Ambushes, stealth and initiative


Rules Discussion

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Sovereign Court

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Maps, Rulebook Subscriber

Ah ok I was wrong. I do disagree with you. People like what they like, so that’s ok.

Not personally looking to run adventures SWAT team style.

The central conceit of gaming is that the players have agency in the story and drive the action and are thus often able to metagame to provide an advantage. They are the protagonists. They can easily abuse that position as the active players in the story to provide an advantage that can quickly make it increasingly difficult to provide a challenge, and encounter escalation ensues.

Let’s put the shoe on the other foot.

It would be equally realistic to say that my extra stealthy monsters can act like real world assassins and sneak into the players campsite and kill several of them in their sleep before they have a chance to act or defend themselves. In fact with powerful adventurers roaming the world that would be their best strategy in most cases. If they were stealthy enough they should absolutely be able to pull that off.

Is that realistic, yes?

Does that create a fun challenge and game? No.

What’s good for the goose is good for the gander. It’s all in whether you want a game that provides a fun story and challenge or one in which the clever pcs always win.

Ambushes should be something that can drive a fun encounter. I want no part of it being the default expectation of every encounter.


The ShadowShackleton wrote:
Ah ok I was wrong. I do disagree with you. People like what they like, so that’s ok.

This the Rules section. My response has nothing to do with what I like, but what the rules say. Why are you asking questions in the rules section if your basis for decision making is what you "like?"

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Not personally looking to run adventures SWAT team style.

That's irrelevant if we're talking about what the rules allow. You may not want to run your campaign allowing weapons or magic. Who cares.

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The central conceit of gaming is that the players have agency in the story and drive the action and are thus often able to metagame to provide an advantage.

No, that's not correct. The central conceit for those who ask questions in the rules section is that the game is played based on the rules and that the GM is going to honor the rules.

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They are the protagonists. They can easily abuse that position as the active players in the story to provide an advantage that can quickly make it increasingly difficult to provide a challenge, and encounter escalation ensues.

This is false. The players can't abuse anything that the GM doesn't allow. IME, GMs commit far more abuse/metagaming against the rules than players. Often under the guise of "fun" but I find it curious a GMs knows what I find "fun" without asking me.

I also find it ironic that you're accusing players of abuse and metagaming and you're specifically advocating that the players should be prevented from doing something contemplated and allowable under the rules.

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Let’s put the shoe on the other foot.

Yes..let's.

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It would be equally realistic to say that my extra stealthy monsters can act like real world assassins and sneak into the players campsite and kill several of them in their sleep before they have a chance to act or defend themselves.

Really? How does your assassin know where the players are? How does it know it can handle the PCs? How does the assassin know the players aren't keeping watch? My guess is GM metagaming. But will just ignore that.

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In fact with powerful adventurers roaming the world that would be their best strategy in most cases. If they were stealthy enough they should absolutely be able to pull that off.

That's a big "if." And if that's the type of stuff going on in your campaign, nobody is every prepared for that?

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Is that realistic, yes?

No, it's not realistic.

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What’s good for the goose is good for the gander.

That I agree with. If scenarios are going to allow traps and NPCs to fire off before Init is rolled, then it needs to work both ways. PCs should have every right to use the same rules the NPCs are using and it's up to the game designer/author to write an adventure that contemplates actions that PCs are likely to take.

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It’s all in whether you want a game that provides a fun story and challenge or one in which the clever pcs always win.

The two are not mutually exclusive as you seem to suggest. I also wouldn't label using a Ready action in this manner as something "clever." This seems to suggest some a priori adversarial attitude towards the players.

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Ambushes should be something that can drive a fun encounter. I want no part of it being the default expectation of every encounter.

It might behoove you to actually let PCs do what is allowed per the rules and then figure out what would be a logical consequence of PCs taking this action within the rules. If you simply insist on house ruling things out that you don't like, you don't need to ask questions in the Rules forum.

Sovereign Court

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Maps, Rulebook Subscriber

You seem to claim it is “in the rules” and that you are discussing “what the rules say”, even going so far as to say I should “let the PCs do what the rules allow”. At the moment we are both spouting opinions because it is not in fact remotely clear in the rules that you can do this. It does seem clear that the GM CAN allow it, but I have seen nothing to support your position that a GM must or should allow it, especially in the terms you seem to be stating it.

This may become clear in a FAQ but at present, nope, we are both stating opinions.

And discussion of what circumstances you should allow it in are perfectly reasonable under the circumstances.

In what way was your example of how SWAT teams behave relevant in any way to the purity of this “RULES ONLY” discussion? My example was equally irrelevant to the discussion and an equally poor way to handle things in a real game. I was of course not promoting murdering the PCs in their sleep, but neither do I think it is reasonable for players to use the obvious foreknowledge that they are about to enter an encounter from meta cues to be able to kick in the door both barrels blazing with no opportunity for the enemy to react (barring a situation where they are completely off guard and surprised, but that is covered in the rules already under stealth).

I have GMd probably thousands of games and they are pretty much always a lot of fun so your concern for my players is unwarranted. I think it is even more fun when players and GMs don’t start from the position that the rules are a weapon to abuse or to batter each other with, but provide a mutual language that can be used to increase the fun for everyone.

Readying out of initiative feels abusive to me in the context you are proposing to use it in. At the tables you GM I encourage you to use your own good judgement to rule it how you see fit.

Sovereign Court

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Maps, Rulebook Subscriber
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.
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.

Seems to me the rules say it is up to the GM, end stop. I will allow them when they are reasonable and won’t when they are not.

I mean none of this actually shows you can ready actions outside of encounters to get that reaction at all, but there are some occasions where it would be reasonable.


The ShadowShackleton wrote:
Seems to me the rules say it is up to the GM, end stop. I will allow them when they are reasonable and won’t when they are not.

The GMs determining whether a Reaction or Action or anything else is allowable is based on what the rules say, not whether the GM "likes" or dislikes the rule, as you seem to be implying.

There is absolutely nothing unreasonable about someone standing next to a door ready to attack the first creature as soon as the door opens. You're objecting to that simply on the grounds that you think it is somehow unfair/badwrongfun. Great. You're entitled to your opinion, but it has nothing to do with what the rules dictate.

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I mean none of this actually shows you can ready actions outside of encounters to get that reaction at all, but there are some occasions where it would be reasonable.

Yes, it does. I already laid out the RAW.

1. Actions are how you interact with the game world, in or out of Encounter Mode.
2. The rules explicitly contemplate Encounter Mode actions outside of being in an encounter and provide guidelines on how to adjudicate it.
3. The Ready action is defined in the game. Because of #1 and #2, you can use them outside of Encounter Mode.
4. The use of Ready creates a Reaction based on a Trigger.
5. Reactions can fire off before Init is rolled.

None of that is "opinion." You don't like the rules? Don't use them.


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N N 959 wrote:
The ShadowShackleton wrote:
Seems to me the rules say it is up to the GM, end stop. I will allow them when they are reasonable and won’t when they are not.

The GMs determining whether a Reaction or Action or anything else is allowable is based on what the rules say, not whether the GM "likes" or dislikes the rule, as you seem to be implying.

There is absolutely nothing unreasonable about someone standing next to a door ready to attack the first creature as soon as the door opens. You're objecting to that simply on the grounds that you think it is somehow unfair/badwrongfun. Great. You're entitled to your opinion, but it has nothing to do with what the rules dictate.

