Rules Q&A FAQ + ask a simple question

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Rules Q&A board FAQ + ask a simple question, get a simple answer

In addition to being a FAQ, this thread is also a catch-all for minor questions.  Everyone is welcome to ask or answer simple questions here.

Index:
Useful Links
Commonly misused terms
Skills and Feats
Powers
Movement
Actions
General Combat
Equipment
Readying an Action
Shaman Spirit Companion

(note: some of the below links might no longer function after the forum change)

Commonly misused terms



  • Area Attack: 4e uses this term to indicate a ranged area effect. Close bursts and blast are not considered "area attacks" in 4e.

  • Blast: Unlike a 'burst', a blast is not a radius effect. Rather, it is more like a 'cone' effect from previous editions.

  • Blind: You can still move without penalty, fight, locate enemies, etc. so DM's sometimes describe it more as dimmed vision (i.e. 'legally blind') rather than completely blind.

  • Grab: This only prevents you from leaving your current square. Combat continues as normal without penalty.

  • Helpless: Technically doesn't (by itself) prevent you from moving or attacking. Many writers may not know this though, so use your best judgment if it ever makes a difference (which should be rare).

  • Hindering Terrain: damages you rather than slows you down (unlike "Difficult" or "Challenging" terrain).

  • Immobilized: This only prevents you from leaving your current square. Combat continues as normal without penalty.

  • Insubstantial: does not allow you to move through things... that's what 'Phasing' is for. Insubstantial creatures often have both, but not always.

  • Invisible: this does not mean that you are 'hidden'. Since invisible opponents can often be fairly easy to locate and attack (albeit at -5), DM's sometimes describe it more as 'cloaked' (like a Predator).

  • Move Action: there can sometimes be a difference between moving and an actual 'move action'.

  • Saving Throw: this term is used completely differently than in previous editions. Saving Throws from earlier editions are replaced with 'Defenses' in 4e, while Saving Throws in 4e are now often just used to determine the duration of an effect.  It is usually just a static 10+ roll on a d20 (i.e. 55%).

  • Sleep: a power with the sleep keyword is different from normal sleep.

  • Square: a standard unit of measurement in D&D. Not necessarily an actual 2-D object.

Skills and Feats


How does Intimidation work? Ask your DM. The most common interpretation is that during combat you can force a bloodied target to surrender (i.e. no longer participate in the current battle), or an unbloodied opponent to take some other action. Either way they will likely have a +10 modifier to their will for being hostile. Discussed here.

How does Stealth work? Discussed in detail here.

Do I know if I'm hidden from a creature?
The consensus is that knowledge of whether you are hidden and/or have Combat Advantage seems assumed by the designers. Indeed, such knowledge seems required to use some powers.

Can you take 'take 10' on skill rolls (like you could in 3.5e)?
Yes. This is detailed on PHB p.179.

Can you take 10 during a skill challenge?
No. Per RC p.127: "When creatures are not in a rush or not involved in an encounter or a skill challenge, they can choose to take 10 on a skill check."

Can you take 20 on skill rolls (like you could in 3.5e)?
From DMG p.41: "Unless the characters are under a time constraint, assume that they’re going to roll a 20 eventually, and use the best possible Perception check result for the party. (Effectively, this result equals the best passive Perception check +10.) Assume the characters spend a minute or two searching, and move on to tell them what they find."

Should the DM state when a skill challenge has started?
That is a DM call, but Per Mike Mearls' 'Ruling Skill Challenges' article: "Don't tell the players they're in a skill challenge. Players who enjoy immersion hate it when they are forced to think in terms of rules, rather than in terms of what their character wants to do. Keep track of successes and failures, asking for skill checks as appropriate, and allow the challenge's results to play out naturally."



Powers


How does magical sleep work? RC p.119 "Sleep powers knock creatures unconscious. Unless otherwise noted, this unconsciousness is not normal sleep, so a creature that is subject to it cannot be simply awakened; the power specifies how long the unconsciousness lasts". WotC Podcast #31 also mentions that magical sleep is actually unconsciousness and you cannot be woken up as you can for regular sleep.

Can encounter powers be used outside of encounters?
Yes. Per PHB p.58 "If you use a power outside combat, it lasts for 5 minutes unless otherwise noted." Also note: you would have to rest for another 5 minutes before they became available again.

Can you use more than one encounter power per encounter or more than one daily power per day?
Yes.

Do light spells illuminate magical darkness?
No

Do healing bonuses apply to Regeneration?
No

How do area effects function in a 3-D environment?
Since vertical distances are measured the same as horizontal distances, they take on a cube shape. Discussed in the 5/10/10 podcast.

Can you force a dominated creature to change allies/enemies? No, per this RotG article, and the update which says "the creature’s allies remain its allies, and its enemies remain its enemies".

Can you force a dominated creature to attack itself?
Yes

Can you force a dominated creature to walk off a cliff?
per RC p.231:  "If the dominator tries to force the creature to throw itself into a pit or to move into some other form of hindering terrain, the creature gets a saving throw to resist entering the terrain."

I have questions about the Shaman Spirit Companion: look here.

When making a wall, do I have to use my allotted squares to give it height?
 It appears so. PHB p.272 details how to stack your squares on top of each other, and RC p.110 provides the following example "For instance, a wall 8... If the walls maximum height is 4 squares, the wall could have only two squares at its base with the rest stacked on top of them."

What does [W] mean?
[W] stands for your weapon’s damage dice (PHB p.276). Example: for a longsword it's d8, for a falchion it's 2d4.

If I'm forced to make a basic attack, can I decide which to use? The consensus is that the opponent forcing you to make the attack should be the one to decide.

Does Aura damage stack? Yes. The errata changed this from the original rules. From the MM errata: "Aura Page 280: Replace the third paragraph of the aura section with the following text. This change removes the rule that prevents stacking in damage auras, ensuring that monsters are achieving correct damage output..."

