Can I mark an ally?

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It came up in our game when the monsters busted out a 'marked until the end of the encounter' power.  Regardless of when you think a mark like this ends normally, couldn't an ally's mark be used to overwrite the monster's mark and get rid of it?  Specifically, the swordmage and paladin mark powers target 'a creature', so couldn't they be used on an ally? 

When I suggested I'd try this with my swordmage, my DM just about turned himself inside out -- a rather vigorous rejection of the tactic.   He may certainly object from a flavour standpoint in his campaign, but the mechanics are okay, non?

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Don't see why not. It's a hefty price you pay for dropping the mark: you need to attack your ally (which might do some damage), which takes up generally your standard action (meaning you can't attack an enemy) and you waste your mark (meaning you can't defend as well for the rest of the turn) and your ally is distracted (meaning he takes a -2 on attack rolls until your mark ends)

Plus, it even makes some ingame sense.

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Swordmage and paladin don't need to attack to place their marks.  Paladin just has to 'engage' to maintain his mark, and the swordmage's lasts until he marks someone else.  Paladin loses his ability to mark on his next turn when he doesn't engage, but the swordmage is free and clear.

Warden only marks enemies and fighter marks when he hits, so these two are less likely candidates (which is why I left them out).

But yes, the cost to the party in actions and missing marks is definitely there.

Returned from hiatus; getting up to speed on 5e rules lawyering.

Swordmage is the best for this, since you don't have to do damage to the target when applying it or when the ally attacks one of your enemies, and you don't have to worry about the engaging issue.  Only real downsides are you lose one round of applying your mark to the enemies, and your ally takes a -2 to hit all enemies for one round.  Worth it compared to -2 to all except one for the encounter probably. 

Edit: Aegis of Ensnarement isn't so hot though, because your ally will also grant Combat Advantage to all creatures for that one round as well.

Edit2: Just checked, and Divine Challenge you don't have the option not to do the radiant damage when your ally makes an attack that doesn't include you.
Phb page 91 (Under the divine challenge class feature before the divine challenge power)

"You can use the divine challenge power to mark an enemy of your choice."

So even though, Divine Challenge the power says any target, its seems under its Class Feautre it is intended to be only used on enemies.

EDIT:

Here is the Swordmage aegis wording (again from the class feature).

"You can place a magical warding upon a foe, allowing you to respond to the foe’s attacks against your allies with a counterassault or a timely protection."

Though it uses "foe" instead of "enemy".
I don't know that the general description of the power overrides the power's target entry.  It does help determine RAI though.  But don't forget that a PC can determine if someone is his ally or not on the fly (and by extension, who is an enemy).
The use of terms like "enemy" and "foe" sew it up for me.  Allowing a PC to decide a party member is "an enemy" (nudge, nudge, wink, wink) totally flies in the face of common definitions.  The party member can't be much of an enemy, can he?  Not when the PC is marking him to AID him.
Regarding the class feature descriptions, at best we've got a contradiction between two equally-weighted pieces of rules text.  I'll leave it as an exercise for the reader whether the class feature description is more or less 'rules-y' than the power block, and which one is a better reflection of RAI...

Also, regarding the Paladin mark (if it works on an ally at all), he wouldn't need to leave it in place.  On the paladin's turn he uses his minor action to mark his friend, and then ends his turn without engaging his ally: mark ends.  Of course, that means his mark is out of commission for two rounds (the one where he marks his ally, and the 'penalty round' for not engaging his mark), but that may be preferable to dinging his ally with radiant damage in some cases.

Returned from hiatus; getting up to speed on 5e rules lawyering.

But don't forget that a PC can determine if someone is his ally or not on the fly (and by extension, who is an enemy).


By that logic you could prevent being forced moved through an ally's square by declaring them an enemy during the forced move.

I don't even know where the books define terms like "ally", "enemy" or "foe".
Swordmage and paladin don't need to attack to place their marks.  Paladin just has to 'engage' to maintain his mark, and the swordmage's lasts until he marks someone else.  Paladin loses his ability to mark on his next turn when he doesn't engage, but the swordmage is free and clear.

