The surreal sensation of a stationary object making a Reflex save


Rules Discussion


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Hi guys

So I came back from our weekly game of AoA some hours ago, it was awesome, except for some details of a situation that happened at the end.

So there's an unmoving 10' pillar, right? With hardness, hit points, BT, the works. The players need to destroy it. So they place a black powder keg as near it as possible, go back as far as possible, and toss fireballs.

Okay, so... fireball requires a basic Ref save. Which, even if it's a 12m explosion, okay, whatever, abstraction, maybe you stop drop and roll or whatever, maybe you leap away but it was too many rules. Not the topic.

The topic is that a friggin' pillar made Ref save after Ref save against these explosions happening all around it.

Okay, it's a magic pillar. It has magical powers. Fine.

None of its powers says it can dodge stuff, though. And even if, say, a caster aims their fireball wrong, what can happen? Instead of the thing being wrapped in flames on all sides for 6m, maybe it will be 8m of fire to the left, 4 to the right. It still doesn't ameliorate its situation - it. Can't. Move.

I understand PF is a gamist-influenced system, sure. But a little verisimilitude wouldn't hurt. My players were starting to mutiny after a while, and I was like, "Why the f--- did the devs come up with Ref saves for friggin' items??! WHAT DO I DO?".

So we decided something was wrong. And lo, from the pinnacle of my GM wisdom, I pronounced "Thou who art a stationary target uncapable of dodging, wilt forevermore be denied a Reflex save, automatically fumbling the roll and thus taking double damage, and so shall it ever be".

And thus the game ends and an hour later I go to bed and can't get almost no sleep and think about it and think it's a fair house rule.

... And then it hits me.

You know plate armor? The one with the "bulwark" trait? The trait that if you have less than +3 from Dex to your Ref save allows you to ignore that and just add +3 from the sheer toughness of the layers of steel you're encased in?

... Holy sh**. Is it possible that Ref saves include toughness? At least for unmoving items if nothing else?

But that's surely a stretch, isn't it? A fireball engulfs a stone and wood pillar, but since it's tough (already reflected in its Hardness and HPs) it can make a Ref save.

It. Doesn't. Move.

But the Ref save is always low for these stationary thingies, perhaps it's because it's *only* their toughness to the rescue, even if they cannot move at all.

Maybe... its magic does help?

... holy sheep.

So... First off I'd really love if a dev descended from on high to impart their wisdom and explain the actual reason why non-moving objects have Ref saves - they shouldn't, or it's toughness, or it's something else, or us humans can comprehend the infallibility, whatevs.

Secondly, you guys, you players and GMs and goblin mascots - what do you think? Is it normal that pillars dodge? Is the save a reflection of only their (already abudantly detailed in other mechanics) toughness? Is it the blessed intervention of Brigh or Torag or Yuelral who will crafted items to somehow give the middle finger to whomever tries to smash them to bits? Do you know the truth, and will you share it with the world?

There, /rant and /questions.

I'd really like to fathom why the game works like this. If you have any hint, please for the love of the afore-mentioned deities, drop a line, and thank you.

Liberty's Edge

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Explosions are weird. Sometimes something just survives right in the middle of one just because it does, sheer luck and the way the particular explosion operates leaves something weirdly untouched.

Here's an example with a person, but he literally just stood there, so a wooden dummy would've had about the same survival chance were it there.

Reflex Saves are available even to the unconscious and have thus always involved an element of pure luck, which is after all what the die is there to represent.


1) Items have been making saving throws since at least as far back as AD&D, but back then you had to reference an entire separate set of saving throw rules that were different from what player characters and monsters used (because arbitrary complication in the name of 'makes sense' was treated as more important than arbitrary abstraction and simplification in the name of 'plays easier').

2) Pillars don't "dodge." That's taking a rule that applies for the sake of game-play simplicity and consistency and treating it like it's a simulation of a law of reality - and unfairly too, since clearly player character's can't possibly be "dodging" either given that passing a reflex save has nothing to do with actually getting out of an area of effect despite it being a mechanic to reduce damage.

Some effects just have their effectiveness attached to a die roll called a Reflex saving throw. That's it, full stop. The narrative is mutable to whatever you need it to be to make sense - not the other way around like you're trying to apply it, and as a result setting a precedent that could easily wreck your Player Characters if they ever get paralyzed or immobilized in an encounter that involves damage sources that use Reflex saves.


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I'll see your complaint and raise you Saint Paul's.

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/St_Paul%27s_Survives

If you look back at that night (and several events in the months prior) you would come away with the sense that there's no way Saint Paul's should still be standing.

It took direct hits from high explosive bombs on 10 October 1940 and 17 April 1941. On 12 September 1940 a time-delayed bomb that had struck the cathedral was successfully defused and removed. Had it detonated, it would have totally destroyed the cathedral; it left a 100-foot (30 m) crater when later remotely detonated in a secure location. The night of 29 December 1940 was one where incendiary charges were dropped out by the tens of thousands all over London, destroying virtually every building (this is why modern London looks nothing like the chimney sweep rooftops of Mary Popins). The entire city literally burned to the ground. The only reason casualties were as low as they were was because people took shelter in the underground (or other, similar locations) every night.

That includes an incendiary that landed on top of the inaccessible dome capping Saint Paul's (there is not one roof, there's like 14, and some can't be reached from the others except by going all the way to the ground).

Quote:
By contrast there was a vigilant team of fire-watchers at work from the start in St Paul’s Cathedral. They were on hand to deal with the 28 incendiary bombs that fell on the building. But it was only luck that prevented the one incendiary bomb that just penetrated the dome from setting the whole building alight. The dome of St Paul’s is mainly a wooden structure covered with lead, so is highly combustible. Fortunately the bomb, having lodged in the roof, then fell outwards rather than inwards, and was swiftly dealt with.

http://ww2today.com/29th-december-1940-st-pauls-survives-london-firestorm


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Deadmanwalking wrote:

Explosions are weird. Sometimes something just survives right in the middle of one just because it does, sheer luck and the way the particular explosion operates leaves something weirdly untouched.

Here's an example with a person, but he literally just stood there, so a wooden dummy would've had about the same survival chance were it there.

Reflex Saves are available even to the unconscious and have thus always involved an element of pure luck, which is after all what the die is there to represent.

... Mmm. Okay, so explosions are weird, yes, the article shows it and if you think about it it makes sense. It's also true that when something can damage a target, dice are rolled and the resulting total can vary quite a bit, so I'm not sold that we need an extra Ref save for an unmoving target - if it is moving, well, if for instance I cast Lightning Bolt at you, and you duck, cover your head and ears, everything needed when an electrical discharge is headed your way, then a Ref save is perfect... but sometimes it doesn't seem fitting.

