Artificer Resistive Formula Infusion - Free Action - Timing

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Say a character has the Artificer "Resistive Formula Infusion" on him:

"The target can end the [Infusion] as a free action to gain temporary hit points..."
 
Say that character is attacked, the attacker rolls to hit, hits and then rolls for damage against the character.

What is the latest point in that sequence that the character can end the infusion so that the temp hit points abosorb some or all the damage taken from that attack?

Can I wait until after the damage roll?

For example:

DM: The troll hits you.

DM: The troll rolls 27 damage.

Player: I end my infusion getting 20 temporary hit points so I only took 7 hit points of damage.

Can I do that?
 
Thanks ahead of time for the replies.       

If free action can interrupt an attack ?

Some people will tell you yes some people will tell you no so YMMV ask your DM.

RAW the Rules on Free actions don't specifically say yes or no. 

RAI the developpers specifically say no in a podcast.

[sblock]

Here's a transcription of the 4/6/2012 podcast (15 minutes in): 
From the DDI Mailbag: Just how free are free actions… specifically the free action power of the Dwarven Armor daily power?(reference Dwarven armor daily power). When a wearer is hit, can he use free action between the attack roll and damage roll? 
Mike Mearls: I believe that free actions can't take place in between things like attack roll and damage roll.
 
Jeremy Crawford: what you're getting at Mike is that in this case he could not use the power in between those two things because the power doesn't have a trigger. Basically the only powers in the game that can mess around with timing are powers with triggers, and then those triggers tell you when you get to break a rule. Because it doesn't say that, you have to use this as a discrete action; not interrupting other actions. 
Mike: So it can't take place in the middle of another action.
 
Jeremy: Exactly.
 
Rodney Thompson: That may be true specifically for this action because it's the wearer using it between the phases of another character’s actions, but how does that account for the warden? We've said in the past that at any point during a move you can use a free action to mark and then continue that move.
 
Jeremy: That’s really a DM's call because the default assumption of the system is that the warden has to do it before the move action or at the end of it. Actions don't divide each other up (later) in my campaign I have a Warden and I let him do exactly what you describe: he can interrupt himself. It’s just that by the rules: we're breaking the rules. But this is what D&D is about. (later) Early on in the process we didn't have a concept of no action. If we were going to do this power now, it wouldn't be a free action.


Yan
Montréal, Canada
@Plaguescarred on twitter

If free action can interrupt an attack ?

Some people will tell you yes some people will tell you no so YMMV ask your DM.

RAW the Rules on Free actions don't specifically say yes or no. 

RAI the developpers specifically say no in a podcast.

[sblock]

Here's a transcription of the 4/6/2012 podcast (15 minutes in): 
From the DDI Mailbag: Just how free are free actions… specifically the free action power of the Dwarven Armor daily power?(reference Dwarven armor daily power). When a wearer is hit, can he use free action between the attack roll and damage roll? 
Mike Mearls: I believe that free actions can't take place in between things like attack roll and damage roll.
 
Jeremy Crawford: what you're getting at Mike is that in this case he could not use the power in between those two things because the power doesn't have a trigger. Basically the only powers in the game that can mess around with timing are powers with triggers, and then those triggers tell you when you get to break a rule. Because it doesn't say that, you have to use this as a discrete action; not interrupting other actions. 
Mike: So it can't take place in the middle of another action.
 
Jeremy: Exactly.
 
Rodney Thompson: That may be true specifically for this action because it's the wearer using it between the phases of another character’s actions, but how does that account for the warden? We've said in the past that at any point during a move you can use a free action to mark and then continue that move.
 
Jeremy: That’s really a DM's call because the default assumption of the system is that the warden has to do it before the move action or at the end of it. Actions don't divide each other up (later) in my campaign I have a Warden and I let him do exactly what you describe: he can interrupt himself. It’s just that by the rules: we're breaking the rules. But this is what D&D is about. (later) Early on in the process we didn't have a concept of no action. If we were going to do this power now, it wouldn't be a free action.



Plaguescarred,

Thank you very much for answering my question so quickly and cleanly
You're welcome Ickford

Yan
Montréal, Canada
@Plaguescarred on twitter

Plaguescarred,

Thank you very much for answering my question so quickly and cleanly

Don't be to quick to thank him.