What is added to Magic Missile damage?
Nothing that adds to a damage 'roll', and nothing that occurs explicitly on a 'hit. Discussed here.

If a power counts as a Basic Attack, is it affected by everything that effects a Basic Attack?
The concensus is that if the power is worded as 'in place of', is not an actual Basic Attack. However, if it is worded as 'Counts as' or 'can be used as' it is a Basic Attack and is affected by anything that affects Basic Attacks.

Movement


Can you teleport someone into the air? Yes, but they get a saving throw. The game editors have stated that you can teleport someone vertically, and the update says: "If arriving in the destination space would cause the target to fall or if that space is hindering terrain, the target can make a saving throw. On a save, the teleportation is negated."

If a creature is prone when it teleports, is it still prone when it reaches the destination space? Yes

Is forced teleportation considered forced movement? No. RC p.200: "A creature can be moved in others, such as through teleportation, but only pulls, pushes, and slides are technically forced movement."

"Is momentum conserved when teleporting? The designers lean towards yes, which is also consistant with 3.5's FAQ answer of 'If you’re plummeting toward the ground when you cast teleport to reach a safe spot, you’d still be “falling” and would therefore take damage as appropriate to the distance you actually fell before teleporting'.

What is the location of a rider on his mount?
Per the update: the rider and mount both occupy the mount’s space. However, the origin squares of the rider’s powers and other effects do not change to the mount’s size. Whenever the rider uses an effect that has an origin square (such as a melee, a ranged, an area, or a close power), the rider first picks where that square is located in the mount’s space, and the effect uses that origin square. Note: the consensus is that this does not limit auras, since they do not have an origin square.

Can you take an opportunity attack against a falling creature?
per RC p.209: "When a creature falls past an enemy, the creature does not trigger opportunity actions, such as opportunity attacks, from the enemy that are triggered by movement."

How do you somersault over an opponent?
Per PHB p.180 you can "Make an Acrobatics check to... somersault over an opponent", and RC p.133 gives “Somersault over a creature of the same size (hard DC)” as an improvisation suggestion. The movement from this should still provoke an OA as normal. Mechanically, it can be handled as moving through their square (and it seems to be inspired by 3.5’s “Tumble… through an area occupied by an enemy (over, under, or around the opponent)” skill option).  Discussed here and here.

What path must you take when charging?
Per the update: "Each square of movement must bring the creature closer to the target"

How do you handle forced movement into damaging zones?
Forced movement counts as "moving into" or "entering" a zone (discussed here) and thus will do damage. However, having the zone moved onto you does not count. PHB FAQ answer #27 also states that entering the zone multiple times in the same turn can cause multiple damage, but that moving around within the zone (rather than 'entering') will not. 1/11/2012 Update: "we have updated many powers so that a persistent effect can deal damage only once per turn to a creature entering it"

Do you get a save to fall prone when forced moved into a damaging zone? Per the PHB FAQ: "No, zones are not considered hindering terrain.  Hindering terrain refers to more permanent features like pits, cliffs or pools of lava."

Does it count as forced movement if a power (like the Fear spell) causes a creature "move its speed away from you"? No. If it is not a Push, Pull or Slide, then it is not forced movement.

Can forced movement move a flying target vertically? Yes. The update added the following to the PHB: "Forced movement can become three-dimensional when the target is flying, is moved through a substance such as water, or is on a non-horizontal surface, such as an incline, that supports it. This means an earthbound target cannot normally be pushed to a square in the air, but a hovering target can be. Similarly, a target can be pulled down a flight of stairs, and it can be slid in any direction underwater."

Can I move the target of a forced movement less than the distance specified?
Yes. RC p.212: "When a distance is specified, it is maximum; the creature or effect producing the Forced Movement can move its target up to that number of squares (or none at all)" "When a destination is specified, it is absolute; the creature or effect must either move the target to that destination or not move it at all."

Can you run while slowed to increase your movement?
Yes. Addressed here, in the update, and in the PHB3 (p.223).

Is a mount slowed when carrying a heavy character (or two light ones)?
Strictly according to the encumbrance rules, yes. However, this appears to possibly be an oversight (especially in the case of say, huge mounts). If desired, PHB p.222 says: "The amount you carry should rarely be an issue, and you don’t need to calculate the weight your character is hauling around unless it’s likely to matter.", and DMG p.105 says: "Niggling details of food supplies and encumbrance usually aren’t fun, so don’t sweat them". Discussed here.

Can you jump during a charge?
The PHB update clarified that a character can climb, jump or swim as part of a non-move action that includes movement, such as a charge.

Can you attack during a jump?
Even though, strictly as written the rules might not allow for attacking while mid-air during a jump, this was apparently not the writer's intent. A DM could either allow it as RAI, or use the DMG p.42 stunt rules to accomplish the same thing as a jump attack.

What does a pixie's altitude limit of 1 mean?
per RC p.210: "If a creature has a specified Altitude limit, the creature falls at the end of its turn if it is flying higher than this limit. For example, a creature that has an Altitude limit of 2 falls at the end of its turn if its flying higher than 2 squares". Also, per Rule-of-Three: "Altitude 1 means you have 1 empty 5-foot cube under your heels."

If a power allows me to move, does my mount move with me?
By the Rules As Written, your movement powers do not affect your mount unless they say they do (discussed here).

Actions


Do conjurations flank or provoke OA’s? No, not unless the power states so (addressed in WotC’s 6/09 Podcast)

How do you disarm someone? The writers purposefully left out disarming as a basic option (although some powers like 'Exorcism of Steel' allow it). However, when an enemy is defeated you can describe them as disarmed (or crippled, subdued, unconscious, pinned, tied up, etc.) instead of slain (addressed in WotC’s Podcast #29)

Do you provoke an OA when standing up from being prone? No.

