Locking Yourself Out of the Game and Other Fun Things to Do at Level 20


Rules Discussion


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First off, apologies if this has already been posted. I did a couple quick searches but didn't find it.

Second, this does use a variant rule (at GM discretion, enemies can follow the PC rules for changing initiative order upon reaching 0 HP, CRB page 459) and is extremely contrived. However, I think it's fun nonetheless.

The relevant actors are Troll A, Troll B, and Fighter.

The Trolls have AC 20, Regeneration 20, and 115 HP.

The Fighter has Barbarian Dedication (for Rage), Boundless Reprisals (Reaction at the start of each opponent's turn, only usable that turn), a Belt of Giant Strength (base Strength of 22) and a +3 Major Striking Holy Frost Shock Thundering Orichalcum Mace.

The Fighter's attack bonus is +38: 28 (Proficiency) + 7 (Str Mod) + 3 (+3 Major Striking Orichalcum Mace)

The Fighter's minimum damage while Raging is 21 (42 on a crit): 7 (Str mod) + 4 (Weapon Specialization) + 4 (+3 Major Striking Orichalcum Mace) + 4 (Holy, Frost, Shock, Thundering) + 2 (Rage).

The Fighter's maximum damage is 53 (106 on a crit): 7 (Str mod) + 4 (Weapon Specialization) + 16 (+3 Major Striking Orichalcum Mace) + 24 (Holy, Frost, Shock, Thundering) + 2 (Rage).

Therefore, the Fighter is guaranteed to hit a Troll on an attack for at least 21 damage (a roll of 1 would normally be a Critical Success so it is downgraded to a success). The Fighter is also incapable of one-shotting a Troll, even on a max damage crit (though this isn't terribly relevant).

Suppose the Initiative order is Troll A > Troll B > Fighter, the Fighter is Raging, each Troll is at 1 HP, and each Troll is adjacent to the Fighter.

Troll A's 1st turn: Troll A regains 20 HP from Regeneration and goes to 21 HP. The Fighter gains a Reaction. Troll A Strides 5 ft (staying adjacent to the Fighter), provoking an Attack of Opportunity. The Fighter does a minimum of 21 damage, bringing Troll A to 0 HP. Troll A moves in the Initiative order to directly ahead of the Fighter. Initiative order is now Troll B > Troll A > Fighter.

Troll B's 1st turn: The same thing happens as with Troll A. Initiative order is now Troll A > Troll B > Fighter.

Troll A's 2nd turn: Troll A regains 20 HP from Regeneration and goes to 20 HP. Troll A stands up, provoking an Attack of Opportunity. The Fighter does a minimum of 21 damage, bringing Troll A to 0 and shifting the Initiative order.

Troll B's 2nd turn: The same as with Troll A.

Repeat ad nauseam. By constantly taking attacks of opportunity, the Fighter has prevented themself from taking another turn. Because of Regeneration, the Trolls will never die until their Regeneration is turned off, which the Fighter's weapon cannot do.


Rage lasts for 1 minute max.

Unless there is something that I missed seeing in that build that changes that.


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breithauptclan wrote:

Rage lasts for 1 minute max.

Unless there is something that I missed seeing in that build that changes that.

That in this theoretical situation the trolls are taking infinite turns in a 6 second span.

Realistically any gm would just say after the second stand up the turn order cycles because why would you want a bottomless loop but it is amusing that a computer would go infinite.


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As a bug fix for the computers, each character only gets one turn each round. Even if something changes their initiative order, that change only becomes effective on the following round.


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Fighters should have 8 damage from weapon specialization, not 4. Not that that changes anything.


It would seem like the intent for the rule about changing initiative order is that whoever just went down should go before whoever's turn it currently is. I don't know if that's actually the case without hunting down the specific rule, but that seems to be what's causing hte problem - KO'd creatures are being moved in front of whoever is responsible for KO'ing them. Which gets confusing if the damage they took came from multiple sources (several players took a reaction simultaneously) or the source of damage wasn't a player or even anyone present (they tripped over difficult terrain and hit their head on a rock).


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I am pretty sure that the intent behind moving KO'ed creatures in initiative is to give their allies as much time as possible to save their fallen comrade. Since the trolls are being KO'ed on their own turns, this is a case where it would probably be a mistake to move them in initiative.

I would be clicking on the FAQ button now if we had one.


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Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

Worth mentioning that this could actually be important for more than just silly infinite bugs:

Suppose initiative order goes PC A, Monster B, Monster C. On PC A's turn, they move and suffer an attack of opportunity from Monster C, which drops them.

Monster B takes their turn and does whatever.

PC A's turn comes up again before anyone else can act, potentially killing them.

Dataphiles

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I'd say that the effect that knocked them out was the AoO that occured on your turn. So, you are moved in initiative order to directly before your own turn which is now over as you cannot make further actions. Being as your turn in initiative order is now directly before your previous turn you won't be triggered again on this round of combat.

As such, you don't actually change initiative order.


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The rule states that, "You immediately move your initiative position to directly before the creature or effect that reduced you to 0 HP."

Since the actor doing the damage is the Fighter, to me that's a strong case for using "creature" instead of "effect". If anything a creature does is considered an effect, then there's no reason to have "creature" in that sentence. I believe "effect" applies to environmental hazards or traps that have a place in the initiative order.

Since the Fighter is the "creature" that brought the Trolls to 0, the Trolls move to in front of the Fighter.

Dataphiles

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IDPTG wrote:
The rule states that, "You immediately move your initiative position to directly before the creature or effect that reduced you to 0 HP."

