Voluntary Auto-hit?


Rules Questions


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Maps, Pawns, Rulebook Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

So, I've been looking at some of the options in armory, like the shield projectors, which are clearly designed for firing at an ally, rather than an enemy, and it makes me wonder - is there a way for an ally to allow an auto-hit? I don't think there is, meaning if you want to shoot an ally with an injection weapon for some healing, or wanted to toss a shield on an ally, you would have to actually hit against their EAC or KAC, right?


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yeah by the rules I haven't seen anything but those weapons bring that issue up. In our group we have a healer mystic that is also medic with an injection pistol. I let her ignore KAC / EAC for those shots and I would probably do the same for that shield weapon.


My table had a similar discussion over whether you could voluntarily fail a saving throw versus disease, as it would be better to simply get worse than try to get better at the point he was at.

We ended up doing the saves anyway and it worked out. As for hits, I thik you can opt to take one, assuming you aren't trying to dodge.


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There is no actual rule allowing you to take a hit voluntarily, though not dodging is a pretty reasonable thing to want to do. For a ranged needle, I don't think autohit is really the best way to handle it. It might be more appropriate to be able to treat your DEX as 0 against that attack, as if helpless, but armor and cover would still apply.


I was actually thinking about it, there kind of is a precedent for taking a hit or opting out of a save.

Cure spells. They do have an attack roll when using them against an unwilling target, and/or generally a Will save to resist the effect.

By inverse logic, if you are willing to take a bullet or whatever the case, so long as things like line of sight still apply I really can't see any issue with it or need for complication.


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I am inclined to say, if you can voluntarily fail a save ( which you can, IIRC the rules specifically call out allowing such for various spells ), you can voluntarily fail a "dodge" too. There might be circumstances where this is difficult or comes with consequences, but that is up to the GM and the circumstances.


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I would mostly use the attack roll against a lowered AC specifically because at range there are more things like cover, or range increment penalties, that could make it hard to hit someone who isn't trying to avoid it.


There’s precedent for voluntarily taking hits, in the in harms way feat you can choose to have an attack hit you instead of an adjacent ally which automatically hits you regardless of your ac


I don't know if there is a set rule, but my recommendation would be to treat a non-dodge as an object (basically AC as normal, but with a -5 Dex modifier, instead of whatever the Dex modifier actually is).
The reason I wouldn't allow an auto-hit in these cases is that only the movement is negated, not the armor. For instance, the soldier may not dodge the needle of an ally's injector pistol, but that won't stop it bouncing off his armor. Also, since combat is expressly a non-take-20 situation, there is always an element of chaos to be considered.


Neil77 wrote:

I don't know if there is a set rule, but my recommendation would be to treat a non-dodge as an object (basically AC as normal, but with a -5 Dex modifier, instead of whatever the Dex modifier actually is).

The reason I wouldn't allow an auto-hit in these cases is that only the movement is negated, not the armor. For instance, the soldier may not dodge the needle of an ally's injector pistol, but that won't stop it bouncing off his armor. Also, since combat is expressly a non-take-20 situation, there is always an element of chaos to be considered.

+1 from me.

Though I would actually let them use either -5 to their DEX or the negative of their actual DEX modifier, and recalculate the AC from that. If they have a really good DEX and are actively trying to catch this flying health syringe, they should get some benefit from their DEX.

But they will still have the armor that they are wearing getting in the way.


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I get the "realism" of the -5 dex bonus but armor applies approach but I just dont see the point of making the use of an already overly expensive healing serum which is one shot anyway already more punitive that it is.

its already limited my action economy and cost. Making a healing class try to actually hit the super AC bonus combat monsters in the party forcing the high probability of wasting the super expensive low healing serums just seems like over the top for me.

In most cases its a envoy or a mystic with the healing connection building the healer types so I just dont see the imbalance of just saying you want to stick the guy with a 1d8 healing syringe at range and not attack? sure go ahead.


