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Surprise Round

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1 Surprise Round on Fri Jan 14, 2011 6:46 pm


Surprise Round
Some battles begin with a surprise round. A surprise round occurs if any combatants are unaware of enemy combatants’ presence or hostile intentions. For example, if you fail your Perception check to notice hidden enemies, you’re surprised. Or if supposed allies spring an attack and you failed your Insight check to notice the attackers’ traitorous intentions, you’re surprised.

But if any of your allies made their Perception or Insight checks, they’re not surprised. When any combatants achieve surprise, they act in initiative order during the surprise round. Surprised combatants don’t act at all during the surprise round.

Two special rules apply to the surprise round.

Limited Action: If you get to act in the surprise round, you can take a standard action, a move action, or a minor action. You can also take free actions, but you can’t spend action points. After every nonsurprised combatant has acted, the surprise round ends, and you can act normally in subsequent rounds.

Surprised: If you’re surprised, you can’t take any actions (not even free actions, immediate actions,
or opportunity actions), and you grant combat advantage to all attackers. As soon as the surprise round ends, you are no longer surprised.

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2 Re: Surprise Round on Fri Jan 14, 2011 11:25 pm

In the online game...

Shouldn't the sequence have been something like:

Round -1:
Blade drinks a potion, moves up to the door, and opens the door a little.
Angel, Ashe, and Telgarth followed Blade up to the door.

Roll initiative since NPCs were detected
Roll perception checks for the NPCs

Since the NPCs were not hiding, they don't get stealth rolls and the PCs know where each NPC is (even behind a mostly closed door). Link to steath discussion: Hidden Club


Round 0:
Any PC or NPC not surprised gets to take one standard action in initiative order.


Round 1:
All PC and NPC get to act on their turns.

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3 Re: Surprise Round on Sat Jan 15, 2011 12:44 am

Dwarmaj wrote:the sequence:

Round -1:
Blade drinks a potion, moves up to the door, and opens the door a little.
Angel, Ashe, and Telgarth followed Blade up to the door.

Roll initiative since NPCs were detected <By Blade>
<No> Roll perception checks for the NPCs < or other PCs since all the rest did was walk up over 5' behind a barely cracked door and couldn't see anything yet>

[quote="Dwarmaj"]
Surprise Round
Some battles begin with a surprise round.

A surprise round occurs if any combatants are unaware of enemy combatants’ presence or hostile intentions.

But if any of your allies made their Perception or Insight checks, they’re not surprised.

When any combatants achieve surprise, they act in initiative order during the surprise round. Surprised combatants don’t act at all during the surprise round.

All of this applies, that's why the surprise round. Blade was the only one who met all the qualifications to be in it. We did the entire surprise round (Blade), then started with regular combat.

No one else qualifies because while suspicious of enemy combatants, obviously, only Blade was 'aware' until Blade appeared visible as a magic noose of shady energy flew from Blade's hands choking & pulling. Everyone else saw this at once. Including the dead one.

Iow, no one else met the requisite Perception or Insight check to not be surprised, and only Blade was aware of enemy combatants.

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4 Re: Surprise Round on Sat Jan 15, 2011 1:48 am

Please keep in mind too, that in the Buffyverse, there's no Ken, Ross, Brad, etc., but there is Angel, Ashe, Blade, Ember, and Telgarth, all of whom just witnessed for the first time in their lives somebody actually turn invisible. This is not Westron or the real world, this is the Buffyverse and all 'you' saw was Blade turn invisible and then visible in front of the door when he cast the spell.

All the above named are (Humanoid proportionally) adolescents, or high school age for a real world Human only range and suddenly* discovering you possess extreme magical talent within what you only saw as a magic-less universe.

In one night you each went from believing that to some level because of the 1,000 years of supression of knowledge or practice, there was no such thing as magic, to barely escaping from a slumber when attacked by Vampires slaughtering your family.

All you knew before that for sure was that you each were extremely gifted compared to all of your peers & neighbors growing up. (i.e. "superhero" base stats for PCs) You all naturally gravitated toward your talents (classes) and studied on your own or with others, but only glimpses of truth here & there with lots of outright lies mixed in to confuse & discourage those on the path of discovering the coverup. You are only recently experiencing things first hand previously only known through discredited sources, severely dilluted sources, or mythology.