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I mean none of this actually shows you can ready actions outside of encounters to get that reaction at all, but there are some occasions where it would be reasonable.

Yes, it does. I already laid out the RAW.

1. Actions are how you interact with the game world, in or out of Encounter Mode.
2. The rules explicitly contemplate Encounter Mode actions outside of being in an encounter and provide guidelines on how to adjudicate it.
3. The Ready action is defined in the game. Because of #1 and #2, you can use them outside of Encounter Mode.
4. The use of Ready creates a Reaction based on a Trigger.
5. Reactions can fire off before Init is rolled.

None of that is "opinion." You don't like the rules? Don't use them.

The action that gets everyone rolling init is "breaking the door" since the second someone smashes/pushes it, is the moment both parties become aware of its other.

At that moment those outside the door have no line of sight to attack inside the room.

So the ready action doesn't do anything in that case.

Even your swat example: unless they start randomly spraying bullets inside (which is impossible with bows and rest medieval weapons) they don't automatically shoot at targets the second they break the door.

They ARE ready to storm in, but that's just a circumstance bonus to init by game rules.


shroudb wrote:

The action that gets everyone rolling init is "breaking the door" since the second someone smashes/pushes it, is the moment both parties become aware of its other.

At that moment those outside the door have no line of sight to attack inside the room.

So the ready action doesn't do anything in that case.

Even your swat example: unless they start randomly spraying bullets inside (which is impossible with bows and rest medieval weapons) they don't automatically shoot at targets the second they break the door.

They ARE ready to storm in,...

In my opinion "awareness" is no absolute measure to allow or disallow a "surprise round". Perhaps in a war, where intentions are most clear and anybody not on your own team must clearly be on the other team.

It more or less comes down to when the GM decides to start encounter mode.

An example:

Two players are trying to free a NPC who was captured by guards. The guards have the NPC locked up in a cell and are doing their shifts in a small guard room in front of the cell block. We are in exploration mode.

Player one knocks at the door, stating that he is someone else and needs to see the NPC to question him while successfully passing a Deception (Lie) check. Player two knocks an arrow and states that he will immediately fire at the guard that opens the door.

The guards are obviously aware that there is somebody at the other side of the door, however they are pretty much not aware that they are about getting attacked.

Alternative 1:

As soon as the guards open the door the GM decides to switch to encounter mode and to call for initiative, which means that if the guard at the door is fast enough he might get out of sight even before our player archer ever had a chance to try to hit him.

Alternative 2:

As the door opens the player archer is allowed to conduct his readied action (shoot) while still being in exploration mode. Then the transition to encounter mode is made and initiative is rolled as the guard that has been hit by the arrow stumbles back a few steps and combat breaks out.


shroudb wrote:
The action that gets everyone rolling init is "breaking the door" since the second someone smashes/pushes it, is the moment both parties become aware of its other.

Init is rolled when the GM needs to determine the "order" of the Actions. Typically this occurs when hostile groups come into contact, because rolling Init before contact is made would pollute the players with OOC knowledge an encounter was going to start.

Encounter Mode does not require contact is made. Per RAW, a PC can take an Action in or out of Encounter mode.

The rules explicitly contemplate/allow players to take Encounter Actions, outside of encounters.

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At that moment those outside the door have no line of sight to attack inside the room.

So the ready action doesn't do anything in that case.

The Ready Action doesn't require Line of of Sight or proximity, or anything else. It only requires the intent to take an action based on a Trigger.

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Even your swat example: unless they start randomly spraying bullets inside (which is impossible with bows and rest medieval weapons) they don't automatically shoot at targets the second they break the door.

They absolutely do. If the Trigger is to "shoot when the door is opened", they shoot when the door is opened. As a GM, you might impose some sort of circumstance penalty for not waiting for an actual target. If the Trigger is to shoot as soon as they see a creature, then they shoot as soon as they see the creature, which would proceed Initiative.

There's a real simple way to prove that this is how it has to work and it's based on the fact that if we roll init when two parties are face to face, then have the Target hide behind a door, the Attacker can Ready an action to shoot the Target as soon as the door open and no one has a problem with that. This mandates that the same Action can be before Initiative is rolled and the same Trigger must result in the same outcome i.e. the Attacker shoots when the Trigger occurs.

By RAW, you can use applicable Actions in Exploration mode
By RAW applicable Reactions can occur before Init is rolled.

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They ARE ready to storm in, but that's just a circumstance bonus to init by game rules.

I'm not aware of any circumstance bonus to Init based on being "ready to shoot through an open door." Can you provide a page reference?


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N N 959 wrote:
shroudb wrote:
The action that gets everyone rolling init is "breaking the door" since the second someone smashes/pushes it, is the moment both parties become aware of its other.

Init is rolled when the GM needs to determine the "order" of the Actions. Typically this occurs when hostile groups come into contact, because rolling Init before contact is made would pollute the players with OOC knowledge an encounter was going to start.

Encounter Mode does not require contact is made. Per RAW, a PC can take an Action in or out of Encounter mode.

The rules explicitly contemplate/allow players to take Encounter Actions, outside of encounters.

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At that moment those outside the door have no line of sight to attack inside the room.

So the ready action doesn't do anything in that case.

The Ready Action doesn't require Line of of Sight or proximity, or anything else. It only requires the intent to take an action based on a Trigger.

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Even your swat example: unless they start randomly spraying bullets inside (which is impossible with bows and rest medieval weapons) they don't automatically shoot at targets the second they break the door.

They absolutely do. If the Trigger is to "shoot when the door is opened", they shoot when the door is opened. As a GM, you might impose some sort of circumstance penalty for not waiting for an actual target. If the Trigger is to shoot as soon as they see a creature, then they shoot as soon as they see the creature, which would proceed Initiative.

There's a real simple way to prove that this is how it has to work and it's based on the fact that if we roll init when two parties are face to face, then have the Target hide behind a door, the Attacker can Ready an action to shoot the Target as soon as the door open and no one has a problem with that. This mandates that the same Action can be before Initiative is rolled and the same Trigger must result in the same outcome i.e. the Attacker shoots when the Trigger...

No one said that you can't ready actions outside initiative.

Do NOT put words into my mouth.

The rules EXPLICITLY say a lot of things, NONE of which allow you to shoot at undetected creatures.

As you said :

Initiative is rolled when both parties are aware of each other, in order to determine order of actions.

Someone kicking a door immediately alerts the group in the other side.

So you roll initiative before the ready in such an occasion.

As for "circumstance penalty to shoot someone you have 0 idea where he is" is actually impossible to do so:

Without line of sight you cannot aim at a target.

A random arrow without a target in a room is an automiss.

You CAN ready actions outside of initiative order.

But you need line of sight to do so.

So, a group can easily setup an ambush indeed.

It's just that "breaking into a room" is not such an occasion.

An example where this works, and is an actual ambush:

You are hiding by the road. You spot a group of Orc far away, they haven't seen you. "i ready to shoot when they are within 200ft". If they still haven't spot you at 200ft, you get your attack and everyone rolls init.

You can house rule it however you want to, but "shooting in blind and hitting" is too far a stretch imo.

Ofc, you CAN ready actions to go off "as soon as X slams on the door" but it can't be anything relying on Line of Sight/Effect with what's in the other side of the room.


Ubertron_X wrote:
It more or less comes down to when the GM decides to start encounter mode.