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I will admit, I'm still confused about how shooting at someone to heal 1d8-(1d4+1/2 level) sounds like a goid go-to idea to so many people.


HammerJack wrote:
I will admit, I'm still confused about how shooting at someone to heal 1d8-(1d4+1/2 level) sounds like a goid go-to idea to so many people.

Enhanced Resistance would entirely negate the damage... However I'm not sure if you could still gain the healing if the attack does no damage (I think there's something about that in the Inject quality).

And thematically, it's also just cool. A healing dart gun. And first and foremost any tabletop game (in my philosophy) you should be able to break the game mold and play how you want, so long as it does not impede on others ability to have fun.


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Isaac Zephyr wrote:
HammerJack wrote:
I will admit, I'm still confused about how shooting at someone to heal 1d8-(1d4+1/2 level) sounds like a goid go-to idea to so many people.

Enhanced Resistance would entirely negate the damage... However I'm not sure if you could still gain the healing if the attack does no damage (I think there's something about that in the Inject quality).

And thematically, it's also just cool. A healing dart gun. And first and foremost any tabletop game (in my philosophy) you should be able to break the game mold and play how you want, so long as it does not impede on others ability to have fun.

Personally I handle them like the capsule rounds introduced in the armory no damage but deliver a injection substance in the case of medicinals only. She buys separate healing serum or medicinal ammo and has separate clips and then standard injection rounds for damage. Its a house rule but again I havent found any real imbalances with it and it allows her to get a pinch heal in at range when it really needs to go down. Say a party member goes down at range and she can't quite get to them in time, boom range heal to stabilize.

as you said its just thematically cool and I don't find it over the top given the price she is paying per trigger pull.


I would think you'd want to make the drawback of letting this happen severe enough that the next time you fight a boss, it doesn't have a mook or 2 full attacking 3d8 healing serums into it every few rounds.

I'd rather it not even directly involve the dex stat, otherwise where's the drawback for a super low dex opponent?

Maybe a greater version of staggered (double?) until the start of that character's next turn.


Pantshandshake wrote:

I would think you'd want to make the drawback of letting this happen severe enough that the next time you fight a boss, it doesn't have a mook or 2 full attacking 3d8 healing serums into it every few rounds.

I'd rather it not even directly involve the dex stat, otherwise where's the drawback for a super low dex opponent?

Maybe a greater version of staggered (double?) until the start of that character's next turn.

That just seems like anti-player behavior on a GMs part if they made an encounter with a boss getting multi-healed. :/

Like, if it's the point of the boss fight. Maybe he's connected to some machines pumping him full of regen drugs and you've gotta deal deal 10 points of slashing damage to the tubes to cut them off. That is the same boss fight hut fun and less player vs GM.


Using intelligent tactics on your intelligent enemy NPCs, especially if it's the same tactic the PC's are using, is hardly anti-player behavior. Coming up with something that specifically nullified a healer darting teammates for health would be anti-player behavior.

That said, your idea with the tubes and such actually sounds awesome.


Thanks. You're right that intelligent NPCs able to use tactics, especially ones the PCs use, are a thing. I guess after 15 years of GMing, that unless a strategy is breaking the game there are just certain things that aren't as fun for players if the NOCs are doing.

In the case you presented, you're talking the mooks have enough healing serums to actually full attack their boss every round. The PCs could start putting themselves between the mooks and the boss to offer cover, or even smoke bomb the area to conceal the boss forcing miss chance. The enemies having theoretical unlimited healing though would be anti-player, or if the were to somehow beat the boss you have to own up and give them those serums, which may be unbalancing to the campaign you're running.


I think you’d have to set it up fairly specifically, I wouldn’t think the players would walk into the lunchroom at Big Bob’s Evil Pirate Base and find Big Bob with his heal dart minion in tow, just hanging out and eating some tacos (because it happens to be Tuesday.)

