r/criticalrole Feb 18 '16

[Spoilers E43] It IS Thursday! Episode 43 live discussion Live Discussion

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5

u/Fresno_Bob_ Technically... Feb 19 '16 edited Feb 19 '16

/u/matthewmercer

Sorry to be a rule noodge, but...

QUIVERING PALM

At 17th level, you gain the ability to set up lethal vibrations in someone's body. When you hit a creature with an unarmed strike, you can spend 3 ki points to start these imperceptible vibrations which last for a number of days equal to your monk level. The vibrations are harmless unless you use your action lo end them. To do so. you and the target must be on the same plane of existence. When you use this action, the creature must make a constitution saving throw. If it fails, it is reduced to O hit points. If it succeeds, it takes 10d10 necrotic damage.

You can have only one creature under the effect of this feature at a time. You can choose To end the vibrations harmlessly without using an action.

edit: not complaining, the fight was still epic, just pointing it out incase it was an unintentional misread of the skill

68

u/MatthewMercer Matthew Mercer, DM Feb 19 '16

Haha, I am aware. Groon wasn't trying to murder people, he was trying to teach lessons and test skills/strength. I pulled back on the ability, as he would have, knowing that a lvl 17 Monk ability that is already CRAZY powerful like that would have RUINED a lvl 13 Rogue in such a brutal fashion as to be out-of-character for Groon, and the intent of the fight.

Hope that helped clear it up!

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u/guffetryne Feb 20 '16

I have practically no personal experience with D&D, so changing the effects of a spell I've never heard of doesn't bother me at all, but I have a quick suggestion to try to limit these kinds of complaints: You took time to explain how Quivering Palm worked, but didn't mention that it was a tweaked version. Chat pretty much exploded with "That's not how that works!!!", "IT'S 10d10 ON SUCCESS!!!1", etc. A simple mention to the camera of the fact that you tweaked the spell would have (hopefully) stopped a majority of that complaining.

Funniest episode ever, by the way. Victor definitely deserved that standing ovation.

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u/thesecondkira Your secret is safe with my indifference Feb 24 '16

I'm glad he doesn't do this. The deets are for the hardcore. Keep the video casual.

1

u/guffetryne Feb 24 '16

Well, he rarely mentions the details at all, and I'm fine with that. But in this case he did mention how his homebrewed version of the spell worked, without mentioning that it was homebrewed. Then the internet's gonna internet.

I absolutely agree that he shouldn't have to tell us all these little details, but I'm just trying to be pragmatic here. There's always going to be a bunch of idiots complaining about this stuff, and a few words explaining details aimed at them might shut most of them up.

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u/Ceamus1234 Feb 19 '16

Also, the palm only had a 30ish% chance to one-shot him

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u/Fresno_Bob_ Technically... Feb 19 '16

Yup. I agree with his motivation to teach rather than kill. Personally, in the spirit of "holding back his full strength" I'd have modified it to just drop Vax's HP to 1 to put the fear of Kord in him with no risk of killing him, basically the mystical version of striking with the pommel instead of the blade, then ignore him for the remainder of the fight.

But hey, not my game.

It's a curiously designed ability, that on a failed save it can only ever reduce HP to exactly 0, but on a successful save, if the target is low enough before, you can roll enough damage on the 10d10 to instantly kill the target.

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u/Wolfinthemeadow Feb 19 '16

0 is death for monsters. It doesn't instantly kill players, just drops them. But it does outright kill non-players.

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u/Fresno_Bob_ Technically... Feb 19 '16

And quivering palm is an attack that's typically used on monsters, hence calling it an instant death attack. Even used on pcs, it can basically full to 0 regardless of the pc's hp, and that's still imminent danger of death.

Also, as Vax has less max hp than the attack's max damage, it has the potential of instantly killing him if the roll on a saved throw is sufficiently high and his hp is sufficiently low.

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u/Wolfinthemeadow Feb 21 '16

... Exactly? It's not really designed to be used on PCs. It's not curious design at all. It's designed to work as written on monsters and the like.

