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 Dungeons & Dra.. 4e Rules Q&A Inevitable Strike(Heroes of Elemental Chaos)
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Flag February 24, 2012 6:51 AM PST
The starting feature allows you to roll two dice to attack and specifies what happens if both hit.
What happens if one of the rolls hits and one misses? Most roll twice things specify which to use, this one doesn't.
Flag February 24, 2012 7:00 AM PST
If only one hits, then you don't deal any extra damage; you still resolve the hit in the standard manner.
Flag February 24, 2012 6:04 PM PST
I think the confusion is which of the two rolls do you use to hit, i.e. you roll two dice, miss with the first, hit with the second, do you use the second to resolve the hit or the first die rolled.

hit + hit = power hits + bonus damage from power

hit + miss = ?

miss + hit = ?

miss + miss = power misses + no bonus damage from power

But what happens with the middle two outcomes is the question.  With the avenger and similar effects, it is roll twice use the highest, this just says roll the attack twice but does not specify which to use.
Flag February 25, 2012 2:18 AM PST

Feb 24, 2012 -- 6:04PM, Koshinuke wrote:

this just says roll the attack twice but does not specify which to use.

The one that hit.

Flag February 25, 2012 2:43 AM PST

Feb 24, 2012 -- 6:04PM, Koshinuke wrote:

I think the confusion is which of the two rolls do you use to hit, i.e. you roll two dice, miss with the first, hit with the second, do you use the second to resolve the hit or the first die rolled.

hit + hit = power hits + bonus damage from power

hit + miss = ?

miss + hit = ?

miss + miss = power misses + no bonus damage from power

But what happens with the middle two outcomes is the question.  With the avenger and similar effects, it is roll twice use the highest, this just says roll the attack twice but does not specify which to use.

I've suggested errata to the effect of 'use the highest'.

But the implication is certainly that that is what you should do.  If one of the rolls hits (whichever it is) then the attack hits.  If both hit, the attack does extra damage.  If neither hits, the attack misses.

Flag February 25, 2012 6:11 AM PST
This power doesn't change the attack roll.

Its trigger is "you make an attack roll" and it doesn't say use the highest so you don't use the highest to evaluate the hit.  If you miss with the triggering roll, you miss.  Flat out.
Flag February 25, 2012 10:26 AM PST

Feb 25, 2012 -- 6:11AM, Mand12 wrote:

This power doesn't change the attack roll.

Its trigger is "you make an attack roll" and it doesn't say use the highest so you don't use the highest to evaluate the hit.  If you miss with the triggering roll, you miss.  Flat out.

This.  There's only one real 'attack roll' here.  The second roll is just used to determine if you get the bonus damage, using a variable probability rather than just saying, say 'roll a d20, on a 10 or better ...'.

Flag February 25, 2012 12:06 PM PST
The ambiguity is the fact it says roll twice instead of roll again.  Roll twice is usually used for roll twice use the highest.  Roll again would definitely be clearer about what you need to do.  You roll, then roll again and if the second roll hits then x happens.  Roll twice does not specify which die is used to to determine the outcome of the attack.

I do understand where you are coming from though.  Just the ambiguity makes it difficult to state clearly.
Flag February 25, 2012 1:41 PM PST
It doesn't say you take the highest, lowest, or your choice.  So you don't do any of the above.

It doesn't say to apply the second roll to the attack result, so you don't apply the second roll to the attack result.
Flag February 26, 2012 2:22 AM PST
Basically: it ought to work like OoE+, and I'm sure it was intended to.  As written, it technically doesn't.  Like a lot of stuff in this book, it's not quite as shiny as it first appears.

Hence the erratum suggestion.

E: this power is also an object lesson in why the 'no-action-interrupt' needs to exist - because it needs to interrupt, in order for the triggering roll to not already count, and therefore not just be a worse version of Furious Assault.  But it can't be an II or an OA, because you're probably going to be using it on your turn, and even if not, wasting your II/OA would not be worth it in most cases.

Flag February 26, 2012 8:51 AM PST
It's a theme power, it's not supposed to be very strong compared to using a traditional at-will.

Extra damage is good, and consistent with other theme powers.  A reroll is way above.
Flag February 26, 2012 9:04 AM PST
A reroll would be strong, but not as strong as the strongest (Sohei and Guardian giving extra attacks).  Having to hit TWICE in order to do 1d8 damage is nowhere near on a par with other powers.  One way or another, it's not written correctly.
Flag February 26, 2012 9:13 AM PST
"Not as overpowered as the other overpowered things!" is not the same as "not overpowered"
Flag February 26, 2012 9:17 AM PST
But hideously underpowered is definitely hideously underpowered.  Needing to hit twice for d8 damage per tier is basically useless.
Flag February 26, 2012 10:13 AM PST
You don't need to hit twice.

