It would be terribly sad if Wasp #3 decided to grapple Feruq and sting him to death while they both drown.
Also really, really funny. But in a sad way.
Wæs se grimma gæst Grendel haten,mære mearcstapa, se þe moras heold
Argus is surprised to see Feruq flying through the air, but seeing the wasp knocked into the water he turns his attention to the one flying in low and fast just behind (W2). With practiced movements he draws back one shaft followed by another in quick succession.
That looks like two hits; the first as a crit for 33 damage; the second for 8 damage. Total of 41.
Well done! That puts us at the top of Round 3. Dalvar is up next.
"Men are the only animals that devote themselves, day in and day out, to making one another unhappy. It is an art like any other. Its virtuosi are called altruists." - H.L. Mencken
Dalvar urges his mount south as far as he can go without going in the river, and readies an action to cast another acid splash at W3 if it manages to get itself out of the drink. Rolls below.
Ah, seeing the map I get it now. I wondered earlier why Feruq was going to end up in the river due to his attack, but didn't think too heavily on it because I had to go to work. I see now there was a little bit of a miscommunication about Feruq's readied action. My intention wasn't to have him jump out into the river, but to attack any wasps that made it over the river.
Since it looks like the wasps might drown instead of getting to us, Feruq will ready an action to (partial) charge any wasp that presses forward and makes it to the shore within 40 feet of us.
Since it looks like the wasps might drown instead of getting to us, Feruq will ready an action to (partial) charge any wasp that presses forward and makes it to the shore within 40 feet of us.
That said, he's in the drink now. Where do we go from here?
Oh, I see. Yeah I read that as "within 40' of the shore" because you guys were basically already at the riverbank, so "reaching the shore" and "within 40' of us" would mean they had flown past you. I was extremely confused about why Feruq would do something like that but interpreted "it looks like they're going to drown before getting to us" as "I like that idea and will attack them out over the water."
In the future I will be sure to clarify a player's stated actions if it sounds at all strange or out of character but I assumed everyone was looking at the map in the other thread. I will post in another hour or two about underwater combat and what some of your best options are.
All right. So it's an Athletics check at DC 15 to swim in the river. You aren't in any real danger of being pulled under at this point, but if you don't get out of the water in this immediate area things will get a little dicey further downstream. Normally in water where the DC is less than 20, you can take 10 as long as you aren't being threatened or distracted; but that's not really the case here, for obvious reasons. So you will have to actually roll, and I guess here is where I clarify that there is a SLIGHT chance of you rolling so poorly you fail by 5 or more and start drowning. But I'm sure you got all of your low rolls out of your system.
With a successful Athletics check, as a move action you can swim 1/4 your speed (10', in Feruq's case) or spend a full round action and swim 1/2 your speed (20'). You'll need at least 25' of movement to swim out of the river so that's probably not going to happen this turn unless someone else does something wild and heroic like lasso you and start hauling you in.
This is sort of a unique situation but I'm willing to let you declare that you want to withdraw from melee as a full round action, so you get your full 20' of swimming (assuming you succeed on the Athletics check) in addition to not provoking an Attack of Opportunity when you leave W3's threatened space. But if you're really feeling froggy, we can get into underwater combat.
If Feruq chooses to attack the wasp, attacks made with bludgeoning or slashing weapons are at a -2 penalty and damage is halved. If you fail your Athletics check for that round, opponents gain a +2 bonus to attacks against you and you lose your Dex modifier to AC. It should also be noted that failing by 5 or more would mean you start to go under. Extrapolating from an entry on the "Underwater Combat" table in the Environment chapter of the [i]Core Rulebook[/i], characters can't walk along the bottom (like on the ocean floor or in a riverbank) unless they're weighed down by at least 16lbs of equipment. I'm going to assume that if you are actively making Athletics checks, even if you fail by 5 or more you don't actually start to sink unless you're carrying at least that much gear; this game is about superheroes, so even people without ranks in the skill should be able to tread water.
If I had to guess, Feruq actually isn't carrying that much stuff, since only a moment ago he was riding on a horse and could have left his pack up there lashed to the saddle. So, there's no danger of you sinking here, but for every round that you fail to keep your head abovewater you start to drown even if you're just beneath the surface. Feruq can hold his breath for a number of rounds equal to twice his Constitution score, but anything other than a move action will burn 2 of those rounds at once. It probably goes without saying that the wasp's Constitution modifier is higher than yours.
Feruq can also choose to expend some or all of his movement swimming against the current so he doesn't get swept so far downstream each round. At this rate, every round that he spends just swimming to stay in one place, he will only move 20' instead of 40'. Not a great option, but I'm not your daddy and won't tell you what to do.