What happens if you grab a flying creature? It becomes immobilized. If it cannot hover, will likely fall once it does not move at least 2 squares on it's turn. Discussed here.

How do readied actions work? Discussed here.

Can you take free actions while dominated? No. Per the update, a dominated creature can take no actions (other than the single action specified by the dominator).

If I start my turn dazed and I am able to somehow remove the condition before the end of my turn, can I take my full allotment of actions? Or how about if I become dazed during my turn, could I lose actions? The consensus is yes to both, and the RC now says "While you are Dazed you can take either a standard action, a move action, or a minor action on your turn".

Can I spend an action point while I'm dazed? from the PHB FAQ: "Yes, you can spend an action point to take another action while dazed. Using an action point is a free action, and you can take free actions while you're dazed."

When I spend an action point, to I have to take the extra action immediately?
No, you just need to use the extra action before the end of your turn (discussed here).

Do free actions interrupt other actions? RC p.197: "If an effect has a Trigger and is neither an Immediate Action nor an Opportunity Action, assume that it behaves like an immediate Reaction, waiting for its Trigger to resolves. However, ignore this guideline when the effect has to interrupt its Trigger to function."

General Combat


Do resistances or vulnerabilities stack? No (addressed in the update and in WotC’s 6/09 Podcast)

Does 'Resist All' count as Resist fire (plus resist cold, resist radiant, etc.)?
The concensus is that it does not count as the exact same thing as 'Resist fire', and it only applies once (or else it could conflict with other game elements, like "Resist 3 ongoing" and such). Same with 'Vulnerable All'.

Can I change allies/enemies in the middle of combat? Yes, with DM approval. The consensus is that, within reason, you can generally choose who you consider an ally/enemy (else mid-fight betrayals would be awkward), your choice affects your own powers, and other people may or may not reciprocate. However, changing 'allies' merely to say, optimize a power would be objectionable. Also note (RC p.106): "When a power defines a target as an ally, the ally is free to ignore the power's effect"

How do I make saving throws against the same ongoing effect from multiple enemies? Per PHB3 (p.222): "save: ...Identical Effects That a Save Can End: If you are subjected to identical effects that a save can end, including ongoing damage, you ignore all but one of those effects.". The PHB is saying here (and this has been established from previous discussions, with input from the writers) that you do not track identical 'Save ends' effects separately from each other: you just track the one. Also, per the  rules update: "When you are subjected to identical effects that end at different times, you ignore all the effects but the one that has the most time remaining. Effects that a save can end work differently, since you don’t know when they’re going to end. You, therefore, track effects that a save can end separately from effects that end at specific times."

How much damage do I take if my character is affected by: ongoing 5 fire, ongoing 5 cold and ongoing 5 fire & cold? Per CS: you must make three saves to end all three ongoing damage, but you'll only take 10 damage, as you take the highest of the same type.

How do you kill a troll? Discussed here. Note that trolls in the MM2 list their healing more clearly as: "If [this troll] is reduced to 0 hit points by an attack that does not deal acid or fire damage, it falls prone and remains at 0 hit points until the start of its next turn, when it regains 10 hit points. If an attack deals acid or fire damage to [this troll] while it is at 0 hit points, it is destroyed." While this last sentence is not in the earlier Troll descriptions, some DM's made wish to apply it there too.

Which dice do you max on a critical hit? If a bonus (like from a weapon or feat) causes you to roll extra damage dice when scoring a critical hit, those dice are not maxed. Other dice like hunter's quarry, sneak attack, warlock's curse, etc. are all maxed. Discussed here and in the 4e PHB FAQ.

Can you flank with threatening reach? No, you still have to be adjacent to flank an enemy.

Do untyped bonuses from the same power/ability stack? Per the rules update: "if you gain multiple untyped bonuses from the same named game element (a power, a feat, a class feature, and the like), only the highest bonus applies, unless stated otherwise."

Can you allow yourself to be hit? Although the rules don't cover this, the consensus is that you should be able to willingly grant combat advantage, but not make yourself helpless.

What area do creatures occupy in a 3-D environment? A cube. RC p.200 says "A creature's space is the area, measured in squares, that the creature  occupies on the battle grid. This area represents the three-dimensional space that the creature needs to take part in an encounter, allowing it to turn around attack, fall prone, and so on. Despite the cubic shape of its space, a creature is not actually a cube (unless it's a gelatinous cube)".  Also, the 5/10/10 podcast states that medium (and small) characters occupy a 5'x5'x5' square regardless of their actual height

Is a mount considered an ally?
Yes (RC p.252)

Is a natural 1 an automatic failure on a skill roll?
No. Critical Hit and Automatic miss rules apply to attack rolls, not skill rolls.

What's the difference between cover and line of effect?
Per the cover rules, “a line that runs parallel right along a wall isn’t blocked”. However, If every imaginary line you trace to a target passes through or touches a solid obstacle, you don’t have line of effect to the target”. So two medium opponents separated by a 5’ wide square column technically don't have superior cover against each other, even though line of effect is blocked.

How do I jump onto the back of an enemy dragon?
This is outside the rules, so ask your DM. One option might be to treat it similar to a grab (this was proposed in the 3.5 FAQ). Another option might be to use Athletics (Climbing: "you can make an Athletics check as a free action to catch hold of something to stop your fall" or Jumping "Make an Athletics check to jump vertically to reach a dangling rope or a high ledge"). Alternately, if the PC could've just as easily attacked the dragon without jumping on it's back (and doesn't necessarily care about moving with it), the stunt could merely be handled as a normal attack with altered fluff.