Using it on a missed attack roll as a trigger is...dumb.
Flag February 26, 2012 11:29 AM PST
You need to hit in order to usefully trigger the power.  Then you need to hit to deal the extra damage.

Sounds like two hits to me
Flag February 26, 2012 5:57 PM PST
If you don't hit with any attacks during an encounter you have bigger problems than not being able to use your theme feature.
Flag February 27, 2012 1:03 AM PST
Indeed.

Still makes it true though.

There's a lot about the way this is written that makes me think it's intended to be a double-roll attack, and little that makes me think it's supposed to be an attack roll for piddling extra damage, which I won't go into because it's fairly irrelevant to the discussion.  It's just poorly written, like so much of this book.  I don't believe it's remotely overpowered.  Powerful, yes.  A good theme power, yes.  But by no means any more overpowered than any of the other good-but-balanced themes such as Earthforger, Elemental Initiate, that Demonspawn one from Neverwinter, Iliyanbruen Guardian, Order Adept, Knight Hospitaler etc etc etc.

I think, when they actually get the writing right and remember that keywords are important, that they've more or less found the balance point for Themes.  It's a shame it comes so late, really.
Flag February 27, 2012 6:16 AM PST
It's like saying Power Strike requires a hit.  I mean, yeah, it does on a very technical sense, but emphasizing that really is pretty misrepresentative of the actual mechanic.
Flag February 27, 2012 11:05 AM PST
I don't have the book in front of me (my friend owns it, not me), but if I remember the wording correctly, the trigger is "make an attack roll." Basically every damage power I've seen is along the lines of "You hit with an attack." As thespaceinvader said, either way, it's poorly worded, but it seems to me that if they had intended the second roll to be a 'confirmation roll' as per crits in 3rd edition, then the trigger would have been worded as 'you hit' rather than 'you attack.' Such as it is, the most intuitive reading is that you use the higher of the two d20 rolls for your attack, and if they both happen to hit, you get an extra d8 damage.

And it's not a true reroll, as my interpretation of the trigger as intended is that you would need to use this power *before* the first roll, rather than after. A reroll would be worded like the elf accuracy power with a trigger: 'You make an attack roll and dislike the result' and effect: 'You reroll and use the second result.'

A comparable damage power like power strike would be applied after a successful hit, a reroll would be applied after a miss. This seems to combine the two into something new entirely.

*Note* Starting Wednesday night, 53 hrs from now where I live...I would venture a guess that there will be an ironwrought character in at least every other encounters group, so for the sake if DMs, it would be very nice if Wizards issued an official statement/eratta/clarification concerning this.
Flag February 27, 2012 11:43 AM PST

Feb 27, 2012 -- 11:05AM, Sir_cirdan wrote:

I would venture a guess that there will be an ironwrought character in at least every other encounters group, so for the sake if DMs, it would be very nice if Wizards issued an official statement/eratta/clarification concerning this.

I'll be one of those ironwoughts. I'm running a star pact hexblade and really do not want to miss with my encounter power.

Flag February 27, 2012 12:31 PM PST

Feb 27, 2012 -- 11:43AM, Luke-Lightning wrote:

Feb 27, 2012 -- 11:05AM, Sir_cirdan wrote:

I would venture a guess that there will be an ironwrought character in at least every other encounters group, so for the sake if DMs, it would be very nice if Wizards issued an official statement/eratta/clarification concerning this.

I'll be one of those ironwoughts. I'm running a star pact hexblade and really do not want to miss with my encounter power.

Aye, I'll be playing a Scout (Rgr). He has +10 to hit with both rapier and shortsword, can reroll once per encounter because he's an elf, and now has this. He ain't gonna miss nothin'. As a striker, I wish he did more damage than he does, but I suppose 1d8+5 (+ up to 3 dmg on conditional bonuses) +1d6+5 (plus same conditionals) isn't bad for level one, and if he hits every time...

Flag February 27, 2012 12:45 PM PST
It's not a reroll.

It doesn't tell you to use the first, the second, your choice, or the sum of the two to determine whether you hit.

