Stunned: if "can't act" is a mistake, then what?


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Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

Ok but one thing i dont hear from anyone is wether it makes sense to actually change the you cant act to you can pay down the stunned condition immediately.

When I think of being stunned it sounds to me like the character is unable to do anything
If they thry have stunned 1 and two actions left they will get to shake off the condition for one action making it pretty much the same in effect as sickened 1.

Right? It wouldnt matter what the condition actually does at that point because the result is 1 action loss to remove it.
Stunned is a high value conditioned so it wouldnt make sense for it to result in the same end effect as something like sickened.


Bluemagetim wrote:

Ok but one thing i dont hear from anyone is wether it makes sense to actually change the you cant act to you can pay down the stunned condition immediately.

When I think of being stunned it sounds to me like the character is unable to do anything
If they thry have stunned 1 and two actions left they will get to shake off the condition for one action making it pretty much the same in effect as sickened 1.

Right? It wouldnt matter what the condition actually does at that point because the result is 1 action loss to remove it.
Stunned is a high value conditioned so it wouldnt make sense for it to result in the same end effect as something like sickened.

The same point was made earlier, but with slowed 1 for 1 round, which stunned 1 overrides.


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SuperParkourio wrote:
shroudb wrote:

"Usually" makes the "when" up to GM.

"Attack" instead of Strike makes the "how" up to GM.
It's clear enough.

No, "it's up to the GM" makes it up to the GM. And where are you getting "You can usually attack unattended items" from anyway? You can always attack unattended items, provided that you have an actual attack that can target unattended items.

Is Strike one of those attacks? I should hope so! But I've met players who claim that Strike not being able to target objects is perfectly intentional because it stops people from bypassing puzzles and skill challenges by breaking down doors and such, even though that's encouraged in the item damage rules.

So no, it's not clear.

From the rules:

Quote:
Damaging an unattended item usually requires attacking it directly, and can be difficult due to that item’s Hardness and immunities. You usually can’t attack an attended object (one on a creature’s person).

It's 100% up to the gm when and how you can attack an object.

"Usually" you can "attack".

It has nothing to do with Strike.

edit: and it makes sense to leave it up to the GM, because if it was simply a Strike, then you would have absurdities like a high strength character disintegrating a piece of paper with a thrown dagger instead of simply piercing or tearing it, and a low str character with a lit torch barely damaging said piece of paper.


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
SuperParkourio wrote:
Bluemagetim wrote:

Ok but one thing i dont hear from anyone is wether it makes sense to actually change the you cant act to you can pay down the stunned condition immediately.

When I think of being stunned it sounds to me like the character is unable to do anything
If they thry have stunned 1 and two actions left they will get to shake off the condition for one action making it pretty much the same in effect as sickened 1.

Right? It wouldnt matter what the condition actually does at that point because the result is 1 action loss to remove it.
Stunned is a high value conditioned so it wouldnt make sense for it to result in the same end effect as something like sickened.

The same point was made earlier, but with slowed 1 for 1 round, which stunned 1 overrides.

Because stunned is the more severe condition. It makes it so you cant act. And you cant pay it off until the start of your turn. As it is the condition acts according to its severity.

If it was allowed to be paid whenever it would act more like any lesser condition that allows an action for removing it immediately. Right?


shroudb wrote:

From the rules:

Quote:
Damaging an unattended item usually requires attacking it directly, and can be difficult due to that item’s Hardness and immunities. You usually can’t attack an attended object (one on a creature’s person).

It's 100% up to the gm when and how you can attack an object.

"Usually" you can "attack".

It has nothing to do with Strike.

You could have told me where in the rules. It's here in CRB Chapter 9. It didn't make it into the remaster.

And the item damage rules having nothing to do with Strike is part of the problem. They tell you how attacks against objects work, and then there are just very few options for attacking objects outside of "Yes, But..." And Strike not being one such option is TBTBT, especially since there are abilities that help you overcome unattended objects' Hardness when making Strikes.


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SuperParkourio wrote:
shroudb wrote:

From the rules:

Quote:
Damaging an unattended item usually requires attacking it directly, and can be difficult due to that item’s Hardness and immunities. You usually can’t attack an attended object (one on a creature’s person).

It's 100% up to the gm when and how you can attack an object.

"Usually" you can "attack".

It has nothing to do with Strike.

You could have told me where in the rules. It's here in CRB Chapter 9. It didn't make it into the remaster.

And the item damage rules having nothing to do with Strike is part of the problem. They tell you how attacks against objects work, and then there are just very few options for attacking objects outside of "Yes, But..." And Strike not being one such option is TBTBT, especially since there are abilities that help you overcome unattended objects' Hardness when making Strikes.

did you miss the whole example why simply Strike CAN'T be the "raw" way to hit objects?

Too many variables in objects to properly adjudiacte without teh GMs hand, hence they simply leave it up to the GM to make a call.

I see absolutely no issue with having hardness rules, that tells you how much damage you do to an object, but still having to ask the GM IF and HOW you can actually "attack" said object.

p.s. not making it into the remaster, but also not specifically mentioning Strike in the remaster, is a moot point. CRB points towards intent at least, and them updating the text and not putting in Strike also points to that as well.


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Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

There is a pitfall that happens if a rule is set in stone there and its not GM adjucated.

The player will feel the rules give them license to do things that make 0 sense.

GM cant just say your attacking a wall with a toothpick so its not going to be effective. Then you respond yes but this toothpick is buffed by my gravity weapon and bespell weapon feat from my archtype that activated by my cast of runic weapon on it so its really doing x damage and that beats the hardness.


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Stun could use a rewrite. I still think stunned should make you off-guard as well. Not sure how you're stunned and can't act, but somehow you can perfectly defend yourself without losing any AC. It seems like a condition they were overly careful in designing and ended up kind of putting it in this bad place that's a pain to adjudicate.