Can I close my eyes (to say, to avoid a gaze attack)?
Although the core rules don't mention mechanics, blinding yourself by deliberately closing yours eyes is mentioned in MM p.187 & Thunderspire Labyrinth p.45,  and the RPGA adventure CORE2-8 p.32 provides this: "A PC may choose to close his eyes as a free action at the start of his turn, which renders him blind until the start of his next turn."

Do saving throws continue after the combat is over?
Yes, you keep making saving throws even when all your enemies are defeated. Note though that allies can assist saving throws by using the Heal skill, so saving throws should probably succeed fairly quickly.

Is a dying character considered bloodied?
Yes. If they are below 1/2 HP they are considered bloodied, even if they are also dying.

Can a minion become bloodied?
Per RC p.257: "When an unbloodied creature is killed  outright, the creature does not become bloodied in the process.  It is  just dead.  This rule means a minion, which has only 1 hit point, is  bloodied only if an attacker reduces the minion to 0 hit points but  knocks it unconscious (see "Knocking Creatures Unconscious," page 261)  instead of killing it."

Does being healed reset the number of death saving throws you've missed?
No, you have technically still accrued those lost saving throws until you take a short rest (discussed here).

Do multi-attack powers satisfy the marked condition the same way that area attack powers do?
The consensus is no (discussed here, here, here, here and here, and custserv has answered similarly). Also, PHB FAQ answer #41 (re: Tactical Presence) lends itself towards ruling each attack of a multi-attack as a separate attack.

Can you use a heal check to grant an unconscious, dying ally their second wind?
Yes. If they have already used their second wind, then you would instead want to stabilize them.

What happens if an effect drains a surge but you have none left?
Nothing, unless specified by the the draining effect (discussed here).

Where is rule Zero?
House rules are mentioned on DMG p.188. However, 4e does not have have anything like (3.5e DMG p.6): "you're the final arbiter of the rules within the game... you have ultimate authority over the game mechanics, even superseding something in a rulebook". Instead, the 4e DMG seems to espouse a different, more inclusive paradigm from previous editions. Examples: DMG p.12: "Being a referee means that the DM stands as a mediator between the rules and the players.", "Sometimes this role mediating the rules means that a DM has to enforce the rules on the players.", "Being the DM doesn’t mean you have to know all the rules. If a player tries something you don’t know how to adjudicate, ask the opinion of the players as a group.", DMG p.28: "As often as possible, take what the players give you and build on it.", DMG p.30 "You do not have to have a perfect mastery of the rules, and you should be open to at least some discussion of the right way to apply a rule in any situation.", "If you realize you made a mistake, admit it. If you don’t admit it, you’ll start to lose your players’ trust. Then, if you need to, make it up to the players.", DMG p.173: "You are your players' Litch", etc.

Equipment


What is the difference between a Staff implement and Quarterstaff weapon? PHB p.241 says: "Unlike other implements, a staff also functions as a melee weapon (treat it as a quarterstaff ). When used in melee, a staff applies its enhancement bonus and critical damage dice just as a weapon does." However, it is still possible to make a quarterstaff magic weapon (i.e imbued with weapon powers) that isn't useful as a staff implement.

Can I use a staff in one hand? Yes. A staff can be used as an implement in one-hand. To use it as a quarterstaff (weapon) still requires two-hands though.

I have other weaplement questions: Refer to the update and/or the PHB3 for rules on weapons-as-implements and implements-as-weapons.

If a Ranged Basic Attack (like Acid Orb) is used through a dagger via to Sorcerous Blade Channeling, is it considered a Melee Basic Attack? The consensus is no.

Do I get extra attacks if I fight with two weapons? No, not unless you have a power that specifically allows you to.

Is there a penalty for sleeping in armor?
No

Readying an Action


(from here, thanks to gwydion9)

Where are the rules on ready an action?
Page 291, players handbook. You'll also need to understand the rules on immediate actions, which are on page 268. As of this writing, there have been no updates to either of these rules sections.

In brief, how does ready an action work?
On your turn, you spend a standard action to ready an action. You then choose a target, a triggering action, and a specific action to ready. When/if the trigger action takes place, and it's legal for you to perform the action, you perform the action as an immediate reaction to the trigger action. Then you change your place in the initiative order so that you take your turn before the creature who triggered your readied action.

What if the triggering action never happens?
Then you wasted the standard action, and your initiative does not change. This is one of the risks of readying an action.

What is the difference between readying an action and delaying your turn?
Delaying your turn delays your entire turn until later in the round. Readying an action allows you to set up a specific action to happen later, contingent on a trigger condition. Both of them change your place in the initiative order.

Can I ready an action I can't legally perform at the time I ready it? For example, can I ready a move action when I'm immobilized?
Nothing in ready an action block states that the action has to be one you can perform at the time you ready it. Just be careful that you pick a legal trigger and target, see below. Because some people seem to have problems with this:  before you nerf this or cry that it's combat cheese, you need to consider that a character readying an action is taking a certain amount of risk.  There is always the possibility that by the time the readied action is triggered, if the trigger happens at all, battlefield conditions may well have changed such that the readied action is impossible.  Readying an action is not a guaranteed way of getting around conditions like immobilized, at best, they offer characters a reasonable shot.