Per RAW, you can use Actions at any time, so techincally, it doesn't matters whether you're in Encounter Mode or not. The difference between Encounter and Exploration is the time scale. You are still taking Actions in Exploration mode, but the time scale is sped up. It doesn't have to be, and the GM can switch in and out of Encounter mode if based on the timescale that is appropriate for the Activity.

As a general statement, not directed at Ubertron, the differences between Encounter and Exploration are not weapons for the GM to restrict Actions or preclude PCs from taking Actions, which is what some people seem to be trying to do. The same goes for Initiative. The Modes are tools for efficiently dealing with the Actions that the characters are taking by using the appropriate time scale. Modes are not straight jackets for PC actions, neither is Initiative.

The problem we had n PF1 is that the rules didn't specifically tell us that attacks could occur prior to Init. So you got LOTS of table variation about allowing Ready actions. PF2 does, by virtue of defining Actions and explaining that the modes represent "time scale" differences. PF2 explicitly allows applicable Reactions to be resolved before Init is rolled, something PF1 did not.

The caveat for using a Ready Action is that is potentially Fatiguing, so you can't walk around for more than 10 minutes with an arrow notched or your sword arm over your arm ready to Strike. You're also preluded from using other Exploration activities. So you're also not going to have an entire party going door to door with weapons raised. It would be self-defeating real quick.


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N N 959 wrote:
Ubertron_X wrote:
It more or less comes down to when the GM decides to start encounter mode.

Per RAW, you can use Actions at any time, so techincally, it doesn't matters whether you're in Encounter Mode or not. The difference between Encounter and Exploration is the time scale. You are still taking Actions in Exploration mode, but the time scale is sped up. It doesn't have to be, and the GM can switch in and out of Encounter mode if based on the timescale that is appropriate for the Activity.

As a general statement, not directed at Ubertron, the differences between Encounter and Exploration are not weapons for the GM to restrict Actions or preclude PCs from taking Actions, which is what some people seem to be trying to do. The same goes for Initiative. The Modes are tools for efficiently dealing with the Actions that the characters are taking by using the appropriate time scale. Modes are not straight jackets for PC actions, neither is Initiative.

The problem we had n PF1 is that the rules didn't specifically tell us that attacks could occur prior to Init. So you got LOTS of table variation about allowing Ready actions. PF2 does, by virtue of defining Actions and explaining that the modes represent "time scale" differences. PF2 explicitly allows applicable Reactions to be resolved before Init is rolled, something PF1 did not.

The caveat for using a Ready Action is that is potentially Fatiguing, so you can't walk around for more than 10 minutes with an arrow notched or your sword arm over your arm ready to Strike. You're also preluded from using other Exploration activities. So you're also not going to have an entire party going door to door with weapons raised. It would be self-defeating real quick.

No, the catch is initiative is rolled as soon as you alert the other group.

Slamming in a door does that.
Opening a door does that.

Ofc, you can always ready an action to "I do X just BEFORE the barbarian slams in the door"

P. S. :

You are correct that the difference between Exploration and Encounter are not to restrict Players.

You just forgot to mention that the rules for differences between Exploration and Encounter are also NOT so that players can get free attacks in 90% of the occasions as some people want them to be.

Lets just assume that the rules are there so that you can't have ridiculous scenarios but to expedite the game play and still allow believable ambushes to setup.


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shroudb wrote:

Initiative is rolled when both parties are aware of each other, in order to determine order of actions.

Someone kicking a door immediately alerts the group in the other side.

So you roll initiative before the ready in such an occasion....

I think we may be conflating concepts or talking about different things.

As I read the rules...

A Ready action creates a Reaction based on a Trigger. Whenever the Tigger occurs, the Reaction occurs. If you declare a Ready action before Init is rolled, it doesn't matter whether you lose or win Initiative, when the Trigger happens, the Reaction fires.

If my Trigger is goblins coming around the corner, then as long as I can see they are goblins, I shoot. It doesn't matter whose turn it is or when Initiative is rolled. Per RAW, if the GM waits until the goblins come around the corner to roll Init, then the Reaction should occur before Init is rolled.

If the GM wants to roll Init before the goblins come around the corner, then the Attacker simply holds the ready action.

The problem arises when the PCs are the Targets. If you roll Init before they come around the corner, you're tipping them off. So you'd have them come around the corner, the Reaction occurs, and then you roll Init. It should work the same way if the PCs are the ambushers.


N N 959 wrote:
Ubertron_X wrote:
It more or less comes down to when the GM decides to start encounter mode.

Per RAW, you can use Actions at any time, so techincally, it doesn't matters whether you're in Encounter Mode or not. The difference between Encounter and Exploration is the time scale. You are still taking Actions in Exploration mode, but the time scale is sped up. It doesn't have to be, and the GM can switch in and out of Encounter mode if based on the timescale that is appropriate for the Activity.

As a general statement, not directed at Ubertron, the differences between Encounter and Exploration are not weapons for the GM to restrict Actions or preclude PCs from taking Actions, which is what some people seem to be trying to do. The same goes for Initiative. The Modes are tools for efficiently dealing with the Actions that the characters are taking by using the appropriate time scale. Modes are not straight jackets for PC actions, neither is Initiative.

The problem we had n PF1 is that the rules didn't specifically tell us that attacks could occur prior to Init. So you got LOTS of table variation about allowing Ready actions. PF2 does, by virtue of defining Actions and explaining that the modes represent "time scale" differences. PF2 explicitly allows applicable Reactions to be resolved before Init is rolled, something PF1 did not.

The caveat for using a Ready Action is that is potentially Fatiguing, so you can't walk around for more than 10 minutes with an arrow notched or your sword arm over your arm ready to Strike. You're also preluded from using other Exploration activities. So you're also not going to have an entire party going door to door with weapons raised. It would be self-defeating real quick.

The thing is that players and GMs alike seem to be very much confused about the transition from exploration mode to encounter mode and vice versa, which is one of the reasons for this thread.

As an example in our campaign while exploring we encountered a "sleeping lion" and our GM stated (abbreviated and wrongly): Well in PF2 surprise rounds aren't a thing anymore, so if you want to attack the lion please roll perception. Which is quite absurd and completely against common sense because it could easily lead to the lion attacking us before we even had a chance to attack him.

That is what I meant when I wrote: "It more or less comes down to when the GM decides to start encounter mode."


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N N 959 wrote:
shroudb wrote:

Initiative is rolled when both parties are aware of each other, in order to determine order of actions.

Someone kicking a door immediately alerts the group in the other side.

So you roll initiative before the ready in such an occasion....

I think we may be conflating concepts or talking about different things.

You are talking about different things.

shroudb is making a stand about all reactions before initiative need to be done at exactly the same moment. And as such you could not fire through a door that has not yet been opened because opening the door and firing the arrow need to occur simultaneously.

In your expanation before combat reactions can be in order. So first the barbarian slams the door, then the archer shoots, both before combat. Only after this happens combat starts.


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N N 959 wrote:
shroudb wrote:

Initiative is rolled when both parties are aware of each other, in order to determine order of actions.

Someone kicking a door immediately alerts the group in the other side.

So you roll initiative before the ready in such an occasion....

I think we may be conflating concepts or talking about different things.

As I read the rules...

A Ready action creates a Reaction based on a Trigger. Whenever the Tigger occurs, the Reaction occurs. If you declare a Ready action before Init is rolled, it doesn't matter whether you lose or win Initiative, when the Trigger happens, the Reaction fires.