The fact unconscious creatures can make Ref saves... doesn't make sense to me. I hadn't thought of it, but it's really damn weird. I'm not sure I'd allow it. Same if you're paralyzed or similar.

At the same time the game has clearly been written to work with Ref saves operating no matter the amount of movement the target is capable of, at most being low and not helping much, but hey, you can always roll a 20 and if it's a basic save avoid all damage... which strikes me as profoundly odd in cases like these... but if the game balance goes to hell if I change this, hell, maybe it's better I leave it as is... although it makes no sense to me and my group. I don't know though. I've heard that thanks to its tight math P2 can handle quite a bit of houserules. If we decided, say, that a stationary target auto-fumbles Ref saves, would we run into troubles down the road?

thenobledrake wrote:

1) Items have been making saving throws since at least as far back as AD&D, but back then you had to reference an entire separate set of saving throw rules that were different from what player characters and monsters used (because arbitrary complication in the name of 'makes sense' was treated as more important than arbitrary abstraction and simplification in the name of 'plays easier').

2) Pillars don't "dodge." That's taking a rule that applies for the sake of game-play simplicity and consistency and treating it like it's a simulation of a law of reality - and unfairly too, since clearly player character's can't possibly be "dodging" either given that passing a reflex save has nothing to do with actually getting out of an area of effect despite it being a mechanic to reduce damage.

Some effects just have their effectiveness attached to a die roll called a Reflex saving throw. That's it, full stop. The narrative is mutable to whatever you need it to be to make sense - not the other way around like you're trying to apply it, and as a result setting a precedent that could easily wreck your Player Characters if they ever get paralyzed or immobilized in an encounter that involves damage sources that use Reflex saves.

It's okay that an item makes a save in general. I wasn't there when people plaid AD&D (or I was very little) but from what I've seen those saves were concerned with the item resisting an effect thanks to its toughness, not to to its... Reflexes? Which didn't exist as a save iirc. But sure, I don't want extra complications... although I do care about verisimilitude and a little logic, you know. We're not playing Monopoly after all, but a TTRPG... barring the fact I would expect this set of rules to have gotten better from what Gygax himself played, at least from certain points of view... an RPG tells a story. It doesn't need to be complicated to make sense, honestly, at least most of the time, with the GM noticing when something can't possibly apply and intervening along the course of least resistance, like say having stationary targets fumble Ref saves. "Plays easier" - sure, but if there's a simple way to avoid brusquely breaking immersion for everyone... well, as a GM I need to look for it.

Then you say I'm being unfair by expecting that a Ref save represents dodging...

Core Rulebook, p.14 wrote:


There are three types of saving throws: Fortitude (to resist diseases, poisons, and physical effects), Reflex (to evade effects a character could quickly dodge), and Will (to resist effects that target the mind and personality).

So, by expecting that a rules element works as advertised in the book itself, I am... unfairly... treating a rule like it's a simulation of reality.

So... this game doesn't simulate reality at all? I did notice it tends more towards gamism than simulationism, sure, but... seems to me you're wrong. If I cast a mental influence spell at you, you roll a Will save. If I cast a fireball at an object... it rolls a Ref save?

And again, so it appears an unconscious character, for instance, can try a Ref save against a fireball? If I tell this to my players I can foresee the blank expressions of incredulity. Really, there's no rule saying an incapacitated creature can't dodge - sorry, "roll a Ref save"? O_O

And it appears that then no, I can't houserule that stationary targets auto-fumble Ref saves, from your reply, because the game balance goes to hell.

Damn I really hope you're wrong.

Either that or that we keep playing, my players notice how absurd this ruleset is and while we keep playing this great campaign in this beautiful setting, we switch to a different rule system.

Because from what you're saying nothing makes any sense at all regarding Reflex saves, see definition above, compare and contrast with your answer.

I honestly don't think I'm being "unfair" in wishing the game we play made sense. Perhaps I am, and my players are too, and thus we should really have a chat about this new development we were totally ignorant of till now - the game is actually not supposed to make sense. Right, thanks.


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Draco18s wrote:

I'll see your complaint and raise you Saint Paul's.

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/St_Paul%27s_Survives

If you look back at that night (and several events in the months prior) you would come away with the sense that there's no way Saint Paul's should still be standing.

It took direct hits from high explosive bombs on 10 October 1940 and 17 April 1941. On 12 September 1940 a time-delayed bomb that had struck the cathedral was successfully defused and removed. Had it detonated, it would have totally destroyed the cathedral; it left a 100-foot (30 m) crater when later remotely detonated in a secure location. The night of 29 December 1940 was one where incendiary charges were dropped out by the tens of thousands all over London, destroying virtually every building (this is why modern London looks nothing like the chimney sweep rooftops of Mary Popins). The entire city literally burned to the ground. The only reason casualties were as low as they were was because people took shelter in the underground (or other, similar locations) every night.

That includes an incendiary that landed on top of the inaccessible dome capping Saint Paul's (there is not one roof, there's like 14, and some can't be reached from the others except by going all the way to the ground).

Quote:
By contrast there was a vigilant team of fire-watchers at work from the start in St Paul’s Cathedral. They were on hand to deal with the 28 incendiary bombs that fell on the building. But it was only luck that prevented the one incendiary bomb that just penetrated the dome from setting the whole building alight. The dome of St Paul’s is mainly a wooden structure covered with lead, so is highly combustible. Fortunately the bomb, having lodged in the roof, then fell outwards rather than inwards, and was swiftly dealt with.
...

That is 1) very cool and 2) illuminating. I think when we play a TTRPG we don't aim at replicating every little or big weirdness that could happen but try instead to form believable fiction, which is normally much more predictable (Reality is Unrealistic and all that) - but okay, cool, a building can unexpectedly survive serious explosions somehow relatively undamaged.

With a Reflex save, though?

See my post above please. Ref save is defined as evading and dodging. I would say in the case of St Paul's the attacks all rolled crappy damage, or hey, maybe the Cathedral rolled Fort saves and critted like a champ, many times...

My players were casting fireballs at a stationary object, which requires the object to make Ref saves, and I couldn't explain to them what the hell was happening. Because I honestly had no idea, pinky swear. Somehow the target was... not dodging obviously, but... I dunno honestly. It's friggin' strange.

If you guys tell me that a Ref save includes the target's toughness, like in the case of the plate armor's "bulwark" +3, hey, let's talk about that, but otherwise...

I don't know. I was having a near mutiny this morning. Players claiming for a house rule, if not immediately, at least from next time.

What would you guys do? Tell them about St Paul's?


Roswynn wrote:
I honestly don't think I'm being "unfair" in wishing the game we play made sense.

It's not unfair to want the game you are playing to make sense - it's unfair to not consider that part of your job as the GM.

The rules will never be perfect, no game ever will. No matter what rule system you turn to there will be moments where the rules will result in similar situations to this pillar (or unconscious creature) making a reflex save - but that's why the GM provides the narrative.