Can I ready an action to trigger from a non-action trigger, like making a saving throw or beginning a turn?
  The text block states that you have to choose a triggering action. By that wording, the trigger has to be something that happens as the result of a move, free, immediate, standard, or minor action taken by you or someone else. Making your saving throw is not an action (though if someone can grant you a saving throw as part of an action, you could trigger off that). Starting your turn is not an action. Ending your turn is not an action. However, there is debate on whether this is the intent of the rules, as many feel it's very limiting. For example, there would never be any way of readying an action to react to an event that's not a direct consequence of an action, like a boat crashing into the harbor or a moving platform coming near you. Also, the text above the block does say "react to a creature's action or event." DM interpretation and discretion is probably needed here.
     Board consensus seems to be that a trigger should be an observable event.  That is, it should be something characters in the game could plausibly perceive.  That would rule out beginning or ending a turn, but might include succeeding on a saving throw (Your character no longer being on fire, for example, should certainly be obvious to the naked eye). A reminder: normally, saving throws are done at the end of your own turn, and thus, are not legal triggers because of the rules on the timing of immediate actions (see the entry below).  Saving throws granted by powers when it isn't your turn are another story.  It might also include conditions or beneficial effects expiring, depending on how "observable" your DM feels these events to be.

Can I use a readied action on my own turn?
No. Readied actions are immediate reactions, and thus follow all the rules for immediate actions, one of which is that they can't be used on your own turn.

Can I ready two or more actions at once?
If you can get more than one standard action to spend, sure. However, note that since you only get one immediate action per round, you'll only get to use, at best, one of those readied actions. Any others will be wasted.

Can I ready an action outside of combat?
The rules do not specifically forbid this, but the ready an action mechanic is very heavily dependent on other mechanics that only have meaning when combat is actually happening, such as actions and initiative order, so the intent seems to be that it should be used inside of combat only.

If multiple characters (or monsters) ready actions that use the same trigger, in what order do they resolve?
The timing of immediate actions that use the same trigger is not defined in the rules. The DM will need to make a ruling in situations where the order in which they resolve is important. A suggested solution is resolving in descending order by initiative.

If your trigger comes up more than once, can you ignore it the first time and take it the second (or third, fourth, etc.) time?
While the text of ready an action states that if you ignore the trigger, the action is lost, most of us find that to be a very draconian interpretation.  We recommend that players be able to trigger a readied action from any trigger that happens before the beginning of their next turn before declaring the action lost.

How does readying a full-discipline action work? Full discipline powers require different actions for each part of the power, so each part needs to be readied separately.  If you wanted to ready both the attack technique and the movement portion, you'd have to somehow get two standard actions to spend (maybe via an action point).   It is important to remember the rule about not being able to use any parts of an encounter full-discipline power more than once.  If you use the movement portion of your full-discipline power on your turn, then you won't be able to ready it unless the power is an at-will.

Can I trigger readied actions off of free actions?  Wouldn't that mean I could trigger my own readied actions, since I can take free actions when it isn't my turn? Technically, this is legal.  It is probably also a place where DM discretion needs to be exercised.

Can a rogue inflict sneak
attack damage on his turn, then do it a second time by readying an attack? Although RAW permits this, the consensus seems to be that it should be avoided as being cheesy. This accord should also apply to a DM using readied actions say, on a defender's turn to avoid certain defender powers or Offering of Justice.

Shaman Spirit Companion


(from here, thanks to GelatinousOctahedron)


Where are the rules about conjurations?: PHB2 p.120 has the SC companion rules.  PHB2 p.219 and 220 have updated conjuration rules and they slightly expand on the rules in PHB1 p.59.


What does the spirit keyword mean?: From PHB2 p.220: 'You can use a spirit power only if your spirit companion is present in the encounter. If a spirit power includes "spirit" in its range, you determine line of sight and line of effect from your spirit companion’s space, which is the power’s origin square.'


Does my SC occupy a square?  Who can move through it?: Yes it does occupy a square, unlike most conjurations.  Your allies can move through it, but can not end their turn in the same square.  You enemies can not move through it.  See PHB2 p 120.


Does my SC provoke OA?: No.  The PHB2 FAQ says it does not provoke OA.  The reasoning is that only creatures provoke OA and your SC is not a creature.


When does my SC get to make an OA?: Technically your SC never makes an OA.  He has an attack that functions as an opportunity action.  He gets to make that attack only when an enemy moves away from it without shifting.  Note that "Forced movement does not provoke opportunity attacks or other opportunity actions" according to PHB p.285.  The updated rules say teleportation also does not provoke.  Ranged powers also do not provoke attacks from SCs.


How fast does my SC move?  Can it Shift?  What happens when I am slowed?  What happens if I am immobilized?  What about difficult terrain?: It moves up to your move speed when you take a move action.  It can not shift, but for the most part that does not matter since it does not provoke OA.  If you are slowed, you movement drops to 2 and therefore your SC can only move 2.   Immobilization does not cause you to loose your move actions and technically does not reduce your speed, so you should be able to move it, but ask your DM.  PHB2 p.220 says conjurations are not effected by difficult terrain.


Can my SC be pushed, pulled, slid, slowed, stunned, dazed, blinded, deafened, petrified, or take ongoing damage?: No.  It can only be damaged and only you can move it according to the rules in  PHB2.  If it takes 10 + 1/2 your level in damage then it is dismissed and you take damage equal to 5 +1/2 your level


Is my spirit an ally?: No.  Conjurations are not allies, but some powers and feats may let it do things normally only allies can do like flank or provide cover.


If I have combat advantage against an enemy does the +2 bonus apply to attacks I make through my spirit companion?: Yes.  For instance if the shaman is flanking an enemy he gets a +2 bonus to all attacks against that enemy.  That includes attacks from conjurations since the rules provide for no exception to this.  See PHB p.279 and 285 for the relevant rules: "You gain a +2 bonus to your attack roll when you have combat advantage against a target".


If I am being flanked or if someone has combat advantage against me for another reason does the bonus also apply to the companion?: No.  The bonus applies to attack rolls against that particular target.  It does not lower your defenses and the spirit companion is a different target.


How many SCs can I have active at a time?: One, unless you have a specific power or ability that lets you summon a second one.


