Questions about transitioning from Exploration to Encounter Mode


Rules Discussion


Pathfinder Companion, Maps Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

Let's say the PCs are in exploration mode in a dungeon, using the Avoid Notice activity. They enter a room with a mimic in it doing its Mimic Object thing.

  • Do they automatically get a Perception check vs. its Deception, or do they have to explicitly say they're examining it? Or does the Mimic roll a Deception vs. their Perception DC, since its the one actively attempting something, i.e., fooling the PCs?

  • If they roll a Perception check vs. its Deception, does that count as their Initiative roll, or do they roll a Perception check to see if they're fooled and then another roll for Initiative?

  • Do they roll Perception for Initiative since the last thing they did before Encounter Mode was Seek, or do they still roll Stealth because they were using Avoid Notice as their exploration activity?

  • What does the Mimic use for Initiative: Stealth or Deception?

  • In general, if you're using a skill exploration activity (like, say, Borrow an Arcane Spell), do you use the specified skill for initiative, or do you use Perception unless the activity specifically says you use something else (like, say, Avoid Notice does)?


  • Pathfinder Companion, Maps Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
    Joana wrote:
  • Do they automatically get a Perception check vs. its Deception, or do they have to explicitly say they're examining it? Or does the Mimic roll a Deception vs. their Perception DC, since its the one actively attempting something, i.e., fooling the PCs?
  • So, as I go poking around AoN trying to answer my own questions, Impersonate seems to be what the mimic is doing.

    Quote:
    In most cases, creatures have a chance to detect your deception only if they use the Seek action to attempt Perception checks against your Deception DC. If you attempt to directly interact with someone while disguised, the GM rolls a secret Deception check for you against that creature’s Perception DC instead. If you’re disguised as a specific individual, the GM might give creatures you interact with a circumstance bonus based on how well they know the person you’re imitating, or the GM might roll a secret Deception check even if you aren’t directly interacting with others.

    So unless this is one of the situations where creatures don't follow rules for PCs, it looks like the player would have to specifically say they're suspicious of that bookshelf, or what have you. (Takes me back to AD&D, where there was one player who, literally every time we encountered anything, would open with, "I attempt to Disbelieve the [insert monster name here]" just in case it was an illusion.)

    Or if the player said their character was going to, say, take a book off the bookshelf, would that count as the mimic "directly interacting with" the PC so the GM would roll a secret Deception check vs its Perception DC before the PC triggered its Object Lesson?


    When the players enter the room, it's up to whether the Mimic wants to reveal it's nature by attacking now or wait.

    If the mimic wants to attack right away, initiative is rolled. I'd rule as GM that because the Mimic is pretending not to be a threat in order to get the edge in a confrontation it rolls Deception for initiative - including giving it the automatic result of 28 called out in its traits, but that's me being me.

    The party rolls Stealth. Their results are their initiative for the fight, and are also compared to the perception DC of the mimic to see if the character remains unnoticed at the start of the encounter (which requires them not being in plain, unobstructed sight so that comes down to situational details).

    And that means that most likely the mimic will go first and be aware of at least whichever party member entered the room first.

    If the mimic wants to wait to attack, it'll still be using Deception for initiative, but the PCs are likely to stop avoiding notice and be taking other actions in the room and will probably end up rolling Perception (possibly in a joint-check to realize that mimic isn't a regular object and initiative check).


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    I'll make my players act as they want, but as soon as I want the Mimic to attack, I'd roll initiative. Deception for the mimic, Stealth for the players. Winning initiative over the mimic means you felt something and stayed hidden from it.


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    Joana wrote:

    Let's say the PCs are in exploration mode in a dungeon, using the Avoid Notice activity. They enter a room with a mimic in it doing its Mimic Object thing.

  • Do they automatically get a Perception check vs. its Deception, or do they have to explicitly say they're examining it? Or does the Mimic roll a Deception vs. their Perception DC, since its the one actively attempting something, i.e., fooling the PCs?

  • If they roll a Perception check vs. its Deception, does that count as their Initiative roll, or do they roll a Perception check to see if they're fooled and then another roll for Initiative?

