flat footed during first round?


Rules Questions

151 to 200 of 227 << first < prev | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | next > last >>

Googleshng wrote:
blue_the_wolf wrote:
i think its silly when person A and person B are standing 50 feet apart swords in hand cursing each other's lineage. And At some point they take actual hostile action and initiatives are rolled.

You are confusing hostile actions with violent actions. When they first see each other, before they've started shouting, when someone first gets the inclination to grab for a sword, or call someone out, honestly, in a lot of realistic in-game situations, when they first so much as see each other, that is when you're supposed to be rolling initiative.

I diagramed out pretty much every possible permutation of this at the bottom of the previous page for situations that aren't kill on sight.

I Think he is in almost perfect aggrement with you. And i Think you are both wrong;)

Lantern Lodge

In real life, where do you draw the line between flat footed and not flat footed?

I personally have it at the "stance" moment. If your in a stance, your able to react to things. If your just standing there, shouting at each other, with no stance, then the first blow is against a flat footed opponent. If both of you are in a stance, (even if not a martial arts stance, but a stance that you've learned to be in to avoid harm or inflict hurt), then no flat footedness.

People know stances for being prone, so trip is still okay. And this explains how the staggering effect of the 7 branched sword can make you flat footed.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Googleshng wrote:
blue_the_wolf wrote:
i think its silly when person A and person B are standing 50 feet apart swords in hand cursing each other's lineage. And At some point they take actual hostile action and initiatives are rolled.

You are confusing hostile actions with violent actions. When they first see each other, before they've started shouting, when someone first gets the inclination to grab for a sword, or call someone out, honestly, in a lot of realistic in-game situations, when they first so much as see each other, that is when you're supposed to be rolling initiative.

I diagramed out pretty much every possible permutation of this at the bottom of the previous page for situations that aren't kill on sight.

Not sure where your going with that so let's draw it out a bit. Are you saying that as the party is walking through the Forrest and come across another party we should roll initiative immediately and then do any diplomacy or conversation in turns?

That seems to imply that after one round of conversation we have all "taken an action" and we are the not flat footed.

This is the kind of thing that is short handed into.... You come across another party, you notice each other and after a Brie exchange of words roll initiatives.

In that short hand scenario no one would be flat footed as we simply condensed the prior example of diplomacy be rounds. Since MOST interactions are closer to that than true suprise dont you think that not being flat footed should be the norm with special rules to cover unusual situations like the ambush.

EDit... I hate typing on iPad


2 people marked this as a favorite.

For everyone saying initiative rolls need to be done sooner:

the core book states "1. When combat begins, all combatants roll initiative." (except in the case of a surprise round)

If I am to assume this also means non-violent combat, then why are there no other rules for non-violent combat? To me this means initiative is rolled once a combat action occurs; NOT during the chit-chat that leads up to it, because that is not combat. In other words, combat isn't combat until someone decides to attacks; THEN initiative is rolled.

(I'm not trying to distract from my original post; I'm just saying, combat doesn't start till combat starts. So even if you rolled initiative or readied and action ((Which I didn't think you could do outside of combat, I might be wrong...)) before combat, you need to re-roll once combat does actually start. Meaning you could be flat-footed ((The reason for me original post)).)

Edit: @blue_the_wolf: It is insanely hard to post with any non-computer device. My phone? threw it across the room one time cause of frustration at posting here.


thomas gock wrote:

For everyone saying initiative rolls need to be done sooner:

the core book states "1. When combat begins, all combatants roll initiative." (except in the case of a surprise round)

If I am to assume this also means non-violent combat, then why are there no other rules for non-violent combat? To me this means initiative is rolled once a combat action occurs; NOT during the chit-chat that leads up to it, because that is not combat. In other words, combat isn't combat until someone decides to attacks; THEN initiative is rolled.

(I'm not trying to distract from my original post; I'm just saying, combat doesn't start till combat starts. So even if you rolled initiative or readied and action ((Which I didn't think you could do outside of combat, I might be wrong...)) before combat, you need to re-roll once combat does actually start. Meaning you could be flat-footed ((The reason for me original post)).)

Edit: @blue_the_wolf: It is insanely hard to post with any non-computer device. My phone? threw it across the room one time cause of frustration at posting here.

What part of the rulebook defines combat as being only attack actions? It says when combat starts - but doesn't define strictly what combat is. The 'rules' for non-violent combat are all the skill checks in a chase scene. The social skills in a heated discussion. The disable device as the thief tries to pick the lock before the guardsman who spotted him from the other side of the courtyard reaches him.