The effect was an Attack of Opportunity. So that happened on your turn. We move to your initiative to directly before your own turn. Your turn is over. Your turn does not get triggered again until the next combat round.

I don't see how this is that hard. It's right in the rule you quoted.

On a more serious note: The reason the words "or effect" exist in that sentence is to allow the GM to keep things running in a sane way when players come up with strange edge-cases.


Chetna Wavari wrote:

I'd say that the effect that knocked them out was the AoO that occured on your turn. So, you are moved in initiative order to directly before your own turn which is now over as you cannot make further actions. Being as your turn in initiative order is now directly before your previous turn you won't be triggered again on this round of combat.

As such, you don't actually change initiative order.

This makes the most sense to me, as the intention is clearly to have a full round for your allies to conceivably rescue a dying character before they have to make dying saves.


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Thebazilly wrote:
Chetna Wavari wrote:

I'd say that the effect that knocked them out was the AoO that occured on your turn. So, you are moved in initiative order to directly before your own turn which is now over as you cannot make further actions. Being as your turn in initiative order is now directly before your previous turn you won't be triggered again on this round of combat.

As such, you don't actually change initiative order.

This makes the most sense to me, as the intention is clearly to have a full round for your allies to conceivably rescue a dying character before they have to make dying saves.

Now we just need to clear up the language in the rules, as it currently says something other than what we all seem to agree is the clear intention.


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Definitely a good candidate for errata. Something like "You immediately move your initiative position to directly before the creature or effect that reduced you turn in which you are reduced to 0 HP" would bring the wording of the rule more in line with its intent. Clarification may need to be added that reactions are considered part of the turns they interrupt, and maybe even spell out that going down on your own turn due to reactions or environmental damage or the like simply causes your turn to end without affecting the initiative order.


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Lord Bowser -- I think I am going to link to your post in the errata thread.


Unless I'm missing something, you only gain your reactions back at the start of your turn so if the fighter never gets a turn then they would run out of reaction and break the cycle.

Dark Archive

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Lady Wrath wrote:
Unless I'm missing something, you only gain your reactions back at the start of your turn so if the fighter never gets a turn then they would run out of reaction and break the cycle.

Boundless Reprisals is a Fighter feat that gives you an extra reaction on each enemy's turn. It's mentioned in the OP that this is what's happening


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David knott 242 wrote:
Lord Bowser -- I think I am going to link to your post in the errata thread.

Thanks David! Forgot there was a dedicated errata thread, I'm glad someone knows their way around this site better than I do.


Not sure if this has been brought up, but can't you only have as many property runes as the potency?

I'm a little curious though. Is there any point to this exercise?


Corvo Spiritwind wrote:

Not sure if this has been brought up, but can't you only have as many property runes as the potency?

I'm a little curious though. Is there any point to this exercise?

Yep, though the minimum damage only decreases to 20 (matching their regen) if we get rid of a property rune. It's not terribly important.

As for the point, as has been pointed out:

MaxAstro wrote:

Worth mentioning that this could actually be important for more than just silly infinite bugs:

Suppose initiative order goes PC A, Monster B, Monster C. On PC A's turn, they move and suffer an attack of opportunity from Monster C, which drops them.

Monster B takes their turn and does whatever.

PC A's turn comes up again before anyone else can act, potentially killing them.

Moving a KO'd character in front of whoever's reaction did the deed can lead to their turn coming very quickly after they just got knocked out, which doesn't give the party a chance to intervene. It also becomes confusing if it isn't clear that there's a "who" currently involved in the fight who caused the damage - ie, an ongoing AoE effect from an enemy that's long been killed and deleted from the tracker in Roll20 and no one remembers where they were, a randomly activating trap or other dangerous inanimate object that happened to spring but doesn't get initiative as a complex trap.

They're situations that would come up enough to where it would be irritating. Doesn't make the game unplayable since enemies very infrequently have reactions and they typically just die when they hit 0, and it's not often that a trap with no clear is triggered and knocks someone out outside of their own turn. But it's still annoying.

Lord Bowser wrote:
Definitely a good candidate for errata. Something like "You immediately move your initiative position to directly before the creature or effect that reduced you turn in which you are reduced to 0 HP" would bring the wording of the rule more in line with its intent. Clarification may need to be added that reactions are considered part of the turns they interrupt, and maybe even spell out that going down on your own turn due to reactions or environmental damage or the like simply causes your turn to end without affecting the initiative order.

This fix is a lot simpler to understand. When there is initiative being tracked, it is always somebody's turn. You don't need to figure out the ownership of damage. It always gives the longest possible time for the creature's allies to intervene and can never be tactically abused to make someone go twice in the same round (ally uses a reaction to intentionally knock out an ally with nonlethal damage, another ally heals them back up, the formerly KO'd player uses Kip Up and takes an extra turn that round). It just seems more elegant.


Wouldn't a single torch or some alchemist's fire be enough to deal with the troll's regeneration?

Would this happen if you swapped out the holy for flaming or corrosive?
Corrosive seems as a much better choice than both holy and thundering, as it adds damage and can help the fighter deal with enemy armors on critical hits.

I guess if the point is to make up a weird situation in a vacuum white room by specifically making bad choices for that one sole situation, then this has been great? Or am I missing something?


Corvo Spiritwind wrote:

Not sure if this has been brought up, but can't you only have as many property runes as the potency?

I'm a little curious though. Is there any point to this exercise?

Orichalcum Weapons can have 4 property runes (CRB page 599).

For me, the point of this is to showcase an edge-case oddity that I find interesting, even if it will never show up in a game. As you mentioned, there are some sub-optimal choices that have been made for the sole purpose of enabling this situation.

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