RAI the developers who made that quote do not work on mechanics, they work on story. There are dozens of game elements that simply cease to function correctly if you can't take non-triggered free actions in the middle of other actions, and the rules say you can take free actions whenever you want. So he is wrong, both RAW and RAI.
RAW the Rules on Free actions don't specifically say yes or no.

Yes they do, and they say you can.  Which is all that we need.
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Actually, everything Plague said was true.  

Some people will tell you yes some people will tell you no so YMMV ask your DM.

RAW the Rules on Free actions don't specifically say yes or no. 

RAI the developpers specifically say no in a podcast.



Yes, some people will say that free actions can interrupt attacks/actions.

Yes, the Rules on Free Actions don't specifically state that they can interrupt other actions (or attacks)
Show
Free actions take almost no time or effort. A creature can usually take as many free actions as it wants during any turn, including other creatures’ turns. Examples: Speaking a few sentences, dropping a held item, letting go of a grabbed creature.
    There is an exception to this rule: A creature can take a free action to use an attack power only once per turn. Creatures don’t normally have attack powers that can be used as free actions, but some powers and other effects grant the ability to use an attack power (usually a basic attack) as a free action. For instance, a character might have two different abilities that let him or her make a melee basic attack as a free action when their respective triggers occur. If both abilities are triggered on the same turn, the character can make only one of the melee basic attacks during that turn. This limitation does not apply to free actions that a creature is forced to take by an enemy.
    In certain circumstances, the DM might decide to limit the use of free actions further. For instance, if an adventurer has already used free actions during a particular turn to talk, drop things, and use a class feature, the DM might rule that the adventurer can use no more free actions during that turn.


And yes, Developers (regardless of trying to nitpick what department they may or may not work in) did say that free actions could not interrupt other actions.
"Five million Cybermen, easy. One Doctor? NOW you're scared!" - Rose Tyler
Yes, some people will say that free actions can interrupt attacks/actions.


Which isn't actually what is being discussed.  You'll note I'm not one of those people, and yet still am telling Plague he's wrong.  (With a note that free actions (at least triggered ones) absolutely can resolve within an action, just not within an attack.  Your grouping of attacks/actions together, like they're the same thing, is incorrect.)

And Plague is wrong.  The general rule on when you can use free actions applies - there is no rule preventing this rule from functioning, so it functions.  That that rule is not satisfying enough for his tastes is irrelevant.

The discussion is not about the timing of free action resolutions.  Though that is the next step in the discussion, it is not the step we're actually discussing.
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Please remember to keep your posts polite, on topic and refrain from personal attacks. You are free to disagree with one another as long as it is done in a respectful manner. 
There are dozens of game elements that simply cease to function correctly if you can't take non-triggered free actions in the middle of other actions

Could you list some?

Using the ranged version of Twin Strike with a thrown weapon, to pick an obvious and crippling example.

If Plague's assertion is correct, then Twin Strike with a thrown weapon just doesn't work, by the RAW he claims exists (but can't actually cite), because you wouldn't be able to spend a free action to catch the returning weapon after the first attack in order to use it for the second.

I could find more, but something as simple and core as Twin Strike should illustrate the problem.  Anything more complex, and it only gets worse.
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The Developpers also said some game elements are broken in fact if you listen to the podcast. Look no further than Talking action. 

Yan
Montréal, Canada
@Plaguescarred on twitter

So, we should take their word for it, even though it breaks things, and ignore the utter absence of any rules justification for it whatsoever, which leads to all of those things working?

Really?

Why, in the face of this, do you still insist on developer infallibility rather than the much more plausible explanation (that conveniently doesn't result in major disruptions to the game's basic functions) that the dev in question made a mistake?
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That some game elements don't perform as intended by strict RAW isn't something never seen before. Opportunity Attack is also broken RAW you can't fall when Prone or Immobilised but that doesn't prevent people from using it everyday regardless  and yet we akcnowledge it.

Because Free action saying they take almost no time or effort and can be taken as often as wished during any turn (including other creatures’ turns) doesnt mean it can interrupt attacks. (Actions that can interrupt specifically say so)

You think yes. I think no. 

RAW the Rules on Free actions don't specifically say yes or no. 

RAI the developpers specifically say no in a podcast.