But if you had a set-piece fight planned out, and you’ve got players dart healing, I don’t think it would be too difficult to imagine the boss keeping a healing minion behind him with 4-8 level appropriate healing serums.

I certainly wouldn’t give unlimited healing serums to the minion (or expect it, if I was player.) Enough to make the fight harder than it looks, or enough for the players to each get a level appropriate healing serum or 2 if they’re quick or lucky is about what I’d use.

In terms of tactics to use against it, those are good ones. You could also detail someone with a melee weapon to bird-dog the minion around the fight, looking to take some AoO’s on it or stick between in and the boss. I’d also expect smart players to test if the minion is suicidal or not by dealing some damage to it, or exposing it to something that it can either deal with or heal the boss (like being on fire, or covered in acid, or something along those lines.)


This is what I love about being a DM. X3 Just the what if scenarios. You can plan for everything though and the players will still find some creative way around it, and honestly the best part is telling them "yeah, do it".

4-8 total is viable. If they do somehow one round the boss (as many parties can) you say 4, that's one per player average and fair treasure. It's also low enough that the boss only gets 2-3 full healing rounds out of it. Enough players can notice the issue ans make a plan, but not enough kt's be a slugfest time sink.

Again though, as GM, I'd rather come up with something outside of player tactics, like the tube healing guy. Players have more fun fighting stuff outside of what they can do in general. Keeps them on their toes and makes them feel good when they come up with unique solutions to unique problems and not the stuff they do all the time. At least in my experience.


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Isaac Zephyr wrote:

This is what I love about being a DM. X3 Just the what if scenarios. You can plan for everything though and the players will still find some creative way around it, and honestly the best part is telling them "yeah, do it".

Again though, as GM, I'd rather come up with something outside of player tactics, like the tube healing guy. Players have more fun fighting stuff outside of what they can do in general. Keeps them on their toes and makes them feel good when they come up with unique solutions to unique problems and not the stuff they do all the time. At least in my experience.

Honestly, I vastly prefer being on the player side and breaking the DM's plans. I play in an AD&D 2E game, our GM is possibly the best GM I've ever met, and on those rare occasions when we can shatter his carefully laid plans? Oh, I get the goosebumps.

And, while I totally agree that throwing something cool and different is generally better, I do still get a 'man, I wish I could do that in Starfinder, but I'm just a PC' once in a while, so I also like to do things that the players could do, especially to show them a trick or something they can use later on.


I will always remember a handful of gravel versus I think it was Stoneskin that negated the damage from x attacks?


I hate that spell more than anything else.


In my group, we used a homebrew feat to allow for a medic with a needler to shoot heal potions from range. Basically, you have to make two rolls.

1) you have to target their flat-footed KAC. This is because, while they aren't dodging, they still have armor on and are in combat, so it's not like they're standing still. They simply stand still for a second, just long enough to expose themselves for the needle, but not long enough to make them vulnerable to their enemy. Also, the target has to know the medic is shooting at them in order for the flat-footed penalty to apply, otherwise it's treated like a normal attack roll.

2) you have to make a Medicine roll. This is because you need to know where to hit - a glancing blow off the thumb won't necessarily cut it. This is a medical injection, so hitting them wrong will cause damage even if the healing potion heals them.

If you succeed at both roles, the needle hits, and it hits appropriately and causes no damage while also injecting the cure potion.

However, to answer the initial question - we ruled that you can't intentionally negate the effects of your physical armor without taking it off. Whether you dodge or not, a needle is probably not going to pierce and inch of space steel, so you still have to hit the right place for it to go though, thus necessitating a combat roll even on a willing ally. No attack roll is needed, by the way, to hit someone that isn't in combat and isn't actually at range (obviously).


I like the addition of the medicine roll.

I don't like the flat footed, but just for the one attack from your ally. Being that everyone in the combat is taking all their actions in the same 6 second block of time, if you stand still so your buddy can shoot you, then you're standing still for anyone who wants to shoot you.