  • Do they roll Perception for Initiative since the last thing they did before Encounter Mode was Seek, or do they still roll Stealth because they were using Avoid Notice as their exploration activity?

  • What does the Mimic use for Initiative: Stealth or Deception?

  • In general, if you're using a skill exploration activity (like, say, Borrow an Arcane Spell), do you use the specified skill for initiative, or do you use Perception unless the activity specifically says you use something else (like, say, Avoid Notice does)?
  • No one knows, and more precisely, no one cares. The question has been asked a lot of time, and the only answer we've got is the one given by thenobledrake: as a gm you shouldn't care about the PC's action and just run your railroad as you want. So in this case you simply ignore this whole "avoid notice" activity, you decide when the mimic attacks and use the PC's perception as initiative.

    Sovereign Court

    Joana wrote:

    Let's say the PCs are in exploration mode in a dungeon, using the Avoid Notice activity. They enter a room with a mimic in it doing its Mimic Object thing.

  • Do they automatically get a Perception check vs. its Deception, or do they have to explicitly say they're examining it? Or does the Mimic roll a Deception vs. their Perception DC, since its the one actively attempting something, i.e., fooling the PCs?
  • The description of the Mimic doesn't say one or the other, so we default back to the Deception skill. This is clearly an example of the Impersonate task. It explains in there (p. 246) that since the mimic is just passively sitting there, it will only be detected if people use Seek.

    Players don't do Seek while exploring in Avoid Notice mode; that would be Search mode. So the players won't notice the mimic.

    Joana wrote:
  • If they roll a Perception check vs. its Deception, does that count as their Initiative roll, or do they roll a Perception check to see if they're fooled and then another roll for Initiative?
  • You would make another roll. It's entirely possible they notice the mimic but combat doesn't immediately happen - maybe the mimic is waiting for them to come closer, unaware that it's been recognized.

    Joana wrote:
  • Do they roll Perception for Initiative since the last thing they did before Encounter Mode was Seek, or do they still roll Stealth because they were using Avoid Notice as their exploration activity?
  • They should be able to use Avoid Notice, the mimic might not have seen all of them.

    Joana wrote:
  • What does the Mimic use for Initiative: Stealth or Deception?
  • If combat breaks out after it's fooled the PCs, then Deception seems appropriate. If they've identified it, and stood around for a while whether to get closer to it, then Perception is more appropriate. Since the mimic isn't trying to hide (it's trying to disguise), Stealth is not appropriate.

    Joana wrote:
  • In general, if you're using a skill exploration activity (like, say, Borrow an Arcane Spell), do you use the specified skill for initiative, or do you use Perception unless the activity specifically says you use something else (like, say, Avoid Notice does)?
  • "Up to the GM".

    Sovereign Court

    The big elephant in the room question is what happens when a whole party is using Avoid Notice.

    Avoid Notice says that when you roll initiative you should roll another Stealth check to see if enemies noticed you specifically. That sounds to me like the writers assumed not the whole party would be using Avoid Notice, so at least someone else in the party would be seen and the encounter triggered. But what if the whole party did Avoid Notice and was good at it, perhaps using Follow The Expert?

    The most sensible answer to me is that if the whole party manages to sneak, the enemy doesn't realize anyone is there. And if the enemy is also successfully pretending to be innocent furniture, then both groups might just pass each other without any encounter happening.

    ---

    Another question is how the party is doing the stealthing. During encounter mode, if you're trying to Sneak, you have to start out hidden, and if you end your turn in full sight of someone, you stop being hidden from that person even if you rolled really well on stealth, because you just don't have anything to hide behind.

    Obviously it's easier to make sure you don't make that tactical mistake if you can see the enemies. But the party won't know that that chest could be watching them. So they might end their movement in front of it.

    However, during Exploration mode, we don't track rounds, and therefore we can't end a round exposed to view. So... not sure how to handle that.


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    Gaterie wrote:
    ...the only answer we've got is the one given by thenobledrake: as a gm you shouldn't care about the PC's action and just run your railroad as you want.

    That is most definitely not the answer I gave.


    Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber

    Sure it is. Drawing a distinction between the reaults of hiding from the treasure chest and hiding behind the treasure chest is obviously disregarding the PCs that made that choice, right? [/s]


    thenobledrake wrote:
    Gaterie wrote:
    ...the only answer we've got is the one given by thenobledrake: as a gm you shouldn't care about the PC's action and just run your railroad as you want.
    That is most definitely not the answer I gave.

    Obviously not.

    In the other hand, the answer you gave completely ignored the fact the party is hidden : you just said the mimic attack when she wants, as if the party weren't hidden.

    In other words, you didn't care about the PC's actions. This isn't what you wrote, this is what you did


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    Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber
    Gaterie wrote:
    thenobledrake wrote:
    Gaterie wrote:
    ...the only answer we've got is the one given by thenobledrake: as a gm you shouldn't care about the PC's action and just run your railroad as you want.
    That is most definitely not the answer I gave.

    Obviously not.

    In the other hand, the answer you gave completely ignored the fact the party is hidden : you just said the mimic attack when she wants, as if the party weren't hidden.

    In other words, you didn't care about the PC's actions. This isn't what you wrote, this is what you did

    That's not accurate. Thenobledrake's answer did not say the party is attacked even if they are hidden, but pointed out the ways that they might not be hidden (not hiding well enough, or moving to positions where they aren't hiding from the mimic, or deciding there's nothing in the room and leaving their hidden positions to do other things).


    I dunno... maybe Gaterie misunderstood what I was saying because they are one of those players that thinks "Encounter Mode" and "Roll Initiative" only means battle, when the reality is that it just means every specific action taken matters and to keep things orderly everyone is taking turns instead of going free-form.

    Edit to add: Gaterie replied while I had thread open for replying myself and confirmed my suspicion - totally misunderstood what I said and "did."


    Even leaving the specifics of the mimic aside - how do you handle a case of 2 stealthy groups - perhaps a group waiting hidden in an ambush and PCs sneaking through the woods?

    Normally, as I understand it, it's assumed one party would be sneaking and the other looking and thus would use Stealth and Perception for initiative respectively. But with both doing both?


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    thejeff wrote:

    Even leaving the specifics of the mimic aside - how do you handle a case of 2 stealthy groups - perhaps a group waiting hidden in an ambush and PCs sneaking through the woods?

    Normally, as I understand it, it's assumed one party would be sneaking and the other looking and thus would use Stealth and Perception for initiative respectively. But with both doing both?

    If they both roll well enough and don't unintentionally leave cover from one another (basically, if they don't wander into each other) they pass by without interacting, no initiative needed.

    If one side rolls poorly enough that the other side spots them, combat starts and everyone rolls Stealth for initiative, as they were all Avoiding Notice. At least I think they all reroll, not positive there.


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    thejeff wrote:

    Even leaving the specifics of the mimic aside - how do you handle a case of 2 stealthy groups - perhaps a group waiting hidden in an ambush and PCs sneaking through the woods?

    Normally, as I understand it, it's assumed one party would be sneaking and the other looking and thus would use Stealth and Perception for initiative respectively. But with both doing both?

    In the case of a party Avoiding Notice as they explore, and coming into the area that a group of creatures have set up an ambush here's what happens:

    1) both sides roll stealth for initiative - even though they might not end up even interacting with each other, this is part of determining if any one side notice any of the other side.

    2) those same roll results are compared to the Perception DCs of the opposite side of the encounter to determine if anyone notices the other side.

    3) play technically continues turn by turn - but a GM is free to skip back to exploration mode if they don't want to track detailed movement through the ambush zone and see if one or more characters involved can't be unnoticed because of lacking concealment or the like.

    You could make a whole "stealth mission" thing out of it by setting up the ambush zone with all kinds of terrain and obstacles, then the GM secretly positioning the creatures setting the ambush and selecting the areas they Seek each round and then letting the players take their turns Sneaking bit by bit across the map to see if they ever bump into one of the creatures (which the players could also Seek if they wanted to) or get caught in one of the Seek zones.


