An ability cooldown of rounds, what are the rounds that matter?

Pathfinder First Edition General Discussion

If a dragon, fighting against 5 adventurers, roll a 3 on his d4 for the cooldown of his breath weapon, does that mean that by the time the next 3 adventurer have done their action his breath weapon is usable once again or that the dragon have to wait 3 of his other rounds of combat? and does the one in which he used the breath weapon count for the cooldown?

i'm pretty sure it's the second just checking up if i'm wrong.

As I understand it when a dragon breathes, I then roll a D4. If I get a three, that means I have to wait 3 rounds before I have it breathe again. So... breathe on round 1, roll a three, wait three rounds (round 2, 3, and 4), breathe again on round 5.

The more interesting question is: does the dragon KNOW when it's BW will come back online? Like, could it breathe on round 1, know it'll take another 18 seconds to refresh so it leaps into the air and stays away until round 5?

in any encounter round anyone who can act get his turn. but the encounter round doesn't end until the very last of the creatures took his turn.
a duration counted by rounds ticks off just before the turn of whoever started said duration.
so a spell cast by a wizard that last for 4 rounds, will have ticked off 1 round and have only 3 more last right at the beginning of the wizard next round after casting it.
so if the dragon have to wait 3 rounds. it doesn't matter how many people (or creatures) get a turn. the next time he get to act (unless he delayed or such imitative altering actions) only 1 round out of the 3 have passed.

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I just realized that this thread should be in the Rules forum.

I should point out that there are currently no game mechanics whose timing is based on number of turns taken by other players -- they always end at a time based on either the acting character's turn or the target's turn.

But that would be an interesting way to simulate "conservation of ninjutsu", where a champion is most powerful when fighting a large number of foes, and said foes are completely incompetent until most of them are killed off.

Mark Hoover 330 wrote:

As I understand it...

The more interesting question is: does the dragon KNOW when it's BW will come back online?

I think you missed the question there, Mark.

As several others have said, there's turns and there's rounds.

As for your other question, I would have to say yes. Unless no one knows any of the variable elements they roll, but down that path madness lies ("yeah, you rolled a 19 and dealt 32 damage but your character doesn't KNOW that" --yuck).

As the Draconomicon said: fight a dragon indoors if you want to win. With that fly speed, they'll just go on repeated carpet-bombing runs until you're all toast.

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Wow, I really DID miss the question didn't I?

Also yes; PCs need to be aware of dragon movement. With black dragons, pay particular attention to Swim speed.

I have a group facing off against a CR 11 black dragon in it's home swamp. The area of engagement is largely deep, murky water with hummocks or islets scattered throughout. With a 60' Swim speed the dragon can get around twice to 4 times as fast as the PCs. Also:

1. Water grants Cover from ranged attacks; using a Move action the dragon can submerge in the deeper water for Full Cover, and (if it so chooses) even use the muck as Concealment

2. Per the entry on black dragons under Water Breathing, being submerged in the water doesn't stop them from using their Breath Weapons, spells or other abilities

Black Dragon Tactics:
So far the dragon in my game, from the water, has managed to submerge and breathe acid once, cast Mage Armor on itself, put up an area of magical darkness, and then surface at the edge of an islet where it has gotten 2 rounds of melee attacks, one with just a Bite but one with a Full Attack, on the Barbarian and Bloodrger standing there.

We had to call the session mid-fight, but next game I'm thinking if the dragon is able on its turn it will Move action submerge, taking the AoOs of the 2 PCs, then (since it's breath weapon will have recharged and the Bloodrager and druid happen to be in a perfect line, 40' apart and both within 80' of the dragon) breathe acid.

Normally I feel bad for my players when they get in over their heads in tough fights, but this time no. I gave them fair warning of the dragon, told them they were walking into a swamp, and since an eyewitness that had survived the dragon was able to communicate with them I let the party roll pre-emptive Knowledge checks to ID the thing for abilities, defenses, etc. The fact that no one pre-buffed with any energy resistance, the Bloodrager didn't turn into his were-croc form for a Swim speed, and the party spent the first two rounds casting Summoning spells while trying to engage the thing from range isn't my fault. BTW, they're APL 9 but gear-wise they're actually closer to level 10 in WBL, so there you go.

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If the dragon breathes on his first round:
Rolls a 1: can breathe again on Round 2 (1+1)
Rolls a 2: can breathe again on Round 3 (1+2)

This is similar to durations. If someone casts Cause Fear on the first round and the target(s) fail the save:
Rolls a 1: target can act normally after the caster's turn on round 2 (one regular turn of being feared)
Rolls a 2: target can act normally after the caster's turn on round 3 (two regular turns of being feared)

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