Ways to make enemies want to attack you (instead of allies), without expending an action?


Advice


Like for example effects like Jealous combatant on an id rager bloodrager or broken wing gambit


1 person marked this as a favorite.

Make yourself look like a serious threat while also appearing to be the easiest one to hit…

Stand in doorways so they have to hit you to get to your allies…


Chell Raighn wrote:

Make yourself look like a serious threat while also appearing to be the easiest one to hit…

Stand in doorways so they have to hit you to get to your allies…

Im talking about things i can decide while creating a character, obviously positioning and such factors into this as wel


Glamered armour, so you look like a soft target?

Chant as though you're casting a spell; with a decent Bluff roll you might make it look convincing enough, especially with a few ranks of Spellcraft thrown in. It depends on the opponent, of course (such as if they have Spellcraft too). You'd need some other M/V/F/DF components to make it look really good, and that would imply an action.

More broadly, Bluff should let you look vulnerable, but there's nothing RAW for that. IMHO there should be a way for Bluff to draw an AoO which you can defend against, but again there's nothing in RAW.


There is no real way to force a creature to attack you without exerting some effort (using some action). Even the examples you gave require you to use an action. Broken Wing Gambit and Jealous Combatant both require you to attack and hit your opponent. The best you are going to be able to do is to be or at least appear to be helpless or at least poorly defended. Even that is probably only going to work the first time.

Trying to fool someone into thinking you are a spell caster is using bluff which requires 1 round or longer. The book does not specify if you can use this aspect of bluff in combat or what type of action it would take. Personally, I would rule it takes at least a standard action to use bluff in any combat situation. Improved Feint would be the only exception the feat explicitly reduces the time it takes to feint.

Compel Hostility can force an opponent to attack you but requires a standard action. You can cast this spell before combat and use an immediate action to attempt to force someone attacking someone else to attack you instead. The spell lasts 1 round per level, but since you can only take 1 immediate action per turn it only works on 1 attack per turn. This is about as close as you are going to get to what you want.


Best ways to get enemies to attack your PC without expending an action: be first in the door or the PC with the weakest AC. I'm not kidding.

I am always the GM in my gaming groups. I run a lot of encounters that happen in dungeons, buildings, ruins, or otherwise in areas where foes might only see the PCs coming from 1 direction. These turn into combats most of the time and the combats then begin at whatever distance and opportunity Perception checks would allow.

Most monsters/foes I run just attack whoever is closest. If a monster can just immediately full-attack the plate-armored polearm wielder in front of them instead of risking AoOs and wasting their Move action to go get the shirtless monk in the corner, they're going to full-attack.

Second, and more embarrassing for me as GM, I often metagame with intelligent foes. If the paladin, monk and rogue are all through the door of the dungeon room and a group of ghouls with fighter levels get to act, even though the monk has no obvious armor and the rogue is only in studded leather, the ghouls are going after the paladin in breastplate. His PC has a terrible Dex and is 2-handing a fauchard without a buckler, so currently his AC is the lowest in the party, so the ghouls actually have a chance of hitting that PC.

Look, I'm not proud of it and sometimes I try to justify it in my head. Maybe the ghouls have learned some info about the party from previous times they visited this dungeon; perhaps the ghouls' knowledge of trained fighting techniues allowed them to recognize the paladin's lack of grace and agility; a few times I've had intelligent foes make Knowledge (Local) checks to recognize the party or at least their class levels.

However I try to rationalize it though, the bottom line is that if I've got a paladin with a 22 AC, a monk with a 26 and a rogue with a 25 facing off against a bunch of ghouls with +10 melee attacks, I know its almost a forgone conclusion that unless I fudge my rolls the monk and rogue will take little to no damage from this combat whereas the paladin might actually need a Cure Light after this. I've gotta drain the party's resources somehow to make the boss fight a bit more dangerous, so... the paladin is my target.


Play the pig to eat the tiger: use a Hat of Disguise to look as annoying/vulnerable as possible, don't always stay in the middle of the group but "accidentally" go ahead sometimes, pair your acting with Stand Still feat, it'll be too late for enemies to get away from you.


Come and Get Me is a free action. Risky Striker is a non-action, but must be declared. Both lower your AC which, depending on how AC works or is explained in your games, should influence intelligent enemies to attack you rather those around you. I don't know how you conceptualize Armor Class at your tables, though.


Having intelligent opponents being able to have at least a general idea of an opponent’s AC is not unreasonable. If the opponents are also combat trained, they should have an even better chance. How person caries themselves can be a good indication of how hard to hit they can be. No one would consider it metagaming when you recognize the barbarian has a lot higher STR than the rouge, so why is it metagaming to recognize the rogue has more DEX than the paladin.


Mysterious Stranger wrote:
Having intelligent opponents being able to have at least a general idea of an opponent’s AC is not unreasonable. If the opponents are also combat trained, they should have an even better chance. How person caries themselves can be a good indication of how hard to hit they can be. No one would consider it metagaming when you recognize the barbarian has a lot higher STR than the rouge, so why is it metagaming to recognize the rogue has more DEX than the paladin.

