Everyone is staring at each other... Surprise round?


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I recently encountered a place where we ran into an encounter but didn't have to fight right away. One of those "Go away or we fight". My question is, since we aren't in combat, and just talking for the moment, if I quick draw a weapon and attack, is this a surprise round? Or would me taking the aggressive action and going for my weapon start initiative.

We are all ready to fight, everyone knows where everyone is, but we haven't rolled initiative or started fighting. Surprise round for the first to act? Is everyone still flat footed?

Thanks all!


If all potential combatants are aware of each other prior to combat then there is no surprise round.

In your example you would just roll initiative; this would determine who is the quickest to react.


As Brain says, no surprise round.

The only real question is "Should people be flat footed before they act?" It seems odd to me that you would still be flat footed after staring down a potential fight for a certain length of time.


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It might be conceivable from a GM standpoint to allow a Bluff attempt or something similar (Sleight of Hand, maybe) in order to get the drop on the other guys by launching the attack quicker than they can respond or after lulling the opponent into believing the parlay was happening peacefully. I wouldn't automatically grant a surprise round just because a player stated he was attacking while the other guy was talking, though.


CampinCarl9127 wrote:

As Brain says, no surprise round.

The only real question is "Should people be flat footed before they act?" It seems odd to me that you would still be flat footed after staring down a potential fight for a certain length of time.

Initiative represents reaction time.

Example: A pair of Gunslingers have a showdown at high noon. Billy the Kid and Texas Pete square off against each other in the middle of the street. As the bell tolls they react and go for their guns.

Both combatants are aware of each other. So they roll Initiative.

Billy gets a 10 while Pete gets a 6.

Billy reacts faster and quick-draws his gun and blasts poor Pete while he is still reaching for his gun. So Pete is still Flat-footed even though they were both aware of each other.


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As long as you're talking, the encounter has started, but the combat has not. Even though everyone is cautious, hands are on weapons, everyone is ready and expecting trouble, that doesn't matter - during the talking time, everyone is still waiting to see what happens. Will the negotiating work? If so, then there won't be any combat. Will it fail? If so, there might still be combat but not now, right this instant, while we're still talking and waiting to see what happens.

Then, suddenly, without warning, somebody in this encounter draws a weapon and attacks. Very unexpected.

Whoever does that gets a surprise round.

The GM should also offer a Perception check to each creature in this encounter - if they make the check, they can act in the surprise round too.

What is the DC for this check? Well, the guy is standing there, not hiding, so seeing him is a DC 0, modified by distance and maybe some other factors (the people talking or listening might get a -2 for being distracted, it might be bad lighting, etc.). But, frankly, that's a ridiculously easy DC that everybody will meet even with a bad roll except for the very low level mooks with no ranks in Perception IF they roll badly.

Maybe that's the way it's supposed to work. After all, it's a bunch of heavily armed and deadly people who don't trust each other and are watching closely for any signs of trouble - maybe it is SUPPOSED to be hard to surprise them and kill them while they stand there watching you, ready for anything.

Although it might be different if the people you're about to attack all think that you're a friend. Betrayal is hard to predict.

Maybe the guy who attacks suddenly can conceal this with a Bluff check right before he attacks. Then it requires Sense Motive against the oppose Bluff check, a much harder DC. Failing this means not acting in the surprise round. I would rule it this way, though there isn't really any RAW for it - just a GM's evaluation of the situation and making a call.


No surprise round.

The way I've always handled this particular scenario is everyone rolls initiative, the initiating character goes first regardless of their actual initiative order, then normal initiative takes over, but no one is flat footed (everyone knows imminent combat is a real possibility). When that first character comes up in the first round, they pass because they've already taken their turn that round.

It's not exactly RAW, but the RAW doesn't explicitly cover this case.


I find the whole "combat hasn't started", so flat footed concept silly. If you want to force combat, just have your weakest party member take an unarmed strike on your party's "tank" who is taking a full defense action every round. Bam, you suddenly have combat and aren't flat footed anymore, because the rules are silly here.


DM_Blake wrote:
I would rule it this way, though there isn't really any RAW for it - just a GM's evaluation of the situation and making a call.

