how many of you would allow coup-de-gras in 2e, now there's a rule for it?


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The executioner in the GMG npc gallery has what is essentially functionally equivalent to 1E coup-de-gras. 3 action attack on a helpless target; make a strike; on damage then fort save or die.

Missed this. Wanted it back. I know people get upset if the GM uses it on their characters, but GM isn't required to use it.

Anyone see any issues with it, apart from the obvious "dishonorable death of our party"?


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Or you could just attack an unconscious creature 3 times and thus kill it.

The reason the executioner has it is that he'll normally do it on a conscious target. PCs tend not to have many chances to do that.


I mostly agree, but I believe they may be different in how they interact with resistances or immunities are handled. The executioner's ability also seems badly worded and misses the traits I would expect: amongst other things it lacks the death trait that a vorpal blade has.

edit Actually that omission of death might be deliberate, don't want immunities to execution taking effect.


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** Side note: The correct term is coup-de-grace (literally stroke of grace, meaning 'final or terminal strike'). Although it IS pronouced kou de gra in English, coup de gras means stroke of grease or stroke of fat, which conjures a very different image! **

The Exchange

coriolis wrote:
** Side note: The correct term is coup-de-grace (literally stroke of grace, meaning 'final or terminal strike'). Although it IS pronouced kou de gra in English, coup de gras means stroke of grease or stroke of fat, which conjures a very different image! **

Yes ‘coup de gras’ always conjured images of fantasy liposuction.

I was saddened to see CdG being dropped in the playtest: the image conjured up there was the incidence of RSI in headsmen or the grumbling in Galt about endlessly resetting of Madame Guillotine before the condemned was consigned to the tender care of Pharasma. So this is a step forward I guess!

I don’t think the general RAW on attacking a helpless target are quite there yet. Though if I have missed something I will be very happy to stand corrected!

W

Silver Crusade

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If/when we get stats for final blades they’ll most definitely have their own rules for instakilling poor souls.


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krobrina wrote:
Anyone see any issues with it, apart from the obvious "dishonorable death of our party"?

Meaningless deaths tend to bring out the worst in players, and meaningful deaths tend not to need mechanics behind it.


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Rysky wrote:
If/when we get stats for final blades they’ll most definitely have their own rules for instakilling poor souls.

We've had them for a few months now.

Silver Crusade

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Ediwir wrote:
Rysky wrote:
If/when we get stats for final blades they’ll most definitely have their own rules for instakilling poor souls.
We've had them for a few months now.

*reads*

Ah neat.

*reads more thoroughly*

That is an oddly specific way of going about it >_>


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coriolis wrote:
** Side note: The correct term is coup-de-grace (literally stroke of grace, meaning 'final or terminal strike'). Although it IS pronouced kou de gra in English, coup de gras means stroke of grease or stroke of fat, which conjures a very different image! **

In the same way foie gras means "greasy liver".

What foie de grace would mean to a Frenchman I cannot say ;)


has it ever explained why pharasma doesnt do anything about galt? At least with tar barphon (the tyrant whisperer*) we know they have some ability to defeat divine mandated armies.

Crusades and jihads do not seem to be Pharasma’s thing so we can assume Galt is full of Pharasma saboteurs?

* he calms tyrants by making them undead, I guess?

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
krobrina wrote:

has it ever explained why pharasma doesnt do anything about galt? At least with tar barphon (the tyrant whisperer*) we know they have some ability to defeat divine mandated armies.

Crusades and jihads do not seem to be Pharasma’s thing so we can assume Galt is full of Pharasma saboteurs?

* he calms tyrants by making them undead, I guess?

Whispering Tyrant, not Tyrant Whisperer.


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Gorbacz wrote:
krobrina wrote:

has it ever explained why pharasma doesnt do anything about galt? At least with tar barphon (the tyrant whisperer*) we know they have some ability to defeat divine mandated armies.

Crusades and jihads do not seem to be Pharasma’s thing so we can assume Galt is full of Pharasma saboteurs?

* he calms tyrants by making them undead, I guess?

Whispering Tyrant, not Tyrant Whisperer.

Iomedaen revisionist history and propaganda.

Silver Crusade

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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
krobrina wrote:
Gorbacz wrote:
krobrina wrote:

has it ever explained why pharasma doesnt do anything about galt? At least with tar barphon (the tyrant whisperer*) we know they have some ability to defeat divine mandated armies.

Crusades and jihads do not seem to be Pharasma’s thing so we can assume Galt is full of Pharasma saboteurs?

* he calms tyrants by making them undead, I guess?

Whispering Tyrant, not Tyrant Whisperer.
Iomedaen revisionist history and propaganda.

Iomedean, not Iomedaen. Semantics are important, for example, one person might use the word "free" as in "no need to pay for" and the other would use it as in "under a free license". Precision, context and the right choice of words. That's how you communicate efficiently.