Grand Archive

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Either a comment or an errata would be greatly appreciated


shroudb wrote:
did you miss the whole example why simply Strike CAN'T be the "raw" way to hit objects?

The example I relayed did not elude me. I just find "But what about lock picking!" to be a poor reason not to allow a Strike against a treasure chest.

shroudb wrote:
Too many variables in objects to properly adjudiacte without teh GMs hand, hence they simply leave it up to the GM to make a call.

Things that are written to be GM calls say so. They could have added a sentence to Strike saying you can target an unattended object if the GM decides that your weapon or unarmed attack is appropriate for the task. But instead, the Strike action says nothing on the matter. They could even have just added the words "or unattended object", and the object immunities and hardness rules would have covered everything, even the disqualification of using a bludgeoning attack against rope. Edit: actually scratch that. Object immunities covers the GM adding extra condition immunities, not damage immunities.

shroudb wrote:
I see absolutely no issue with having hardness rules, that tells you how much damage you do to an object, but still having to ask the GM IF and HOW you can actually "attack" said object.

Would you allow such ambiguity in Striking enemies? Because hazards can also try to kill you, and they explicitly can't be targeted with things that don't target objects, which by RAW includes Strikes.

shroudb wrote:
p.s. not making it into the remaster, but also not specifically mentioning Strike in the remaster, is a moot point. CRB points towards intent at least, and them updating the text and not putting in Strike also points to that as well.

Couldn't the removal instead indicate that this isn't their intent? That they didn't want to insinuate some unattended objects just can't be attacked? As for Strike not being updated, it's still possible that the devs haven't noticed this issue, or they have but they're just too busy.


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Deriven Firelion wrote:
Stun could use a rewrite. I still think stunned should make you off-guard as well. Not sure how you're stunned and can't act, but somehow you can perfectly defend yourself without losing any AC. It seems like a condition they were overly careful in designing and ended up kind of putting it in this bad place that's a pain to adjudicate.

You say "overly careful" and I say "smart".

Putting all the reasonable things that one could infer from reality into game mechanics is a quick and easy way to end up with Stun, Paralysis, and Unconscious being akin to death sentences for a character, and thus entirely unfun as a game mechanic.

So it's definitely not a problem, even though you find it (somehow) to be a "pain to adjudicate", that the condition is written with a "you already lost actions and that's a big deal, you don't also need to be directly easier to kill." kind of attitude.


thenobledrake wrote:
Deriven Firelion wrote:
Stun could use a rewrite. I still think stunned should make you off-guard as well. Not sure how you're stunned and can't act, but somehow you can perfectly defend yourself without losing any AC. It seems like a condition they were overly careful in designing and ended up kind of putting it in this bad place that's a pain to adjudicate.

You say "overly careful" and I say "smart".

Putting all the reasonable things that one could infer from reality into game mechanics is a quick and easy way to end up with Stun, Paralysis, and Unconscious being akin to death sentences for a character, and thus entirely unfun as a game mechanic.

So it's definitely not a problem, even though you find it (somehow) to be a "pain to adjudicate", that the condition is written with a "you already lost actions and that's a big deal, you don't also need to be directly easier to kill." kind of attitude.

Stun has all kinds of limiters in place like the incap trait. Making you off-guard when stun wouldn't hurt much.


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Deriven Firelion wrote:
thenobledrake wrote:
Deriven Firelion wrote:
Stun could use a rewrite. I still think stunned should make you off-guard as well. Not sure how you're stunned and can't act, but somehow you can perfectly defend yourself without losing any AC. It seems like a condition they were overly careful in designing and ended up kind of putting it in this bad place that's a pain to adjudicate.

You say "overly careful" and I say "smart".

Putting all the reasonable things that one could infer from reality into game mechanics is a quick and easy way to end up with Stun, Paralysis, and Unconscious being akin to death sentences for a character, and thus entirely unfun as a game mechanic.

So it's definitely not a problem, even though you find it (somehow) to be a "pain to adjudicate", that the condition is written with a "you already lost actions and that's a big deal, you don't also need to be directly easier to kill." kind of attitude.

Stun has all kinds of limiters in place like the incap trait. Making you off-guard when stun wouldn't hurt much.

There are still non-incap effects that stun on a success. The condition itself doesn't have incap.


SuperParkourio wrote:
Deriven Firelion wrote:
thenobledrake wrote:
Deriven Firelion wrote:
Stun could use a rewrite. I still think stunned should make you off-guard as well. Not sure how you're stunned and can't act, but somehow you can perfectly defend yourself without losing any AC. It seems like a condition they were overly careful in designing and ended up kind of putting it in this bad place that's a pain to adjudicate.

You say "overly careful" and I say "smart".

Putting all the reasonable things that one could infer from reality into game mechanics is a quick and easy way to end up with Stun, Paralysis, and Unconscious being akin to death sentences for a character, and thus entirely unfun as a game mechanic.

So it's definitely not a problem, even though you find it (somehow) to be a "pain to adjudicate", that the condition is written with a "you already lost actions and that's a big deal, you don't also need to be directly easier to kill." kind of attitude.

Stun has all kinds of limiters in place like the incap trait. Making you off-guard when stun wouldn't hurt much.
There are still non-incap effects that stun on a success. The condition itself doesn't have incap.

My players still conflate stun and slow as equal due to the way the rule is written and don't use many stun powers because the incap trait often makes stun effects worse. Stun should feel and be clearly different from slow in my opinion.


SuperParkourio wrote:
shroudb wrote:
did you miss the whole example why simply Strike CAN'T be the "raw" way to hit objects?

