Knocking back oozes

Hello folks,

I made a similar post for the speak with dead ritual and it really helped me realize how many people actually find this spell iconic, so I hand waved my arguments and just like all dms learned to adjust.

Please give me your opinions on knock down combat maneuver as well.

I find knock down a great way to spend your expertise dice. It is a strategic option well placed in the hands of the fighter.
What I dont like is its general application to everything, especially non anatomical sensible targets.

As the title mentions I dont like to have to describe proning oozes and I dislike mechanics that dont flow easily from my players narration. In 4e my players always stumbled when they tried to describe how they prone oozes. At first they gave it one or two memorable tries but after that they handwaved it with a chuckle instead trying to name call it using other terms like a bit dazed, more wobbly than usual etc...

Although it was funny, we all found it a prime example of how a power dictates narration instead of the opposite to the point where it doesnt make sense and is breaking momentum.

I would like to see some modifications in the knockdown maneuver description.
Does it work on everything?
Can we have a description modification, where some creatures cannot become prone?
Can we leave maneuver as is, and add the no prone ability as a passive trait for some creatures?
As a side note, do you think it works on flying creatures as well? (especially with the archer fighter) do they fall if they get hit?

So what do you think? Did you have the same problem? Do you think such a modification is acceptable or fighters will be gimped too much?
INstead of gimping the ability why not alter the monster write ups to give them immunities to affects that they would logically ignore.

OR you could just accept that knocking someone prone deosn't have to involve tripping in the traditional sense, for example I have several options when knocking things over. I have a nasty trick where I step on the target's foot and give them a quick bump, never seen a Biped stay standing after that one, even people who should really have known better, utterly worthless on anything with hooves. On the other hand I also do a decent traditional leg sweep, tends to fail on humans with the proper experience, or sheer stability, but messes up quadrapeds just fine, if I can hook two or more legs. Were I to model a fighter on these techniques would he really need two distinct maneuvers?

Now having never gotten into a scrap with a motile jello jiggler I can't say for certain but assuming you can solidly connect with any of its substance it would be utterly within the powers of leverage to manipulate it's center of gravity albeit slightly, which is sometimes enough to gain an advantage. 
Quick response: knockback is not the same thing as knockdown.

Longer response: add the trait on to some creatures as a dm option if you must (personally I don't have a problem with splacting an ooze such that it has to take some time to get itself back together), but be very careful about how broadly you do this.
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Much to my mother's chargin, I used to smash my jello and pudding flat... with my hands.

I have no problem splatting oozes and them taking time to reform.

And hits to the legs, drop even big people.

No problem with knock back/down from me and my headshed.

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Yeah, I think this needs to be dealth with on a monster level, not on a power level.
The problem is letting players know that it's immune to non-elemental things.  They should know it's immune to prone without a lore check, but not that it's immune to fire damage for example. 
I just see it as a flat strike against the ooze that loosens it in its entirety and takes a few seconds to drag itself back up to its oozing form, it may look different to knockdown but mechanically it is the same.

And it was technically knocked down. 
They way I see it, if you're willing to find a way to make the narrative work, do it.  If you're unable or unwilling to do so, then don't use those effects in that situation.
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Yeah, I think this needs to be dealth with on a monster level, not on a power level.
The problem is letting players know that it's immune to non-elemental things.  They should know it's immune to prone without a lore check, but not that it's immune to fire damage for example. 


Knock back != knock down.

If an ooze is immune to tripping but not being knocked prone (as demonstrated by some ooze variants in 3E), that's certainly has to be made known to the play; personally I'd say if it's

1. mobile enough to cause it to dodge attacks, as opposed to being auto-hit, not losing consistency & shrugging off attacks like nothing (in which case, it'd be immune to non-magical attacks outright)
2. not stable enough structure-wise to render it immune to tripping or other methods of introducing vulnerability
3. physically manifested, instead of being an illusion or completely insubstantial

It can be brought to the prone (vulnerable) position, not necessarily the prone (flat on face/stomach) position.

Regardless, as long as a creature can be moved (like most non-tree creatures), it can be knocked back.  Mass and [physical/mental] density complicate matters, but generally speaking, if reacts to a sword or hammer at all, it can likely be maneuvered in a way other than where it wants to be... as sword, mace or magical compulsion to be knocked back would all be related to the same thing: force.  Magic may have a more "sparkly" way of doing it, but feints, taunts, smashes and shoves usually work towards the same goal of forcing the enemy back.
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1. mobile enough to cause it to dodge attacks, as opposed to being auto-hit, not losing consistency & shrugging off attacks like nothing (in which case, it'd be immune to non-magical attacks outright)



Well - at present a fighter can only miss an ooze by rolling a 1.  So they actually do seem to no longer be able to dodge attacks and are as close to autohit as the system allows.'