These are not often run round by round because doing so becomes tedious, not because it couldn't be done. "Okay Bob, your turn to talk, you have 25 words you can use in your 6 second turn..."

Defining it strictly as a violent action actually occurring is IMO to narrow and literal reading of the words.

You asked in your original post why players who have not acted are flat footed, and have stated you do not feel this makes sense. We've explained a method of using the rules in a way that it makes sense and now you 'complain you don't like the answer'? The guidelines you've been given here about when combat actually starts would solve your complaints about it not making sense to be flat footed in some situations. I'm not sure what to tell you at this point if you want to simply reject those ideas... I mean why ask to begin with if you aren't open to listening to other viewpoints?

Silver Crusade

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Moondragon Starshadow wrote:
HAN SHOT! GREEDO DIDN'T!

Fixed that for you.


The book doesn't need to define it. English defines what combat is.


thomas gock wrote:
The book doesn't need to define it. English defines what combat is.

Yes it does. And one of those definitions is:

"Combat: a fight, struggle, or controversy, as between two persons, teams, or ideas"

It comes from the Latin combattere, com- ("come together") and -battere ("to fight"). The idea that the word indicates only physical alteractions, even in standard English, is incorrect.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

I'm not sure what point Xara and Bbang are making.

It sounds like they are saying that in game your essentially ALWAYS in combat when combat is a possibility and thus have essentially always acted, and thus the flat footed in the first round rule is meaningless except in those specific situations where one side was completely unaware that any form of combat was about to beggin, aka a suprise round.

Thank you for your excelent explanation of the OP position.


blue_the_wolf wrote:
Googleshng wrote:
blue_the_wolf wrote:
i think its silly when person A and person B are standing 50 feet apart swords in hand cursing each other's lineage. And At some point they take actual hostile action and initiatives are rolled.

You are confusing hostile actions with violent actions. When they first see each other, before they've started shouting, when someone first gets the inclination to grab for a sword, or call someone out, honestly, in a lot of realistic in-game situations, when they first so much as see each other, that is when you're supposed to be rolling initiative.

I diagramed out pretty much every possible permutation of this at the bottom of the previous page for situations that aren't kill on sight.

Not sure where your going with that so let's draw it out a bit. Are you saying that as the party is walking through the Forrest and come across another party we should roll initiative immediately and then do any diplomacy or conversation in turns?

That seems to imply that after one round of conversation we have all "taken an action" and we are the not flat footed.

This is the kind of thing that is short handed into.... You come across another party, you notice each other and after a Brie exchange of words roll initiatives.

In that short hand scenario no one would be flat footed as we simply condensed the prior example of diplomacy be rounds. Since MOST interactions are closer to that than true suprise dont you think that not being flat footed should be the norm with special rules to cover unusual situations like the ambush.

EDit... I hate typing on iPad

I already gave a lot of examples here, but basically, it all comes down to the moment anyone involved reaches the conclusion that a fight is going to be happening.

90% of the time, this is pretty straightforward. The party comes around a corner, there's an owlbear just chilling out. Everyone in the party goes "Yikes, an owlbear!" The owlbear goes "Yikes, a party!" and everyone just starts drawing weapons and prepping spells and rearing up etc. etc. and whoever's reflexes are the sharpest is probably going to get a quick hit in on an opponent who isn't prepared for it yet. Nobody really seems to have an issue here.

Cases where someone manages to full on get the drop on someone else and we go into a surprise round also seem pretty straightforward here.

The odd corner cases this thread seems to be dealing with are when you have a sudden shift from standing around talking to trying to hack each other to bits. More specifically, what really had the ball rolling here was someone's example where character A just out of the blue decides character B needs to die, and then character B wins the init roll and lands a hit on a somehow flatfooted character A.

The disconnect there is that the person putting it forth isn't calling for the init roll until character A is standing there, right on top of character B, sword in hand. Something went wrong there. If A is sneaking up, there's a surprise round here, so A goes first no matter what. If A is being totally unsubtle about the whole thing, A shouldn't be walking over to attack until getting a turn to do so.

Coming back to your examples, you're talking about two very different things. If you're standing around making diplomacy rolls, trying to talk things out, and a fight breaks out anyway, then yeah, everyone starts that off flatfooted. In your first example though, you described people as having "swords in hand cursing each other's lineage." Those people are all clearly on the same page that a fight is happening. They've drawn they're weapons, they're spending actions on intimidation attempts from the sound of it, the way you describe it some might even have readied actions.