Warden only marks enemies and fighter marks when he hits, so these two are less likely candidates (which is why I left them out).

But yes, the cost to the party in actions and missing marks is definitely there.



Fighter could just attack with a bull rush then opt not to push, or attack with a grab and immediately end it as a free action.  No damage, but it would eat up a standard action.
I don't know that the general description of the power overrides the power's target entry.  It does help determine RAI though.  But don't forget that a PC can determine if someone is his ally or not on the fly (and by extension, who is an enemy).



You can say it, but do you mean it.  I can say your a bird, but it doesn't make it true.

I can't imagine going to my ally I have been fighting the powers of evils.  Someone who I have trusted over and over again.  I suddenly say "your my enemey".  For absoulty no reason I don't trust and think your going to hurt me.

For some reason marking your friend seems like it follows the bag of rats rule
I don't know that the general description of the power overrides the power's target entry.  It does help determine RAI though.  But don't forget that a PC can determine if someone is his ally or not on the fly (and by extension, who is an enemy).




I can't imagine going to my ally I have been fighting the powers of evils.  Someone who I have trusted over and over again.  I suddenly say "your my enemey".  For absoulty no reason I don't trust and think your going to hurt me.





I don't know a lot of munchkin power gamers never role play any personality or emotions.
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I'd say no, because marking typically applies to enemies/foes only... so if you really wish to announce that you are turning against your party member -- and thus making yourself a threat to the party as a whole -- just to mark, I'd reckon you're probably going in on your head just to remove a mark.

If you wouldn't mind getting killed by your own party, or having them look at you in a... distasteful manner... then go ahead and mark them
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Marking is saying attack me or else.  How can you really threaten your friend since he is not your enemey
I'd say no, unless your ally becomes an enemy by turning against you. Marking is a treatement you reserve to enemies only. Lower than that is just mere provocations among friends with lots of testoterones.

But then it becomes a DM's call to let this happen in the first place. I wouldn't let players tell me one minute their PC hate each others and then reconciliate the minute after, this to abuse a Power or a Feat.

I would think marking an ally would run afoul of the Bag of Rats rule. It may not 'technically' run afoul of it, however, it sure seems to in spirit. Clearly marks are meant for enemies, not as a way to get rid of marks applied by enemies.
Marking is saying attack me or else.  How can you really threaten your friend since he is not your enemey



I agree that the rules did not intend to mark an ally...
Maybe the only case is if he's being dominated and attacking you... otherwise...
Seems cheesy to exploit another ability...
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The idea that my character isn't free to determine who is his ally (which by default will also define his enemies), that seems like a hell of a lot of DM interferance.  I understand that stopping abuse of powers based on technicalities is a fine thing, but are we trying to determine the RAW here, RAI here, or how to fix something that is abusive?

From what I can see, the Aegis and Divine Challenge powers clearly target creatures, which allows you to target allies or enemies.  That seems to be the RAW.  The blurb describing each seems to indicate that RAI was you won't be using them on your allies.

I don't even know where the books define terms like "ally", "enemy" or "foe".

I think it's in the "how to read powers" section before the classes, in the sections about how to read the target line.  Anything that isn't your ally is your enemy.

The idea that my character isn't free to determine who is his ally (which by default will also define his enemies), that seems like a hell of a lot of DM interferance.  I understand that stopping abuse of powers based on technicalities is a fine thing, but are we trying to determine the RAW here, RAI here, or how to fix something that is abusive?

From what I can see, the Aegis and Divine Challenge powers clearly target creatures, which allows you to target allies or enemies.  That seems to be the RAW.  The blurb describing each seems to indicate that RAI was you won't be using them on your allies.

I don't even know where the books define terms like "ally", "enemy" or "foe".

I think it's in the "how to read powers" section before the classes, in the sections about how to read the target line.  Anything that isn't your ally is your enemy.