*I know it may not have felt like "suddently", but in the span of a little over another day, you've each discovered that you possess magic abilities only retold in "fairytales" and never actually seen, and that magic items abound, even among old relics like family heirlooms, and in the hands of those aware of the now covert battle between living beings, and the Undead legions' evergrowing numbers and hunger to feed.

Think "the Matrix" except instead of computers feeding off us, it's Vampires (& some other Undeads, possible demons, etc to come)

In the span of only a few days and a long car trip to the W coast to just outside a small city Hollywood Grove, famous for the entertainment industry, you also discovered that you few are Prophesied 'Zodiac Slayers', destined to tip the scales in the end days of the Living and Undead. In the perspective of a lifetime, even from a teenage POV, that's relatively suddenly to take in all of that. (Hell, one of you couldn't even accept the truth and is waiting in a motel room with his/her powers still undiscovered. Very Happy )

Not Westron, the 'real world', or Jalalabrad, but the Buffyverse...

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5 Re: Surprise Round on Sat Jan 15, 2011 7:54 am

In DnD 4.0 all PCs know where all NPCs are when an encounter begins. As soon as Blade unlocked and opened the door the encounter started.

From WotC thread on Hidden:
To recap: IF YOU ARE NOT "HIDDEN", YOUR ENEMIES KNOW WHERE YOU ARE, PERIOD, whether they can see you or not. If something doesn't SAY you are Hidden, you are not Hidden, period.

Q: But I'm invisible AND they're Blind AND they're 30 squares away AND I'm downwind AND there's a giant roaring waterfall next to me! Shouldn't they have NO CLUE where I am?
A: Not if you're not Hidden. By the way, I'm counting something close to a +30 situational bonus there - take your NO ACTION and ROLL STEALTH at the end of your next move. Sheesh!



The PCs are aware of the NPCs because the NPCs were not hiding. The NPCs are aware of any PC whose stealth check is less than their passive perception because the PC were moving stealthily (or at least trying).

All the door does is add a modifier (penalty) to perception checks and since none of the NPCs were hiding, they do not benefit. All PCs are aware of them.

Correct, this is not Westron, the real world, or another setting. But this is DnD 4.0.

You are free to change the rules to better suite your setting. I'm just listing what the rules are since you mentioned you were unclear on how the beginning of combat should go.

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6 Re: Surprise Round on Sat Jan 15, 2011 4:20 pm

Let me put it another way, only Blade had LOS inside the room. Everyone else total obstruction of view. You need LOS to make a perception check.

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7 Re: Surprise Round on Sat Jan 15, 2011 5:42 pm

Ross

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I think you almost have to place everyone on the board and see if they had line of site into the room. Since the vampires inside were not trying to stealth we would just have to have line of site through the cracked door to not get a surprise attack.

If nobody else had line of sight to an enemy except me I should be the only one who gets the surprise attack, unless the vampire saw me before I attacked. Since the vampire saw me after I attacked he does not get a surprise attack. If this was allowed everybody on the surprised side would always get a retaliatory surprise attack.


_________________
CHARACTERS:
Morbius Von Kas - Vryloka/Blackguard [4e-Rainbow Warriors Campaign]
Man'Tis Man'Todea - Thri-Kreen/Berserker [4e-Slave Lords Campaign]
Danilo Rand - Monk/Human [5e-Princes of the Apocalypse Campaign]
Nathan Grey - Ardent (4e-Terran One Campaign)
Walt Dixon - Bladesinger (4e-Terran One Campaign)
Battlefield 4 Soldier: Saturnicus
Diablo III Battletag: Saturnus#1572
Neverwinter: @bobpatrick.com
XBox GamerTag: Drizityn


Kazoo the Kender: "Hmm, I'll take....the Wand of Wonder." The rest of the party regretted giving Kazoo the first treasure pick.
View user profile http://twitter.com/NWGamerDude

8 Re: Surprise Round on Sat Jan 15, 2011 6:17 pm

bradly wrote:Let me put it another way, only Blade had LOS inside the room. Everyone else total obstruction of view. You need LOS to make a perception check.

