I've been lurking on this forums for quite a while, and I'm fairly comfident to have a more than acceptable grab on the 4e rules (that I love, fwiw). But in last evening's game a situation arised so convoluted that I have to be certain we've handled correctly.
It all comes down to the orc's "Savage Demise" racial power. It grants the orc a standard action when reduced to 0 hit points as a free action. I take it is one of those cases where this free action has to be resolved as an interrupt, otherwise the orc would be dead an thus unable to take any action.
So, this was the layout:
X X X X X W
E A X X X X
Where E was an Orc Troll Shaman.
Orc Troll Shaman Medium natural humanoid Level 6 Controller (Leader) XP 250 HP 72; Bloodied 36 Initiative +4 AC 20, Fortitude 18, Reflex 18, Will 19 Perception+7 Speed 6 Low-light vision Traits Troll Spirit Frenzy Aura 10 Any ally within the aura that bloodies an enemy can make a basic attack as a free action. Regeneration 5 (healing) The orc troll shaman regains 5 hit points whenever it starts its turn and has at least 1 hit point. If the orc troll shaman takes acid or fire damage, its regeneration does not function on its next turn. Safewing Amulet When the orc troll shaman falls, reduce the distance by 10 feet for the purpose of calculating damage. The orc troll shaman always lands on its feet after a fall. Troll Healing (healing) If the orc troll shaman is dropped 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 5 hit points. If an attack deals acid or fire damage to the orc troll shaman while it is at 0 hit points, it is dead. Standard Actions Longspear (weapon) At-Will Attack: Melee 2 (one creature); +11 vs. AC Hit: 2d10 + 3 damage, and the orc slides the target 1 square. Phantom Troll Claws At-Will Attack: Area burst 2 within 10 (enemies in the burst); +8 vs. Will Hit: 2d6 damage, and the target is dazed until the end of the orc’s next turn. Effect: Each ally in the burst gains a +2 bonus to attack rolls until the start of the orc’s next turn. Triggered Actions Savage Demise Encounter Trigger: The orc drops to 0 hit points. Effect (No Action): The orc takes a standard action.
A was the group's Avenger and W the Warlord.
Avenger's turn, he strikes with Bond Of Foresight
Bond of Foresight A bond of fate links you to your enemy, giving you the ability to foresee its every move. Whenever it moves or attacks you, you’re ready. Daily Divine, Weapon Standard Action Melee weapon Target: One creature Attack: Wisdom vs. AC Hit: 2[W] + Wisdom modifier damage. Miss: Half damage. Effect: When the target hits or misses you or shifts, the target provokes an opportunity attack from you (save ends).
Orc Turn: Attacks Avenger with Longspear. Hit for 21 damage, bringing him down
- Bond of Foresight activates, and it's an opportunity action, so it Interrupts the Orc Attacks.
MBA Attack: Overwhelming strike - hit for 14 damage, killing the Orc. The avenger shifts one space back, (could he? or does the interrupt triggers before that?) and decide not to slide the Orc, not knowing of his Melee 2 attacks.
X X X X X W
E X A X X X
- Orc Killed: triggers Savage Demise. Since it's a free action, it can be taken on your own turn, unlike opportunity o immediate action.
Orc charges the warlord, passing by the Avenger, who has already used his OA on the orc's turn. Hits the warlord for 17 damage, ko'd him
X X X X E W
X X A X X X
When his free action interrupt ends, we continue resolving actions: the Avenger's Overwhelming Strike is now out of range, so it is wasted, and since the poor fellow moved back, is in range of the Orc original Longspear attack, so he goes down along his comrade.
So the orc took advantage of the Avenger's power to strike, charge and leave unconscious two PC without taking a single hit point of damage. He only lost the Savage Demise use for the encounter.
Was this resolution correct? Did we do something wrong?
On the orc's Melee 2 charge: Does the orc HAVE to move all the way with his Melee 2? Could he stop a square before? Must he?
