Chapter 2: How Do They Rise Up? (OOC)

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Fixxxer
Fixxxer's picture

I'm a big fan of brown liquor in general. I dislike Laphroig because the peatiness, to me, is just too much. Like drinking a campfire. Most recently, I've been drinking Macallan 18 year and the Balvenie Doublewood 17 year. I've found that my favorite by far is the Balvenie single oak 15 year for its insane smoothness.

When I'm out and paying less than bottle price, Jameson and Tullamore Dew are my standards.

Darker

You want cheap, try some Knob Creek from Kentucky. Insanely smooth for the % alcohol and very nice for an American whiskey.

Talanall
Talanall's picture

Let's not get ahead of ourselves. DDMW hasn't given us his action for Henrik, and we all know that when mortals plan, Henrik laughs.

Wæs se grimma gæst Grendel haten,
mære mearcstapa, se þe moras heold

deadDMwalking
deadDMwalking's picture

We're not waiting on Kaarys?

Talanall
Talanall's picture

Kaarys just took his action, followed by bothrians that attacked Kisasi and Armund. Henrik's on deck now.

Wæs se grimma gæst Grendel haten,
mære mearcstapa, se þe moras heold

deadDMwalking
deadDMwalking's picture

Henrik would like to move to the square that is directly east of Kaarys and north of Kissai (and his horse). The square has a tree in it. He will cast Cure Moderate Wounds (losing Hold Person) on the horse. "Aye laddies, put your backs into it. Try hitting them instead of letting them hit you."

Horsey Healing
I rolled 2d8+3, the result is 5, 8, 3 = 16.
Darker

Darker wrote:

Is Vandersrike planning on moving into a flanking position or getting to safety? Swarbrick will move and ready an action to attack if Vandersrike wants to move SW and SE to flank (and also ready an action for Swarbrick to move).

@Cronono -- did you want to try this, or is Van doing his own thing?

Cronono
Cronono's picture

Vandersrike did mention an eagerness to press the exposed enemies, but I'm not sure if discussing the prospective tactical plan falls outside of @Talanall 's boundaries for metagaming.

Darker

True... though I assume that those who are fighting together and have some BAB bonus can tell a lot about each other's actions in around since everything is really happening more or less together. But its a far point.

Cronono
Cronono's picture

From my perspective, I think it makes a lot of sense to discuss. I'm not actually someone who professionally runs around killing monsters for gold pieces. I assume Vandersrike is better at living in combat than I am, doubly so given the known kobold dependence on the tribe. In my mind, a little OOC coordination can make up for the fact that all of the enemies on the board are guided by one mind, the DM's, and are inherently coordinated whenever the DM is not actively trying to be disorganized. Even when the DM is actively trying to be disorganized, some DMs are bad at that.

That said, I just had a discussion with our DM on this very subject. He makes great points about future looking strategy and his preferences for OOC strategic discussions. I don't share his view and don't use it in the games I run, but I really like his game and I like playing in this game and by those rules. I think it makes a lot of sense for us to feel this out a bit and then talk about it IC and OOC after the fight, provided all of our characters survive. Our death count is fairly high this campaign and that probably should express itself in some way as a lack of coordination.

Talanall
Talanall's picture

Regarding metagaming: I have ambivalent feelings about the practice. One the one hand, I think that it's always a good idea to maintain some degree of consciousness that there is a divide between what we know and what our characters know. The practice, which I have adopted for this game, of using hidden character sheets underscores this distinction; your characters unequivocally know what they are themselves capable of doing. They have to guess at their allies' capabilities.

To some extent, such guesswork is educated, since it's informed by the character's knowledge of his or her world. There's therefore some permeability between what you know as a player and what your character knows. But it's a gradual permeability. Although we've been playing this campaign for something like two years, now, some of the PCs have only fought together once before the current battle.