The GM can choose to provide a narrative that makes sense of the rules, or can choose to shackle them self to a narrative that makes the rule not make sense despite that it makes the game functional.

Liberty's Edge

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Sure, I'd mention the real-world weirdness of explosions. I've certainly mentioned similar things before.

Also, Reflex Saves on anything stationary are generally really low, for example unconscious PCs are at a hefty -4, while the pillar you mention has a +8 as a 6th level enemy (which is listed as 'Terrible' on the monster creation chart...this is literally the lowest possible Save a 6th level enemy will ever have), so they won't be succeeded at very often, but when they do actually succeed there are really two ways to look at it that still let the rules make sense:

#1. The realism argument above. Sometimes things just survive explosions. It's rare, but happens, and Reflex Saves involve how lucky the person or thing is in this regard as well as active dodging. Luck alone only takes you so far, which is why stationary things have bad Reflex Saves, but they still receive some chance.

#2: The narrative argument, which is more or less the same thing but tied into the nature of fiction rather than reality. All things in PF2 have plot armor to some degree (you can tell by how individual axe blows seldom kill on-level foes), some of the mechanics clearly reflect that. A major character or important thing that goes through an explosion in fiction will sometimes just survive due to the contrivances of circumstance and plot. The Reflex Save represents that plot armor and the degree to which it protects them in this specific incident.

Both of those seem entirely valid and not too difficult to explain, at least to me. Adding a mention that if the Pillars don't get Reflex Saves neither do unconscious PCs on top of one of those may also cause the PCs to reconsider any objections they may have and requests for House Rules. When something is both noted as more realistic than it seemed at first glance and it's pointed out it'll help keep them from dying, most players are willing to go with it, IME.


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Roswynn wrote:

I don't know. I was having a near mutiny this morning. Players claiming for a house rule, if not immediately, at least from next time.

What would you guys do?

I'd do as I've done for you and point out that game rules are designed to make the game playable above all else, so a pillar is making a reflex save not because it's agile enough to dart out of the way of an attack but because that's the die roll called for to determine the amount of damage some things do and the already massive rule-book would be unreadably dense and even more sizeable if side-bars or additional rules were included to do translations like "inanimate objects and immobile objects and creatures don't evade so they don't make reflex saves, but they do have a modifier that is identical in scale and scope to a reflex save modifier and is used any time an effect calls for a reflex save but is most definitely not actually a reflex save because that would be silly."

And I'd also point out that while they are likely hoping for their reflex save-based damage sources to get to do the best possible damage against this pillar and that's why they are balking at the rules allowing it a saving throw - the more likely alternative would be that non-creatures would become more resistant if not immune to the sources of damage in question because that's how other similar games handle this situation (and is also how throwing an area damage spell doesn't immediately result in the GM being assumed to determine how badly damaged the structures and environment nearby are).


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thenobledrake wrote:

It's not unfair to want the game you are playing to make sense - it's unfair to not consider that part of your job as the GM.

The rules will never be perfect, no game ever will. No matter what rule system you turn to there will be moments where the rules will result in similar situations to this pillar (or unconscious creature) making a reflex save - but that's why the GM provides the narrative.

The GM can choose to provide a narrative that makes sense of the rules, or can choose to shackle them self to a narrative that makes the rule not make sense despite that it makes the game functional.

Wait, the game doesn't make sense to us so it's unfair of me to not cause myself a migraine finding a plausible way to interpret a Ref save from an object?

You know us GMs already always need to narrate wounds just a certain way, because they never really amount to anything until the last one, or a crit if you use the deck. You know weapons and armors don't work the way the game has them work and we need to just relax and go with the flow. I also have to pretend like Ref saves from objects make sense, otherwise I'm being... unfair to the game?

Look, it's a great game. I didn't mean to offend it. I hope I didn't hurt its feelings. But let's not joke around, there are many systems out there that are much more realistic with a fraction of the page count. We play this because it has a nice amount of crunch, a lot of cool customization still anchored to classes, level ups, a boatload of cool spells... etc, rule of cool basically.

But don't think I have no alternative system ready that could describe reality much, much better than any D&D, Pathfinder or any other d20 game you'll ever check (although Mutants & Masterminds is pretty damn great). And yes, in a fraction of the page count.

I repeat that because it's not a terribly easy game to learn and run, and still it can't for the life of it get some damn things right. It's irritating. My players love it (except for that part I mentioned), I like it, but if I could I'd switch to something else in a heartbeat and some change. Because this game, as pretty as it is, sometimes just doesn't make sense, I'm sorry. And I say this with all the love for Paizo and Lost Omens and even many cool things in the rules, but it just... could make my job easier.

Please don't say I'm being unfair to the game because I can't wrap my head around objects dodging fireballs.

Deadmanwalking wrote:

Sure, I'd mention the real-world weirdness of explosions. I've certainly mentioned similar things before.

Also, Reflex Saves on anything stationary are generally really low, for example unconscious PCs are at a hefty -4, while the pillar you mention has a +8 as a 6th level enemy (which is listed as 'Terrible' on the monster creation chart...this is literally the lowest possible Save a 6th level enemy will ever have), so they won't be succeeded at very often, but when they do actually succeed there are really two ways to look at it that still let the rules make sense:

#1. The realism argument above. Sometimes things just survive explosions. It's rare, but happens, and Reflex Saves involve how lucky the person or thing is in this regard as well as active dodging. Luck alone only takes you so far, which is why stationary things have bad Reflex Saves, but they still receive some chance.

#2: The narrative argument, which is more or less the same thing but tied into the nature of fiction rather than reality. All things in PF2 have plot armor to some degree (you can tell by how individual axe blows seldom kill on-level foes), some of the mechanics clearly reflect that. A major character or important thing that goes through an explosion in fiction will sometimes just survive due to the contrivances of circumstance and plot. The Reflex Save represents that plot armor and the degree to which it protects them in this specific incident.

Both of those seem entirely valid and not too difficult to explain, at least to me. Adding a mention that if the Pillars don't get Reflex Saves neither do unconscious PCs on top of one of those may also cause the PCs to reconsider any objections they may have and requests for House Rules. When something is both noted as more realistic than it seemed at first glance and it's pointed out it'll help keep them from dying, most players are willing to go with it, IME.

Okay, so, plan - mention how things don't always crumble to little pieces as soon as you try to smash them, - mention how the save is very very low and only for simulating that tiny chance the object has of resisting Ref-based attacks, and - mention the plot armor everything, PCs included, have in the game... which imo is already more than abundantly represented by HPs, seriously, but... okay I guess. Oh and tell them they can save too if they're unconscious and hit with a fireball, at a -4, right?, but they can.

...

... I wonder what they'll say. They'll probably think it's waaay weird. But maybe they'll accept the nature of the game.