And for an extra layer of complexity, what if this were the layout when the charge strikes:?
X X X E W
X X A X X
Allowing the Avenger to use his Multiclass Fighter Battle Awareness Interrupt Attack? If this attacks hits doing enough damage to kill the orc, would that invalidate all the rest of the attacks and effects?
One player argued that since the orc had charged, he couldn't take any more actions on his turn, and the DM (and me) thought that correct, but that the first attack on the Avenger was an action already taken, waiting for resolution, and not an action to be taken. The shaman could not move after the free action charge, but the Avenger was hit, right?
We found Savage Demise extremely challenging, and a small bunch of orcs is kicking our **** day after day, but I want to make sure of the whole situation.
Many, many thanks in advance
A few points:
Bond of Foresight's OA kills the Orc, this renders invalid the attack that triggered the OA.
Savage Demise is a no action, not a free action. It does not have interrupt timing, it simply happens. The orc is already dead, but these sort of no action abilities are specifically meant to allow after-death effects. Being dead means you can't take actions, but because it's a no action you can do it. Yes, the power says "the orc takes a standard action" but that's a specific exception to the general rules about being dead.
So, the Avenger's OA has completely and fully resolved when the Orc takes his action. This is really the key point. The OA resolves, invalidating the triggering attack - full stop. Then we go to the next step, Savage Demise.
If the Orc then charges the Warlord, the Avenger is correctly not able to do anything about it, having already used his opportunity action for the turn. The Orc is still dead, and keels over after completing his charge.
If the Avenger has Battle Awareness, and attacks the Orc as an interrupt on the charge, it won't do any good. The orc is already dead. He's charging through a no action effect. Even if it did infinite damage, it wouldn't prevent the attack. You could prevent the attack if the Avenger's attack did something else to invalidate the attack, beyond killing the target, such as moving the Orc out of range of the target (such as a Power of Skill Overwhelming Strike, which is highly useful for exactly that purpose), but simply dealing damage to the Orc doesn't do anything, because the Orc's already dead, and doing the charge as a no action.
There is an exception to the "your turn ends" bit in the charge rules, and that is that you can take Free Actions. No Action effects also can happen, as well.
The charge rules have also been changed from their original printing, you are no longer required to stop at the farthest away point you can attack from if you have Reach. You can choose where you want to stop.
Ok, so I've looked again at the stats and you're right. And thanks for the real quick answer!
But... the Orc Troll Shaman is the ONLY orc I've seen with Savage Demise as a No Action. All the rest (and thus it was asumed OTS also) has as a Free action or, in the case of Orc Wolf Shaman as an Inmediate Interrupt. (¿?). Maybe it has something to do with his troll blood...
So let's assume it is a Free Action, after all, as most of the remaining orcs.
How would the situation be handled in that case?
A Triggerred Free action resolve as an Immediate Reaction unless it needs to interrupt in order to function. In this case it needs to.
So in either case the Orc has started being reduced to 0 hit points but hasn't finished yet when he act throught Savage Demise, or he already has and still do anyways.
I'm sorry but I don't get it.
If Savage Demise is a No Action, then the Orc takes it when he's already dead. So any additional damage it may take, (Battle awareness, our Paladin's Mark, zones, etc) do nothing to stop the action, for it changes nothing on the enemy.
If it is a Free Action, as in most of all Orc entries, then the action is taken just before it goes down to 0 hit points because, as Plague pointed out, it needs to be an interrupt or else the orc would be dead and thus unable to take actions. But in this case, if it suffers more damage, bringing him down to 0 hp again, why doesn't this foil the standard action? He's now at 0 hit points and having used Savage Demise already. Savage Demise does not make him Immune All Damage during its Granted Standard action, doesn't it?