If my Trigger is goblins coming around the corner, then as long as I can see they are goblins, I shoot. It doesn't matter whose turn it is or when Initiative is rolled. Per RAW, if the GM waits until the goblins come around the corner to roll Init, then the Reaction should occur before Init is rolled.

If the GM wants to roll Init before the goblins come around the corner, then the Attacker simply holds the ready action.

The problem arises when the PCs are the Targets. If you roll Init before they come around the corner, you're tipping them off. So you'd have them come around the corner, the Reaction occurs, and then you roll Init. It should work the same way if the PCs are the ambushers.

But you see, in you example with the goblins, the goblins don't have any sort of stimulus to react to before you see them and shoot. The moment they come in line of sight/effect is instantaneous.

If, as an example, my players heard them and setup (stationary) in ready actions to shoot them as they appear, I wouldn't mind.

In your room example though. There's a door breaking/opening. And that's not instantaneous.

So the guys inside can react.

So initiative is rolled.

As I mentioned a bit earlier:

The very act of smashing the door is an Athletics Initiative Check by the one breaking it for me.

My ruling is simple:
As soon as both parties are alerted, it's initiative.

Again :

You can declare and ready anything to go off "before I open the door" and I'll be OK with it.

As for reactions set before hand rolling.

The RAW is pretty clear: you can only make Reactions before your Initiative IF they make sense to the GM.

For me, shooting without a target doesn't make sense.
Raising a shield, does.
Moving sideways (to gain cover does)
Etc.

In effect, each reaction, by RAW, has to be judged independently if it goes off before or after initiative.


Ubertron_X wrote:
The thing is that players and GMs alike seem to be very much confused about the transition from exploration mode to encounter mode and vice versa, which is one of the reasons for this thread.

It's my perception that the problem arises from GMs treating the differences as a basis for restricting actions. The difference is the time scale. You can move in and out of Encounter Mode as needed. Or, you can slow down or speed up Exploration Mode as needed.

Quote:

As an example in our campaign while exploring we encountered a "sleeping lion" and our GM stated (abbreviated and wrongly): Well in PF2 surprise rounds aren't a thing anymore, so if you want to attack the lion please roll perception. Which is quite absurd and completely against common sense because it could easily lead to the lion attacking us before we even had a chance to attack him.

That is what I meant when I wrote: "It more or less comes down to when the GM decides to start encounter mode."

The problem is not Encounter Mode. It was appropriate to switch to Encounter Mode. If there is a round by round chance of the lion detecting you. The GM should have had you roll Stealth against the lions Perception DC. If everyone beats its Perception DC, then there is no reason to roll Init because the party is undetected/unnoticed by the lion and the lion isn't going to take any actions until it becomes aware.


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N N 959 wrote:
Ubertron_X wrote:
The thing is that players and GMs alike seem to be very much confused about the transition from exploration mode to encounter mode and vice versa, which is one of the reasons for this thread.

It's my perception that the problem arises from GMs treating the differences as a basis for restricting actions. The difference is the time scale. You can move in and out of Encounter Mode as needed. Or, you can slow down or speed up Exploration Mode as needed.

Quote:

As an example in our campaign while exploring we encountered a "sleeping lion" and our GM stated (abbreviated and wrongly): Well in PF2 surprise rounds aren't a thing anymore, so if you want to attack the lion please roll perception. Which is quite absurd and completely against common sense because it could easily lead to the lion attacking us before we even had a chance to attack him.

That is what I meant when I wrote: "It more or less comes down to when the GM decides to start encounter mode."

The problem is not Encounter Mode. It was appropriate to switch to Encounter Mode. If there is a round by round chance of the lion detecting you. The GM should have had you roll Stealth against the lions Perception DC. If everyone beats its Perception DC, then there is no reason to roll Init because the party is undetected/unnoticed by the lion and the lion isn't going to take any actions until it becomes aware.

Or players wanting free actions in every combat.


shroudb wrote:

My ruling is simple:

As soon as both parties are alerted, it's initiative..

That's correct per RAW. That does not preclude a Reaction occurring before Init is rolled because Reactions can happen "at any time."

If the Ready action is declared before Init is rolled, If you're waiting until the the parties see each other, then the Trigger has occurred and the attacks happen before Init.

Quote:
In some cases, a trap or a foe has a reaction that tells you to roll initiative. For instance, a complex trap that’s triggered might make an attack with its reaction before the initiative order begins. In these cases, resolve all the results of the reaction before calling for initiative rolls.

This is Paizo explicitly telling us that Reactions can occur before Init.


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I think we all agree that reactions can occur before Init, however the question of timing is still relevant.

Do all reactions before combat need to happen at exactly the same millisecond (exaggeration) or can they be in order. If they can be in order how much time is appropriate before calling for perception checks and start encounter mode?

So is there a difference for a Ranger & Wizard when

a) they lie in hiding and decide to attack a group of unaware enemies by the ranger using his bow and the wizard casting a spell at the very same time or

b) the ranger kicks in a door and after that the wizard casts a spell through the open door?

Is timing relevant for readied before combat reactions and if the answer is yes, how?


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N N 959 wrote:
shroudb wrote:

My ruling is simple:

As soon as both parties are alerted, it's initiative..

That's correct per RAW. That does not preclude a Reaction occurring before Init is rolled because Reactions can happen "at any time."

If the Ready action is declared before Init is rolled, If you're waiting until the the parties see each other, then the Trigger has occurred and the attacks happen before Init.

Quote:
In some cases, a trap or a foe has a reaction that tells you to roll initiative. For instance, a complex trap that’s triggered might make an attack with its reaction before the initiative order begins. In these cases, resolve all the results of the reaction before calling for initiative rolls.

This is Paizo explicitly telling us that Reactions can occur before Init.

It also EXPLICITLY says that

" The GM determines whether you can use reactions before your first turn begins, depending on the situation in which the encounter happens."

Which means:
Judge each Reaction in a case by case if it happens.

So you may have a Reaction "ready" to happen. But you still can't do it before your turn comes.

My rule of thumb is simple, concise, and fair :
Reactions affecting something in your line of sight/effect BEFORE the initiative, usually happen.
Reactions affecting something outside your line of sight/effect BEFORE the initiative, usually don't happen.

Sovereign Court

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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Maps, Rulebook Subscriber
shroudb wrote:
N N 959 wrote:
Ubertron_X wrote:
The thing is that players and GMs alike seem to be very much confused about the transition from exploration mode to encounter mode and vice versa, which is one of the reasons for this thread.

It's my perception that the problem arises from GMs treating the differences as a basis for restricting actions. The difference is the time scale. You can move in and out of Encounter Mode as needed. Or, you can slow down or speed up Exploration Mode as needed.

Quote:

As an example in our campaign while exploring we encountered a "sleeping lion" and our GM stated (abbreviated and wrongly): Well in PF2 surprise rounds aren't a thing anymore, so if you want to attack the lion please roll perception. Which is quite absurd and completely against common sense because it could easily lead to the lion attacking us before we even had a chance to attack him.

That is what I meant when I wrote: "It more or less comes down to when the GM decides to start encounter mode."

The problem is not Encounter Mode. It was appropriate to switch to Encounter Mode. If there is a round by round chance of the lion detecting you. The GM should have had you roll Stealth against the lions Perception DC. If everyone beats its Perception DC, then there is no reason to roll Init because the party is undetected/unnoticed by the lion and the lion isn't going to take any actions until it becomes aware.

