One point of nonlethal damage cancels out ferocity?


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Nonlethal Damage:
When you take nonlethal damage, keep a running total of how much you've accumulated. Do not deduct the nonlethal damage number from your current hit points. It is not "real" damage. Instead, when your nonlethal damage equals your current hit points, you're staggered (see below), and when it exceeds your current hit points, you fall unconscious.

Ferocity:
A creature with ferocity remains conscious and can continue fighting even if its hit point total is below 0. The creature is still staggered and loses 1 hit point each round. A creature with ferocity still dies when its hit point total reaches a negative amount equal to its Constitution score.

Ferocity doesn't make allowances for nonlethal damage. Specifically it allows you to be active when your hit points are in the negatives. If you have 1 nonlethal damage that's greater than a negative number. Ferocity doesn't make you immune to unconsciousness, just the specific trigger of falling below 0 hit points.


@Title: Yes.


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Hmmmn.

So if you've taken 0 non-lethal damage, does this mean you're staggered when you hit 0 hp and become unconscious at -1 hp, per the nonlethal damage rules?
(independently of the normal rule for reaching 0 hp)


0 > -1
0 > -2
0 > -3
...


No, because you've not taken any non-lethal damage. Your count is not at 0, it's null.

Silver Crusade

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I started a similar thread regarding Diehard.

I believe it's completely asinine that any amount of non-lethal can cancel these options out. A trolls claws can't take you down but a pack of preschoolers can?


Rysky wrote:

I started a similar thread regarding Diehard.

I believe it's completely asinine that any amount of non-lethal can cancel these options out. A trolls claws can't take you down but a pack of preschoolers can?

Even more wackily, while they are on their last legs giving a ferocious/diehard creature a light smack to the noggin is far more effective at polishing them off than stabbing them .

Silver Crusade

Snowblind wrote:
Rysky wrote:

I started a similar thread regarding Diehard.

I believe it's completely asinine that any amount of non-lethal can cancel these options out. A trolls claws can't take you down but a pack of preschoolers can?

Even more wackily, while they are on their last legs giving a ferocious/diehard creature a light smack to the noggin is far more effective at polishing them off than stabbing them .

Which if you're playing the Three Stooges is fine, but anything else is absolutely absurd.


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Rysky wrote:
Snowblind wrote:
Rysky wrote:

I started a similar thread regarding Diehard.

I believe it's completely asinine that any amount of non-lethal can cancel these options out. A trolls claws can't take you down but a pack of preschoolers can?

Even more wackily, while they are on their last legs giving a ferocious/diehard creature a light smack to the noggin is far more effective at polishing them off than stabbing them .

Which if you're playing the Three Stooges is fine, but anything else is absolutely absurd.

Some recurring incompetent goblin NPCs that kept getting inexplicably hired in random professions in PFS would be amazing.

Silver Crusade

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HibikiSatsuo wrote:
Rysky wrote:
Snowblind wrote:
Rysky wrote:

I started a similar thread regarding Diehard.

I believe it's completely asinine that any amount of non-lethal can cancel these options out. A trolls claws can't take you down but a pack of preschoolers can?

Even more wackily, while they are on their last legs giving a ferocious/diehard creature a light smack to the noggin is far more effective at polishing them off than stabbing them .

Which if you're playing the Three Stooges is fine, but anything else is absolutely absurd.
Some recurring incompetent goblin NPCs that kept getting inexplicably hired in random professions in PFS would be amazing.

O M G

WHY IS THIS NOT A THING?!?!


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Yes. That is how it works.

Ferocity is a show of just how tenaciously you cling to life, but it doesn't account for how bludgeoned and bruised you are.
Consider it a bleeding out vs a being entirely worn out.

If you want to keep going while under nonleathal damage, consider the feat Flagellant

Flagellant wrote:

Source Inner Sea Gods pg. 212

You have learned to ignore the effects of pain through long years of exposure to it.

Prerequisites: Endurance, character level 7th, worshiper of Zon-Kuthon.

Benefit: You gain a +4 bonus on saving throws against pain effects. Also, you suffer no adverse effect when your nonlethal damage equals your current hit points, and you become staggered when your nonlethal damage exceeds your current hit points. You never fall unconscious due to nonlethal damage.

Normal: When your nonlethal damage equals your current hit points, you become staggered. When your nonlethal damage exceeds your current hit points, you fall unconscious.

Silver Crusade

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No, that is not how it works. Because that is incredibly stupid.