Again on our example, with BA thrown in the mix, and please consider Savage Demise as a Free Action, for it would help any other future cases we may have: ours is a group with a lot of off-turn actions (Warlord's Vengeance is Mine, an Artificer's Shocking feedback, Battle Awareness, Paladin's Mark...).
Correct if I'm wrong, but don't Interrupt actions resolve as a LIFO queue?
Now suppose Orc under Divine Sanction, and the 5-square initial layout
Are these correct?
If not, can you put a step-by-step resolution process?
Also, thins make me wonder exactly what are the atomic elements of an interrupted action? Each square of movement, the to-hit roll, the damage roll... what about conditions granted by the hit? what about effects of the power?
Thank you all in advance
Sorry for the double-post, but I take that in the last example above, the Paladin's Divine Sanction Damage would've been triggered by the initial attack on the Avenger, and not on the former charge.
It's just an example for the sake of the argument, please assume any other form of damage (a harming zone, another player's Interrupts) that does not enough to kill the Orc.
Again, sorry for the mistake
You would be correct about the end result (Orc gets killed by the Battle Awareness, and having already used Savage Demise, is now simply dead and unable to complete the Savage Demise Charge) EXCEPT: The Orc could have charged to a square in which you couldn't Battle Awareness him.
And yes, if you fail to kill the orc with an Interrupt to his Charge attack, he will complete his initial attack on the Avenger (because the action was already taken) but be unable to take any further actions.
Savage Demise, and really, all Death/Bloody triggers should either be Immediates (and thus unusable on your turn) or No Actions (and thus don't necessarilly prevent you from dying)
Are you sure of that?
The wildly different outcomes of being a Free Action vs. a No action makes me feel that it is, indeed, intended.
As a No Action, the orc, could charge across the battlefield, taking a hundred points of damage, ignoring damaging zones, auras, opportunity attacks, interrupts, and, after that, die. But he couldn't had any chance of surviving, as he's already dead.
As a Free Action he could just move away of the slaying attack range, thus turning the hit into a miss. But another damaging enough attack would bring him down.
It's very different. what makes you so sure of the No Action as the correct way of implementing it?
As an aside, Mand12, I'd love to hear your take on the resolution steps as a Free Action on the former post.
Thanks for your patience.
Consider an actual death burst. There are lots of creatures that do this, they literally blow up when they die.
If that blowing up interrupts and kills the thing attacking them, then they don't die. But if they don't die, then why did they blow up?
The rules are clear, but there's a logical paradox. A paradox that's solved by requiring all death bursts to have reaction timing, at the fastest.
Yes, if you have a free action triggered by "drop to 0 or fewer hitpoints" then it must be an interrupt to function, because "drop to 0 or fewer hitpoints" causes unconsciousness (death for NPCs), and the application of the "You can't take actions." effect, which would prevent you from using a free action. Which then, as per the triggered free action rules, requires it to be an interrupt. And as an interrupt, your interpretation is correct.
But the problem is they can't be an interrupt, due to the logical paradox presented above. Which is why labeling "drop to 0 or fewer hitpoints" as free actions is an error, and a demonstration that the writer of the feature doesn't fully understand the implications of the designation.
The "must be an interrupt to function" argument, on its face, correct, but it misses an important subtlety. The point of that rule is to prevent changing something that has already resolved, as a reaction. That's a no-no, you need to be an interrupt to do that. It does not mean that running into the "You can't take actions" rule means that you then trigger the "it must be an interrupt to function" clause. That's like saying a free action that has a trigger that happens to go off when you're also afflicted with Stunned at the same time as the trigger (such as "you become bloodied") then functions as an interrupt. No, it doesn't - it's still a reaction, and you can't use it due to being nailed by the Stunned condition and you can't take actions, including the free action you would have wanted to use.
Now, don't get me wrong, there are legitimate "drop to 0 or fewer hitpoints" triggers that are interrupts, but they're actually specified as such. But that particular trigger does not play well with the general triggered free action timing rules, hence the discrepancy.
