The Unrisen is a really cool monster but it's partly non-functional as written


Rules Discussion

Scarab Sages

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As a shameless edgelord, I love the horror of a Resurrection ritual going awry thus creating a tortured and *very* angry undead abomination.

Unfortunately, its ability to potentially proliferate doesn't work as written.

Death Grip curses an unfortunate target with Doomed 1 and "while the curse lasts" any attempt to resurrect them will create another Unrisen. That's rad. Love it!

But, Death Grip also says:

Quote:
"The curse ends automatically if the creature's doomed value is reduced to 0."

Okay that seems fine, until reviewing the rules for the Doomed condition:

Quote:
"When you die, you're no longer doomed."

So the target dies, the curse immediately dissipates, and that nasty raise dead/resurrection/breath of life trigger can never happen.

It seems like this effect needs an actual curse effect on the target that doesn't automatically dissipate when the target dies.


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It sounds like the intention there is for someone to arise as an unrisen--bit of a contradiction there--when they die with the Doomed condition. That's how I'd run it, anyway.


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Dying removes the doomed condition, but does not reduce it to 0. The dead creature would still be cursed.

While living, you can remove the curse from someone with a level 4 restoration. If they die, you need a higher level remove curse before you can safely raise them.

Scarab Sages

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GM OfAnything wrote:

Dying removes the doomed condition, but does not reduce it to 0. The dead creature would still be cursed.

While living, you can remove the curse from someone with a level 4 restoration. If they die, you need a higher level remove curse before you can safely raise them.

I assume this is how you'd house rule it? This can't be the way it actually works.

While I am fully aware of how null values work in computer programming, this is a tabletop game. 'Doomed 0' and 'removing doomed' are logically and functionally identical.

Scarab Sages

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Perpdepog wrote:
It sounds like the intention there is for someone to arise as an unrisen--bit of a contradiction there--when they die with the Doomed condition. That's how I'd run it, anyway.

Except that they're pretty clear the "trap" springs when the slain target is revived with magic. And, that the curse is tied to the presence of the Doomed value which is explicitly removed when the target dies.

So, yes, there's definite intent here for there to be some lingering effect on the corpse that sets it up to become Unrisen, but it's clear the intent is not for the corpse to self-animate. It requires some kind of revival effect to trigger the transformation.


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Sinistrad wrote:
GM OfAnything wrote:

Dying removes the doomed condition, but does not reduce it to 0. The dead creature would still be cursed.

While living, you can remove the curse from someone with a level 4 restoration. If they die, you need a higher level remove curse before you can safely raise them.

I assume this is how you'd house rule it? This can't be the way it actually works.

While I am fully aware of how null values work in computer programming, this is a tabletop game. 'Doomed 0' and 'removing doomed' are logically and functionally identical.

No, that is how the rules read (and how the rules tell us to read the rules). There is a meaningful difference between the verbs "reduce" and "remove" in this game. While reducing a condition value to zero has the same effect as removing a condition, the two are not identical for triggering other rules. It's the same difference as between counteracting an effect enfeebling a character and reducing the value of enfeebled on a character. One removes the condition, the other reduces it to zero.

Read the rules so that they do something, otherwise you are breaking "Rules as Written".


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So, basically, he'd dead, so he's not doomed anymore, but because he got to "not-doomed" by having the condition removed (by death) rather than by getting it reduced to 0, the curse was never broken.


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The above understanding is correct, intended or not it reducing doomed to 0 is just an extra way to break to curse, but removing doomed alone without reducing it does not break the curse.

Which mechanically works fine imo


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Hmm.

Remove Curse wrote:
Your touch grants a reprieve to a cursed creature. You attempt to counteract one curse afflicting the target. If the curse comes from a cursed item or other external source, a success indicates that the target creature can rid itself of the cursed item, but it doesn't remove the curse from the item.
Counteracting wrote:
Some effects try to counteract spells, afflictions, conditions, or other effects. Counteract checks compare the power of two forces and determine which defeats the other. Successfully counteracting an effect ends it unless noted otherwise.

So would Remove Curse prevent a person cursed with Death Grip from being raised into an Unrisen?

It doesn't reduce the doomed value to 0, it instead counteracts it which, "ends it unless noted otherwise."

