What monsters really know?

Bayuer

First Post
I was looking into PHB2, avenger class, and find power that makes me think. What monsters really know? Here is the power:
PHB2 p.36 said:
Deflecting Thunder
Encounter ✦ Divine, Thunder, Weapon
Standard Action Melee weapon
Target: One creature
Attack: Wisdom vs. AC
Hit: 1[W] + Wisdom modifier thunder damage. Until the end of your next turn, the next melee or ranged attack against you instead targets an enemy adjacent to you other than the attacker.

Now I know that PHB have entry about what monsters know:
PHB p.57 said:
Whenever you affect a creature with a power, that creature knows exactly what you’ve done to it and what conditions you’ve imposed. For example, when a paladin uses divine challenge against an enemy, the enemy knows that it has been marked and that it will therefore take a penalty to attack rolls and some damage if it attacks anyone aside from the paladin.

Everything is clear. I know. But powers like this will be not as usefull as they actually could be. In full tactic battles such a powers are nefred by the rules. On another hand DM should play monsters by they MM basic tactic, DMG role tactic and INT score, making some mistakes, but not every DM will do such a "mistakes" in favor of PCs (many says the game is already to easy).

So my question is... What a DM should do when player use Defelecting Thunder? Monster knows that his next attack will be targetet to his ally. The most DMs probably will not attack at all or just attack another target. I know that not being attacked one turn is good anyway, but... What you think?
 

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Inyssius

First Post
Whenever you affect a creature with a power, that creature knows exactly what you’ve done to it and what conditions you’ve imposed.

Deflecting Thunder does nothing to the target other than deal damage. It has an effect that deflects the next attack anyone makes against you, but you are not imposing that effect on the target.

Thus, the target does not know about it.
 

hong

WotC's bitch
I'd say that the spirit of the rule is the monster knows what will happen. As such, it'll try to attack someone else if possible, or otherwise make sure that the effect doesn't kick in.

It then becomes a tactical challenge for the avenger to use this when the monster can't avoid it.
 

Nail

First Post
I think Inyssius has the right of it. The target is not affected by the power, so it doesnt know about the powers effects.
 


frankthedm

First Post
Deflecting Thunder does nothing to the target other than deal damage. It has an effect that deflects the next attack anyone makes against you, but you are not imposing that effect on the target.
It does plenty to the target other than deal damage. Deflecting Thunder causes the next attack the user suffers to be targeted at [/B]Deflecting Thunder's victim. While arguments can be made about "what conditions you’ve imposed.", there is no way around "that creature knows exactly what you’ve done to it".
 
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Nail

First Post
Err...are you sure, frankthedm?

The quoted power says: "Until the end of your next turn, the next melee or ranged attack against you instead targets an enemy adjacent to you other than the attacker."

That is, the "next attack the user suffers NEED NOT BE targeted at Deflecting Thunder's victim." It could be any adjacent enemy.
 

KarinsDad

Adventurer
Yes.

Creatures know what affects them.

This effect affects the user, not the creature.

I agree with the majority here.


Also, this power would be worthless if the monsters knew about:

"Hey everyone! The Avenger has his force field up, do not attack him until it comes down!!!" :lol:
 



DracoSuave

First Post
Monsters can roll Knowledge checks too. In this case it's Nature for most players, Arcana for eladrin, elves, drow, warforged, and devas. Generally a Wisdom check for most, Intellegence for the rest.

Just like a monster knowledge check tells you the capabilities of the monster, even non-racial stuff, they can learn yours with knowledge.

And you just do it before hand to save time.

'Oh, that Deva there is wearing a holy symbol of the Raven Queen, but instead of on her chest, she's wearing it on her gauntlet, and the raven's eye is bleeding. I've heard of this one... they're the harriers and assassins of the Raven Queen, and are likely to persue a single enemy until their dogged quarry is destroyed.'
 

KarinsDad

Adventurer
Monsters can roll Knowledge checks too. In this case it's Nature for most players, Arcana for eladrin, elves, drow, warforged, and devas. Generally a Wisdom check for most, Intellegence for the rest.

Just like a monster knowledge check tells you the capabilities of the monster, even non-racial stuff, they can learn yours with knowledge.

And you just do it before hand to save time.

Can they?

Exactly how does the monster know which powers the PC took? How does the Arcana check against the PC Eladrin Cleric (arcana since it is a fey creature) tell the monster about Clerical powers? How does the monster even know that it is a Cleric with an Arcana check? Maybe it's an Invoker.

Monster Knowledge checks are not there for the convenience of the PCs, they are there for the convenience of the players. And they are not there for the convenience of the monsters.

They are there so that the player has a rough idea of the universe of the PCs.

Nature and Arcane checks tell one about racial capabilities, not class capabilities. In the case of monsters, their powers are racial. In the case of PCs, their class powers are class, only their racial powers are racial.

Human PCs can have thousands of combinations of different class powers. A single nature check should not tell a monster exactly which powers out of those a human is capable of using until the power affects the monster. That is why there is a "monster knows what affects it" rule.

PCs are diverse creatures with thousands of possible capabilities. Monsters are specific creatures with set powers. Even if used, the DC for figuring out what a PC is capable of should be very high.


So yes, a successful knowledge check will tell a monster that a Halfling has the Second Chance racial power, but it won't tell anything about class powers. How can it? What does a Nature check have to do with Warlock powers or Wizard powers or Rogue powers? Those are outside the realm of that skill.
 