Or players wanting free actions in every combat.

Yep Shroud has it exactly.


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N N 959 wrote:
shroudb wrote:

Initiative is rolled when both parties are aware of each other, in order to determine order of actions.

Someone kicking a door immediately alerts the group in the other side.

So you roll initiative before the ready in such an occasion....

I think we may be conflating concepts or talking about different things.

As I read the rules...

A Ready action creates a Reaction based on a Trigger. Whenever the Tigger occurs, the Reaction occurs. If you declare a Ready action before Init is rolled, it doesn't matter whether you lose or win Initiative, when the Trigger happens, the Reaction fires.

If my Trigger is goblins coming around the corner, then as long as I can see they are goblins, I shoot. It doesn't matter whose turn it is or when Initiative is rolled. Per RAW, if the GM waits until the goblins come around the corner to roll Init, then the Reaction should occur before Init is rolled.

If the GM wants to roll Init before the goblins come around the corner, then the Attacker simply holds the ready action.

The problem arises when the PCs are the Targets. If you roll Init before they come around the corner, you're tipping them off. So you'd have them come around the corner, the Reaction occurs, and then you roll Init. It should work the same way if the PCs are the ambushers.

You’ve changed the facts.

In this example, assuming the goblins are not undetected and the PCs have taken reasonable steps to be hidden a GM would be well within their right to rule:
1) they do get to have their trigger go off; OR
2) they roll initiative with party stealth vs goblin perception to see if they did successfully hide.

Both rulings are valid and so long as the GM is consistent it doesn’t matter which ruling they make.


The ShadowShackleton wrote:
shroudb wrote:
Or players wanting free actions in every combat.
Yep Shroud has it exactly.

Well, how about the GM wanting free actions in every combat?

If I recall my 30+ years of gaming experience correctly it is mostly the monsters who ambush the players, not the other way round...

Feeling discriminated here, please help!

(please consider that there might be a little irony hidden in this post)


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Ubertron_X wrote:
The ShadowShackleton wrote:
shroudb wrote:
Or players wanting free actions in every combat.
Yep Shroud has it exactly.

Well, how about the GM wanting free actions in every combat?

If I recall my 30+ years of gaming experience correctly it is mostly the monsters who ambush the players, not the other way round...

Feeling discriminated here, please help!

(please consider that there might be a little irony hidden in this post)

Wel... if the GM wants free actions, he can always give monsters "free action abilities":

"What do you mean my zombie moved twice already so it can't attack?? It's a... err... quicksilver zombie! it moves 3 times in a row with 1 action!"

The only downside is the usual "book thrown to the head" but you get immune to that after a while.

(also no i simply cannot consider that. I take these boards very seriously Sir, i do not appreciate you implying that someone may be using irony and/or sarcasm^^)

Sovereign Court

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Maps, Rulebook Subscriber

I do also think the GM should use ambushes very sparingly. It would be equally unfair if every encounter starts with a “readied” crossbow bolt.

In a special encounter where they had foreknowledge and line of sight? Sure, same as the players.


Ubertron_X wrote:
Do all reactions before combat need to happen at exactly the same millisecond (exaggeration) or can they be in order. If they can be in order how much time is appropriate before calling for perception checks and start encounter mode?

You do the same thing you did in PF1. Roll init and resolve actions in the order of people who have Reactions that fire. Then start back at the top with the normal round of actions.

Quote:

So is there a difference for a Ranger & Wizard when

a) they lie in hiding and decide to attack a group of unaware enemies by the ranger using his bow and the wizard casting a spell at the very same time or

b) the ranger kicks in a door and after that the wizard casts a spell through the open door?

Is timing relevant for readied before combat reactions and if the answer is yes, how?

In neither example have you identified a Reaction or its Trigger. If the timing of the events is important, you roll Initiative and can use the order to resolve the actions.

If it's obvious that one event has to proceed another, then you don't use Init order. Is there something I'm missing?


shroudb wrote:


It also EXPLICITLY says that

" The GM determines whether you can use reactions before your first turn begins, depending on the situation in which the encounter happens."

Which means:
Judge each Reaction in a case by case if it happens.

Yes, Shadow already tried to weaponize that. The GM is making an objective determination on what Reaction occurs outside of your turn. Normally, you don't get your Actions or your Reactions until your first Turn. So, for example, you don't get an Attack of Opportunity Reaction until your first turn in the Init order. The GM also makes an objective determination on whether the Trigger requirements have been met.

So this is about what applies per the rules, not what applies per "I-don't-like-it."

Quote:
So you may have a Reaction "ready" to happen. But you still can't do it before your turn comes.

I have to laugh because the rule you quoted tells us that you can use some reactions before your first turn begins. A Ready action allows you to take Reactions when its not your turn. The GM decides whether the Trigger occurs because as stated in the rules, the Trigger is typically something outside the control of the player....the GM has to make the call.


Ubertron_X wrote:


Well, how about the GM wanting free actions in every combat?

If I recall my 30+ years of gaming experience correctly it is mostly the monsters who ambush the players, not the other way round...

Feeling discriminated here, please help!

(please consider that there might be a little irony hidden in this post)

This and 1000 times this. In all my years of GMing and playing PFS, its on order of magnitude more common for the scenario to give free actions to the NPCs than for the PCs to get readied attacks against the NPCs.

Perhaps the most egregious example is from In Service to Lore. A 1st level 3rd season scenario. There is a combat where each NPC is given a "Before Combat" action like...

Quote:

Before combat XXX casts mage armor from her scroll before

drawing the PCs into the XXX. She triggers combat on
XXX signal by casting her scroll of obscuring mist.

Many GMs had these actions taking place before Init, in some cases potentially giving the NPCs several rounds of actions as soon as the PCs are in eye sight and before some GMs even rolled Init. As I understand it, in PF2 anything "Before Combat" that is triggered upon awareness, would have to be a Ready actions based on a Trigger, thus formally limiting the actions that could be triggered.


shroudb wrote:
Or players wanting free actions in every combat.

The actions aren't "free." They require foresight and preparation on the part of the players, something the game is suppose to reward, not undermine.

But if that is how you choose to characterize the players doing what the game allows them to do, then that's your choice and is no longer a topic of discussion for a Rules thread.


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N N 959 wrote:
shroudb wrote:


It also EXPLICITLY says that

" The GM determines whether you can use reactions before your first turn begins, depending on the situation in which the encounter happens."

Which means:
Judge each Reaction in a case by case if it happens.

Yes, Shadow already tried to weaponize that. The GM is making an objective determination on what Reaction occurs outside of your turn. Normally, you don't get your Actions or your Reactions until your first Turn. So, for example, you don't get an Attack of Opportunity Reaction until your first turn in the Init order. The GM also makes an objective determination on whether the Trigger requirements have been met.

So this is about what applies per the rules, not what applies per "I-don't-like-it."

Quote:
So you may have a Reaction "ready" to happen. But you still can't do it before your turn comes.

I have to laugh because the rule you quoted tells us that you can use some reactions before your first turn begins. A Ready action allows you to take Reactions when its not your turn. The GM decides whether the Trigger occurs because as stated in the rules, the Trigger is typically something outside the control of the player....the GM has to make the call.