Yan
Montréal, Canada
@Plaguescarred on twitter

I could find more

The more the better. This issue is begging to be put in the forum FAQ, hopefully with a link to this thread. The more information provided here, the better.

The Developpers also said some game elements are broken in fact if you listen to the podcast. Look no further than Talking action. 


So your argument is "This breaks the game, but whatever." Um, no? Since that is neither good reasoning, nor an actual rule. And it just outlines that those are the devs in the camp that do care or know about mechanics. Which is at least mildly justifiable, since that isn't their job. The fact some game elements do not work as written, primarily because this particular group of incompetent devs won an internal power struggle and screwed up said game elements by rewriting them and ignoring everyone telling them not to do it the way they did, is a good reason to despise them, not listen to them.

@Mvincent: Just pick any non-triggered free action. Nearly all of them are adversely effected from intent, and some of them break outright. Before the essentials rewrite of Elven Accuracy, Wand of Accuracy, and a quite a lot of other powers, they would have simply stopped functioning, and not all powers were rewritten, so you have a couple hundred powers from pre-essentials. You can't talk while attacking, no battlecries of any kind. Wardens marking while moving/charging, as specifically outlined in Dragon as legal.
Say a character has the Artificer "Resistive Formula Infusion" on him...



I found myself in this situation as a GM. After a lot of discussion and research (on these boards and elsewhere) myself and the player concluded that the rules were not clear. It is also unclear what exactly the developers intended for the artificer.

I'd just point out that in my opinion, if you allow Resistive Formula to act as a free triggered action (ie an interrupt, rather than a reaction) then the other option (Curative Admixture) will never get used, because it suddenly becomes totally useless beside the amazing Resitive Formula except for very unusual niche builds. 

There is also one further problem to having Resistive Formula work like an interrupt: the +1 AC bonus which dissapears as it is popped. If it pops as an interrupt in the middle of an attack, then your AC is reduced by 1 after you have been damaged, which might then turn a miss (say a a half dmg miss) into a hit. You might not see this as a problem if you view being hit and taking damage is too completely different 'event' that can each be reacted to seperately, like some people.

In short OP, ignore the rules because they are not defined well on this very specific topis, and instead consider the two listed infusions and see which interpretation of the rules would allow your artificer to have a genuinely interesting tactical choice between them. If one interpretation overpowers or underpowers Resistive Formula to the point where Curative Admixture is always chosen/never chosen, then go with the other interpretation. This will maximise the enjoyment of the game for your artificer player on the long run.
I'd just point out that in my opinion, if you allow Resistive Formula to act as a free triggered action (ie an interrupt, rather than a reaction)

This is incorrect, on all levels. Triggered free actions function as Reactions unless they must be Interrupts to functions. This wouldn't qualify. And it isn't a triggered action, in any case, so those rules are all null anyway.

I'd address the other incorrect parts of your post, but since they are now irrelevant....
This is incorrect, on all levels. I'd address the other incorrect parts of your post, but since they are now irrelevant....



The key point of my post was that the exact rules for the OP's question are unclear, and I tried to provide the OP with some good advice for how to deal with that based on my own experience.

I don't want to be involved in this rules argument with you, so hold your fire Alcestis.
I could find more

The more the better. This issue is begging to be put in the forum FAQ, hopefully with a link to this thread. The more information provided here, the better.



Uh

There's way too many to list.  Any power that involves multiple attacks, any power that involves movement.  Pretty much every non-triggered free action, but particularly ones that interact with attacks.  MBA free action grants aren't technically triggered in nearly all cases, same with free action slides in nearly all cases.  Nearly all feats that involve doing something as a free action are also affected, as are items that have free action powers.

It really breaks things on a fundamental, core level, and Plague would have us accept that breakage in absence of any actual printed rule based solely on what one developer said on a podcast.

Developers aren't infallible.  Not everything they say is gospel.

The argument really boils down to "well, inventing this rule that doesn't exist based solely on the opinion of one developer's RAI breaks the game, so let's ignore the rules as they do exist that say clearly what the restrictions are and that also happen to not break the game."  And no, it should not be accepted.
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No need for exageration. Not all non-triggered free actions would become unusable because free action don't interrupt attacks as it is claimed. Most things would work fine. Most feat's effect working as a free action don't need to interrupt attack to work.

Yan
Montréal, Canada
@Plaguescarred on twitter

The question of whether free actions interrupt attacks is not what this discussion is about.  Let me be very clear about this.

