Readied action to tackle a fireball.


Rules Questions

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Tarantula wrote:


1) A feat allowing you to do something shows that without that feat, you are not allowed to do it.

When discussion 'is this in the rules' I agree 100%.

Outside of that discussion I hate this - feats should allow you to *break* the rules for specific effect - outside of that players that come up with crazy solutions make the game fun (at least at my table) - I try to encourage this with my players when possible - for instance I don't make them use a feat to pull someone out of the way - I just ask the person being pushed/pulled if they are willing - if they are it works - if not I make them do a cmb check - despite the fact that there is a feat for it that exists.

I don't want every action to be a 'feat' - it diminishes the creativity of the game - and in all seriousness - just makes the bloat worse and the martial problem worse as well.

The designers should be making feats up that let you do incredible things (This feat lets you use your whip as a swing ala Indiana Jones - as long as there is a ceiling you can use your whip to move over any square up to your move distance and the whip comes free as a free action when you are done - for example) - not 'I swap places with my buddy who wants to swap places with me' - just the existence of that feat means 'omg we can't swap places anymore because *now* you need a feat for it!'


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Ravingdork wrote:
Martials contributing meaningfully!? Can't have that! *Readies arbitrary nerf bat*

Not only will any chance of the action being accomplished by a non-caster be flat out removed, but within a week there will be a new 1st-level spell for casters that will allow it to be done as an immediate action.


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I just noticed this, and thought it might be relevant:
(from the Returning Shield ability of the Shield Champion)
"Other circumstances can prevent the shield from returning to the shield champion, such as an opponent using a readied action to catch the shield, or the shield sticking to a mimic's adhesive."

So there is at least some indication that the game's creators intended characters to be able to use readied actions to interact with projectiles.


Avoron wrote:

I just noticed this, and thought it might be relevant:

(from the Returning Shield ability of the Shield Champion)
"Other circumstances can prevent the shield from returning to the shield champion, such as an opponent using a readied action to catch the shield, or the shield sticking to a mimic's adhesive."

So there is at least some indication that the game's creators intended characters to be able to use readied actions to interact with projectiles.

So long as I ready an action to "pick up" an arrow before it hits me then I can avoid being hit?


I have absolutely no clue.

I just posted the quote. It seemed like it might be useful to think about.


Keep in mind this question has been risen onto the Rules board. I love that my players show creativity, but not in the rules section. Rules shouldn't be creative, as creativity is subjective. Rules, and their interpretation, should be correct or wrong, but not creative.

I'm not denying "the house-rule of being awesome". Everyone can do as they see fit in their home, what I'm saying is that we can't transform a creative and subjective opinion into a rule.

So the correct answer, not the creative, or the cool one or whatever subjective adjective you want to add here, but correct, should have been, in my opinion: by RAW you can't interrupt and instant effect, so you can't ready an action to act in the middle of and instant effect.

I totally agree that a player indentifying the spell as per Spellcraft could take a Move Action and put himself in a line of effect, but that won't block the bead, a person is not a barrier that occupies the whole space of a trajectory (usually), and what it does not make for sure is forcing the mage to cast the spell upon him/her like "Hey! That person just moved there, let's hit it with the bead!", if I was the mage I will just throw the bead with kind of a parabolic trajectory over the dude in front of me making signals to target him instead of his comrades.

And the question about the Feats. Yes, you can houserule that you can Power Attack without Power Attack, or that your players can "Friendly Switch" without the Feat, but that is your House Rule, not a PF Rule.

P.S. And answering your -kinda ironic question- Tarantula: answer is 'yes' if you are a martial which usually can only chop things off, so then you can be a bit more cool, and 'no' if you are a wizard that can cast Fickle Winds, because hey! If you want to stop arrows you already have means to do so!

And @Avoron: it specifies "the shield", not every projectile you can imagine. Feats and class abilities do what they say they do.


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Numarak, did you really interpret that as meaning:

"One aspect of this "Returning Shield" ability is that your shield can be caught when it is thrown if the target uses a readied action. This does not apply to level 3 Shield Champions that throw their shields without this ability. Nor does it apply to people who use shields as improvised thrown weapons, or people who throw clubs."

because I definitely didn't interpret it that way.

In fact, I can't see any reasonable interpretation of the ability except that the writer believed it was normally possible to use a readied action to catch a thrown weapon.


