Is it intentional that the Bottomless Pit hazard (level 9) suggests a method of escape that actually kills the player? (paizo input appreciated)


Rules Discussion

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thejeff wrote:
Temperans wrote:
Well I calculated that you would fall 500 ft/rd...
Falling wrote:
You fall about 500 feet in the first round of falling and about 1,500 feet each round thereafter.

So, in other words, thejeff, its actually 3 times harder than Temperans calculated, and what Temperans calculated is already at the extreme end of being possible.


HumbleGamer wrote:

Being serious, i really don't understand the doubts towards the trap.

The developers described how the falling damage works.

They also gave us some hazards, like normaltraps, magical traps and envitonmental hazard.

The fact that a trap says that you can grab an Edge while falling, obviously means that the damage doesn't apply ( imagine that you slow your descending speed in x seconds and then grab an Edge ).

It is something meant to hold the party
.
Imagine a character takes enough damage to get downed and Dying 1. The party will need to rest for 10 minutes or simply have to heal the guys with any combination of potiin/spells/skills.

Imagine now that a target falls down the Pit. The party will be stopped for the time needed to let the player out of the Pit.

Which could be minutes, hours or even days.

The difference between a dmging trap and this trap are clear. And also that you won't take any dmg from grabbing an Edge.

Except that there's no indication that you don't take damage. I agree that's probably the intent - or that the develop didn't consider how damage from catching yourself while falling worked.


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BTW, this hazard existed in PF1 as well, with the same CR and similar language - modified to take into account changes in rules terminology. It was in Horror Adventures, not Core, but it was there.

There of course you could catch yourself since there was no rule for damage when doing so.

Looks to me like it was adapted from one to the other without considering effect of the rules changes.


thejeff wrote:
HumbleGamer wrote:

Being serious, i really don't understand the doubts towards the trap.

The developers described how the falling damage works.

They also gave us some hazards, like normaltraps, magical traps and envitonmental hazard.

The fact that a trap says that you can grab an Edge while falling, obviously means that the damage doesn't apply ( imagine that you slow your descending speed in x seconds and then grab an Edge ).

It is something meant to hold the party
.
Imagine a character takes enough damage to get downed and Dying 1. The party will need to rest for 10 minutes or simply have to heal the guys with any combination of potiin/spells/skills.

Imagine now that a target falls down the Pit. The party will be stopped for the time needed to let the player out of the Pit.

Which could be minutes, hours or even days.

The difference between a dmging trap and this trap are clear. And also that you won't take any dmg from grabbing an Edge.

Except that there's no indication that you don't take damage. I agree that's probably the intent - or that the develop didn't consider how damage from catching yourself while falling worked.

But the point it that you don't have to follow base rules if something doesn't say anything about it.

They simply add a trap which doesn't apply the falling damage as it normally does. Simply that.

On the other hand, some players find absurd that he could die from falling damage while trying to Grab an Edge.

What would be the appropriate interpretation is in my opinion easy to get.

It is like the other thread about being able to Kick an enemy while wielding a ranged weapon, just to get the benefit of flat footed. Because the rules are written in an, they say, unclear way.

I think paizo don't even need to point out the correct interpretation when it is obvious.

Could It have been written in a even more specific way?

Yes, it could.

Is the way it has been written not enough to imagine the correct interpretation?

I say it is enough, common sense permitted.


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HumbleGamer wrote:
But the point it that you don't have to follow base rules if something doesn't say anything about it.

Yes you do. Unless there is is a specific rule overriding the general rule, you follow the general rule, that's why it exists. Every time they say "make a Strike" they don't have to tell you how to do that because the rule is already there. When they say Grab an Edge they don't have to tell you how to do that because the rule is already there.


BellyBeard wrote:
HumbleGamer wrote:
But the point it that you don't have to follow base rules if something doesn't say anything about it.
Yes you do. Unless there is is a specific rule overriding the general rule, you follow the general rule, that's why it exists. Every time they say "make a Strike" they don't have to tell you how to do that because the rule is already there. When they say Grab an Edge they don't have to tell you how to do that because the rule is already there.

OTGH, that doesn't mean they considered it when copying the trap from PF1.


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BellyBeard wrote:
HumbleGamer wrote:
But the point it that you don't have to follow base rules if something doesn't say anything about it.
Yes you do. Unless there is is a specific rule overriding the general rule, you follow the general rule, that's why it exists. Every time they say "make a Strike" they don't have to tell you how to do that because the rule is already there. When they say Grab an Edge they don't have to tell you how to do that because the rule is already there.

No you don't

You simply have to guess the correct interpretation.

And here, is that grabbing and Edge deals no damage, and the trap meaning is to hold the players for the highest amount of time.

Eventually forever ( or forcing them to procede with 1 less member ).

To think that grabbing an Edge in this scenario would deal damage to a player is nonsense, driven by sticking with rules, being unable to spot an obvious oversight.

Ps: note that they could revise the trap in order to justify the absent falling damage, but currently this is not a real concern, since the trap does his job and works perfectly. But if a DM finds not too realistic that a player could be able to grab an Edge without taking damage, he could simply add some damage depends how many turns the player falls.


