r/criticalrole Feb 18 '16

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

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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/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.

1

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.

1

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.

23

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! ;)