There is plenty of RAW for this situation.

If all combatants are aware of each other its just an Initiative check.
No other checks are made, unless a specific ability says otherwise.


Brain in a Jar wrote:
CampinCarl9127 wrote:

As Brain says, no surprise round.

The only real question is "Should people be flat footed before they act?" It seems odd to me that you would still be flat footed after staring down a potential fight for a certain length of time.

Initiative represents reaction time.

Example: A pair of Gunslingers have a showdown at high noon. Billy the Kid and Texas Pete square off against each other in the middle of the street. As the bell tolls they react and go for their guns.

Both combatants are aware of each other. So they roll Initiative.

Billy gets a 10 while Pete gets a 6.

Billy reacts faster and quick-draws his gun and blasts poor Pete while he is still reaching for his gun. So Pete is still Flat-footed even though they were both aware of each other.

More like Blonde, Angel Eyes, and Tuco are staring at each other. Tuco's gun is unloaded, so we don't care when he acts. Blonde acts before Angel Eyes and shoots first.


See I'm halfway in between. Like DM_Blake says, we aren't sure yet if combat is actually going to happen, and if it does, when it will actually start.

Situation A) I'm hanging out in a bar, talking to the barkeep, being all friendly and stuff. Suddenly I pull out my knife and stab him. I think in this situation it's obvious I should get a surprise round.

Situation B) Tense argument between two groups. Everyone has hands on weapons, or maybe even weapons out. Sorcerer is clutching his bat guano tightly. Suddenly someone lunges. Probably no surprise round here, just initiative.

Situation C) (my situation) We are talking. Although a bit hostile, hands on weapons, they've simply said, go back or die. I'm talking to them, kindly, asking if we can perhaps buy or negotiate our way through. I've used a diplomacy check to move his demeanor from hostile to unfriendly, I agree to leave, reach out to shake his hand, but instead quick draw my weapon and stab.... ? This is where my confusion lies.


The last situation you propose should be sleight of hand opposed by perception. I could also see an argument for bluff vs sense motive.


tchayl wrote:

See I'm halfway in between. Like DM_Blake says, we aren't sure yet if combat is actually going to happen, and if it does, when it will actually start.

Situation A) I'm hanging out in a bar, talking to the barkeep, being all friendly and stuff. Suddenly I pull out my knife and stab him. I think in this situation it's obvious I should get a surprise round.

Situation B) Tense argument between two groups. Everyone has hands on weapons, or maybe even weapons out. Sorcerer is clutching his bat guano tightly. Suddenly someone lunges. Probably no surprise round here, just initiative.

Situation C) (my situation) We are talking. Although a bit hostile, hands on weapons, they've simply said, go back or die. I'm talking to them, kindly, asking if we can perhaps buy or negotiate our way through. I've used a diplomacy check to move his demeanor from hostile to unfriendly, I agree to leave, reach out to shake his hand, but instead quick draw my weapon and stab.... ? This is where my confusion lies.

Unless your character has a specific ability that states otherwise; you would roll Initiative for A,B, and C.

In each scenario everyone is aware of each other. So no surprise round.

"The Surprise Round: If some but not all of the combatants are aware of their opponents, a surprise round happens before regular rounds begin. In initiative order (highest to lowest), combatants who started the battle aware of their opponents each take a standard or move action during the surprise round. You can also take free actions during the surprise round. If no one or everyone is surprised, no surprise round occurs."


Brain in a Jar wrote:
DM_Blake wrote:
I would rule it this way, though there isn't really any RAW for it - just a GM's evaluation of the situation and making a call.

There is plenty of RAW for this situation.

If all combatants are aware of each other its just an Initiative check.
No other checks are made, unless a specific ability says otherwise.

Except nobody is a "combatant" until there is a combat.


Quote:
The Surprise Round: If some but not all of the combatants are aware of their opponents, a surprise round happens before regular rounds begin. In initiative order (highest to lowest), combatants who started the battle aware of their opponents each take a standard or move action during the surprise round. You can also take free actions during the surprise round. If no one or everyone is surprised, no surprise round occurs.

The problem is that "aware of their opponents" is left undefined here. Do I have to be aware of them "as opponents" or simply aware that they exist?