If they don't though I'll need to... probably houserule with them that unmoving targets always fumble Ref saves.

... or maybe they'll listen to me and we'll try a different system but whatever.

thenobledrake wrote:

I'd do as I've done for you and point out that game rules are designed to make the game playable above all else, so a pillar is making a reflex save not because it's agile enough to dart out of the way of an attack but because that's the die roll called for to determine the amount of damage some things do and the already massive rule-book would be unreadably dense and even more sizeable if side-bars or additional rules were included to do translations like "inanimate objects and immobile objects and creatures don't evade so they don't make reflex saves, but they do have a modifier that is identical in scale and scope to a reflex save modifier and is used any time an effect calls for a reflex save but is most definitely not actually a reflex save because that would be silly."

And I'd also point out that while they are likely hoping for their reflex save-based damage sources to get to do the best possible damage against this pillar and that's why they are balking at the rules allowing it a saving throw - the more likely alternative would be that non-creatures would become more resistant if not immune to the sources of damage in question because that's how other similar games handle this situation (and is also how throwing an area damage spell doesn't immediately result in the GM being assumed to determine how badly damaged the structures and environment nearby are).

Well, the already massive rulebook would be slimmer if the game were more intuitive and less gimmicky. Not that "it sucks", I really really wanted to play this, otherwise I wouldn't have started AoA, and boy it's cool to level up and choose your class feat and your skill increase and so on... but as I think I was saying, world's full of simpler and more "realistic" games.

As for making these objects more resistant... Hardness 16 iirc, against a 6th level party, with, again iirc, about 48 hps. Okay, it's a magical thing, but dammit, I'd expect a keg of black powder to do more... (remember St Paul's Rossana, remember St Paul's...).

It took a lot. We decided that since it was broken and the enemies had died they had all the time to finish destroying it completely without starting to insult it in frustration.

Curious - you say other similar games handle this sitch by making objects more resistant or even immune to... which sources of damage? What games are you thinking about?


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Roswynn wrote:
Wait, the game doesn't make sense to us so it's unfair of me to not cause myself a migraine finding a plausible way to interpret a Ref save from an object?

You misunderstand me. It's not you being unfair to the game that's a problem, the game has no feelings so it's not going to be bothered if you decide to be unfair to it - it's unfair to yourself to be so rigid about how you are reading and applying the game's rules that you are stuck with only one interpretation and it's one you don't like.

Just choose a different interpretation, which the game happens to encourage GMs to do in the first place.

Roswynn wrote:
But let's not joke around, there are many systems out there that are much more realistic with a fraction of the page count.

That's not actually true, because it's not an issue of being "realistic" but an issue of the chosen abstractions another system makes happening to mesh more easily with your preconceptions.

For an example of what I mean, armor reducing total damage taken isn't inherently more realistic than armor making more attacks unsuccessful, but tons of people will argue that it is because of their preconceptions - the reality is that both cases are abstracting the same quality and mechanical represent the same idea.

Roswynn wrote:
Please don't say I'm being unfair to the game because I can't wrap my head around objects dodging fireballs.

I won't. Your being unfair to yourself because you don't want to have an object making a reflex save not mean it is literally dodging, even though you already apply the needed reasoning to creatures dodging via reflex save without actually getting out of an area of effect so they have dodged in-place too.

Roswynn wrote:
I'd expect a keg of black powder to do more

Sometimes it's important to remember that game designers aren't physicists (or experts in any other fields besides that) so that we can set our expectations appropriately. Namely that game rules are going to make for a playable (and hopefully fun and engaging) game, not an accurate simulation of a fantastic reality. Food for thought.

Roswynn wrote:
Curious - you say other similar games handle this sitch by making objects more resistant or even immune to... which sources of damage? What games are you thinking about?

D&D in all of its iterations, including Pathfinder 1st edition, and all the OSR or otherwise D&D-alike games.

Every last one of them includes either explicit rules like that a spell must specifically say it targets objects in order to have any effect upon objects - with area damage spells typically not specifying they target objects - or things like spell damage being halved before hardness is applied, or covers the concept implicitly by not providing the rules information necessary to calculate things like how deep of a crater an area damage spell leaves in the earth, or how likely it is to blast through the floor/ceiling of the dungeon, because the spells are written assuming all that matters about them is the dealing of damage to the thing you are actually intending to damage.

Though yes, there are games like Shadowrun in which a player needs to be extra careful unless their GM is ignoring that the rules have provided the necessary information to know that the suped-up area damage spell intended to take out some bad guys also blasts right through anything less durable than concrete that might be in the area such as the floor, walls, and furniture. Should probably result in destroyed clothes and gear, too... but again, GMs normally don't go with the thing that is technically true according to the rules but involves a narrative they don't want to be the case, so it's most likely that the damage to the environment is ignored unless the intent of the player's action was to damage the environment specifically.


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For inanimate objects, I would rule that reflex is a function of its shape and how it allows it to cause things to slip past it or glance off of it.

Many types of armor for vehicles and balistic shields have curves or sloped angular sections in order to make it so that some bullets glance off of it.

In the case of the pillar, I would rule that the shape of the pillar and the angle of the blast cause it to avoid the brunt of the force. If it is a magical pillar, I would also rule that this was intentional, because wizards are some of the people best familiar with the "just blow it up" strategy.

Sidenote- I build model kits. The parts are inanimate... but those pieces sure as heck have a massive size bonus to reflex, because I can't get through a build without dropping at least one piece. And they also get a stealth bonus, which makes them hard to find.


Pathfinder Maps, Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

Where's the rule that says inanimate objects have to make Reflex saves?


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@ thenobledrake:

It's not that I'm insisting on a rules interpretation that I don't like... it's simply that the game suggests a narrative to me, and it doesn't make sense. I can't help if when I see "Ref save" I imagine dodging, it's baked into the meaning of the save. Okay, so objects of course can't dodge... so why a Ref save? To limit page count, okay... I think it was a wrong choice - better to try and use the same number of pages to say objects, say, always auto-fumble Ref saves. Maybe it's just me, I mean, one of my players suggested that instead of having objects roll Ref saves we could have them roll Fort saves.

Everyone is different - I'm not trying to punish myself by applying a certain interpretation, it's just that while for others this can appear a non-problem, most of my group and I can't wrap our heads around this reasoning. We can follow the rules, sure, but they don't make a lot of sense to us.

As for preconceptions and the way they're abstracted by the rules... okay, they may be preconceptions. Or it may be that most people think about things a certain way, and rules that simulate that way seem more sound. Sure, it's preconceptions, as I said reality is famously unrealistic (meaning that it doesn't follow our preconceptions, while fiction tends to), but if I see a system using armor Hardness instead of a bonus to defense I can't help but feel it's more my speed, and that's the same for many other gamers, it's just a fact of life.

