Ambushes, stealth and initiative


Rules Discussion

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I agree - once you enter Encounter mode, my Players would be only undetected, because they have entered a dangerous area. But that would mean the guards have to actively search for them, and if they never catch them, something "undetected" has passed them.

My interpretation is like in Stealth computer games, where the guards suddenly are at attention because they heard something, but they still don't pinpoint you. If my players manage to avoid them by exiting their guard area (the battlemap), we go back to exploration mode where the terms "unnoticed" and "undetected" don't apply.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Charter Superscriber
Saros Palanthios wrote:
...If they do engage, they get to use a single readied action (which counts as a reaction per pg 470), and only after that action resolves does everybody roll initiative. This is how the "Initiative After Reactions" rule on pg 498 tells us to do it.

emphasis changed by me

That's the thing I asked before: Are you sure you can Ready, if you aren't in Encounter mode (= before Initiative is rolled)?

Sovereign Court

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Maps, Rulebook Subscriber
Franz Lunzer wrote:
Saros Palanthios wrote:
...If they do engage, they get to use a single readied action (which counts as a reaction per pg 470), and only after that action resolves does everybody roll initiative. This is how the "Initiative After Reactions" rule on pg 498 tells us to do it.

emphasis changed by me

That's the thing I asked before: Are you sure you can Ready, if you aren't in Encounter mode (= before Initiative is rolled)?

I sure hope not, otherwise every party everywhere will ready actions before they open every door in the dungeon.

Don’t believe it is supposed to work that way.

I think it works exactly the way everyone fears it does, I just don’t agree it is a problem.


I've thought about this, and here's some scenarios with how I would see them. My main point will focus on the intent of Stealthing parties. If they intend just to sneak past (which might trigger an encounter depending on the Stealth result), that's different from the intent to attack (which will trigger an encounter regardless of the Stealth result).

1 - PC trying to avoid guard
A lone rogue is trying to sneak past some guards, while his fellows are hiding behind some buildings. We're in Exploration Mode, and the situation might call for encounter mode. The Rogue uses Avoid Notice (p. 479) which calls for a (secret) Stealth check:
=> If he rolls below the guard's Perception DC, he's spotted. This is either Hidden or Observed, depending on Failure/Critical Failure. We're in encounter mode and all of the others (guard and other PC's) roll initiative. The rogue uses his Stealth check as initiative. Everyone realizes the jig is up, and can act in Initiative order.
=> If the rogue succeeds at Stealth vs. the guard's Perception DC, he's still unnoticed. The rogue sneaks past the guards, and they never knew he was there. We are still in exploration mode.

2 - PC trying to attack guard from stealth
Same scenario as above, except the rogue's player indicates that he wants to attack the guards from stealh. We're still in Exploration mode, but it's clear that an encounter is going to happen. That means the rogue rolls stealth, everyone else rolls Perception.
=> Rogue goes first and clears the guard's Perception DC: He's undetected and can act first, attacking with all the benefits that gives.
=> Rogue goes first, but doesn't clear the guard's Perception DC: The rogue is Hidden/Observed, and realizes the jig is up. He can still strike first.
=> Guard goes first, Stealth doesn't succeed. The guard realizes something is up, and is the first to react. He might Seek, Raise Shield, etc.
=> Guard goes first, Stealth succeeds. (I've bolded this one, because it's the iffy bit.) The guard doesn't realize something is about to happen, so he doesn't act on his initiative. In essence, he delays until he realizes an encounter is happening.
=> Stealth succeeds, but other PC goes first. (Also interesting.) The cleric hiding behind the corner gets a very high initiative. It would seem sensible that the player delays until the rogue has made his move (or the guards call out that they spotted someone). I agree that Readied actions should not be allowed. After all, the characters would not know they're in encounter mode yet. The benefit of a high initiative is to be the first to react once the encounter is started in earnest.

Scenario 1 reversed, ninja in Stealth to scout PC's.
The PC's are exploring a building. Somewhere there's a ninja in hiding, trying to learn about the PC's. She won't attack unless spotted. There might be an encounter, or not.
=> The PC's walk close without Searching. The ninja is never detected. Everyone stays in Exploration mode.
=> The PC's walk close while searching. The GM makes a secret Perception check for the PC's. If this clears the ninja's Stealth DC, they spot her. Either they can attack (prompting initiative from everyone) or do something else. If the Perception check doesn't clear the ninja's Stealth, see above. The ninja is never detected, and exploration mode continues.

Scenario 2 reversed, ninja in Stealth waiting to strike.
The PC's are exploring a building. Somewhere there's a ninja in hiding, waiting for the opportune moment to strike. Once the PC's come close enough, there will definitely be an encounter. The Ninja rolls Stealth, everyone else rolls Perception.

=> Ninja goes first and clears the PC's Perception DC: She's undetected and can act first, attacking with all the benefits that gives.
=> Ninja goes first, but doesn't clear the PC's Perception DC: The ninja is Hidden/Observed, and realizes the jig is up. She can still strike first.
=> PC's go first, Stealth doesn't succeed. The PC's realizes something is up, and are the first to react. They might Seek, Raise Shield, etc.
=> Some of the PC's go first, but Stealth succeeds. (I've bolded this one again, because it's the iffy bit.) The PC's don't realize something is about to happen. If you favor symmetry between PC's and NPC's, all of them delay until after the ninja has acted. If you see the PC's as the center of the story (they have Hero Points after all, another thing which sets them apart from NPC's), they might get an idea that 'something is wrong'. Give them three actions before the ninja attack.