DM_Blake wrote:
Except nobody is a "combatant" until there is a combat.

That's just a chicken and egg type argument. There can be no combat if there are not combatants.


I think drawing inspiration from the Assassin PrC would be appropriate here.

An assassin can assassinate somebody if their target is either unaware of them or unaware they are a threat. I would rule the same for surprise rounds. If you're playing a game of friendly dice and suddenly use your spring loaded wrist sheath to stab the other guy, I would certainly give opposed skill checks to see if the target noticed before it happened, but if he failed the check it would be a surprise round.


Melkiador wrote:


The problem is that "aware of their opponents" is left undefined here. Do I have to be aware of them "as opponents" or simply aware that they exist?

Their location and that the imminent outbreak of combat is highly likely.

Does anyone seriously substantially contest that?


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Melkiador wrote:
I find the whole "combat hasn't started", so flat footed concept silly. If you want to force combat, just have your weakest party member take an unarmed strike on your party's "tank" who is taking a full defense action every round. Bam, you suddenly have combat and aren't flat footed anymore, because the rules are silly here.

"Bag of Rats" rule, and you owe me a beer for even suggesting this b$+%*+%%.


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tchayl wrote:
Situation B) Tense argument between two groups. Everyone has hands on weapons, or maybe even weapons out. Sorcerer is clutching his bat guano tightly. Suddenly someone lunges. Probably no surprise round here, just initiative.

Nope, because then you get this:

GM: blah, blah, blah.
Fritz: I'm tired of this long-winded NPC babbling on and on. I stab him.
GM: OK, everyone roll initiative.
Dave: 21.
Mark: 18.
Sue: 22.
Fritz: 10. Crap.
GM: And the NPC got a 24. He goes first.
Fritz: What about my stab?
GM: It hasn't happened yet. You have to wait until 10.
Fritz: But I started this fight
GM: Correction: you will start it, on your initiative. 10.
Fritz: Whatever.
GM: The NPC casts Disintegrate on his turn.
Fritz: What? Why? I thought he was just talking.
GM: But you attacked him.
Fritz: No I didn't. Not until 10. I haven't attacked him yet.
GM: Yeah, but when you SAID you were attacking him, everyone rolled initiative, including the NPC. He happened to win it so he goes first. He targets you, by the way, since you attacked him.
Fritz: But I haven't attacked him yet!
GM: Yes you did. You specifically said "I stab him". That's an attack.
Fritz: It hasn't happened yet.
GM: But it must have happened because everyone rolled initiative. Now we're in combat and the highest initiative goes first. That's the NPC. He disintegrates you.
Fritz: for an attack that I haven't made yet?
GM: You did something. Whatever you did, it started combat. That's why everyone rolled initiative. He's first. He disintegrates you. Roll your save.
Fritz: Well, if I DID attack him, can I at least roll my attack?
GM: Sure, on 10. Right now the NPC is disintegrating you on 24. What's your save.
Fritz: Whatever. Crap. I got a 17, is that high enough?
GM: Not even close. You're now just a pile of dust.
Fritz: So I am a pile of dust that never attacked the NPC, but because I attacked him he turned me into a pile of dust?
GM: Yep. That's exactly right. Sue, you're next.
Sue: Well, since Fritz never attacked the guy, hu just disintegrated Fritz in an unprovoked attack, I'll smite this NPC...

The above is ridiculous. Which is why the non-combatant who strikes first gets a surprise round, because nobody is aware that he is a "combatant" yet. Once combat starts, heck, even once everybody is SURE that combat will start, then everyone becomes a "combatant" and everyone is aware of the combatants. Before that, there are no combatants to be aware of.


Casual Viking wrote:
Melkiador wrote:
I find the whole "combat hasn't started", so flat footed concept silly. If you want to force combat, just have your weakest party member take an unarmed strike on your party's "tank" who is taking a full defense action every round. Bam, you suddenly have combat and aren't flat footed anymore, because the rules are silly here.
"Bag of Rats" rule, and you owe me a beer for even suggesting this b@$+%@%!.

