Quivering Palm question


Pathfinder First Edition General Discussion


In the description it says when a monk affects a target with it they can wait and force the person to save or die at any point after as a free action. What I am wondering is: Can you just spend a free action to have it kill them as soon as you hit with it? And why would you wait instead of just killing them right away?


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this is something that comes from old fung fu movies. its just a trope, and dont worry about it. yes, you can do it right away. as to why? not everything is about direct mechanical advantage. this, and much about monks, is meant to be about flavor and style


An enemy who surrenders may have more value than one dead. Or not. Then there's differences in just how murderhobo-ey your group is.

But yes, if for some reason your monk hasn't traded the ability out via qinggong powers and you've got all the way to 15th level in the class, you can use quivering palm and try to kill them immediately.


avr wrote:
if for some reason your monk isn't an unchained monk, hasn't traded the ability out via qinggong powers, and you've got all the way to 15th level in the class, you can use quivering palm and try to kill them immediately.

Fixed that for you.


If you have a quivering palm on you that hasn't take effect yet is there any way to remove it? I would allow a remove curse to do it but I'm not sure what the DC would be.


I wouldn't allow anything less than a wish or a miracle remove it.


Yqatuba wrote:
If you have a quivering palm on you that hasn't take effect yet is there any way to remove it? I would allow a remove curse to do it but I'm not sure what the DC would be.

Sure. Charm/dominate the monk and have them use the technique on someone else, negating the first one.

Or, you know, kill the monk.


Why would you delay the damage?*

For more on this ability and why one would use it as a delayed attack you might want to take a look into the "Dim Mak" (aka; Death Touch) martial arts technique, which as I understand was the original inspiration for this ability. Basically the story goes that the technique was originally developed by the Shaolin Monks as a form of Chi manipulation which could be used to both heal (in a fashion similar to acupuncture) and to injure.

With a touch of their hand the Monk could force the targets chi to flow backwards within their body, or infuse it with "bad chi", thus messing up the targets health. This attack could be used to set up organ failure such as kidney failure, heart attack, etc. NOTE: this info is heavily paraphrased for simplicity sake but more or less historically accurate to the best of my knowledge.

Imagine if you will that you are an assassin sent in to kill a high profile target, however you have one problem: how to get away with it? If you simply kill the guy then his entire castle of guards starts a room by room search intent on killing anyone they don't recognize. BUT, what if you could could simply walk by the guy and pat him on the back while encouraging him to have a good day? Or maybe you shake hands with him while closing a business deal? Or perhaps a prostitute who says good night to her target / client. Anyone one of whom could have used the Dim Mak technique and set up a fatal attack on the unsuspecting victim.

Days later the victim drops dead with the assassin no where near them. No one is looking for a person that hasn't been anywhere near the deceased for the past 10 days!

Can the attack be stopped?
Yes. Both historically, and within D&D / PF there was originally rules for stopping the attack. It basically would require a Heal skill check (preferably with a focus in acupuncture or similar disciplines) to identify the cause of the illness (suddenly suffering from kidney failure tends to make one very sick after all). Then one would need to find a Monk which could counter act the effect. Historically the Monks were also healers and thus finding a healer skilled enough to understand what was happening was some times the same thing as finding a Monk that could stop the effect. Just as often the healer would refer the soon to be deceased to the Monks for help...or a proper burial.

Here is a thought for you: Equip an Assassin (Monk) with this ability + Disquise Self and have them go lay some bad chi on someone. "Someone" realizes they have become sick and sends for healers. The healers realize the dude is doomed if they can't find "Master Foo from the Mountain" to heal him, or if the Assassin can't be found and killed (NOTE: historically this would not have worked, the damage was already done.) Perhaps Master Foo is the Assassin? Perhaps he is the Assassin Grand Master that ordered the hit? Or maybe he is part of a "healer guild" of Monks that work to stop such things...etc etc.

In all cases hopefully this helps with understanding the ability and where it came from.

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