Suprise Round???


Running the Game


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Started "The Lost Star" (TLS) tonight. In room A1...

In Room A1:
No PC detected the ooze.

The text for A1 says "for now the creature slithers up to attack the moment the PCs get within 10 feet or as soon as anyone takes an action against it."

So here is where I got confused. When the PCs got within 10 feet should the ooze have moved, attacked, attacked and then we all roll initiative. That would be a surprise round in PF1E.

or...

Does it just mean the ooze got to use Stealth for initiative.

Another way to think about it. A PC with invisibility sneaks up to a target in Exploration mode and attacks entering Encounter mode. Does the PC get all three actions before initiative is rolled?

Can't seem to find this answer in the rules.


Shade325 wrote:

Started "The Lost Star" (TLS) tonight. In room A1...

** spoiler omitted **

There are no surprise rounds in PF2.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Maps, Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber

Yeah, you just roll initiative using stealth, you don't get a surprise round. If your stealth beats their perception, you get to act before them, similar to (but obviously quite different from) a surprise round.

I spent a while searching the rules for mentions of the surprise round too. :)


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While there is no surprise round, if your stealth beats their perception DC I THINK you can ready a single action to use as a reaction before initiative is even rolled. I had to search pretty hard to find this, but this is how complex hazards do it.

So theoretically a good stealth roll means you can get a single action off, THEN you roll stealth again for initiative. If you get the highest initiative, then you get to act act for your normal turn.

I screwed that up a little last night and let a sewer ooze apply its stealth roll to Hide as its initiative, which was unfair to the players. Letting the thing double dip off a single good roll is really powerful and the ooze knocked the monk out before anyone else could act.


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Captain Morgan's note about complex hazards and their reaction is very interesting. Good point.

RAW I played option 2 but it felt off... especially when you put it into the perspective of a PC who's invisible and sneaks up to a guard who's unaware. The PC says I stab him and then rolls initiative??? I guess the PC is unseen (and made his Stealth check so the guard is unaware) so even if the guard makes a better initiative check he shouldn't really do anything and then the invisible player get's three actions???

In the case of the ooze should I have called for initiative but left the ooze as unseen? If you call for initiative and the PCs go before the creature that is unseen doesn't that just tell them to make a bunch of Seek checks until they find it?

Really not sure how to handle one party surprising the other in PF2E. Feels like it should be more than getting to use stealth for infinitive... especially for PCs who set up and plan an ambush scenario.

Sovereign Court

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Shade325 wrote:
In the case of the ooze should I have called for initiative but left the ooze as unseen? If you call for initiative and the PCs go before the creature that is unseen doesn't that just tell them to make a bunch of Seek checks until they find it?

Initiative is determined by Stealth and Perception checks. If the PC's Perception checks are higher than the ooze's Stealth check, they've seen it and can react first. If the ooze is Stealthy enough, it gets to go first instead.

This works out about the same as the PF1 practice of allowing PCs a perception check to act in the surprise round of an ambush.


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KingOfAnything wrote:
Shade325 wrote:
In the case of the ooze should I have called for initiative but left the ooze as unseen? If you call for initiative and the PCs go before the creature that is unseen doesn't that just tell them to make a bunch of Seek checks until they find it?

Initiative is determined by Stealth and Perception checks. If the PC's Perception checks are higher than the ooze's Stealth check, they've seen it and can react first. If the ooze is Stealthy enough, it gets to go first instead.

This works out about the same as the PF1 practice of allowing PCs a perception check to act in the surprise round of an ambush.

So the PCs fail their Perception check to detect the ooze and then the ooze moves to attack and the PCs get a second chance to make that check they just failed?

Same with an invisible PC. Sneaks up to the guard and makes an attack and then the guard gets a second chance to detect him before he can make his attack?

This makes stealth tactics really tough in my mind.

I admit I've been off the PF1E train for a year or two now but I've got over 10 years of 3/3.5/PF1E experience and this feels off. If an enemy is unknown to you (failed to detect them) and the enemy makes an attack you don't get a check to see if you catch them the split second before (in PF1E). You take the attack and then become aware (maybe the enemy is visible now, maybe you just know the direction the attacks came from, depending on circumstances, etc.)


Sounds like we may get some clarification on stealth on Monday.


Looks like we have to wait for the next playtest twitch stream


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This exactly what has boggled my mind. Using the unseen tactics and the fact that if PCs are rolling initiative then they really already assume an encounter is imminent. I have been playing D&D for 23 years and Ive played Pathfinder 1sr edition since it has been out. What is going on with surprise rounds? Can I at the least get one action off? These rules are not very clear cut and I understand that it is a playtest but why is it that the only thing in the book in the index references the Rogues Surprise attack. I can understand if only players who are aware get one action but the fact that surprise rounds are based solely off of being seen, unseen, makes no sense.

For example you come around the corner with a torch where several goblins are mining and two are on watch. Seeing the light shining from a nearby corridor the goblins; use their action to alert the other goblins who are working, prepare to use their action to shoot arrows once the PCs round the corner, or some other action. The PCs would have a chance to hear the nearby noise of clanging pickaxes.

Now some might add well you could always allow them to ready an action. But it would be nice for some clear cut rules. I apologize for the rant but it just upsets me that there isnt a clear cut way or an example in the playtest rules. If I have overlooked something please point me in the right direction.


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To me, "if your Stealth initiative beats their Perception initiative you are unseen" makes both narrative and mechanical sense.

It makes sense that surprise attacking someone is harder than just sneaking up to them; the sudden movement before your attack could absolutely give you away to someone with keen awareness of their surroundings. And in PF1e, surprise rounds would often end fights outright (especially if the wizard was in on it) so I'm not sad to see them go.


They should really put in surprise round again.

Ambush is great tactical thing, it should be represented in the rules.

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