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As for why Pharasma doesn't do anything about Galt, she's a very patient eternal goddess and Galt is only a nation. The trapped souls will not escape their judgement, it is simply postponed.

Or perhaps stealthy devotees of the goddess are releasing souls from the blades.

Liberty's Edge

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coriolis wrote:
** Side note: The correct term is coup-de-grace (literally stroke of grace, meaning 'final or terminal strike'). Although it IS pronouced kou de gra in English, coup de gras means stroke of grease or stroke of fat, which conjures a very different image! **

Coup de grâce originally means merciful strike, as in mercy killing. You are killing your opponent quickly so that they do not suffer unnecessarily. It ended up meaning the final strike by extension.


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Gorbacz wrote:
Iomedean, not Iomedaen.

It's OK to swap her letters over. She's often drawn androgyneous.


Do you mean the 'Behead' ability...

Requirements :The executioner is adjacent to a dying creature or a creature specifically prepared for a killing blow.

Effect: The executioner Strikes the creature with their greataxe. On a hit, in addition to taking damage, the target must attempt a Fortitude save or be reduced to 0 HP and become dying 1.

That seems quite different from Coup de Grace to me:

- Creature needs to be dying or 'specifically prepared'. We can assume the latter isn't going to happen in combat. So the requirement is that the enemy is dying, not helpless. That's a vast difference.

- It doesn't kill someone, it increases their dying value, unless it's a critical.

I don't see an issue giving it to PCs since an NPC or enemy has to be Dying already (dying condition). But it's not usable for helpless enemies, at least not if you're basing it on the Executioner NPC.

Dark Archive

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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Pawns, Rulebook Subscriber
coriolis wrote:
Although it IS pronouced kou de gra in English

It's really not supposed to. That C isn't silent. Coup de grace should sound a bit like Coo duh Grahss

Silver Crusade

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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
krobrina wrote:
Gorbacz wrote:
Iomedean, not Iomedaen.
It's OK to swap her letters over. She's often drawn androgyneous.

If you think "woman with short hair" means "androgyneous", well, you need to get out more.


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Gorbacz wrote:
krobrina wrote:
Gorbacz wrote:
Iomedean, not Iomedaen.
It's OK to swap her letters over. She's often drawn androgyneous.
If you think "woman with short hair" means "androgyneous", well, you need to get out more.

I won’t comment on the spelling, but I did also feel like she appears more androgynous in the second edition art and it has nothing to do with her haiir. I thought it was intentional?

Exo-Guardians

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3Doubloons wrote:
coriolis wrote:
Although it IS pronouced kou de gra in English
It's really not supposed to. That C isn't silent. Coup de grace should sound a bit like Coo duh Grahss

Linguists call this "hypercorrection". Most English speakers have a vague sense that final consonants in French words are often silent, so when they see an unfamiliar French word they just apply that rule of thumb and don't pronounce the final consonant. And in many cases, that's correct! But not in this case, since the "real" rule in French is that final consonants are generally silent, unless the word ends in 'e'*.

*or 'n'/'m', sort of


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Rysky wrote:
Ediwir wrote:
Rysky wrote:
If/when we get stats for final blades they’ll most definitely have their own rules for instakilling poor souls.
We've had them for a few months now.

*reads*

Ah neat.

*reads more thoroughly*

That is an oddly specific way of going about it >_>

This does set up the potential situation where someone survives the final blade, which is gonna be really badass when it happens.


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Wasn't there a Final Blade Survivor background/trait you could pick in 1e?


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PossibleCabbage wrote:
This does set up the potential situation where someone survives the final blade, which is gonna be really badass when it happens.

Unless the blade bounces off, it's likely that they resist the final effect and somehow regenerate or get raised. Alternative is the blade works and something else comes back in the body but pretends to be the old creature?


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Asurasan wrote:
Gorbacz wrote:
krobrina wrote:
Gorbacz wrote:
Iomedean, not Iomedaen.
It's OK to swap her letters over. She's often drawn androgyneous.
If you think "woman with short hair" means "androgyneous", well, you need to get out more.
I won’t comment on the spelling, but I did also feel like she appears more androgynous in the second edition art and it has nothing to do with her haiir. I thought it was intentional?

She was very female in 1E. In 2E gods and magic (the interior art, not the cover) the lines of her face have changed. I also believe it is intentional.

Liberty's Edge

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I'm looking at a PF1 illustration of Iomedae compared to a PF2 illustration from Lost Omens Gods and Magic...and honestly, while the lines of her face are slightly different (but no more so than I'd expect from a different artist) the only thing I see that makes her less 'feminine' is that the PF1 illustration looks like she's wearing lipstick and her PF2 illustration doesn't.

That's really and profoundly not how I'd define 'androgynous'.