Haha "weaponize" good one buddy. Same thing I guess with the weaponizing of "I want more free actions" that you're trying to make it sound like remotely reasonable.

Afaik the rule lawyering won't get you out of that though.

The RAW is pretty clear:

Reactions that are sensible to be used before your 1st turn, occur.
Reactions that aren't, won't.

It's plain and simple.

Line of sight/effect is pretty reasonable. If you disagree, feel free to play "Instant snipers".

Also, reading comprehension fail if "some reactions aren't usable before your 1st turn" translates into "I can use whatever reaction I want before my 1st turn" for you.

If you want to play in a universe that everyone shudder walks like "move ready move ready move ready" then be my guest.

It sounds hilariously bad imo, but your home game, your homerules.

P.s
Just because you choose to ignore all the rules that don't fit your narrative, doesn't make you correct.

Rules are clear:
A) you can ready outside of initiative
B) only sensible reactions will occur before initiative
C) only the GM can judge what's sensible.

P.s.2
Just kind in mind, EVERYTHING you can do, so can your adversaries.
So be prepared for guards alternating between them to "shoot hostiles" while guarding or enemies readying attacks before they turn each corner.


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N N 959 wrote:
if that is how you choose to characterize the players doing what the game allows them to do, then that's your choice and is no longer a topic of discussion for a Rules thread.

Is it really kosher to try to shutdown people who don’t agree with you like this?


shroudb wrote:

Just kind in mind, EVERYTHING you can do, so can your adversaries.

So be prepared for guards alternating between them to "shoot hostiles" while guarding or enemies readying attacks before they turn each corner.

If the guards were expecting an imminent attack why wouldn't they alternate being Ready? If the PCs were fighting their way to the prison cell, of course I'd have the guards use a Ready Action. Why on earth not? But you have to be as strict with the NPC triggers as you would with the PCs'.

The great thing about PF2 is now the players know what can happen. Players know that applicable Reactions can occur before Init is rolled. Now, the players know if they've been causing a ruckus, there's a chance they could open the door and get an arrow in the chest before they can act. Why do I get the feeling most GMs don't have a problem with that application of the rule?


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N N 959 wrote:
shroudb wrote:

Just kind in mind, EVERYTHING you can do, so can your adversaries.

So be prepared for guards alternating between them to "shoot hostiles" while guarding or enemies readying attacks before they turn each corner.

If the guards were expecting an imminent attack why wouldn't they alternate being Ready? If the PCs were fighting their way to the prison cell, of course I'd have the guards use a Ready Action. Why on earth not? But you have to be as strict with the NPC triggers as you would with the PCs'.

The great thing about PF2 is now the players know what can happen. Players know that applicable Reactions can occur before Init is rolled. Now, the players know if they've been causing a ruckus, there's a chance they could open the door and get an arrow in the chest before they can act. Why do I get the feeling most GMs don't have a problem with that application of the rule?

It's only reasonable if you can shutter walk and be always on the ready, to actually do so.

No need to expect something, it's your job.

End of the line is:

Raw clearly says that Reactions occur before Init if the GM approves of said reactions.

As long as you keep it consistent there's no reason to play into a universe where everyone and his mother has free attacks before Init.

An ambush is fine. Getting free attacks every time you turn a corner or open a door, isn't.

Else you are back to "everyone starts with free attacks before initiative" that happened in PF1 and was explicitly removed from pf2.

The very definition of Initiative is how fast you can react. Just saying "I'm ready to react" doesn't MAKE you faster to react than your initiative except on very specific situations (ambushes as an example).

Sovereign Court

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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Maps, Rulebook Subscriber

Honestly I have to thank N N. When this idea was being civilly and rationally discussed as an option I was warning of the extreme it could be taken to by some people.

N N has proven my point faaaaar better than I ever could of how rules lawyers would abuse this to give themselves free actions.


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shroudb wrote:

Rules are clear:

A) you can ready outside of initiative
B) only sensible reactions will occur before initiative
C) only the GM can judge what's sensible.

I don't know if I would call it "clear" based on presentation, but essentially yes, so long as "sensible" is an objective standard.


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Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

I am fine with readied actions as long as the trigger is something in the fiction and characters who do so do not do anything else. I am not fine with trying to justify a trigger of initiative. I ready an action to attack the first creature who comes through this door is fine. Initiative will still be rolled when someone intends to immediately act against the other and if the trigger occurs before their turn players will be free to use their reaction.

If your intention is to immediately attack and try to word a trigger to do so my response is that we are going to be rolling initiative possibly with a small penalty for the monsters if the monsters are unaware of your presence.


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Campbell wrote:
If your intention is to immediately attack and try to word a trigger to do so my response is that we are going to be rolling initiative possibly with a small penalty for the monsters if the monsters are unaware of your presence.

Any attack will typically trigger a roll of Initiative if one hasn't already taken place. The difference in PF2 versus PF1 are these statements:

p. 498 wrote:
In some cases, a trap or a foe has a reaction that tells you to roll initiative. For instance, a complex trap that’s triggered might make an attack with its reaction before the initiative order begins. In these cases, resolve all the results of the reaction before calling for initiative rolls.

This is Paizo officially telling us you can have attacks fire off before Initiative if the Trigger occurs and the Reaction is valid. The specific example is a trap that "attacks" which is functionally no different than a foe which attacks because a Ready action creates a Reaction.

This notion is reinforced in other sections where the rules formally acknowledge both Actions and Reactions occuring outside of Encounter Mode.

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.

Note that Reactions are contemplated both within Encounter Mode and "outside" of an encounter. Also note that outside of Encounter Mode, the use of Reactions is suppose to be "more" flexible, not less flexible.

In PF1, GMs were all over the map as to whether they allowed pre-Init attacks and to my knowledge, Paizo never cleared this up. Here, they have. It's officially allowed for a Reaction to resolve before Init is rolled.

Some of the posters in this thread are trying to characterize the change in rules as allowing "free actions" as a justification for disallowing it. The rules don't discuss a concept of "free actions," nor is there any attempt to frame the outcomes in such terms. But, the entire point of an ambush is to get in an attack before the other side can react. The rule changes to PF2 make that officially possible.

For me, this is an improvement to the rules, as it formalizes the treatment and discussion of something that GMs and scenarios have been doing since Day One, but without any uniform consistency.

Quote:
If your intention is to immediately attack and try to word a trigger to do so my response is that we are going to be rolling initiative possibly with a small penalty for the monsters if the monsters are unaware of your presence.

Yes, an attack will trigger Init, but the rules make it clear that a Reaction can be resolved before Init starts provided the trigger occurs.

The beauty of this formal change in the rules is that Init no longer becomes the gatekeeper. You don't have to roll Init early to allow your NPCs to ambush because the rules explicitly tell us we can can resolve the attacks before Init. So now you can save Init until the combatants do detect each other. The whole when-to-roll-init-thing was hugely problematic in PF1 because of either side wanting to Ready attacks. PF2 fixes that.


Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

I largely agree that it is good this stuff is defined. I definitely see Readying as a valid tactic.

I do think it is somewhat limited in application. You need to define a valid fictional trigger (not roll for Initiative) and for it to occur before Initiative is rolled it needs to happen before enemies decide they want to attack you, so you generally want to be Unnoticed. However, once you ready you are no longer Avoiding Notice or engaging in any Exploration Activity so you probably want to remain out of line of sight.