The example I relayed did not elude me. I just find "But what about lock picking!" to be a poor reason not to allow a Strike against a treasure chest.

shroudb wrote:
Too many variables in objects to properly adjudiacte without teh GMs hand, hence they simply leave it up to the GM to make a call.
Things that are written to be GM calls say so.

what does lockpicking has to do with anything.

the example was a simpl eone about specific weapons striking specific things, and it perfectly showcases why Strike can't give a proper answer to attacking said items.

also, once more, as it's written, it is a GM call.


shroudb wrote:
SuperParkourio wrote:
shroudb wrote:
did you miss the whole example why simply Strike CAN'T be the "raw" way to hit objects?

The example I relayed did not elude me. I just find "But what about lock picking!" to be a poor reason not to allow a Strike against a treasure chest.

shroudb wrote:
Too many variables in objects to properly adjudiacte without teh GMs hand, hence they simply leave it up to the GM to make a call.
Things that are written to be GM calls say so.

what does lockpicking has to do with anything.

the example was a simpl eone about specific weapons striking specific things, and it perfectly showcases why Strike can't give a proper answer to attacking said items.

also, once more, as it's written, it is a GM call.

Are we talking about the same example? What example are you talking about that perfectly showcases why Strike can't be the answer for attacking said items?

And it should say it's a GM call if it's supposed to be a GM call.


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Deriven Firelion wrote:
Stun should feel and be clearly different from slow in my opinion.

Great news, it does and is!


thenobledrake wrote:
Deriven Firelion wrote:
Stun should feel and be clearly different from slow in my opinion.
Great news, it does and is!

The only difference mechanically is the "can't act" clause. It is otherwise just Slowed with a different name and doesn't stack with Slowed.

Grand Archive

It's different enough. Slowed must always include a duration while your stunned value is automatically payed off over time. The effect is similar but it does act differently.


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Powers128 wrote:
It's different enough. Slowed must always include a duration while your stunned value is automatically payed off over time. The effect is similar but it does act differently.

Which by default, if there wasn't the "you cannot act" clause in Stun would make Slow superior than Stun rather than the other way around which is supposed to be (since Stun overides Slow and Stun being budgeted so much higher than Slow).

Even minimum duration Slow (1 round) makes it functionally the same as Stun without said clause.

The only thing making stun better is the "cannot act" clause on it.

So, there's no reason to think that there's an error with that clause existing.


The notable difference in action consumption is that the actions that stunned takes are consumed sooner than with slowed. Stunned frontloads its effect, denying the creature a chance to deal damage now, which is better than damage later. However, slowed might be nastier because you can only use an activity if you have enough actions, which frequently means the slowed creature does no damage at all. Getting stunned 4 is devastating with or without the can't act clause, but getting slowed 2 for 2 rounds is pretty nasty, too.


thenobledrake wrote:
Deriven Firelion wrote:
Stun should feel and be clearly different from slow in my opinion.
Great news, it does and is!

How would I run Slow 1 for 1 action? Are we sure what the Can't Act clause means? Or is this thread here because we all fully understand how to run Can't Act?

In game, my players cannot tell the difference from Slow versus Stunned because the actions overlap, Slow lasts longer strictly because slow effects generally last longer so you never really end up applying stun, stun doesn't usually do much that anyone notices because it is sufficiently similar as to feel the same in almost every common use of either condition.


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Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

Slow, Stun with a value, stun with a duration, Paralyze

This is the gradient progression in severity.

If you are slowed it will have a value and a duration for how long that value will keep getting skimmed from your actions each turn. No other negatives

If you have stunned with a value you cant act until you have paid at the start of your turns actions equal to the stunned value.

if you have stunned for a number of rounds you also cant act and you lose all actions at the start of your turns until the duration is over.

If you are paralyzed this is the worst of these conditions you cant act you are off guard until the duration ends. Does let you do purely mental actions and perceive things in your current view.

All of these conditions make the landscape of severity and allow for the four degrees of success to apply commensurate conditions at different levels for different abilities.


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

Funny thing is stunned doesnt actually allow even purely mental abilities. So cant even say to others hey party come heal me im stunned. (at least not in game)
also your perception I would assume is completely gone until the condition is gone since there is no caveat like there is with paralyzed.

Wow actually, so if you can stun in one or two actions you can then 100% hide from that foe or do anything that goes against perception against them until the condition is gone.


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
thenobledrake wrote:
Deriven Firelion wrote:
Stun should feel and be clearly different from slow in my opinion.
Great news, it does and is!

It doesn't really though. If I spend an action to inflict Stunned 1 on a creature, their turn comes around and they lose 1 action. If I spend an action to inflict Slowed 1 for 1 round on a creature, their turn comes around and they lose 1 action. If the creature had a reaction, they can't use it in the former case but for creatures without reactions the effects are essentially identical.

The only time there's a significant difference is when we encounter the weird RAW inconsistencies of a creature being stunned on their own turn. Most forms of applying Slow and Stun don't even work in that fashion though so it's not really a meaningful way to differentiate the conditions so much that it is an unresolved rules quirk applying to a couple specific effects.


Bluemagetim wrote:

Slow, Stun with a value, stun with a duration, Paralyze

This is the gradient progression in severity.

If you are slowed it will have a value and a duration for how long that value will keep getting skimmed from your actions each turn. No other negatives

If you have stunned with a value you cant act until you have paid at the start of your turns actions equal to the stunned value.

if you have stunned for a number of rounds you also cant act and you lose all actions at the start of your turns until the duration is over.

If you are paralyzed this is the worst of these conditions you cant act you are off guard until the duration ends. Does let you do purely mental actions and perceive things in your current view.

All of these conditions make the landscape of severity and allow for the four degrees of success to apply commensurate conditions at different levels for different abilities.