I agree that this is probably an oversight, and already stated upthread if I used this trap I would reduce the damage to be more like a single attack. But I think an assertion like "you don't have to follow base rules if something doesn't say anything about it" is not a good one to make, which is why I challenged that.

In other words, I agreed with the conclusion, but not how it was reached.


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HumbleGamer wrote:
The fact that a trap says that you can grab an Edge while falling, obviously means that the damage doesn't apply

The trap specifically directs us to the 'Grab an Edge' rules that tell us how much damage you take from doing so. Saying that these damage rules don't apply would be one solution to this problem (and probably a good one). But that doesn't mean it's the obvious intention.

One could equally say, "Obviously, the trap is meant to be CR19, and CR9 was a typo" since that would make its danger level more appropriate.

Or we could say that the rules that cap all falling damage at 750 points are a typo, and it obviously should have been 75 damage, which would be more in keeping with the less dangerous gravity of Golarion we know from PF1. That would also fix the problem.

Or we could say, "don't fall into the trap unless you have a featherfall spell ready". That would work too, kinda.


BellyBeard wrote:
I agree that this is probably an oversight, and already stated upthread if I used this trap I would reduce the damage to be more like a single attack. But I think an assertion like "you don't have to follow base rules if something doesn't say anything about it" is not a good one to make, which is why I challenged that.

I understand your point BB.

If I were writing a Rulebook, i will try to avoid any misleading interpretation ( or at least I will warn players that, in case of difference between 2 rules, the more specific apply. Even if it would bring, while waiting for an errata, to a not complete interpretation ).

What I tend to contest is when players tend to stick with a word or hidden interpretations ( this time was simply a "it obviously doesn't take damage from the falling rules, but maybe some damage because of the fall could be ok" ).

I mean cmon, sometimes the fault can be the developers', but sometimes the blame has to be put on players because of how they stick with a word, bringing nonsense ahead ( I am not talking about this thread ).


thejeff wrote:
...similar language - modified to take into account changes in rules terminology

Uh... no? Even adjusting for the change in layout from a rambling paragraph to a stat-block sort of format, there are numerous significant difference in the language used.

thejeff wrote:
There of course you could catch yourself since there was no rule for damage when doing so.

Could you though? I mean, the rules from back then actually say "It’s practically impossible to catch yourself on a wall while falling." The DC is listed as being 20 + the wall's climb DC, and using the example given by the PF1 trap of a DC 15 for climbing the wall, that means a DC of 35.

So a character had to have invested heavily in being good at climbing in order to not auto-fail an attempt to catch them self while falling. Also, PF1's falling rules aren't actually worded in such a way that catching yourself while falling negates the damage from your fall.

They aren't explicit that damage is taken (which PF2's are by way of explictly reducing the damage taken), but the PF1 system was still a specific trumps general system so they'd need to explicitly prevent or reduce damage for full damage to not apply.


Matthew Downie wrote:
HumbleGamer wrote:
The fact that a trap says that you can grab an Edge while falling, obviously means that the damage doesn't apply

The trap specifically directs us to the 'Grab an Edge' rules that tell us how much damage you take from doing so. Saying that these damage rules don't apply would be one solution to this problem (and probably a good one). But that doesn't mean it's the obvious intention.

One could equally say, "Obviously, the trap is meant to be CR19, and CR9 was a typo" since that would make its danger level more appropriate.

Or we could say that the rules that cap all falling damage at 750 points are a typo, and it obviously should have been 75 damage, which would be more in keeping with the less dangerous gravity of Golarion we know from PF1. That would also fix the problem.

Or we could say, "don't fall into the trap unless you have a featherfall spell ready". That would work too, kinda.

You don't have to really guess different interpretations.

Just imagine what the develepers were planning to do.

Were they expecring feather fall on the frontline, in absence of a rogue ( or a character with thievery )?

Definitely not.

Were they planning to kill anybody who tried to grab an Edge, even if they wrote down to check how grab an Edge works?

Improbable

Were they trying to get the player a way to come out the Pit, depends the character who falls into it without killing it?

This is the most logical solution.

Did they forget about falling rules and how grab an edge works?

Indeed.

So we have a trap whigh works without killing anybody who tries to grab an Edge, even if this is against the rules.

Neat.


HumbleGamer wrote:
Just imagine what the develepers were planning to do.

But what if I imagine that their plan with this hazard was to make a super-easy to detect, super-easy to avoid thing which if you managed to not detect and not avoid would be basically guaranteed to kill any character without special traits suited to this exact scenario?

What if, instead of the creators of the rules being massively incompetent and forgetful or deliberately bad at their jobs by not cross-referencing their own work, they really thought having 5 or 6 rolls all go badly was an acceptable situation for a character (without traits specifically tailored to this scenario) to die?

I know I'm harping on this quite a bit, but seriously, people keep phrasing things as if they believe this trap is a coin toss - heads you live, tails you die - sort of situation when the reality is they are obsessing about like the 7th coin toss after they've already botched the 6 preceding it like that's a foregone conclusion that it will happen or completely irrelevant to the scenario.


thenobledrake wrote:
thejeff wrote:
...similar language - modified to take into account changes in rules terminology

Uh... no? Even adjusting for the change in layout from a rambling paragraph to a stat-block sort of format, there are numerous significant difference in the language used.

thejeff wrote:
There of course you could catch yourself since there was no rule for damage when doing so.