What if we remove some of the onus on the person being healed, and make something like a move action for the healer to aim just right? That would also neatly remove doing a full action to heal a target for potentially silly amounts in one turn.


I have ruled in my game that injection weapons have a low setting (for simply administering the dose) and a high setting (for the dose and damage). They have to roll to hit (but I let my players forgo their dex to AC if they wish to take the hit).

The caveat to all of this being that NPCs have the exact same options and that my players understand that the NPCs will use those options. (I have equipped support orientated enemies with injector pistols a few times now and it doesn't really imbalance the game at all, as the D8 of healing rarely seems to make a difference to how long npcs survive with a pair of fairly well optimized frontliners hitting them).


Vexies wrote:

I get the "realism" of the -5 dex bonus but armor applies approach but I just dont see the point of making the use of an already overly expensive healing serum which is one shot anyway already more punitive that it is.

its already limited my action economy and cost. Making a healing class try to actually hit the super AC bonus combat monsters in the party forcing the high probability of wasting the super expensive low healing serums just seems like over the top for me.

In most cases its a envoy or a mystic with the healing connection building the healer types so I just dont see the imbalance of just saying you want to stick the guy with a 1d8 healing syringe at range and not attack? sure go ahead.

Is the 50 credits really cost prohibitive? Maybe for spamming 8 - 10 per fight. I'm not sure.

Also only the MK1 serum is 1d8. A MK3 is 6d8 each. So compared to other ranged healing, that would still come out rather good.

Envoy can do a ranged recharge of stamina, but only at most once per fight. And if you go through multiple encounters between resting it goes downhill from there.

Mystic with healing connection can do ranged healing rather well, but at the cost of resolve points. Which in the long run is a trivial cost since they recharge each day. But in the short term, that could be significant. Also there is a lot of character build power being tied up since it is only the one class and one subclass.

I think all of the other healing options are at range touch at best.

So basically, with this healing serum pistol, a soldier would be the best ranged healer in the game. You can heal a decent amount of HP at range and is limited only by how much currency you want to throw at the problem.

So now the soldier gets to be the best ranged damage in the game and the best ranged heal? And we shouldn't try to compensate for this by making the character hit AC in order to pull it off?


breithauptclan wrote:
Vexies wrote:

I get the "realism" of the -5 dex bonus but armor applies approach but I just dont see the point of making the use of an already overly expensive healing serum which is one shot anyway already more punitive that it is.

its already limited my action economy and cost. Making a healing class try to actually hit the super AC bonus combat monsters in the party forcing the high probability of wasting the super expensive low healing serums just seems like over the top for me.

In most cases its a envoy or a mystic with the healing connection building the healer types so I just dont see the imbalance of just saying you want to stick the guy with a 1d8 healing syringe at range and not attack? sure go ahead.

Is the 50 credits really cost prohibitive? Maybe for spamming 8 - 10 per fight. I'm not sure.

Also only the MK1 serum is 1d8. A MK3 is 6d8 each. So compared to other ranged healing, that would still come out rather good.

Envoy can do a ranged recharge of stamina, but only at most once per fight. And if you go through multiple encounters between resting it goes downhill from there.

Mystic with healing connection can do ranged healing rather well, but at the cost of resolve points. Which in the long run is a trivial cost since they recharge each day. But in the short term, that could be significant. Also there is a lot of character build power being tied up since it is only the one class and one subclass.

I think all of the other healing options are at range touch at best.

So basically, with this healing serum pistol, a soldier would be the best ranged healer in the game. You can heal a decent amount of HP at range and is limited only by how much currency you want to throw at the problem.

So now the soldier gets to be the best ranged damage in the game and the best ranged heal? And we shouldn't try to compensate for this by making the character hit AC in order to pull it off?

Tbh the soldier will prevent more damage by eliminating enemies than they can heal with pair of healing darts each turn, though I do agree that they should still roll to hit to some degree.

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