Its not DM interfearnce, your just doing something that doesn't make sense.  Your actions are determing who is a alley and who isn't.  Like I said if you have been this guys ally for an entire campigan and both of you have never shown any ill towards each other, why in the span of less then 20 seconds is he really a enemy.

If you haven't read up on the bag of rats rule check out.  it may help in this situation
I think the best fix from a design perspective is to say that "marks until end of encounter" effects are suppressed by temporary marks, but are not overwritten.

If an ally defender wants to mark you to get rid of an enemy's mark, and that enemy's mark is temporary too, then that's probably fine--action economy likely heavily favors the monster in this scenario.

If an ally defender wants to mark you to get rid of a long-duration enemy mark, then that's where the problem arises.

If the change I mentioned is used, then the second scenario basically becomes the first scenario. The defender would have to continuously use actions to mark you, losing a lot of his own actions, just to keep the e.o.e. mark suppressed.
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I don't know that the general description of the power overrides the power's target entry.  It does help determine RAI though.  But don't forget that a PC can determine if someone is his ally or not on the fly (and by extension, who is an enemy).



Not really, that's along the line of the old "Bag of rats" thinking they clearly say doesn't cut the mustard. Or in this case, doesn't cut the bag o rats.

Just like you can't carry a bag of rats to hit to activate a power, you can't declare an ally a foe because you want to be munchkiny.
Its not DM interfearnce, your just doing something that doesn't make sense.  Your actions are determing who is a alley and who isn't.  Like I said if you have been this guys ally for an entire campigan and both of you have never shown any ill towards each other, why in the span of less then 20 seconds is he really a enemy.

So what you are saying is that I can't turn on my former allies any time I want.  That is DM interference.

However, I understand that declaring a former ally an enemy for 20 seconds then he's your ally again may offend your sensibilities.    DMs can and do have to interfere about that kind of thing all the time.

If you haven't read up on the bag of rats rule check out.  it may help in this situation

I've read it many times.  It is a rule that says you can't get a beneficial effect from the Hit line of a power unless you target a legitimate target.  It doesn't apply here.  It's usually misrepresented to mean many other things.

If you mean the often misrepresented imaginary "bag-o-rats" rule that players may not do anything abnormal to gain any sort of advantage unless there is actual danger or a real target involved, I'm familiar with the concept.  It irks me that people like to drag it out as a "fix" instead of actually looking at the rules issue, but whatever floats your boat.

I understand that this rules manipulation is exactly that imaginary bag-o-rats rule.  But you should be rolling over to the errata forums and asking for a change in Divine Challenge and Aegis so that the target lines are Enemy instead of Creature in that case, and another to define that redesignating your ally to a non-ally requires DM approval.  Not saying that you can't use them to target an ally in Q&A when you certainly can by RAW.
I was with you, Fitz, up until the point that Selucid pointed out the contradictory rules text in the class feature descriptions for Divine Challenge and Swordmage Aegis.  Until that contradiction is resolved (via errata), this issue falls within the realm of "DM's choice".  RAW, in this case, is broken.

Returned from hiatus; getting up to speed on 5e rules lawyering.

I was with you, Fitz, up until the point that Selucid pointed out the contradictory rules text in the class feature descriptions for Divine Challenge and Swordmage Aegis.  Until that contradiction is resolved (via errata), this issue falls within the realm of "DM's choice".  RAW, in this case, is broken.


I don't consider any of that to be RAW when the power is quite specific.  Just as a table description shouldn't override the feat description, blurb talking about a feature shouldn't override an actual power layout.  I'll understand if you don't agree.

To me that difference shows RAI, not RAW.  And it suggests to me that an errata to make the RAW of the power block match the RAI indicated by the text is in order.
Its not DM interfearnce, your just doing something that doesn't make sense.  Your actions are determing who is a alley and who isn't.  Like I said if you have been this guys ally for an entire campigan and both of you have never shown any ill towards each other, why in the span of less then 20 seconds is he really a enemy.

So what you are saying is that I can't turn on my former allies any time I want.  That is DM interference.

However, I understand that declaring a former ally an enemy for 20 seconds then he's your ally again may offend your sensibilities.    DMs can and do have to interfere about that kind of thing all the time.