The question is whether you can use free actions during other actions.  That's not the same thing.

You'll note I rather vehemently disagree with Alcestis about reaction timing and attacks, but we are in agreement about the ability to use free actions during other actions.

Actions and attacks are not the same thing.  Different things, different results.


You're right that the timing of the resolution of the free action matters.  But you figure that out after you determine whether you can use the action at all.  And the argument that you can't use free actions during other actions is complete bunk, as has been demonstrated and explained several times now.

Now, what you do when someone wants to use resistive formula during someone else's attack is a completely different story, and there's a complete lack of rules telling you what to do.  Non-triggered free actions don't have a rule telling you how their resolution is timed, so there is no answer.  One reasonable solution is to extrapolate the triggered free action rule to the non-triggered free action rule, and since non-triggered free actions never need to be interrupts to function they would all have reaction timing.  But, only then do you come up to the question of how to resolve a reaction within an attack.  Given that you have to invent a few rules to even get that far, it's not a rigorously defensible position either way on whether a non-triggered free action interrupts or not, and it just comes down to DM preference.
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I think Plague may be getting held up by equating the general idea of interrupting an action (happening in the middle of another action), and the timing element of immediate interrupts. Actions can occur in the middle of other actions without being resolved as interrupts (they could be resolved as reactions instead). But as Mand has stated, the issue of WHEN the action occurs is completely independant of how the timing is resolved.
Even with the question twofold - Usage vs Timing Resolution- free actions still don't specify if they can be taken during other action or not, and if so, if they can interrupt or not. The only actions having Timing Resolution are Triggered Actions (interrupt or reaction). 

Usage: Only Triggered Actions specifically say they can be taken during other actions.

Timing Resolution: Only Immediate, Opportunity and Triggered Free/No Actions specifically say they can interrupt.

The only thing free actions specifically say is that they can be taken on any turn and that they are not  limited in their usage frequency. (unless DM decide so). The rest is subject to interpretation as i described in my original post. (Hence the YMMV)

Free action: Free actions take almost no time or effort. A creature can usually take as many free actions as it wants during any turn, including other creatures’ turns.

Yan
Montréal, Canada
@Plaguescarred on twitter

Even with the question twofold - Usage vs Timing Resolution- free actions still don't specify if they can be taken during other action or not.>


They don't have to.  They say when you can use them (which is all time), and exceptions to that rule take the form of prohibitions from using them.

This is the part you're still not getting.

You even quote the rule, and acknowledge what it says:  that they can be taken on any turn.  Whether another action is taking place, whether it's at night, whether my cat is puking on the carpet, whether I'm in the middle of an exploding volcano, none of that has any impact on usage.  Asking for a specific rule to cover every conceivable contingency is not how exception-based design works.
D&D Next = D&D: Quantum Edition
If all actions would say they can be taken during other actions or interrupt unless they say they don't, you'd have a point since free actions doesn't specifically say they can't.

But since there are actions that can specifically be taken during others actions and others that don't, the exception based design means the action need to specifically say it can do so. Same for interrupt. Since there are actions that specifically say they can interrupt and others that don't, the exception based design means the action need to specifically say they interrupt to do so.

If it was not subject to interpretations, this subject would not come up every month. Wink

Yan
Montréal, Canada
@Plaguescarred on twitter

If all actions would say they can be taken during other actions or interrupt unless they say they don't, you'd have a point since free actions doesn't specifically say they can't


Munchkin fallacy.
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erhm did you read his whole post or just stop at that sentence ?
"Non nobis Domine Sed nomini tuo da gloriam" "I wish for death not because I want to die, but because I seek the war eternal"

IMAGE(http://www.nodiatis.com/pub/19.jpg)

No, I didn't just stop, but his fundamental premise is flawed, so supporting evidence for a flawed premise isn't relevant.
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TL/DR: There's no specific answer to your question within the rules, and well-respected members of this community disagree vehemently based on what shaky evidence there is to support either ruling. So talk to your DM and see what he thinks. 
The question of whether free actions interrupt attacks is not what this discussion is about.  Let me be very clear about this.