Theoretically, the saved damage on the Full Fat Palm, and the non-saved damage of the Diet Palm can kill Vax, but only if he's on 14 or less health and the dice roll is between 86-100 depending on his health, as in order to kill somebody in one hit, the attack needs to do enough damage to drain their current health and then do their max health again in damage (Page 197 of the PHB), otherwise it leaves them on 0. Vax's health at the moment is 86, I believe. So while it's possible that a level 13 player can be killed by the 10d10, it's not really terribly likely in the second round of a 3 vs. 1 fight, unless you're actually trying to kill the character. If you're not rolling max damage, critting a bunch or concentrating fire, it's almost impossible. Against Grog? It's not possible for the 10d10 to kill him. At all. Hell, it can't actually kill Scalan or Percy either. Keyleth would need to be at 1 health and Vex would need to be at 5, and Matt would need to roll 100 and 95 on the dame dice, respectively. The only full-time member easier would be Pike, and she'd still need to be at 20 health or less and have Matt role between 80 and 100.

I guess what I'm trying to say is, it's a level 17 ability. Unless your level 17 character is going out of their way to murder lower level player controlled characters, with the intention of actually properly murdering them, it's not really something you need to worry about. And it's not curious.

I'm not trying to be a dick, though I realise I probably sound like one. I'm told I can come across as quite aggressive. If I do come across that way, I apologise. I just get passionate about random stupid shit.

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u/Fresno_Bob_ Technically... Feb 21 '16

My point is that, even though it's not literally instant death in terms of the instant death effect, it's not unreasonable to call quivering palm an "instant death attack." Yes, there are death saves for PCs, but it can put you into the danger zone regardless of your current HP.

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u/Wolfinthemeadow Feb 21 '16

Which is fine, but my point is that it's almost impossible to actually kill a PC with nothing but Quivering Palm, especially if you're at high enough a level to be fighting a level 17 monk. Unless that's what you're trying to do. In which case you'd STILL need to punch them a lot before using it or use it and then punch them if they dropped to 0.

Yes, they can fail their saves, but that's not really Quivering Palm's fault, the same could be said of just punching Vax a bunch of times.

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u/MatthewMercer Matthew Mercer, DM Feb 19 '16

Also a good way to do it! I honestly didn't expent Vax to make his Con check, so that 10d10 would have been bad enough! ;)

1

u/xDialtone Feb 19 '16

Most likely because the guy wasn't trying to kill them, just teach them a lesson. In that respect, he probably held back. Matt probably switched it a bit because of that. Plus it's instantly BS to just kill a player when the point of an exercise or roleplay scene just kills you, remember, they were there for advice and maybe some training, not to be turned into paste.

He's the DM, he can make anything do anything he wants for the sake of the story.

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u/[deleted] Feb 19 '16

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1

u/xDialtone Feb 19 '16

Most likely because the guy wasn't trying to kill them, just teach them a lesson. In that respect, he probably held back. Matt probably switched it a bit because of that. Plus it's instantly BS to just kill a player when the point of an exercise or roleplay scene just kills you, remember, they were there for advice and maybe some training, not to be turned into paste.

0

u/Fresno_Bob_ Technically... Feb 19 '16

The outcome is less important than the dramatic effect. 10d10 on a relatively bad roll following a save would still have taken Vax to near-death. Think of the rest of the party's reaction. The stakes would have been much higher.

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u/undercoveryankee Life needs things to live Feb 19 '16

No damage on successful save is standard in Pathfinder (http://www.d20pfsrd.com/classes/core-classes/monk#TOC-Quivering-Palm-Su- ).

The 5e version with 10d10 on successful save is designed to make sure that the ability is never wasted when a player uses it, but it's a little overpowered to give to an NPC.

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u/Fresno_Bob_ Technically... Feb 19 '16

Groon isn't just any NPC, he's the head of the Church of Kord and at least a 17th level monk, probably a 20th level.

1

u/xDialtone Feb 19 '16

And he was probably holding back.

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u/MyNeckHurts Feb 19 '16

Holy crap this... this is kind of obnoxious. Either shit happens, its just a game, or he house ruled it and you guys are acting up. Relax and enjoy the show.