I'd like to see that change - but it is the way the Bestiary is set up at present.

That said - I don't object to them being able to be knocked backBut I do think they should be immune to prone as a general Ooze property.

Carl
The Ooze in the first packet was immune to falling prone--I wonder why they removed that from the second packet.
I just see it as a flat strike against the ooze that loosens it in its entirety and takes a few seconds to drag itself back up to its oozing form, it may look different to knockdown but mechanically it is the same.

And it was technically knocked down. 


Which sounds more like how one would describe a stunning or dazing attack on an ooze. Why a fighter trained a tripping suddenly gains the "splatter ooze" or "disoroientate blob" special tactic is a little odd. 

Not every power should be aplicable to every monster. There should be "paper" monsters to the fighter's "rock" powers. 
Oozes should just be immune to tripping.  

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My problem with saying that an ooze is prone is that you now have disadvantage against it with a ranged attack. This makes no sense.

 
Much to my mother's chargin, I used to smash my jello and pudding flat... with my hands.

I have no problem splatting oozes and them taking time to reform.

And hits to the legs, drop even big people.

No problem with knock back/down from me and my headshed.



If D&D oozes and puddings had the same consistency of food Jello and pudding, they wouldn't be able to move or attack.  Your real life experience is of no value in a discussion of this type.  That isn't to say that your opinion that oozes/pudding can be knocked flat has no value, but only that the real world analogy is worthless.
They way I see it, if you're willing to find a way to make the narrative work, do it.  If you're unable or unwilling to do so, then don't use those effects in that situation.



This is the right answer.  I think the DMG should advise DMs on deciding how to handle these things.  Both philosophies should be explained and advice given on how to adjudicate each of them.

I would just not allow things that don't make sense.  To me that is why we have a DM and not a computer program.  And yes I would tell a player when he tries some manuever to knock an ooze prone, that it is impossible.  With my group though, I don't think anyone would think that anyway.  But there are better examples and gray areas where it would of course make sense.



 

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Yup storyteller is right, 1st packet oozes had this trait but it just vanished in second.

To clarify further I dont have any problem with knock down as a feature. I dont have problems narrating tripping or shoving a creature prone however big or small.

The way I see prone condition written in the playtest though makes me wonder if amorphous creatures, ghosts or spectres (incorporeals) and gaseous creatures should have the prone condition applied to them.


And I mentioned the fighter because knock down is a constant feature for them. But it includes other aspects of the game as well. Would you like to see a wizard cast a grease spell and ghosts start slipping and falling on their behinds?

Would you like to see oozes or blood mists (gaseous creature) crawl since they can be prone?

Some creatures should have the passive trait to be immune to prone imo. If you think it unbalances fighters then perhaps we should get a more encompassing description for knock down? or something more vague for the prone condition at least?


The last time this kind of discussion came I posted my example then as well. Proning an ooze is like mis flipping an egg while you are friing it. If you only put the spatula part way under when you flip it liquid seeps all around and takes a while to reform.

Someone mentioned that a fighter being able to prone some stuff doesn't mean he should be able to deal with everything. To that I say ffffffffffffpppppppppppppphhhhhhhhhhhhhttttttttttttt.

That's the whole POINT of being a fighter. Being able to deal with the variety of stuff you are likely to encounter.

Why should the melee characters always get gimped?

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There is a nice little self created divide here. Shame there can't be more acceptance instead. I feel that is where the future of the game should be.

All this vitriol, pushing away, retroactive retaliation, and preemptive striking needs to stop.

I keep trying but some won't let things go. Will you?

 

Because you like something, it does not mean it is good. Because you dislike something, it does not mean it is bad. Because it is your opinion, it does not make it everyone's opinion. Because it is your opinion, it does not make it truth. Because it is your opinion, it does not make it the general consensus. Whatever side you want to take, at least remember these things.


I would just not allow things that don't make sense.  To me that is why we have a DM and not a computer program.  And yes I would tell a player when he tries some manuever to knock an ooze prone, that it is impossible.  With my group though, I don't think anyone would think that anyway.  But there are better examples and gray areas where it would of course make sense. 



Same here.
The same idea behind tripping dragons. As comical as that might be to watch, it's just not sensical. 
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Dragons are easy, if they're in the air hit their wing bones, if their on the ground hit their forelegs while they're moving anything bigger than a horse with any real speed is gonna hit the dirt real hard.

Big monsters would require better timing and harder hits to trip up, thats why most of them are higher level and have commensurately higher defenses.