Even if we had you Sneak before you ready it still would break Stealth. Taking an action (including Ready) besides Step, Hide, or Sneak ends it.


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Campbell wrote:

I largely agree that it is good this stuff is defined. I definitely see Readying as a valid tactic.

I do think it is somewhat limited in application. You need to define a valid fictional trigger (not roll for Initiative) and for it to occur before Initiative is rolled it needs to happen before enemies decide they want to attack you, so you generally want to be Unnoticed. However, once you ready you are no longer Avoiding Notice or engaging in any Exploration Activity so you probably want to remain out of line of sight.

Even if we had you Sneak before you ready it still would break Stealth. Taking an action (including Ready) besides Step, Hide, or Sneak ends it.

Yes to pretty much all of this. Though I would argue that Undetected is also sufficient. I'd also add that per RAW if you Ready an action for more than 10 minutes, you get Fatigued, so it's not like a PC can walk around all day with a Ready action.


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On the Paizo Friday stream I asked if the GMG would explain how to better address using these rules in common situations such as ambushes and breaking down doors. Logan Bonner said “yes” and it specifically addresses transitioning from exploration mode to encounter mode. I’m looking forward to more clarity from Paizo on these issues (cuz, dang, this thread is getting long).


N N 959 wrote:
John Lynch 106 wrote:
N N 959 wrote:
if that is how you choose to characterize the players doing what the game allows them to do, then that's your choice and is no longer a topic of discussion for a Rules thread.
Is it really kosher to try to shutdown people who don’t agree with you like this?
Is it really kosher to try and shut down people who don't agree with you like this?

Hey man, you're arguing against the whole PF2 troll squad. What do you intend to accomplish ?

There's The ShadowTroll, he has 35 year of experience of railroad DMing. Do you have any experience at railroading the PCs? When the ShadowTroll say he can give any free action he wants to the monsters, that's because he can add any free action he wants to the monsters: there's no need to argue, if his railroad require the monsters to take 4 action before the PC can do anything, then no rule will be able to stop him.

Then there's shtrollb and the power of strawman. This guy discovered his superpower when he was young: he can't understand anything ever. This unique ability allows him to strawman any sensible argument with sentences like "players wanting free actions in every combat", and then pretend it's a civil and rational discussion. And that's true, since Shtrollb didn't understand anything in the discussion: he's sincerely convinced players want free actions every combat and this obviously shouldn't be allowed.

And finally Random Internet Troll 106. He doesn't have any special ability, he's not even a very good troll - he's just a random troll - , except he can summon the other members of the PF2 troll squad. Maybe one day he'll become a good troll on his own?

Seriously, NN, what do you intend to accomplish? You're alone against the whole PF2 troll squad; do you really expect you can give rational argument in a rational discussion? Hey man, i have to tell you a secret: you won't find anyone rational here, because the PF2 troll squad has already send away every rational person from this forum.


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Gaterie wrote:
Seriously, NN, what do you intend to accomplish? You're alone against the whole PF2 troll squad; do you really expect you can give rational argument in a rational discussion? Hey man, i have to tell you a secret: you won't find anyone rational here, because the PF2 troll squad has already send away every rational...

My goal is to provide sanity for people like you. To let you know that you aren't crazy. I've learned that the number of people who read a thread is an order of magnitude or more greater than the number of people who actually post in it.

Yes, there are a reoccurring group of posters who instinctively learn to gang up on anyone who disagrees with them by favoriting each others posts and what not. So what? That happens in probably every forum on the Internet. It even happens in physics forums.

I'm not trying to convince them. My goal is to work it out for myself and others who are struggling with the same concepts. It has to start with someone.

My advice, is to recognize the ad hominems and the passive aggression and baiting, (all of which the moderators simply refuse to moderate) for what it is. If you respond directly to the (passive) aggression and baiting, the moderators seem to be all over that, so flag it and move on.

Don't judge the game based on the moderators failing to moderate these people. The forums are still the best place to find answers and figure things out.


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N N 959 wrote:
Gaterie wrote:
Seriously, NN, what do you intend to accomplish? You're alone against the whole PF2 troll squad; do you really expect you can give rational argument in a rational discussion? Hey man, i have to tell you a secret: you won't find anyone rational here, because the PF2 troll squad has already send away every rational...

My goal is to provide sanity for people like you. To let you know that you aren't crazy. I've learned that the number of people who read a thread is an order of magnitude or more greater than the number of people who actually post in it.

Yes, there are a reoccurring group of posters who instinctively learn to gang up on anyone who disagrees with them by favoriting each others posts and what not. So what? That happens in probably every forum on the Internet. It even happens in physics forums.

I'm not trying to convince them. My goal is to work it out for myself and others who are struggling with the same concepts. It has to start with someone.

My advice, is to recognize the ad hominems and the passive aggression and baiting, (all of which the moderators simply refuse to moderate) for what it is. If you respond directly to the (passive) aggression and baiting, the moderators seem to be all over that, so flag it and move on.

Don't judge the game based on the moderators failing to moderate these people. The forums are still the best place to find answers and figure things out.

i agree, but "these people" are usually the passive aggressive ones that that think and post like everyone is out to get them and "ruin their fun" (aka: gaming the system).

the same kind of people that fail to realise that in a group game, EVERYONE needs to have fun, not only them by gaming the system.

Thankfully, the forum has enough people to offer a clear view on the rules and such, and only a minority that try to metagame every encounter.

feel free to disagree, i mean, i know i'm not gonna change your mind.

my posts are mostly so that newer players can see how the game/system works, and not to convince people the people who are so diehard about making every single encounter of theirs an "ambush" against the "evil GM".

Sovereign Court

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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Maps, Rulebook Subscriber

See the thing is I have been wrong and been corrected by shroud in another thread (or maybe it was this one). Pretty sure I have disagreed with John as well but I haven’t even been posting that long (since I took a several years long break from the board because of all the troll activity).

The point is when someone shows me they understand the rules and I don’t, I accept that and move on.

When someone insists they know the one true way the rules should work for everyone but don’t back it up either with actual evidence or sound argument I am not afraid to disagree with them. In some cases such as my discussion with NN I even go out of my way to say that people like different things in their games and that’s ok.

That is normal human interaction.

You two seem to leap to the attack by default (one look at your recent post history provides numerous examples) so the irony is very rich that you are claiming that you are the victims of some sort of conspiracy of oppression.

Happily I am quite certain any reasonable person reading this thread will see who is doing the trolling here. I suggest we leave it at that. We aren’t likely to convince each other so let’s hope we get a ruling on this at some point in the future as there is not much point in debating it further.


N N 959 wrote:
Gaterie wrote:
Seriously, NN, what do you intend to accomplish? You're alone against the whole PF2 troll squad; do you really expect you can give rational argument in a rational discussion? Hey man, i have to tell you a secret: you won't find anyone rational here, because the PF2 troll squad has already send away every rational...
My goal is to provide sanity for people like you. To let you know that you aren't crazy. I've learned that the number of people who read a thread is an order of magnitude or more greater than the number of people who actually post in it.

... OK, this I can understand.