Scenario 3 - Both sides stealthing
A few kobolds are in ambush, waiting for the PC's. The PC's have been ambushed before, and send out their rogue alone in hiding. The kobolds will attack anyone they see. The rogue is only interesting in scouting. We're in exploration mode. The rogue is using Avoid Notice, and we might have an encounter. As soon as they are at range where they might detect each other, both sides make a secret Stealth check vs. the other side's Perception DC.
=> Kobolds succeed in Stealth, rogue doesn't. The kobolds spot the rogue. Depending on their Stealth/Initiative roll, they go first. (If the rogue goes first, the GM has a choice. Either he gets a 'spidersense' warning him of danger and allowing three actions, or the GM puts him in delay until after the kobolds act.
=> Rogue succeeds in Stealth, kobolds don't. The rogue finds out where the kobolds are, without being noticed. He stated the intention just to scout, so no encounter happens.
=> Neither side succeeds at Stealth. Both sides see each other. Encounter mode, order decided by Stealth/Initiative.
=> Both sides succeed at Stealth. Neither side notices the others. The rogue can conclude (wrongly) that there's no ambush and report back to the party, or he might press on. If he wants to go around actively searching for the kobolds, he could by using the Search exploration activity. However, in this case he'd be spotted by the kobolds (triggering an encounter), because he has to stop 'Avoid Notice'. Alternatively, he might continue using Avoid Notice while walking around, until a point where the GM calls for a new Stealth check on both sides (maybe with modifiers based on who is where, and how good their cover/concealment is. If the rogue happens to walk around the boulder where the kobolds are hiding, it'd be suitable to say their Stealth fails automatically)

It's quite a bit of text, but I believe this should cover all of the scenarios I've thought of. For me personally, I don't mind a bit of asymmetry between PC's and NPC's and I will give player's with high initiave the chance to take their three actions if they roll high for initiative, even if they have no clue what's about to happen.

Sovereign Court

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Maps, Rulebook Subscriber

Here is the problem with your interpretation of situation 1 (which I do like as a valid way to handle it but it is unclear in the rules if this is RAW or RAI):

"If you’re Avoiding Notice at the start of an encounter, you usually roll a Stealth check instead of a Perception check both to determine your initiative and to see if the enemies notice you (based on their Perception DCs, as normal for Sneak, regardless of their initiative check results)."

Note the words "as normal for Sneak" and that you ONLY determine whether enemies notice you AS PART OF the initiative roll.

Sneak:

"Success You’re undetected by the creature during your movement and remain undetected by the creature at the end of it."

Does not indicate you are Unnoticed, just undetected which is its own different condition.Doesn't mean you couldn't also be Unnoticed but the rules don't tell us how and if and when that happens.


The ShadowShackleton wrote:
)."Note the words "as normal for Sneak" and that you ONLY determine whether enemies notice you AS PART OF the initiative roll.

I do not agree with that statement, especially the second part of that sentence. The very first line of Avoid Notice reads "You attempt a Stealth check to avoid notice while traveling at half speed". Note that it doesn't mention encounters at all. And that's the basis of the rule, as far as I'm concerned: if someone wants to Avoid notice, there's a Stealth check. And depending on the result and the intent, there may never be an encounter.

The part you quote only matters when it's been decided that you definitely will have an encounter.

Edit: Also, you've already made a seperate thread on the Unnoticed part. I think it has no relevance here. Maybe it's best to keep that discussion over there?

Sovereign Court

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Maps, Rulebook Subscriber

I would be happy for it to work that way, but it is not remotely clear at present that that is the case, or how they intend it to be handled.

So would you roll a Stealth check to avoid notice and if they failed, that roll becomes their initiative roll and everyone else then rolls, but if they succeed they can avoid the encounter? Or do they then roll for initiative again with everyone else once an encounter is triggered?

Haven't seen any play examples that support that interpretation conclusively so it seems like we are all guessing at their intent.

Sovereign Court

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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Maps, Rulebook Subscriber

They could have solved the whole thing by using the actual terms they invented for this purpose. It is impossible to know if when they say "to avoid notice" whether that means to be treated as "Unnoticed" (a condition) or it is just flavour text for sneaking.

If they had said You attempt a Stealth Check to remain Unnoticed while travelling at half speed" most of the confusion would be avoided especially when you consider the next paragraph.


Iff wrote:

I've thought about this, and here's some scenarios with how I would see them. My main point will focus on the intent of Stealthing parties. If they intend just to sneak past (which might trigger an encounter depending on the Stealth result), that's different from the intent to attack (which will trigger an encounter regardless of the Stealth result).

1 - PC trying to avoid guard
A lone rogue is trying to sneak past some guards, while his fellows are hiding behind some buildings. We're in Exploration Mode, and the situation might call for encounter mode. The Rogue uses Avoid Notice (p. 479) which calls for a (secret) Stealth check:
=> If he rolls below the guard's Perception DC, he's spotted. This is either Hidden or Observed, depending on Failure/Critical Failure. We're in encounter mode and all of the others (guard and other PC's) roll initiative. The rogue uses his Stealth check as initiative. Everyone realizes the jig is up, and can act in Initiative order.
=> If the rogue succeeds at Stealth vs. the guard's Perception DC, he's still unnoticed. The rogue sneaks past the guards, and they never knew he was there. We are still in exploration mode.

2 - PC trying to attack guard from stealth
Same scenario as above, except the rogue's player indicates that he wants to attack the guards from stealh. We're still in Exploration mode, but it's clear that an encounter is going to happen. That means the rogue rolls stealth, everyone else rolls Perception.
=> Rogue goes first and clears the guard's Perception DC: He's undetected and can act first, attacking with all the benefits that gives.
=> Rogue goes first, but doesn't clear the guard's Perception DC: The rogue is Hidden/Observed, and realizes the jig is up. He can still strike first.
=> Guard goes first, Stealth doesn't succeed. The guard realizes something is up, and is the first to react. He might Seek, Raise Shield, etc.
=> Guard goes first, Stealth succeeds....

I spent a half hour trying to think up an explanation that covered all this, and Iff beat me to it. The stuff about intent and PC/NPC asymmetry feels particularly important to me.

As a general rule of thumb, you might consider using exploration tactics to determine who gets the "spider sense" clause applied. Someone who is utilizing Search, Scout, or Investigate is paying enough attention to their surroundings to warrant it, I reckon. Search, in particular, does mean you are making Perception checks for the area around you, and letting that initiative roll double as a roll to move ambushers out of unnoticed feels pretty elegant. After all, Seeking is literally the script their following on their turn. Detect Magic could yield a similar result *if* the ambushers have magic that would get pinged.

Also, if you give the player the opportunity to act first with no enemies visible, you should probably remind them they can delay. Some may very well prefer to. I'd also consider letting them speak as a free action and still delay, so they can be like "Whose there? We mean you no harm!" or whatever.

If a player isn't using one of the above exploration tactics and wins initiative, delaying them seems pretty fair.