Great explanation. How often does stun occur where if you have slow on the target they end up being exactly the same? Do you have confirmation from the designers that when it says they Can't Act that it eliminates reactions and such? Or we all just going by that so that Stunned isn't a terrible ability that just seems like Slow?

Stunned needs a better write up.


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
Deriven Firelion wrote:
Bluemagetim wrote:

Slow, Stun with a value, stun with a duration, Paralyze

This is the gradient progression in severity.

If you are slowed it will have a value and a duration for how long that value will keep getting skimmed from your actions each turn. No other negatives

If you have stunned with a value you cant act until you have paid at the start of your turns actions equal to the stunned value.

if you have stunned for a number of rounds you also cant act and you lose all actions at the start of your turns until the duration is over.

If you are paralyzed this is the worst of these conditions you cant act you are off guard until the duration ends. Does let you do purely mental actions and perceive things in your current view.

All of these conditions make the landscape of severity and allow for the four degrees of success to apply commensurate conditions at different levels for different abilities.

Great explanation. How often does stun occur where if you have slow on the target they end up being exactly the same? Do you have confirmation from the designers that when it says they Can't Act that it eliminates reactions and such? Or we all just going by that so that Stunned isn't a terrible ability that just seems like Slow?

Stunned needs a better write up.

Yeah I what you mean, its not defined past the common understanding of the words. but, I think the description in Paralysis helps understand what cant act means since it has some exceptions spelled out.

Paralyzed
You’re frozen in place. You have the off-guard condition
and can’t act except to Recall Knowledge and use actions
that require only your mind (as determined by the GM).
Your senses still function, but only in the areas you can
perceive without moving, so you can’t Seek.

Going back your first question.
how often the overlap ends with the same result. It depends. If stunned actually means you cant act and that includes no perception and not even being able to use purely mental actions like RK then it would seem being stunned makes anything going against your perception DC an auto success. thats a difference from slow.

Honestly though im not sure that the exceptions define cant act or just define ancillary affects of being frozen in place.


Bluemagetim wrote:
Deriven Firelion wrote:
Bluemagetim wrote:

Slow, Stun with a value, stun with a duration, Paralyze

This is the gradient progression in severity.

If you are slowed it will have a value and a duration for how long that value will keep getting skimmed from your actions each turn. No other negatives

If you have stunned with a value you cant act until you have paid at the start of your turns actions equal to the stunned value.

if you have stunned for a number of rounds you also cant act and you lose all actions at the start of your turns until the duration is over.

If you are paralyzed this is the worst of these conditions you cant act you are off guard until the duration ends. Does let you do purely mental actions and perceive things in your current view.

All of these conditions make the landscape of severity and allow for the four degrees of success to apply commensurate conditions at different levels for different abilities.

Great explanation. How often does stun occur where if you have slow on the target they end up being exactly the same? Do you have confirmation from the designers that when it says they Can't Act that it eliminates reactions and such? Or we all just going by that so that Stunned isn't a terrible ability that just seems like Slow?

Stunned needs a better write up.

Yeah I what you mean, its not defined past the common understanding of the words. but, I think the description in Paralysis helps understand what cant act means since it has some exceptions spelled out.

Paralyzed
You’re frozen in place. You have the off-guard condition
and can’t act except to Recall Knowledge and use actions
that require only your mind (as determined by the GM).
Your senses still function, but only in the areas you can
perceive without moving, so you can’t Seek.

Going back your first question.
how often the overlap ends with the same result. It depends. If stunned actually means you cant act and that includes no perception and not even being able to use...

I know my monk player who uses Stunning Fist has constantly said the target is slowed because Stunned means nothing to him as it seems to do nothing different from slow.

As a DM I do use the Can't Act to mean cannot use reactions and even free actions, but I'm not sure it means that. I'm doing it because otherwise Stun is really pathetic.

Even Paralyzed puts the target off-guard. A stunned target should be off-guard. I think they should make Stun clear and give it a rewrite to make it strong enough to warrant the incap trait on nearly every stun ability. Right now it seems like a worse version of slow.


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
Deriven Firelion wrote:
Bluemagetim wrote:
Deriven Firelion wrote:
Bluemagetim wrote:

Slow, Stun with a value, stun with a duration, Paralyze

This is the gradient progression in severity.

If you are slowed it will have a value and a duration for how long that value will keep getting skimmed from your actions each turn. No other negatives

If you have stunned with a value you cant act until you have paid at the start of your turns actions equal to the stunned value.

if you have stunned for a number of rounds you also cant act and you lose all actions at the start of your turns until the duration is over.

If you are paralyzed this is the worst of these conditions you cant act you are off guard until the duration ends. Does let you do purely mental actions and perceive things in your current view.

All of these conditions make the landscape of severity and allow for the four degrees of success to apply commensurate conditions at different levels for different abilities.

Great explanation. How often does stun occur where if you have slow on the target they end up being exactly the same? Do you have confirmation from the designers that when it says they Can't Act that it eliminates reactions and such? Or we all just going by that so that Stunned isn't a terrible ability that just seems like Slow?

Stunned needs a better write up.

Yeah I what you mean, its not defined past the common understanding of the words. but, I think the description in Paralysis helps understand what cant act means since it has some exceptions spelled out.

Paralyzed
You’re frozen in place. You have the off-guard condition
and can’t act except to Recall Knowledge and use actions
that require only your mind (as determined by the GM).
Your senses still function, but only in the areas you can
perceive without moving, so you can’t Seek.

Going back your first question.
how often the overlap ends with the same result. It depends. If stunned actually means you cant act and that includes no perception

...

If it runs how I think it does based on applying none of the exceptions spelled out in paralyze then when your monk succeeds at stun they technically also get off guard by default. this might be some serious connecting the dots but if paralyzed is granting an exception of being able to use perception in front of you only for cant act then perhaps cant act means you normally without that exception cant perceive anything at all. That would mean while stunned everything is actually hidden to you.