I say it should since that makes sense. If that is true then the creature dying, thus becoming un-doomed, would also un-doom them, right? The only way Death Grip works is if you treat the Doomed condition and the "Curse" itself as two different properties, with the Curse only being dependent on Doomed in the singular case of doomed being "reduced" to 0.

I see how this is intended to work, but OP is right in that, in my opinion anyway, it can definitely be interpreted to just plain not work. Luckily, it's easy enough to figure out what is supposed to happen with context.

GM OfAnything wrote:

No, that is how the rules read (and how the rules tell us to read the rules). There is a meaningful difference between the verbs "reduce" and "remove" in this game. While reducing a condition value to zero has the same effect as removing a condition, the two are not identical for triggering other rules. It's the same difference as between counteracting an effect enfeebling a character and reducing the value of enfeebled on a character. One removes the condition, the other reduces it to zero.

Read the rules so that they do something, otherwise you are breaking "Rules as Written".

This doesn't make sense. The difference between ending a condition and reducing that condition to 0 are nil when the effect of reducing that condition to 0 is... ending that condition.

Death Grip wrote:
The curse ends automatically if the creature's doomed value is reduced to 0.


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beowulf99 wrote:
The only way Death Grip works is if you treat the Doomed condition and the "Curse" itself as two different properties, with the Curse only being dependent on Doomed in the singular case of doomed being "reduced" to 0.

Well, yeah. This is literally what the text says, isn't it? There's a curse. The curse gives the target Doomed 1 and also does this other thing. If Doomed is reduced to zero, then the curse is broken entirely, and the other thing goes away. If the doomed is removed by some other means, then the curse is not broken, and the other thing does not go away. I mean, is there some part of the rules text that I'm missing that makes that not the correct interpretation?


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Sanityfaerie wrote:
beowulf99 wrote:
The only way Death Grip works is if you treat the Doomed condition and the "Curse" itself as two different properties, with the Curse only being dependent on Doomed in the singular case of doomed being "reduced" to 0.
Well, yeah. This is literally what the text says, isn't it? There's a curse. The curse gives the target Doomed 1 and also does this other thing. If Doomed is reduced to zero, then the curse is broken entirely, and the other thing goes away. If the doomed is removed by some other means, then the curse is not broken, and the other thing does not go away. I mean, is there some part of the rules text that I'm missing that makes that not the correct interpretation?
Curse Trait wrote:

A curse is an effect that places some long-term affliction on a creature. Curses are always magical and are typically the result of a spell or trap. Effects with this trait can be removed only by effects that specifically target curses.

Afflictions with this trait are manifestations of potent ill will. A curse either lasts a specified amount of time or can be removed only by certain actions a character must perform or conditions they must meet. A curse with stages follows the rules for afflictions. (Gamemastery Guide pg. 251)

The discussion essentially boils down to this: Does removing the Doomed Condition satisfy the condition set by Death Grip of reducing the characters Doomed value to 0?

I say it does, as not having a Doomed value at all is equal to having a Doomed value of 0 in my opinion.

I agree that the way it should work is that the curse continues on into death until removed by a Remove Curse or the subject is resurrected, triggering the birth of a new Unrisen. As written, I do not interpret it that way.

I'm willing to be convinced otherwise.

Scarab Sages

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The mental gymnastics. Some of y'all deserve a gold medal.

Is there a place I can report this to Paizo and not interact with the forums?

Those of you arguing that removing Doomed is not the same as being at Doomed 0 can start citing sources. Otherwise I won't even entertain the idea further.


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Sinistrad wrote:

The mental gymnastics. Some of y'all deserve a gold medal.

Is there a place I can report this to Paizo and not interact with the forums?

Those of you arguing that removing Doomed is not the same as being at Doomed 0 can start citing sources. Otherwise I won't even entertain the idea further.