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Rysky wrote:
No, that is not how it works. Because that is incredibly stupid.

Just because something seems stupid does not mean that isn't how it works.


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Many people house rule that creatures with diehard, ferocity, etc... add their con score to their HP for purposes of adjudicating non-lethal damage.

When the game is obviously broken, there's no reason not to fix it.


Pathfinder Companion, Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

Seems like a reasonable way to do it, _Ozy_.

Lord Twitchopolis wrote:
Just because something seems stupid does not mean that isn't how it works.

That's why there is RAW and RAI. Granted, this is best described as the RAW forum. ;)


Bring it up with your GM early on. Keep in mind that nonlethal from a Kineticist's burn overrides anything like this since its effects can't be mitigated.


_Ozy_ wrote:
Many people house rule that creatures with diehard, ferocity, etc... add their con score to their HP for purposes of adjudicating non-lethal damage.

A sensible house rule.

After all, while Diehard and Ferocity shouldn't be negated by non-lethal, neither should non-lethal be negated by Diehard and Ferocity.

QuidEst wrote:
Keep in mind that nonlethal from a Kineticist's burn overrides anything like this since its effects can't be mitigated.

*sigh* So true. Really nuked my idea of making my PFS barbarian who's archetype got banned after three years of it being legal into a Kineticist, since the Deathless tree is totally incompatible...


I have to agree RAW that is how it works. I am not sure that was the intended result however.


Pathfinder Companion, Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Lord Twitchiopolis wrote:
After all, while Diehard and Ferocity shouldn't be negated by non-lethal, neither should non-lethal be negated by Diehard and Ferocity.

Unless you fundamentally change how they work, e.g., creatures with ferocity are not affected by NL damage, which seems extreme, IMO. I'm not even sure a FAQ entry can help this conundrum since the 2 concepts are really at odds with each other.


The house rule I stated works just fine. What's the issue? Just make that the official rule.


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Rysky wrote:
No, that is not how it works. Because that is incredibly stupid.

Wait, we can just say that now? This is going to be so much more efficient!!!

Silver Crusade

quibblemuch wrote:
Rysky wrote:
No, that is not how it works. Because that is incredibly stupid.
Wait, we can just say that now? This is going to be so much more efficient!!!

Knock yourself out.


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Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
Rysky wrote:
quibblemuch wrote:
Rysky wrote:
No, that is not how it works. Because that is incredibly stupid.
Wait, we can just say that now? This is going to be so much more efficient!!!
Knock yourself out.

By taking one point of nonlethal damage?

Silver Crusade

Squiggit wrote:
Rysky wrote:
quibblemuch wrote:
Rysky wrote:
No, that is not how it works. Because that is incredibly stupid.
Wait, we can just say that now? This is going to be so much more efficient!!!
Knock yourself out.
By taking one point of nonlethal damage?

NO


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Rysky wrote:
Squiggit wrote:
Rysky wrote:
Knock yourself out.
By taking one point of nonlethal damage?
NO

I dunno. I'm not very sturdy. One point might do it.


I have not came across this issue with ferocity and non-lethal damage, until tonight.

I had a group starting a campaign and they were being tracked by some orcs. The orcs tracked through the night, but the party settled in against the snow storm. The following morning, the orcs arrived, though worn from the cold weather and fatigue. I assigned them each 5 non-lethal damage. Once things came to blows, I realized that ferocity and non-lethal do not make any sense together, as others have noticed.

The party's rogue flanked and dropped one of the orcs to -3 with a critical and sneak attack combination. The orc having -3 hit points and 5 non-lethal hurt my brain.

At last, I decided to say that the orc's con score of 11 would allot it an extra 11 points until non-lethal would take effect.

That sounds all well and good, but what is the point in non-lethal for creatures with ferocity?

Scenario Time

Orc stats hit points 9. Con 11

Let's just say that the orc can attain 19 points of non-lethal damage before becoming staggered and 20+ before falling unconscious. As per the RAW, non-lethal damage says that when you have attained your maximum hit points (not current) in non-lethal damage any further non-lethal damage is considered to be lethal damage, instead. So, if you are punching the orc and he reached 9 he is fine because of ferocity, according to RAI. Though, every non-lethal damage attained thereafter is lethal instead?

Have any of the threads on the topic cleared this up?


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Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

Yes. We have cleared up that there is still no clarity on the subject.