Could you though? I mean, the rules from back then actually say "It’s practically impossible to catch yourself on a wall while falling." The DC is listed as being 20 + the wall's climb DC, and using the example given by the PF1 trap of a DC 15 for climbing the wall, that means a DC of 35.

So a character had to have invested heavily in being good at climbing in order to not auto-fail an attempt to catch them self while falling. Also, PF1's falling rules aren't actually worded in such a way that catching yourself while falling negates the damage from your fall.

They aren't explicit that damage is taken (which PF2's are by way of explictly reducing the damage taken), but the PF1 system was still a specific trumps general system so they'd need to explicitly prevent or reduce damage for full damage to not apply.

There's no indication anywhere in PF1 that catching yourself falling causes any damage at all. Damage is applied when you hit something. No reason to apply it otherwise. Also, even if it did falling damage in PF1 was much more easily survivable, since it maxed out much lower.

Yeah, there are differences otherwise and the check is ridiculously hard, but I do think the language is close enough that it speaks to being ported over from PF1 without much consideration.


thenobledrake wrote:
HumbleGamer wrote:
Just imagine what the develepers were planning to do.

But what if I imagine that their plan with this hazard was to make a super-easy to detect, super-easy to avoid thing which if you managed to not detect and not avoid would be basically guaranteed to kill any character without special traits suited to this exact scenario?

What if, instead of the creators of the rules being massively incompetent and forgetful or deliberately bad at their jobs by not cross-referencing their own work, they really thought having 5 or 6 rolls all go badly was an acceptable situation for a character (without traits specifically tailored to this scenario) to die?

I know I'm harping on this quite a bit, but seriously, people keep phrasing things as if they believe this trap is a coin toss - heads you live, tails you die - sort of situation when the reality is they are obsessing about like the 7th coin toss after they've already botched the 6 preceding it like that's a foregone conclusion that it will happen or completely irrelevant to the scenario.

At least some of us are mostly concerned that the trap is written up as if even if you fell there are reasonable options for saving yourself. You could Grab an Edge (mention it'll take a long time to climb out, but not that it'll kill you unless you're immune to falling damage). You can rest up and prepare spells (but nothing level appropriate will get you out after that).

A slight change in emphasis might be sufficient - or some of the rules hacks suggested here.


thejeff wrote:
There's no indication anywhere in PF1 that catching yourself falling causes any damage at all.

The general rules for falling state "Creatures that fall take 1d6 points of damage per 10 feet fallen, to a maximum of 20d6."

All other rules that interact with falling damage, such as ignoring it, are required to mention that they do so. Just like how the rules for deliberately falling (jumping down) and falling onto forgiving things mention how you can ignore 10 feet of a fall and change some of the damage to nonlethal damage.

If catching yourself while falling prevented or reduced falling damage, it'd say it did. That's just how the entire design of the rules set works.

And because people are acting like mentioning a rule within a hazard description means that rule is supposed to help you out without complications naturally attached to that rule: Did you notice how the PF1 rules for bottomless pit say "Because the creature falls endlessly, it can rest and even prepare spells while falling" even though in PF1 the general falling rules prevent most spells from being cast and even mention that telportation spells don't alter your momentum so if you teleported out of a PF1 bottomless pit you'd take falling damage?


thejeff wrote:
You could Grab an Edge (mention it'll take a long time to climb out, but not that it'll kill you unless you're immune to falling damage).

Again, I mention that complaint is effectively "My character was effectively already dead, and the author gave me one last chance to have the character be not-dead instead but it didn't work for my specific character so we should change the whole scenario."


thenobledrake wrote:
HumbleGamer wrote:
Just imagine what the develepers were planning to do.
But what if I imagine that their plan with this hazard was to make a super-easy to detect, super-easy to avoid thing which if you managed to not detect and not avoid would be basically guaranteed to kill any character without special traits suited to this exact scenario?

Even this is, unfortunately, neither not possible nor reasonable.

That way would have been something like

*If you fail a ST, You fall and you take x damage*

No need to mention endless depth.

No need to mention Edges to be grabbed ( you failed a ST. You simply take damage ).

No need to hold a character or a party for an amount of time, which could be low or high depends on the unfortunate player skills ( since he already took dmg. The effect of the trap ).

So that can't be the right interpretation.

About your second post, I do understand that grabbing an Edge at high speed would damage you ( or cutting your Arms off ), but remember that we are playing a game with magic, with no anatomy and just hp, and so on.

So, once you realize the developer intentions regards the bottomless pitt, understand how this is supposed to work, even if they forget to say not to follow falling rules, is easy.

You can argue that they should have justified the stuff, ok, but that's not related to the understanding of how that traps is intended to work.


thenobledrake wrote:
thejeff wrote:
You could Grab an Edge (mention it'll take a long time to climb out, but not that it'll kill you unless you're immune to falling damage).
Again, I mention that complaint is effectively "My character was effectively already dead, and the author gave me one last chance to have the character be not-dead instead but it didn't work for my specific character so we should change the whole scenario."