If we were dealing with a situation where most of this adventuring party had worked together before not just once but many times, against many foes, then I don't think I would care much about a little bit of gentle metagaming about who needs to move where in order to set up a flank. As Cronono points out, the White team is currently being guided by a single mind, at least OOC. I actively seek to prevent myself from metagaming (which is why I am, among other things, flipping a coin to decide whether the bothrians attack Kisasi or Kisasi's horse).

It's a thornier issue for me when I'm playing an encounter that relies on intelligent foes. The bothrians are not; I think you probably can tell that they're of animal-like intellect at best.

One thing that I think is really worth pointing out, though, is that you don't have to metagame in this instance. Your characters are gifted with the power of speech, and although you are limited to no more than 25 words per turn, characters who aren't flat-footed (and none of you are, at this point) are at liberty to speak those words as an immediate or free action, without respect to your place in the initiative count.

25 words are more than sufficient to shout something like, "Flank this thing with me, Vandersrike! On the count of three!"

That, and a couple of broad gestures with the hand, should be sufficient to justify the movement that I think you're seeking to make. If I'm getting things right, you're trying to end up with Vandersrike SW of White 6, and Swarbrick NE of it for a diagonal flank.

Wæs se grimma gæst Grendel haten,
mære mearcstapa, se þe moras heold

Darker

Talanall wrote:
If I'm getting things right, you're trying to end up with Vandersrike SW of White 6, and Swarbrick NE of it for a diagonal flank.


That is correct. I think to count out the action would essentially be the same as both moving and then Swarbrick's action triggering. But without the coordination (i.e. Swarbrick seeing Vandersrike start to move), his readied action would just go to waste. Given their spot in the initiative, they essentially act together anyway.
Talanall
Talanall's picture

Questions about ad hoc simultaneity aside, the larger problem with this plan is that Swarbrick's destination square would cost him 6 squares of movement to enter because of the heavy undergrowth there, if he's planning to enter by going E, SE.

He could make it work if his path to entry were SE, E, instead, but then he'd take an AoO. The bothrian has its tentacle busy with Leland, so that'd probably mean he would take the AoO from its bite instead. But this movement path would count as only 5 squares, and it would allow a flank to be established.

It's not perfectly clear to me whether a creature with improved grab can opt just to let go of/spit out a victim that it has grappled but hasn't pulled into its own space, or whether it must actually break free of the grapple via an opposed check. The basic grapple rules aren't informative on this topic; improved grab isn't, either. The Snatch feat allows the victim to be dropped as a free action or thrown as a standard, and specifies that the ability to grapple using a successful claw or bite is as if the bearer of the feat has the improved grab ability.

I'm inclined to rule that improved grab doesn't grant the same level of control, both because I value feats at a premium, and because I think that if Snatch were simply meant to bestow improved grab, it would be worded a bit differently. So I think that I'm going to (tentatively) rule that part of the opportunity cost for this creature to use its tentacle as it is doing is that it risks the possibility that Leland will keep hold of it even if it wants to drop him and flee. That seems like the simplest way to handle improved grab, since it doesn't require any "special case" rules that make it less like the standard grappling rules.

Wæs se grimma gæst Grendel haten,
mære mearcstapa, se þe moras heold

Darker

Swarbrick was planning on using an enhancement of +10 to his movement to accomplish the feat and avoid the AoO.

And per the opt just to let go of/spit out a victim debate -- I think this fits into the willing/unwilling category of arguments. If the victim (like most) is grateful than he's being let go, there is no opposition as the victim voluntarily fails his opposed roll. Otherwise, I would think the victim certainly could hold on to the tentacle, tooth, or tongue or whatever and stay where they are if the roll an opposing check and win.

Talanall
Talanall's picture

Can you refresh my memory about the source of the +10 ft. enhancement? Acrobat boots?

Wæs se grimma gæst Grendel haten,
mære mearcstapa, se þe moras heold

Darker

Yep, the boots. But without a coordinated plan, there's no point to burning a charge yet.

Talanall
Talanall's picture

What's the objection to having Swarbrick say, in character, "Hey, flank with me," or words to that effect, then move into the appropriate square and ready an action to attack if Vandersrike accommodates his request?