As for readied actions... I'd probably avoid them as a pre-combat thing, yeah. Now if all of the ambushing creatures can succeed at stealth checks and all of the ambushed party fails to seek them or realize they are in encounter mode... you could technically have all of the sneaky folks ready an action. But that's a lot of ifs that need to align and frankly seems quite hard to pull off, statistically. Even if everyone won for stealth on initiative, they'd have to use an action to succeed again on their turn. Considering these are secret checks, your more likely to not realize you've been spotted and essentially just waste your turn.


The ShadowShackleton wrote:

Here is the problem with your interpretation of situation 1 (which I do like as a valid way to handle it but it is unclear in the rules if this is RAW or RAI):

"If you’re Avoiding Notice at the start of an encounter, you usually roll a Stealth check instead of a Perception check both to determine your initiative and to see if the enemies notice you (based on their Perception DCs, as normal for Sneak, regardless of their initiative check results)."

Note the words "as normal for Sneak" and that you ONLY determine whether enemies notice you AS PART OF the initiative roll.

Sneak:

"Success You’re undetected by the creature during your movement and remain undetected by the creature at the end of it."

Does not indicate you are Unnoticed, just undetected which is its own different condition.Doesn't mean you couldn't also be Unnoticed but the rules don't tell us how and if and when that happens.

i'm not sure if undetected necessitates the guard being aware of you. is there verbage anywhere that explains that once you become undetected people become aware of your presence?

I feel the wording is left open, I can think of a few reasons opponents might be entirely unaware of a specific person's presence.

i feel the reason they might have broken them up is so that anything that would require an enemy completely flatfooted as in 1e isn't triggered just by you being undetected in combat.

Sovereign Court

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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Maps, Rulebook Subscriber

If you allow the Perception check to determine whether Stealth-using creatures are seen you have just re-introduced the concept of opposed rolls which don't exist in PF2. It seems by the rules that only the active Stealth using creature gets to determine whether they are seen against the Perception DC.

Not arguing whether it SHOULD work that way but it seems to be how it works.


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It would really help if one of the devs explained this a bit better and provided some examples of how to apply the relevant rules (which are scattered all over the CRB).


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

GMs and players get to determine when an encounter starts. It's entirely possible to Avoid Notice and sneak past a guard (if you beat their Perception DC) without ever dropping into initiative at all. You only go into encounter mode when it's important to know what's happening round to round. Now if you fail the Avoid Notice, then sure, dropped into encounter time.

Similarly, if someone in the party is Searching while moving, the whole half speed/investigating thing indicates that you spot the ambush (or indications that there's an ambush) before you trigger the encounter. Sparkleface, the unfortunately named grizzled dwarven veteran raises a fist, warning the party that something is wrong - the animals are too quiet, a twig broke the wrong way, why does the air smell like kobold, etc. They then huddle together and decide how they want to approach things. Do they spring the trap? Set one of their own? Move around it?

The whole 'stealth for initiative, and do I see individual kobolds' bit triggers only if the encounter actually happens, which is not a foregone conclusion.


Everyone has Spidey-sense. Initiative isn't exactly an opposed roll, it is a ranked roll. Rolling higher does deserve a benefit.

Sovereign Court

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Maps, Rulebook Subscriber

So once you use that check and they succeed at avoiding notice would you then use it for the initiative roll as described in the action text?

If they avoid the enemy no initiative roll is required.

I think that section could have been made much more clear. For anyone who is still confused about the parsing of the wording I recommend you read the How can you become Unnoticed thread as I think we have come to a clearer understanding of the intent of Avoid Notice and why the text of it can cause a fair amount of confusion.

Exo-Guardians

Franz Lunzer wrote:
Saros Palanthios wrote:
...If they do engage, they get to use a single readied action (which counts as a reaction per pg 470), and only after that action resolves does everybody roll initiative. This is how the "Initiative After Reactions" rule on pg 498 tells us to do it.

emphasis changed by me

That's the thing I asked before: Are you sure you can Ready, if you aren't in Encounter mode (= before Initiative is rolled)?

If it were impossible for enemies to Ready reactions outside of encounter mode, then what would be the point of the Initiative After Reactions rule? To quote it once again, it says "In some cases, a trap or a foe has a reaction that tells you to roll initiative." The example it gives is of a complex trap getting an attack off before initiative is rolled, but the "foe" bit indicates that creatures can do it too.

Right?


So here is what the rulebook says according to AoN

Source Core Rulebook pg. 467 wrote:

Unnoticed

If you have no idea a creature is even present, that creature is unnoticed by you. A creature that is undetected might also be unnoticed. This condition usually matters for abilities that can be used only against targets totally unaware of your presence.

So a key piece of parsing this is that last part:

"This condition usually matters for abilities that can be used only against targets totally unaware of your presence."

It would appear that Unnoticed has no mechanical effect unless it is a condition precedent for something else. However, the description confuses the topic by ascribing a different state of Stealth "you have no idea a creature is even present," from being Undetected and makes it clear that you can satisfy both, without limiting it to a Mode of play.

Undetected seems to affirm that Unnoticed mandates a different set of rules:

Undetected p.466 wrote:
If a creature is undetected, that doesn’t necessarily mean you’re unaware of its presence—you might suspect an undetected creature is in the room with you, even though you’re unable to find its space. The unnoticed condition covers creatures you’re entirely unaware of.

So the problem is it isn't clear how someone acquires or maintains a state of being "unnoticed." "Unnoticed" is a term of art in this context, but there is no explanation on how that condition is specifically obtained or lost.

At some arbitrary point, a creature who is using Stealth goes from being Unnoticed to Undetected, and I'm not sure when or how that happens. Encounter Mode seems to cap Stealth at Undetected. If that's the case, there needs to be some in-game explanation of what is happening, because this is going to confound people.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

Gosh, there's a lot here. I've skimmed the thread and I find the rules detail discussion very interesting, but a lot of it is far more complicated than I ever thought it needed to be.

Mine goes something like:

Assassin tries to ambush party:
=> rolls stealth above all party's perception DCs: remains unnoticed, fires crossbow at a PC, is no longer unnoticed (now hidden). Roll initiative.
=> rolls stealth, lower than someone's perception DC: that PC notices them on the rooftop pointing a crossbow. Roll initiative.

Iff wrote:

The Rogue uses Avoid Notice (p. 479) which calls for a (secret) Stealth check:

=> If he rolls below the guard's Perception DC...

Avoid Notice doesn't have the secret trait, so I don't think it's a secret roll, even though all other uses of stealth are. I accept I may be wrong here.