Also consider that one of our preconceptions is that if you're wounded your actions are hindered, while d20 games don't normally apply any penalty to someone who has lost a big chunk of HPs. You can say these 2 phenomena aren't even related, but boy, when they're called attack, damage, and work in a certain way, there's also bleeding damage, and bludgeoning damage, the works... I mean, there are more intuitive rulesets, that make sense more readily.

As for creatures dodging with Ref saves, it is indeed a pet peeve of mine - you dodge a fireball but you're still there on the grid, and while lightning is indeed best protected against making a ball and covering your ears, so okay, it is weird for me that normally Ref saves don't involve movement... until they do (see gelatinous cubes). It's anti-intuitive for me, and slightly incoherent.

I swear I don't do this out of malice or trying to be unfair to anyone, it's just the way my brain is wired.

I actually had branches from around the pillar break and fall causing damage to creatures btw, because the fireballs and powder keg explosion had a certain radius and dealt damage to everything around, so that seemed like the most logical thing. Since fireballs don't give ongoing fire damage (another weirdness imho) the flames they ignite are small and unconsequential, but the explosions broke things. So, I've never played Shadowrun, but I'd probably apply the rule for collateral damage. I think, at least. Just makes sense to me.

@lemeres: those are interesting interpretation, but the pillars are actually pretty basic affairs and not described otherwise, and if you look at many magic items they can even be quite unpractical, but hey, they're magical, so they work even better than more practical items I guess. At this point I can more easily think that the Ref save is +8 for an inanimate target (more than many people who can actually dodge) because of protective magic and the "bulwark" concept from plate armor.

(So, yeah, nobledrake, it can make sense if I want to think of it this way... took me hours to get to this conclusion though, and it's not intuitive for me).

@Ravingdork - if something has a Ref save is it there just for the prettiness of it? But okay, check the hazards section (the pillar was an hazard). And after that there are hazard examples... like a hidden pit with Ref+1, a poisoned lock with Ref+4, a bottomless pit with Ref+12 (must be more agile than the normal pit - sorry guys it's just the way I interpret things by default, I get it, it means... something different that I can't grasp). Yellow mold with Ref+13?? Holy cannoli Batman.

And I noticed that you can't rule autofumbles for unmoving targets because then anything that stops your movement grows massively more powerful - like a 3rd level Paralyze spell... so a paralyzed person still has a normal Ref save? Or it's at -4? I swear this makes less and less sense the more I go through it.


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If you're open to a little houseruling, the Dark Heresy system has an interesting take on AoEs. Basically, you make an Agility test (reflex equivalent). If you succeed, you move to the edge of the effect as a free action, up to your single action movement range. If you don't have enough movement to make it to the nearest edge of the effect, then you take full damage regardless of your roll.

Of course, the baseline move speed in Dark Heresy is 3 squares as an action, while it's 5 for PF2. Maybe go with half speed as the distance for PF2.

This might get you where you want to be. Just make sure your players are clear on it.


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sherlock1701 wrote:

If you're open to a little houseruling, the Dark Heresy system has an interesting take on AoEs. Basically, you make an Agility test (reflex equivalent). If you succeed, you move to the edge of the effect as a free action, up to your single action movement range. If you don't have enough movement to make it to the nearest edge of the effect, then you take full damage regardless of your roll.

Of course, the baseline move speed in Dark Heresy is 3 squares as an action, while it's 5 for PF2. Maybe go with half speed as the distance for PF2.

This might get you where you want to be. Just make sure your players are clear on it.

This is interesting. We could apply this rule, of course if we all agree.

For AoEs Eclipse Phase rules that if you're within 1m of the edge of the affected area or appropriate cover, and you make the roll, you take no damage, otherwise, even if you succeed, you take 1/2 damage. Of course if you fail to dodge you take full damage.

I dunno, maybe we should change the rules we don't like. It's written right there on the 1st page of chapter 1, Rule 0, but though a nice sentiment and all, I don't really know how much you can fiddle with the engine and still be able to drive the car without smashing against a tree. Okay, sure, secondary rules that come up once in a while, I can improv or make them work differently sometimes, but combat stuff, which is the crux of the system, you don't really wanna start messing it up only to notice later that what you did exponentially powered up a common spell or made a class suck next to another... stuff like that.

House rules are what my players suggested, sure. One for this kind of situation in particular. And that's my instinct. But would it break something?

And I was reading on conditions today... apparently if you're unconscious you have -4 to your Ref save, but you can still make it, hell, even crit it (I can't for the life of me imagine this, sorry, it makes me laugh). As for paralyzed and similar stuff where you can't move, but are awake, at most you're flat-footed. I can understand that some objects might have deflecting surfaces and shapes, that a building can miraculously survive obvious disaster, that everything has plot armor, but this verges on the comedic imvho.

... If no one here suggests it's a bad idea I think I'll default at going along with it and take Rule 0 at its word. And good luck to me.


Pathfinder Lost Omens Subscriber

reflex saves are more than your ability to dodge things, having quicker reflexes helps, but the roll also takes into account how much of the blast did you face the brunt of, were there any conditions present that made the explosion mostly face away from you, etc.

like the black powder charge up against the statue, it could have had the side away from statue ignite first and thus most of the explosion is away from the statue, etc. irregularities in the fireball spell, or even just the floor being uneven pushing most of the blast over you.

an unconscious person who critical succeeds the save is in the perfect spot to not take any damage, from where the explosion hit.


Hit points represent a wide variety of factors ranging from physical durability to luck, and even including what most refer to as "plot armor."

Why is that relevant? The transitive property.

Because hit points are all this wild stuff besides the physical, and rules like attack rolls and reflex saves and the damage rolls that happen along side those result in change of number of hit points, those things too represent a wide variety of factors besides the physical.

Which is why an unconscious body succeeding at a reflex saving throw is no more it dodging out of the way than a creature surviving the damage roll of a greatsword is it running around decapitated and yet somehow totally fine.


It's probably unnecessary, but I think that ruling a -4 on reflex saves for stationary objects wouldn't be an awful thing to do.
Just the same penalty a stationary creature takes.


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thenobledrake, everything is abstract apparently. I ignore how you can find a story in this metaphysical mess you see the game as.

Bandw2, those are the typical explanations a gm tries to give after a rule has resulted in something practically impossible, or very difficult to believe. I mean sure, the things you describe happen. But that's a level of detail I don't think many people are interested in. Really, who cares if I'm in the perfect spot not to take damage from a fireball, where is it, even? It's a 20ft radius globe of flame for cryin' out loud. Either I manage to dodge away, erect or hide behind a barrier, or boom.

Megistone - thank you. I think I'll do you one better - since a -4 still allows a critical success to happen, and I was talking with my players, who were partly laughing, partly stunned, and partly angry, targets that can't move will always fumble Ref saves, b/c not moving is exactly the worst thing you can do when trying to evade a danger.