Wæs se grimma gæst Grendel haten,
mære mearcstapa, se þe moras heold

Darker

Because if Vandersrike doesn't move, his readied action is wasted. Which is dumb the way the rules are setup, but dem the rules. So, working within the rule system, it makes more sense for Swarbrick to delay, say "Hey, flank with me" and let Vandersrike move and ready an action to attack when Swarbrick moves into place.

So, easy enough -- Swarbrick says "Hey, flank with me" and delays (waits) for Vandersrike to act and hopefully move into place.

Cronono
Cronono's picture

Given that communication is an immediate/swift action, can Swarbrick speak, Vandersrike respond, and then Swarbrick go?

Talanall
Talanall's picture

Yes.

Wæs se grimma gæst Grendel haten,
mære mearcstapa, se þe moras heold

deadDMwalking
deadDMwalking's picture

You could ready to attack 'after Swarbrick acts' which means even if he doesn't move, you could still attack.

Cronono
Cronono's picture

To confirm, Vandersrike can five foot step south and full attack with the flank. Is that correct?

Talanall
Talanall's picture

It's not. Leland (Blue 2) is grappled, and therefore does not threaten squares. As a result, he cannot flank.

Darker appears to be hoping for Vandersrike to move SW, SE. This would not be a 5-foot step, and as a result it would expose Vandersrike to an AoO from White 6. Per my earlier remark, this would necessarily be delivered using the bothrian's bite attack.

Wæs se grimma gæst Grendel haten,
mære mearcstapa, se þe moras heold

Darker

What if Vandersrike goes S 5' and Swarbrick goes E 5' and then SE 5'?

Talanall
Talanall's picture

The planned sequence of events, as I understand it, is as follows:
1) Vandersrike moves SW, SE.
2) Vandersrike readies a standard action to use to attack White 6 when Swarbrick moves into the diagonally opposing square.
3) Swarbrick moves into the opposing square, establishing a flanking position.
4) Vandersrike's readied attack fires.
5) Swarbrick completes his action by attacking White 6.

Wæs se grimma gæst Grendel haten,
mære mearcstapa, se þe moras heold

Cronono
Cronono's picture

If it provokes anyway, what's the advantage of SW, SE, rather than S, S?

If Leland breaks the grapple and takes a five foot step S, could Vandersrike take a full attack with flanking and take a five foot step S, then Swarbrick could move SE, SE, admittedly provoking, but also ending up with a flank, thus giving us 5 flanking attacks at the cost of one AoO rather than 2 at the cost of one AoO?

Is that question also a good argument for the 25 words in combat rule?

Talanall
Talanall's picture

That won't work because Vandersrike and Swarbrick won't be in opposing squares then.

Wæs se grimma gæst Grendel haten,
mære mearcstapa, se þe moras heold

Darker

I got it, I got it.

Vandersrike goes 5' E, Swarbrick goes W, S, S, S, E, E (total of 7 movement, needing one charge). The last move will require a tumble check DC 15 not to trigger an AoO.

Cronono
Cronono's picture

@Tal - which one won't work?

Talanall
Talanall's picture

Cronono wrote:

If it provokes anyway, what's the advantage of SW, SE, rather than S, S?

There is none. Getting a flank requires Swarbrick or Vandersrike to absorb an AoO. The way Darker has decided to proceed pushes the AoO onto Vandersrike.

Quote:

If Leland breaks the grapple and takes a five foot step S, could Vandersrike take a full attack with flanking and take a five foot step S, then Swarbrick could move SE, SE, admittedly provoking, but also ending up with a flank, thus giving us 5 flanking attacks at the cost of one AoO rather than 2 at the cost of one AoO?

Is that question also a good argument for the 25 words in combat rule?

This could work, at least in theory. It's not a sure thing, because it's possible (but very unlikely) for Leland to lose his opposed check to break the grapple. There are also some questions in my mind about how closely he's going to track whatever it is you ask him to do, because he's highly distracted right now.

