with any light slashing or piercing weapon (the amount of cutting damage required to get free is equal to 1/10 the creature’s total hit points), or it can just try to escape the grapple. The Armor Class of the interior of a creature that swallows whole is normally 10 + 1/2 its natural armor bonus, with no modifiers for size or Dexterity. If a swallowed creature cuts its way out, the swallowing creature cannot use swallow whole again until the damage is healed. If the swallowed creature escapes the grapple, success puts it back in the attacker’s mouth, where it may be bitten or swallowed again.

Fortunately, getting out is usually not terribly difficult. If you can't manage 1/10 of their hit points when swinging against worse than their flat-footed AC, that must be some creature eating you, or you're the party Knowledge monkey who should have stayed out of the front lines.


They really ought to add things like acid and force damage to the list of things you can blast your way out with. Discuss such things with your players, as the rules are never exhaustive about these things.

...Oh, wow. What if you cast gust of wind? O_O


How many cases does this happen when the person inside using their light weapon attacks (or Su abilities or Grapple Concentration-passable Spells/SLAs) can't manage to do 10% of HP damage faster than the ongoing damage for being Swallowed Whole, and/or that damage combined with the rest of the party can't simply kill the creature faster than the ongoing Swallowed Whole damage kills the victim? Most of those cases where those aren't true seem like the PCs have no business fighting this monster to begin with, independent of somebody being Swallowed Whole. I just don't see how this is much worse than one PC being stuck in a Black Tentacles spell. Being entangled or stuck in melee with a brutal Full Attacker who can prevent Casting Defensively with Defensive and/or Continuous Damage, etc, seems worse to me. Or any Aquatic Grappler that can move the victim underwater and on the opposite side/without Line of Sight to allies.


blahpers wrote:
They really ought to add things like acid and force damage to the list of things you can blast your way out with. Discuss such things with your players, as the rules are never exhaustive about these things.

There's no reason you can't use other attack forms, they don't deal with the special 10% cutting out mechanic, but they contribute towards the goal of killing the creature with 100% of HP damage, which is really the goal in the end anyways. Once the creature's dead, the swallow victim can get out one way or another. Once the creature is dead it has no CMD, so 'escaping from the grapple' is automatic at that point.


A remorhaz could eat the party wizard or oracle before he ever has a chance to cut his way out, if they don't have fire resistance or a really high Con score. You can reasonably fight one of those as a boss with a 4th level party.


I think the real problem is not dying before you can cut your way out. I once had a character with a really high escape artist die to the bite and chewing damage before I even got to act.

Low levels suck.


Thank you all for the responses. As FranaticRat mentioned it was dmg taken for the most part I believe. The reason for the problem was dmg taken before the 'ingestion' and then the constriction. The bite/grapple added on and then two rounds of internal constriction dmg and that was that. The pc didn't have the appropriate weapon...and I vaguely remember the creature having DR or perhaps the character just rolled very low dmg to escape. It should be noted yes, other characters did have the right weapons and escaped alive with little issue the same combat. I was just curious what items/spells would be beneficial to a swallowed character.


DM_Blake wrote:
Are you sure that's RAW?

Not as sure as I was, actually. The dragon encounter was an unusual circumstance since it hadn't expected the effect, so the DM ruled that it had to make a concentration check (which it couldn't pass due to all the damage it was taking). So I guess his reading was that under normal circumstances the drinker would be able to dismiss the effect. I've never had to rule on it as a DM myself.

The Exchange

Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

i believe you are considered the caster of a potion for things like dismissing it.

from pfsrd
Potions are like spells cast upon the imbiber. The character taking the potion doesn't get to make any decisions about the effect—the caster who brewed the potion has already done so. The drinker of a potion is both the effective target and the caster of the effect (though the potion indicates the caster level, the drinker still controls the effect).

anyway, being eaten is usually better than being full attacked grapples and constricted. in other situations either being full bab and high strength to escape or dex based with maxed escape artist and skill focus helps - but doesn't guarantee an escape.

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