I mean, why does Tree Shape make any successful Ref save you roll a failure? Because you're a fuggin' tree, and trees don't move. Why hasn't this line of reasoning being carried on to the rest of the game? God knows. Okay, I was even almost considering allowing saves in certain circumstances because of toughness and magic, but trees can't save, so why the eff other motionless targets can? It's totally absurd. It's incoherent.

Oh and yeah, if I need to keep using this system maybe I'll fix the ref save as you, sherlock1701, suggested, or something similar. Then maybe hit points, then maybe armor and weapons... I swear there are many things to like in this game, but a lot of it is trash.


Roswynn wrote:
thenobledrake, everything is abstract apparently. I ignore how you can find a story in this metaphysical mess you see the game as.

Yes, game rules are (always) abstractions. No, I don't see this game (or any other that I'm aware of) as a "metaphysical mess."


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Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path Subscriber

Functions as designed.

The best way to illustrate this is the aforementioned unconscious body. When some sort of area-effect trauma is happening, such as a fireball or a hail-storm, we have to ask... is that unconscious body face-up or face-down? Because if it's face-down, the most vulnerable parts of it are protected by the ground. A Reflex save abstracts the concept of facing and variable vulnerability.

In the case of a pillar, the variability is less obvious, but still exist. Is the material it's made out of uniform? Not likely. Is its shape uniform? Not likely. Is the impact of the effect acting upon it uniform? Not likely.

A Reflex save doesn't necessarily require movement. Rather, it's a rule that's designed to incorporate that, but in the general envelope of shape, flow, and spatial factors.

At least that's how I see it.


thenobledrake wrote:
Every last one of them includes either explicit rules like that a spell must specifically say it targets objects in order to have any effect upon objects - with area damage spells typically not specifying they target objects - or things like spell damage being halved before hardness is applied, or covers the concept implicitly by not providing the rules information necessary to calculate things like how deep of a crater an area damage spell leaves in the earth, or how likely it is to blast through the floor/ceiling of the dungeon, because the spells are written assuming all that matters about them is the dealing of damage to the thing you are actually intending to damage.

Something semi-related, that I heard of 4E horror stories of GMs refusing to let fire keyword cantrips light a simple bonfire as it specified only targeting creatures, not objects.

Maybe it's because of this that the 5E rules' Fire Bolt explicitly states objects as another possible target, and curb the considered-as-OP Eldritch Blast's force damage by stating it only works on creatures...


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Anguish wrote:

Functions as designed.

The best way to illustrate this is the aforementioned unconscious body. When some sort of area-effect trauma is happening, such as a fireball or a hail-storm, we have to ask... is that unconscious body face-up or face-down? Because if it's face-down, the most vulnerable parts of it are protected by the ground. A Reflex save abstracts the concept of facing and variable vulnerability.

In the case of a pillar, the variability is less obvious, but still exist. Is the material it's made out of uniform? Not likely. Is its shape uniform? Not likely. Is the impact of the effect acting upon it uniform? Not likely.

A Reflex save doesn't necessarily require movement. Rather, it's a rule that's designed to incorporate that, but in the general envelope of shape, flow, and spatial factors.

At least that's how I see it.

It's a rather reasonable point of view.

I think it didn't need rules - an attack hits a stationary target, who cares if it's face up, face down, not uniform in material and shape, let's simplify. More simple than "auto-fumble"? No save, ta-da. The end. The system isn't founded on realism for everything and in everything like GURPS (thankfully), it's a lot of cool crunch and cool spells and monsters and classes without really caring about every last detail. If it were predicated upon a basis of strong adherence to reality, weapons and armor would work differently, no one would normally be stronger than an ogre, HPs would be much lower and wouldn't go up with level, wounds would give you penalties... that kind of stuff.

But please let's detail how an AoE could affect a stationary target thoroughly! Sure. With a Ref save...

Most of all, Anguish, as I said, I've been told the Tree Shape spell is *different*: you become a sessile tree. So, what would you expect from all this? Maybe a lower Ref save, but you still would roll it against an AoE or anything requiring it, right?

No. You're a tree so if you succeed or crit on your Ref save, tough luck, it's a failure. If you fumble it stays a fumble.

So apparently trees can't make Ref saves (or maybe tree PCs can't?), while everything else can (or maybe *hazards* can).

It's all very arbitrary imo. There's no rhyme or reason. Hey, I'm glad you guys like the game, actually, if I don't think about all these absurdities, I like it too (otherwise I wouldn't have started this campaign as I said). But I'm liking it less and less, because running it and playing it you actually have to use the rules and you discover the incoherent bits, the repetitive ones, those that don't convey verisimilitude, the sometimes unbalanced parts... it's a shame. It's a good game, but it could've been so much more.

Hey, maybe next time, right? Third time's the charm.


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Lucas Yew wrote:
thenobledrake wrote:
Every last one of them includes either explicit rules like that a spell must specifically say it targets objects in order to have any effect upon objects - with area damage spells typically not specifying they target objects - or things like spell damage being halved before hardness is applied, or covers the concept implicitly by not providing the rules information necessary to calculate things like how deep of a crater an area damage spell leaves in the earth, or how likely it is to blast through the floor/ceiling of the dungeon, because the spells are written assuming all that matters about them is the dealing of damage to the thing you are actually intending to damage.

Something semi-related, that I heard of 4E horror stories of GMs refusing to let fire keyword cantrips light a simple bonfire as it specified only targeting creatures, not objects.

Maybe it's because of this that the 5E rules' Fire Bolt explicitly states objects as another possible target, and curb the considered-as-OP Eldritch Blast's force damage by stating it only works on creatures...

See, I'm the opposite kind of GM. Give me the basics and I can improv from there. Fire spell? Of course it lights things on fire. It's a g*$%~#n *fire spell*.

And there are many lighter games that do exactly that. Fate, Cortex, Eclipse Phase, Apocalypse World & Co., BESM, OVA, AGE, Mutants & Masterminds, Gumshoe...

I love Golarion and I love Paizo, and I'll probably keep running AoA using P2 in the future, but I'm starting to adapt material to other games and see how it looks... hopefully in order to make the switch later on. It's just too much work for too little coherence and verisimilitude.


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Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path Subscriber
Roswynn wrote:

I think it didn't need rules - an attack hits a stationary target, who cares if it's face up, face down, not uniform in material and shape, let's simplify. More simple than "auto-fumble"? No save, ta-da. The end. The system isn't founded on realism for everything and in everything like GURPS (thankfully), it's a lot of cool crunch and cool spells and monsters and classes without really caring about every last detail. If it were predicated upon a basis of strong adherence to reality, weapons and armor would work differently, no one would normally be stronger than an ogre, HPs would be much lower and wouldn't go up with level, wounds would give you penalties... that kind of stuff.