Can I dismiss my SC and then bring it back the same round in some other location?: Yes.  Normally that requires  1 minor action unless you have one of the feats mentioned below that let you summon it as a free action. The march 2010 Errata makes it so that you can dismiss and then recall the SC as one action. Dragon 387 (published 2 months after the errata)  makes it sound like it still takes a minor action to dismiss it.


So what's the deal with the feats Sudden Call (PP) and Nimble Spirit (PHB2)?: They used to be pretty much the same, but they issued errata to make sudden call work only 1/encounter, so you should retrain it to nimble spirit in paragon.  See page 267 of the PHBs for a full explanation of free actions.  And you can only summon your SC during your turn with or without these feats.


When can I summon my SC?: Only during your turn. Either it takes a minor action which has to be on your turn or it if you have a feats like sudden call or nimble spirit, those say your turn.  You can also ready an action to summon it on a trigger, but that will be the only action you can do since readying an action only grants you one action.


Can my SC fly?: No, but it can float and does not need to be supported by a solid surface.  But no rules say it can fly and customer service has been pretty consistent in saying it can't.  However, Dragon 387 article on shamans states: "This means when it moves, it ignores difficult terrain and can move vertically and horizontally." 


How far away can my SC go and still be sustained?: The rules on close burst powers and range are a bit of a mess and need an official FAQ.  People have been arguing about the range of close burst sustainable/movable zones & conjurations since consecrated ground was published in PHB.  PHB2 p.220 states you can move a conjuration as far as you want to during your turn, but conjurations end unless at least 1 square is within range.


Per PHB p.270 there is never a range specified for close powers. They have area of effect, not range.  In fact the word "Range" never appears in that section, while it occurs in the sections for melee powers, ranged powers, and area powers.  Page 273 however says that the  "Range is the distance from you to a target (or to the attack's origin square)."  The origin square for close burst powers is the creature using the power, so the range = 0.  There is a customer service answer quoted in the thread to this FAQ for instance that as long as you have line of sight there is no range limit.


Now if you go back to PHB p.56 it says "Following a power’s action type on the same line is the power’s attack type and its range." That makes it look like the range is the number on the line following the attack type.  A lot of people think that is the common sense answer since the power is close burst 20 that the range is 20 and treat the square the spirit companion is summoned in as the target referred to on page 273.  To top it off Dragon issue 387 says "If you end your turn with the spirit companion more than 20 squares away from you, it goes away."  Of course that article also contradicts other earlier errata and says you need a minor action to dismiss the SC.


So that's why people disagree about this and why we need an official FAQ: page 56 makes it look like close burst 20 is a range, page 270 makes it look like close powers do not have a "range".  Ask your DM, but in my experience this does not come up too often in real game play.   No matter how far away you think the SC can go, you need to have line of effect to it at the end of your turn or it goes away (see PHB2 p.220).


Do I need line of sight or line of effect when using spirit powers?: Normally with conjurations you need line of sight to use a power, but with SCs it is different and you use your SC to determine line of sight.  You determine also line of effect from your SC.  See PHB2 p.220.


Can my SC be damaged by area/close attacks or zones?: No.  According PHB2 p.120 it can only be damaged by ranged or melee attacks.  And you only have to worry about damage from one attack at a time.


Can my SC flank?: Not normally.  Some powers like stalker's strike let it flank, which implies that it normally can't flank.


Can the spirit companion be flanked?: No.  This is a bit of complicated reasoning, but to be flanked the target needs to be a creature as defined by the PHB p.57.  Your SC is not a creature and therefore can not be flanked.


If I use healing spirit on two allies who are both next to my bear spirit companion, do both get the additional hp from my spirit boon or does only one get it?: Ask your DM.  WOTC has not answered the question with a FAQ, but customer service says yes pretty consistently.


What if I have the feat Vigorous Spirit (PP) and heal 1 ally and a second ally adjacent to my SC?  Do both get the extra healing from my wisdom modifier?: No.  That feat says "the target regains additional hitpoints".  The only target of healing spirit is "you or one ally in burst", the second character adjacent to your SC who gets the extra d6s of healing is not a target.


Can my spirit companion make skill checks?  Can it be stealthy or notice things with perception?: Ask your DM, but the rules are pretty silent on this from what I can tell.  My first RAW answer is no since it does not have any ability scores and is not a creature.  It uses your ability scores for determining the outcome of attacks, but it does not mention on PHB p.59 or PHB2 p.220 that it uses your scores for skill checks.  But for things like stealth and passive perception checks you can argue that RAI it is reasonable for it to make some checks using your skills since you can get line of site from it.


Does it have to be a bear or can I make mine a giant otter?: Make it whatever animal you want.

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Nice job so far mvincent.

A few things...

Saving throws vs. identical effects: should be developers via CS (no developer name is even mentioned...) and it does not even mean that all of the developers have even reached a consensus on this. Also, creatures that deal ongoing damage are not balanced appropriately and this is exaggerated by combined saving throws.

Killing a troll: You should mention that the trolls in MM2 use a different "Troll Healing" power.
[INDENT] Troll Healing
If [this troll] is reduced to 0 hit points by an attack that does not deal acid or fire damage, it falls prone and remains at 0 hit points until the start of its next turn, when it regains 10 hit points. If an attack deals acid or fire damage to [this troll] while it is at 0 hit points, it is destroyed.[/INDENT]
Definitely a reasonable house rule to use this for all trolls.

Dice maxed on a crit: This is addressed in the PH FAQ.

11. Which dice do I maximize when scoring a critical hit?

Only the dice you would normally roll to calculate damage are maximized. If another bonus (like from a weapon or feat) causes you to roll extra damage dice when scoring a critical hit, those dice are rolled as normal.
A few things...

Excellent info. Added. Thanks!
My group has recently gotten in 4e, and our fighter has been duel-wielding (as in using both weapons every turn). One of our players who was questioning this looked it up in her own time and has pointed out that since a melee attack is a standard action, two melee attacks can't be done in the same round unless an Action Point is used. Also, it only specifies that rangers can hold a weapon in thier off hand.