Really, what everything comes down to is the moment someone's hand moves to their hilt (literally or figuratively). Sometimes you get the attack on sight mentality, sometimes you have a pleasant chat first, but at some point in the process, someone has decided they're going to take someone else down, and if that person sees it coming, i.e. they are not surprised, because hey, that guy suddenly has murder in his eyes and a hand moving for a sword, who ever is quicker is going to get the drop on the other while they're still drawing their weapon, surveying threats, and finding their footing.

And, more importantly, backtracking to when exactly that moment would logically have come because we're dealing with a lot of abstraction and the realization probably didn't come at the actual gaming table until one of the player's is staring at a d20 and asking for something's AC.


blue_the_wolf wrote:

I'm not sure what point Xara and Bbang are making.

It sounds like they are saying that in game your essentially ALWAYS in combat when combat is a possibility and thus have essentially always acted, and thus the flat footed in the first round rule is meaningless except in those specific situations where one side was completely unaware that any form of combat was about to beggin, aka a suprise round.

Thank you for your excelent explanation of the OP position.

Any time that an NPC or a PC would reasonably believe that they might need to fight, you'd roll initiative. It doesn't mean that you are going to take a hostile act - only that you feel like active combat might break out.

Actually, one of the better ways to handle it IMO is to let your players call out when they want an initiative check. I'll do it if I feel one of the NPCs would suspect that the situation is getting hostile, but if one of the players says, "Y'know what, my character probably feels like things are getting a little tense and someone might draw a knife; can we roll initiative?" then it's initiative time. Someone might talk the situation down, at which point we drop out of initiative rounds.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Quote:
90% of the time, this is pretty straightforward. The party comes around a corner, there's an owlbear just chilling out. Everyone in the party goes "Yikes, an owlbear!" The owlbear goes "Yikes, a party!" and everyone just starts drawing weapons and prepping spells and rearing up etc. etc. and whoever's reflexes are the sharpest is probably going to get a quick hit in on an opponent who isn't prepared for it yet. Nobody really seems to have an issue here.

Actually we do have an issue here.

That 90% of the time is exactly the point.

One side of the argument seems to see it your way that when you come around that corner there is an instantaneous decision on both sides to kill each other and without preamble combat begins and the looser of the initiative is twiddling his thumbs while the other guy attacks.

The other side believes that when you come around that corner there is a moment of assessment and recognition of the threat. The owl bear roars menacingly, the party takes a fighting stance any options for diplomacy or conflict avoidance are weighed THEN combat begins.

On this side of the debate we believe that becoming aware of the enemy, taking a battle stance or instinctively reacting to a know threat, constitutes being NOT flat footed.

Again, Xara makes the point precisely

Quote:
any time a PC or NPC believes they may need to fight you'd initiative

Meaning that the sides recognize the possibility of combat and prepare themselves even if they dont immediately start swinging. That preparation constituted not being flat footed.

Most people simply shorthand this and dont bother rolling initiative until actual attacks are being made thus the oddity of the flat footed rule, it does not mesh with the situation the vast majority of the time.

Thus being flat footed at the start of combat should be the special case exception and not the general rule.

Grand Lodge

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
FrodoOf9Fingers wrote:

In real life, where do you draw the line between flat footed and not flat footed?

In real life, combat is not turn based.

Lantern Lodge

Hehehe, true that.

But I do believe that pathfinder does it's best to model real life. To simply just toss out ideas form real life because it's not the game, then thats dumb logic :P

The question still stands. In real life, what makes a man flat footed?

And to continue it's logic: Should pathfinder take that stance?


Being flat footed is being unable to defend yourself because you are unaware or unable to respond to the danger.
Most people can instinctively react to a thrat. They move they duck they raise their arm, they are not flat footed.

The game also assumes that some classes are particularly deft at taking advantage of distraction.... Like when your paying attention to the axe being swung at your head from the other side. They simulate this by considering you flat footed.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
blue_the_wolf wrote:


Most people can instinctively react to a thrat. They move they duck they raise their arm, they are not flat footed.

I beg to differ. A reaction as subtle as raising an arm does not constitute someone being ready for combat. Sorry, you aren't in a combat stance, you aren't completely ready for combat, and you are still flat footed.

By your understanding a random guy playing a pickup soccer game as a goalie and an IT professional working in their cubicle have the same chances of reacting to a ball kicked at them.

That's a hell of an argument.

Grand Lodge

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
blue_the_wolf wrote:

Being flat footed is being unable to defend yourself because you are unaware or unable to respond to the danger.

Most people can instinctively react to a thrat. They move they duck they raise their arm, they are not flat footed.

You've heard the expression about deer staring into the headlights of the car that's running them down? It happens to people under extreme threat as well.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
blue_the_wolf wrote:

Being flat footed is being unable to defend yourself because you are unaware or unable to respond quickly enough to the danger.