Should slinky monsters like many dragons and other sinous creatures have the ability to recover from prone quickly? Possibly, that would be entirely valid as long as they suffered some exploitable window of vulnerability.

Should some monsters such as incorporeals and possibly oozes be immune to certain conditions like prone? Also valid but that needs to be done at the monster level so the problems apply equally to every class, the fighter shouldn't be the only class who has to worry about whether his attacks would 'logically' work on a given creature. IS the ooze any less ooze like when struck by a wizard's force spells than a fighter's mace?
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Yeh Dragons are an easy to visualize take down in general its using your enemies mass and strength against them - see my sug under fighter (knockdown assault)
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The last time this kind of discussion came I posted my example then as well. Proning an ooze is like mis flipping an egg while you are friing it. If you only put the spatula part way under when you flip it liquid seeps all around and takes a while to reform.

Someone mentioned that a fighter being able to prone some stuff doesn't mean he should be able to deal with everything. To that I say ffffffffffffpppppppppppppphhhhhhhhhhhhhttttttttttttt.

That's the whole POINT of being a fighter. Being able to deal with the variety of stuff you are likely to encounter.

Why should the melee characters always get gimped?



Because it's boring as hell to be able to do everything all the time with no limitations.  If I can trip 90%+ of the creatures I meet, awesome.  I don't need to whine and feel bad for myself about not being able to trip the remaining small percentage of creatures.
I'm not saying you can't have creatures that fighters can't trip, I'm saying it needs to be done as a function of the monster being difficult or impossible to knock prone, or in the case of oozes or incorporeal creatures, largely irrelevant if you do. The things that make proning an ooze impractical are true regardless of your class.
I'm not saying you can't have creatures that fighters can't trip, I'm saying it needs to be done as a function of the monster being difficult or impossible to knock prone, or in the case of oozes or incorporeal creatures, largely irrelevant if you do. The things that make proning an ooze impractical are true regardless of your class.



I can see what you're saying, but it's a matter of space.  It takes far less space to put into the trip section "You cannot use this ability on oozes or incorporeal creatures.", than it does to put "This creature cannot be tripped." into a crapton of creature sections.  If you have a special case scenerio where an otherwise trippable creature is immune for some reason, THEN put it into the creature description.

As for other classes, that line can be added to any "prone" mechanics they have as well. 
Which of course negates your space argument.

The simple fact is that it makes more sense to put these abilities on the monsters because 1.) Those are a function of the monster and thus belong in the monster's stat block. 2.) It means that should a new spell or class feature come along the monsters retain their immunity instead of things spiralling out into a poorly worded arms race. 3.) What if for example someone does come up with an ooze monster/partially ooze monster that can be tripped? wouldn't it be easier to simply not give it the immunity then have to release erratta for it every time a new proning ability comes out that needs to be allowed to knock it down?

Putting Immune: Prone or Ignores Prone condition into a few monster entries is a lot more manageable then trying to work the immunities into the attacks.

Imagine if fire ball read: Does not affect red gold or brass dragons, salamanders, fire giants, azers, fire elementals, or Thoqqua.

And then every time new monsters came out they had to release an errata'd fire-ball for each one that was immune/resistant to fire.

It's the same concept. 
Which of course negates your space argument.



Er, no it doesn't.  Putting one line in the few classes with prone mechanics is a far cry from putting it into 30-60 individual monsters. 


The simple fact is that it makes more sense to put these abilities on the monsters because 1.) Those are a function of the monster and thus belong in the monster's stat block.


I would rather see more monsters in the book than less due to adding in a bunch of lines that don't need to be there.

2.) It means that should a new spell or class feature come along the monsters retain their immunity instead of things spiralling out into a poorly worded arms race.



Er, no.  The new spell or ability would state clearly if it works or not.

3.) What if for example someone does come up with an ooze monster/partially ooze monster that can be tripped?



Then they put that exception into the monster.  They will be few and far between, so it's fine to do it that way.

Imagine if fire ball read: Does not affect red gold or brass dragons, salamanders, fire giants, azers, fire elementals, or Thoqqua.



Apples and oranges.  Trip shouldn't work against entire classes of monsters.  Fireball for the most part work against every monster in every class.  So you not the EXCEPTIONS.  It's not complicated. 


Immune: Prone


I got two words to your sentence, Furthermore many of the monsters will have other immunities so it's only adding 1 word, possibly in a situation where the rest of the line would be left blank anyway.

Furthermore every spell, ability feat, etc. that causes trips will need your sentence, which if 3 and 4es are any indication will be a lot.

We could go even further and have the incorporeal and ooze keywords grant immune to prone the same way the undead trait gave immune to crits in 3e. There I've officially covered the whole book of monsters with less extra space than your single sentence would have taken up the first time, much less for all the places you'd need to repeat it.  Don't forget any monster with a proning ability would need your sentence as well. 