Again, I'll reiterate that my complaint is that the test doesn't make it clear your character is effectively dead and in fact implies that there are reasonable ways to get out. That don't work.

If that's the intent, I want the text to more up front about it so that the trap doesn't get used without the GM realizing what they're doing.


thenobledrake wrote:
thejeff wrote:
There's no indication anywhere in PF1 that catching yourself falling causes any damage at all.

The general rules for falling state "Creatures that fall take 1d6 points of damage per 10 feet fallen, to a maximum of 20d6."

All other rules that interact with falling damage, such as ignoring it, are required to mention that they do so. Just like how the rules for deliberately falling (jumping down) and falling onto forgiving things mention how you can ignore 10 feet of a fall and change some of the damage to nonlethal damage.

If catching yourself while falling prevented or reduced falling damage, it'd say it did. That's just how the entire design of the rules set works.

And because people are acting like mentioning a rule within a hazard description means that rule is supposed to help you out without complications naturally attached to that rule: Did you notice how the PF1 rules for bottomless pit say "Because the creature falls endlessly, it can rest and even prepare spells while falling" even though in PF1 the general falling rules prevent most spells from being cast and even mention that telportation spells don't alter your momentum so if you teleported out of a PF1 bottomless pit you'd take falling damage?

The PF rules explicitly allow you to cast in falls greater than 500'.

Though teleporting would be a problem without Fly or Featherfall or something else to keep you from splatting. (I don't think most of those spells interact well with momentum, since largely the rules ignore the concept of momentum.)

But just to be pedantic: The Fly spell says nothing about reducing falling damage, so apparently you take full damage at some point if you cast fly.


thejeff wrote:
The PF rules explicitly allow you to cast in falls greater than 500'.

You may note that I said "prevent most spells from being cast." That prevention is delivered by way of saying you can't cast spells while falling, then creating the exception that if you fall long enough you can cast some spells (immediate action ones) and that those require a concentration check.

thejeff wrote:
But just to be pedantic: The Fly spell says nothing about reducing falling damage, so apparently you take full damage at some point if you cast fly.

Your attempt at pedantic banter has failed because the falling rules are not invoked when you aren't on the ground anymore but rather specifically when you fall - which means that where the fly spell comes into it is the last paragraph of the effect of that spell which explicitly details how it actually can protect you from falling damage.


HumbleGamer wrote:
So that can't be the right interpretation.

Oh, you're literally infallible huh? I hadn't realized.

You've got no more insight into the designer's intentions than the rest of us do, so maybe try being even just a little bit <looks at your chosen user name and squints> what's the word?


thenobledrake wrote:
thejeff wrote:
The PF rules explicitly allow you to cast in falls greater than 500'.

You may note that I said "prevent most spells from being cast." That prevention is delivered by way of saying you can't cast spells while falling, then creating the exception that if you fall long enough you can cast some spells (immediate action ones) and that those require a concentration check.

thejeff wrote:
But just to be pedantic: The Fly spell says nothing about reducing falling damage, so apparently you take full damage at some point if you cast fly.
Your attempt at pedantic banter has failed because the falling rules are not invoked when you aren't on the ground anymore but rather specifically when you fall - which means that where the fly spell comes into it is the last paragraph of the effect of that spell which explicitly details how it actually can protect you from falling damage.

You did say that, but you said "Did you notice how the PF1 rules for bottomless pit say "Because the creature falls endlessly, it can rest and even prepare spells while falling" even though in PF1 the general falling rules prevent most spells from being cast." In the context of the bottomless pit where you can rest and prepare spells, those generally falling rules don't apply (other than concentration). Bringing it up makes no sense.

As for flying, I'd let you get away with it, but you apparently go directly from terminal velocity to 60'/round (or to a complete stop if you want) and that really should do some damage. You're pulling a lot Gs there, even if it isn't impact. As I said above, none of this interacts with momentum, because momentum mostly gets ignored.


thejeff wrote:

Again, I'll reiterate that my complaint is that the test doesn't make it clear your character is effectively dead and in fact implies that there are reasonable ways to get out. That don't work.

If that's the intent, I want the text to more up front about it so that the trap doesn't get used without the GM realizing what they're doing.

Referencing Grab an Edge but not taking extra words to spell out that this results in falling damage is as much making it clear that a character can end up dead as a hazard dealing damage but not taking extra words to spell out that running out of HP results in the dying condition is making it clear that a character can end up dead.

The book shouldn't be expected re-state every general rule every time it applies. It's not like the book is trying to hide the rules from the people trying to play it: it capitalized Grab an Edge so you'd know it was a reference to another rule so that you could go look at that rule (at least you would if you read the part of the book that says why stuff gets capitalized or italicized... which I guess who knows who actually reads the book at this point).

...and why isn't the scenario in this hypothetical "I'm already falling in the pit, and I'm trying to figure out what if anything I can do" the GM saying "You can attempt to Grab an Edge" and the player saying "...which would mean what?" or some other form of actually looking up the rules before deciding "I'll do that! Oh no, I am dead now!"


thejeff wrote:
Bringing it up makes no sense.

I am super happy to have you say that, because what just happened there was that I was illustrating both A) how the PF1 rules do the same thing as the PF2 rules in the sense of mentioning a thing you can do, but when you look into that thing it's not as helpful as you might initially think.