The scenario that leads to you trading an AoO for two flanking attacks is a sure thing; I don't think that the bothrian can deal enough damage to prevent the maneuver from taking place, even if it crits and deals the absolute maximum damage possible.

The scenario involving Leland also is more intricate because it requires Vandersrike to convey what he wants to both Leland and Swarbrick, and that with much more precision, so that Swarbrick will continue to delay instead of shrugging, stepping in, and taking a full attack against the bothrian.

Presuming that Swarbrick cools his heels as requested, Leland then has to
1) break the grapple, then
2) move to the specific square that Vandersrike indicates.

On the face of it, that's not very complicated, but although he's probably not in much real danger, Leland's nevertheless pretty busy right now. Tactical chatter from Vandersrike probably is not at the top of his list of concerns at this moment in time, because a tentacle-monster is trying, however ineffectually, to squeeze him to death.

Swarbrick also needs to mentally shift gears, and realize that Vandersrike is stepping aside to open the way for him to move in and full attack.

Overall, this more complicated scenario (in my opinion) probably isn't feasible to express in 25 words or fewer. It's not an unreasonable thing to want to do, and it's not an unreasonable thing for a more tightly integrated adventuring party to have worked out how to do without on-the-spot discussion. Professional athletes do this kind of sophisticated maneuver all the time in basketball or football, but the crucial difference is that they drill extensively so that everyone on the team knows how to recognize and react to opportunities as they happen. I presume that SEALs, Rangers, and other elite soldiers, likewise, run drills with the explicit goal of fostering the same kind of cooperation.

Wæs se grimma gæst Grendel haten,
mære mearcstapa, se þe moras heold

Darker

Darker wrote:

I got it, I got it.

Vandersrike goes 5' E, Swarbrick goes W, S, S, S, E, E (total of 7 movement, needing one charge). The last move will require a tumble check DC 15 not to trigger an AoO.


What about this one? This one is simple and Swarbrick takes the AoO, which he's fairly confident he'll avoid either with his AC or his tumble check.
Cronono
Cronono's picture

If Darker's new one works, we'll do that. Otherwise, we'll do the original one where Vandersrike takes the AoO.

Talanall
Talanall's picture

Cronono wrote:

@Tal - which one won't work?

I was responding to Darker.

His most recent brainstorm could work, but if he wants to attempt a Tumble check, then he could just as easily go S, S, SE. This would cover 15 ft., which is only half of his normal movement. He wouldn't even need to use his boots; all he'd need to do is succeed on the DC 15 Tumble check to avoid AoO. If he fails, he'd have to absorb the AoO instead, but he'd still complete his movement, ending up due south of White 6. He then could ready an action to attack as soon as Vandersrike moves to a flanking position.

Then Vandersrike could 5-ft. step one square east, Swarbrick's action would fire, and then Vandersrike's full attack would commence.

Wæs se grimma gæst Grendel haten,
mære mearcstapa, se þe moras heold

Darker

Let's do it! Moving and tumbling like a ninja.

Oh, please don't get hit...
I rolled 1d20+9, the result is 11, 9 = 20.
Talanall
Talanall's picture

Let's go ahead and have your attack and damage rolls. Assume you're flanking, and roll sneak attack damage as appropriate for each.

Wæs se grimma gæst Grendel haten,
mære mearcstapa, se þe moras heold

Cronono
Cronono's picture

Blender time!

Claw, Claw Damage, Sneak, Claw, Claw Damage, Sneak, Bite, Bite Damage, Sneak, Tail, Tail Damage, Sneak
I rolled 1d20+9, the result is 2, 9 = 11.
I rolled 1d3, the result is 1 = 1.
I rolled 2d6, the result is 4, 6 = 10.
I rolled 1d20+9, the result is 20, 9 = 29.
I rolled 1d3, the result is 1 = 1.
I rolled 2d6, the result is 2, 2 = 4.
I rolled 1d20+4, the result is 16, 4 = 20.
I rolled 1d3, the result is 1 = 1.
I rolled 2d6, the result is 1, 4 = 5.
I rolled 1d20+4, the result is 1, 4 = 5.
I rolled 1d4, the result is 4 = 4.
I rolled 2d6, the result is 1, 1 = 2.
Cronono
Cronono's picture

Confirming Crit

Claw Crit?
I rolled 1d20+9, the result is 6, 9 = 15.
Darker

Attack!