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    BellyBeard wrote:
    At least I think they all reroll, not positive there.

    Nope, when Stealth is going to be initiative you use the same result for both initiative and for determining detection.

    Otherwise you're making the odds that a character go unnoticed and win initiative significantly worse (example: if 2 rolls at 50% odds are needed for an event to happen, that's 25% odds of that event happening)

    This is also explicitly stated in the Avoid Notice exploration activity.


    thenobledrake wrote:
    BellyBeard wrote:
    At least I think they all reroll, not positive there.

    Nope, when Stealth is going to be initiative you use the same result for both initiative and for determining detection.

    Otherwise you're making the odds that a character go unnoticed and win initiative significantly worse (example: if 2 rolls at 50% odds are needed for an event to happen, that's 25% odds of that event happening)

    This is also explicitly stated in the Avoid Notice exploration activity.

    Got it, thanks for the info!


    thenobledrake wrote:
    I dunno... maybe Gaterie misunderstood what I was saying because they are one of those players that thinks "Encounter Mode" and "Roll Initiative" only means battle

    lol.

    the first sentence of your first post in this thread is:

    thenobledrake wrote:
    When the players enter the room, it's up to whether the Mimic wants to reveal it's nature by attacking now or wait.

    I am indeed one of those players that thinks "the mimic is attacking now" means battle.

    Maybe you misunderstood what you were saying? I don't know how it's possible, but it seems to be the case: first you explain the mimic can decide to attack when it want (ignoring the fact it doesn't even know someone entered the room), and now you're arguing an attack is obviously not a battle.

    I have two different hypothesis:
    H0: you're arguing in bad faith.
    H1: This is not a battle, it's the continuation of your railroad: you don't roll attack or damage (so it's not a battle), you simply decide whether the mimic hits depending on your need.

    Hum, it's really hard to decide which is the right hypothesis... But I'm convince you can give an even more inconsistant answer. Your turn, now make me laughs. :)


    thejeff wrote:
    Even leaving the specifics of the mimic aside - how do you handle a case of 2 stealthy groups - perhaps a group waiting hidden in an ambush and PCs sneaking through the woods?

    you're the dm: railroad the encounter.

    If you prefer: you decide when the fight begins (depending on your railroad). Roll init (stealth for everyone); given the amount of roll, at least 1 creature will roll lower than the perception DC of another creature. So this creature is seen, and this confirm the battle began at the moment you decided it began.

    If the first character doesn't see anyone (he rolled high in stealth but he doesn't have a high Perception DC), then he gains a spider-sense : he knows something's happening.

    If no one rolled lower than perception DC, then you start encounter mode anyway, because that's what your railroad needs. As above, every character has a spider-sense and knows there's an hidden hazard somewhere - confirming the encounter started at that moment.

    tl; dr: 1/ railroad the beginning of the encounter.
    2/ roll some dice.
    3/ retroactively use result of the dice to explain why the encounter began at the moment you decided.

    Sovereign Court

    thenobledrake wrote:
    BellyBeard wrote:
    At least I think they all reroll, not positive there.

    Nope, when Stealth is going to be initiative you use the same result for both initiative and for determining detection.

    Otherwise you're making the odds that a character go unnoticed and win initiative significantly worse (example: if 2 rolls at 50% odds are needed for an event to happen, that's 25% odds of that event happening)

    This is also explicitly stated in the Avoid Notice exploration activity.

    I find the Avoid Notice ability a bit hard to parse;

    Avoid Notice wrote:

    You attempt a Stealth check to avoid notice while traveling

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

    The first roll seems to be for overland travel, but who is the roll actually against? How frequently?

    The second roll, I always read it as "you make two stealth rolls, both for initiative and to see if anyone has spotted you". I can see why you'd read only one roll into it, but it's not what I would call "explicit".

    It also seems a bit inconsistent - if you're rolling Perception for initiative, is that roll also combined with the roll to find enemies/threats? It would be rather strange if sometimes initiative was a two-roll business and sometimes a one-roll business.

