"You must be aware of the attack..." means what exactly?


Rules Questions


For feats like Deflect Arrows and Cut from the Air, they require the character to "be aware of the attack."

So what does that term mean mechanically speaking?

My best assumption is, if you're surprised in the surprise round. Such as a rogue sneaking up on you, you fail Perception, and they take a shot at you from their hiding spot.

Does this term rely on the character also needing sight to the incoming attack, or just simply knowing the are being attacked? For example, mid-battle my character is blind. He's aware of enemies present and attacking, he just can't see, but can he still use Deflect Arrows?

If the answer is no, then a follow up would be "Does Blind-Fight prevent this, since you keep your Dex bonus to AC when being attacked while blinded/can't see enemy?"

I am asking this because I have a fire giant fighter against the PCs, who wields two weapons and has the Cut from the Air feat. He was blinded by a PC spell, but he still has Blind-Fight. The Cut from the Air feat specifically says it USES an attack of opportunity, but it's not making an attack of opportunity, it's using one to make a melee attack against an incoming ranged attack in order to deflect it.

Can my Blind-Fight blinded fire giant who is aware he is being attacked still use Cut from the Air when some arrows get shot his way?


there's this line under Blind-Fight that has me saying 'no':

"The invisible attacker’s bonuses do still apply for ranged attacks, however."


If your giant had Blindsight it'd be a 'yes'.


It says "aware" not "can see". Vague.

I would allow a perception check (DC 0, +1 per 10ft) to hear the shot. And still apply the miss chance.


If you can't pinpoint a target at range, (usually this is by normal sight and doesn't come up mechanically) then you won't be aware of them attacking you.


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*Thelith wrote:
If you can't pinpoint a target at range, (usually this is by normal sight and doesn't come up mechanically) then you won't be aware of them attacking you.

Based on ...?


It means you must know the attack is being made against you. Knowing they are in the room doesn't mean you know they're about to attack you next.


toastedamphibian wrote:
*Thelith wrote:
If you can't pinpoint a target at range, (usually this is by normal sight and doesn't come up mechanically) then you won't be aware of them attacking you.
Based on ...?

Based on 50 different combat rules working together.

Rules for invisible combat, rules for flat-footed, rules for blind fighting, rules for tremorsense, rules for blindsight, rules for surprise, rules for perception, rules for cover, rules for light and darkness, Etc.

Knowing someone is in a room with you doesn't mean you know they are an enemy. Nor do you know if they are about to attack you. If someone shoots you from darkness and you don't have darkvision you are not aware of it.

Most of the time in combat you are aware of attacks via vision. Most replacements for vision are not as good as vision at providing important information needed to be aware of an attack.

As far as being able to hear a bow being fired that's probably a DC 15+ "sound of combat" drowning it out for another + 10 plus another +1 per 10 ft. On top of the fact that just because you heard it doesn't mean you know where it's coming from or if it's even coming towards you.

Scarab Sages

Basically, do you have a sense that can tell you an attack is coming, and give you distance, direction and speed? Blindfight does not explicitly make you aware of anything. It simply removes some penalties. While there are ways to describe that which could include being aware of an attack, it's not part of what the feat does and there are ways to describe it that don't include being aware of an attack.

Your giant may know there's an archer, but he doesn't know when the archer will fire, if the archer will target him, how many arrows the archer will shoot, and so on.

If he had a sense that allowed him to "see" his attacker and the fired arrow, I would let him use cut from the air. However, blindfighting alone wouldn't be sufficient to do so in my opinion. Neither would tremorsense because the arrow wouldn't be touching the ground once fired.

That being said, it's not an explicitly defined thing so you can expect some variation on how people would run it.


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DC 15 is "hear the details of a whispered coversation". Bows really are not that quiet.

By game terms, it is "the sounds of battle". -10. +5 for terrible conditions,+5 for distracted.


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toastedamphibian wrote:

DC 15 is "hear the details of a whispered coversation". Bows really are not that quiet.