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This isn't even that cool an idea. OP stated that the fighter was complete with fire resistance. I wouldn't be interested in creating an entire new level of complication to dealing with fireballs to help someone take no damage in a seemingly self-sacrificial way.


Kudos for his idea and the level of coolness of throwing yourself in front of the fireball to protect your friends. I wish players in general were as creative as that guy especially with a martial character.

I don't understand all this negativity either...

Hero points was the best idea to both defend AND limit these kinds of heroic actions if we HAVE to go by a "legal" system here. Which we don't because, you know, these things happen once in a campaign in a decade - although they should happen more often.


@Avoron: what I say is that the ability class of returning shield from Shield Champion refers to shields and to Shield Champions. Whatever you add far those two points is something you add, not a written rule, and this is the Rules Board, suggestions and creative house-rules board are in another section.

If you can catch projectiles as you suggest, why they -the designers- wrote down the feat "Deflect Arrow" which reads:

"
You can knock arrows and other projectiles off course, preventing them from hitting you.
"

You can not extrapolate from a very specific ability -returning shield from a very specific archetype -Shield Champion- from a very specific item
-light or medium shields- that all thrown weapons can be caught.

But even if you could extrapolate, where do you put the limits? You can catch a thrown dagger but not a dart? Catch a dart but not an arrow? Catch an arrow but not a bolt? You say you can stop a Spell! Then why not a bullet from a gunslinger?

And again, I'm not telling people how to play, everyone should play the way they get the maximum fun, I'm just saying that, although we can house-rule whatever we want, this is the Rules Forum, and we should state what the rules say, not what our house-rules of coolness say.


I'm not talking about "house-rules of coolness," I'm talking about interpreting the intent of the writers.

The rules do not state that the ability to ready an action to catch a shield has anything to do with Shield Champions in particular. They just list it among the possible things that people are allowed to do that could interfere with this ability. Like I said, do you really interpret it as saying, "Here's a new rule, that once you get this ability people can catch your thrown shields"?

Like I said, I'm not sure what limits would be best. That's for GMs to decide, because it isn't specified in the rules. All I know is that this quote definitely seems to say that it isn't something that's simply impossible.

And the Deflect Arrows feat exists because it allows you to react to ranged attacks freely, without using an action. Honestly, the ability to spend a standard action on your turn to interact with a potential attack is really not worth much at all.


so my 2 cents, if a player wants to waist an action readying for a ranged attack or spell so he can jump in its way id let him, and depending on the thing he is blocking ill adjust what saves he gets

fireball? no save

gun or bow? 10 + armour bonus and shield bonus, more or less flat footed

if they wanna use their body as a shield and waist actions doing so i think its perfectly fine, it gives the enemy more turns to lay the hurt on and makes the party reactive instead of proactive and thats usually a bad idea


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Here' the thing. It's not just limited to players.

Your Wizard can summon 1d4+1 rats and order them to do it. Or have his unkillable Inevitable Familiar do it. And many other options. All IN ADDITION TO their normal actions.

And yes, certainly, you can say "No" to these.

But what's the logic? What's the difference between these scenarios except one thing is expendable?

There isn't one. So you need to justify a reason why one works and the other doesn't, or just fall back on "Because I'm the GM and I said so".

I'd rather cut the middleman and just say "No" from the start, thanks.


The rats and the familiar probably don't have nearly high enough scores to do it or the threatened area to actually intercept anything (I'd allow an opposed attack roll at -8 for the intercepter as an AoO, it'd eat his AoO and disallow any reflex save), it can usually be done once per creature anyway (inevitable familiar against the full damage of a fireball = inevitable out of commission for a while) and summoning 1d4+1 rats still eats a round and possibly gets the caster in trouble before the summoning is successful.

I almost never say "no" to a player, but I make them roll for it.


Tarantula wrote:


Deflect arrows is a feat, with both prerequisites and usage requirements (hand free) which only works for attacks directed at yourself.

You cannot ready an action to "When the archer shoots his bow, I want to move in front of him, and grab the arrow out of the air." Even if you have the deflect or snatch arrows feats, the attack wasn't aimed at you, so you can't deflect/snatch the arrow.

Ready action move is fine. Ready action move and do something else is not. You can only ready a standard, move, swift, or free action. You can also take a 5' step as part of it. You cannot ready a move and standard action.