My own words inserted to correctly state what flat footed is, IMO.

blue_the_wolf wrote:

Like when your paying attention to the axe being swung at your head from the other side. They simulate this by considering you flat footed.

This isn't accurate. Flanking is not making your opponent flat footed, or treating them as such, though it does grant SA damage. Flanking is a flat +2 bonus to hit. Flat footed could mean anything from +0 to +20 or more depending on the dodge component of an opponents AC.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Not to mention the owlbear argument is terribly flawed.

At no point in this example was either side allowed a skill check to determine awareness. Which is something I integrate into all of my combats.

When I GM, every single combat is preceded by some type of check to determine awareness. If those checks fail then everyone is flat footed and no surprise round occurs. If only one side succeeds then it's up to them how they want to react to what they know. This might end up in a surprise round, or it might not. If both sides succeed, then there is no surprise round and we are back to rolling initiative.

Perhaps I'm not playing the rules right out of the book. I don't roll initiative before I determine awareness. I determine awareness before initiative. Maybe that's why I don't mind the rule and others dislike them.

Now that I take a closer look at the combat steps, they are terribly out of order. It makes no sense whatsoever to determine awareness AFTER initiative.

This is how I run combat and for me it works more organically:
1: Determine awareness
2: Roll initiative: those aware get a surprise round
3: First round of combat, everyone goes
4: Wash Rinse Repeat


thomas gock wrote:
So the person who initiates combat by saying they're attacking isn't ready for combat just because they rolled low on their initiative?

Just because you're the first one to DECIDE attack doesn't automatically make you ready for what happens next. If there was no surprise, in essence whoever go the highest initiative was ready for whatever happens next, and is able to act quicker.

In cinematic terms, this would be like two gunslingers squaring off in the town center; one decides to shoot, his eye twitches just a bit, the other sees the twitch and manages to draw faster and shoot the first unaware, even though the first gunman was the one to decide to fire first.


BornofHate wrote:
blue_the_wolf wrote:


Most people can instinctively react to a thrat. They move they duck they raise their arm, they are not flat footed.

I beg to differ. A reaction as subtle as raising an arm does not constitute someone being ready for combat. Sorry, you aren't in a combat stance, you aren't completely ready for combat, and you are still flat footed.

By your understanding a random guy playing a pickup soccer game as a goalie and an IT professional working in their cubicle have the same chances of reacting to a ball kicked at them.

That's a hell of an argument.

STAWMAN!

actually your completely misrepresenting my point. I am working from the assumption that both sides of the conflict are experianced in combat. thus they are not IT nerds compared to experts or dears in the headlights. that raised arm likely has a shield and if I give 3 examples (duck, dodge, or raise an arm) please don't evade the point by focusing on a weak argument about raising an arm while ignoring duck and dodge.

the point being most people are going to have some form of reaction to threat and an experienced combatant will likely react in a way that is not ignorant. meaning he will likely not be "flat footed"


bbangerter wrote:
blue_the_wolf wrote:

Being flat footed is being unable to defend yourself because you are unaware or unable to respond quickly enough to the danger.

My own words inserted to correctly state what flat footed is, IMO.

sorry I was quoting using my iPad and regular quote was not working.

blue_the_wolf wrote:

Like when your paying attention to the axe being swung at your head from the other side. They simulate this by considering you flat footed.

This isn't accurate. Flanking is not making your opponent flat footed, or treating them as such, though it does grant SA damage. Flanking is a flat +2 bonus to hit. Flat footed could mean anything from +0 to +20 or more depending on the dodge component of an opponents AC.

Please note my whole point

Quote:
The game also assumes that some classes are particularly deft at taking advantage of distraction.... Like when your paying attention to the axe being swung at your head from the other side. They simulate this by considering you flat footed.

having said that I was making the mistake of confusing flanked and getting sneak attack damage with flat footed and getting sneak attack damage.

lets not get distracted with that because its not relevant to the OP which is being flat footed at the start of combat.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
blue_the_wolf wrote:
BornofHate wrote:
blue_the_wolf wrote:


Most people can instinctively react to a thrat. They move they duck they raise their arm, they are not flat footed.

I beg to differ. A reaction as subtle as raising an arm does not constitute someone being ready for combat. Sorry, you aren't in a combat stance, you aren't completely ready for combat, and you are still flat footed.

By your understanding a random guy playing a pickup soccer game as a goalie and an IT professional working in their cubicle have the same chances of reacting to a ball kicked at them.

That's a hell of an argument.