    Sovereign Court

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    thenobledrake wrote:
    thejeff wrote:

    Even leaving the specifics of the mimic aside - how do you handle a case of 2 stealthy groups - perhaps a group waiting hidden in an ambush and PCs sneaking through the woods?

    Normally, as I understand it, it's assumed one party would be sneaking and the other looking and thus would use Stealth and Perception for initiative respectively. But with both doing both?

    In the case of a party Avoiding Notice as they explore, and coming into the area that a group of creatures have set up an ambush here's what happens:

    1) both sides roll stealth for initiative - even though they might not end up even interacting with each other, this is part of determining if any one side notice any of the other side.

    2) those same roll results are compared to the Perception DCs of the opposite side of the encounter to determine if anyone notices the other side.

    3) play technically continues turn by turn - but a GM is free to skip back to exploration mode if they don't want to track detailed movement through the ambush zone and see if one or more characters involved can't be unnoticed because of lacking concealment or the like.

    You could make a whole "stealth mission" thing out of it by setting up the ambush zone with all kinds of terrain and obstacles, then the GM secretly positioning the creatures setting the ambush and selecting the areas they Seek each round and then letting the players take their turns Sneaking bit by bit across the map to see if they ever bump into one of the creatures (which the players could also Seek if they wanted to) or get caught in one of the Seek zones.

    I think this is indeed how you would do it if you were going by the book. It feels a bit weird though - your players have been creeping through the wood for hours in Exploration mode, suddenly they drop into Encounter mode but spot no enemies, carefully creep across a flipmat but encounter no enemies, and then go back into Exploration mode. Meanwhile, ominous background music plays. At the end the players are a bit puzzled about what just happened.


    Ascalaphus wrote:
    thenobledrake wrote:
    thejeff wrote:

    Even leaving the specifics of the mimic aside - how do you handle a case of 2 stealthy groups - perhaps a group waiting hidden in an ambush and PCs sneaking through the woods?

    Normally, as I understand it, it's assumed one party would be sneaking and the other looking and thus would use Stealth and Perception for initiative respectively. But with both doing both?

    In the case of a party Avoiding Notice as they explore, and coming into the area that a group of creatures have set up an ambush here's what happens:

    1) both sides roll stealth for initiative - even though they might not end up even interacting with each other, this is part of determining if any one side notice any of the other side.

    2) those same roll results are compared to the Perception DCs of the opposite side of the encounter to determine if anyone notices the other side.

    3) play technically continues turn by turn - but a GM is free to skip back to exploration mode if they don't want to track detailed movement through the ambush zone and see if one or more characters involved can't be unnoticed because of lacking concealment or the like.

    You could make a whole "stealth mission" thing out of it by setting up the ambush zone with all kinds of terrain and obstacles, then the GM secretly positioning the creatures setting the ambush and selecting the areas they Seek each round and then letting the players take their turns Sneaking bit by bit across the map to see if they ever bump into one of the creatures (which the players could also Seek if they wanted to) or get caught in one of the Seek zones.

    I think this is indeed how you would do it if you were going by the book. It feels a bit weird though - your players have been creeping through the wood for hours in Exploration mode, suddenly they drop into Encounter mode but spot no enemies, carefully creep across a flipmat but encounter no enemies, and then go back into Exploration mode. Meanwhile, ominous background music plays. At the end the players are a bit puzzled about what just happened.

    Let's be honest - the players know exactly what happened. :)


    Gaterie wrote:
    thenobledrake wrote:
    I dunno... maybe Gaterie misunderstood what I was saying because they are one of those players that thinks "Encounter Mode" and "Roll Initiative" only means battle

    lol.

    the first sentence of your first post in this thread is:

    thenobledrake wrote:
    When the players enter the room, it's up to whether the Mimic wants to reveal it's nature by attacking now or wait.

    I am indeed one of those players that thinks "the mimic is attacking now" means battle.

    Maybe you misunderstood what you were saying? I don't know how it's possible, but it seems to be the case: first you explain the mimic can decide to attack when it want (ignoring the fact it doesn't even know someone entered the room), and now you're arguing an attack is obviously not a battle.