RAW, Ferocity and Diehard still shut off from one point of nonlethal damage. And this is, as was said earlier, "incredibly stupid". So I don't foresee many GMs running it that way, unless it was PFS and they had to.

Still no FAQ from Paizo on the topic...


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PRD wrote:

Diehard

Benefit: When your hit point total is below 0, but you are not dead, you automatically stabilize. You do not need to make a Constitution check each round to avoid losing additional hit points. You may choose to act as if you were disabled, rather than dying. You must make this decision as soon as you are reduced to negative hit points (even if it isn't your turn). If you do not choose to act as if you were disabled, you immediately fall unconscious.
When using this feat, you are staggered. You can take a move action without further injuring yourself, but if you perform any standard action (or any other action deemed as strenuous, including some swift actions, such as casting a quickened spell) you take 1 point of damage after completing the act. If your negative hit points are equal to or greater than your Constitution score, you immediately die.

-----------------------

Disabled: A character with 0 hit points, or one who has negative hit points but has become stable and conscious, is disabled. A disabled character may take a single move action or standard action each round (but not both, nor can he take full-round actions, but he can still take swift, immediate, and free actions). He moves at half speed. Taking move actions doesn't risk further injury, but performing any standard action (or any other action the GM deems strenuous, including some free actions such as casting a quickened spell) deals 1 point of damage after the completion of the act. Unless the action increased the disabled character's hit points, he is now in negative hit points and dying.

It's takes a bit more in-depth system understanding of the specific conditions involved, but there's your answer. Ferocity says you remain conscious even if you are in negative HP. That wouldn't be limited to just the unconsciousness from negative HP but, also, unconsciousness from nonlethal and other sources as well. Likewise, Diehard states you act as if disabled and disabled is defined by being stabled and conscious. You can't be both unconscious and disabled so, since Diehard says you function as if disabled, that necessitates being conscious, thus other sources of unconsciousness don't apply.


Hmm, so if someone with Diehard was knocked unconscious from non-lethal damage while at positive HP, they would fall unconscious. But if they were at negative HP they would remain conscious?

Does it make them immune to sleep spells as well?


_Ozy_ wrote:

Hmm, so if someone with Diehard was knocked unconscious from non-lethal damage while at positive HP, they would fall unconscious. But if they were at negative HP they would remain conscious?

Does it make them immune to sleep spells as well?

Seems that way. Makes sense, though, if you think about it. If you just get conked over the head with non-lethal, it may knock you out, but getting down into negative HP gives you some kind of adrenaline surge because it's significantly life-threatening and it keeps you alert. Same goes for countering sleep; the rush of being so near death will snap you out of sleep, but without that rush, you're susceptible to it as normal. Die-hard relies on that "survival surge" of being in negative HP to kick in. Ferocity kicks in when you use the ability, but is the same kind of a "survival surge", just not contingent on being near-death.


No, it doesn't make sense at all. If it gave you adrenaline, you wouldn't still be staggered.

And what about immunity to sleep spells?


The way I've always interpreted it, as a DM, is that the reason creatures fall unconscious below 0 hit points is because their nonlethal damage (0) is now greater than their hit points (<0). As a result, this would make falling unconscious a mechanic of nonletal-lethal damage interaction, rather than something tied specifically to hit points alone.

Diehard and Ferocity essentially allow you to ignore this mechanic, and no matter how far below your nonlethal damage your hit-points are, you do not fall unconscious.

My players enjoy the fact that Diehard isn't nigh worthless (and in this case, Ferocity as well).

That's just me though.


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_Ozy_ wrote:

No, it doesn't make sense at all. If it gave you adrenaline, you wouldn't still be staggered.

And what about immunity to sleep spells?

Does it make any more sense that Diehard and Ferocity don't work at all? That they were added into the rule book, taking up precious page space, just as a joke? The fact of the matter is that Ferocity explicitly states, "you don't fall unconscious even from negative HP." It doesn't say, "you don't fall unconscious from negative HP," it gives a blanket immunity and additionally clarifies that this even applies to unconsciousness from having negative HP. That means, without a doubt, that it protects you from unconsciousness from any and all sources. Diehard requires a little bit more mental agility to understand it, but it ends up in the same place; you don't suffer a condition that is defined by being stable and unconscious (dying) and, instead, you suffer from a pair of states that both are defined by being stable and conscious (disabled and staggered).


To be fair, there's joke material in the newer books now too, after some 'balance changes', so it's not so surprising.


Kazaan wrote:
_Ozy_ wrote:

No, it doesn't make sense at all. If it gave you adrenaline, you wouldn't still be staggered.

