We Are Stupid – Episode 81

Some people know all of the rules to the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game, but many, many more do not. Here’s a list of the things we screwed up in our never-ending search for Pathfinder perfection…

I’ve got a simple one this week. A quick We Are Stupid that would be a nit-picky rule that even Troy may have overruled considering the narrative, and a rule that Troy got wrong, but never factored into the game. “How is that?” you ask? Read on.

First of all, when the eye beam from the cyclops tore through our ranks, Nestor’s horse took the full brunt of the attack and was, according to Troy, disintegrated. At that point, Troy gave Nestor a free drop into Buttercup’s ashes and had him land on both feet ready to act. In fact, to play this one by the rules, Nestor needed to roll a DC 15 Ride check or take 1d6 points of falling damage. This is more of a fun fact than a real rule error. Nestor, of all characters, would probably have no problem landing like a cat after a horse he didn’t care a lick for suddenly disappeared beneath him. I don’t think we really needed to get into it on this one. Let’s move on.

Well, sometimes we just don’t know the answer to a rule question that’s raised and in the heat of combat Troy as GM will just make the call. Sometimes he’s right and sometimes he’s wrong. This is an example of the latter.

Matthew asked if Della could move Reginald’s move speed then do a full attack action. Troy ruled that yes, he could. Troy was stupid. (In his defense all of us including myself made a case for this ruling and Troy gave the verdict in our favor, which was nice, but that’s no excuse. He certainly wouldn’t be the first person that was nice and stupid.)

After listening back to the show something about that full attack felt wrong to me, so after the session I dug into the rules on it. When I did my research for running Sir Willimet in combat, I saw that you move your mount’s speed and use your mount’s move action to move. This was an important detail for Will because his movement speed as a heavy armor-wearing halfling is only 15 feet! While mounted on Lexington, that speed increases to 35 feet – big difference. But why wouldn’t you be able to take a full attack action then?

The fact is that you can make a full attack action if you’re making a ranged attack. The concept that forms the foundation for this rule is that any full attack action you are taking must be considered to be happening throughout the movement of the mount, not at the end of it. It makes perfect sense that Barron should be able to shoot three rounds from his pistol during a rapid shot while mounted. The horse rides, Barron shoots. Simple. Now, accuracy may be an issue as my preliminary math brings his penalty to hit to around -10 for each shot for doing this action, but by the rules you can still attempt it.

You can’t take a melee full attack action because this action would have to happen only at the end of the mount’s movement, at which point you would only have time for a standard action according to the rules.

I thought about really digging into the mechanics of Spell Combat and Spellstrike again to see the times in which these actions occur, but the Magus page is nothing but a ponderous collection of paragraphs that leave me feeling like I understand less every time I read them. I didn’t want to go down that rabbit hole again, but for what it’s worth, I’m almost certain Della would not be able to do her Spell Combat, Spellstrike combo after Reginald moved more than five feet in the same round.

Luckily, Matthew rolled a natural one on Della’s ride check to attempt the maneuver and Troy ruled that she fell from the horse before any of this could happen. So, as me ole Dad used to say, “harm…no foul.”

In case you were wondering what level of GEEK you need to be to write a comprehensive analysis of a rule that was never a factor in the game because the action involving it never actually took place, the answer is Level Four. You need to be at least a Level Four geek.

Geek out.

-Joe

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