Adding: I am just putting two and two together because of this conversation. I dont know that it works this way but it seems like a persuasive interpretation that being stunned actually cuts off your senses for that moment.


Stunned seems like the new Dazed, but takes actions to simulate being thrown off. But I don't know.

Stunned was super powerful in PF1. One of the most brutal conditions in PF1. So I'm not sure what they were going for with the PF2 stun as it seems to be a half-developed idea they obviously want to be something serious, but seems to have been left in the game as written because they never really decided what Stunned was gonna be in PF2. They definitely didn't want it to be the death sentence it was in PF1, but seem to want it to be worth the incap trait and more powerful than Slow without really having clear rules on how to run it. I hope it is on the list of conditions to flesh out more because as it is right now it is not different enough from slow and with the burden of the incap trait to be noticeably different from slow in most situations.

If you stun someone on their turn, then you get a thread like this where we try to figure out what Can't Act entails. Otherwise, Stunned and Slow seems mechanically similar with slow being better because you can usually land it as a duration and no incap trait on it.


Why are people saying stunned eliminates your Perception?
Edit: I see where the confusion is coming from. No, can't act doesn't eliminate your ability to use Perception. It eliminates your ability to use actions, which includes Seek. If someone tries to Hide from you, they still need to beat your Perception DC.


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
SuperParkourio wrote:

Why are people saying stunned eliminates your Perception?

Edit: I see where the confusion is coming from. No, can't act doesn't eliminate your ability to use Perception. It eliminates your ability to use actions, which includes Seek. If someone tries to Hide from you, they still need to beat your Perception DC.

I only posed it as a persuasive argument.

The idea being that if paralyzed is saying you cant act except -----
then those exceptions are not normal for not being able to act.

If taken this way it would mean stunned makes it so you cant act but doesn't allow the exception of being able to recall knowledge and not only seek perceptions but perceving in general because paralyze specifically allows perception without moving as an exception to cant act and other forms of cant act do not tell you this is something you can do while you cant act.


Bluemagetim wrote:
SuperParkourio wrote:

Why are people saying stunned eliminates your Perception?

Edit: I see where the confusion is coming from. No, can't act doesn't eliminate your ability to use Perception. It eliminates your ability to use actions, which includes Seek. If someone tries to Hide from you, they still need to beat your Perception DC.

I only posed it as a persuasive argument.

The idea being that if paralyzed is saying you cant act except -----
then those exceptions are not normal for not being able to act.

If taken this way it would mean stunned makes it so you cant act but doesn't allow the exception of being able to recall knowledge and not only seek perceptions but perceving in general because paralyze specifically allows perception without moving as an exception to cant act and other forms of cant act do not tell you this is something you can do while you cant act.

Tbf, paralyze doesn't say that "unlike x your senses work". It just says "your senses work but you can't turn your head".

So it doesn't equate the fact that your senses work with it being a mental act, it just mentions it to clarify that the reason why you can't seek is not your senses, but your muscles.

So we can't at all infer that "can't act" somehow make you blind from it.


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
shroudb wrote:
Bluemagetim wrote:
SuperParkourio wrote:

Why are people saying stunned eliminates your Perception?

Edit: I see where the confusion is coming from. No, can't act doesn't eliminate your ability to use Perception. It eliminates your ability to use actions, which includes Seek. If someone tries to Hide from you, they still need to beat your Perception DC.

I only posed it as a persuasive argument.

The idea being that if paralyzed is saying you cant act except -----
then those exceptions are not normal for not being able to act.

If taken this way it would mean stunned makes it so you cant act but doesn't allow the exception of being able to recall knowledge and not only seek perceptions but perceving in general because paralyze specifically allows perception without moving as an exception to cant act and other forms of cant act do not tell you this is something you can do while you cant act.

Tbf, paralyze doesn't say that "unlike x your senses work". It just says "your senses work but you can't turn your head".

So it doesn't equate the fact that your senses work with it being a mental act, it just mentions it to clarify that the reason why you can't seek is not your senses, but your muscles.

So we can't at all infer that "can't act" somehow make you blind from it.

I can see it the way you state it. that eats away at the argument for cant act having anything to do with perception. Taken as the allowances are for someone who is frozen in place. So what is being defined is what happens to someone frozen in place. Part of that description is cant act which apparently normally means no actions either physical or with your mind like recall knowledge. So at least that part is solidly a feature of cant act.

There is a separation next and perception is talked about so although it is still describing features of being frozen in place it might not be describing features of cant act anymore.

Paralyzed
You’re frozen in place. You have the off-guard condition
and can’t act except to Recall Knowledge and use actions
that require only your mind (as determined by the GM).
Your senses still function, but only in the areas you can
perceive without moving, so you can’t Seek.


Deriven Firelion wrote:
How would I run Slow 1 for 1 action?

I wouldn't because that's not a thing and there's no reason to entertain it as a hypothetical because "for 1 action" is not a valid example of a duration, which slowed always has one of.

Deriven Firelion wrote:
Are we sure what the Can't Act clause means?

I can only say that I am, and I have no idea why someone wouldn't be.

Deriven Firelion wrote:
Or is this thread here because we all fully understand how to run Can't Act?

You're creating a false case where that is the only reasonable explanation for this thread. Here's another reasonable explanation, and incidentally it's the actual reason too; someone felt how the rule works (because they too understood what "can't act" means) was too good to be true and questioned if there is an error.

Deriven Firelion wrote:
In game...

All of your "in my game" and "my players..." is perfectly countered by that just not being the case at my table.

Stunned and slowed are different, factually, you even pointed out the "only difference" showing that you clearly see them as different too. My group, as a direct result of that fact, feels they are different - especially because the "only difference" is an incredibly meaningful one (one so potent a person thought it must be an unintentional choice of wording to make it a thing).

