Grom The Barlor Slayer
When exactly do “once each round” effects work?
Quite a bit of spell effects state that they work once in a round.
For example, Balor Nimbus:
each round, the flames deal 6d6 points of fire damage to any creature grappling you (or any creature you grapple) on your turn.
When exactly on my turn does the effect happen? Am I right assuming that the effect happens once on my turn at the earliest possible moment? There ought to be a clear ruling somewhere, I just can't find it.
To clarify a bit, consider this situation (Initiative order is X then Y then Z):
1.On round 1, X casts Balor nimbus (standard action), then Celerity (swift action), then starts a grapple agains Y (standard action from Celerity) and gets a hold. Does his opponent get burned right away? Or does the damage occur at the beginning of the round?
2.On Y's turn he breaks free.
3.On Z's turn Z starts grapple with X and gets a hold.
4.Next round, X breaks free from grapple (standard action). Does Z take damage from Balor Nimbus?
Bonus question, to complicate things more:
1.X has Improved Grab ability and Balor Nimbus on. X grapples Y with one hand.
2.It is start of X's turn. Does Y take damage from Balor Nimbus? If yes, when X grapples Z with his other hand, does Z take damage from Balor Nimbus?
If Balor Nimbus is too hard, let's try Wall of Fire.
"Once each round" effect: happens at the beginning of the round or at the earliest possible moment at the round? Goes off once at some moment in time or once for each creature affected, possibly at different moments?
I'm interested in an answer supported by the rules.
Gamer Forge Response:
Group hug! When figuring out when players feel the heat, DCR says:
1. You feel the burn the moment your hands enter the fire. Damage is applied as soon as you are grappled by the user of spell, and applied again at the start of the caster's turn, provided the caster is still grappling the target. But we also asked this, why would someone willingly attempt to grab someone who is on fire? Which leads us to...
2. Whoever offensively grabbed, sets the mark. So if you are crazy enough to grapple someone who is on fire, then you apply damage on your turn, not the caster's. It's just the price you pay for going on the offensive. Initiating a grapple maneuver usually entails a full turn, so there isn't much, if anything, one can do avoid taking damage. Also, Z equals 4.
3. Anything that aids the grapple, aids the spell. Feats like Improved Grapple, along with spells similar to Bigby's Crushing Fist also apply to this spell. If you stack your deck right, the caster may never have to put him/herself in harm's way to grapple opponents. It sounds dirty, but such is the benefit of surviving long enough to figure this stuff out. The player was smart enough to live this long, and deserves to reap the benefits of his/her longevity. Thumbs up!
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So I've got a campaign where one of the characters, a fighter, severely distrusts magical items. The party level is 6+, and it seems difficult to figure out a way to compensate this character in non-magical treasure (as the challenge ratings of the encounters are getting up there).
I also have to add that I really like the role playing decision to distrust magic – it adds a flavor to the campaign that I've never had before. If anything, I want this player to continue or distrust magic further.
What have you guys done in this situation?
Gamer Forge Response:
Magic? Ewwww! Get it away! Kill it! When your hero believes magic = cooties, DCR says:
1. First, we need to define just how mistrusting of magic is the character. Is magic healing acceptable? Is it just items? Do trinkets count? From what we understand, spells are okay, but items are not. DM should talk this detail over with player to get a good grasp of this very amusing nuance of the character.
2. Value of teamwork. If this character is opposed to using magic weapons, he/she will have to count on the magic aid of others. Your fighter is really good at fighting, but even that skill only gets you so far. This presents a great roleplay opportunity between players, as they will have to become not just adventuring companions, but friends. If the player wants to continue having the character distrust magic, this seems to be the easiest way for both sides of the table. Otherwise, the DM will have to scale things back so the fighter can actually tow his/her line in the group. You run a high risk of leaving this fighter in the dust as far as combat challenges.
3. If magic is an absolute necessity in the setting, it is a wholly legitimate strategy to trick the fighter into using a magic item. Just don't let on that it's magic. Give the item some relevance, so he/she will be inclined to use it, but don't tell him that it is. This works for the players, as well. A player can trick another player. For instance, the fighter receives an heirloom sword handed down from three generations ago and has an engraved ebony handle, etc. Thus, the player will be inclined to use it, since it has a relevance. Now, the DM covertly adds whatever bonus to each attacks. The fighter need not be the wiser.
*Bonus XP: When keeping things interesting with grappling and fire, try adding some flair (get it?) to your grappling moves. Modern grappling arts like jiu-jitsu and judo are rife with fun maneuvers for grappling on the ground and standing up. Look up the subject of mixed martial arts on YouTube and Wikipedia to get a start point. Make note of some maneuvers you think look dramatic or painful, and throw those into your game to add some great flavor text to your attacks. Remember, these fighting styles are actual used as practical methods in street fighting. So don't be timid when using them the first time.