By game terms, it is "the sounds of battle". -10. +5 for terrible conditions,+5 for distracted.

The DC to hear the sound of a bowstring being pulled back is a DC 25. So, average archer that is about 30 ft away while you are distracted has a DC 33 perception to hear them fire an arrow. Note that it is "Hear the sounds of Battle" not combat. This is because most battles are loud with YELLING and metal clanging on metal. An assassin slitting someones throat is not "the sounds of battle" nor is an archer picking you off from the distance.

Scarab Sages

You heard the bow being pulled back. Did you hear the direction it was pointed in?


TrinitysEnd wrote:
url=http://paizo.com/pathfinderRPG/prd/coreRulebook/skills/perception .html#perception]The DC to hear the sound of a bowstring being pulled back is a DC 25.[/url]

That is the DC for the draw. Nothing says what the DC is for the sound of firing a bow.

Magicdealer wrote:
you hear the direction it was pointed in?

Was that a requirement? I thought it was 'be aware of the attack' and not 'be aware of WHO is being attacked'.

Silver Crusade

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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Ask your GM.

Scarab Sages

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graystone wrote:
Was that a requirement? I thought it was 'be aware of the attack' and not 'be aware of WHO is being attacked'.

It's not an attack until the arrow is fired at someone/thing. Pulling back a bowstring isn't an attack. Actually, thinking about it, even releasing a bowstring isn't an attack unless you've knocked an arrow and are making an attack roll. So, if you want to go all out here, hearing the bowstring being pulled back, hearing an arrow being knocked, and hearing the bowstring twang as it's released isn't proof of an attack. You need to be able to perceive, in some way, that the arrow is aimed at you and fired at you. Sound alone won't do that.

Or. more reasonably, if you can't perceive the exact location of the arrow as it flies through the air you can't cut it in half.


I mean, this could be as simple as having another character say "X is pointing a bow at you on your five o'clock," at which point you're aware regardless of feats, even if it is a bit silly. So I'd probably just let Blind Fight work in those circumstances, at least out to 30 feet, say. It's not explicitly something Blind Fight does, but it seems fair.

Actually deflecting arrows, especially at that range, requires stupid reflexes and speed in the first place, so I'm willing enough to believe that if you can be superhuman enough to consistently pull that off, then the blind fight feat can probably make you super human enough to react to the snap of the bowstring or something.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I consider being flat footed as not being aware of the attack. If Blindfighting prevents that condition in this case, the reactives would be allowed. Martials do get nice things sometimes. ;)


TrinitysEnd wrote:
toastedamphibian wrote:

DC 15 is "hear the details of a whispered coversation". Bows really are not that quiet.

By game terms, it is "the sounds of battle". -10. +5 for terrible conditions,+5 for distracted.

The DC to hear the sound of a bowstring being pulled back is a DC 25. So, average archer that is about 30 ft away while you are distracted has a DC 33 perception to hear them fire an arrow. Note that it is "Hear the sounds of Battle" not combat. This is because most battles are loud with YELLING and metal clanging on metal. An assassin slitting someones throat is not "the sounds of battle" nor is an archer picking you off from the distance.

I wish more of the local DM's felt that way. (About any kind of attacking not necessarily giving everyone around a perception check vs DC -10)


Rathendar wrote:
I consider being flat footed as not being aware of the attack. If Blindfighting prevents that condition in this case, the reactives would be allowed. Martials do get nice things sometimes. ;)

The feat you want is Improved Blind Fighting

Quote:
Benefit: Your melee attacks ignore the miss chance for less than total concealment. You may still reroll your miss chance percentile roll for total concealment. If you successfully pinpoint an invisible or hidden attacker within 30 feet, that attacker gets no advantages related to hitting you with ranged attacks. That is, you don’t lose your Dexterity bonus to Armor Class, and the attacker doesn’t get the usual +2 bonus for being invisible.

Even with Improved Blind Fighting, you still need a perception check to pinpoint the archer.