Unfortunately the rules explicitly state that at the end of each creature or character's turn, anyone in fast-enough moving water get shunted downstream at the end of their turns. So although you and the wasp went into the water together, you will conclude your full round of actions then move 40' east, THEN the wasp will get its turn. So you will definitely provoke an Attack of Opportunity for leaving the wasp's threatened space at the end of your turn. This might be enough incentive to choose withdrawal even if you weren't already convinced, especially because W3 is a really big, strong creature whose only natural attack deals piercing damage.
However, not only was Feruq's (obviously misinterpreted) action very heroic, it wasn't at all what you intended to do. So I think it's only fair that you get your Hero Point back.
@Darker, I know your availability is limited right now so I will give you until tomorrow before I take over for Thunk.
You’re fine if you want to roll. Thunk aggressively attacks anything in range or readies attacks if nothing is reachable.
Careful. Apparently 'reachable' includes launching yourself over the water.
If anyone is foolish enough to suggest to Thunk that these things are really just a sort of winged giant crab, he's undoubtedly going to go into the river after them.
Fighting while in the water hasn't really been a thing thus far, so I'm genuinely curious about something. Does one continue to threaten adjacent squares while using a movement type one doesn't have a specified distance in?
That sounds weird.
What I mean is that some monsters have "climb XXft" or "swim XXft" or "burrow XXft" or the like listed in their stat block. It makes perfect sense to me that an octopus, which has a listed swim speed in its block, continues to threaten spaces while it swims. I'm less clear on why a creature that doesn't have a listed swim speed (such as the wasp or Feruq) continues to threaten squares while being forced to swim. Can anyone help me out with that?
As far as an action, I'll take you up on that withdraw action. Feruq will spend all his attention swimming back toward the shore. And since he got his hero point back, he'll use it here to add +8 to his Athletics check to do so.
Swimming doesn't necessarily prevent you from threatening squares, and it also doesn't deprive you of your Dex bonus to AC. This is because attack resolution is a separate "subsystem" of the D20 engine from the part that has to do with movement, and their interactions are controlled by several different skills.
Acrobatics (Balance in 3.X) has to do with slippery surfaces, Athletics (Climb/Swim) has to do with vertical surfaces and liquids, and Escape Artist has to do with confined spaces. In Pathfinder, Fly has to do with maneuvering in the air, and this likewise has some interfaces with the attack resolution system. Having a speed for the pertinent mode of movement usually (but not always) absolves you of having to be concerned about issues like the one you've raised. The rules for swimming are unfortunately pretty disorganized in both 3.5e and Pathfinder, but they also are basically identical once you get into the details.
Seeing how it really works requires you to look elsewhere than the actual Swim skill's description, which is kind of stupid. But stupid or not, the meaty bits are in the Environment section, in the table reproduced below. This one is for 3.5, but Pathfinder's is substantially similar, the main difference being that it's more advantageous to wield a piercing weapon in Pathfinder.
Basically, what happens is that if you lack a swim speed, then you still threaten squares. If you want to move, you need a Swim check. And even if you DON'T want to move, you probably want to make a Swim check anyway, because if you don't you will be denied your Dex bonus to AC, and anything that tries to attack you will receive a +2 bonus to its attack roll. That all cancels out if you are fighting another land-dwelling creature that also is swimming; your attacks are mutually at a -2 penalty for being in the water, and if neither of you succeeds on the skill check, you also are mutually at a +2 against an "off balance" opponent. This ends up being a decisive advantage for rogues, because sneak attack is valid against any opponent who is denied his Dex bonus to AC.
But for most others, it's just a nuisance. But it's not really anything worse than a nuisance if you're just fighting another non-swimmer. Things don't really turn shitty until you're faced with a shark, or a crocodile, or something else that has a swim speed and an attack that deals piercing damage (bite attacks do by definition). Things get extra shitty if the water creature in question also is good at grappling.
The relevant passage in the Environment chapter of the [i]Pathfinder Core Rulebook[/i] can be found [url=http://pathfinder.d20srd.org/coreRulebook/environment.html]here[/url] if you scroll down to "Aquatic Terrain." I don't know why but it's not listed alphabetically.
It should be noted that creatures that fall only land prone if they take lethal damage from the fall, which normally only happens if they fall at least 10' and fail a series of safeguards intended to prevent such misfortune. That's not what happened here when the wasps who attacked Thunk and Garyld auto-failed their Fly checks after taking damage, because both of them were flying close enough to the ground to avoid it. This helps to explain why a flying creature would choose to do so; failing a Fly check after taking damage may only result in descending 10', but failing a Fly check after colliding with an object mid-air (like when Blinky entangled W1 with webs) might potentially cause a drop in altitude significant enough to "crash." So particularly in the case of creatures with sucky Fly modifiers, staying close to the deck is preferable, at least from the perspective of a non-intelligent creature like giant wasps.