At best, the character could provide soft cover to the origin point the spellcaster is targeting by moving in the way. The spellcaster then would have to make a ranged touch attack against the grid intersection. AC 5 + soft cover + 4 = AC 9. If the spellcaster happened to have improved precise shot, that would drop back to AC 5.

What about a Kasatha Bow Nomad? Their version of deflect arrows allows them to deflect any ranged attack within 30ft of them, without rolling. which moves the question in this one, very limited, instance to is a fireball considered a ranged attack? If so Kasathans just became ridiculous.


How is it that "The rules do not state that the ability to ready an action to catch a shield has anything to do with Shield Champions in particular."
when you only find the rule under one specific place. Is it in combat? No. Is it in ranged attacks? No. It talks about fighters or thrown weapons? No.

It says:
"Other circumstances can prevent the shield from returning to the shield champion, such as an opponent using a readied action to catch the shield, or the shield sticking to a mimic's adhesive. "

Now tell me it does not say "shield", it does not say "shield champion" and it does not say "to catch the shield". If you instead read "thrown weapon", "martial character" or "to catch the thrown weapon", we are not looking at the same rule.

You can interpret the way you do? Yes. I already agreed that you can make the interpretation you prefer. But it is a very specific rule under a very specific circumstance.

My knowledge of all the rules is very limited, if you find another instance that talks about catching thrown weapons, we can keep arguing, if not, I'll keep the rule in the context of the Shield Champions.

@Krinn, just to put you on the rail, what people is arguing here is if someone can intercept a little bead -thrown when you cast a Fireball spell- and detonate the Fireball prior the caster's will. The bead is a very small thing, a rat can intercept it as well as a human can.

The only thing that the people who agrees on the interception by a fire resistant fighter can argue against a rat doing so is: if the rat does it, it is not as cool and awesome as the sacrifice of the warrior.

And again, rules should not depend on "how cool they are", but meta-gaming balance.


Doomed Hero wrote:

I'd allow it because it's awesome. He's ready, he dives on the fireball. He takes full damage. The blast is reduced to his square, and maybe the squares adjacent to him.

The next round the caster would start detonating their fireballs ten feet off the ground (reducing the ground-level total area by 5 feet off the radius, but keeping the grenade diving lunatic from stopping it entirely)

As for a gunslinger shooting the fireball pea, that is also awesome. I'd call it a Diminutive target, and have it detonate at the point where the fireball and the bullet meet, rather than the intended location. I'd use the degree of success of the attack roll as an indicator of where along the trajectory the pea was intercepted. Barely succeed, the fireball goes off fairly near its intended target location. Critical hit, it blows up right in the caster's face.

This is the kind of crazy awesome stuff martial characters should be able to do. This is exactly how we curtail caster/martial disparity.

Assuming that all spells with fluff descriptions using components like projectiles can be intercepted by martial characters simply by using a readied action what stops someone with the spell magic missile from critically intercepting the spell? If we do start treating more spells like projectiles what stops a monk from just using deflect arrows liberally and redirecting fireballs? You're making it seem like the bursting the bead is what causes the fireball to go off, not the caster choosing for the fireball to go off. If you think as such what stops someone from farming fireball spells as fireball beads by using a monk and a wizard?

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

This is hitting a red BB at 100 ft/set (70ish mph). It would be Fine sized (+8 modifier). RAW, there are no rules for base AC of a moving object, only unattended stationary. I think this would be a houserule with Perception checks involved and luck of the roll. This would not be like hitting a baseball, but hitting a BB with no barrel reference and being shot from a football field away. I agree that the Hero Points are an excellent way for this to happen. That would be a very heroic maneuver.


So here is the way I would handle it.

The character should be able to ready his action to move himself into the line of effect once he recognizes the pea firing forth (just knowing a fireball is coming via spellcraft is not good enough since he doesn't know where to go). His readied MA is the movement into the line of effect. Realistically, it would take ~3 squares of movement away from the caster before you could somewhat accurately pinpoint the line of affect for the pea.

So, once it moves 3 squares, the character should be able to complete a move action to put himself into the line the pea is traveling. If he makes it, then he automatically intercepts it.

Now, the GM should pick an exact spot for denotation because the character could move into the correct line of effect but position himself too far back, and in this case the pea detonates in front of him (which is a minor point in all of this).

To attempt to make things more dramatic while the character is making his move towards the line of effect, have him and the pea alternate 5 ft squares until the intercept or miss resolved. This allows for the chance that the Fighter takes a "bad angle" and misses the pea, as in football. Of course, once you do this the first time, every player is just going to pre-calculate the angle of their movement.