So just like you could have someone grab an edge in PF2 and then be told they took a bunch of damage that they weren't expecting because they don't have the rules memorized - you could have someone say they cast a spell in PF1 and then be told their choice of spell isn't actually possible or that they have to pass a concentration check first, or even get all the way through the process to casting teleport and then finding out they take a bunch of damage they weren't expecting because they didn't have the rules memorized.

and B) getting someone to take up my argument against bringing up that grabbing an edge in PF2 does damage to you as their own against my deliberately irrelevant point.


thenobledrake wrote:
thejeff wrote:
Bringing it up makes no sense.

I am super happy to have you say that, because what just happened there was that I was illustrating both A) how the PF1 rules do the same thing as the PF2 rules in the sense of mentioning a thing you can do, but when you look into that thing it's not as helpful as you might initially think.

So just like you could have someone grab an edge in PF2 and then be told they took a bunch of damage that they weren't expecting because they don't have the rules memorized - you could have someone say they cast a spell in PF1 and then be told their choice of spell isn't actually possible or that they have to pass a concentration check first, or even get all the way through the process to casting teleport and then finding out they take a bunch of damage they weren't expecting because they didn't have the rules memorized.

and B) getting someone to take up my argument against bringing up that grabbing an edge in PF2 does damage to you as their own against my deliberately irrelevant point.

In PF1, in the pit, there is no "their choice of spell isn't actually possible". That's not a thing. You can cast any spell you want, with a concentration check. There are restrictions in a short fall, but not in this endless fall.

As for Teleport: If the text said "You can teleport out", without mentioning the momentum thing, I'd give you that, but since it doesn't, I don't see the relevance.

But you're apparently making deliberately irrelevant points that look like you're just misreading rules, so I probably should stop here.


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thenobledrake wrote:
thejeff wrote:

Again, I'll reiterate that my complaint is that the test doesn't make it clear your character is effectively dead and in fact implies that there are reasonable ways to get out. That don't work.

If that's the intent, I want the text to more up front about it so that the trap doesn't get used without the GM realizing what they're doing.

Referencing Grab an Edge but not taking extra words to spell out that this results in falling damage is as much making it clear that a character can end up dead as a hazard dealing damage but not taking extra words to spell out that running out of HP results in the dying condition is making it clear that a character can end up dead.

I might accept that, if they hadn't taken extra words to spell out that it might be a long climb.

Which should be equally obvious and far less important.


thejeff wrote:
In PF1, in the pit, there is no "their choice of spell isn't actually possible". That's not a thing. You can cast any spell you want, with a concentration check.

I admit I misread the rule as saying "and" when it was actually "or" between talking about the distance of the fall and immediate action spells.

thejeff wrote:
As for Teleport: If the text said "You can teleport out", without mentioning the momentum thing, I'd give you that, but since it doesn't, I don't see the relevance.

That the PF1 version mentions being able to rest and prepare spells but not mentioning the concentration check required to actually cast any of them is functionally identical to the PF2 version mentioning you can Grab an Edge but not mentioning you take falling damage.

Both are cases of one game element referencing other rules but leaving knowing the implications of the rules referenced entirely up to the people playing.


thejeff wrote:

I might accept that, if they hadn't taken extra words to spell out that it might be a long climb.

Which should be equally obvious and far less important.

Reads similar to "How dare the writer try to incorporate a little flavor text with the rules text."


thenobledrake wrote:
HumbleGamer wrote:
So that can't be the right interpretation.

Oh, you're literally infallible huh? I hadn't realized.

You've got no more insight into the designer's intentions than the rest of us do, so maybe try being even just a little bit <looks at your chosen user name and squints> what's the word?

I just explained things in the proper way. Unfortunately you got the wrong idea.


HumbleGamer wrote:
I just explained things in the proper way. Unfortunately you got the wrong idea.

Go ahead and give it another go if you want.

Point out how what I say doesn't line up with the evidence or something.


thenobledrake wrote:
HumbleGamer wrote:
I just explained things in the proper way. Unfortunately you got the wrong idea.

Go ahead and give it another go if you want.

Point out how what I say doesn't line up with the evidence or something.

The point is that I don't understand what kind of evidence you need, given the trap description ( which points out what was the Devs intention ).

I simply stated that would have been strange to give a saving throw which would have killed you on success, and that the most logical interpretation is that was an oversight.


HumbleGamer wrote:
I simply stated that would have been strange to give a saving throw which would have killed you on success, and that the most logical interpretation is that was an oversight.

Option A) The saving throw in question is there to enable characters that have some way to mitigate falling to do so, rewarding them for choosing that particular option instead of something else.

Example A: After all the other bits of interactions and rolling, we arrive at the fall;
GM: "You have fallen into a pit, and there doesn't seem to be a bottom anywhere in sight"
Player: "I've got feather fall, so I'll cast that to slow my fall, then see if I can grab an edge or land anywhere or something."
GM: "There are hand holds, so go ahead and roll a save to grab an edge."
<and then not only does the character survive, but the bottomless pit makes sense as-written>

Option B) the saving throw in question is there to enable every character unlimited chances to survive by not having this particular instance of grab an edge come with falling damage like it does in general.