So if it is a feelings issue going on at your table, fix your feelings because the facts are already working just fine.


Squiggit wrote:
thenobledrake wrote:
Deriven Firelion wrote:
Stun should feel and be clearly different from slow in my opinion.
Great news, it does and is!

It doesn't really though. If I spend an action to inflict Stunned 1 on a creature, their turn comes around and they lose 1 action. If I spend an action to inflict Slowed 1 for 1 round on a creature, their turn comes around and they lose 1 action. If the creature had a reaction, they can't use it in the former case but for creatures without reactions the effects are essentially identical.

The only time there's a significant difference is when we encounter the weird RAW inconsistencies of a creature being stunned on their own turn. Most forms of applying Slow and Stun don't even work in that fashion though so it's not really a meaningful way to differentiate the conditions so much that it is an unresolved rules quirk applying to a couple specific effects.

I counter the argument that a creature without some special reaction as a target makes the two conditions "essentially identical" with this; every character in the game, non-player or otherwise, always has the Grab an Edge reaction (and the Aid reaction).

So there is no such thing as a creature without a reaction, and thus the stipulation on stunned matters as a default case.

And if you take your "but situationally they can appear the same" argument to the other step of saying slowed and stunned are essentially the same if the creature had no intention to aid and there were no relevant edges to potentially grab because the encounter area just didn't happen to have any, I'd point out the same logic applied across the game means that bludgeoning damage and fire damage are "essentially identical" since the factors that separate them are just as much "...but I can contrive the scenario to not include those and then argue that proves they don't matter." in nature as ignoring the reactions that all creatures have and how common reactions of various types are throughout the game.


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

I mean yeah, against a creature with no notable weaknesses or resistances, it doesn't really matter if you're doing bludgeoning or fire damage. So what? I'm not sure that's as poignant as you want it to be.

Similarly, Stunned 1 and Slowed 1 just aren't going to feel different in many scenarios, because they're both going to deprive the targeted character of an action.

It's not really a big deal, but it is what it is.


thenobledrake wrote:
Deriven Firelion wrote:
How would I run Slow 1 for 1 action?

I wouldn't because that's not a thing and there's no reason to entertain it as a hypothetical because "for 1 action" is not a valid example of a duration, which slowed always has one of.

Deriven Firelion wrote:
Are we sure what the Can't Act clause means?

I can only say that I am, and I have no idea why someone wouldn't be.

Deriven Firelion wrote:
Or is this thread here because we all fully understand how to run Can't Act?

You're creating a false case where that is the only reasonable explanation for this thread. Here's another reasonable explanation, and incidentally it's the actual reason too; someone felt how the rule works (because they too understood what "can't act" means) was too good to be true and questioned if there is an error.

Deriven Firelion wrote:
In game...

All of your "in my game" and "my players..." is perfectly countered by that just not being the case at my table.

Stunned and slowed are different, factually, you even pointed out the "only difference" showing that you clearly see them as different too. My group, as a direct result of that fact, feels they are different - especially because the "only difference" is an incredibly meaningful one (one so potent a person thought it must be an unintentional choice of wording to make it a thing).

So if it is a feelings issue going on at your table, fix your feelings because the facts are already working just fine.

I doubt your players know the difference between Slow 1 and Stunned 1. I'd bet money on it that it looks the same materially at your table to the majority of your players. I think you vastly overstate that players know the difference, including your own when it is likely something they don't even think about or notice much.

Slowed 1 until the end of your next turn works very similarly to Stunned 1. Slowed 1 until the end of your next turn is a saving throw from an unarmed strike critical which when coupled with a Stunned 1 from a monk Stunning fist works essentially the same with very little noticeable difference. This is one of the main reasons my player can see very little difference between Slowed 1 and Stunned 1 because they essentially function similarly when played out. The player who mostly confuses this rule plays a lot of monks. The other players don't even notice it because stun abilities are generally not used due to the highly undesirable incap trait.

At the moment Stunned doesn't have the impact it should and should be improved so it stands out from Slowed as a step up worthy of the incap trait. I will probably add off-guard myself as I think they should be off-guard at least. The PF1 stun was too powerful and this one is a bit too weak.


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Squiggit wrote:

I mean yeah, against a creature with no notable weaknesses or resistances, it doesn't really matter if you're doing bludgeoning or fire damage. So what? I'm not sure that's as poignant as you want it to be.

Similarly, Stunned 1 and Slowed 1 just aren't going to feel different in many scenarios, because they're both going to deprive the targeted character of an action.

It's not really a big deal, but it is what it is.

The poignancy is in the knowing how the rules work causes the feelings about how the rules work. I.e., we know fire and bludgeoning aren't actually the same because there are circumstances which exist that show their differences.

So we don't suddenly become incapable of that same level of discernment and think slowed and stunned are actually the same just because the reaction-prevention or turn-interrupting capabilities didn't happen to come in to play this time.

It's like object permanence, but for rules.


Deriven Firelion wrote:
I doubt your players know the difference between Slow 1 and Stunned 1.

So? What's your doubt worth?

It's it worth more than me saying I doubt you have any idea what you are ever talking about?

Deriven Firelion wrote:
I'd bet money on it that it looks the same materially at your table to the majority of your players. I think you vastly overstate that players know the difference, including your own when it is likely something they don't even think about or notice much.

It's like you don't get the very concept that someone could just read the condition list and see that they use different words and thus know that they are different.

Or come away from the conversation of "these seem the same" and "they are different because [explanation]" with understanding instead of persistent confusion about the issue.

Deriven Firelion wrote:
At the moment Stunned doesn't have the impact it should...