Sovereign Court

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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Maps, Rulebook Subscriber

Saros: I assumed that refers to Foes that have specific abilities to do that. Some do, I beleive.


Saros Palanthios wrote:


If it were impossible for enemies to Ready reactions outside of encounter mode, then what would be the point of the Initiative After Reactions rule? To quote it once again, it says "In some cases, a trap or a foe has a reaction that tells you to roll initiative." The example it gives is of a complex trap getting an attack off before initiative is rolled, but the "foe" bit indicates that creatures can do it too.

Right?

Based on comments and rules reading, I want to agree with your earlier post: someone who starts out Unnoticed and beats Perception should get a Ready action before Init is rolled.

However, this raises a problem in that it makes the Encounter more binary. It would appear there are three possible states at the start of combat:

Start of Encounter Mode.
1. Observed
2. Undetected.
3. Unnoticed (not sure about this one)

It would appear that you cannot start off Hidden in Encounter Mode In order to achieve the Hidden state, you must start out Observed and then find some place to hide. Once Hidden, you can move to Undetected with a successful Sneak. A successful Seek drops the Stealth state down by one.

AoN makes several references to Aoviding Notice, but has nothing about it in the Exploration mode. Perhaps someone can quote the Avoiding Notice section under Exploration Mode?

In any event, just so I'm clear:

1. You can only Sneak if you're Hidden.
2. Success on Sneak takes you from Hidden to Undetected vs anyone from who you are already Hidden.
3. Failure on Sneak, you remain hidden but don't become Undetected.. Critical failure you become Observed

According to John Lynch, the game uses the Perception Init roll to create the Undetected state. This happens when someone that was Unnoticed beats Perception DC but loses Init (but I am not sure where this is spelled out). However, it's not clear that there is an Unnoticed state in Encounter Mode as I queried above.

Again, what's missing is the explanation in the rules of how one transitions from Unnoticed to Undetected. Clearly it happens, but how?

Exo-Guardians

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N N 959 wrote:

So here is what the rulebook says according to AoN

Source Core Rulebook pg. 467 wrote:

Unnoticed

If you have no idea a creature is even present, that creature is unnoticed by you. A creature that is undetected might also be unnoticed. This condition usually matters for abilities that can be used only against targets totally unaware of your presence.

So a key piece of parsing this is that last part:

"This condition usually matters for abilities that can be used only against targets totally unaware of your presence."

It would appear that Unnoticed has no mechanical effect unless it is a condition precedent for something else. However, the description confuses the topic by ascribing a different state of Stealth "you have no idea a creature is even present," from being Undetected and makes it clear that you can satisfy both, without limiting it to a Mode of play.

Undetected seems to affirm that Unnoticed mandates a different set of rules:

Undetected p.466 wrote:
If a creature is undetected, that doesn’t necessarily mean you’re unaware of its presence—you might suspect an undetected creature is in the room with you, even though you’re unable to find its space. The unnoticed condition covers creatures you’re entirely unaware of.

So the problem is it isn't clear how someone acquires or maintains a state of being "unnoticed." "Unnoticed" is a term of art in this context, but there is no explanation on how that condition is specifically obtained or lost.

At some arbitrary point, a creature who is using Stealth goes from being Unnoticed to Undetected, and I'm not sure when or how that happens. Encounter Mode seems to cap Stealth at Undetected. If that's the case, there needs to be some in-game explanation of what is happening, because this is going to confound people.

It seems pretty straightforward to me, unless I'm missing something...

Hidden means someone knows what square you're in, but can't see you. (Maybe the can see your footprints or smell you with Scent.)
Undetected means someone knows you exist and are nearby, but can't see you and doesn't know what square you're in. (Maybe they heard a noise you made, or they saw you before you successfully used Hide and Sneak.)
Unnoticed means someone has no idea you even exist. (Maybe you successfully used Sneak to move into their vicinity before they ever saw or heard you in the first place.)

If you were using the Avoid Notice exploration activity going into an encounter, and your Stealth initiative roll beats the enemies' Perception DC, then you start the encounter Unnoticed by those enemies-- they have no idea you are there.

If at some point you reveal yourself (either intentionally, or by failing a Sneak check), then anyone who saw/heard/smelled you is now aware of your existence and you've lost the Unnoticed condition vs them.

Within an encounter, common sense would dictate that you can't use Stealth to get back to being Unnoticed once someone knows you exist, unless you can erase their memory somehow. The only way I can think of would be to leave the encounter/their presence, and come back some time later (after they've given up looking for you).

Exo-Guardians

N N 959 wrote:
AoN makes several references to Aoviding Notice, but has nothing about it in the Exploration mode. Perhaps someone can quote the Avoiding Notice section under Exploration Mode?

AoN is missing several Exploration activities for some reason, which is contributing to the confusion on this topic. Here's what the CRB says for the Avoid Notice activity (on pg 479):

Quote:

AVOID NOTICE

EXPLORATION
You attempt a Stealth check to avoid notice while traveling
at half speed. If you have the Swift Sneak feat, you can move
at full Speed rather than half, but you still can’t use another
exploration activity while you do so. If you have the Legendary
Sneak feat, you can move at full Speed and use a second
exploration activity. If you’re Avoiding Notice at the start of
an encounter, you usually roll a Stealth check instead of a
Perception check both to determine your initiative and to see
if the enemies notice you (based on their Perception DCs, as
normal for Sneak, regardless of their initiative check results).

Exo-Guardians

N N 959 wrote:
Again, what's missing is the explanation in the rules of how one transitions from Unnoticed to Undetected. Clearly it happens, but how?

It happens if you're detected with an Imprecise or Vague sense, like hearing or smell. Here are the rules (CRB pg 464-465, emphasis mine):

Quote:

Imprecise Senses

Hearing is an imprecise sense—it cannot detect the full
range of detail that a precise sense can. You can usually
sense a creature automatically with an imprecise sense,
but it has the hidden condition instead of the observed
condition. It might be undetected by you if it’s using
Stealth
or is in an environment that distorts the sense,
such as a noisy room in the case of hearing. In those
cases, you have to use the Seek basic action to detect the
creature. At best, an imprecise sense can be used to make
an undetected creature (or one you didn’t even know was
there
) merely hidden—it can’t make the creature observed.
Quote:

Vague Senses

A character also has many vague senses—ones that can
alert you that something is there but aren’t useful for
zeroing in on it to determine exactly what it is. The
most useful of these for a typical character is the sense
of smell. At best, a vague sense can be used to detect the
presence of an unnoticed creature, making it undetected.