I have no example to match to this one, just a question: If the current phrasing of the pit is how it is worded when the intent is not taking damage for falling like is true in general for falling/grabing an edge, what would the phrasing have to be if the intent is that grabbing an edge in this case results in falling damage as is generally true?

To phrase all this differently: The evidence I need is literally any evidence at all that suggests the way I've read and interpreted the rules involved isn't 100% accurate and working as intended. Anything at all that doesn't boil down to "I don't want it to work the way it does, so I'm saying it works differently."


Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path Subscriber
HumbleGamer wrote:
Being serious, i really don't understand the doubts towards the trap.

Would you understand doubt towards a monster in a bestiary at CR9 that was an automatic death for almost every level-appropriate PC that failed to spot it in advance, unless they happened to be a couple specific classes with specific spells available? Pathfinder 2 doesn't do that, while PF1 can on occasion.


...people keep phrasing this hazard like it's impossible to detect and avoid falling into.

In a typical play scenario, it takes 5-6 die rolls for a character to end up suffering "automatic death"


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Hey, let's see what the hazard creation rules say about this, why not.

Quote:
While extreme values remain world-class statistics that are extremely difficult to meet or exceed, unlike with monsters, almost all hazards have one extreme statistic because hazards normally activate only if they have gone unnoticed or if someone critically failed to disable them. Does it have an extreme Stealth DC that makes it incredibly hard to find, an extreme Disable DC that makes it perilous to disable, or a save DC that makes it deadly in the event it triggers? These are the most common choices, as each affects a different phase of encountering the hazard.

What we can infer from this is that the deadlier a trap is if it goes off, the easier it will be to prevent it from going off. If it is very difficult to notice and disable, then it will be less deadly. How does the Bottomless Pit hold up to the hazard creation rules?

Saving throw: The Grab Edge DC is 26, which is a low value DC for this level. So low, in fact, that they didn't bother listing it in Table 2-16; the offense table lists 28 as the lowest DC for a level 9 hazard. 26 would be for a level 8 hazard.

Disable DC: Technically, this is between the high and low values of a level 9 hazard. But that is if you actually want to disable it. It is only a 10 foot square, so you can easily Leap over it once you know it is there, no roll required. Which brings us to...

Stealth DC: Oh hey, this is technically a high DC! ... Except it doesn't list a proficiency, which means you don't have to be searching to spot it. And it pings on Detect Magic. It is one of only 3 hazards without a listed proficiency. The others are the level 0 Hidden Pit and Armageddon Orb.

So we have a trap with no Extreme value, unlike "almost all hazards." And it is more likely to be spotted than almost any hazard. And you don't even have to roll to disable it. Is it crazy that maybe, just maybe, a trap with this many weaknesses is meant to be really deadly if someone actually falls in it? You know, like the hazard building rules say it should be?

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Companion, Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Charter Superscriber
HumbleGamer wrote:

...Were they expecring feather fall on the frontline, in absence of a rogue ( or a character with thievery )?

Definitely not.
...

They don't need to have feather fall on the frontliner.

Look up feather fall:

feather fall wrote:

Cast Reaction verbal; Trigger a creature within range is falling

Range 60 feet; Targets 1 falling creature

As long as the caster has feather fall prepared or in his repertoire and is within 60ft. of the frontliner falling in and failing to Grab the edge, as a reaction feather fall can be cast on the falling PC.

As a 1st level spell, at level 9 (where the trap is appropriate), feather fall is always a nice spell to have prepared or known.

So, it takes the whole group to not notice the trap, the 'frontliner' to fail to grab the edge and the caster of the party to not have feather fall available for this trap to be 'deadly'.


Franz Lunzer wrote:
HumbleGamer wrote:

...Were they expecring feather fall on the frontline, in absence of a rogue ( or a character with thievery )?

Definitely not.
...

They don't need to have feather fall on the frontliner.

Look up feather fall:

feather fall wrote:

Cast Reaction verbal; Trigger a creature within range is falling

Range 60 feet; Targets 1 falling creature

As long as the caster has feather fall prepared or in his repertoire and is within 60ft. of the frontliner falling in and failing to Grab the edge, as a reaction feather fall can be cast on the falling PC.

As a 1st level spell, at level 9 (where the trap is appropriate), feather fall is always a nice spell to have prepared or known.

So, it takes the whole group to not notice the trap, the 'frontliner' to fail to grab the edge and the caster of the party to not have feather fall available for this trap to be 'deadly'.

I know how ff works.

My point was that the caster has to have it ready. Which is something not mandatory.

And on a narrow space, with just the one ahead search ing for traps, it can happen that the trap triggers cause not spotted.

Bad throws happens, and remember that skill checks are a hidden thing up to DM, so there is nothing strange in a party who falls for it, and don’t run with a feather fall ready to be casted ( or maybe the party simply doesn't have arcane or primal spellcasters ).

It is all up to physical skills, reflex + athletics,( eventually, those who can't rely on physical skills are even allowed to rest in order to recover their spells ).