Our DM disagrees with her about rangers only being able to use off hand weapons because "it would be kinda lame". Now our fighter is throwing a fit because his "whole character design is ruined" and he doesn't get to use two weapons anymore.

Do you know if the ranger-only rule is true, and if there is a way for our fighter to get his way while still being fair?
Ranger is the only class (so far, and that I know of, excluding Paragon Paths and Epic Destinies) that enables the PC to attack with their Main hand weapon and off hand weapon in a single turn without using an action point.

Two-Weapon fighting as it was in 3.5 no longer exists. You can still wield two weapons if you wish, however, you can only attack with one of them each turn.

Now there are several benefits you could gain from wielding two weapons, for example each weapons property would be applied to your character, also you now have two item powers (if the weapons both have powers).

To allow the fighter to have two melee attacks per turn is grossly unbalanced for 4E.

The ranger can use One-Handed weapons as if they had the off hand property.

Hope that clears it up somewhat.
I am the God of Dragons! Hail Wizards and it's mighty awesomeness for finally addressing some of the issues we had with the old forums and website! It's about damn time this place got an overhaul! Wahoo!
Ranger is the only class (so far, and that I know of, excluding Paragon Paths and Epic Destinies) that enables the PC to attack with their Main hand weapon and off hand weapon in a single turn without using an action point.

Dual Strike from the Martial Powers books lets a fighter attack with his Main hand and off hand. It has been errata'd and both attacks have to be against different creatures.
ohh yeah.. I forgot about dual strike... and i was just talking about it a few days ago too... lol... well, there ya go.
I am the God of Dragons! Hail Wizards and it's mighty awesomeness for finally addressing some of the issues we had with the old forums and website! It's about damn time this place got an overhaul! Wahoo!
Some friends and I just started playing dnd 4e. Since we are all new to this game, this question might be extra nooby.
Say if a power description says, "Hit: 1d6 + Strength Damage" does that mean you add the ability modifier for that stat or the modifier + 1/2 level stat. To the roll.
if a power description says, "Hit: 1d6 + Strength Damage" does that mean you add the ability modifier for that stat or the modifier + 1/2 level stat. To the roll.

Just the ability modifier is added to damage rolls.

Stat modifier + 1/2 level is for d20 rolls.

What happens when something with Foo Resistance 10 gets given Foo Vulnerability 5?


Do you subtract the vulnerability from the resistance? Or does the vulnerability overwrite the resistance?

What happens when something with Foo Resistance 10 gets given Foo Vulnerability 5?

Do you subtract the vulnerability from the resistance? Or does the vulnerability overwrite the resistance?


The former (i.e. both apply). From the Q&A Archive: "if you take 3 cold damage, with the appropriate Resistance and Vulnerability, you will end up taking 3 + 5 – 5 = 3 damage."

Can you move up to your speed around an enemey on your turn without provoking an OA? I understand that if you move out of an enemie's attack range they get an OA but what if you stay within it?

Can you move up to your speed around an enemey on your turn without provoking an OA? I understand that if you move out of an enemie's attack range they get an OA but what if you stay within it?


You trigger an OA when you leave a square adjacent to an enemy.


So it doesn't matter that you're staying next to him, you get OA'd.


There is a Fighter Utility Power, level 2, from Martial Power, called Pass Forward, that does what you want.  It allows you to pick an adjacent enemy, and move as you see fit without provoking OAs as long as you end adjacent to him.

Confused about Stealth? Think "invisibility" means "take the mini off the board to make people guess?" You need to check out The Rules Of Hidden Club.
Damage types and resistances: A working house rule.

There is a Fighter Utility Power, level 2, from Martial Power, called Pass Forward, that does what you want.  It allows you to pick an adjacent enemy, and move as you see fit without provoking OAs from that enemy as long as you end adjacent to him.



Fix'd

Okay, Question: Does force moving a character into an occupied square provoke an OA? The PHB1 states that forced movement does not provoke OA's, (which I assume means that if you force move an ennemy past a PC the PC doesn't get an OA)... But under the rules for entering an occupied square the rules state that this does provoke an OA (as well as making you save or fall prone) since all the rules\any power that allows you to willingly enter an occupied square say that you must end your movement in an Unoccupied square;


so, the Warlock power "eldritch strike" states that if you hit, you slide the target 1 square, and this power can be used as a melee basic attack. So could you slide the target into your square, thus giving you an OA against the target? And then slide the target again if you hit (using eldritch strike since it counts as a MBA), there is also a druid power with a similar effect (counts as a MBA, slide the target 1 square if you hit), same thing with the wardens "thorn strike" which has the effect of pull the target 1 square if you hit.

I have a question about the shadow assasin power that states that every time an enemy misses him that enemy takes damage equal to the shadow assasins dex modifier. Should this be taken to mean that if a Minion misses a shadow assasin then they pop because they are delt damage and have only one hit point? Or, is there a special exception for minions in this case like with the no damage on a missed attack rule.


 


Thanks.

There is a Fighter Utility Power, level 2, from Martial Power, called Pass Forward, that does what you want.  It allows you to pick an adjacent enemy, and move as you see fit without provoking OAs from that enemy as long as you end adjacent to him.


Fix'd



You're quite correct, thank you.