But please let's detail how an AoE could affect a stationary target thoroughly! Sure. With a Ref save...

Honestly, the simplicity comes from not making exceptions. Conscious body with AoE? Reflex save. Unconscious body with AoE? Reflex save. Inanimate object with AoE? Reflex save.

Quote:

Most of all, Anguish, as I said, I've been told the Tree Shape spell is *different*: you become a sessile tree. So, what would you expect from all this? Maybe a lower Ref save, but you still would roll it against an AoE or anything requiring it, right?

No. You're a tree so if you succeed or...

And there's the mistake. That spell shouldn't have such an exception. "You're a magical tree" so you fail Reflex saves that a non-magical tree wouldn't? Someone was trying to apply realism instead of consistency and missed that the system typically handles the realism already. There should have been a penalty or fixed Reflex saving throw bonus in place of a PC's normal bonus, if anything.


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Ninja pillar
Honestly I feel an object should be makimg fortitude checks against anything an object needs to save against.


In my opinion, it's the typical situation where you may apply a house rule. The rules can't handle absolutely all situations, they are a baseline. You can apply them without thinking, ignoring realism sometimes, but having a bunch of easy to apply rules. Or you can bring a house rule everytime you need, for the sake of realism, with some limits to avoid your players to feel too frustrated if the rules change all the time.


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Yes, Anguish, the simplest option would be "no exception" of course, and yes, I was pointing out the incoherence of the tree shape contrasting with the rest of the rules. But if for a little verisimilitude we're forced to learn that, for instance, a stationary target never rolls Ref saves, or never succeeds at them, or always fumbles them (any one is fine), I don't think the trickiness of these concepts will hinder our enjoyment of the game.

In my opinion tree shape is the good one in the bunch, and all other unmoving targets should've worked like that.

Anyways.

Siegfriedliner, that's the impression we got - ninja pillar. I understand it's for simplicity and balance, but your solution for instance would not have raised the hell the Ref save summoned up when it appeared. At all. I mean, it's quite logical to ask for a Fort save in that case. It's a good possibility, it makes sense.

But no. Ninja pillar. Or, in this occasion actually the Ref save doesn't mean evading/dodging as in all other circumstances but plot armor, ability of the target to deflect an AoE, lucky/unlucky positioning of the target... sheesh.

Yes, SuperBidi, we're houseruling this. My idea is that stationary targets always fumble Ref saves and that is it, and everyone has accepted it, it seems. Let's hope it doesn't cause problems later on...


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siegfriedliner wrote:

Ninja pillar

Honestly I feel an object should be makimg fortitude checks against anything an object needs to save against.

Then this thread could have been about "how come a friggin rando pillar gets to make a fort save against fireball but my super-powered-dragon-man barbarian can't?!


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Roswynn wrote:
Let's hope it doesn't cause problems later on...

Any of your players have characters trained in Athletics and are also moderate to skilled at following a rule through to a basic strategy?

If no, everything will probably be fine.

If yes, watch as they start using the Grab action on enemies to guarantee the doubling of AoE damage.


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thenobledrake wrote:
siegfriedliner wrote:

Ninja pillar

Honestly I feel an object should be makimg fortitude checks against anything an object needs to save against.
Then this thread could have been about "how come a friggin rando pillar gets to make a fort save against fireball but my super-powered-dragon-man barbarian can't?!

But then you get to make a in bruge reference and ask "are you an inanimate object"


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Okay, maybe I was reacting a bit too strong, sorry guys, it was just a bad experience I wasn't ready for and it shook me and my confidence.

I think I could explain to my players that normally the Ref save is about dodging/evading, but in the case of the magical friggin' pillar it's his toughness (same way plate armor has a bulwark trait), which is enhanced by its magic. And there's also a little plot armor, which is balanced to offer a fair challenge.

As for Tree Shape, yes, it works differently, the game isn't perfectly coherent in every single detail. I think we can leave it like that anyways.

I mean, no game is perfect... sometimes you find one that you vow to never leave because it responds so perfectly to your needs you can't conceive of anything better, and well, lucky you.

P2 is not my kind of game... it's not "realistic" enough. But it's got a lot of cool stuff I already listed, even if it sometimes doesn't make a lot of sense to me. So, even though it isn't perfect, it's a lot of fun and it's malleable enough that I can make a mistake or two and nothing breaks. I cannot houserule Ref saves (as thenobledrake shows with their example, for instance), but I can live with them.

And this setting, which I love, employs these rules, which I'm used to and fond of, so why looking for another system? Most of all when your players don't really want another system - they want this one.

We're all having fun. Who cares if this game isn't exactly what I would design? I don't even know if I can design a game, everytime I try I never finish. And every other game has always some cool stuff, but again, there's always at least a couple flaws... if not more. Which one in the flood of RPGs on the market should I decide to switch to? Well, why not keep this?

I was just very frustrated by my players' reaction and I thought they were right. Which in a sense, they are, but there's a method to the madness.

Now on to explaining it to them...


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Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber

Give them a Crafting DC, and if they pass the pillar's save result becomes one degree worse.


Gwaihir Scout wrote:
Give them a Crafting DC, and if they pass the pillar's save result becomes one degree worse.

That's actually not a bad idea. Thank you GS!


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I just wanted to pop in for a second to say thank you to the OP and most of the people commenting on this thread - it has been both educational and entertaining for someone still teaching himself the PF2E rules (since other people are asking him to teach them the PF2E rules...oy).


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The Penecontemporaneous One wrote:
I just wanted to pop in for a second to say thank you to the OP and most of the people commenting on this thread - it has been both educational and entertaining for someone still teaching himself the PF2E rules (since other people are asking him to teach them the PF2E rules...oy).

I learned a lot too, but you're welcome. Also, pretty impressive avatar name!

I'm unsurprisingly noticing that the best way to learn the game is to play it, though of course being prepared pays dividends. The way I prep is, more or less:

  • Choose adventure (or AP, but leave those for later)
  • Stick virtual post-it notes on the pdf for every monster not described then and there on the page you need it, same for magic items and traps
  • Open Archive of Nethys, Pathfinder 2 easy Tree and Spellfinder
  • Print the action cards and put them together
  • Buy a GM screen
  • Export images from the pdf to show your players when they meet a creature, person or item or see something interesting, if necessary look for something appropriate on Pinterest
  • Study all you can of the core rulebook as much as you can, it's still the best you can do
  • Also check the enemies and think about possible tactics

    ... And if you've prepped enough they'll think you know what the heck you're doing!