Also, even if she was androgyonus looking, her preferred pronouns clearly remain female so those are what people should use and reference her with. That's just common courtesy (albeit, in this case, to a fictional character).


She looks pretty butch, but not androgynous. Michelle Waterson looks pretty butch when she's in the ring too, but nobody would call her androgynous.


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Deadmanwalking wrote:

Also, even if she was androgyonus looking, her preferred pronouns clearly remain female so those are what people should use and reference her with. That's just common courtesy (albeit, in this case, to a fictional character)

Exactly - a person's presentation does not determine their gender. I could get a crew cut and wear a suit and tie and still be a woman.

I think the newer art is more just reflecting that just because a character is a woman, it doesn't mean they have to wear makeup and be super curvy. Iomedae is a goddess of valour and righteousness, not a goddess of styling her hair and wearing makeup.


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Tender Tendrils wrote:
Deadmanwalking wrote:

Also, even if she was androgyonus looking, her preferred pronouns clearly remain female so those are what people should use and reference her with. That's just common courtesy (albeit, in this case, to a fictional character)

Exactly - a person's presentation does not determine their gender. I could get a crew cut and wear a suit and tie and still be a woman.

I think the newer art is more just reflecting that just because a character is a woman, it doesn't mean they have to wear makeup and be super curvy. Iomedae is a goddess of valour and righteousness, not a goddess of styling her hair and wearing makeup.

Which makes sense for the Goddess of Paladins.

1E art of her leaves her looking a little waif-like, which is a slightly odd look for someone whose defining feature as a mortal was how much evil she personally beat to death.

Liberty's Edge

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TheGentlemanDM wrote:
Tender Tendrils wrote:
Deadmanwalking wrote:

Also, even if she was androgyonus looking, her preferred pronouns clearly remain female so those are what people should use and reference her with. That's just common courtesy (albeit, in this case, to a fictional character)

Exactly - a person's presentation does not determine their gender. I could get a crew cut and wear a suit and tie and still be a woman.

I think the newer art is more just reflecting that just because a character is a woman, it doesn't mean they have to wear makeup and be super curvy. Iomedae is a goddess of valour and righteousness, not a goddess of styling her hair and wearing makeup.

Which makes sense for the Goddess of Paladins.

1E art of her leaves her looking a little waif-like, which is a slightly odd look for someone whose defining feature as a mortal was how much evil she personally beat to death.

She had this whole new kid on the block trying to fill Aroden's shoes theme. I like that she has shown for a long time now that she is far more than that.

And that she made it to Starfinder.

Liberty's Edge

Saros Palanthios wrote:
3Doubloons wrote:
coriolis wrote:
Although it IS pronouced kou de gra in English
It's really not supposed to. That C isn't silent. Coup de grace should sound a bit like Coo duh Grahss

Linguists call this "hypercorrection". Most English speakers have a vague sense that final consonants in French words are often silent, so when they see an unfamiliar French word they just apply that rule of thumb and don't pronounce the final consonant. And in many cases, that's correct! But not in this case, since the "real" rule in French is that final consonants are generally silent, unless the word ends in 'e'*.

*or 'n'/'m', sort of

Is it still a final consonant when the word ends in e?

Liberty's Edge

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Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Pathfinder Accessories, Rulebook Subscriber
The Raven Black wrote:
Saros Palanthios wrote:
3Doubloons wrote:
coriolis wrote:
Although it IS pronouced kou de gra in English
It's really not supposed to. That C isn't silent. Coup de grace should sound a bit like Coo duh Grahss

Linguists call this "hypercorrection". Most English speakers have a vague sense that final consonants in French words are often silent, so when they see an unfamiliar French word they just apply that rule of thumb and don't pronounce the final consonant. And in many cases, that's correct! But not in this case, since the "real" rule in French is that final consonants are generally silent, unless the word ends in 'e'*.

*or 'n'/'m', sort of

Is it still a final consonant when the word ends in e?

As 'e' is a vowel? Yes.

Dark Archive

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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Pawns, Rulebook Subscriber
Paul Watson wrote:
The Raven Black wrote:
Saros Palanthios wrote:
3Doubloons wrote:
coriolis wrote:
Although it IS pronouced kou de gra in English
It's really not supposed to. That C isn't silent. Coup de grace should sound a bit like Coo duh Grahss

Linguists call this "hypercorrection". Most English speakers have a vague sense that final consonants in French words are often silent, so when they see an unfamiliar French word they just apply that rule of thumb and don't pronounce the final consonant. And in many cases, that's correct! But not in this case, since the "real" rule in French is that final consonants are generally silent, unless the word ends in 'e'*.

*or 'n'/'m', sort of

Is it still a final consonant when the word ends in e?
As 'e' is a vowel? Yes.