Okay, Question: Does force moving a character into an occupied square provoke an OA? The PHB1 states that forced movement does not provoke OA's, (which I assume means that if you force move an ennemy past a PC the PC doesn't get an OA)... But under the rules for entering an occupied square the rules state that this does provoke an OA (as well as making you save or fall prone) since all the rules\any power that allows you to willingly enter an occupied square say that you must end your movement in an Unoccupied square;


so, the Warlock power "eldritch strike" states that if you hit, you slide the target 1 square, and this power can be used as a melee basic attack. So could you slide the target into your square, thus giving you an OA against the target? And then slide the target again if you hit (using eldritch strike since it counts as a MBA), there is also a druid power with a similar effect (counts as a MBA, slide the target 1 square if you hit), same thing with the wardens "thorn strike" which has the effect of pull the target 1 square if you hit.



You can't Forcemove someone into a square they can't legally move into on their own, and you can't enter the square of a nonhelpless enemy of anything close to your own size, so in 90% of cases this will never come up.


In the other 10%, the general rule is that moving into an occupied square provokes OAs *because you are leaving an adjacent square* - PHB1 283 uses that exact reasoning.  The SPECIFIC rule is that forced movement doesn't provoke OAs even when normal movement would.  Therefore, even if you're sliding a Tiny or Huge creature into an occupied square, the fact that you're forcemoving it prevents OAs, for the same reason that a slide *away* from an enemy would not provoke an OA.

Confused about Stealth? Think "invisibility" means "take the mini off the board to make people guess?" You need to check out The Rules Of Hidden Club.
Damage types and resistances: A working house rule.

Thanks so much! Very helpful.

Hi I hope someone helps :D


Can I make a ranged basic attack against an enemy in a square adjacent to me just granting an OA to the enemy or I also get another kind of penalty to the Attack Roll?


 


Let's suppose there's no concealment or cover, just the target and me, no difficult terrain, etc.

Can I make a ranged basic attack against an enemy in a square adjacent to me just granting an OA to the enemy or I also get another kind of penalty to the Attack Roll?



Just provoke an OA, no other penalties.

You can also benefit from CA if you are flanking the enemy.

Hello, a couple of friends and I just started playing and I have a couple of questions


1. When using a power that gives an effect such as add your charisma mod to all damage rolls agianst the target until end of turn, is this my char mod?, or rather is it char mod + 1/2 level.


 


2. I am under the impression that when making an attack with a spear i would add my str mod + 1/2 my level to my attack roll, but only add my str mod to the damage roll.  If this is correct, does it also apply to magic attacks that use intelligence, or would it add int mod + 1/2 level to the damage roll of these magic attacks?


My DM seems to be under the impression that on attack rolls with my spear I am adding 1/2 my level + (str mod + 1/2 level) + weapon prof.  This does not seem to add up to me.  Also on damage rolls hes having me add my str mod + 1/2 my level to my rolls.


 


3.  Finally I'm a littler confused about attacks with effects, still applying effects on a miss.  This does not seem right considering some powers have effects on misses, woulden't the above rule completely nulify these on miss attacks.


 


4.  If i use two seperate encounter powers with an action point on the same turn(i.e. use one then use an action point to use the other) to apply two bonuses to damage rolls of my allies until end of my next turn, will they stack causing my friend who is a fighter to get a +10 bonus to damage rolls, or will it only give one of the buffs making it a +5 bonus.


Thanks in advance for the help.

Hello, a couple of friends and I just started playing and I have a couple of questions



1) Just char mod, without half of your level added in.

2) Attack rolls involve STAT mod + 1/2 level + other modifiers (proficiency, enhancement, etc). Damage rolls involve whatever it says + a STAT mod (if stated) + other modifiers (enhancement, etc).


3) Attacks with "Effect:" lines are like that--the Effect line will happen regardless of a hit or miss.


4) If the bonuses are untyped (or different types) they stack. If they are the same type (like +5 power bonus) then they do not stack.

Thank you for the fast replay =D

Q: I've read/heard repeatedly that you roll damage once for area/burst/blast powers, but even the mighty search function can't turn up a page reference for me.  Can anyone provide me one?


Q: I've read/heard repeatedly that you roll damage once for area/burst/blast powers, but even the mighty search function can't turn up a page reference for me.  Can anyone provide me one?




A: PH, page 271, under 'Close Attack' and 'Area Attack'; each of the boxes has a heading called Multiple Attack Rolls but One Damage Roll that explains the whole thing.

I'm a human cleric.


Does using a Sunblade (AV, p. 79) give my Righteous Brand At-Will attack the Radiant keyword? or does it simply make all damage I do with my (non Radiant keyword) attack radiant type damage?


If not, is there a way to make my melee attacks gain the Radiant Keyword?


I'm a human cleric.


Does using a Sunblade (AV, p. 79) give my Righteous Brand At-Will attack the Radiant keyword? or does it simply make all damage I do with my (non Radiant keyword) attack radiant type damage?


It is the latter. It does not gain the keyword.


 


If not, is there a way to make my melee attacks gain the Radiant Keyword?


Sure, use a power with the radiant keyword, like Healing Strike. If you need at-wills, then I am not sure. Do not have Divine Power with me atm. Maybe it has one.




 


 

It is the latter. It does not gain the keyword.

 Sure, use a power with the radiant keyword, like Healing Strike. If you need at-wills, then I am not sure. Do not have Divine Power with me atm. Maybe it has one.





This is incorrect. PH FAQ:

14. When do a Magic Item's keywords apply?



If you use a magic item's power in conjunction with a power granted to you by your race or class, that item's keywords are added to the regular keywords of the power you are using. For example, if you are have a Flaming Weapon, and you use an at-will power to attack an enemy along with the at-will power of the Flaming Weapon, your attack will have the Fire keyword in addition to the normal keywords of your attack. You have to be using the powers of the weapon for those keywords to be added; simply using the magic item does not necessarily mean every keyword attached to a power of that item will be added.


I stand corrected. Well sit corrected, I suppose. Maybe I should read the FAQ after my morning pepsi. Ya know, after the brain wakes up.

Can a Warlock multi-class Bard take War Chanter as a paragon path?