Exactly this… a high Dex character may stand in such a way as to make themselves a smaller target or poised to evade at a moments notice… they way they carry themselves is indicative of being highly dexterous. Meanwhile a fully armored paladin or fighter may stand very stalwart and confident in their armors defense. A wizard on the otherhand may be trying to hide behind others. Identifying who is or isn’t easy to hit can be done visually by even unintelligent creatures. Though the degree of success may vary with intelligence… a wolf might go after the monk and wizard due to their obvious lack of armoring and actively avoid those in metal armor. A zombie or ghoul may zero in on the heavy armored combatants since they are likey to be the slowest should they try to run. Intelligent humanoids may try to target the wizard knowing how dangerous spellcasters are, and may infer the heavy armored paladin to be easier to hit than the unarmored monk who keeps swaying about.


Sometimes it’s as simple as being the biggest guy in the room. If you are large size or bigger you are literally a bigger target. Even low intelligence creatures instinctively know that bigger targets are easier to hit.


Mysterious Stranger wrote:
Having intelligent opponents being able to have at least a general idea of an opponent’s AC is not unreasonable. If the opponents are also combat trained, they should have an even better chance. How person caries themselves can be a good indication of how hard to hit they can be. No one would consider it metagaming when you recognize the barbarian has a lot higher STR than the rouge, so why is it metagaming to recognize the rogue has more DEX than the paladin.

Its metagaming b/c I didn't decide the ghouls attacked the paladin because of a Knowledge check, I decided they attacked b/c I needed to do some damage to the PCs without lying about my die rolls. AFTER I committed to the attacks I used their fighter levels to justify my GM decision.


Chell Raighn wrote:
a wolf might go after the monk and wizard due to their obvious lack of armoring and actively avoid those in metal armor.

Unless he has fought adventurers in the past, a wolf shouldn't have a concept of what armor is. I'd expect something like a wolf to go after the smallest creature in the group, unless that creature was so small as to not be worth eating.


Melkiador wrote:
Chell Raighn wrote:
a wolf might go after the monk and wizard due to their obvious lack of armoring and actively avoid those in metal armor.
Unless he has fought adventurers in the past, a wolf shouldn't have a concept of what armor is. I'd expect something like a wolf to go after the smallest creature in the group, unless that creature was so small as to not be worth eating.

No, but they can tell the difference between soft flesh and a hard material. Instinctually they will go for the soft flesh first.


Chell Raighn wrote:
Melkiador wrote:
Chell Raighn wrote:
a wolf might go after the monk and wizard due to their obvious lack of armoring and actively avoid those in metal armor.
Unless he has fought adventurers in the past, a wolf shouldn't have a concept of what armor is. I'd expect something like a wolf to go after the smallest creature in the group, unless that creature was so small as to not be worth eating.
No, but they can tell the difference between soft flesh and a hard material. Instinctually they will go for the soft flesh first.

Source? I don't think there is an instinct for armor, because armor doesn't exist in nature. Knowing to avoid armor would come from experience.


lol, there are different tactics for animals and intelligent creatures...

For carnivores try a fried pork chop on a string about your neck.
For herbivores a carrot or apple do nicely and less agressive body language.
Intelligent creatures are just as easy to trick if you know something about them.
Metagamers are the easiest, just paint '+5' on your armor and/or openly talk to your weapon....


Melkiador wrote:
Chell Raighn wrote:
Melkiador wrote:
Chell Raighn wrote:
a wolf might go after the monk and wizard due to their obvious lack of armoring and actively avoid those in metal armor.
Unless he has fought adventurers in the past, a wolf shouldn't have a concept of what armor is. I'd expect something like a wolf to go after the smallest creature in the group, unless that creature was so small as to not be worth eating.
No, but they can tell the difference between soft flesh and a hard material. Instinctually they will go for the soft flesh first.
Source? I don't think there is an instinct for armor, because armor doesn't exist in nature. Knowing to avoid armor would come from experience.

Reread what I said again very carefully. The instinct is to attack the soft target they can easily sink their teeth and claws into over the hard shelled target. Watch some nature documentaries, time and time again it has been proven in nature that most carnivores will ignore creatures with hard shells in favor of pursuing a softer target. Its not an instinct to avoid armor, its an instinct to hunt the meal that will take less effort to eat.


Trash talk them. It is a free action to tell 'Yo mama' jokes.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

I give benefits for especially creative trashtalking.


4 people marked this as a favorite.
thorin001 wrote:
Trash talk them. It is a free action to tell 'Yo mama' jokes.

"Yo momma loves 4e!"