If you haven't read up on the bag of rats rule check out.  it may help in this situation

I've read it many times.  It is a rule that says you can't get a beneficial effect from the Hit line of a power unless you target a legitimate target.  It doesn't apply here.  It's usually misrepresented to mean many other things.

If you mean the often misrepresented imaginary "bag-o-rats" rule that players may not do anything abnormal to gain any sort of advantage unless there is actual danger or a real target involved, I'm familiar with the concept.  It irks me that people like to drag it out as a "fix" instead of actually looking at the rules issue, but whatever floats your boat.

I understand that this rules manipulation is exactly that imaginary bag-o-rats rule.  But you should be rolling over to the errata forums and asking for a change in Divine Challenge and Aegis so that the target lines are Enemy instead of Creature in that case, and another to define that redesignating your ally to a non-ally requires DM approval.  Not saying that you can't use them to target an ally in Q&A when you certainly can by RAW.



I am not saying that. but your turning this alley into a rule exploicate.  If you really do turn on someone you it makes zero sense logically the you change your mind and make them a friend again.

If you really do mean to turn on your ally I wouldn't stop you, but you can't suddenly say 15 seconds later he is a ally.

As you just said the bag of rats says that players may not do anything abnormal to gain any sort of advantage unless there is actual danger or a real target involved.

It acutally seems to fit perfectly in this situation.  You are doing something abormal to gain advantge, and there is no real threat from your friend if you mark him
I don't consider any of that to be RAW when the power is quite specific.  Just as a table description shouldn't override the feat description, blurb talking about a feature shouldn't override an actual power layout.  I'll understand if you don't agree.

To me that difference shows RAI, not RAW.  And it suggests to me that an errata to make the RAW of the power block match the RAI indicated by the text is in order.


Yep, I'll disagree...  Smile

To me, we have to take the class feature write-ups as rules text of equal weight to a power write-up.  One, because we haven't been told to do otherwise (compare to the feat table vs. feat text clarification you refer to above).  Two, because the warden and fighter marks only ever get a class feature write-up, and no power block -- in fact, most class features do not get a power block write-up.  Does that mean they are less firmly established as 'rules' than the paladin and swordmage marks? 

Anyhoo, the case is closed for me.  Continue to debate it if you must. 

Returned from hiatus; getting up to speed on 5e rules lawyering.

I am not saying that. but your turning this alley into a rule exploicate.  If you really do turn on someone you it makes zero sense logically the you change your mind and make them a friend again.

Fair enough.  It's a different issue from if you can even target an ally in the first place though, and I was intermixing the two for a while there.

Anyhoo, the case is closed for me.  Continue to debate it if you must. 

Nope.  Said my piece on it.  If I discuss this in another thread in the future though, I'll try to remember to point out that the power and text disagree.
Pulling up both powers in the compendium, I see no mention of "ally""foe"or "enemy"  It's all "target" and "creature".

There are a lot of damaging combat abilities that have a target of "Creature" and they are very specific in the beginning of the Powers section that "creature" can be either Ally or Enemy.
Pulling up both powers in the compendium, I see no mention of "ally""foe"or "enemy"  It's all "target" and "creature".

There are a lot of damaging combat abilities that have a target of "Creature" and they are very specific in the beginning of the Powers section that "creature" can be either Ally or Enemy.


Look at the paladin class feature "Divine Challenge" and the swordmage class feature "Swordmage Aegis" -- that's where the "enemy"/"foe" text appears.

Returned from hiatus; getting up to speed on 5e rules lawyering.

By the Holy RAW,  DC DS and Aegis work on allies being able to target creatures. Fair enough. And DC rules of engagement need not be fullfilled, since the newly applied mark will just go off.  In fact, finishing adjacent could have terrific results whle DC'ing an ally, you'd burn him in radiation automatically ... while Aegis give you the choice to punish back or not.

But i believe the Marks were designed to target enemies, and not get rid of allies Mark applied by Monsters.
Pulling up both powers in the compendium, I see no mention of "ally""foe"or "enemy"  It's all "target" and "creature".