Actually, that is exactly what the OP was asking.  Can this power/ability interrupt an attack.  Can you choose to use it after the attack roll, after the damage roll, but before damage is implemented.  Since an Attack includes the roll and it's effects, in this case damage, the OP is asking if this Artificer free action can be used as an interrupt to interrupt an attack.

So yes, this is about the question of whether free actions can interrupt attacks.

There are rules in place for interrupting actions.  Rules for Free Actions say they can be taken out of turn.  The rules don't say they can be taken as Immediate Interrupts.

There are some specific situations that specifically say free actions can interrupt things to work, catching a magically returning thrown weapon to use again with a multi-attack power, but that's SvG, and the situations that don't specify this aren't broken.

 
"Five million Cybermen, easy. One Doctor? NOW you're scared!" - Rose Tyler
So yes, this is about the question of whether free actions can interrupt attacks.

No, it isn't. And saying so just proves you have a fundamental misunderstanding of the rules.
If all actions would say they can be taken during other actions or interrupt unless they say they don't, you'd have a point since free actions doesn't specifically say they can't


Munchkin fallacy.


Hah, have you even listened to your own argument? You keep saying that the rules say Free Actions can be used at any time and that the rules would need to tell you when you can't use them; not only does that first rule not exist, but "the rules don't say I can't" is the basis of your ability to take Free Actions mid-action.

I mean, there's no rule demonstrating that you can't, say, start a Move Action, and then halfway through take a Standard Action. You're following all the rules for taking actions, except for the pesky rules for Triggered Actions being the only place where taking actions in the middle of another action is even mentioned. Occams Razor.

Oh, and talking about how Devs aren't infallible when also using the FAQ (much less any given rule book) to back your answer is hilariously hypocritical.
"Invokers are probably better round after round but Wizard dailies are devastating. Actually, devastating is too light a word. Wizard daily powers are soul crushing, encounter ending, havoc causing pieces of awesome." -AirPower25 Sear the Flesh, Purify the Soul; Harden the Heart, and Improve the Mind; Born of Blood, but Forged by Fire; The MECH warrior reaches perfection.
So yes, this is about the question of whether free actions can interrupt attacks.

No, it isn't. And saying so just proves you have a fundamental misunderstanding of the rules.



Say a character has the Artificer "Resistive Formula Infusion" on him:

"The target can end the [Infusion] as a free action to gain temporary hit points..."
  
Say that character is attacked, the attacker rolls to hit, hits and then rolls for damage against the character.

What is the latest point in that sequence that the character can end the infusion so that the temp hit points abosorb some or all the damage taken from that attack?

Can I wait until after the damage roll?

For example:

DM: The troll hits you.

DM: The troll rolls 27 damage.

Player: I end my infusion getting 20 temporary hit points so I only took 7 hit points of damage.

Can I do that?    




From the italicized and bolded portions of the OP, I understand exactly what he was asking, and it does kind of boil down to Free Actions interrupting attacks and their effects.

In order to wait until after damage is rolled, and use a Free Action ability to take effect before damage is applied means interrupting the attack (and it's effects).  

As in Fighter power Iron Defiance.  Immediate Interrupt, Trigger: You take damage.  Effect, you take only half of the triggering damage.

It's similar to how you can't Ready an Action to move when you are charged and attacked.  Once the attack happens, only interrupting the attack will let you move and avoid being hit/damaged, thus you have to Ready to react to the last step of movement.
"Five million Cybermen, easy. One Doctor? NOW you're scared!" - Rose Tyler
Again, you don't understand the rules. Interrupts invalidate the entire action if they they invalidate their trigger. That isn't happening here, even if you allow the free action to resolve between steps of an attack.
Alcestis, they're using the 'common' meaning of the word interrupt, which is the source of the discrepancy.  If you do something that makes an attack in progress not happen, it's not unreasonable to call that 'interrupting the attack.'  It may be imprecise, but it is reasonable.

And Agonar, I realize that if you look just at the context of this thread, it certainly does look like the topic at hand is whether free actions can resolve within an attack, but my comments toward Plaguescarred were due to him repeating erroneous conclusions reached in other threads.  So you're not seeing the other context of the past few weeks of discussion on this subject.  Not your fault, it's mine for not being clear.

Plague may have the correct result, but his reasoning is wrong.
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Interrupt jumps in when an action occurs, taking place before it finishes, among other things.

Yan
Montréal, Canada
@Plaguescarred on twitter