    I have two different hypothesis:
    H0: you're arguing in bad faith.
    H1: This is not a battle, it's the continuation of your railroad: you don't roll attack or damage (so it's not a battle), you simply decide whether the mimic hits depending on your need.

    Hum, it's really hard to decide which is the right hypothesis... But I'm convince you can give an even more inconsistant answer. Your turn, now make me laughs. :)

    Perhaps you could read past the first sentence in that post to parts like "compared to the perception DC of the mimic to see if the character remains unnoticed at the start of the encounter (which requires them not being in plain, unobstructed sight so that comes down to situational details)."


    thenobledrake wrote:
    thejeff wrote:

    Even leaving the specifics of the mimic aside - how do you handle a case of 2 stealthy groups - perhaps a group waiting hidden in an ambush and PCs sneaking through the woods?

    Normally, as I understand it, it's assumed one party would be sneaking and the other looking and thus would use Stealth and Perception for initiative respectively. But with both doing both?

    In the case of a party Avoiding Notice as they explore, and coming into the area that a group of creatures have set up an ambush here's what happens:

    1) both sides roll stealth for initiative - even though they might not end up even interacting with each other, this is part of determining if any one side notice any of the other side.

    2) those same roll results are compared to the Perception DCs of the opposite side of the encounter to determine if anyone notices the other side.

    Seems odd to me to use Stealth for initiative regardless - a character with a high perception and lower stealth could be the only one to spot the enemy, not be seen themselves and still act after others.

    Normally in a stealth situation, it's Perception on one side and Stealth on the other and whoever goes first will automatically know the others are there.


    thejeff wrote:
    Perhaps you could read past the first sentence in that post

    Yes, I know there a part where it explains the end result : "And that means that most likely the mimic will go first and be aware of at least whichever party member entered the room first".

    As you see, the end result isn't a function of the actions or decision of the PCs. thenobledrake decided how he will railroad the encounter: he decides the mimic attacks something it doesn't see, then he rolls init, and whatever the result is, it confirms the mimic saw the PC. No one knows why the mimic decided to attack even before it was established it saw something, but who cares?

    I'll give you that: his post makes as much sense as the initiative rules. And those rule can be summarized as "ignore what the PCs are doing, roll init according to your railroad, find a way to justify your railroad afterward".


    thejeff wrote:
    Seems odd to me to use Stealth for initiative regardless - a character with a high perception and lower stealth could be the only one to spot the enemy, not be seen themselves and still act after others.

    This is how the "avoid notice" activity works: the character roll stealth for init.

    Quote:
    Normally in a stealth situation, it's Perception on one side and Stealth on the other and whoever goes first will automatically know the others are there.

    1/ that's not how the rule works.

    2/ anyway, once again it's railroad. You ask some rolls, and whatever the results are you announce "XXX see an enemy" - who care if every enemy beat his perception DC ?


    I had misunderstood/forgotten something - stealth goes against Perception DC, and the Perception initiative roll doesn't mean you spot the stealthy thing.

    Nonetheless, nothing in this means you have to railroad the fight or whatever the results some sees an enemy. It's quite possible (though unlikely given a large number of stealth rolls) that everyone would succeed and the two stealthy groups wouldn't detect each other.

    At that point the GM can do one of two things - stay in exploration and allow the group to pass unnoticed or more realistically drop into encounter mode anyway and have the moving characters move round by round and likely be detected if they end up without cover from one of the enemies they're supposed to be hiding from.

    In the OP's case with the Mimic, since the PCs will see the chest and have no reason to try to hide from it, it's very likely they'll expose themselves and thus the mimic will notice them. It's possible they won't - as thenobledrake acknowledged with "most likely".

    But generally you don't seem to saying he's railroading as much as claiming that railroads are intended by the rules. Which doesn't seem right to me, but at least it's not the personal attack it seemed at first.


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    Gaterie - I mentioned what the mimic wants because just like what the players are trying to do shapes how the events of being in a particular place with particular things in that place, what the mimic wants shapes how the events will play out.

    The situation is markedly different if the mimic wants to attack versus if the mimic wants to remain hidden.