STAWMAN!

actually your completely misrepresenting my point. I am working from the assumption that both sides of the conflict are experianced in combat. thus they are not IT nerds compared to experts or dears in the headlights. that raised arm likely has a shield and if I give 3 examples (duck, dodge, or raise an arm) please don't evade the point by focusing on a weak argument about raising an arm while ignoring duck and dodge.

the point being most people are going to have some form of reaction to threat and an experienced combatant will likely react in a way that is not ignorant. meaning he will likely not be "flat footed"

Please proofread your comments. I have no idea what you are saying.

From what it gather, you are stomping your feet.


BornofHate wrote:

Not to mention the owlbear argument is terribly flawed.

At no point in this example was either side allowed a skill check to determine awareness. Which is something I integrate into all of my combats.

When I GM, every single combat is preceded by some type of check to determine awareness. If those checks fail then everyone is flat footed and no surprise round occurs. If only one side succeeds then it's up to them how they want to react to what they know. This might end up in a surprise round, or it might not. If both sides succeed, then there is no surprise round and we are back to rolling initiative.

Perhaps I'm not playing the rules right out of the book. I don't roll initiative before I determine awareness. I determine awareness before initiative. Maybe that's why I don't mind the rule and others dislike them.

Now that I take a closer look at the combat steps, they are terribly out of order. It makes no sense whatsoever to determine awareness AFTER initiative.

This is how I run combat and for me it works more organically:
1: Determine awareness
2: Roll initiative: those aware get a surprise round
3: First round of combat, everyone goes
4: Wash Rinse Repeat

It sounds to me that your issue is more one of not agreeing with the way the beginning of combat is ran. you want a more nuanced procedure for determining who sees who and how they react to it.

This discussion assumes that we agree on everything about the start of combat EXCEPT the issue of being flat footed in the first round simply for loosing the initiative.


deep breath.

my point:

Quote:
Most people can instinctively react to a thrat. They move they duck they raise their arm, they are not flat footed.

my point being that most people are going to react to a threat and an experienced combatant is going to react to a threat in an experienced way.

Your counter:

Quote:
A reaction as subtle as raising an arm does not constitute someone being ready for combat. Sorry, you aren't in a combat stance, you aren't completely ready for combat, and you are still flat footed.

You took ONE of my THREE examples, made an unreasonable assumption, and attempt to counter the whole point.

you completely ignored the concept being presented which is that people are going to defend themselves unless completely surprised which is simulated by a surprise round. not opposed initiatives which by their very nature imply that the two sides are aware of each other and reacting. else it would not be an OPPOSED check.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Sure.

And my point is that if you allowed things OTHER than initiative to determine flat footedness (I.e. Awareness before combat) then your argument, and dissatisfaction with the rules, will lose steam.

I call shenanigans on any combat not preceded by the potential to be aware of it. If my character fails in possessing that potential, then yes I should be flat footed in the first round of combat.

The increase in a characters ability to see combat coming is derived from skills not initiative.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Clearly there are many people that are unhappy with their characters being flat footed in the first round of combat. They rightly believe that a trained combatant should be able to increase his or her ability to react to a situation.

I get it.

I've presented a clear option that works for everyone I have ever played with in my 20 years of gaming. Based on the continued conversation, I understand this option is not for everyone. So I have to ask: If you don't like your character being flat footed before acting in combat, how do you plan to fix it so you are happy?


personally I house rule it and ultimately believe the standard rule should be...

simply remove the flatfooted for loosing initiative as a general rule.

You can apply flat footed to special situations like suprise rounds or special cases defined by the GM but one should not be flat footed as a general rule.

(i personally add a special caveat allowing sneak attack classes to treat an enemy that has not acted in the first round as flat footed, but I only do that to make stealth characters not feel nerfed.)


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

In your game, under what condition are characters flat footed?


1 person marked this as a favorite.
blue_the_wolf wrote:
Most people can instinctively react to a thrat. They move they duck they raise their arm, they are not flat footed.
Blue - you seem to making the same point as Remy was:
Remy Blaster wrote:
Being flatfooted means NO DEX. That is the equivalent of being UNABLE to move your hands whatsoever because either you cannot, or you are unaware of the slap coming.

This is not the case. "No Dex" would be a Dex of 0 with a -5 modifier. *That* is "being unable to move".

Flatfooted simply means a Dex modifier of 0. Fully half the humans on Golarion have the exactly same AC when flat-footed as when not - they raise their arms instinctively, not adeptly, like someone with a Dex of 10 can.