And what about immunity to sleep spells?

Does it make any more sense that Diehard and Ferocity don't work at all? That they were added into the rule book, taking up precious page space, just as a joke? The fact of the matter is that Ferocity explicitly states, "you don't fall unconscious even from negative HP." It doesn't say, "you don't fall unconscious from negative HP," it gives a blanket immunity and additionally clarifies that this even applies to unconsciousness from having negative HP. That means, without a doubt, that it protects you from unconsciousness from any and all sources. Diehard requires a little bit more mental agility to understand it, but it ends up in the same place; you don't suffer a condition that is defined by being stable and unconscious (dying) and, instead, you suffer from a pair of states that both are defined by being stable and conscious (disabled and staggered).

You mean like the original prone shooter?


Kazaan wrote:
_Ozy_ wrote:

No, it doesn't make sense at all. If it gave you adrenaline, you wouldn't still be staggered.

And what about immunity to sleep spells?

Does it make any more sense that Diehard and Ferocity don't work at all? That they were added into the rule book, taking up precious page space, just as a joke? The fact of the matter is that Ferocity explicitly states, "you don't fall unconscious even from negative HP." It doesn't say, "you don't fall unconscious from negative HP," it gives a blanket immunity and additionally clarifies that this even applies to unconsciousness from having negative HP. That means, without a doubt, that it protects you from unconsciousness from any and all sources. Diehard requires a little bit more mental agility to understand it, but it ends up in the same place; you don't suffer a condition that is defined by being stable and unconscious (dying) and, instead, you suffer from a pair of states that both are defined by being stable and conscious (disabled and staggered).

I just want a straight answer is all. Does Diehard make you immune to the sleep spell?


Talonhawke wrote:
You mean like the original prone shooter?

The default stance is either that the rules are meant to be useful and should be presumed to work with whatever presumptions are necessary to make them work, and deal with isolated cases of poor writing as they come up, or that the rules aren't meant to work and require hyper-precise writing where any tiny detail omitted causes it to cease to function until the devs address it explicitly. Honestly, I prefer the former. It was entirely reasonable to conclude that the original prone shooter referred to a penalty that was actual in the game because it was written wrong. If it turns out that Diehard and Ferocity are written wrong, that can be addressed. But by default, one should presume that they are written correctly and understand that language has both explicit and implicit parts. This isn't a computer programming class where you need to explain to a computer how to make a PB&J sandwich in excruciating detail because it can only understand the explicit and cannot comprehend the implicit as people do. Ferocity states you don't fall unconscious even from negative HP. That pretty well covers all sources of unconsciousness. It isn't explicitly stated that it's all sources, but the implication is clear and unambiguous. Diehard's implication is a little less clear, but it still states that you act as disabled. Disabled is defined as being either at 0 HP, or negative HP and both stable and conscious. But you must choose to remain conscious (and disabled) or lose conscious as soon as you drop down into negative HP. So Diehard doesn't protect you from unconsciousness unless you decide it does on the spot, triggered by falling into negative HP. So, to address Ozy's concern, if you were asleep beforehand and someone brings you down to negative HP while you're already unconscious, Diehard will wake you up. But if someone casts Sleep on you after you've already used Diehard to stay conscious after being dropped into negative HP, Diehard states that you act as disabled and the Sleep is shrugged off. Additionally, you're staggered while using Diehard because having non-lethal damage greater than or equal to your current HP makes you staggered; Diehard only protects you from going unconscious, not being staggered and, even then, only while you are in negative HP. Deathless Initiate removes the staggered, but you're still Disabled so you still take the 1 damage on strenuous activity. Deathless Master removes the 1 damage from strenuous activity.

Silver Crusade

_Ozy_ wrote:
Kazaan wrote:
_Ozy_ wrote:

No, it doesn't make sense at all. If it gave you adrenaline, you wouldn't still be staggered.

And what about immunity to sleep spells?

Does it make any more sense that Diehard and Ferocity don't work at all? That they were added into the rule book, taking up precious page space, just as a joke? The fact of the matter is that Ferocity explicitly states, "you don't fall unconscious even from negative HP." It doesn't say, "you don't fall unconscious from negative HP," it gives a blanket immunity and additionally clarifies that this even applies to unconsciousness from having negative HP. That means, without a doubt, that it protects you from unconsciousness from any and all sources. Diehard requires a little bit more mental agility to understand it, but it ends up in the same place; you don't suffer a condition that is defined by being stable and unconscious (dying) and, instead, you suffer from a pair of states that both are defined by being stable and conscious (disabled and staggered).
I just want a straight answer is all. Does Diehard make you immune to the sleep spell?