    And when I said the mimic would likely go first and be aware of at least one of the PCs, I was talking about odds and having the player's action of entering a room and probably not having anywhere to remain unnoticed when doing so and was not in any way shape or form rail-roading the encounter.

    I'm talking about action by action play mattering and having all kinds of different potential results - you're the one insisting on only one possible way for this scenario to play out.

    Ascalaphus wrote:
    I find the Avoid Notice ability a bit hard to parse;

    I interpret the text as being slightly misleading. It does look like it's talking about two stealth checks as you indicate, but I believe that there is actually only one roll that is mentioned twice - once in brief summary, and then in detail of how and when to resolve the check.


    Pathfinder Companion, Maps Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

    Thanks for the responses. That helped sort some things out in my mind. I still kind of miss surprise rounds. With the three-action system, ambush-monsters feel more dangerous in this edition. I guess I'll see how it plays out.

    Sovereign Court

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    Joana wrote:
    Thanks for the responses. That helped sort some things out in my mind. I still kind of miss surprise rounds. With the three-action system, ambush-monsters feel more dangerous in this edition. I guess I'll see how it plays out.

    It's not entirely a bad thing. I've seen a lot of scripted encounters where hidden monsters would be more than 5ft away from the characters when doing the ambush, so they couldn't actually close in and attack during the surprise round. Which is... a lame ambush.


    Ascalaphus wrote:

    I find the Avoid Notice ability a bit hard to parse;

    Avoid Notice wrote:

    You attempt a Stealth check to avoid notice while traveling

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

    I agree it's not the easiest to parse, but if we remove a few words which are extraneous to whether it's one roll or two it looks like "you...roll a Stealth check...both to determine your initiative and to see if the enemies notice you". In this case I think it's clearer that one roll is being made, otherwise it would say roll stealth checks (plural).


    Pathfinder Companion, Maps Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

    Okay, new set of questions:

    The PCs enter the room, and the mimic's automatic Deception check of 28 beats all of their Perception DCs. (None of the PCs are actively attempting a Perception check, as they are all using Avoid Notice.) The mimic opts not to attack, hoping to snare a PC with its Object Lesson reaction.

    One PC, believing the room to be empty, decides to search it before the group moves on to the next room and rolls over 28 to Search. I assume this means that, with a closer look, the PC sees though the mimic's disguise.

  • Does the PC get to go ahead of the mimic in initiative, since the mimic opted not to use its advantage while it was effectively hidden?

  • Or does the PC only realize it's a mimic at the point that they've triggered the reaction by physically interacting with it? I.e., their Perception roll doesn't count because it already beat their Perception DC.

  • At the point that combat starts, do I roll initiative for everyone else with Perception, given that they're no longer Avoiding Notice? If so, what if a non-Searching PC rolls higher than 28? Do they win initiative but not see through the mimic's disguise? Or do they also notice the mimic despite not actively using Seek against it?

  • If I don't roll initiative with Perception but instead use their old Stealth rolls for Avoid Notice, what happens if their Stealth roll was over 28? Again, do they win initiative but not see an enemy?


  • I know this is going to sound strange to anyone that has experience with other games, but:

    As soon as the PCs enter the room with the mimic, they roll initiative.

    Initiative in PF2 is not reserved for combat, it applies any time that the specific timing and order of actions matter on an action by action basis.

    So the mimic rolls Deception for initiative since it's pretending to be furniture, and the PCs roll stealth because they're avoiding notice - and in both cases the rolls are serving double-duty as initiative and the number to compare to the Perception DC to determine if someone/something notices someone/something else.

    The players will know they are in an encounter, but they won't know if it's traps, hidden creatures, or just a timed event of some kind, so they'll have to use their actions to gather more information.

    And yes, it's entirely possible to go first but not notice your opponent.


    Pathfinder Companion, Maps Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

    Huh, so as soon as they enter the room, I say, Valeros, you're up; take your three actions. And if they don't touch the mimic and the mimic opts to stay in disguise, it's possible for them to leave the room and never figure out what was going on. That's ... definitely different.