So you don't do that

Seriously, you can't do something unless the power tells you to.  You do only what it tells you to, and all it tells you to do regarding the second roll is that if both hit, you add extra damage.

That's all.
Flag February 27, 2012 6:24 PM PST

Feb 27, 2012 -- 12:45PM, Mand12 wrote:

It's not a reroll.

It doesn't tell you to use the first, the second, your choice, or the sum of the two to determine whether you hit.

So you don't do that

Seriously, you can't do something unless the power tells you to.  You do only what it tells you to, and all it tells you to do regarding the second roll is that if both hit, you add extra damage.

That's all.

The problem with that interpretation is that then you don't know which roll to use to determine if you hit with the triggering attack.

Flag February 27, 2012 9:14 PM PST
Actually, I think by the strictest RAW, you end up essentially making the attack twice. You make two attack rolls; each one is able to hit the target. Powers typically have an effect on a hit. Therefore, since Inevitable Strike doesn't tell you that you have to pick one of the attack rolls, you are actually using both of them, with the possibility for extra damage on top.

So...yeah, this one needs some errata.

As for RAI, I agree that it's meant to give you a reroll (the flavor text makes it clear that the power should make you more accurate).
Flag February 27, 2012 9:20 PM PST

Feb 27, 2012 -- 6:24PM, Jay_Ibero_911 wrote:

[

The problem with that interpretation is that then you don't know which roll to use to determine if you hit with the triggering attack.

"This is my attack roll." *throw d20*
"This is my Inevitable Strike bonus damage roll." *throw d20 a second time*

Flag February 28, 2012 1:16 AM PST
Except, of course, that that's not what it says.

It triggers on you making a melee weapon attack roll (before you know the result).  It says 'make the attack roll twice.  If both attack rolls hit, the target takes 1d8 extra damage'.

You make both attack rolls before you know the result of the triggering roll (so, technically, you can't wait until you know whether you've hit or not to trigger it), and it never tells you what happens if only one of them hits.

It's unclear and in need of errata, for definite.  As to what the intent of the power is, and how to errata it to match that intent, that's for the designers.  I think it's pretty clear what the intent is, and I know how I'll be playing it at the table.
Flag February 28, 2012 6:24 AM PST
How, exactly, do you make an attack roll and not know the result?
Flag February 28, 2012 6:26 AM PST

Feb 28, 2012 -- 6:24AM, Mand12 wrote:

How, exactly, do you make an attack roll and not know the result?

Roll under a book, turn off the lights, roll the die down a flight of stairs, have the DM punch you in the head just as you release the die...  Plenty of ways to make an attack roll and not know the result.

Flag February 28, 2012 8:40 AM PST
Or just grab two different-colored d20's, say which one is the die from Inevitable Strike, and roll them at the same time.

Even though it means nothing, if someone wants to get a consensus going, I'm putting my money on the "Inevitable Strike is supposed to increase your chance of hitting" square.  Otherwise it's not so much "inevitable" as "might maybe do extra damage strike".
Flag February 28, 2012 3:42 PM PST

Feb 28, 2012 -- 6:24AM, Mand12 wrote:

How, exactly, do you make an attack roll and not know the result?

You declare you are making the attack roll, then declare you are using the power before rolling any dice. Though the trigger language should be less vague.

I hope to clarify interpretation of Rules as written by demonstrating intent via the flavor text:

This is the flavor text for inevitable strike: "Elemental power flows through you, providing you with keen accuracy and sharper striking force."

This text seems to suggest it is both to increase accuracy and to increase damage. I don't see how you could interpret the intent differently.

Having to confirm an extra damage power is a maybe, but if you get a two chances to hit, the *strike* becomes *inevitable.* As Metaficitional suggested, why call it that, if that's not what the power does?

Here is the most relevant portion of flavor text for the theme as a whole:
"When you embrace elemental metal, you become an elemental creature. After some time, you acquire metallic characteristics and find new strength and durability when you need it. Drawing on your reserves increases metal's influence on you and helps you perform incredible physical stunts. You can call on this magic to help some of your strikes land true."

'Physical stunts' is almost certainly referring to the +1 bonus to athletics and endurance checks.
'Strength and Durability' would refer to the Lvl 5 feature, and the Lvl 2 and lvl 6 substituion Utilities
"Strikes land true" then could only be referring to Inevitable strike and/or the lvl 10 feature and/or lvl 10 substitution utility. I find it *extremely* unlikely that what would seem from the text to be a key trait of the Ironwrought is not anything to be had until lvl 10.