Just because the idea is awesome and it's a really bad ass heroic move I would allow it.
But I would tell the player "You can do this, but no Ref-Save for you".

Why I would allow this?
1. He "payed" something for it (he lost his normal round action by ready it), he also will lose his Save
2. It didn't break the game
3. it helps the party
4. and most important: It's an awesome move and will create an awesome scene everyone will remember. :)

In the End Pathfinder is a Roleplaying Game and no Tabletop rule-lawyer wargame, it's all about the stories, THESE moments and the fun.
The rules should only give us some baseline and if something is not covered in the rules you have to come up with something on the fly.
For me that is what defines a good DM, don't let your imagination and heroic moments be sabotaged by some rule wording. :)

Good example here (kudos to my DM at this point):
We were fighting on two levels of a cliff (~60 ft. high difference).
While my dwarf was fighting atop our healer has a lot of troubles on the lower level.
As my dwarf recognize that the healer is down and the giant raises his weapon for the killing blow I decided to jump down the cliff and throw my hammer right into the giant face.
DM: "Acrobatics & Ranged attack" *roll* both success
End of story: the hammerthrow brought the giant under 0 hp and my dwarf hit the ground, barely alive (falling damage).
Everyone looks up and we agreed that this was an awesome scene, even if not covered by the rules.


Tryn wrote:

Good example here (kudos to my DM at this point):

We were fighting on two levels of a cliff (~60 ft. high difference).
While my dwarf was fighting atop our healer has a lot of troubles on the lower level.
As my dwarf recognize that the healer is down and the giant raises his weapon for the killing blow I decided to jump down the cliff and throw my hammer right into the giant face.
DM: "Acrobatics & Ranged attack" *roll* both success
End of story: the hammerthrow brought the giant under 0 hp and my dwarf hit the ground, barely alive (falling damage).
Everyone looks up and we agreed that this was an awesome scene, even if not covered by the rules.

That is perfectly covered by the rules.

Move action and Acrobatics check to deliberately fall and ignore the first 10 feet fallen.

Quote:
When you deliberately fall any distance, even as a result of a missed jump, a DC 15 Acrobatics skill check allows you to ignore the first 10 feet fallen, although you still end up prone if you take damage from a fall. See the falling rules for further details.

Standard action Ranged attack to throw hammer.

Falling damage to determine your 50' fall damage, which should have been 5d6.


Pathfinder Maps, Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

Actually, it's not really allowed in the rules.

From that height, he would have hit the ground first, before being able to take any additional actions (except maybe immediate actions). Then he would be able to make an attack from prone if he was still alive.

According to the rules as written, he couldn't even ready an action to throw the hammer when he was at a certain height since taking ANY action, such as stepping off the cliff, after readying an action kills your readied action.


I wouldn't consider the hammer throw a readied action here, I'd consider the jump (which is part of a move), a "charge while flying" (move and attack combined). He just horrible failed his fly checks, since, you know.. dwarves can't fly.


Purposely jump off edge of cliff: acrobatics check
After move action ends, standard action to make attack before falling. The only action limited during falling is spellcasting, which is only allowed if the character fell more than 500' or it is a immediate action. It makes sense that you could throw the hammer as you started to fall, and the rules don't forbid it, so its fine.

Dark Archive

Remarkable how many people are nay-saying this. This is fantastic creativity on the part of the player. Let him do it! Sure if he starts min-maxing his abilities in an effort to shutdown spellcasters by flinging himself in front of their spells the GM should step in and smack him upside the head but it's awesome enough that the first time or two that he does it, just let him. Rule of cool. Remember that this game is about fun and quite literally nothing else.


I'm just not sure what's supposedly so creative about it.

"I hop in front of a fireball" is not really a very complex thought nor is it particularly original.

Dark Archive

Rynjin wrote:

I'm just not sure what's supposedly so creative about it.

"I hop in front of a fireball" is not really a very complex thought nor is it particularly original.

Really? Unoriginal? Just how many players have you seen do that? An action doesn't need to be complex to be creative, honestly the more simple the better, it just needs to be outside the box.


Players? Not many.

As a general trope, however? It's quite well-worn.


I would require a hero point to try that kind of stuff.