Just like you're wrong about players being able to tell the difference (even if yours, for whatever reason, actually can't and you're not just talking about them as if they are deficient because it makes you feel superior), you're wrong that stunned doesn't have the impact it "should".

Both because it absolutely has impact, which is why this thread starts with a presumption that it's overly impactful, and because there is no "should" when it comes to game mechanics because the goal is fun which can be obtained in all kinds of different ways and is often actually reduced or negated by an over-reliance on "should" in the context of things like what someone could reason to be part of whatever is being described by a game mechanic. Y'know, since getting hacked by a giant axe "should" just kill you.


I think slowed and stunned are very different conditions: even without factoring in reactions, slowed is a persistent action tax that usually leaves you able to act throughout, whereas stunned is an immediate action tax that has to be paid before you can act at all. If the two conditions were combined, Pathfinder I think would just find itself with fewer tools to express its different kinds of crowd control.

With stunned, I think there are two possible situations: either the total lockout when stunned on one's turned is intended and deemed balanced by the developers, in which case there's nothing to change, or the issue lies with the action tax happening only when you regain actions. In the latter case, the easy solution would be to just change the rules on stunned so that you pay any actions you have at any time towards the stunned condition, not just when you regain actions. This would make stunned a powerful condition to apply still on someone else's turn, as messing up their action economy mid-turn would disrupt whatever the creature was planning to do, but would avoid the condition eating up more actions than it's supposed to.


Teridax wrote:

I think slowed and stunned are very different conditions: even without factoring in reactions, slowed is a persistent action tax that usually leaves you able to act throughout, whereas stunned is an immediate action tax that has to be paid before you can act at all. If the two conditions were combined, Pathfinder I think would just find itself with fewer tools to express its different kinds of crowd control.

With stunned, I think there are two possible situations: either the total lockout when stunned on one's turned is intended and deemed balanced by the developers, in which case there's nothing to change, or the issue lies with the action tax happening only when you regain actions. In the latter case, the easy solution would be to just change the rules on stunned so that you pay any actions you have at any time towards the stunned condition, not just when you regain actions. This would make stunned a powerful condition to apply still on someone else's turn, as messing up their action economy mid-turn would disrupt whatever the creature was planning to do, but would avoid the condition eating up more actions than it's supposed to.

Due to the actual numbers that's only in theory though.

It could hold some ground if we were comparing stuff like "Stun 3-4-4-6-7" vs "Slow 1 for 10 rounds"

But the actual numbers on abilities have Stun 1 vs Slow 1 for x rounds.

In both cases the enemy lost 1 action when he recovered his actions.

If anything, with Stun being usually just Stun 1-2 similarly to Slow 1-2 makes slow the superior option since at the very minimum Slow lasts 1 round, so at the very minimum Slow "has to immediately pay" the same number of actions as Stun, but potentially do so multiple rounds in a row as opposed to just 1.


shroudb wrote:

Due to the actual numbers that's only in theory though.

It could hold some ground if we were comparing stuff like "Stun 3-4-4-6-7" vs "Slow 1 for 10 rounds"

But the actual numbers on abilities have Stun 1 vs Slow 1 for x rounds.

In both cases the enemy lost 1 action when he recovered his actions.

If anything, with Stun being usually just Stun 1-2 similarly to Slow 1-2 makes slow the superior option since at the very minimum Slow lasts 1 round, so at the very minimum Slow "has to immediately pay" the same number of actions as Stun, but potentially do so multiple rounds in a row as opposed to just 1.

This isn't a theory, though, this is easy to put into practice. Slow is a spell that will often skim off one of your actions each round, and that's not something that can easily be equated to a stun effect. By contrast, Stunning Fist getting you stunned 3 on a critical failure is a much larger effect that could be expressed as "slowed 3 for 1 round", but doing so would be much more cumbersome and ignores the impact on reactions. Slowed is a condition that can easily be applied to auras, but stunned isn't, even though stunned is a condition that has much more immediate impact when applied due to how slowed only takes effect when you gain actions. One could certainly argue that Paizo hasn't really made much use of effects that stun creatures for more than 3 actions, but given how impactful losing an entire turn is already, I don't blame them.


Teridax wrote:
shroudb wrote:

Due to the actual numbers that's only in theory though.

It could hold some ground if we were comparing stuff like "Stun 3-4-4-6-7" vs "Slow 1 for 10 rounds"

But the actual numbers on abilities have Stun 1 vs Slow 1 for x rounds.

In both cases the enemy lost 1 action when he recovered his actions.

If anything, with Stun being usually just Stun 1-2 similarly to Slow 1-2 makes slow the superior option since at the very minimum Slow lasts 1 round, so at the very minimum Slow "has to immediately pay" the same number of actions as Stun, but potentially do so multiple rounds in a row as opposed to just 1.

This isn't a theory, though, this is easy to put into practice. Slow is a spell that will often skim off one of your actions each round, and that's not something that can easily be equated to a stun effect. By contrast, Stunning Fist getting you stunned 3 on a critical failure is a much larger effect that could be expressed as "slowed 3 for 1 round", but doing so would be much more cumbersome and ignores the impact on reactions. Slowed is a condition that can easily be applied to auras, but stunned isn't, even though stunned is a condition that has much more immediate impact when applied due to how slowed only takes effect when you gain actions. One could certainly argue that Paizo hasn't really made much use of effects that stun creatures for more than 3 actions, but given how impactful losing an entire turn is already, I don't blame them.

Since you are comparing critical failures though, you should be comparing:

Stun 3 with Incap vs Slow 2 for 1 minute without Incap.

So, one case you "immediately pay 3 actions and it's over" vs "immediately pay 2 actions and pay 2 actions for 9 more rounds".

The math ain't mathing IF you don't also include the "cannot Act" clause.