Sovereign Court RPG Superstar 2011 Top 32

Majuba wrote:
blue_the_wolf wrote:
Most people can instinctively react to a thrat. They move they duck they raise their arm, they are not flat footed.
Blue - you seem to making the same point as Remy was:
Remy Blaster wrote:
Being flatfooted means NO DEX. That is the equivalent of being UNABLE to move your hands whatsoever because either you cannot, or you are unaware of the slap coming.

This is not the case. "No Dex" would be a Dex of 0 with a -5 modifier. *That* is "being unable to move".

Flatfooted simply means a Dex modifier of 0. Fully half the humans on Golarion have the exactly same AC when flat-footed as when not - they raise their arms instinctively, not adeptly, like someone with a Dex of 10 can.

This this this. Flat-footed does not mean "standing there motionless like a lump." It means "slightly off your game defense wise," and maybe not even that if you don't have any Dex-based AC bonuses. This seems to be a fundamental disconnect between the two sides here - a flat-footed combatant can react to attacks, just not well.

Honestly IMO being actually surprised isn't harsh enough. If you want realism flat-footed should be what you get when you are aware of a threat but not quite physically "ready," i.e., they attacked faster than you thought they would. Surprised you should be completely screwed - I've played many years of boffer LARPs and I've seen people attacked by surprise that literally stood there like lumps for 1-2 seconds before their mind even caught up to what was going on. Now these guys are much more like the IT guy from the example above but the point is it very much can happen to real people to freeze up.


so... it sounds like a surprise round and being ff until you act simulates that pretty well.


I dissagre Ryric and Majuba

if that were the case then does that mean the rogue can sneak attack any one who has a dex bonus of 0 or less?

no. flat footed (i.e., denied dex bonus) is a mechanic to simulate not being able to "properly defend oneself"

the question is, does loosing the initiative in general mean that your not able to "properly defend yourself" regardless of how you envision the inability to properly defend yourself the question is this.

does not going first universally mean that your not able to properly defend yourself.

I personally don't think it does and I think that in order to make that assumption you have to imagine special cases where the victim is not aware or startled or distracted or otherwise unable to properly defend themselves. But those are special cases while in the normal state of things people are generally aware of the danger and able to properly defend themselves.

I don't think the simple status of "didn't swing first" automatically results in "not able to properly defend yourself."

thus the standard rule should not make that assumption.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
ryric wrote:
...Now these guys are much more like the IT guy from the example above

I'm gonna have the IT community banging my door down. In my defense I never said the IT guy wasn't the goalie in the pickup game.

:P


I think a better example might be a soccer goalie standing on the field during the game versus the same soccer goalie sitting at his computer surfing the internet. His reaction time to a soccer ball flying at his head is going to be far slower in the second instance, even though he's highly skilled at intercepting said soccer balls.

ETA: And before anyone starts talking about "Stealth" and "Surprise", assume his buddy with the soccer ball is in the room talking to him with the ball in his hand before he launches it at it him. He's aware that the ball is there, and there is a possibility it might come his way, but he's still going to react slower than if he's standing in front of the goal.


blue_the_wolf wrote:
if that were the case then does that mean the rogue can sneak attack any one who has a dex bonus of 0 or less?

No, because someone with a DEX of 10 or 11 is not being denied their DEX to AC. They're simply adding +0; if someone casts Cat's Grace on them, then that person is now adding +2.

There's a fundamental mechanical difference between having a +0 bonus from DEX and being denied your DEX bonus to AC (which in turn is actually a component of, but not the same condition as, flat-footed).

[edit]
I see the reason for your complaint, Blue, but I believe that what Ryric and Majuba meant is what I've said.

[edit2]

BornofHate wrote:

I'm gonna have the IT community banging my door down. In my defense I never said the IT guy wasn't the goalie in the pickup game.

:P

As an overweight member of the IT community, I forgive you. ;)


basically your saying the only possibility is total preparedness (goal kick) and total unpreparedness (guy sitting at the computer when his friend randomly dings him in the head.

what about the in-between which constitutes basically everything else.

Try this.... in your next game. at the start of combat imagine the situation and think to yourself the following.

"In this situation does it make sense that the looser of the initiative be considered unable to properly defend himself?"

keep tabs on the answers and at the end tell me which wins out the situations where it makes more sense that a trained combatant be able to defend themselves or the situations where it makes more sense that a trained combatant be unable to defend themselves.

Its my belief that being able to defend themselves will win out.


Either you are able to move quickly enough to defend yourself, or you're not. If you lose initiative, you're not moving quickly enough to defend yourself until your first action comes up.

From a standpoint of reality, it might not always make sense, but the fact is that the combat system is already rough simulation that sacrifices a lot of realism for the sake of simpler functionality. I'm fine with that, so no - it wouldn't matter if I sat at a hundred games really, because I don't see that it's a massive problem in the rules system. If I did, I would have already house-ruled it and moved on.