I understand taht a death burst should be a No action. That's clear.
There are only two things I don't like about your reasoning on the "it has to be a No action" argument.
All in all, I'm happy to see that we managed to get the chain of resolution right.
Thank you. And please forgive any grammar mistake, english is not my native tongue
The paradox is caused by Interrupt taking place when its trigger occurs, but before it finishes, possibly invalidating it in the process.
An Orc hasn't been reduced to 0 hit point when Savage Demise triggers as a free action as it resolve before it happens.
But the point is that such death effects shouldn't be interrupts.
And, as that power is written - it's not. Since it's a No Action. There are a lot of other similar effects that are also no action. All the ones that aren't are errors, and should be referred to the Errata team.
That power has several different action type depending on the creature:
Severed Eyes Orc Slasher - Savage Demise (Immediate Interrupt)
To name a few...
I was using the one that was quoted in the OP.
And the demonstration of inconsistency on the part of the writers does not change what the rule should be.
And yes, I am confident in stating what the rule should be.
Interrupt powers triggering upon being reduced to 0 hit point are not errors. They are specifically made to interrupt their trigger and give the possibility to invalidate the triggering action and cause it to be lost.
Do you really want to start analyzing 4E Power names and their supposed definition cause many are irrevelant you know ?
Ignore Weakness doesn't really ignores anything if your saving throw doesn't succeed for exemple
And there's worse...
Oh, I know.
My point, however, is that RAI is important. And, beyond that, even beyond RAI, there is what the rules should be. The configuration that makes the rules as effective as they can be at the overall goals of the system.
Is it rigorously defensible? No, of course not. But I stand by the judgment nonetheless.
RAI is impossible to tell because we have no way to know if those powers were intended to use the action they were given or not.
You could may be make a case for the versions of Savage Demise triggerred as a free action but not really for those triggerred as an immediate interrupt as they are pretty obvious they are meant to interrupt.
RAI is impossible to specify, but it's not impossible to generate a reasonable estimate for it.
And I am making the case that even the interrupt ones should be no action, based on the effect interrupts have on the system, the name of the power, the fluff of the creatures that have it, and the result that no action accomplishes all of the goals with none of the self-inconsistencies.
It's an evaluation of a design. It's not rigorously dispassionate and disinterested, no, but it is grounded.
It's for similar reasons that I reject the updated wording of Flaming Weapon, and the same process by which I analyze the Next playtest. Only, it's applied to an existing system.
The fundamental, core assumption that you have to accept to do this is that the system isn't written perfectly, and that there are things that deserve errata. Not just taking the design in a new direction but rather that mistakes were made in executing the goals of the design.
Yes, they should generally be no-actions, and the orc's would swing while prone and unconcious. But by RAW, they are not.
And since it's an interupt (or a free action that needs to act as an interupt), they can be used to escape death. Minotaurs also do this. It's quite fun to run around with 2 HP and eldrich strike
It is. The Orc has completly finished being reduced to 0 hit point whem Savage Demise take effect.
According to Others Triggered Effects rules it behaves like an Immediate Reaction, which means the triggering action or event occurs and is completely resolved before the reaction takes place.
There's a timing gap between 0 hit points and death for monsters? Because while I know the rules say "monsters usually die when their hit points drop to 0", I always thought that was for effects that prevent them from dying (the example cited is an adventurer choosing to knock the monster unconscious). If 0 hp = death unless some other effect prevents death, a monster that's reduced to 0 hit points can't make actions. If Savage Demise does not function as an interrupt, there's no way the attack can be made without severe penalties (blind + prone), nor could you possibly charge with it (0 hit points = unconsciousness/death = prone by default).
Obviously the intent is that yes, you could, but there is no language whatsoever indicating the Orc has special exemption from the normal state of the rules. This is as much of a problem as Savage Demise invalidating it's own trigger, IMO.
Post Your Reply
Please login to post a reply.