If it was only extra damage that you had to confirm in order to get (unlike most other extra damage, which you get automatically on hit), it seem more indicative of damage that was reflecting not precision attacks but more brutal and random ones. If the interpretation I've been going off of is correct, then this becomes in theme and effect something like a 3.5 critical hit.

I hope I have sufficiently demonstrated intent. Though someone will probably disagree with me, I honestly don't see how the intent could be interpreted differently.

At this point, until it gets errattad, I think it's more a matter of debate on two things: how do you interpret literal rules as written (which can go about 5 different ways) and whether you go with RAW or Rules as intended as a GM.

Flag February 28, 2012 3:46 PM PST

Feb 28, 2012 -- 3:42PM, Sir_cirdan wrote:

Feb 28, 2012 -- 6:24AM, Mand12 wrote:

How, exactly, do you make an attack roll and not know the result?

You declare you are making the attack roll, then declare you are using the power before rolling any dice. Though the trigger language should be less vague.

That's...not what it says at all.  The trigger isn't vague, it says exactly what it is.  That you don't think that the trigger is what it should be does not mean that the trigger is vague.

Flag February 28, 2012 3:59 PM PST

Feb 28, 2012 -- 3:46PM, Mand12 wrote:

Feb 28, 2012 -- 3:42PM, Sir_cirdan wrote:

Feb 28, 2012 -- 6:24AM, Mand12 wrote:

How, exactly, do you make an attack roll and not know the result?

You declare you are making the attack roll, then declare you are using the power before rolling any dice. Though the trigger language should be less vague.

That's...not what it says at all.  The trigger isn't vague, it says exactly what it is.  That you don't think that the trigger is what it should be does not mean that the trigger is vague.

"Trigger: You make a melee attack roll"

It's vague because it doesn't say whether you roll the two d20s listed in the effect ("Make the attack roll twice. If both attack rolls hit,
the target takes 1d8 extra damage.") A) at the same time, B) after you've seen what you rolled on the first roll, C) after the GM has declared a hit or a miss, or D) after you've rolled for damage on the attack. 4 possible interpretations...that I can think of...and I call more than one vague.

Only A makes sense to me given the effect. Especially when one considers the context (flavor text).

The wording of the whole thing is vague. As such, if you're trying to be literal, the interpretation that it means you get two attacks (with full damage each) and an extra d8 on top if both hit seems as valid as any other if we're simply ignoring intent. Reductio ad Absurdum.

Flag February 29, 2012 1:06 AM PST
Because making the roll, and hitting or missing, are two distinct trigger points.  If something triggers on an attack roll, you trigger it before you know whether that attack roll hits or not.  This is important for things like, say, disruptive strike, which you have to trigger before you know whether the attack hit or not (and can therefore waste on crits if you're unlucky).

There are several readings of the power.  One is dramatically underpowered.  One is reasonable, if powerful.  One is overpowered.  None of them are unambiguous, because the power is not written accurately.

It needs errata to make it accurate, at which point, it should become clear what it's supposed to do.

Can we stop arguing fruitlessly until then, please?
Flag November 6, 2012 6:40 PM PST
Hi!

Hi Bruno,

Thank you for emailing into Wizards of the Coast Game Support.

Ultimately, how this power works is going to be up to the DM. From our interpretation it can work one of two ways.

1. You can decide to roll two dice after seeing the first result and effectively nullify the original roll.
2. You can decide to roll two dice and replace that single roll entirely before every rolling at all.

This is up to the Dungeon Master though on how it should work. He is the ultimate decider though so he can choose the way the player uses that power.

Flag November 9, 2012 8:45 AM PST
The only reading of the power proposed in this thread or in several prior discussions I've had on the matter that satisfies the criteria of being 1. definitely resolvable AND 2. compatible with the text without implicit alteration is that Inevitable Strike is for all intents an Oath of Emnity-stackable version of Oath of Emnity.
Flag November 9, 2012 10:43 AM PST

Nov 9, 2012 -- 8:45AM, erachima wrote:

The only reading of the power proposed in this thread or in several prior discussions I've had on the matter that satisfies the criteria of being 1. definitely resolvable AND 2. compatible with the text without implicit alteration is that Inevitable Strike is for all intents an Oath of Emnity-stackable version of Oath of Emnity.

The issue here seems to be about when does the trigger happen... I don't see how Inevitable Strike can compare to Oath of Emnity on that matter, since the first is a triggered action and the other isn't...
Also after reading the Oath of Emnity description I believe that it shouldn't stack (ie make 4 rolls) with Inevitable Strike...