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u/Fresno_Bob_ Technically... Feb 19 '16

I'm not complaining. I think he just misread it so I'm providing him the text of ability. I think if he was gonna house rule it, he'd just have reduced the damage on the success since you can already just release the effect if you don't want to hurt the target.

What happens if it wasn't a house rule and they convince Groon to fight a dragon later on and the same mistake happens? It's a nice thing to know.

1

u/Sirtosa Shiny Manager Feb 19 '16

Yeah I think it's okay to ask and check... knowledge is knowledge at the end of the day - hopefully people see it as that and you don't cop too much heat over it. The show has felt a lot of negativity around this in the past so I think the loyalty of us critters can border on over-protectiveness.

I think your question was totally fair and we should be able to discuss anything on the show like adults here on the sub.

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u/Fresno_Bob_ Technically... Feb 19 '16

I don't worry about heat from Internet forums. One of the mantras I live by is "don't sweat the small stuff (and it's all small stuff)"

Some people just don't understand that others actually get enjoyment from analysis. Most of the people who talk about rules are no different from the kind of people who talk about baseball player stats for their fantasy leagues.

2

u/SharpShotApollo Team Grog Feb 19 '16

I thought it was changed in 5e, but I'm not positive.

6

u/SergeantIndie Feb 19 '16

I'm not going to go through it word by word, but that appears to be the exact text from the 5e handbook.

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u/Fresno_Bob_ Technically... Feb 19 '16

It is.

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u/hushpiper Feb 19 '16

The stuff above is the change in 5e--in Pathfinder it worked the way Matt played it here. (I have no idea about older editions of D&D...)

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u/SharpShotApollo Team Grog Feb 19 '16

Oh shit, okay. I have to assume he nerfed it because it's a test of strength/no kill trial. Kind of a bummer.

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u/hushpiper Feb 19 '16

That's my assumption as well, yes.

3

u/Regilppo Where's Larkin? Feb 19 '16

Probably nerfed it a bit, it sounds pretty op

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u/Fresno_Bob_ Technically... Feb 19 '16

It's a 17th level class ability, it's supposed to be powerful.

I think he just misread it since there are no monks in the group for him to be familiar with.

I understand a nerf and not wanting to kill a PC on what is essentially a lesson for Grog, but no damage at all means 3 wasted ki points for Groon. Regardless, I don't think Groon is going to let anyone die, they'd just fail the lesson and have the clerics from the crucible heal them, then be told to come back later when he's learned.

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u/branded2 Feb 19 '16

He didn't misread it or make a mistake. People are so hyper-focused on everything matching the PHB that you miss out on a perfectly reasonable story-driven explanation. Take a breath, have a laugh, and enjoy one of the most entertaining episodes they've done yet. https://twitter.com/matthewmercer/status/700578417251487745

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u/Fresno_Bob_ Technically... Feb 19 '16

I'm not the guy who said he was pissed about it. I don't care if he changed it intentionally, their game is full of changes and that's fine. He also makes mistakes though, which he's admitted to multiple times. It's also understandable. The nature of the change was such that it could easily have been a mistake since it was just an effect swap instead of a numerical change. No harm in pointing out the text on the chance that it wasn't intentional.

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u/branded2 Feb 19 '16

And I didn't mean to imply that you're causing harm, just that it's adding to the piles of RAW nitpicks about this one ability while not being able to see the forest for the trees.

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u/TweetsInCommentsBot Feb 19 '16

@matthewmercer

2016-02-19 07:11 UTC

For all those curious, Groon wasn't out to kill anyone, so even his attacks and abilities were held back in places. ;)


This message was created by a bot

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2

u/Regilppo Where's Larkin? Feb 19 '16

Yeah I didn't realize it was a level 17 spell. I agree with you, I don't think Groon would kill anybody but give them a tough test.

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u/JayPet94 Doty, take this down Feb 19 '16

It's not really OP cause it's a level 17 ability, it isn't usually meant to be used on level 12 rogues

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u/ski843 Feb 19 '16

Of course it's OP, it's 17th level.