    Joana wrote:
    Huh, so as soon as they enter the room, I say, Valeros, you're up; take your three actions. And if they don't touch the mimic and the mimic opts to stay in disguise, it's possible for them to leave the room and never figure out what was going on. That's ... definitely different.

    You do that; and you come back in two weeks or so because there's a problem of metagaming with your players: each time you starts the encounter mode, the PCs start looking around and using 3 action per round - although they shouldn't know they're in encounter mode.

    See you later! :)


    Gaterie wrote:


    You do that; and you come back in two weeks or so because there's a problem of metagaming with your players: each time you starts the encounter mode, the PCs start looking around and using 3 action per round - although they shouldn't know they're in encounter mode.

    See you later! :)

    A player knowing which mode of play they are in is not metagaming.

    The character would some how have to do something they don't have an in-character reason for doing for there to be anything wrong... and spending their actions moving around the room and trying to find something to interact with is absolutely in-character.


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    thenobledrake wrote:
    Gaterie wrote:


    You do that; and you come back in two weeks or so because there's a problem of metagaming with your players: each time you starts the encounter mode, the PCs start looking around and using 3 action per round - although they shouldn't know they're in encounter mode.

    See you later! :)

    A player knowing which mode of play they are in is not metagaming.

    The character would some how have to do something they don't have an in-character reason for doing for there to be anything wrong... and spending their actions moving around the room and trying to find something to interact with is absolutely in-character.

    I think thenobledrake's perspective on the OP's problems are the best way to handle things.

    1. This is a game. There are all kinds of metagaming that takes place. What makes this game fun is not the elimination of metagaming. In fact, taking ridiculous measures to try and eliminate it is one way to ruin the game.

    2. Yes, players will know there is potential combat if you ask them to roll init. So what? They'll also know there is potential combat if you throw down a map and start using tokens. Again, BFD. It's a game. Combat is fun because it's combat, not because I had no idea it was coming and was caught with my hand down my pants.

    3. Rolling init as soon as the PCs enter the room solves all kinds of other problems and prevents even more from cropping up. The only downside is it might take longer to get through the encounter, especially if a fight never breaks out.


    Pathfinder Companion, Maps Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
    N N 959 wrote:
    3. Rolling init as soon as the PCs enter the room solves all kinds of other problems and prevents even more from cropping up.

    ^This. The way I was trying to go about it, there were all kinds of dice being rolled that didn't end up meaning anything and just slowed everything down. (Do the PCs get a new Perception check now that they're on the same side of the room as the mimic? What about now? What about now?) Running it where initiative begins when they enter the room makes it clear to everyone what's going on: If you want to examine something, you have to use an action to Seek; if you see something, you have to use an action to Point it Out to your allies, etc.

    And in my head, it kind of amuses me to think that the PCs know danger is near because ominous background music started when they entered the room. ;)

    Sovereign Court

    Yeah, running the whole thing in initiative is probably the easiest thing.

    The players were trying to Avoid Notice so maybe the mimic doesn't see them enter the room. The PCs definitely didn't notice the mimic.

    Now, the PCs cross the room, trying to sneak, but if they ever end a turn in view of the mimic, it'll spot them, because they didn't meet the requirements for staying hidden.

    The chance of that happening is pretty high, because who thinks to make sure to stay out of sight of one particular chest?


    Ascalaphus wrote:

    Yeah, running the whole thing in initiative is probably the easiest thing.

    The players were trying to Avoid Notice so maybe the mimic doesn't see them enter the room. The PCs definitely didn't notice the mimic.

    Now, the PCs cross the room, trying to sneak, but if they ever end a turn in view of the mimic, it'll spot them, because they didn't meet the requirements for staying hidden.

    The chance of that happening is pretty high, because who thinks to make sure to stay out of sight of one particular chest?

    Actually, a canny PC will probably avoid entering the room and spend a few actions or rounds studying it before doing so. Thus they might see through the disguise and be able to act accordingly.

    Which doesn't feel horribly off from just letting them decide to stop and search the room if you just kept them in exploration mode. The in character actions remain about the same. Exploration mode just uses one Seek roll for the whole area rather than encounter mode letting you do it in declared boundaries.

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