There are a lot of damaging combat abilities that have a target of "Creature" and they are very specific in the beginning of the Powers section that "creature" can be either Ally or Enemy.


Look at the paladin class feature "Divine Challenge" and the swordmage class feature "Swordmage Aegis" -- that's where the "enemy"/"foe" text appears.



Sorry, I'm not seeing it


Divine Challenge

You boldly confront a nearby enemy, searing it with divine light if it ignores your challenge.


At-Will        Divine, Radiant
Minor Action      Close burst 5


Target: One creature in burst


Effect: You mark the target. The target remains marked until you use this power against another target, or if you fail to engage the target (see below). A creature can be subject to only one mark at a time. A new mark supersedes a mark that was already in place.
    While a target is marked, it takes a –2 penalty to attack rolls for any attack that doesn't include you as a target. Also, it takes radiant damage equal to 3 + your Charisma modifier the first time it makes an attack that doesn’t include you as a target before the start of your next turn. The damage increases to 6 + your Charisma modifier at 11th level, and to 9 + your Charisma modifier at 21st level.
    On your turn, you must engage the target you challenged or challenge a different target. To engage the target, you must either attack it or end your turn adjacent to it. If none of these events occur by the end of your turn, the marked condition ends and you can’t use divine challenge on your next turn.
    You can use divine challenge once per turn.


Special: Even though this ability is called a challenge, it doesn’t rely on the intelligence or language ability of the target. It’s a magical compulsion that affects the creature’s behavior, regardless of the creature’s nature. You can’t place a divine challenge on a creature that is already affected by your or another character’s divine challenge.





Aegis of Assault

You create an arcane link between you and a foe, allowing you to instantly respond to its attacks with a counterassault.


At-Will        Arcane, Teleportation
Minor Action      Close burst 2


Target: One creature in burst


Effect: You mark the target. The target remains marked until you use this power against another target. If you mark other creatures using other powers, the target is still marked. A creature can be subject to only one mark at a time. A new mark supersedes a mark that was already in place.
    If your marked target makes an attack that doesn’t include you as a target, it takes a –2 penalty to attack rolls. If that attack hits and the marked target is within 10 squares of you, you can use an immediate reaction to teleport to a square adjacent to the target and make a melee basic attack against it. If no unoccupied space exists adjacent to the target, you can’t use this immediate reaction.




 


Unless you are talking about the Flavor text, which has no impact on the power itself.


 



You could even mark yourself  Surprised   To get rid of an enemy's mark.  Or for a Free Teleport to a square adjacent.  Why not  !
Sorry, I'm not seeing it


Search for "paladin" and select "Classes".  Look at the class feature called "Divine Challenge".

DIVINE CHALLENGE
The challenge of a paladin is filled with divine menace. You can use the divine challenge power to mark an enemy of your choice.


Search for "swordmage" and select "Classes".  Look at the class feature called "Swordmage Aegis".


SWORDMAGE AEGIS
You can place a magical warding upon a foe, allowing you to respond to the foe’s attacks against your allies with a counterassault or a timely protection. Choose one Aegis and gain its benefit.

Returned from hiatus; getting up to speed on 5e rules lawyering.

You could even mark yourself     To get rid of an enemy's mark.  Or for a Free Teleport to a square adjacent.  Why not  !



I can't think of a way for Fighter to attack himself. No fighter marks on self.

Paladin and Swordmage use Close Bursts, which specifically do not/cannot target the self. No Pally/Swordmage marks on self.

Warden...maybe. Do you count as adjacent to yourself? Since you count as your own enemy (Allies are not you, and enemies are "not allies" [PHB57]), it might work. Of course, this is heavy theory-optimizing and should probably never see table playtime ever. ;)

[EDIT]: Best definition I can find of "adjacent" is PHB273, which suggests that adjacency requires 2 creatures/squares/etc.
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Oh you're right buddy, Closes won't affect the Pally or the Swordmage. 
Search for "paladin" and select "Classes".  Look at the class feature called "Divine Challenge".