In short? There is not. The only reaction that they would have to this reporting would be to possibly errata it... and by Paizo policy, errata only happens on reprints. So if you are correct, and they agree that you're correct, and they somehow wind up reprinting the Unrisen, then your complaint might be taken into account. Personally, I wouldn't expect the reprint. It's a non-gamebreaking change with real dispute over interpretation, where everyone agrees what the effect should be and the only argument is over if the rules actually say that or if the rules were wrong and should say that. It's basically a super low-priority fix, for a pretty niche creature

Scarab Sages

Well, if this works the way you say it does, then this would be an ideal candidate for an FAQ. Wouldn't have to be errata. If this is working as intended it could be explained much better and a clarification seems warranted.

Anyway, sounds like posting here is the most visible way to bring this up. Since I did that I am just going to move on. Didn't come here expecting people to actually defend the wording of the ability, and I am not interested in spending any more effort than I already have convincing people who think it's fine.


Sinistrad wrote:
Well, if this works the way you say it does, then this would be an ideal candidate for an FAQ. Wouldn't have to be errata.

There is no functional difference between FAQ's and errata anymore. We don't really get anything like the old PF1 FAQ's anymore.

Scarab Sages

graystone wrote:
Sinistrad wrote:
Well, if this works the way you say it does, then this would be an ideal candidate for an FAQ. Wouldn't have to be errata.
There is no functional difference between FAQ's and errata anymore. We don't really get anything like the old PF1 FAQ's anymore.

Can you tell I am returning after a long absence? lol

So they won't clarify rules text at all unless there's a reprint?


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Sinistrad wrote:
graystone wrote:
Sinistrad wrote:
Well, if this works the way you say it does, then this would be an ideal candidate for an FAQ. Wouldn't have to be errata.
There is no functional difference between FAQ's and errata anymore. We don't really get anything like the old PF1 FAQ's anymore.

Can you tell I am returning after a long absence? lol

So they won't clarify rules text at all unless there's a reprint?

At best they might "hot-fix" things (like the Anadi ancestry), but that is very, very rare.

As for whether this is a priorty, it's really not, since the intent is obviously clear how it's supposed to work: The curse is meant to persist through a creature's death, otherwise the effect does nothing, and therefore makes for a meaningless ability (which also means they don't reproduce, and will eventually die out).

The thread has pointed out that the RAW doesn't reflect this interpretation, and now it's up to Paizo to either acknowledge it via reprint errata, or simply just ignore it and leave the tables to decide how it works.

People can try and argue that the RAW is still functional, but IMO, the reading is very contrived and requires hair-splitting assertions to reach the conclusion that it's still working as intended. Since the book is meant to be read from a casual standpoint, even with defined game terms, if I don't come to that conclusion right away by a basic reading with inputting game term definitions, then it's poorly written and needs to be written in a way that I come to said conclusion without some lingo bingo "It doesn't say it's not aliens, therefore it's still aliens" logic.


Sinistrad wrote:
graystone wrote:
Sinistrad wrote:
Well, if this works the way you say it does, then this would be an ideal candidate for an FAQ. Wouldn't have to be errata.
There is no functional difference between FAQ's and errata anymore. We don't really get anything like the old PF1 FAQ's anymore.

Can you tell I am returning after a long absence? lol

So they won't clarify rules text at all unless there's a reprint?

They'll answer question on various podcasts and forums [which they do not collect or even let you know about] but here it's 99% reprint errata. Very, very rarely a dev might pop in and answer something but it's not something I'd wait for.

Scarab Sages

graystone wrote:
Sinistrad wrote:
graystone wrote:
Sinistrad wrote:
Well, if this works the way you say it does, then this would be an ideal candidate for an FAQ. Wouldn't have to be errata.
There is no functional difference between FAQ's and errata anymore. We don't really get anything like the old PF1 FAQ's anymore.

Can you tell I am returning after a long absence? lol

So they won't clarify rules text at all unless there's a reprint?

They'll answer question on various podcasts and forums [which they do not collect or even let you know about] but here it's 99% reprint errata. Very, very rarely a dev might pop in and answer something but it's not something I'd wait for.

Ah yeah definitely wasn't expecting an answer here but my expectations for a potential FAQ were uh... outdated to say the least. Thank you for the info!


Sinistrad wrote:
Thank you for the info!

No problem, happy to help/inform.

Liberty's Edge

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The curse is clear on what lifts it. Getting Doomed to zero is mentioned explicitly. Losing Doomed any other way is not.

Pretty straightforward I would say.

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