It's just to point out how ridiculous it is to be flat-footed, when you are standing around expecting a specific and imminent fight. The fact that it can be bypassed by such stupid Three Stooges antics just goes to show how ridiculous it all is.


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It's not ridiculous just because you don't like it.

In your scenario Fritz goes for his weapon and is slow as hell. His opponent seeing this since they are ALL AWARE of each other reacts faster and blasts him.

Have you never seen someone sucker punch another person?

A classic example of this would be Greedo pulling a blaster on Han Solo. He went for his gun and got blasted to hell for it because Han was quicker on the draw.


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Pathfinder Maps, Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
DM_Blake wrote:
tchayl wrote:
Situation B) Tense argument between two groups. Everyone has hands on weapons, or maybe even weapons out. Sorcerer is clutching his bat guano tightly. Suddenly someone lunges. Probably no surprise round here, just initiative.

Nope, because then you get this:

GM: blah, blah, blah.
Fritz: I'm tired of this long-winded NPC babbling on and on. I stab him.
GM: OK, everyone roll initiative.
Dave: 21.
Mark: 18.
Sue: 22.
Fritz: 10. Crap.
GM: And the NPC got a 24. He goes first.
Fritz: What about my stab?
GM: It hasn't happened yet. You have to wait until 10.
Fritz: But I started this fight
GM: Correction: you will start it, on your initiative. 10.
Fritz: Whatever.
GM: The NPC casts Disintegrate on his turn.
Fritz: What? Why? I thought he was just talking.
GM: But you attacked him.
Fritz: No I didn't. Not until 10. I haven't attacked him yet.
GM: Yeah, but when you SAID you were attacking him, everyone rolled initiative, including the NPC. He happened to win it so he goes first. He targets you, by the way, since you attacked him.
Fritz: But I haven't attacked him yet!
GM: Yes you did. You specifically said "I stab him". That's an attack.
Fritz: It hasn't happened yet.
GM: But it must have happened because everyone rolled initiative. Now we're in combat and the highest initiative goes first. That's the NPC. He disintegrates you.
Fritz: for an attack that I haven't made yet?
GM: You did something. Whatever you did, it started combat. That's why everyone rolled initiative. He's first. He disintegrates you. Roll your save.
Fritz: Well, if I DID attack him, can I at least roll my attack?
GM: Sure, on 10. Right now the NPC is disintegrating you on 24. What's your save.
Fritz: Whatever. Crap. I got a 17, is that high enough?
GM: Not even close. You're now just a pile of dust.
Fritz: So I am a pile of dust that never attacked the NPC, but because I attacked him he turned me into a pile of dust?
GM: Yep. That's exactly right. Sue, you're next.
Sue: Well,...

You do know that combat actions are, thematically, more or less simultaneous, right? The turn-based structure is just an abstraction to make the game manageable.

Using your example, the narrative assumes that Fritz drew his knife and moved to attack the NPC. The NPC, seeing this and reacting much more quickly, disintegrated Fritz before he could complete his action. The fact that Fritz attempted to attack the NPC never comes into question.

It's just like some mook in a bar drawing on Billy the Kid, but Billy the Kid is quicker and shoots the poor sod first.

It makes TOTAL sense. You just need to remember that it's abstracted, and that the characters, in the narrative at least, aren't actually going one after the other and/or waiting for their turn.


I feel like there should be some sort of in between. In the example DM_blake illustrates would make it so most if not all combats would have surprise rounds. But at the same time, the Way Brain in a Jar is talking makes it so it's almost impossible to have one without stealth/invisibility.

How about this. I'm a gunslinger. I have a gun hidden under a cloak. I've rolled a pretty decent sleight of hand. I'm hanging out in a bar, and a nice bartender comes to get me a drink. He has no idea I have a loaded firearm pointed at him, although he is aware of me. I pull the trigger.

Are we suppose to roll initiative, have him go first, and jump behind the bar in prepartion for the shot he's unaware of and that I haven't fired?


tchayl wrote:

I feel like there should be some sort of in between. In the example DM_blake illustrates would make it so most if not all combats would have surprise rounds. But at the same time, the Way Brain in a Jar is talking makes it so it's almost impossible to have one without stealth/invisibility.