No.


Kazaan apparently disagrees.

Silver Crusade

_Ozy_ wrote:
Kazaan apparently disagrees.

Hmm, maybe it does make you immune to sleep effects.

*shrugs*

Never really thought about it before.


Quote:

Benefit: When your hit point total is below 0, but you are not dead, you automatically stabilize. You do not need to make a Constitution check each round to avoid losing additional hit points. You may choose to act as if you were disabled, rather than dying. You must make this decision as soon as you are reduced to negative hit points (even if it isn't your turn). If you do not choose to act as if you were disabled, you immediately fall unconscious.

When using this feat, you are staggered. You can take a move action without further injuring yourself, but if you perform any standard action (or any other action deemed as strenuous, including some swift actions, such as casting a quickened spell) you take 1 point of damage after completing the act. If your negative hit points are equal to or greater than your Constitution score, you immediately die.

You can choose to act disabled instead of dying if below negative HP. It would not negate being unconscious from a different effect such as a sleep spell.

I can't find a description of ferocity which states "you don't fall unconscious even from negative HP"

The monster ability is:

Quote:
Ferocity (Ex) A creature with ferocity remains conscious and can continue fighting even if its hit point total is below 0. The creature is still staggered and loses 1 hit point each round. A creature with ferocity still dies when its hit point total reaches a negative amount equal to its Constitution score.
While the half-orc ability is:
Quote:
Orc Ferocity: Once per day, when a half-orc is brought below 0 hit points but not killed, he can fight on for one more round as if disabled. At the end of his next turn, unless brought to above 0 hit points, he immediately falls unconscious and begins dying.

Both of which let you remain conscious and continue fighting if below 0 hp. It doesn't say it negates any other conditions which would apply unconsciousness, so while you can remain conscious due to being below 0 hp (which normally makes you dying) you don't get to ignore other effects such a sleep spell.


I think the claim is the 'remains conscious' trumps any and all effects that would make you unconscious.


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"A creature with ferocity remains conscious and can continue fighting even if its hit point total is below 0."
It says it because normally a creature is unconscious when its hit points are below 0. It doesn't say, "is conscious regardless of any other effect."


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I agree.


No


Tarantula wrote:

"A creature with ferocity remains conscious and can continue fighting even if its hit point total is below 0."

It says it because normally a creature is unconscious when its hit points are below 0. It doesn't say, "is conscious regardless of any other effect."

It doesn't need to because that's what "remains conscious" already means. It doesn't say "remains conscious and can continue fighting if its hit point total is below 0," which would mean that it blocks unconsciousness as a result of HP being in negatives. It says, "remains conscious and can continue fighting even if its hit point total is below 0," which means that it remains conscious despite any other rules element that would render it unconscious with an emphasis that this even blocks unconsciousness caused by being in negative HP.


Kazaan, by your interpretation the character can no longer sleep at all. They will permanently suffer exhaustion, never regain daily resources, and all ability damage must be cured magically.

It seems more reasonable to interpret the feat as not preventing sleep.


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The definition of unconscious does not include sleeping. There is no clear definition of sleeping. However, the sleep spell never states it renders you unconscious.

At the risk of invoking the dreaded Real Life, IRL unconscious and asleep are two very different things. Why shouldn't they be so in game as well?


Great point GinoA. The glossary gives us the unconscious condition.

Quote:
Unconscious: Unconscious creatures are knocked out and helpless. Unconsciousness can result from having negative hit points (but not more than the creature's Constitution score), or from nonlethal damage in excess of current hit points.

It is perfectly reasonable for diehard to make you able to stay conscious as defined in the glossary. It even resolves the issue that started this thread where you could act while in negative hitpoints but are knocked out by 1 point of non-lethal.


GinoA wrote:

The definition of unconscious does not include sleeping. There is no clear definition of sleeping. However, the sleep spell never states it renders you unconscious.

At the risk of invoking the dreaded Real Life, IRL unconscious and asleep are two very different things. Why shouldn't they be so in game as well?

Well, there's a slight technical difference between 'remains conscious' and 'can't be knocked unconscious'.

Someone who falls asleep is no longer conscious, even though they haven't been 'knocked unconscious'. At least in the real world.

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