I'm like Rynjin, but maybe because I have some players that like rules consistency and are ready to use all the houserules to their full potential. Still, as some said, it's a creative try from the player.

I don't want to see that kind of actions everytime, so hero points seems to be the go for me.


OK I am about to do something EVIL here....

Lets look at the physics of it.....

I am going to make a COUPLE assumptions but will go back later.

First we need to determine how fast the fireball moves. Lets look at a SLOW version it oculd arguably go faster. Lets assume the 6 seconds of a round is 2 seconds for a move action and 4 for a standard. This makes the fireball slower then 3 and 3. Lets also assume that the standard action is broken down into 3 seconds of casting, and 2 seconds for the fireball to reach its destination at maximum range.

Level 10 caster fireball (10d6) range 800ft so traveling 400 ft per second or about 270 miles per hour.

Level 5 caster fireball 440 ft so traveling 220 ft per second or about 150 MPH.

These are WAY too fast to run over and get in front of after it is cast (possible exception of hero points). It is liek runnig 15' and jumping in the way of a bullet AFTER the shooter has fired. Simply not going to happen.

To use a baseball analogy it would be like a runner on third starting to steal home AFTER the pitcher released the ball, and getting there before it made it to the catcher.

Dark Archive

Rynjin wrote:

Players? Not many.

As a general trope, however? It's quite well-worn.

True, though a more appropriate real world analogy would be someone throwing their self in the way of a rocket launcher in mid flight rather than a thrown grenade. That's not something I've even seen done in a movie even (Though RED's John Malcovich did fire a bullet at a rocket mid flight and we all know how badass that was).

Like I said before, it's cool, it's creative, it's fun, and literally everyone at that table would enjoy seeing that happen...ONCE. It immediately loses it's cool after the first time and as a GM I'd allow it once, but after that the Rule of Cool stops applying.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

If it loses it's creativity after the first use, I don't find it all that creative.


Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path Subscriber
TriOmegaZero wrote:
If it loses it's creativity after the first use, I don't find it all that creative.

Huh. Succinct. I like it.

I generally don't like this kind of "I was reading the rules and now I found a way to negate a major feature of the game" thread. I always feel conflicted, because on the one hand there's cool, but on the other hand there's... annoying. I mentioned much earlier that if this is allowed, BBEGs should all hire low-level sorcerers to use magic missile to protected them against fireballs. This way there simply likes a big pile of cheese. It's amusing cheese, but it's cheese. So I'm conflicted. But I like your breakdown as to WHY "creativity" isn't a mandatory win.

Dark Archive

TriOmegaZero wrote:
If it loses it's creativity after the first use, I don't find it all that creative.

Huh? By definition everything loses its creativity after the first use, because you can't create it again, it's already been done before. When was the last time you saw anything awesome and creative and then immedately saw it again and thought, "That was just as awesome and creative the second time!"

That hardly means it wasn't creative the first time.

Shadow Lodge

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Meh. My sorcerer just readies magic missile for when the enemy starts casting. Then it's automatically a concentration check or lose the spell.


Pathfinder Maps, Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
Anguish wrote:
TriOmegaZero wrote:
If it loses it's creativity after the first use, I don't find it all that creative.

Huh. Succinct. I like it.

I generally don't like this kind of "I was reading the rules and now I found a way to negate a major feature of the game" thread. I always feel conflicted, because on the one hand there's cool, but on the other hand there's... annoying. I mentioned much earlier that if this is allowed, BBEGs should all hire low-level sorcerers to use magic missile to protected them against fireballs. This way there simply likes a big pile of cheese. It's amusing cheese, but it's cheese. So I'm conflicted. But I like your breakdown as to WHY "creativity" isn't a mandatory win.

Magic missile can only target creatures. Some of you guys are breaking more rules trying to show what's wrong with it than the hypothetical players you're calling cheesy.


well, everyone is taking this much further than I thought it was going to. I mean my original hypothetical guy was pretty much ready action to jump on a fireball. It's a non-action/reflexive action to spellcraft a spell being cast (in my games a least) so, he readies it, spellcrafts, and then if it comes at him, tackles it. there wasn't any chasing it down. Magic missles can't target the fireball bead, rats probably wouldn't be smart enough, and non-evil wizards probably wouldn't sacrifice their familiars to it.