Anyway on the campaign I'm DMing at the moment I'm going with the 2nd option that CS suggested: before rolling the attack the player decides if he's going to use the power and he rolls two d20's instead of one. He can't call the power on an attack that he already made the attack roll for...

Cheers,
Bruno

Flag November 9, 2012 11:41 AM PST
While it may not be intended, by a strick RAW you roll a second attack roll only to determine the possibility of dealing 1d8 extra damage since it doesn't say you can use either result like Dual ArrowDivine Guidance or Borrowed Confidence do for exemple. (HoTEC 49)

For this reason it conflict with the multiattack roll conditions found in Oath of Enmity since RAW Inevitable Strike is not:

1) An effect lets you roll twice and use the higher result when making an attack roll

2) An effect forces you to roll twice and use the lower result when making an attack roll

3) An effect lets you reroll an attack roll

RAI thought its clear that Oath of Enmity would not work on Inevitable Strike, as the idea is to be able to use either result and thus be considered an effect letting you roll twice and use the higher result.
Flag November 9, 2012 12:06 PM PST

Nov 9, 2012 -- 11:41AM, Plaguescarred wrote:

While it may not be intended, by a strick RAW you roll a second attack roll only to determine the possibility of dealing 1d8 extra damage since it doesn't say you can use either result like Dual ArrowDivine Guidance or Borrowed Confidence do for exemple. (HoTEC 49)

Well according to the reply I got from CS you never roll a second die to determine the extra hit...
If the DM allows the player to use the power after rolling the attack, he has to discard that roll and make two new rolls.

Nov 9, 2012 -- 11:41AM, Plaguescarred wrote:

This also conflict with the multiattack roll conditions found in Oath of Enmity since RAW Inevitable Strike is not:

1) An effect lets you roll twice and use the higher result when making an attack roll

2) An effect forces you to roll twice and use the lower result when making an attack roll

3) An effect lets you reroll an attack roll

RAI thought its clear that Oath of Enmity would not work on Inevitable Strike, as the idea is to be able to use either result, which means it would be an effect letting you roll twice and use the higher result.

After reading again more carefully the oath of enmity I must agree with you to some extent but not fully...
If one goes with the interpretation mentioned above for the Inevitable Strike, then the player is making a reroll of the attack so I'd say condition 3 applies.

Condition 1 is also a bit dubious... Eventhough it doesn't say explicitily in Inevitable Strike effect that one takes the higher result, it's implicit that for determining wether the attack hits or not, one has to consider the higher roll (like you said for RAI), so couldn't one still argue that condition 1 applies even if taking the RAW approach? Or implicit conditions do not apply for RAW interpretations?

Anyway I totally agree that RAI definitely seem to indicate that Oath of Emnity should never apply to any situation that the player has to roll twice.

Flag November 9, 2012 12:27 PM PST
Rules do what they say they do.

"Make the attack roll twice."

If you make an attack roll which beats the targets the defences then you move to the hit line and deal damage. This power turns every power into a double-tap.
Flag November 9, 2012 3:42 PM PST
In other unrelated news, Twin Strike can be up to 4 damage instances.  After all, you can target two targets, and attack each one twice.

IoW: yeah, the RAW seems to violate any likely RAI pretty badly.  Moving on now.  Likely RAI for twin strike is that it's two damage instances max... you just choose to split them or not.  RAI for Inevitable Strike is most likely that it's a reroll.  RAW for either is messed up ... but there's hopefully enough ambiguity for the DM to feel justified in making the correct call.
Flag November 9, 2012 4:03 PM PST
Inevitable Strike applies to one [melee weapon] attack roll.

Twin Strike lets you make two attacks, hence two attack rolls. You can use Inevitable Strike with Twin Strike but it only applies to one of the attacks...
Seems to me like the same interpretation wether it is RAW or RAI.

The main and original question here though I believe was how the roll was made regarding the trigger... RAW is ambiguous (as CS confirmed).
In the light of RAI, in my campaign I ruled it as the trigger being before the attack roll for the triggering attack.

If the player wants to use Inevitable Strike with a certain attack power he has to declare it before making the attack roll for that attack. Instead of the normal (one) roll he makes two rolls (if one hits the attack hits, if both hit it deals extra damage). If he wants to use it with a multi-attack power he can only use it with one of the attacks and must declare before the rolls to which one it applies.