Even then, the vague sense isn’t sufficient to make the
creature hidden or observed.
When one creature might detect another, the GM
almost always uses the most precise sense available.
Pathfnder’s rules assume that a given creature has
vision as its only precise sense and hearing as its only
imprecise sense. Some characters and creatures, however,
have precise or imprecise senses that don’t match this
assumption. For instance, a character with poor vision
might treat that sense as imprecise, an animal with the
Scent ability can use its sense of smell as an imprecise
sense, and a creature with echolocation or a similar
ability can use hearing as a precise sense. Such senses are
often given special names and appear as “echolocation
(precise),” “scent (imprecise) 30 feet,” or the like.


Right. This suggests you remain Unnoticed in Encounter Mode, but Encounter Mode doesn't talk about being Unnoticed just Undetected.

Also, if you start out Unnoticed, beat Perception DC, but lose initiative, where does it say you become Undetected? People seem to be asserting that as an explanation as to why someone gets take actions before the person who is technically Unnoticed, but I haven't seen that articulated in the rules.

And this goes back to that lurker who starts out Unnoticed, beats all the Perception DCs, wins Init, and being to take an action before Init..or...not acting and precluding the rolling of init. Because as soon as the GM rolls Init, the PCs are going to obviously roll Seek checks despite having no clue anything even there or having any reason to suspect something is there. Are Players okay with the GM doing that for NPCS? Yup, NPC stops and decides to use Seek.

Exo-Guardians

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N N 959 wrote:
Right. This suggests you remain Unnoticed in Encounter Mode, but Encounter Mode doesn't talk about being Unnoticed just Undetected.

It's talked about further down on pg 465, under "Detecting Creatures":

"There are three conditions that measure the degree to which you can sense a creature: observed, hidden, and undetected. However, the concealed and invisible conditions can partially mask a creature, and the unnoticed condition indicates you have no idea a creature is around."

N N 959 wrote:
Also, if you start out Unnoticed, beat Perception DC, but lose initiative, where does it say you become Undetected? People seem to be asserting that as an explanation as to why someone gets take actions before the person who is technically Unnoticed, but I haven't seen that articulated in the rules.

It doesn't say that anywhere in the rules that I can find. In fact the Avoid Notice activity says the exact opposite: "If you’re Avoiding Notice at the start of an encounter, you usually roll a Stealth check instead of a Perception check both to determine your initiative and to see if the enemies notice you (based on their Perception DCs, as normal for Sneak, regardless of their initiative check results).

However that rule is missing from the Archives of Nethys site, so people who don't have the actual CRB and are trying to piece the rules together from AoN have been coming up with various conjectures instead. I highly recommend getting at least the pdf version of the CRB, it's pretty well organized and presents the rules in a MUCH easier-to-understand fashion than AoN does.

N N 959 wrote:
And this goes back to that lurker who starts out Unnoticed, beats all the Perception DCs, wins Init, and being to take an action before Init..or...not acting and precluding the rolling of init. Because as soon as the GM rolls Init, the PCs are going to obviously roll Seek checks despite having no clue anything even there or having any reason to suspect something is there. Are Players okay with the GM doing that for NPCS? Yup, NPC stops and decides to use Seek.

The GM can always roll the Initiative check secretly. The players don't have to know they're in an encounter unless and until the lurker takes an action that reveals itself (like attacking).

(Pg 450: "The GM can choose to make any check secret, even if it’s not usually rolled secretly." Of course if your players are good at avoiding metagaming, it won't be necessary. But the option is there if you don't trust your players not to act on OOC knowledge.)


Saros Palanthios wrote:
N N 959 wrote:
Also, if you start out Unnoticed, beat Perception DC, but lose initiative, where does it say you become Undetected? People seem to be asserting that as an explanation as to why someone gets take actions before the person who is technically Unnoticed, but I haven't seen that articulated in the rules.
It doesn't say that anywhere in the rules that I can find. In fact the Avoid Notice activity says the exact opposite: "If you’re Avoiding Notice at the start of an encounter, you usually roll a Stealth check instead of a Perception check both to determine your initiative and to see if the enemies notice you (based on their Perception DCs, as normal for Sneak, regardless of their initiative check results).

Well, it would appear there is a lack of agreement on this point.

If what you quote is taken as you suggest, then a PC who wins init, but failed to notice to hidden PCs should automatically get Delayed. Kind of what you said several posts up. However, I don't' get the sense there is consensus on this.

Paizo just needs to clarify:

1. Do you even roll init if all of one side has their Perception DCs beat?;
2. If you do roll init, what happens when someone wins init, but has their Perception DCs beaten by everyone on the other side. Do the hidden get free actions?

Without Paizo clearing this up, I fear a lot of table variation for something that should not be subject to it, given the same set of die outcomes.


Saros Palanthios wrote:


If it were impossible for enemies to Ready reactions outside of encounter mode, then what would be the point of the Initiative After Reactions rule? To quote it once again, it says "In some cases, a trap or a foe has a reaction that tells you to roll initiative." The example it gives is of a complex trap getting an attack off before initiative is rolled, but the "foe" bit indicates that creatures can do it too.

Right?

There are many reactions other than those granted by Ready. Many traps have reactions that explicitly trigger before initiative as well as a few monsters, iirc.

Exo-Guardians

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N N 959 wrote:
Without Paizo clearing this up, I fear a lot of table variation for something that should not be subject to it, given the same set of die outcomes.

I agree. I've gone ahead and posed the question in the stickied "Got a rules question about Pathfinder Second Edition? Post it here!" thread. link to the post


Quote:


If it were impossible for enemies to Ready reactions outside of encounter mode, then what would be the point of the Initiative After Reactions rule? To quote it once again, it says "In some cases, a trap or a foe has a reaction that tells you to roll initiative." The example it gives is of a complex trap getting an attack off before initiative is rolled, but the "foe" bit indicates that creatures can do it too.

Right?

I took that to mean that particular foes will have special abilities that will work as Reactions that allow them an action before initiative, not that any foe could get one. I’m basing this on the wording “a foe has a reaction that tells you to roll initiative.”