I thought it would be cool. I certainly didn't expect this storm of "It isn't possible, it is possible, I don't like it, ESCALATING" if its not in the rules beyond Hero Points rule bending, so be it. :)

Scarab Sages

Tarantula wrote:

Ready action move is fine. Ready action move and do something else is not. You can only ready a standard, move, swift, or free action. You can also take a 5' step as part of it. You cannot ready a move and standard action.

At best, the character could provide soft cover to the origin point the spellcaster is targeting by moving in the way. The spellcaster then would have to make a ranged touch attack against the grid intersection. AC 5 + soft cover + 4 = AC 9. If the spellcaster happened to have improved precise shot, that would drop back to AC 5.

Strictly speaking, casters should be making those attack rolls every time, regardless of cover.

It's just that it's usually such an easy shot, that most people handwave it away.
But I've seen some players attempt some real banana shots, through crowded combats, which by rights, ought to be accumulating several penalties.
And there's always the possibility of rolling a natural 1.

Personally, I wish more spells behaved like this, with an explicit targetting requirement. It would reduce the temptation to place spell templates in artificially effective ways. When a PC has massive dodge bonuses, and is assumed to be constantly ducking and weaving in unpredictable manner, I fail to see how his buddy can drop a spell to reliably end one inch from the end of his nose, every. single. time.

If your wizard buddy can predict exactly where you'll be stood in several seconds time, then so can the monster you're fighting, and you forfeit your Dex (see Sabertooth's alley fight vs the teleporting mutant, in 'Origins').

Scarab Sages

Anguish wrote:
I generally don't like this kind of "I was reading the rules and now I found a way to negate a major feature of the game" thread.

That would explain why I loathe freedom of movement with the burning fire of a thousand Hiroshimas, too.

Hey! CR200 Kaiju Octopus? With your glue-cloud breath weapon, and your telekinetic eyes?
F!!! you, I got a spell at level 7 that makes you obsolete.
What loot does it drop?

You wanna be immune (no rolls, no modifiers, just flat immune) to any force that attempts to affect your mobility?
Fine, your fly spell fails, and you're immune to gravity, so you're hurled into space till you hit a sun. NEXT!


Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path Subscriber
Ravingdork wrote:
Anguish wrote:
TriOmegaZero wrote:
If it loses it's creativity after the first use, I don't find it all that creative.

Huh. Succinct. I like it.

I generally don't like this kind of "I was reading the rules and now I found a way to negate a major feature of the game" thread. I always feel conflicted, because on the one hand there's cool, but on the other hand there's... annoying. I mentioned much earlier that if this is allowed, BBEGs should all hire low-level sorcerers to use magic missile to protected them against fireballs. This way there simply likes a big pile of cheese. It's amusing cheese, but it's cheese. So I'm conflicted. But I like your breakdown as to WHY "creativity" isn't a mandatory win.

Magic missile can only target creatures. Some of you guys are breaking more rules trying to show what's wrong with it than the hypothetical players you're calling cheesy.

Way to dodge the point.

While you're technically correct - and that does matter - that's merely one of the ways that have been discussed to make an iconic spell unusable.

Scarab Sages

Avoron wrote:
In fact, I can't see any reasonable interpretation of the ability except that the writer believed it was normally possible to use a readied action to catch a thrown weapon.

Some creatures don't even need a readied action.


Pathfinder Maps, Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
Anguish wrote:
...that's merely one of the ways that have been discussed to make an iconic spell unusable.

Unusable? Hardly! The only people with minions to spare are GM fiat bad guys, who are supposed to be using their minions to slow down the party/reduce their resources anyways.

The fireball is still likely killing those minions the BBEG is sacrificing. Hardly unusable.

Having archers shoot the bead itself likely won't be easy, and even if successful, really isn't any better than readying an action to shoot the caster when he casts any spell at all.

Unusable!? *rolls eyes in disbelief*


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Ravingdork wrote:
Anguish wrote:
...that's merely one of the ways that have been discussed to make an iconic spell unusable.

Unusable? Hardly! The only people with minions to spare are GM fiat bad guys, who are supposed to be using their minions to slow down the party/reduce their resources anyways.

The fireball is still likely killing those minions the BBEG is sacrificing. Hardly unusable.

Having archers shoot the bead itself likely won't be easy, and even if successful, really isn't any better than readying an action to shoot the caster when he casts any spell at all.

Unusable!? *rolls eyes in disbelief*

When your spells start detonating in the midst of the party rather than in the midst of the enemy the spell becomes unusable.