If you're arguing that what you're presenting is RAW, you're wrong, indisputably. If you're arguing that the RAW should be changed, to be honest I don't see that the system is really that problematic, especially when applied properly (which again is not "roll initiative after people have already all drawn their weapons and are obvoiusly going to attack each other".)


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
blue_the_wolf wrote:


basically your saying the only possibility is total preparedness (goal kick) and total unpreparedness (guy sitting at the computer when his friend randomly dings him in the head.

what about the in-between which constitutes basically everything else.

SKILL CHECKS.

In fact, I challenge you to come up with a scenario that warrants a surprise round, which could not have been changed or altered by a skill check.


No, I'm just saying that a person highly trained at a particular task isn't going to be at 100% readiness 24/7, which is what some people seem to be arguing for.

Being "on guard" for long periods of time is incredibly stressful and does bad things to people's health, both physical and mental.

Even when people are geared up for a fight, it's possible for someone faster than them to hit them before they expect it. I've seen it happen in LARPS, I've seen it happen in martial arts and I've seen it happen in bar fights. Both sides are ready to throw down, but one person still looks shocked as they get clobbered.

Granted, in none of those situations was anyone involved a professional soldier, but in Pathfinder we're generally talking about professional combatants (or at least monsters or predators) on both sides. Which puts both on equal footing again.

As others have pointed out, the easiest way to avoid the "Everybody has their weapons out and is ready to go, why is anyone flatfooted?" if it sticks in your craw so badly is to simply roll initiative as soon as someone goes to draw a weapon/spell component/whatever but don't actually start combat until someone actually goes to attack.


I will say, that I don't like the way the current rules model being flat-footed, where someone with naturally better reflexes (higher dex) is penalized more than someone who is naturally slower. I think something like 4Es "Combat Advantage" granting a +2 bonus is fairer, if overly simplified.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

SIDENOTE:

Kalshane wrote:
I will say, that I don't like the way the current rules model being flat-footed, where someone with naturally better reflexes (higher dex) is penalized more than someone who is naturally slower.

To reduce that disparity try using a different die. A D20 has amazing fluctuation. A d12 or d10 might change the law of averages enough for ya.

The Exchange

I think it's ridiculous for a character that decides to attack another to be totally unprepared to defend himself for the better part of 6 seconds just because he lost the initiative roll. He's ready for a fight since he just declared to the DM he's attacking.

Just like I think it's ridiculous for someone who just saw his opponent vanish in mid-combat because he drank a potion to stand still, totally defenseless and unprepared to defend himself for as long as the invisible guy wants before attacking. You know he's there. You know the blow is coming. But you just stand there, slack-jawed, because the rules say that you are flat footed against invisible characters.

I also think it's ridiculous that flat footedness proportionnaly affect more the dex guy that the dumb brute who rely on his armor and couldn't get away from a dagger flying at his head if he was moving in slow-motion matrix-style.

Flat foot should be a flat negative to AC.


Cap. Darling wrote:

I Think he is in almost perfect aggrement with you. And i Think you are both wrong;)

Okay. Questions for you.

A dragon is flying towards a party, the party sees the dragon, the dragon sees the party. A fight is imminent. The dragon is 1000ft away.

Does combat start now? Or does combat start when the first of these creatures attacks? Ie, the dragon swoops down a few seconds later and breaths a cone of flame, while the party is all flatfooted... Followed by the few survivors to charge in and beat the dragon with pointy sticks.

Alternatively, what about this nearly identical in every way scenario...

A dragon is flying towards a party, the party sees the dragon, the dragon sees the party. A fight is imminent. The dragon is 1000ft away. The archer lets off an arrow at the dragon.

Does combat start now? The arrow flies off at the dragon, the dragon swoops down a round or two later and breaths a cone of flame, while the party is all ready and waiting... Followed by the party charging in and beating the dragon with pointy sticks to death.

Why are the melee flat-footed in one of these but not the other? What has changed for them?


Edit-


Remy Balster wrote:
Cap. Darling wrote:

I Think he is in almost perfect aggrement with you. And i Think you are both wrong;)

Okay. Questions for you.

A dragon is flying towards a party, the party sees the dragon, the dragon sees the party. A fight is imminent. The dragon is 1000ft away.

Does combat start now? Or does combat start when the first of these creatures attacks? Ie, the dragon swoops down a few seconds later and breaths a cone of flame, while the party is all flatfooted... Followed by the few survivors to charge in and beat the dragon with pointy sticks.