How about this. I'm a gunslinger. I have a gun hidden under a cloak. I've rolled a pretty decent sleight of hand. I'm hanging out in a bar, and a nice bartender comes to get me a drink. He has no idea I have a loaded firearm pointed at him, although he is aware of me. I pull the trigger.

Are we suppose to roll initiative, have him go first, and jump behind the bar in prepartion for the shot he's unaware of and that I haven't fired?

Can you please cite how Sleight of Hand helps you get a Surprise Round?

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber
Melkiador wrote:
Casual Viking wrote:
Melkiador wrote:
I find the whole "combat hasn't started", so flat footed concept silly. If you want to force combat, just have your weakest party member take an unarmed strike on your party's "tank" who is taking a full defense action every round. Bam, you suddenly have combat and aren't flat footed anymore, because the rules are silly here.
"Bag of Rats" rule, and you owe me a beer for even suggesting this b@$+%@%!.
It's just to point out how ridiculous it is to be flat-footed, when you are standing around expecting a specific and imminent fight. The fact that it can be bypassed by such stupid Three Stooges antics just goes to show how ridiculous it all is.

It actually can't be bypassed that way, because the GM decides when combat starts.

So in your example, the wimp slaps the tank, and then initiative is rolled and the wimp and tank are flatfooted if the enemy rolls higher, as they were distracted with their attempt at subterfuge.


Pathfinder Maps, Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
tchayl wrote:

I feel like there should be some sort of in between. In the example DM_blake illustrates would make it so most if not all combats would have surprise rounds. But at the same time, the Way Brain in a Jar is talking makes it so it's almost impossible to have one without stealth/invisibility.

How about this. I'm a gunslinger. I have a gun hidden under a cloak. I've rolled a pretty decent sleight of hand. I'm hanging out in a bar, and a nice bartender comes to get me a drink. He has no idea I have a loaded firearm pointed at him, although he is aware of me. I pull the trigger.

Are we suppose to roll initiative, have him go first, and jump behind the bar in prepartion for the shot he's unaware of and that I haven't fired?

Isn't it a standard action to draw a hidden weapon? How are you firing it if it hasn't been drawn yet? If you had to draw it first, then that would likely trigger the initiative rolls and you may or may not get the shot off first.

If you were launching an ambush, then it becomes Perception versus Stealth to determine if there is a surprise round.

If the person you're talking to had no reason to believe you were hostile, and you had somehow had a weapon in a readied position AND hidden, then I would allow a Perception check versus your Sleight of Hand check to determine whether or not there is a surprise round.


TriOmegaZero wrote:
It actually can't be bypassed that way, because the GM decides when combat starts.

Source? Other than DM fiat. And by that logic, the DM could just as easily stop and restart combat in the middle of a combat to reapply flat-footed.


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Brain in a Jar wrote:
A classic example of this would be Greedo pulling a blaster on Han Solo. He went for his gun and got blasted to hell for it because Han was quicker on the draw.

A horrible example.

Greedo already had is blaster in hand and his finger on the trigger. Han's blaster was in his holster on his hip.

While they were talking ( ! ) Han drew his blaster under the table and pointed it at Greedo. Greedo didn't know this because he couldn't see it. In fact, Han was fidgeting with the stucco on the wall, distracting Greedo from the fact that he was drawing his blaster with his other hand. A Bluff check to conceal his motives. Greedo failed his Sense Motive check and didn't realize combat was about to start.

In the original film, Han acted in the surprise round while Greedo was still talking. Han shot first. Greedo never even knew there was a combat because he blew his Sense Motive check so he was unaware of other combatants because he was not in combat - it was just a role-playing encounter and Han, the cold-blooded killer, shot first and killed him. In the surprise round.

In the edited version of the film, Greedo shoots first and misses. Idiot. It was still the surprise round because Greedo didn't see Han draw his gun. Han might have been getting ready, or maybe he was just bout to use his blaster to intimidate Greedo. We'll never know. Greedo shot first and then Han shot back, killing Greedo. Greedo had a surprise round because Han, in this version, is not a cold-blooded killer and wasn't simply murdering Greedo. Han was talking. Greedo surprise him but missed. Then, in the regular combat round, Han won initiative and blasted Greedo.