And therein lies at least part of the misunderstanding. It's not a final consonant, since there's a letter after it. In fact, the purpose of most silent Es is to turn a silent final consonant into a spoken non-final consonant.

Buut, we're drifting further and further away from coups de grâce


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They could have picked a better name. I'll wager the name was chosen by a renaissance re-enactment fencer back in the old days of D&D for its historical and exotic nature.

The US military calls it "dead checking".


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I feel like "the opponent is incapacitated and helpless, and you make them dead" is a thing you can just handwave as a GM. Rules for how much damage you do in the process are unnecessary.

I mean, hit points are fundamentally an abstraction. There are a lot of things you can do to a body that are just going to make it dead, so when one of those comes up it's fine to just drop the abstraction.

Liberty's Edge

If you're (as a GM) dealing with a creature or NPC that is particularly adept, trained, or otherwise specialized in the act of executing creature then I'd absolutely call that a fair shake.

Now, if you're dealing with trying to use this type of thing on just any random NPC, that's going to be a big fat no-no. The Execution ability is just that, a unique and interesting ability that exists to promote a theme for a character. Just because the literal executioner can do this doesn't mean that John-Goblikon can do it without literally devoting his life to the career of being a professional executioner.


I'm with Cabbage, if it's a moment when execution is the thing happening, why bother with rules? Handle it via narrative. Hit Points and all of that are for combat, not execution.

Liberty's Edge

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The only time I performed a coup de grâce was in 3.5. My PC was a skilled diplomat with abysmal combat abilities. She was faced with an experienced warrior who was undergoing an agonizing transformation into something dreadful and evil. He begged her to kill him before the transformation was complete. The coup de grâce rule was quite useful in this situation.

Silver Crusade

Bruno, a handsome and beautiful tetori, think you could have found a better metaphor


Gorbacz wrote:
Anybody who fondly misses fondue da grass in 3.5/PF1 obviously never had their party Rodney King'ed by a pack of ghouls. One such experience usually leads to everybody quietly forgetting the rule exists.

It was certainly responsible for perhaps more than half the deaths I’ve been responsible for as a GM in the 3.x era.

While running jade regent I had a particularly high AC character get mobbed by some weak wights with a paralysis attack and one got a lucky natural 20 followed by a natural 1 on a save.

It does make the paralysis moments suddenly tense when a rule like that is there.

Grand Lodge

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How do you run the villain with the knife to the hostage neck scenarios now?


Gorignak227 wrote:

How do you run the villain with the knife to the hostage neck scenarios now?

Just run it in narrative time. Make it very clear to the players that if they initiate combat, the hostage will at the very least be bleeding out on the ground/in the chair and possibly just die instantly.

However, you then have to allow for similar narrative moments for your players, so make sure the villain has them in a position that isn't easily achievable in a just couple of PC actions.


The draw to Pathfinder for me always was the amount of mechanical detail. I could play FATE or something else if I had to wing everything.


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Gorignak227 wrote:

How do you run the villain with the knife to the hostage neck scenarios now?

Depends on the hostage.Most civilians the Villain can probably kill in a single likely crit anyway.


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krobrina wrote:
The draw to Pathfinder for me always was the amount of mechanical detail. I could play FATE or something else if I had to wing everything.

Complexity for its own sake is bad. Complexity that buys you depth at a good exchange rate is good.

Having to run the "villain has the knife against the throat of a helpless victim" thing with a bunch of rules doesn't add anything to the game. A GM runs this situation as a signpost to the players that "just attacking this person is going to have consequences."

I mean, if I wanted rules for every single thing anybody could think of I'd play GURPS or Rolemaster or something.

Liberty's Edge

Rolemaster, stop. I've already seen enough tables for crossing a moving body of water for one lifetime.

Liberty's Edge

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Gorignak227 wrote:
How do you run the villain with the knife to the hostage neck scenarios now?

Low level hostages.

A level -1 hostage likely has an AC of 12-14 and maybe 7 HP. They're definitely Grappled in most cases as well (dropping AC to 10-12). Assuming a level 1 enemy holding them hostage, the hostage taker's got something like +8 to hit (or thereabouts...it could easily be +9), and almost certainly for enough damage to kill on a crit.

That's somewhere between a 35% and 45% chance of critting and killing. And a non zero chance of killing (and a near certainty of wounding) even on a non-crit. I mean, the default 'high' damage of 1d6+3 has a 50% chance to kill on a normal hit, so that's something like a total 60% to 70% chance of the victim dying (35%-45% of a crit, plus half the 50% chance of a hit). They can do all this as a Readied action.

This works less well with higher level hostages, admittedly, unless they're already beat up, but beating them up is totally a plausible thing for the villains to do in-world if they have the time, and it works better for higher level villains grabbing random level -1 hostages.


The hostage dies for the same reason Aeris(or Aerith if you prefer) did. The plot says so. You don't need rules for that.

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