Alternatively, what about this nearly identical in every way scenario...

A dragon is flying towards a party, the party sees the dragon, the dragon sees the party. A fight is imminent. The dragon is 1000ft away. The archer lets off an arrow at the dragon.

Does combat start now? The arrow flies off at the dragon, the dragon swoops down a round or two later and breaths a cone of flame, while the party is all ready and waiting... Followed by the party charging in and beating the dragon with pointy sticks to death.

Why are the melee flat-footed in one of these but not the other? What has changed for them?

What is the Party doing whin they wait for the dragon? Do you have a house rule that make folks auto fail reflex saves if you are flatfootet? because if not then the arrow is the only difference in the two senarios.


Mmmm how bout this.

Ok first example. Player wants to start combat by punching the orc in the face. Doesnt necessaryly mean that person actually starts the combat. Initive is rolled and if he fails it just means the other peraon he was attacking saw and reacted first and caught the character off balance. We have all seen this if uve ever gone to a bar. Someone talks s@*@ and raises their fists to punch only to be punched in the face before they could react.
moral is just because the player wants to start the combat by punching the orc in the face doesnt always mean the character starts the combat by punching the orc in the face.

I think the reason why characters and npcs are flatfooted at the beginning of combat basically there to inforce that the person with highest iniative acted first. They get to act before combat actually starts for the people who are flatfooted. They acted before the others coukd rdy defenses or attack. Makes sense to me even if the players knew combat was gonna start butbthe flatfooted rules is for the charecters who only know combat starting when iniative was rolled.
Me personally i think alot of the problems is when iniative is rolled and players thinking just because they want to start or be rdy before combat begins (which im of the opionion that when ur rdying for combat iniative shoukd be rolled there) influences the characters abilities more than the dice do....if that makes sense. Like for example players wanting the combat to start when they want it to and and nevermind the dice shows their actions were to obvious and slow where the other ones started it first.


BornofHate wrote:

SIDENOTE:

Kalshane wrote:
I will say, that I don't like the way the current rules model being flat-footed, where someone with naturally better reflexes (higher dex) is penalized more than someone who is naturally slower.
To reduce that disparity try using a different die. A D20 has amazing fluctuation. A d12 or d10 might change the law of averages enough for ya.

I'm not complaining about Initiative here, I'm complaining that someone with 20 Dex is worse off when they lose initiative (or are grappled, or fighting an invisible opponent, etc) than someone with 10 Dex. A flat modifier is a better way to go, IMO.

Philippe Perreault wrote:


I think it's ridiculous for a character that decides to attack another to be totally unprepared to defend himself for the better part of 6 seconds just because he lost the initiative roll. He's ready for a fight since he just declared to the DM he's attacking.

He's not standing around for the better part of 6 seconds. All actions in a round happen more-or-less simultaneously. The person with the better initiative just goes a little bit sooner.

Philippe Perreault wrote:
Just like I think it's ridiculous for someone who just saw his opponent vanish in mid-combat because he drank a potion to stand still, totally defenseless and unprepared to defend himself for as long as the invisible guy wants before attacking. You know he's there. You know the blow is coming. But you just stand there, slack-jawed, because the rules say that you are flat footed against invisible characters.

The other issue is flat-footed does not mean completely defenseless. That's the Helpless condition. Flat-footed means your reaction times are slowed because you're taken off-guard, or in the case of an invisible opponent, because you can't actually see where the blow is coming from. You're still defending yourself, but your ability to do so is hindered by the situation.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Redneckdevil, (btw my auto correct changed that to Rednecks evil, LMAO)

I will still lobby for pre combat skill checks in your example. Perceptions, stealths, sense motives, and bluffs are all good options in this scenario. Results of the skill checks would determine if anyone else besides The Puncher will act in a surprise round.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Kalshane wrote:


I'm not complaining about Initiative here, I'm complaining that someone with 20 Dex is worse off when they lose initiative (or are grappled, or fighting an invisible opponent, etc) than someone with 10 Dex. A flat modifier is a better way to go, IMO.

Sorry I didn't see what your were referring to.

In the course of typing this, I went from "I disagree" to "I see both sides" to "you might be right" to "I think I would like to implement a flat -4 AC to flat footed characters."

Funny how that works and thanks for making me look at it critically.

This would still allow characters of high Dex to represent their high reflexes and penalize the turtle with the shield. I'll have to play test it a bit.

151 to 200 of 227 << first < prev | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | next > last >>
Community / Forums / Pathfinder / Pathfinder First Edition / Rules Questions / flat footed during first round? All Messageboards

Want to post a reply? Sign in.