The only caveat here would be if you could Ready actions outside of Encounter Mode which I don’t think you can. The Ready Action description states that it happens “outside of your turn” which suggests you are already in initiative since you don’t have turns in Exploration of Downtime modes.


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JamesMaster wrote:


I took that to mean that particular foes will have special abilities that will work as Reactions that allow them an action before initiative, not that any foe could get one. I’m basing this on the wording “a foe has a reaction that tells you to roll initiative.”

Not quite correct.

The rule book states this:

Actions p. 461 wrote:
Reactions have triggers, which must be met for you to use the reaction. You can use a reaction anytime its trigger is met, whether it’s your turn or not. In an encounter, you get 1 reaction each round, which you can use as described on page 468. Outside of encounters, your use of reactions is more flexible and up to the GM. Reactions are usually triggered by other creatures or by events outside your control.
Ready p. 470 wrote:
If the trigger you designated occurs before the start of your next turn, you can use the chosen action as a reaction (provided you still meet the requirements to use it).
p.472 wrote:
Your reactions let you respond immediately to what’s happening around you. The GM determines whether you can use reactions before your first turn begins, depending on the situation in which the encounter happens.

Putting that all together, you can Ready an Action, which then gives you a Reaction, which can be triggered "at any time."

Quote:
The only caveat here would be if you could Ready actions outside of Encounter Mode which I don’t think you can. The Ready Action description states that it happens “outside of your turn” which suggests you are already in initiative since you don’t have turns in Exploration of Downtime modes.

You can use Actions, at any time.

Actions p. 461 wrote:
Actions are most closely measured and restricted during the encounter mode of play, but even when it isn’t important for you to keep strict track of actions, they remain the way in which you interact with the game world.

Encounter Mode is only necessary when the sequencing of actions is important. You do not automatically roll Initiative in Encounter Mode. That fact seems to be confusing the issue here. If it's necessary to know what happens when, then you use Encounter Mode. If not, you can stay in Exploration Mode and in which PCs can still use Actions. Ready is an Action which gives the user a Reaction, which can be triggered "at any time" even when it is not the PCs turn.


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Thank God!

The wording on this topic is all over the map in the CRB and it’s obviously leading to a ton of confusion. I was thrown by the usage of the game term Turn and took it to mean you HAD to be in Initiative in order to Ready actions.

The entire argument comes into focus with the end of your first quote. If a PC’s Reaction can happen outside of an Encounter, then they HAVE to be able to Ready actions outside of it as well in order to set a Trigger.

That being the case, I can have a group of foes Ready an action to shoot arrows at the PCs when they enter the glade, then allow them to take that action, then roll for Initiative. Or, basically give them a virtual surprise round comprised of their Readied actions if they manage to go Undetected by the PCs! Viola they’ve ambushed the Party.

When I proposed this way to resolve this before, I was told this was not how 2e worked and all manner of convoluted suggestions were made about how to handle the situation with RAW. This is simple, elegant, and logical. It also doesn’t tip your hand that you’re ambushing the party by dropping them into Encounter Mode for seemingly no reason in the middle of the forest because the foes avoided detection, but rolled poor initiative.

Awesome.

I highlighting p461!


The only remaining issue I have with what you wrote is that you seem to say you can be in Encounter Mode without being in Initiative order. That is not right. Under the section on Encounter Mode, it literally says “Step 1: Roll Initiative.” P468.


JamesMaster wrote:
Thank God!

I had the same reaction when someone showed me quote which states that Reactions can be be resolved before Init is rolled.

Quote:
The wording on this topic is all over the map in the CRB and it’s obviously leading to a ton of confusion.

I couldn't agree more. It really requires the reader to stitch the rules together. It would have been a LOT easier if the Ready Action had simply stated that you Ready an action at any time and resolve it before Init is rolled.

Quote:
I was thrown by the usage of the game term Turn and took it to mean you HAD to be in Initiative in order to Ready actions.

Yes, a lot of people are getting hung up on the hyper-literal interpretation of Ready. Some posters are still putting blinders on and refusing to acknowledge that you can Ready an action before Init is rolled.

Quote:
The entire argument comes into focus with the end of your first quote. If a PC’s Reaction can happen outside of an Encounter, then they HAVE to be able to Ready actions outside of it as well in order to set a Trigger.

I'm glad something clicked.

Quote:
That being the case, I can have a group of foes Ready an action to shoot arrows at the PCs when they enter the glade, then allow them to take that action, then roll for Initiative.

It would be silly if the rules didn't allow something so basic to the game.

Quote:
Or, basically give them a virtual surprise round comprised of their Readied actions if they manage to go Undetected by the PCs! Viola they’ve ambushed the Party.

"virtual" is the operative word. As there is technically no "Suprise" round, people are interpreting that to mean there can't be anything that allows the similar types of events.

Quote:
This is simple, elegant, and logical.

Exactly. Kind of what you'd expect form a new rule system.

Quote:
It also doesn’t tip your hand that you’re ambushing the party by dropping them into Encounter Mode for seemingly no reason in the middle of the forest because the foes avoided detection, but rolled poor initiative.

Well, almost. Once you drop into Encounter Mode, the party knows that the sequencing of events matters, this is telling them that every move could be a trigger for something.

I think....if the foes beat Perception DCs, then the party can't avoid being hit by the Ambush. Which means I would let the foes fire, then roll init. The key is to roll the Perception DCs before the party reaches that point on the map so as not to tip off the players OOC.

If the foes don't beat all the PC Perception DCs, then I think you have to drop into Encounter Mode at the point at which the PCs detect the foes and roll Init. This is probably before the Trigger occurs.

There may still be some wrinkle or permutation which may force a reexamination of these rules.


JamesMaster wrote:
The only remaining issue I have with what you wrote is that you seem to say you can be in Encounter Mode without being in Initiative order. That is not right. Under the section on Encounter Mode, it literally says “Step 1: Roll Initiative.” P468.

It is right. Encounter Mode is used any time when the "individual actions count."

Encounter Mode wrote:
When every individual action counts, you enter the encounter mode of play.

In most cases, you need Initiative to determine the order of actions. If the order or sequencing isn't important, then you don't have to roll Init. For example, if you want the entire party to get in 1 Round of actions before something happens, then you use Encounter Mode, because "individual actions count" but there's no reason to roll Initiative.

