Divine Oracle's Foresight

Hello all,

I'm having trouble wrapping my head around the Divine Oracle's (Cleric paragon path) Foresight ability.

Here's the relevant text:

Foresight (11th level): You and each ally within 5 squares of you can’t be surprised.

✦ You grant combat advantage.
✦ You can’t take actions, other than free actions.
✦ You can’t flank an enemy.

1. Determine surprise. The DM determines whether any combatants are surprised. If any combatants notice enemy combatants without being noticed in return, the aware combatants gain a surprise round.

4. Take surprise round actions. If any combatants gained a surprise round, they act in initiative order, each one taking a single action. (Surprised combatants take no actions during the surprise round.)

Simple situation: A hidden (ie the characters are not aware of his presence) assassin gets ready to shoot an arrow at the Divine Oracle. What happens?

Does foresight negate the surprise round? Does foresight simply negate the assassin's combat advantage?

Thx in advance,

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think of it this way -- if there is a surprise round, the oracle and allies within 5 squares get to act on the surprise round.
further away PCs and enemies that are unaware do not.

So in your example, the assassin could take his shot, however, the oracle won't grant combat advantage and in fact the oracle gets to be part of that surprise combat round (roll initiative) because his spidey sense tells him what's up.

That's my take on it anyway ...

Edit: Of course, I should also point out that I don't like the way surprise rounds currently work so I don't pay it much attention (I'll have a minor house rule to adjust it in the next campaign).. but that's another topic. just wanted to point out that i don't pay the surprise rules much attention which is why i qualified my post with 'that's my take on it'
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First Post
The Surprise Round said:
A suprise round occurs if any combatants are unaware of the enemy combatants' presence or hostile intentions.
The obvious answer seems to be that if neither allies nor enemies are suprised, then there is no surprise round. I imagine that if you "can't be surprised," than you must be automatically aware of enemies' "presence or hostile intentions." Unfortunately, "cannot be surprised" is not strictly defined, just the conditions under which there is a surprise round.

A strict interpretation as written might be that there is a surprise round, but everyone acts during it. So combat would begin with a short round. "They thought they'd surprise us, but we surprised them by not being suprised!"



So what you all are basically saying is that the hidden assassin could be taken down before he even has a chance to act?

Maybe. The hidden assassin is still hidden. The Divine Oracle and his allies know something dangerous is around, but they don't have any specific information, just a vague sense of danger.


First Post
The assassin is hidden, which is why this is weird. I think that per RAW, everyone rolls initiative but no one would know what to do since they can't see the hidden character. Basically the oracle yells "Look Out" and everyone stands around going "hunh?" until the arrow lets loose. I suppose characters who beat the assassin's initiative could lay prone or something, but trying to take cover would be no better than a wild guess. I think practically, I would have the assassin strike (no CA), let all the PCs roll initiative, act in order and then roll the assassin's initiative starting in round 2.


Perhaps also worth noting is that the Divine Oracle negates CA from being surprised, but the attacker might still get CA from another source (like a rogue acting before the DO).


David Jose
My take on it would be:

1. Determine Surprise - The oracle and his entourage are not surprised.
2. Establish positions
3. Roll Initiative
4. Take Surprise Round Actions - Everyone who is not surprised gets a round of combat. If PCs go before the hidden assassin, they can move to where they think they might be safe, attempt to root out what might be the threat, or delay until the threat shows itself.

Foresight is not negating the surprise round, it's putting the affected characters into it. The assassin would still have combat advantage if he attacked, because he is still hidden, and he would have combat advantage against anyone he went before in the initiative order, including (I would assume) anyone who delayed to see what the threat was.

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