Question on Kineticist force ward


Rules Questions


As the rules are written an attack with the grab ability will not get a free action to attempt a grapple unless the damage overcomes the tempororay hit points granted by the force ward.

Last night a creature attacked our kineticist with a tentacle like tendril which did little damage but has tbe grab ability. It would seem that the intent here is the damage is negligible but the grab is the real danger.

So my question is how does the force ward prevent a free grapple combat manoeuvre but have no effect on a grapple made as a standard action?


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

You seem to understand the rules...so it seems you aren't asking a rules question, but more of a rationalization to make sense 'in the world' of how the rules work in this particular case.

In some cases it would be pretty obvious. If a bite with the grab ability didn't do damage, it makes sense that the teeth didn't stick in and so the grab doesn't work. Your tendril is less obvious, but similar explanation seems reasonable, in that something needs to 'stick' to the target (barbs, suckers, something) for the grab to work, without damage the 'sticking' doesn't happen. If that doesn't work for you, perhaps you can think of something else, but as far as how the rules work it doesn't really matter.


Dave Justus wrote:

You seem to understand the rules...so it seems you aren't asking a rules question, but more of a rationalization to make sense 'in the world' of how the rules work in this particular case.

In some cases it would be pretty obvious. If a bite with the grab ability didn't do damage, it makes sense that the teeth didn't stick in and so the grab doesn't work. Your tendril is less obvious, but similar explanation seems reasonable, in that something needs to 'stick' to the target (barbs, suckers, something) for the grab to work, without damage the 'sticking' doesn't happen. If that doesn't work for you, perhaps you can think of something else, but as far as how the rules work it doesn't really matter.

Thank you for the reply, perhaps I didn't pose the question well as the reason I posted it here is that as I read it, the effect of Force Ward on a grapple depends on how the attack was initiated which seems wrong, therefore I thought I was missing something?

Whilst I understand how your answer may explain why a force ward protects against a grapple it doesn't explain how it only protects against a free grapple check. If this is the right interpretation of the rules then it seems something was overlooked.

I doubt the intention was to protect against grapple at all, else it surely would protect against any grapple?

Dark Archive

Force Ward would not protect against grapples since grapples aren't "attacks" in the technical sense, since an attack requires an attack roll, which grapples do not make, they make CMB rolls.
It WOULD protect you from the free grapple granted by Grab since the grapple is riding on an attack. But the fact that it's a grapple is irrelevant, the ability negates ANY effect that occurs from being hit by an attack.

If you are looking for a "make sense" answer for how force ward would protect you from a grab is that you can look at it like a force field. It's not a solid "shell" that an enemy could just pick up with you in it. It's more like an intangible force that reacts and repels attacks as they happen. A creature trying to grab a Force Warded creature would find his tentacle simply sliding off him as it tried to get traction.


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That Crazy Alchemist wrote:

Force Ward would not protect against grapples since grapples aren't "attacks" in the technical sense, since an attack requires an attack roll, which grapples do not make, they make CMB rolls.

It WOULD protect you from the free grapple granted by Grab since the grapple is riding on an attack. But the fact that it's a grapple is irrelevant, the ability negates ANY effect that occurs from being hit by an attack.

If you are looking for a "make sense" answer for how force ward would protect you from a grab is that you can look at it like a force field. It's not a solid "shell" that an enemy could just pick up with you in it. It's more like an intangible force that reacts and repels attacks as they happen. A creature trying to grab a Force Warded creature would find his tentacle simply sliding off him as it tried to get traction.

Whilst I really appreciate your answer, especially as it confirms my reading of the rules, your 'make sense' explanation doesn't make sense to me as Force Ward has no effect on a grapple unless it is a free grapple. This is illogical to me, think I will house rule this one so that this type of creature grapples as standard action with a free attack on a successful grapple.

Thank you for your reply.

Dark Archive

Sir Tain Doom wrote:


Whilst I really appreciate your answer, especially as it confirms my reading of the rules, your 'make sense' explanation doesn't make sense to me as Force Ward has no effect on a grapple unless it is a free grapple. This is illogical to me, think I will house rule this one so that this type of creature grapples as standard action with a free attack on a successful grapple.

Thank you for your reply.

Sounds like you've already got it sorted out. But I feel the need defend my "make sense" argument a bit just in case

A grapple is a full on bear hug, tentacle wrap, or whatever. Your whole body is involved. A grab is simply a limb reaching out to snag someone so that the subsequent full body grapple can then commense.

A limb can be deflected, swatted away, or whatever, an entire body cannot, or at least not so easily. Ever had someone try to grab your arm? How about try to hug you when you didn't want to be? One can be batted away with a hand. The other requires a you to fight them away or dodge completely out of the way.

This is how I imagine Force Ward works. It tries to deflect oncoming attacks rather than being a wall or sheild against them. It sort of swats them away like you would to a hand trying to grab you or a ball being thrown at you.

Dunno if that made it make more sense or not. Either way it doesn't particularly matter lol.


That Crazy Alchemist wrote:
Sir Tain Doom wrote:


Whilst I really appreciate your answer, especially as it confirms my reading of the rules, your 'make sense' explanation doesn't make sense to me as Force Ward has no effect on a grapple unless it is a free grapple. This is illogical to me, think I will house rule this one so that this type of creature grapples as standard action with a free attack on a successful grapple.