The same thing happens at the end of combat. If there are no foes, the order doesn't matter, but keeping track of who has taken actions and who has not, might still matter, so you're still in Encounter mode.

Paizo Employee Customer Service & Community Manager

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Removed some earlier posts and replies to posts. Looks like things are already back on track, thank you.


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People are still confusing unnoticed and undetected.

a key part is that you can be SIMULTANEOUSLY BOTH.

it even directly says so in the rules.

It's NOT like hidden that "upgrades" to undetected (so you can have one or the other)

Unnoticed is pretty straightforward:

People don't know you even exist.
undetected is that they can't find you.

Unnoticed breaks when you are... noticed. It seems pretty straightforward to me.

sneaking in a goblin cave, after the goblin scouts have raised an alarm, may have you undetected, but not unnoticed. Going Invisible after you kill their buddies will certainly have you undetected, but also noticed, and etc.

As far as ambushes go, i think it's simpler, at least for me, to think of it as a sniper in ambush:

Normal mode: you are hidden and watch your surroundings for targets
"Ready mode": You expect your targets to appear any second now, you have a ready action waiting to strike.

The key here is that you can't be keeping the ready action for a long time since it's a two action activity to ready it (hence 10minutes till fatigue)

that translates IG:

Generally, you are hidden, and ready to aim at targets when they appear.
But for short periods of time you can be in high enough focus and tension to instantly pull the trigger as soon as they appear. You usually get into such a "ready" state when you know that they might possibly appear any second now.

Rules wise, since ready is already a 2 action activity, you naturally cannot be moving while keeping a ready active. It's more for a setup situation.

You also need a clear line of sight/effect towards where you are aiming.

And you also need to be unnoticed by whomever you plan to "ambush". If he spots you, he can react.

There are a lot of "ifs" but i think it makes for a servicable way to use ambushes.

Sovereign Court

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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Maps, Rulebook Subscriber

I understand a GM has the right to allow players to ready actions outside of combat. I like to think what’s good for the goose is good for the gander. What is there to prevent the average group of paranoid delvers from readying actions before opening every door in the dungeon, if readying outside of combat is permitted?

What is there to then prevent the GM from readying actions to ambush said delvers whenever they open a door?

Isn’t that more or less the base assumption of most
Initiative rolls?


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The ShadowShackleton wrote:

I understand a GM has the right to allow players to ready actions outside of combat. I like to think what’s good for the goose is good for the gander. What is there to prevent the average group of paranoid delvers from readying actions before opening every door in the dungeon, if readying outside of combat is permitted?

What is there to then prevent the GM from readying actions to ambush said delvers whenever they open a door?

I’d say that both GMs and PCs are welcome to try and always ambush everybody all the time, but they still need to actually get the drop on their opponents to pull it off. This is what keeps Ready action in check. The Kobolds behind the door can certainly Ready an action to attack the PCs when they open the door, but the PCs can also discover the fact and counter the move. And of course the opposite is also true. In actual play, it works out perfectly well.

I get the sense that this must have been handled very different in 1st edition?


The ShadowShackleton wrote:

I understand a GM has the right to allow players to ready actions outside of combat. I like to think what’s good for the goose is good for the gander. What is there to prevent the average group of paranoid delvers from readying actions before opening every door in the dungeon, if readying outside of combat is permitted?

What is there to then prevent the GM from readying actions to ambush said delvers whenever they open a door?

Isn’t that more or less the base assumption of most
Initiative rolls?

I'm going to be running RAW to start with, so to provide a disincentive I'm going to be really strict about timing. Depending on what they did before readying it could mean 10 mins pass between rooms. If they're rushing through then it means 10 mins pass after 2 readied doors.

I intend to structure advertures where time is important so it will come at a genuine cost to overuse this tactic.


shroudb wrote:

People are still confusing unnoticed and undetected.

a key part is that you can be SIMULTANEOUSLY BOTH.

it even directly says so in the rules.

It's NOT like hidden that "upgrades" to undetected (so you can have one or the other)

Unnoticed is pretty straightforward:

People don't know you even exist.
undetected is that they can't find you.

Unnoticed breaks when you are... noticed. It seems pretty straightforward to me.

I think the problem most people have (including me) is that the individual rules for Stealth (skill), senses and conditions to not interact that very well.

In the paragraph governing stealth we learn a lot about conditions like observed, hidden and undetected, but unnoticed isn't even noted once (it is indicated but not exactly used).

In the paragraphs governing senses unnoticed is indeed noted for vague senses at least but the description how this works from a game mechanics point of view is also very vague.

In the paragraph about condition "unnoticed" no reference is made to stealth and or senses, so people simply ask themselves, how do I go unnoticed, or how do I notice the unnoticed?


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Ubertron_X wrote:
shroudb wrote:

People are still confusing unnoticed and undetected.

a key part is that you can be SIMULTANEOUSLY BOTH.

it even directly says so in the rules.

It's NOT like hidden that "upgrades" to undetected (so you can have one or the other)

Unnoticed is pretty straightforward:

People don't know you even exist.
undetected is that they can't find you.

Unnoticed breaks when you are... noticed. It seems pretty straightforward to me.

I think the problem most people have (including me) is that the individual rules for Stealth (skill), senses and conditions to not interact that very well.

In the paragraph governing stealth we learn a lot about conditions like observed, hidden and undetected, but unnoticed isn't even noted once (it is indicated but not exactly used).

In the paragraphs governing senses unnoticed is indeed noted for vague senses at least but the description how this works from a game mechanics point of view is also very vague.

In the paragraph about condition "unnoticed" no reference is made to stealth and or senses, so people simply ask themselves, how do I go unnoticed, or how do I notice the unnoticed?

That is because unnoticed isn't directly connected to stealth.

You can be walking normally outside of a house, no stealth, no anything, and be unnoticed from those inside.


The ShadowShackleton wrote:

I understand a GM has the right to allow players to ready actions outside of combat. I like to think what’s good for the goose is good for the gander. What is there to prevent the average group of paranoid delvers from readying actions before opening every door in the dungeon, if readying outside of combat is permitted?

What is there to then prevent the GM from readying actions to ambush said delvers whenever they open a door?

Isn’t that more or less the base assumption of most
Initiative rolls?

The action that triggers the initiative in this case is "opening the door"

So the initiative is before the ready actions of those outside the room.