*crowd gasps*


Carnivorous predators... wouldn't they go after stragglers? The weak, the injured? I mean, if we're going to talk about RL instincts, not trained attack animals, wolves would circle and harry the party, maybe attack as a pack if they outnumber the party, but otherwise they'd stay back from armed humanoids with fire in their hands.

Going a bit further, carrion eaters or scavengers will ignore the PCs unless starving. Ghouls for example in the traditional folklore eat the dead; unless their compulsion overpowers their will, wouldn't they follow the PCs, the "murderhobos" and consume the corpses they drop? If we're going to bring natural instincts into the mix, some Vermin and Animal types, despite their Size difference to the PCs, would avoid combat due to loud noises, fire, or prey/food more easily accessible.

... or we could say that PF1 is a fantasy RPG where Animals, Vermin, and animal-intelligence monsters consistently ignore RL instincts and go after PCs b/c reasons.


lol... it is a game and GM's aren't experts in animal behavior or training (it would be rare). GMs have to consider the creature theme, ability scores, and motivations then do their best to roleplay that appropriately OR dramatically (as there ARE story reasons things are done to foreshadow or rationalize other plot points. It's like characters doing dumb stuff in a horror flick... lol... it is SO perilous somebody has to die...).

the provocateur tactic only works with unwitting "intelligent creatures" with a common language. Sense Motive DC 20 for a hunch is a free action.


Armor does exist in nature there are a lot of animals with shells. Most of the animals with shells or carapace are usually not the preferred prey of wolves, but they do exist. The shell of a turtle or crab is armor. The game may consider a separate category, but it serves the same purpose.

The idea of armor probably originated from humans trying to emulate some of the toughness of animals. The first armors were the hides and fur of animals. It was not until latter that the idea of using metal armor occurred. Even then it was probably inspired by animals.

The trash talking is brilliant.


Mysterious Stranger wrote:
The idea of armor probably originated from humans trying to emulate some of the toughness of animals. The first armors were the hides and fur of animals. It was not until latter that the idea of using metal armor occurred. Even then it was probably inspired by animals.

Aaannnd... THIS is why mites in my games wear "leather" armor or "studded leather" armor. Not HIDE armor mind you; they're already highly defensive for their CR, I don't want them losing speed but being unhittable. Just Light armor I call "leather."

The armor is made from beetle carapace, treated and shaped; the thick hide of giant spiders trimmed and boiled in wax; the scutum of giant ticks used for shields. Mechanically it just gives the fey a +2, maybe +3 Armor bonus or a +1 shield bonus (as a Light Wooden Shield), but it is harvested from the vermin they partner with.

Hey, another way to get attacked is to be mounted btw. Well, it'll get your mount attacked anyway. If you have an animal companion, that should also work.


I think the best way to force enemies to attack you is to simply present them with only a single target that they can attack and this can be achieved with good positioning. The best way to do this via choke points and using terrain to your advantage.

But there will be plenty of times where you find yourself in a open battlefield without a lot of advantageous terrain, so that's when Enlarge Person, Reach Weapon &/or Combat Patrol + Combat Reflexes + Stand Still, and/or having your party wizard use Pit/Wall spells to create your own barriers/chokepoints, etc, can determine whether the party ends the fight with minor bruises and scratches or being out of spells/abilities and needing a visit to Ye Olde General Hospital.

Antagonize can be helpful, but it takes a Standard Action and only affects a single target. Frankly, there's probably better uses for your Standard Actions.

Honestly it comes down to a combination of your party working together to make the battlefield smaller and you being the combatant that can't be ignored.


Paladins have access to the spell challenge evil. While it does not actually force the target to attack you, it does make cause the target to become sickened if they do not make at least one attack on you.

Compel Hostility can actually force a creature to attack you instead of some other target. The spell lasts 1 round per level so can be used multiple times. It only works on creatures that threaten you, and they get a will save.


A widened Archon’s Aura spell can also be somewhat effective… it doesn’t actually compel enemies to attack you, but it does make you a more enticing target as your allies are harder to hit.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

lol, I'm sticking to a pork chop or ostentatious jewelry.
An illusion from a 'fan service' harem anime will also likely work (in one way or another).


1 person marked this as a favorite.

I’ve got it! Have a bard cast Unnatural Lust on the enemies and declare you the subject of their desire… they will now swarm you… granted they might be attacking your gear more than you at first…


Chell Raighn wrote:
I’ve got it! Have a bard cast Unnatural Lust on the enemies and declare you the subject of their desire… they will now swarm you… granted they might be attacking your gear more than you at first…

lends new meaning to the "Paw Patrol"


Have a really good disguise roll and disguise yourself as someone who failed to disguise themselves. For example, be a fighter pretending to be a wizard who is disguising himself as a fighter. The “wizard” failed to look like a fighter, so the target thinks he is a wizard.

Community / Forums / Pathfinder / Pathfinder First Edition / Advice / Ways to make enemies want to attack you (instead of allies), without expending an action? All Messageboards

Want to post a reply? Sign in.
Recent threads in Advice