Pretty sure that grabbing an Edge, since the Pit is bottomless,also consider the player trying to slow the pace down before attempting a grab ( while on a 100 feet depth Pit you will only have one chance, and lower ing the damage would do the stuff ), or the grabbing part won't have any logical sense ( you can either continue to fall forever or die because you grabbed an Edge. Seems pretty strange to give useless alternatives ).


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Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path Subscriber
Franz Lunzer wrote:
As long as the caster has feather fall prepared or in his repertoire and is within 60ft. of the frontliner falling in and failing to Grab the edge, as a reaction feather fall can be cast on the falling PC.

Only if you're in encounter mode. You don't get your reactions granted until the start of your turn. Even if a roll for initiative happens, there's no guarantee the caster gets their turn before the faller falls.


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Anguish wrote:
Franz Lunzer wrote:
As long as the caster has feather fall prepared or in his repertoire and is within 60ft. of the frontliner falling in and failing to Grab the edge, as a reaction feather fall can be cast on the falling PC.
Only if you're in encounter mode. You don't get your reactions granted until the start of your turn. Even if a roll for initiative happens, there's no guarantee the caster gets their turn before the faller falls.

No, the GM determines if you can use an encounter before initiative is rolled. And if a GM doesn't let you Feather Fall when someone falls they are the problem.


Captain Morgan wrote:
Anguish wrote:
Franz Lunzer wrote:
As long as the caster has feather fall prepared or in his repertoire and is within 60ft. of the frontliner falling in and failing to Grab the edge, as a reaction feather fall can be cast on the falling PC.
Only if you're in encounter mode. You don't get your reactions granted until the start of your turn. Even if a roll for initiative happens, there's no guarantee the caster gets their turn before the faller falls.
No, the GM determines if you can use an encounter before initiative is rolled. And if a GM doesn't let you Feather Fall when someone falls they are the problem.

I partially disagree.

It is like the champion reaction during the first round of an encounter.

If I happen to be first, I gain a reaction and I am able to use it on the attacked friend.

If I come after the enemy, I can't.

If during thr exploration the caster action is to get ready to use a feather fall, I agree that he has the right to use it on the ally.

If he is searching or using detect magic, he could simply realize that not in time.

Just to say that whether the DM decision, depends the situation everything can be right.

The Exchange

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Simplest solution is to say that this particular trap should not exist in any campaign and not use it ever. There is no requirement to use every trap. Just say that the designers messed up (which happens) and put a big strikethrough on the entire entry


Laran wrote:
Simplest solution is to say that this particular trap should not exist in any campaign and not use it ever. There is no requirement to use every trap. Just say that the designers messed up (which happens) and put a big strikethrough on the entire entry

But bottomless pits are a traditional staple of the genre. As is falling into them and escaping.

It would be nice to have that option in the game.

Honestly, I think the traditional solution is to have some kind of giant spider or other web using monster part way down. :)


HumbleGamer wrote:
...just the one ahead searching for traps...

This hazard the whole party gets perception checks to notice when they get near it, no matter who or how many of them are "searching for traps" or what else they might be doing.

HumbleGamer wrote:
...the grabbing part won't have any logical sense ( you can either continue to fall forever or die because you grabbed an Edge. Seems pretty strange to give useless alternatives ).

The logical sense of the grabbing part is that there are numerous character possibilities at current, and likely to be more added as future products give more game elements to play with, for which this "useless alternative" is a fully-functioning extra chance at surviving.

There's feather fall (and probably other spells too), ancestry options that reduce falling damage, skill feats that reduce falling damage, a monk feat that negates falling damage if your next to a wall while falling (such as is the case in this bottomless pit), and likely a wide variety of magical items (one example: potion of flying) which all make this situation that people keep phrasing as a "useless alternative" into a clearly functional way out.

Also, hitting the topic of "but you're not in encounter mode so you can't use a reaction": Flip open your book to page 458 and read the first sentence in italic under that nice being "Encounter Mode" heading, and ask yourself "If a character is going to die unless specific actions happen at specific moments, so every individual action counts?" - the determine if, according to the game, your in Exploration Mode or Encounter Mode (which has this fun little "The rules in this section assume a combat encounter - a battle - but the general structure can apply to any kind of encounter" note about).

Edit to add: Wait, no... let's go with the "can't use reactions because your in exploration mode" thing as the way to rule on this because then the hazard (and all other hazards, pretty sure) can't even do anything to anyone whether they notice it or not.


thenobledrake wrote:
HumbleGamer wrote:
...just the one ahead searching for traps...

This hazard the whole party gets perception checks to notice when they get near it, no matter who or how many of them are "searching for traps" or what else they might be doing.

HumbleGamer wrote:
...the grabbing part won't have any logical sense ( you can either continue to fall forever or die because you grabbed an Edge. Seems pretty strange to give useless alternatives ).

The logical sense of the grabbing part is that there are numerous character possibilities at current, and likely to be more added as future products give more game elements to play with, for which this "useless alternative" is a fully-functioning extra chance at surviving.

There's feather fall (and probably other spells too), ancestry options that reduce falling damage, skill feats that reduce falling damage, a monk feat that negates falling damage if your next to a wall while falling (such as is the case in this bottomless pit), and likely a wide variety of magical items (one example: potion of flying) which all make this situation that people keep phrasing as a "useless alternative" into a clearly functional way out.