Pathfinder Maps, Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
thorin001 wrote:
When your spells start detonating in the midst of the party rather than in the midst of the enemy the spell becomes unusable.

Spells? We're talking about ONE spell here. There are still plenty of options out there that would go right through a person jumping in the way (or incinerate and arrow shot at it) and keep on going to its primary target. Even if you did make such an impressive shot as to prematurely detonate an enemy's fireball, engulfing his team, you can bet he's going to switch to something different with his next action, such as lightning bolt.

Nothing proposed has been any more game breaking than readying an action to attack the caster while he casts the spell.

If we WERE talking about being able to block a lot more spells in this fashion, then you might have a point. As is though, this isn't a failing of cheesy players, or lenient GMs, or rules being used as they weren't intended; it's a failing of the fireball spell.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

Could you ready an action to block a Lightning Bolt?

Sovereign Court

Tarantula wrote:
Avoron wrote:

I just noticed this, and thought it might be relevant:

(from the Returning Shield ability of the Shield Champion)
"Other circumstances can prevent the shield from returning to the shield champion, such as an opponent using a readied action to catch the shield, or the shield sticking to a mimic's adhesive."

So there is at least some indication that the game's creators intended characters to be able to use readied actions to interact with projectiles.

So long as I ready an action to "pick up" an arrow before it hits me then I can avoid being hit?

I think that you'd still be hit. And in the case of the shield, they'd still be hit by the shield, they'd just then have the shield instead of it bouncing back to the Shield Champion.


Fireballs - Can't remember the last time an enemy fired one at me.

Readying An Action to Catch the Rare Fireball - What a waste of an action unless you had a ton of foreknowledge.

Arguing against someone readying an action to catch the rare fireball - PRICELESS.


First off, yes I think this is doable within the RAW. Relevant rules and reasoning given below.

Readying an Action:

You can ready a standard action, a move action, or a free action. To do so, specify the action you will take and the conditions under which you will take it. Then, any time before your next action, you may take the readied action in response to that condition. The action occurs just before the action that triggers it. If the triggered action is part of another character’s activities, you interrupt the other character. Assuming he is still capable of doing so, he continues his actions once you complete your readied action...

You can take a 5-foot step as part of your readied action, but only if you don’t otherwise move any distance during the round.

Fireball:
...You point your finger and determine the range (distance and height) at which the fireball is to burst. A glowing, pea-sized bead streaks from the pointing digit and, unless it impacts upon a material body or solid barrier prior to attaining the prescribed range, blossoms into the fireball at that point. (An early impact results in an early detonation.) If you attempt to send the bead through a narrow passage, such as through an arrow slit, you must “hit” the opening with a ranged touch attack, or else the bead strikes the barrier and detonates prematurely.

Smashing an Object:
Objects are easier to hit than creatures because they don't usually move, but many are tough enough to shrug off some damage from each blow. An object's Armor Class is equal to 10 + its size modifier (see Table: Size and Armor Class of Objects) + its Dexterity modifier. An inanimate object has not only a Dexterity of 0 (–5 penalty to AC), but also an additional –2 penalty to its AC.

So, Let's look at the relevant questions:

Q: Can you ready an action to trigger against the bead?
A: Yes, because you take your action in response to the condition specified (any observable, not just the action of casting). So, "If X (i.e. "red bead") comes within 5ft of my reach" is a clearly valid trigger. No spellcraft check is even needed since you aren't triggering off the act of casting itself (which would require specialized knowledge and assesment), but something objectively visible (a red bead flying in your immediate direction).

Q: What can you do with the action once it triggers?
A: Anything you could normally do with a standard/move/swift. A readied action essentially inserts your action into the resolution of anything ongoing in the same way that an immediate action would. Given the "impacts on a material body or solid barrier" clause in Fireball, this would allow closing a door in front of it, interposing an object/yourself, or even making an attack against the bead. You'd still need to be within 5ft step + reach of whatever you plan to manipulate.

Q: How do you resolve those actions?

A1: Closed door? The bead impacts the door, fireball erupts, no rolls required. The spread may still destroy the door and continue inward 20ft. Note that there would be no attack roll involved here unless the was some kind of opening in the door and the mage specified during the casting itself that the aimpoint is "through where the opening will be with the door closed" or something similar (in which case he would still need to be successful on the ranged attack roll). Note that this only works against spells that actually create projectiles (and thus have some theoretical travel time between the completion of casting and the target actually being struck by the projectile.