I rolled 1d20+5, the result is 15, 5 = 20.
I rolled 1d8+4, the result is 4, 4 = 8.
I rolled 1d6, the result is 3 = 3.
Talanall
Talanall's picture

Amorphous Body

I rolled 1d100, the result is 61 = 61.
I rolled 1d100, the result is 99 = 99.

Wæs se grimma gæst Grendel haten,
mære mearcstapa, se þe moras heold

Darker

What the hello? Is this one not getting the benefit of cover is it?

Cronono
Cronono's picture

It has AC 20. I've missed multiple times at 19, but I'm hitting on 20.

Darker

No, Swarbrick missed at 20.

Talanall
Talanall's picture

Its AC is in excess of 20.

Wæs se grimma gæst Grendel haten,
mære mearcstapa, se þe moras heold

Cronono
Cronono's picture

I got nothin, then.

Damn, that's a high AC!

MinusInnocence
MinusInnocence's picture

Kisasi will keep up his assault on White #4 and encourage his horse to do the same to White #5. I'm including a flanking bonus on my lance attack because I don't think Armund is currently being grappled and hope he is still threatening the bothrian. Adjust the final result as needed if this isn't correct.

Lance vs White #4 (flanking, higher ground); Light warhorse vs White #5 (2 hooves and bite)
I rolled 1d20+7, the result is 16, 7 = 23.
I rolled 1d8+2, the result is 5, 2 = 7.
I rolled 1d20+4, the result is 17, 4 = 21.
I rolled 1d4+3, the result is 3, 3 = 6.
I rolled 1d20+4, the result is 9, 4 = 13.
I rolled 1d4+3, the result is 2, 3 = 5.
I rolled 1d20-1, the result is 13, -1 = 12.
I rolled 1d3+1, the result is 2, 1 = 3.

"Every normal man must be tempted, at times, to spit on his hands, hoist the black flag and begin slitting throats." - H.L. Mencken

Talanall
Talanall's picture

Armund isn't being grappled, no. He threatens squares normally right now, so the flanking bonus is applicable.

Earlier, you mentioned that you had been planning to have Kisasi begin a gradual withdrawal from the trees and undergrowth into a less congested area near the path. Is that something you still want to do?

Wæs se grimma gæst Grendel haten,
mære mearcstapa, se þe moras heold

MinusInnocence
MinusInnocence's picture

Yes, thank you for reminding me. We'll take a 5' step northeast after the horse finishes its attacks.

"Every normal man must be tempted, at times, to spit on his hands, hoist the black flag and begin slitting throats." - H.L. Mencken

Talanall
Talanall's picture

Acting for Leland at Dafyd's request.

Break Grapple
I rolled 1d20+2, the result is 9, 2 = 11.
I rolled 1d20-16, the result is 15, -16 = -1.

Wæs se grimma gæst Grendel haten,
mære mearcstapa, se þe moras heold

Fixxxer
Fixxxer's picture

Armund will take a 5ft step to the south to put himself closer to Sally and to flank with Kaarys. He'll try again to cut the foul thing down with his scimitar.

Attck (including flanking bonus); damage (including favored enemy bonus)
I rolled 1d20+6, the result is 1, 6 = 7.
I rolled 1d6+3, the result is 6, 3 = 9.
Fixxxer
Fixxxer's picture

Really, die roller?

Lacking instructions otherwise, Sally will keep tying her Bothrian up.

Attack; Damage; Trip Check
I rolled 1d20+3, the result is 13, 3 = 16.
I rolled 1d6+1, the result is 1, 1 = 2.
I rolled 1d20+1, the result is 1, 1 = 2.

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