# Can you hear this Underwater?

### Rules Questions

Ok so there was an incident in the game where a player was grappled and drug underneath 40' of water by a monster. A second player who is standing above the water, a paladin, used Litany of Escape.

Does it work? As I understand the spell is language dependent, which I believed means the target has to be able to hear and understand the speaker. Being 40' underwater, I couldn't find any rules on how that would affect their ability to hear so I defaulted to the using ranged weapons penalty, -2 per 5 feet as a rule of thumb to keep the game going. I had the player try and make a DC26 Perception (DC10 plus 16 for distance) to see if it worked. Several players argued that sound travels better over water, yet I cannot understand someone yelling at me out of water, while I sit at the bottom of my pool. (Yes I know you can't apply physics to the fantasy game, so HELP!) Thanks in advance.

Considering that "hearing the details of a conversation" is a DC 0, I think you set the DC too high. It should have been a 16, 0 + 16 from distance penalties.

So that is issue 1. Issue 2, I'm not sure if...never mind. Just found this:

Quote:
Language-Dependent: A language-dependent spell uses intelligible language as a medium for communication. If the target cannot understand or hear what the caster of a language-dependent spell says, the spell has no effect, even if the target fails its saving throw.

So, if they can't hear the spell they can't be affected by it. So a perception check does come in to play. Just remember this when you're players learn hand signal communicaiton and walk around with wax in their ears to avoid any sound based affects.

Yep, I just threw a DC10 on there off the cuff. Definitely too high, thanks for finding that.

Perception wrote:
DC 0 -- Hear the details of a conversation -- DC 0
+1/10 feet -- Distance to the source, object, or creature -- 40' = +4; DC 4
+5 -- Terrible conditions -- Underwater, ack! -- DC 9
+5 -- Creature making the check is distracted -- In combat, ack! -- DC 14

I make it DC 14, unless you want to change it to Unfavorable (+2) rather than Terrible (+5) for DC 11.

/cevah

So what you are saying is because the spell is language dependent the target must hear and understand the spell in order for it to have an affect. I think then I would have to agree with cevah about the DC being 14.
I am not sure I like the spell to begin with. It seems to be a gimme to get a character out of a grapple. This is why I don't allow spells from UC and UM at present. Only feats and classes.

brvheart wrote:

So what you are saying is because the spell is language dependent the target must hear and understand the spell in order for it to have an affect. I think then I would have to agree with cevah about the DC being 14.

I am not sure I like the spell to begin with. It seems to be a gimme to get a character out of a grapple. This is why I don't allow spells from UC and UM at present. Only feats and classes.

Litany of Escape is a "Get out of jail free card" that works ONCE. It is obtained by the classes that can get it at lvl 10. Freedom of movement is obtained at lvl 7-10 by the classes that can cast it and that is a 10 min/lvl buff where you never get the condition. On top of that Freedom of Movement prevents paralysis and other movement impairing spells. If anything I'd say that Litany of Escape is underpowered if your group has access to freedom of movement.

I do however recommend to proceed with caution about allowing spells from these books as there are definitely some very powerful spells amongst them, so I commend your stance on these books. Litany of Escape, however doesn't really seem like one.

I would say the terrible condition modifier should be good. I agree with Cevah.

I'll add, I didn't actually bother to calculate what should increase the DC from his example, I just used his +16. I was merely trying to point out that starting at DC 10 was definitely too high.

I think Cevah's example is the best way to calculate the DC.