I mention this because it means Thunk doesn't gain a +4 modifier to melee attacks versus his current targets. This particular point in the combat also opens up a new conversation about what and how much combatants know about what's going on around them insofar as damage to fellow combatants is concerned. It is my personal opinion that the characters involved in the combat know everything I list in the "Notes" section under the map and initiative count, because it's what the players know and the players make decisions for their characters based on that information. So if @Darker knows W5 has taken 27 damage but W4 has only taken 18 damage, so does Thunk. This is true even in a game like 2EE where hit points are largely an abstraction (unless we're talking about critical hits or sufficient damage in an attack to reduce a target to 0 or negative hit points, at which point I usually describe it as actual physical damage to the creature in question beyond bruises, cuts and scrapes). This doesn't really negatively impact the utility of spells like the 2nd level cleric spell [url=http://pathfinder.d20srd.org/coreRulebook/spells/status.html#status]Util..., which doesn't have a lot to say about someone's hit point total unless they're between 0hp and 100% of their total.
So, all of that being said, I feel confident that even when Thunk is balls-deep in rage, he should be able to pick out the most vulnerable targets even if the damage dealt to them thus far has mostly been described as cosmetic. He will thus make a 5' step before he attacks this round so that he will be able to split attacks between W4 and W5. He will delegate his toothy bite attack to W5 and W4 will bear the brunt of his fury with the greatsword.
W4 is down, but Thunk misses W5 with a natural 1. We'll proceed to W5's attack against Thunk, Garyld's action (Rapid Shot vs W4 after a 5' step), and Thunk's horse (which has declined to enter combat until this point but will do so now) against W5).
Regardless of how all of this shakes out, that will bring us to Feruq, whose stated action will bring him within striking distance of shore but not quite far enough to climb out of the current. Then W3 will act, which may or may not trigger Dalvar's readied action, and that will bring us to Argus.
OK, so it turns out Thunk's horse doesn't even get to roll because Garyld just murdered W5. We'll proceed along the line: Feruq swims his heart out, in an extremely heroic action. Like all of a sudden everyone who can see him really knows without a doubt that feruq is basically Michael Phelps in D&D form, sans weed (or maybe plus more weed?). Because I have ruled that the creatures involved in the combat less than 30' away from this position are basically above-water for purposes of being targeted by land-bound creatures, we'll rule that in this case, Feruq reaches shore and is beyond the pull of the river's current. So he's safe from being dragged further downstream.
Dalvar's readied action triggers when W3 tries to ascend out of the water. It takes a single point of damage and auto-fails its Fly check which means it splashes down again. But it gets one more move action this turn, and as per our earlier discussion flying creatures who descend into water can try to fly again on their next action. He does so, coming within 10' of Blinky, which triggers its readied action.
Blinky's readied action triggers, at which point it attacks W3 with a web attack and sends it down into the river again. W3 is entangled and ends it turns in the water, so it is carried 40' east which means it moves through Feruw's threatened area. I will assume he takes his attack of opportunity against W3 at this point but will defer to @Fixxxer as to whether it includes a Stunning Fist attack or something else.
Ok. Argus is up.
A Stunning Fist attack might drown the wasp, which sounds delightful. I'm away from my computer right now, so could you please roll for Feruq, MI?
Argus will delay. Ideally until there is a worthwhile target.
Okie dokie, rolling for Stunning Fist now. Whether W3 succeeds or fails on the check I have to go back and edit the IC post for a few things.
No dice on the Stunning Fist but W3 is still in quite a bit of trouble. Argus is delaying so that brings us to Thunk. What does he want to do?
At this point the only significant threat remaining to the party is being carried swiftly downstream. Assuming Feruq gets out on his turn (which shouldn't be difficult at all), the party can choose between following the wasp along the riverbank and peppering it with missiles until it eventually starts bleeding out; or just leave it to its own devices, which probably means it will pop up quite far from your current position. Assuming the party continues on their trip to Kuiper's farm, you'll be traveling in the same direction along the river. What to do about the wasps' nest is still an open question.
Based on Dalvar's pre-combat Knowledge check, does he have any firm ideas about how many wasps live in a nest?
Five sounds like a lot to him, not only based on the size of the nest (which appears to be a work-in-progress) but also because the more wasps this size you have to account for, the wider each of them must range to find sustenance and building materials. He would have to get closer to the nest to really be sure but during the party's encounter with the five seen here, no others have shown up on the other side of the river.
Seeing no immediate threats, Thunk ends his rage and catches his breath.