You don't need LOS in order to make Perception checks. Also, if the other party isn't hiding, no check is needed at all.

Perception: No action required—either you notice something or you don’t. Your DM usually uses your passive Perception check result. If you want to use the skill actively, you need to take a minor action or spend 1 minute listening or searching, depending on the task.

Opposed Check: Perception vs. Stealth when trying to spot or hear a creature using Stealth. Your check might be modified by distance or if you’re listening through a door or a wall (see the table).

DC: See the table for DCs when you’re trying to hear or spot something, searching an area, or looking for tracks.

Success: You spot or hear something.

Failure: You can’t try again unless circumstances change.

Searching: When actively searching an area or looking for something specific, assume you’re searching each adjacent square. The DM might allow you to do this as a standard action, but usually searching requires at least 1 minute.



What I'm trying to get at is that the rule for spotting/noticing things are different than 3.5.

Once the door was opened (even a little), the PCs know the exact location of each creature in the room that is not hiding. They also know the location of any creature that they can sense with their Passive Perception.

It may not seem realistic or what you're use to, but 4.0 simplified a lot of things.



Last edited by Dwarmaj on Sat Jan 15, 2011 6:32 pm; edited 1 time in total

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9 Re: Surprise Round on Sat Jan 15, 2011 6:30 pm

Ross

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You don't need LOS in order to make Perception checks. Also, if the other party isn't hiding, no check is needed at all.

Oh, that's true. That's why you can still be pinpointed in an area of darkness or if your just invisible, rather than stealthed.


_________________
CHARACTERS:
Morbius Von Kas - Vryloka/Blackguard [4e-Rainbow Warriors Campaign]
Man'Tis Man'Todea - Thri-Kreen/Berserker [4e-Slave Lords Campaign]
Danilo Rand - Monk/Human [5e-Princes of the Apocalypse Campaign]
Nathan Grey - Ardent (4e-Terran One Campaign)
Walt Dixon - Bladesinger (4e-Terran One Campaign)
Battlefield 4 Soldier: Saturnicus
Diablo III Battletag: Saturnus#1572
Neverwinter: @bobpatrick.com
XBox GamerTag: Drizityn


Kazoo the Kender: "Hmm, I'll take....the Wand of Wonder." The rest of the party regretted giving Kazoo the first treasure pick.
View user profile http://twitter.com/NWGamerDude

10 Re: Surprise Round on Sun Jan 16, 2011 1:08 am

Dwarmaj wrote:What I'm trying to get at is that the rule for spotting/noticing things are different than 3.5.

After battle starts, that's great. I actually like that rule for I'm a fan of simplicity. Plus, it nerfs the PCs more than NPCs, especially at mid/high levels.

But as you are trying to define it, it would be logistically impossible to start combat without a surprise round for all the PCs every time. The rules do not have that intent, and if they do, I'm overruling that in the Buffyverse. We are starting combat with perception checks as NPCs, PCs come into each other's LOS, or one side hears footsteps, talking or whatever.

You do not get your 'enemy Spidey-sense' until after we determine surprise. This way, a varried side is surprised and determined by checks, and PCs get to use their skills.

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11 Re: Surprise Round on Sun Jan 16, 2011 7:22 am

bradly wrote:But as you are trying to define it, it would be logistically impossible to start combat without a surprise round for all the PCs every time. The rules do not have that intent, and if they do, I'm overruling that in the Buffyverse. We are starting combat with perception checks as NPCs, PCs come into each other's LOS, or one side hears footsteps, talking or whatever.

You do not get your 'enemy Spidey-sense' until after we determine surprise. This way, a varried side is surprised and determined by checks, and PCs get to use their skills.

If one side is sneaking around and detect the other, then yes there should be a surprise round.

If the roles were reversed and the PCs were in the room and a band of stealthy ninjas approached it. Would only the ninja that opened the door get to react in the surprise round?