  • Pathfinder Lost Omens Subscriber
    Roswynn wrote:


    Bandw2, those are the typical explanations a gm tries to give after a rule has resulted in something practically impossible, or very difficult to believe. I mean sure, the things you describe happen. But that's a level of detail I don't think many people are interested in. Really, who cares if I'm in the perfect spot not to take damage from a fireball, where is it, even? It's a 20ft radius globe of flame for cryin' out loud. Either I manage to dodge away, erect or hide behind a barrier, or boom.

    sure if we believe the rules are 100% in game facts of life, then a fire ball is a PERFECT 20ft sphere that can only explode at arbitrary points in space(the corners of squares).

    but this isn't likely the case, and the GM should be explaining what happens descriptively when these things happen.

    why does tree form make you fumble reflex saves? because otherwise you have a normal reflex score, not level+prof-5 like static objects. pathfinder did away with this mostly so we have less numbers to deal with.


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    Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

    I think the key is that reflex saves are not dodge saves.

    Back in the day before third edition came along, a fireball caused you to save versus spells; the description of a successful save wasn't specified, so we improvised: a wizard might be able to put up a magical barrier and protect themselves from the full dawizard, a sword-and-board type might partially block the blast with his or her shield, and a thief might be limited to hiding their important bits behind their cloak. With the advent of third edition, the save name changed, and so did our perception of the actions behind it, but in the end the concept is the same; did you react fast enough to protect yourself? Don't worry too much about the name of things. A successful save by an unconscious person can be interpreted as that they happened to not breath in the flames, and in the case of your pillar the magical energies of the spell resonated with its mystic runes, partially deflecting the blast. Think of it as a challenge.


    Bandw2 - I guess your explanation of the Unsaving Tree is reasonable. Good thinking, I'll tell my players.

    Zin-Suddu - I did read that before 3.5 there were different saves, like spells, poison... death rays? I think it's good they changed them to these 3, they're... more coherent? But what you say about the save not being a *dodging* save is true. Although in the saves descriptions they do focus on that aspect, so I don't think my outburst (and the fact one of my players is still quite baffled) were unjustified.

    But sure, I already get creative every time someone takes damage (how do you survive a blow from a giant's sword?), so I can very well step up and accept the challenge ;)


    What do you mean having 5 saves that are description of the source of the effect you are saving against, except when they are a description of the effect you're saving against itself, and are arranged in a particular order on the character sheet so that you can remember that if something falls within more than one of the descriptions that you use the save value that is first according to reading order is less coherent than having 3 saves that are descriptions of how an effect might actually be avoided?

    That's ludicrous!

    Next you'll tell me that having a target number to roll against and applying modifiers to the die roll, both player-side and player-tracked, is more confusing for the player than just having one or the other be player-side... yeesh.


    thenobledrake wrote:

    What do you mean having 5 saves that are description of the source of the effect you are saving against, except when they are a description of the effect you're saving against itself, and are arranged in a particular order on the character sheet so that you can remember that if something falls within more than one of the descriptions that you use the save value that is first according to reading order is less coherent than having 3 saves that are descriptions of how an effect might actually be avoided?

    That's ludicrous!

    Next you'll tell me that having a target number to roll against and applying modifiers to the die roll, both player-side and player-tracked, is more confusing for the player than just having one or the other be player-side... yeesh.

    Dude, you can stop it with the sarcasm. I said I made my peace with the rules, you're not getting anything else out of me.


    I apologize, but my participation in this thread is not for or about you.

    You don't like my joke, fine - maybe someone else will appreciate it. You are allowed to move on with your day without telling me to shut up.


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    thenobledrake wrote:

    I apologize, but my participation in this thread is not for or about you.

    You don't like my joke, fine - maybe someone else will appreciate it. You are allowed to move on with your day without telling me to shut up.

    Nice a perfect passive aggressive apology I like the everything before the but trope.

    So obviously objects making saves are basically just balance mechanics rather than a reality mechanic. So don't tell your players that your pillar is making a reflex save and just narrate the scene depending on how much damaged the pillar takes from blackened to broken. Its a bit meta but almost always best in a system like pathfinder 2.0 to derive your fiction from the outcome rather than mechanics that lead to them. The miss that kills an enemy should be given more attention than the crit that doesn't.


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    Pathfinder 2E Condition
    Paralyzed
    Source Core Rulebook pg. 621
    Your body is frozen in place. You have the flat-footed condition and can’t act except to Recall Knowledge and use actions that require only the use of your mind (as determined by the GM). Your senses still function, but only in the areas you can perceive without moving your body, so you can’t Seek while paralyzed

    D&D 5E Condition
    Paralyzed
    A paralyzed creature is incapacitated (see the condition) and can’t move or speak.
    The creature automatically fails Strength and Dexterity Saving Throws.
    Attack rolls against the creature have advantage.
    Any Attack that hits the creature is a critical hit if the attacker is within 5 feet of the creature

    I must admit the 5e condition seems must more realistic


    I don't think it would be unreasonable to allow the save perhaps (game mechanics and all - meh), but to use P2E's success rule. If you are unconscious or paralysed your save is one degree worse than your roll perhaps.

    Silver Crusade

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    Pathfinder Companion, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
    orphias wrote:
    I don't think it would be unreasonable to allow the save perhaps (game mechanics and all - meh), but to use P2E's success rule. If you are unconscious or paralysed your save is one degree worse than your roll perhaps.

    You already take a -4 to Reflex saves for being unconscious.


    thenobledrake wrote:

    I apologize, but my participation in this thread is not for or about you.

    You don't like my joke, fine - maybe someone else will appreciate it. You are allowed to move on with your day without telling me to shut up.

    Okay, sorry, I thought it was aimed at me. I take it back.

    As for the rest, I'm sticking with the official rules, guys, they're too delicate to introduce big stuff like that on a regular basis, and it appears that most of the time they work as intended. Yes, orphias, they're not often very "realistic", but that's a hornets nest I refuse to kick. When we'll feel like trying a more simulation-driven system we'll find one. And Rysky of course is right, there are already penalties baked in for those conditions, they're lighter than 5e but they're not ass pulls.

    Siegfriedliner, interesting concepts. It is meta, though, and I'm not great with meta. When they roll a crit they usually expect some visible beating up, and we do use the crit cards, so that helps. As for next time they blast pillars (and I'll hopefully remember they're immune to fire, dammit!) I'll roll Ref and let them know if their aim could've been better, but also remind them of how tough the pillars are - doesn't matter it's a Ref save, dodging and evading is only part of the equation. I explained that to them, the guy who plays the wizard is confused because the rules focus on the moving aside part, but I've talked to JJ too and now I'm much more confident in this whole argument. Both his wife and him think that the tree shape's save autofail is incoherent, but it has a sense as well - instead of having your save lowered to the levels of a hazard or similar, you simply fail or fumble. End results are very close.

    It took me some days to wrap my head around all these abstractions, but it's the nature of the game, and it's useless fighting against it - better to focus on what you actually like that these rules make possible.

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