Gorbacz wrote:
Ask your GM.

Pretty much always the wrong answer in the rules forum.


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thorin001 wrote:
Gorbacz wrote:
Ask your GM.
Pretty much always the wrong answer in the rules forum.

One should always quote Rule 0 when referring final arbitration to the GM.

Just so everyone understands this is, in fact, RAW.


Magicdealer wrote:
graystone wrote:
Was that a requirement? I thought it was 'be aware of the attack' and not 'be aware of WHO is being attacked'.
It's not an attack until the arrow is fired at someone/thing. Pulling back a bowstring isn't an attack.

Note that I WAS talking about the attack... Drawing the bow is a moot point.

graystone wrote:
Nothing says what the DC is for the sound of firing a bow.

FIRING... Secondly, once again, the requirement is sensing an attack and not who is attacked or what directing the attack is.

Shadow Lodge

Rathendar wrote:
I consider being flat footed as not being aware of the attack.

I disagree. The wording on Cut from the Air is "must be aware of the attack and not flat-footed". If being aware of the attack simply meant not being flat-footed, then this phrasing would be redundant.

Notably, defending yourself against an invisible target doesn't make you flat-footed, it just denies you your Dex to AC.

In this case, I think djdust and Volkard Abendroth are correct - Blind-Fight isn't sufficient because it doesn't remove your vulnerability to ranged attacks, but Improved Blind-Fight would work because it allows you to defend yourself against ranged attacks normally.

Liberty's Edge

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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Maps, Modules, Pawns, Roleplaying Game, Tales Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

You need to observe the attack with a precise sense (e.g. vision, blindsight, lifesense) OR to have pinpointed the attacker's location with an imprecise sense (e.g. hearing, scent, blindsense) and have Improved Blind-Fight.

Shadow Lodge

Also, Re: ask your GM, OP is the GM:

Barachiel Shina wrote:

I am asking this because I have a fire giant fighter against the PCs, who wields two weapons and has the Cut from the Air feat. He was blinded by a PC spell, but he still has Blind-Fight. The Cut from the Air feat specifically says it USES an attack of opportunity, but it's not making an attack of opportunity, it's using one to make a melee attack against an incoming ranged attack in order to deflect it.

Can my Blind-Fight blinded fire giant who is aware he is being attacked still use Cut from the Air when some arrows get shot his way?

If you were considering a Rule 0, it should be to make the gene more fun for the players. This giant is already built to be less vulnerable to blinding and to ranged attacks than normal. It would presumably be less fun for the wizard and for the ranged PCs if the wizard's spell failed to negate the giant's defense against ranged attacks.

Shadow Lodge

Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber

clearly there are cases/circumstances where a target is not aware that an attack is being made until the damage is dealt, even then the target may not be able to locate the attacker or line of attack. Magic makes things complicated and some feats make things very covert.
That line of text is there for those cases.

The cases aren't outlined as they are circumstantial and your GM can make the distinction. It is going to be an unusual event of limited duration given the flow of most combat encounters.

Blinding the user of Deflect Arrows is going to hinder his perception for incoming ranged attacks. Darkvision and such use eyes unless otherwise noted. Blindsense & Blindsight are different and more comprehensive a sense. Other posters make good points about (precise) senses and having the ability to act/react.


The players are heavily experienced and know how to optimize, so I have to go extra hard on optimizing my "boss fights" in order for my players not to run them over in 2 rounds using little resources.

Well, my players won't be too happy to learn the fiendish fire giant Fighter 12 that they successfully blinded was able to use his dual-wielded earthbreakers to use Cut from the Air to block the gunslinger's barrage of bullets coming at him. That was the idea, but if rules suggest otherwise, I get heat. Mainly because my players eyeball what the enemies do, because somewhere along the line they will try to pull a similar tactic knowing how I ruled it before.

That SHOULD be a cool thing Fighters can get away with but Fighters almost never get the good stuff.

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