Either way, there was clearly a surprise round because the encounter began as a non-combat encounter and, depending on version, the first shooter used a surprise round to start the combat.

Side note: Nobody "reached for his gun" (and nobody reached for a blaster, either) because during the surprise round, they each had their blaster already in hand. If you're contention is that, in the original version, Greedo had his gun aimed straight at Han and pulled the trigger but Han's trigger finger was faster than Greedo's trigger finger even though Greedo squeezed the trigger first, well, that's pretty far-fetched and not really what the film shows. But if you want to make that claim, then I'd say that Greedo still acted in the surprise round but Han, being at least a 4th level rogue, had Uncanny Dodge and was also able to act in the surprise round, winning initiative and blasting first even though Greedo started moving his trigger finger before Han.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber
Melkiador wrote:
TriOmegaZero wrote:
It actually can't be bypassed that way, because the GM decides when combat starts.
Source? Other than DM fiat.

If you don't have a source for 'how to start combat' then the default is 'when the GM says so'. I could just as easily have said 'combat starts as soon as your parties meet' so that your Three Stooges example just took up the wimps turn and no one is flatfooted anymore anyway.


TriOmegaZero wrote:
Melkiador wrote:
TriOmegaZero wrote:
It actually can't be bypassed that way, because the GM decides when combat starts.
Source? Other than DM fiat.
If you don't have a source for 'how to start combat' then the default is 'when the GM says so'. I could just as easily have said 'combat starts as soon as your parties meet' so that your Three Stooges example just took up the wimps turn and no one is flatfooted anymore anyway.
Quote:


Initiative
At the start of a battle, each combatant makes an initiative check.

So, as soon as there is a battle there is an initiative check. If someone is attacking someone else, there must be a battle.


If people are generally hostile or fear hostility, I don't have a surprise round when negotiations break down unless someone does something to generate one (a skill or ability that would allow them to make a sneaky/conceal attack.)

As always, before initiative starts you are flat footed. (And no, fighting rats or other party members won't help, because if you go into combat footing during tense negotiations, then negotiations have broken down.)

If people are generally friendly and not expecting trouble (sitting around drinking in a bar, talking with friends, etc.) and someone (usually a PC goes crazy) then I do allow a surprise round.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber
Melkiador wrote:
So, as soon as there is a battle there is an initiative check. If someone is attacking someone else, there must be a battle.

How do you determine the start of the battle? A wimp swinging at someone who is expecting it while having no plans to actually hit is not battling them.


Melkiador wrote:
If someone is attacking someone else, there must be a battle.

But if they're talking, there isn't a battle.


TriOmegaZero wrote:
Melkiador wrote:
So, as soon as there is a battle there is an initiative check. If someone is attacking someone else, there must be a battle.
How do you determine the start of the battle?

I just said. Someone attacks someone else. There is battle.


Do the enemies think you're gonna fight them? Cause if not, if they think you're allies or just don't care, then yeah they should be surprised if you all of a sudden shank them. But if not and they're anticipating combat, then they should be prepped for it.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber
Melkiador wrote:
I just said. Someone attacks someone else. There is battle.

No, you said someone slapped someone. That's not a battle.

This demonstrates the issue with your stance, you can't actually provide a rule that determines when battle starts without a GM call.


Pathfinder Maps, Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
DM_Blake wrote:
Brain in a Jar wrote:
A classic example of this would be Greedo pulling a blaster on Han Solo. He went for his gun and got blasted to hell for it because Han was quicker on the draw.

A horrible example.

...

Han shot first.

...

Greedo shoots first...

In the newest iterations of the film, they both are shown to have fired simultaneously. :P


TriOmegaZero wrote:
Melkiador wrote:
I just said. Someone attacks someone else. There is battle.

No, you said someone slapped someone. That's not a battle.

This demonstrates the issue with your stance, you can't actually provide a rule that determines when battle starts without a GM call.

All rules for attack rolls are in the Combat chapter. If you attack someone, you are in the Combat chapter of the book. Hence, if you attack someone, you are in combat.