Thank you for your reply.

Sounds like you've already got it sorted out. But I feel the need defend my "make sense" argument a bit just in case

A grapple is a full on bear hug, tentacle wrap, or whatever. Your whole body is involved. A grab is simply a limb reaching out to snag someone so that the subsequent full body grapple can then commense.

A limb can be deflected, swatted away, or whatever, an entire body cannot, or at least not so easily. Ever had someone try to grab your arm? How about try to hug you when you didn't want to be? One can be batted away with a hand. The other requires a you to fight them away or dodge completely out of the way.

This is how I imagine Force Ward works. It tries to deflect oncoming attacks rather than being a wall or sheild against them. It sort of swats them away like you would to a hand trying to grab you or a ball being thrown at you.

Dunno if that made it make more sense or not. Either way it doesn't particularly matter lol.

Not considered a grab as different to a grapple, to me grab us just a name for an ability that grants a free grapple but as the grapple then works the same to me it is the same.

I love your in depth description and get where you are coming from.

However as I said before if the developer had intended force ward to prevent grapples it would work against all grapples, effectively as written the force ward works against a game mechanic and whilst I accept there are ways to explain this it just doesn't sit right to me.

Will consider your points and discuss with the group. Really appreciate your thoughts, thank you.


Narratively, I imagine the force ward works similar to the force shields from the Dune books. If you attack too fast, the shield activates and prevents the attack, but if you go through slow enough, then you can get through. If a grappling arm hits and wraps around the bubble, it would be hitting something that provides resistance without substance and would be hitting something it couldn't grab.

Rules wise it's straight forward. If damage doesn't go through the shield, then the attack was a miss. Life(restoration) shamans or succor oracle's "shell of succor" does the same sort of thing.


That Crazy Alchemist wrote:
Force Ward would not protect against grapples since grapples aren't "attacks" in the technical sense, since an attack requires an attack roll, which grapples do not make, they make CMB rolls.

Combat maneuvers are indeed attacks.

And they do indeed require an attack roll.

CRB: Combat wrote:
When you attempt to perform a combat maneuver, make an attack roll and add your CMB in place of your normal attack bonus. Add any bonuses you currently have on attack rolls due to spells, feats, and other effects. These bonuses must be applicable to the weapon or attack used to perform the maneuver. The DC of this maneuver is your target's Combat Maneuver Defense. Combat maneuvers are attack rolls, so you must roll for concealment and take any other penalties that would normally apply to an attack roll.


Quote:
If an attack deals less damage than you still have as temporary hit points from force ward, it still reduces those temporary hit points but otherwise counts as a miss for the purpose of abilities that trigger on a hit or a miss.

A grapple isn’t an ability that “triggers” on a hit or miss. But a free grapple from a grab is.


Melkiador wrote:
Quote:
If an attack deals less damage than you still have as temporary hit points from force ward, it still reduces those temporary hit points but otherwise counts as a miss for the purpose of abilities that trigger on a hit or a miss.
A grapple isn’t an ability that “triggers” on a hit or miss. But a free grapple from a grab is.

Thanks Melkiador but not sure it is that simple?

The rules say it is a free action to start a grapple not a free grapple. Semantics maybe but a grapple ia a grapple.

"Grab (Ex) If a creature with this special attack hits with the indicated attack (usually a claw or bite attack), it deals normal damage and attempts to start a grapple as a free action without provoking an attack of opportunity."

However to try and rationalise the rule as I understand it is written will have to look at as the 'grab' that fails, so no grapple check.

I still think grab is just a name given to this ability and the essential idea is this creature grapples when it attacks as well as dealing damage. And that force ward is intended to stop poison and disease etc by preventing physical contact but by trying to keep it simple, it works against the anility triggering on a free hit mechanism so grapples get scooped up.

Top and bottom is all replies have confirmed how the rule works, so it is what it is.


Sir Tain Doom wrote:

I still think grab is just a name given to this ability and the essential idea is this creature grapples when it attacks as well as dealing damage.

If that were the case then you’d get the free grapple whether the attack hits or not. But the free grapple only triggers when you hit.


Melkiador wrote:
Sir Tain Doom wrote:

I still think grab is just a name given to this ability and the essential idea is this creature grapples when it attacks as well as dealing damage.

If that were the case then you’d get the free grapple whether the attack hits or not. But the free grapple only triggers when you hit.

I could have worded it better, but the point remains the same. Before the force ward was developed it was irrelevant, for the creatures with this type of attack it made sense to inflict a small amount of damage and attempt a grapple following a successful attack. It only becomes problematic with the way force ward is written.


I don’t really see what’s problematic with it though. The creature tries to hit you with a grabby attack and the attack bounces off your force ward, disrupting its follow up grapple


Melkiador wrote:
I don’t really see what’s problematic with it though. The creature tries to hit you with a grabby attack and the attack bounces off your force ward, disrupting its follow up grapple

I see that, but these creatures are designed in a way that the threat/fun/challange is the grapple. They could just go straight for a grapple but a lot of them are not that intelligent and that doesn't seem right either.

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