Okie dokie. Garyld will ready an action to shoot any hostile creatures that come within 110' of his current position. That brings us to Feruq. I made an error in my latest version of the map; earlier in the OOC thread I ruled that Feruq is basically on-shore now, albeit still in squares that consist mostly or entirely of water. His position is actually 8 squares west of where the map indicates he ended up, since he was never carried further downstream.
I forgot about that until now because I was drunk when I typed it. So he can stand up as normal or do whatever else he likes this round. Dalvar is up after that.
On his turn, Dalvar comments, in conversational tones, "This one probably will get airborne again within the next few seconds. Argus, do you think you can hit it when it does? Blinky is going to go home in a moment, and I just realized that I do not know for certain whether her webs will persist after she leaves."
He readies an action to cast another acid splash at the first flying creature to come into range. Rolls below.
On a related note, DOES Blinky the Spider's webbing persist after the summon monster spell's duration runs out?
It's far off and across the river, but we can see the nest from where we're at, yes? Do there appear to be any other wasps still hanging around the nest? And is there an easy way to get across the river nearby?
Garyld has a canoe. Given that he was pestering us about this problem to begin with, I'm sure we can press him into service as a ferryman.
Garyld can get one of you across at a time, and yes - although there may be some unexpected surprises once you cross the river and get closer to the treeline, from your current vantage point it doesn't seem like there are any other wasps buzzing around.
M'kay. Then on his turn, Feruq will climb back out of the river. One of us can go over and burn the nest once we're all settled and then we can continue on our way.
Any chance we can hit it with a flaming arrow from here?
I feel like crossing the river in a canoe is the setup for a math riddle. If Thunk and our rations are on the same side of the river, and Thunk is stronger than the combined strength of the people that remain he'll eat them all....
Argus has an arrow in hand as his eye follows the remaining wasp floating down the river. "Aye, I think I can take it out if it gets airborne again."
Argus probably wouldn't have a hard time hitting it with a fire arrow, no. It's not moving and it's almost as big as a house, and if you're only firing one arrow you can line up your shot and really take your time aiming. That should help mitigate the penalty for range. Of course if it's mostly made of dirt or wet stuff that, a single flaming arrow probably isn't going to get the job done.
Right now, however, both Argus and Garyld have readied actions to put an arrow in W3 if it pops out of the water. Let's see how that turns out.
OK. At this point, the remaining wasp has taken 2/3 of its hit points in damage. It's still entangled and even on the turns when it's not drowning, it can't really get out of the water without being shot again. We have every reason to expect that trend will continue and even if it somehow frees itself from the webs and breaks free of the water's surface, and even if no one else attacks it after that, it has definitely had enough. We'll assume that even if it lives, it doesn't try to come back near the nest anytime soon (because that path would carry it too close to the dangerous creatures trying to kill it) and won't harass the PCs when they resume their ride east.
Victory is yours! We're out of initiative.
I would like a Perception roll for Dalvar, please.
Well, Dalvar can see easily enough that there are a few bodies tucked into crevices in the sides of the mound. That would be hard to miss. He sees at least one Bloodskull orc and also a halfling who, if his clothing is any indication, was probably one of the raftworkers that ply their trade up and down the waterways.
Is there any sort of hole or tunnel leading deeper inside? And does he see anything that looks sort of papery?
The portions of the mound closest to the hideyholes stuffed with corpses, including the interior of each of these hollow spaces, does look more papery/pulpy than bare dirt. The hole with the orc looks like it might go back further and deeper but it's kind of hard to tell without dragging the body out first.
Dalvar doesn't know Garyld half as well as he knows Kuiper but "let's burn them all just in case, even if they might still be alive" probably isn't gonna fly with this dude.
That's not really where Dalvar's going with this, anyway.
Cards on the table, that's where I'd be going.
This party really is never very far from going full murderhobo.
Thunk will mercy kill them all if Dalvar says its a good idea. Thunk hates giant bugs.
OK, so Garyld agrees to start ferrying people across to get more party members on this side of the river. He will insist on pausing this activity after the first additional party member has crossed over so that he can have an extra pair of hands to safely get the bodies out of the nest and prepped for inspection.
Who all is coming, and who wants to come over first? It is possible for everyone to make the trip, but that would leave four horses and two mules on the opposite side of the river.
Feruq will come. If pressed, he'll point out that there's no use in risking anyone else getting wet.
Argus will go. He has the Heal Skill, but nothing in the way of healing magic at the moment.
Edit - And I could imagine her saying something like 'Kill Me' like some of the people in Duke Nukem 3D.
Does anyone object to Dalvar's proposal? His plan could best be described as "methodically reducing risk as close to 0% as possible." It will be time-consuming, to be sure. But definitely the safest way to address the problem.