Also this:

Quote:
An attack roll represents your attempt to strike your opponent on your turn in a round.

If you are on a "turn in a round", you must be in combat initiative.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber
Melkiador wrote:
All rules for attack rolls are in the Combat chapter. If you attack someone, you are in the Combat chapter of the book. Hence, if you attack someone, you are in combat.

Attack rolls are made outside of combat. See using a grappling hook. You're still not starting combat with a slap on an ally.


TriOmegaZero wrote:
Melkiador wrote:
All rules for attack rolls are in the Combat chapter. If you attack someone, you are in the Combat chapter of the book. Hence, if you attack someone, you are in combat.
Attack rolls are made outside of combat. See using a grappling hook.

Rather, where under the rules for a grappling hook does it say the attack roll doesn't put you in combat?


Pathfinder Maps, Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
TriOmegaZero wrote:
Melkiador wrote:
All rules for attack rolls are in the Combat chapter. If you attack someone, you are in the Combat chapter of the book. Hence, if you attack someone, you are in combat.
Attack rolls are made outside of combat. See using a grappling hook.

Just because you made an attack roll doesn't mean you are in combat.

Now, if you attempt to attack another creature who is fully capable of defending themselves...now you're in combat.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

See edit.

Quote:
You're still not starting combat with a slap on an ally.


In case this was missed in the speed of this thread. From the PRD:

Quote:
An attack roll represents your attempt to strike your opponent on your turn in a round.

If you are in a "turn in a round", you must be in initiative.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

An unarmed strike against an ally you have no intention of harming who is protecting himself in case you accidentally roll a 20 is a narrative function, not an attack. To claim otherwise is disingenuous and counterproductive, as you should just petition the GM to change the rules about flat-footedness in such cases.


My main question is, if they are aware of me, but don't see me as a threat, or don't see my weapon, should I not get a surprise round? I get that if you are invisible you get one, but why not have bluff and sleight of hand also be used to get suprise rounds?

Another example. A prince is running from an assassin (le moi). I get ahead of him, activate my hat of disguise to look like a palace guard.
Beckon him forward and tell him I'll watch his back! Bluff goes through, disguise goes through. He is aware of me, but thinks I'm there to protect him. He runs by. Rather than watching his back I put a sword in it. Surprised prince? I would say so, surprise round? I would say so?


TriOmegaZero wrote:
To claim otherwise is disingenuous and counterproductive, as you should just petition the GM to change the rules about flat-footedness in such cases.

To be clear, I'm not suggesting a DM should allow such silly tactics. I'm just saying that they are RAW and they are ridiculous, just like flat-footed in certain situations.


Also, I want to bring up the Rogue Underhanded Talent.

A rogue with this talent gains a +4 circumstance bonus on all Sleight of Hand checks made to conceal a weapon. Furthermore, if she makes a sneak attack during the surprise round using a concealed weapon that her opponent didn’t know about, she does not have to roll sneak attack damage, and the sneak attack deals maximum damage.

If you CAN'T get a surprise round with a concealed weapon then why even bother putting that in there, and or why does this talent even exist.


tchayl wrote:
If you CAN'T get a surprise round with a concealed weapon then why even bother putting that in there, and or why does this talent even exist.

Answer: because you can.

Although I'm sure somebody will say that the purpose of this feat is so that, if you kick down a door and surprise an enemy, you can pull a dagger out of your ear and do max sneak attack damage with the dagger you had previously concealed in your ear before you ever even kicked down the door - regardless of the question of why it matters that you used the hidden dagger in your ear rather than the unhidden dagger in your hand.

Shadow Lodge

DM_Blake wrote:
tchayl wrote:
If you CAN'T get a surprise round with a concealed weapon then why even bother putting that in there, and or why does this talent even exist.

Answer: because you can.

Although I'm sure somebody will say that the purpose of this feat is so that, if you kick down a door and surprise an enemy, you can pull a dagger out of your ear and do max sneak attack damage with the dagger you had previously concealed in your ear before you ever even kicked down the door - regardless of the question of why it matters that you used the hidden dagger in your ear rather than the unhidden dagger in your hand.

Answer linkified.

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