A2: Interposed self/object? Judgement call; Depending on the range from mage>interceptor>target square the geometry might make it entirely possible to obstruct all possible attack vectors. Determining that would likely be well beyond the usual scope of the rules though, so I'm interpreting from the cover rules instead. You're clearly limiting the space the bead must pass through, so the "narrow opening" attack roll might be called for at this point. (i.e. The character sheet may not have an entry for "width" but dwarves have often been described along the lines of "as wide as he is tall" so a 4'5" dwarf in full plate deliberately playing goalie almost certainly qualifies as soft cover at a minimum, possibly hard cover since "soft cover" assumes standard in-combat evasive behavior rather than deliberate imposition.) Note that since the Fireball explosion is a spread, even a successful interception will not provide bonuses to reflex or effective evasion to creatures behind him ("diving on the grenade" is only relevant against burst effects). Previous GM rulings would suggest that a character forfeits his ref save in such a circumstance. (see previous threads regarding evasion and string of fireballs detonating around a character's neck). That said, it does establish that the OP's tactic is potentially valid by RAW, assuming the GM accepts a deliberately interposed character as an effectively stationary obstacle (hard cover) and the interposed character is large enough to fill the entire relevant plane of the square (or at least such that only a "narrow opening" is left).

A3: Since the bead is not held/worn/wielded, this seems to follow the standard "Smashing an Object" rule of CMB vs item AC. So Base 10, +8 size, +Dex mod (it's not clear what value to use for Dex since the bead is not stationary "Dex 0", but neither is it actively moving to evade attacks, thus similar to a flatfooted creature. The general rule for inapplicable attributes is to use +0, so apply that in the absence of a specific rule) and then the additional -2 to AC (or not, if the GM rules this only applies to non-moving objects, the RAW doesn't explain/justify what that -2 derives from or is intended to represent). Thus, CMB vs AC 16 (or 18). Per the "Smashing an Object" rules, this attack generally must be made with a S or B weapon (again, GM call if P is effective, but I wouldn't suggest it unless you want to archers trying to shoot the bead). Given that unarmed strike is bludgeoning and can be made with any part of the body, RAW seems to support hockey-style body checking as a valid attack form for smashing an object (the Fireball bead). And yes, this same calculation is equally relevant to attempts to smash arrows or other projectiles in flight. While unusual, the situation of attacks against linearly moving "inanimate" objects can come up (like a readied smash against a rolling object or something drifting by on the water or wind).

Conclusion? The books don't specifically call out such a situation, but the action can be resolved effectively within the core rules without reference to other elements (such as individual feats) or need for homebrew.

Misc:

Deflect Arrows: You must have at least one hand free (holding nothing) to use this feat. Once per round when you would normally be hit with an attack from a ranged weapon, you may deflect it so that you take no damage from it. You must be aware of the attack and not flat-footed. Attempting to deflect a ranged attack doesn't count as an action. Unusually massive ranged weapons (such as boulders or ballista bolts) and ranged attacks generated by natural attacks or spell effects can't be deflected.

Note that #1, Deflect arrows explicitly does not work on ranged attacks generated by spells. #2 The feat starts with "When you would normally be hit", so it doesn't have any bearing on your ability or success at avoiding or deliberately getting hit. So let's look at something that does...

In Harm's Way: While using the aid another action to improve an adjacent ally’s AC, you can intercept a successful attack against that ally as an immediate action, taking full damage from that attack and any associated effects (bleed, poison, etc.). A creature cannot benefit from this feat more than once per attack.

So, does this imply that intercepting an attack requires a feat? I don't see why it would; feats are often required to do something as an immediate action instead of its normal type (standard/move/swift). You can still ready the action to similar effect. That would be like saying that the existence of Intercept Charge proves that you can't ready an action to move into the path of a charging enemy.

Incidentally, for those who would argue that it's impossible to melee attack such a tiny target moving at 200+ feet/sec... Isao Machii cuts BB pellet
Modern Samurai Isao Machii

Mind (and Fireball) Blown! B)


Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path Subscriber
Ravingdork wrote:
Spells? We're talking about ONE spell here. There are still plenty of options out there that would go right through a person jumping in the way (or incinerate and arrow shot at it) and keep on going to its primary target.

These other spells, they'd be the ones you're saying we should use because fireball wasn't rendered useless, yes? <Grin>

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