---

The bolded part is the whole reason for this thread.

IF Stun applies "immediately" then that means, going by pure RAW here, that you immediately Cannot Act, and THEN next round you pay the actions.

Which some people think it's tgtbt and that's the reason for the thread.


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Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

There will be a narrative difference in the conditions.

I have one player stunned. Another player slowed.

I tell the stunned player the spell energy invades your mind overwhelming you with a painful mental jolt. You are stunned 1 until your next turn when you can pay of the stun by losing an action for the round.

I tell the slowed player the spell sucks up entropy around you slowing your movement, the world feels as though its slightly fast forward for everyone but you. You are slowed 1 for 1 round. At the start of your next turn you will lose 1 of your actions and the effect will be over.

Now that makes a very large difference in what I will allow until the conditions are gone.
The stunned player cannot interact with anyone else or react. Cant ask another player to do something to help them, no hey Amiri smash that guy who stunned me, or Kyra throw me a heal will you? speaking might not always take an action but I woudlnt allow it while stunned.
The slowed player still gets to play their character and do whatever they want like normal and can react.

At low levels this might not make much difference mechanically but narratively it will always be different and as a GM I will treat the situation accordingly.
As a GM you can look at the situation rationally if you want to and apply circumstance bonuses or penalties as you see fit just as you would for a creature attacking from higher elevation or anything else that isnt a direct rule but is a situation you would give a player a bonus or negative for. You might determine a stunned monster should have a penalty to AC because they cant sufficiently defend themselves while stunned. The repercussion of doing this is that the game is easier or more difficult depending on the groups access to stun abilities and the abilities of foes in the campaign. You might determine perception checks are more difficult while your senses are overwhelmed while stunned applying a circumstance penalty to perception DCs.
Its in the realm of "that makes sense" and if a GM feels stun effects need more to distinguish them and justify the incapacitation effect it is perfectly fine to rule in some assumed circumstance penalties as long as they are done uniformly and the table is fine with the change.


Many of the stun effects that have incap are delivered in tandem with other effects, though, such as damage or another condition. In many cases, an AC penalty or other setback would likely just be adding insult to injury.


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
SuperParkourio wrote:
Many of the stun effects that have incap are delivered in tandem with other effects, though, such as damage or another condition. In many cases, an AC penalty or other setback would likely just be adding insult to injury.

Agreed.


shroudb wrote:

Since you are comparing critical failures though, you should be comparing:

Stun 3 with Incap vs Slow 2 for 1 minute without Incap.

So, one case you "immediately pay 3 actions and it's over" vs "immediately pay 2 actions and pay 2 actions for 9 more rounds".

The math ain't mathing IF you don't also include the "cannot Act" clause.

It does, though? Again, you've just clearly outlined that these two effects work differently from one another, so even when crit failing against slow, that's still not a stun. I don't see why we should be ignoring the "cannot act" clause when it's an essential component to the stunned condition, and the very fact that we are having a discussion relating to a mechanic that happens exclusively with the stunned condition should be a pretty dead giveaway that the two conditions work differently.

shroudb wrote:

The bolded part is the whole reason for this thread.

IF Stun applies "immediately" then that means, going by pure RAW here, that you immediately Cannot Act, and THEN next round you pay the actions.

Which some people think it's tgtbt and that's the reason for the thread.

Okay, but whether or not you pay the actions immediately, being stunned means you can't act, which means you can't react either. Again, that is meaningfully different from being slowed. On top of that, this discussion leads only to two outcomes:

  • Outcome #1: RAW is correct, and you only start paying your actions on your next turn, on top of being immediately made unable to act now. This is different from being slowed immediately, which would only affect your actions on your next turn.
  • Outcome #2: RAI differs from RAW, and you're meant to pay your actions immediately. Again, this is different from slowed, which does not immediately take away your actions.

    So no matter how you slice it, stunned and slowed are going to be working differently from one another. There is no current interpretation that allows you to act while stunned, given how the condition explicitly states otherwise.


  • Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

    While true, I'm not sure "Stunned is unique because the RAW is contradictory and unparseable" doesn't seem like it really amounts to anything useful.


    The most common stun effect I see in game is monk Stunning Fist.

    At higher level I may see a Power Word Stun here or there.

    When you weight the spells with stun in them, it is better to use slow since slow has a lower spell rank cost and no incap for essentially the same effect, but as pointed out above usually persistent over a duration making the use of a slow spell far more impactful than a stun effect in play. A 6th level slow can be used against any level creature even +4 levels above and has a far better chance of landing than a stun.

    There is often the mythical discussion of readying a Flurry to land stunning fist outside the enemies turns which would eat more actions if it landed, but has a very small chance of landing on any substantial enemy and given the ease of killing mooks pretty suboptimal use of actions.

    This is why in play Slow 1 and Stun 1 look essentially the same with Slow looking better than stun due to landing without the incap trait and for a duration on a possible large group of enemies. The best outcome of a Stun effect is eliminating a reaction or a critical fail causing the loss of a round of actions.

    The main effect not having the incap trait and possibly stunning on an opponent's turn is Forbidden Thought amped, which has the possibility of going off early in the opponents round and eliminating their actions and costing them an action next turn which for the cost of a Focus point isn't too bad.

    The way Stun currently exists within the game, it essentially looks like Slow with the cost of one reaction for a much, much shorter duration and the incap trait which requires using very high level spell slots to attempt to land an inferior action eating effect.

    There are better ways to avoid reactions with the simplest being to not do the thing that activates them making Slow the far more powerful effect given it often has no incap trait thus leading to a static and usually much lower resource cost reproducible many, many times per day compared to a Stun effect, which in game appears much, much weaker.

    Stun and Slow appear essentially the same in game, with Slow actually appearing much more powerful than stun in actual play.

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