DIVINE CHALLENGE
The challenge of a paladin is filled with divine menace. You can use the divine challenge power to mark an enemy of your choice.


Search for "swordmage" and select "Classes".  Look at the class feature called "Swordmage Aegis".


SWORDMAGE AEGIS
You can place a magical warding upon a foe, allowing you to respond to the foe’s attacks against your allies with a counterassault or a timely protection. Choose one Aegis and gain its benefit.



You are quoting some flavor text and not the actual power's text.

The actual power's text, on the same page in PHB to the right of the flavor text you quoted, says...
Divine Challenge Paladin Feature
You boldly confront a nearby enemy, searing it with divine light if
it ignores your challenge.
At-Will ✦ Divine, Radiant
Minor Action Close burst 5
Target: One creature in burst


It very clearly says "Creature" which means both Allies and Enemies...

for the Swordmage...
Aegis of Assault Swordmage Feature
You create an arcane link between you and a foe, allowing you
to instantly respond to its attacks with a counterassault.
At-Will ✦ Arcane, Teleportation
Minor Action Close burst 2
Target: One creature in burst



Again creature... please do NOT use flavor text for deciding what RAW says.

Again creature... please do NOT use flavor text for deciding what RAW says.



Given the absolutely astounding number of abilities that depend on the class feature text for its rules I would hardly consider it flavor text.

For example: sneak attack, prime shot, nature's wrath, combat challenge, quarry, censure, barbarian agility, rampage, virtue, song of rest, etc. 

Both the fighter's and warden's ability to mark depend exclusively on the text in the class features.

Again creature... please do NOT use flavor text for deciding what RAW says.



Given the absolutely astounding number of abilities that depend on the class feature text for its rules I would hardly consider it flavor text.

For example: sneak attack, prime shot, nature's wrath, combat challenge, quarry, censure, barbarian agility, rampage, virtue, song of rest, etc. 

Both the fighter's and warden's ability to mark depend exclusively on the text in the class features.



true, however I would say in this case, the class feature text is "flavor text" becuase the books provide the actual power text. In other cases (like the ones you listed), I would not claim them as flavor text as they, as you said, are exclusively dependent on this text and are defined in more detail than these are. The issue here is that there is that someone is using the feature text over the power text in defining what the power does.

true, however I would say in this case, the class feature text is "flavor text" becuase the books provide the actual power text. In other cases (like the ones you listed), I would not claim them as flavor text as they, as you said, are exclusively dependent on this text and are defined in more detail than these are. The issue here is that there is that someone is using the feature text over the power text in defining what the power does.



Class features are either rules or they are not, you can't just cherry pick when you want to apply them. I'm sure a lot of arguments are convenient when you can just ignore half the rules.

Flavor text specifically refers to the blurb under the name for powers and rituals and in no way are Class Features referred to as flavor text.

The issue here is that there are two sets of legitimate rules that contradict each other. Some people argue that the specificity of the power block supercedes the general rule of Class Feature.
I happen to disagree. I think there is an interpretation that settles both the class feature and power block, thus marks can only be used on enemies. Fitz on the other hand argues that PC's should be able to determine who is an enemy or ally at any given time (thus removing any contradiction because all creatures are enemies). I think that's too exploitable, as PC's can prevent being forced moved through squares containing allies, by just claiming that their ally is an enemy for the duration of the forced movement.

Class feaures are not sometimes rules and sometimes flavor text. The entire notion is ridiculous.







Some people argue that the specificity of the power block supercedes the general rule of Class Feature.

Fitz on the other hand argues that PC's should be able to determine who is an enemy or ally at any given time (thus removing any contradiction because all creatures are enemies).



I think two things:
1) If there is a conflict between a text rule and a power block rule, the power block takes precendence.
2) Even if the class feature text takes precendence, players are free to choose who is an ally and who is not at any time.

I understand that the result in this case is something that others consider an exploit.
I still think the bag of rats applies here.  You shouldn't be able to mark something if isn't threatning you
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