In short, the door opening gives time to those inside to react.

That's why in my "ifs" I specified line of sight.

The moment a perceivable action happens (the door opens) is the moment when both parties are able to react (initiative)


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shroudb wrote:

That is because unnoticed isn't directly connected to stealth.

You can be walking normally outside of a house, no stealth, no anything, and be unnoticed from those inside.

Yes, it is a condition / quality that is "assigned" by the GM, not one that can be actively achieved, respectively not via use of the stealth skill alone.

Exo-Guardians

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Ubertron_X wrote:
shroudb wrote:

That is because unnoticed isn't directly connected to stealth.

You can be walking normally outside of a house, no stealth, no anything, and be unnoticed from those inside.

Yes, it is a condition / quality that is "assigned" by the GM, not one that can be actively achieved, respectively not via use of the stealth skill alone.

Obviously you can't use Stealth to become Unnoticed, hiding from someone who's already seen you doesn't make them forget you exist.

Unnoticed isn't "assigned" by the GM, it's a product of the circumstances. If someone hasn't seen/heard/smelled/felt/sensed you yet, and doesn't know you're there, you're Unnoticed. Simple.

Exo-Guardians

The ShadowShackleton wrote:

I understand a GM has the right to allow players to ready actions outside of combat. I like to think what’s good for the goose is good for the gander. What is there to prevent the average group of paranoid delvers from readying actions before opening every door in the dungeon, if readying outside of combat is permitted?

What is there to then prevent the GM from readying actions to ambush said delvers whenever they open a door?

Isn’t that more or less the base assumption of most
Initiative rolls?

Nothing is preventing monsters and NPCs from using readied actions just like the players can. If it makes sense in the circumstances, anybody can do it.

I don't see how that's a problem?

On the contrary, it's the SOLUTION to the original question of this thread, i.e. "how do ambushes work?" The answer is readied actions that go off before initiative is rolled (if the ambusher isn't detected first).


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The ShadowShackleton wrote:
What is there to then prevent the GM from readying actions to ambush said delvers whenever they open a door?

The RAW answer to your question can be found on page 493

Running Modes of Play sidebar p. 493 wrote:

Improvising New Activities

If a player wants to do something not covered by other rules, here are some guidelines. If the activity is similar to an action someone could use in an encounter, such as Avoid Notice, it usually consists of a single action repeated roughly 10 times per minute (such as using the Sneak action 10 times) or an alternation of actions that works out similarly (such as Search, which alternates Stride and Seek). An activity using a quicker pace, corresponding to roughly 20 actions per minute, might have limited use or cause fatigue, as would one requiring intense concentration.

You might find that a player wants to do something equivalent to spending 3 actions every 6 seconds, just like they would in combat. Characters can exert themselves to this extent in combat only because combat lasts such a short time—such exertion isn’t sustainable over the longer time frame of exploration.

As the Ready Action requires 2 actions, If a PC walks around in constant Ready mode, then after about 10 minutes he/she is Fatigued. It would also prevent a PC from using other Activities during Exploration Mode, like Scouting, Searching, etc. So there's an opportunity cost for using Ready on every door. Monsters in a room, are not going to be in Ready mode 24/7. Ambushers waiting for hours, are not going to be in Ready mode the entire time.

In order to use Ready for an ambush such that attack occurs before Init, the ambushers would have to have some way of detecting the targets more than six seconds before the Trigger. So they can Ready the attack before the Trigger occurs.

Quote:
Isn’t that more or less the base assumption of most Initiative rolls?

The reason you roll Init is so everyone can know what order the actions take place. That's it. If the order/sequencing isn't relevant, then you don't need to roll Init.

Sovereign Court

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Maps, Rulebook Subscriber

You folks may be right but it is a stark departure from previous editions if that is the case, and it would be behoove them to clarify it if that is the case.

It was a frequent argument in 1st edition that clearly fell on the side of not being able to ready actions outside of initiative. Obviously things have changed with no surprise round but the evidence you are all citing is pretty sparse and widely dispersed and may forever live in the realm of “expect heavy table variation”.

Would I allow a cleverly executed ambush to allow a readied action before initiative? Yep.

Would I allow my players to ready actions whenever they want outside of initiative as a core expectation of the rules? Nope.

If my players start repeating the age old “I ready an action to shoot anything that moves” I will make sure there is a consequence one way or another as I would not want that to be the norm. Fatigue might satisfy it but not really. Doesn’t stop them from doing it every time they enter a new space with breaks in between.

Sovereign Court

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Maps, Rulebook Subscriber

TLDR: I don’t really disagree with you but I certainly fear where it could lead from past experience and would hope to see stricter limitations on it.

Even wording like:

Normally players may not ready actions outside of initiative. GMs May allow it in certain circumstances such as a cleverly executed ambush.

I could live with that and think it would make sense.


The ShadowShackleton wrote:
Would I allow my players to ready actions whenever they want outside of initiative as a core expectation of the rules? Nope.

Why not?

It's standard operating procedure whenever SWAT teams or Special Ops teams are storming a complex for one guy to Ready his weapon as the other guy opens the door. Why would you stop this from working? When police are searching for an armed suspect, they have their guns drawn and are ready to shoot (sometimes shooting people who should not be shot). Do shooters with their fingers on the trigger not get an advantage for shooting first?

If the scenario is nothing but a series of monsters behind a door, then don't penalize the players. It's not like preparing to shoot the first ugly behind a door is some concept totally divorced from reality. If someone comes into your house prepared to shoot you on-sight, why wouldn't they have the advantage if you're not expecting them?

My philosophy is that if the scenario is so poorly designed that the PCs can do this to great advantage, then let them and give feedback to the authors. The scenario writers will then make better encounters.

What you might recognize is that the foundation of your dilemma is based on the the GM arbitrarily deciding to enter Encounter Mode (and roll Init) so as to prevent someone from getting enough time to use Ready before combat is possible. What if the GM rolls Init when the Targets have just entered on the other side of the complex? Well, the ambushers would obviously have time to ready an attack. The GM shouldn't be able to preclude a Ready Action to shoot by simply refusing to roll Init until the hostiles are in melee range...which is what you're essentially advocating.

In real life, we are ALWAYS in Encounter Mode. The game allows everyone to to fast-forward if the individual actions aren't important. That is not a mandate to deny someone the use of an Action they might otherwise be able to take.

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