The PCs are using checks (stealth checks). If they fail the check, the NPCs detect them and can react in the surprise round. If everyone reacts in a surprise round, then there's really no surprise. The NPCs are also using checks (Perception checks). If their passive Perception beats the stealth of even one PC, then they're not surprised and can act in the Surprise round.



We're just in one of those situations where the PCs are doing what the monsters usually do.

If you keep your house rule, you'll be limiting what your NPCs can do when it comes to surprising the PCs.

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12 Re: Surprise Round on Sun Jan 16, 2011 8:09 am

Ken, I've heard your points already and they aren't changing. At some point, you need to back off and let me run the campaign.

In this case, only Blade got a perception check. The other PCs and NPCs did not. You do not get surprise this round, nor will you in similar situations in the future.

I've heard the arguments and made the ruling as GM.

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13 Re: Surprise Round on Sun Jan 16, 2011 9:00 am

Ross

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This is the Rules section where we can debate the rules so I see nothing wrong with Ken continuing to try to clarify his point.

However, we have already gone past the reasonable point for us to go back in time for Brad's campaign, so for at least this battle it's the way Brad ruled it.

However, for future use in Brad's campaign I am going try clarify it again, however he doesn't usually change his mind due to him being a Mensa(they don't like to admit being wrong). Smile

One way to look at the situation is a stealth SWAT team assaulting a house. Once a signal is given the SWAT team rushes in, which is a surprise round even if each SWAT member doesn't know where the bad guys are specifically at. Even if someone is seen during the surprise round it doesn't allow the bad guys to react. Everyone on the SWAT team gets to act during the surprise round, unless they didn't see, or hear, any indication to give them a reason to act during the surprise round.

If Brad wants to play with the way he's interpreting the surprise rules then we just have to live with it. We just have to plan for that, so nobody pick anything that benefits from the attack side of a surprise round unless you have a really high Perception.


_________________
CHARACTERS:
Morbius Von Kas - Vryloka/Blackguard [4e-Rainbow Warriors Campaign]
Man'Tis Man'Todea - Thri-Kreen/Berserker [4e-Slave Lords Campaign]
Danilo Rand - Monk/Human [5e-Princes of the Apocalypse Campaign]
Nathan Grey - Ardent (4e-Terran One Campaign)
Walt Dixon - Bladesinger (4e-Terran One Campaign)
Battlefield 4 Soldier: Saturnicus
Diablo III Battletag: Saturnus#1572
Neverwinter: @bobpatrick.com
XBox GamerTag: Drizityn


Kazoo the Kender: "Hmm, I'll take....the Wand of Wonder." The rest of the party regretted giving Kazoo the first treasure pick.
View user profile http://twitter.com/NWGamerDude

14 Re: Surprise Round on Sun Jan 16, 2011 10:39 am

You all do realize that the first and only other ruling I had to make so far this campaign, we reversed...

Ross wrote:This is the Rules section where we can debate the rules so I see nothing wrong with Ken continuing to try to clarify his point.

Of course you're right. I apologize.

Ross wrote:One way to look at the situation is a stealth SWAT team assaulting a house. Once a signal is given...

Yes. In this instance, the team would get a surprise round because the team is aware of the enemies and ready. The intel on enemy whereabouts has been communicated to the whole team.

The operative part here though is 'once a signal is given'... in our case the only one who observed the enemy was silent and invisible. How could any such above 'signal' been given? If the party had 'One Heart One Mind' that Mick had (or the like), and had coordinated an "on three!" that's again much different than this situation.

Dwarmaj wrote:Hmm...

Blade's turn is before mine since he want ahead and unlocked/opened the door. I'll have to wait to see what he does...

This pretty clearly to me implies Angel's actions to be a beat behind Blade. A surprise 'round' is only so as players can determine actions. In terms of in-world time from the PC's pov, it is a simultaneous attack or reaction.

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15 Re: Surprise Round on Sun Jan 16, 2011 10:46 am

Ross

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Code:
This pretty clearly to me implies Angel's actions to be a beat behind Blade. A surprise 'round' is only so as players can determine actions. In terms of in-world time from the PC's pov, it is a simultaneous attack or reaction.