New spells and abilities should follow on the same level of clarity as the old ones, and that gets easier the tighter and less clumsy the original ones started out. You're the one asking to muddle things up by putting the exceptions into the attacks rather than at the actual exceptions.

Fireball shouldn't work against entire classes of monsters, there's an entire elemental plane of things fireball doesn't work on. It's one of the most common elements to resist/be immune to.


Fireball shouldn't work against entire classes of monsters, there's an entire elemental plane of things fireball doesn't work on. It's one of the most common elements to resist/be immune to.



You don't understand what a class of monsters is, do you?  It certainly isn't fire elemental creatures.  A class is ELEMENTAL, which includes water, earth and air.  Fire is a subclass.
So? what's so special about a class as opposed to a sub class (assuming the class/subclass sytem ends up looking like 3e, and the ooze doesn't end up being an animate or a magical beast this time around)? I mean between salamandars, and fire elementals that's probably gonna eqaul the number of oozes, throw in the others and there are more creatures immune to fire ball than letters in the first ooze monster's whole entry.

What is so special about oozes that they have to be mentioned every time a prone ability comes up? Why do they get to break an established and useful format? Are you that big a fan of Jello?


What is so special about oozes that they have to be mentioned every time a prone ability comes up? Why do they get to break an established and useful format? Are you that big a fan of Jello?



A subclass is much smaller than a class, that's why classes are different.  As for the ooze, that and incorporeal are the classes to which prone doesn't make a lot of sense, and of those two, oozes make the least sense.  At least many incorporeal creatures have a head and feet.
Incorporeal is a class but fire immune is not? how do you get that?

and like I just said, the number of fire immune creatures is far larger than the number of oozes, so by your own words ooze is the sub-class. 
I feel like squashing me some ooze with a shield smash
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Incorporeal is a class but fire immune is not? how do you get that?



Meh.  You're probably right there.  However, oozes are a class.  In any case, we're arguing over something that is extremely minor.

I feel like squashing me some ooze with a shield smash




Heh, then get the shield smash combat maneuver. And stay away from my ooze.

Its already prone and crawling, your shield smash doesnt work here...


"Does some science with a homemade shield and a plate of jelly"

You know you can knock jelly back quite easily... most of it...
Counters with angry girlfriend though. 
hehe, orwellian this is a knock down argument btw not a push argument (Im sorry about the bad title)

so when you have the time and your girlfriend is not near try to knock down a puddle of water like a grey ooze and pls do share the results Smile

I would just not allow things that don't make sense.  To me that is why we have a DM and not a computer program.  And yes I would tell a player when he tries some manuever to knock an ooze prone, that it is impossible.  With my group though, I don't think anyone would think that anyway.  But there are better examples and gray areas where it would of course make sense. 



Same here.
The same idea behind tripping dragons. As comical as that might be to watch, it's just not sensical. 



Isn't the problem here that people don't agree on what is or isn't sensical/realistic/possible?

A bunch of us here don't have a problem with the idea that you can bash an ooze so that it has to spend the equivalent of 5 feet of movement in time coalescing again.

I think the bigger problem is that two of the Fighter's more iconic combat maneuevers won't work on anything more than 1 size bigger than Medium - which again brings us to the problem at higher levels where Fighters can only spam damage.
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good formatitng is not minor
Viking, thats an interesting point.

Do you honestly believe that fighters wont get more cs abilities as they level up?

Some people mentioned shield bash for example.

That could be a perfect example of what a higher level fighter could gain. I can see it "dazing" targets or create other prone or non prone impediments.

Do we have to shoehorn everything into one feature just because it must always work?
Heh just thinking (in terms of jelly) if you knock a jelly down... it does sort of go prone, it spreads out.

Thank you for inciting me to try (i didnt physically try but you get my drift) as I now have a new houserule for slimes / oozes.

Any slime or ooze that is knocked prone sinks and expands to fill a burst 1 area around itself (max 1). All effects of prone still apply however the ooze / slime can choose to coalesce in any square it occupies including that of a player on its turn. If this happens around a player they are automatically restrained.
Lol, nice! I like your rule already orwell

I think the bigger problem is that two of the Fighter's more iconic combat maneuevers won't work on anything more than 1 size bigger than Medium - which again brings us to the problem at higher levels where Fighters can only spam damage.



It's a playtest, at higher levels, fighets may get iconic abilities to deal with huge creatures.

Just hopefully this would be moves very different to how you fight small creatures... I would like battle versus big powerful creatures to be more about avoidance and using the fact that the players are more mobile, not about shield bashing them to the ground.
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