I mean, it seems it was the purpose of my last post. I didn't have anything to add, just, I see you arguing against a see of strawmen and bad faith, I just wanted you to know there are non-crazy people... but they don't want to argue anymore. :/

Now, the problem is... I don't even agree with your last statements. What you say is reasonable and all, I can follow your logic, but... I feel the RAI is against you: the intend is to prevent character to ready an action outside of combat mode. Yes, my only argument against your position is a "RAI feeling" and it's very weak, but I have this feeling nontheless. The reason is: they purposely removed the surprise round. The surprise round was a free partial round (character didn't get their whole allotment of actions during surprise round); allowing readied action before init is the same: a free partial round. I don't think the RAI was to remove the surprise round to see it come back in another form; this wouldn't make a lot of sense.

Anyway, I won't argue more against you; I only hope you find my counter-argument, at least, sane - and that I didn't misrepresent your position.

--
... Anyway, I feel the rule should simply be: "if some characters are surprised, they automatically lose init". Unsurprised characters roll init against other unsurprised characters, surprised characters roll init against other surprised characters, surprise makes you gain init.

This isn't the surprise round: the surprise round allowed you to act before the combat starts, and then act again if you win init. Here you just win init with no roll, this is no more advantageous than winning init.

You shouldn't allow readied action before init: if you readied an action with the right trigger, obviously you aren't surprised. you get a whole round before surprised character, that's better than activating your trigger. And this solves the mexican standoff chain-of-trigger: in case of a mexican standoff, instead of arguing that your trigger was more precise than the other and it should be resolve before... just roll init and go with it.

I feel this should be the rule, but it isn't. The rule is this confusing mess where a surprised character may act first - before the action that starts the fight - , where a cleric should never ever set an ambush because he'll act faster if he's surprised, where merisiel acts faster if she jumps on a chandelier than if she simply stabs the person in front of her, etc.


Gaterie wrote:
, I just wanted you to know there are non-crazy people... but they don't want to argue anymore. :/

Discussing the rules and and how they may or may not work, imo, is not arguing. I'd call it debating. The forums are a place to debate.

Quote:
I feel the RAI is against you: the intend is to prevent character to ready an action outside of combat mode. Yes, my only argument against your position is a "RAI feeling" and it's very weak, but I have this feeling nontheless. The reason is: they purposely removed the surprise round.

Paizo changed the nomenclature and the constructs. Just because we don't have something called the "Surprise" round doesn't mean they don't want to preserve some of the outcomes. An example is that we no longer have the "immediate/swift action." But we still have the things that they were used to accomplish in the form of Reactions. And just like swift/immediate, the game nominally limits you to one of those actions.

Part of why we don't have a "surprise" round may be due to changes in how they've chosen to handle stealth and perception. I can't say it's intuitive yet.

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I don't think the RAI was to remove the surprise round to see it come back in another form; this wouldn't make a lot of sense.

I think you're conflating "Surprise Round" with Ready action based on a trigger. As you've pointed out, the Surprise Round gave you a partial action. I believe that you are correct, you no longer can get a open-ended partial action. A "partial action" is not the same thing as a Reaction off of a Trigger.

In PF1, if I won surprise, I could do any number of things before Init. In PF2, you can't do anything before Init unless you've got a specific Reaction that triggers. So I agree with you, there is no Surprise round and there is no more unfettered Standard Action.

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Anyway, I won't argue more against you; I only hope you find my counter-argument, at least, sane - and that I didn't misrepresent your position.

You need to keep asking questions until it makes sense to you or others agree it doesn't make sense. If something seems off, it maybe that something was overlooked. The game is so new, we don't know where the cracks are.

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... Anyway, I feel the rule should simply be: "if some characters are surprised, they automatically lose init". Unsurprised characters roll init against other unsurprised characters, surprised characters roll init against other surprised characters, surprise makes you gain init.

So let me try and work through this:

If one group is hiding from another, then the hiding group rolls Stealth checks vs the Perception DCs. So what are the possible outcomes:

a) Hidden are not detected. This means that they are technically Undetected, and if previously Unnoticed, should remain as such, but Unnoticed doesn't seem to trigger much in this context. At this point, you only enter Encounter Mode if the hidden creature intends to act. I don't think you roll Init unless the Hidden creature attacks or does something where the order of actions matters.

If the Hidden creatures attack and are not in Ready mode, then you roll Init. The hiding creatures use their Stealth Rolls and the Targets get to roll Perception. As has been discussed, you can have the odd situation where the hiding creatures beat Perception DCs, but lose Init. This means the hidden creatures are still Undetected (but techincally not Unnoticed???).

How do we relate this IC? It isn't clear to me...but I think someone in the thread suggested that if the Targets win Init, then the GM just tells them, something is up. They don't know where or what, but they perceive something is nearby and every one goes to Encounter Mode. This should probably prompt buffing or prepping or even Ready actions.

If all the hiding creatures win Init, then they can act. Ready action or delay or whatever.

b) Some Hidden are detected and the groups are hostile. At this point, you enter Encounter mode and roll Init because the order of actions matters.

c) All Hidden are detected, you roll Init.

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You shouldn't allow readied action before init: if you readied an action with the right trigger, obviously you aren't surprised. you get a whole round before surprised character, that's better than activating your trigger

Let's unravel this.

"You shouldn't allow readied action before init"
1. The rules says you can take Actions outside of an encounter. What if a Tom was going to throw a rock at Bill so that Bill could hit the rock with his sword and knock it over a fence? Bill would have to use a Ready action to do that. You don't roll Init because the order of operations doesn't matter. Why couldn't Bill use the same action to whack-a-mole on a goblin sticking its head out of the ground if the goblin never detects Bill before sticking its head out of the ground?

"if you readied an action with the right trigger, obviously you aren't surprised"
2. You can't be surprised if something you're expecting to happen, happens. A 1st baseman is never surprised by an infielder throwing him the ball when the runner is heading for 1st.

"you get a whole round before surprised character"
3. I'm not sure what you mean by "surprised" in this context. If you fail to detect someone but you beat their Stealth with your Perception (and win Init), then you get to go first, you're just not sure what's happening. If you fail to detect them and you lose Init, then they go first.

"in case of a mexican standoff, instead of arguing that your trigger was more precise than the other and it should be resolve before... just roll init and go with it."
4. In Mexican stand-off, the idea is that everyone decides to raise their gun and declare triggers. In this situation, you would have already rolled Init. If you haven't, then yes, the first time someone decides to raise their weapon, you roll Init.

Let's say one side has snipers hidden in the room and there is gong to be a negotiation attempt to start.

1. I would move to encounter mode as soon as it matters what is happening round by round.

2. The snipers would have a Ready Action, but if the conversation took more than 10 minutes, they'd have to stand down or get Fatigued. I could see allowing a circumstance benefit to extend the duration i.e. lying down with a soft pillow and a the rifle on a tripod.

3. If the trigger occurs (which can't be "we roll Init") while the negation is ongoing, the snipers can fire...I resolve the attacks then roll init.

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The rule is this confusing mess where a surprised character may act first - before the action that starts the fight

If I am understanding you correctly, you're confused by someone who has their Perception DC beat, but wins Init? In that case, the N/PC that wins Init, goes first, but has not idea what they are suppose to be acting against. In IC terms, I guess the perceive something that gives them a chance to act. Recognize that in this situation, the hiding creature doesn't have a Reaction set. They are just hiding, so the hiding creature isn't in a position to take advantage of the Undetected status.

Let me know if some of this is still unclear.


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Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

I would note that you cannot be hidden/undetected and ready an action. As soon as you ready you are not doing any exploration activities so avoiding notice does not apply. When you are hidden/undetected doing anything except step, hide, and sneak makes you observed.

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