Actually they got rid of everyone acting at the same time back in 2nd edition. In 4th edition everyone is going one after the other, thus initiative, even in a surprise round.

The operative part here though is 'once a signal is given'... in our case the only one who observed the enemy was silent and invisible. How could any such above 'signal' been given? If the party had 'One Heart
One Mind' that Mick had (or the like), and had coordinated an "on three!" that's again much different than this situation.

Actually when I attacked I became visible and unstealthed, so there was nothing but a visual effect from me during my surprise action turn.


_________________
CHARACTERS:
Morbius Von Kas - Vryloka/Blackguard [4e-Rainbow Warriors Campaign]
Man'Tis Man'Todea - Thri-Kreen/Berserker [4e-Slave Lords Campaign]
Danilo Rand - Monk/Human [5e-Princes of the Apocalypse Campaign]
Nathan Grey - Ardent (4e-Terran One Campaign)
Walt Dixon - Bladesinger (4e-Terran One Campaign)
Battlefield 4 Soldier: Saturnicus
Diablo III Battletag: Saturnus#1572
Neverwinter: @bobpatrick.com
XBox GamerTag: Drizityn


Kazoo the Kender: "Hmm, I'll take....the Wand of Wonder." The rest of the party regretted giving Kazoo the first treasure pick.
View user profile http://twitter.com/NWGamerDude

16 Re: Surprise Round on Sun Jan 16, 2011 11:08 am

Ross wrote:Actually they got rid of everyone acting at the same time back in 2nd edition. In 4th edition everyone is going one after the other, thus initiative, even in a surprise round.

Logistically then, in terms of in-game time from the PCs' pov, a guy getting attacked by 2 people will take a few seconds before he hits them back, but the same guy getting attacked by 10 guys will take 5x as many seconds before he gets to react back because the surprisers aren't acting in unision but independently.

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17 Re: Surprise Round on Sun Jan 16, 2011 12:47 pm

Ross

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Your trying to bring realism into the game, which won't work in 4E game mechanics. If you want to change the rules of the game for your campaign to make it more realistic go for it, but I thought we were trying not to House Rule things.


_________________
CHARACTERS:
Morbius Von Kas - Vryloka/Blackguard [4e-Rainbow Warriors Campaign]
Man'Tis Man'Todea - Thri-Kreen/Berserker [4e-Slave Lords Campaign]
Danilo Rand - Monk/Human [5e-Princes of the Apocalypse Campaign]
Nathan Grey - Ardent (4e-Terran One Campaign)
Walt Dixon - Bladesinger (4e-Terran One Campaign)
Battlefield 4 Soldier: Saturnicus
Diablo III Battletag: Saturnus#1572
Neverwinter: @bobpatrick.com
XBox GamerTag: Drizityn


Kazoo the Kender: "Hmm, I'll take....the Wand of Wonder." The rest of the party regretted giving Kazoo the first treasure pick.
View user profile http://twitter.com/NWGamerDude

18 Re: Surprise Round on Sun Jan 16, 2011 2:16 pm

Ross wrote:I thought we were trying not to House Rule things.

We're trying to not to, but operative word there is 'trying'. In some instances they're necessary.

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19 Re: Surprise Round on Sun Jan 16, 2011 2:21 pm

Ross

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This isn't one of those times where it's necessary, but if it's a flavor thing for your campaign then go for it.


_________________
CHARACTERS:
Morbius Von Kas - Vryloka/Blackguard [4e-Rainbow Warriors Campaign]
Man'Tis Man'Todea - Thri-Kreen/Berserker [4e-Slave Lords Campaign]
Danilo Rand - Monk/Human [5e-Princes of the Apocalypse Campaign]
Nathan Grey - Ardent (4e-Terran One Campaign)
Walt Dixon - Bladesinger (4e-Terran One Campaign)
Battlefield 4 Soldier: Saturnicus
Diablo III Battletag: Saturnus#1572
Neverwinter: @bobpatrick.com
XBox GamerTag: Drizityn


Kazoo the Kender: "Hmm, I'll take....the Wand of Wonder." The rest of the party regretted giving Kazoo the first treasure pick.
View user profile http://twitter.com/NWGamerDude

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