I'm pretty sure none of the "reduce falling damage" options matter, since they tend to be "reduce by 30'" and you'll have fallen 500' before you get the chance. Obviously, any that negate damage would work. I could be missing one that's huge enough to matter.

The point of "the one ahead searching for traps" is that means only one will be close to it. "Searching" isn't the important word there. "Ahead" is.


Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path Subscriber
Captain Morgan wrote:
No, the GM determines if you can use an encounter before initiative is rolled.

Can I have a page reference on that, please? We've been looking at how reactions work, and haven't found anything to support. We've already had a bunch of instances (not involving falling) where reactions before a PC's turn would have been hugely helpful, if not life-saving.

I mean... other than the boilerplate "you bought a 500 page book but ask your GM".

Quote:
And if a GM doesn't let you Feather Fall when someone falls they are the problem.

Sure. Only not. In PF1 it was an immediate action, also not usable while you're flat-footed. We've definitely had cases of characters being made to fall before the caster got their turn. There was no problem because everyone was playing the same game, as written in their rulebooks. We didn't have to ask for Deux Ex solutions.

Did it suck? Sort of. Was it fair? Yes, because the bad guys had the same limitations. Did it create interesting challenges? Yes. Was it fun to play RAW? Again, yes.


thejeff wrote:
thenobledrake wrote:
HumbleGamer wrote:
...just the one ahead searching for traps...

This hazard the whole party gets perception checks to notice when they get near it, no matter who or how many of them are "searching for traps" or what else they might be doing.

HumbleGamer wrote:
...the grabbing part won't have any logical sense ( you can either continue to fall forever or die because you grabbed an Edge. Seems pretty strange to give useless alternatives ).

The logical sense of the grabbing part is that there are numerous character possibilities at current, and likely to be more added as future products give more game elements to play with, for which this "useless alternative" is a fully-functioning extra chance at surviving.

There's feather fall (and probably other spells too), ancestry options that reduce falling damage, skill feats that reduce falling damage, a monk feat that negates falling damage if your next to a wall while falling (such as is the case in this bottomless pit), and likely a wide variety of magical items (one example: potion of flying) which all make this situation that people keep phrasing as a "useless alternative" into a clearly functional way out.

I'm pretty sure none of the "reduce falling damage" options matter, since they tend to be "reduce by 30'" and you'll have fallen 500' before you get the chance. Obviously, any that negate damage would work. I could be missing one that's huge enough to matter.

The point of "the one ahead searching for traps" is that means only one will be close to it. "Searching" isn't the important word there. "Ahead" is.

That.

Also talking about feats, whrther they matter or not in terms of enough dr to avoid the death of the player, and feather fall ready to cast is more a white room ( a specific scenario ) than a real one.


thejeff wrote:
I'm pretty sure none of the "reduce falling damage" options matter, since they tend to be "reduce by 30'" and you'll have fallen 500' before you get the chance. Obviously, any that negate damage would work. I could be missing one that's huge enough to matter.

I mention them not because they individually or immediately prevent the "I fell 500 feet and Grabbed an Edge" scenario from being deadly, but because they can result in the scenario not being deadly - and thus they are reasons why mentioning Grab an Edge in this hazard is a good thing, rather than a bad thing.

thejeff wrote:
The point of "the one ahead searching for traps" is that means only one will be close to it. "Searching" isn't the important word there. "Ahead" is.

If a player has their character so distance from the party as to encounter something and none of the rest of the party get to interact with it in any way, whatever happens is the fault of the player making that choice - the game very clearly assumes that the party is traveling as, well a party. Yes, the one(s) searching for traps are going to be at the front of that party, but they aren't going to be separate unless they are deliberately choosing to be. Even the scouting exploration activity doesn't result in a character being not with the party in the event that something besides continuing to explore without event happen.

HumbleGamer wrote:
...feather fall ready to cast is more a white room ( a specific scenario ) than a real one.

The "white room" here is that literally every possible thing has already gone wrong and the character is inside the bottomless pit. Mentioning things like "a lot of parties will have feather fall because it's a commonly chosen spell" is trying to bring the scenario into real, practical, and probable terms.


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Anguish wrote:
Can I have a page reference on that, please? We've been looking at how reactions work, and haven't found anything to support. We've already had a bunch of instances (not involving falling) where reactions before a PC's turn would have been hugely helpful, if not life-saving.

Page 461, under the "Actions" heading: "Actions are most closely measured and restricted during the encounter mode of play, but even when it isn't important for you to keep strict track of actions, they remain the way in which you interact with the game world. There are four types of actions: single actions, activities, reactions, and free actions."

That establishes the general rule that reactions, being actions, are not exclusive to encounter mode.

Next, further along the same page we find the description of Reactions: "You can use a reaction anytime its trigger is met, whether it's your turn or not." and "Outside of encounters, your use of reactions is more flexible and up to the GM."

That makes it about as clear as any rule gets in the ol' PF2 book.


I consider a white room, given the specific topic, everything else but a dude who trigger the trap.

No feats, no magic items, etc.

Just him challenging the trap and the possible endings.

The trap is activated, and now there are X possibilities.

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