DracoSuave

First Post
Can they?

Name, type, keywords is dc 10.
Powers is dc 15. Notice: Powers does not tell you only that kobolds have shifty, but also that a wyrmpriest can fire blasts of energy at you based on its dragon's element. That's class based stuff, right there.

Exactly how does the monster know which powers the PC took?

'Hmmm, that stance he is using indicates that he makes short stabs with that sword, however his legs are poised to make a wide sweep with the blade. Watch out for that.'
'I smell marjorum and bat-poo. Prepare for a fireball.'
'Look. He has a bow, and two arrows knocked. Maybe he's gonna fire both at once.'

Narratively speaking, it's certainly not implausible.

How does the Arcana check against the PC Eladrin Cleric (arcana since it is a fey creature) tell the monster about Clerical powers?

'Eladrin society includes a sect of priests to Correlon. The warriors carry weapons which are lit with the light of Correlon himself, meanwhile he gifts others of this order with the luminance, and thusly they fire it directly.'

How does the monster even know that it is a Cleric with an Arcana check? Maybe it's an Invoker.

'Look. Divine magic pervades him, but he bears no symbol of the gods. He must be channeling divine power directly! Look out, Scrug, this guy carries the wrath of the gods in him!'

Monster Knowledge checks are not there for the convenience of the PCs, they are there for the convenience of the players. And they are not there for the convenience of the monsters.

Poppycock. That's like saying monsters can't Stealth or climb stuff.

They are there so that the player has a rough idea of the universe of the PCs.

And the NPCs would -not- be aware of this universe? I guarantee you that an ancient red dragon (as an example) isn't exactly a newbie in this universe.

And what if said monster is Vecna? I -assure- you Vecna probably has a better idea of the differences (for example) between Invokers and Clerics and Avengers. Probably even more than Invokers, Clerics, and Avengers themselves.

Scale down as level-appropriate.

Nature and Arcane checks tell one about racial capabilities, not class capabilities.

Incorrect.

In the case of monsters, their powers are racial. In the case of PCs, their class powers are class, only their racial powers are racial.

Incorrect. Monsters don't have racial powers, every power is unique to that monster. It's only for convenience sake (and grokkable design) that monsters of the same race share a power or two.

Human PCs can have thousands of combinations of different class powers. A single nature check should not tell a monster exactly which powers out of those a human is capable of using until the power affects the monster. That is why there is a "monster knows what affects it" rule.

Monsters can have -more- combinations of powers than humans can. Human PCs are restricted to powers of classes, monsters can literally have -anything.- Monster knowledge checks give you information on monsters not yet printed. If arcana gives you knowledge of elf society, then it gives you information on elven military techniques (warlord stuff), elven magical schools (wizard stuff), and elven spirit-worship (shaman stuff)

PCs are diverse creatures with thousands of possible capabilities. Monsters are specific creatures with set powers. Even if used, the DC for figuring out what a PC is capable of should be very high.

Monsters are not specific creatures with set powers. A kobold slyblade is a totally different animal than a kobold dragonshield. And a DM can mix/match powers, and change things up, and still the PC could figure stuff out...

So yes, a successful knowledge check will tell a monster that a Halfling has the Second Chance racial power, but it won't tell anything about class powers. How can it? What does a Nature check have to do with Warlock powers or Wizard powers or Rogue powers? Those are outside the realm of that skill.

So, a PC Human Wizard can use a knowledge check to figure out that a Human Mage has Magic Missile, but that -same mage- can't use HIS knowledge check to figure out that the Wizard also has Magic Missile?

Or... that an NPC Eladrin Wizard with Magic Missile and Flaming Sphere trained in Arcana can't use his skill to discover that the Eladrin Wizard in the party with Magic Missile and Flaming Sphere doesn't have Magic Missle or Flaming Sphere, but the Eladrin Wizard in the party -can-?

I'm sorry. That doesn't even -make sense.- Monsters are not necessarily ignorant about the world they live in, for -the same reason- that PCs aren't. if they -have- the skill, they can -use- the skill. That's fair play.
 

KarinsDad

Adventurer
Name, type, keywords is dc 10.
Powers is dc 15. Notice: Powers does not tell you only that kobolds have shifty, but also that a wyrmpriest can fire blasts of energy at you based on its dragon's element. That's class based stuff, right there.

What's the "Name" of this PC?

His "class name"? His "actual name"?

Name is a monster trait. It's not a PC trait.

Powers are monster powers. It's not PC class powers.

So, a PC Human Wizard can use a knowledge check to figure out that a Human Mage has Magic Missile, but that -same mage- can't use HIS knowledge check to figure out that the Wizard also has Magic Missile?

If you use Monster Knowledge checks to tell your players that the Human Mage specifically has Magic Missile, more power to you.

In the games I've been in, the DMs do not supply specific information like that because the PCs would not know the details.

Instead, they supply information like: "This human has a wand in his hand. It's likely that he uses arcane powers and will most likely blast the group in some way."

But, it could be a Human Warlock, a Human Wizard, or something else.

A specific creature like Orcus would give more detailed information because he is legendary.

But, Joe Grunt monster?

The PHB is purposely vague on this. The check gives information about powers, but the phrase is not that the powers are known. The phrase is: "gives you information about the creature's powers". Information, not exact knowledge.

The intent of this is to give players information about creatures such as a specific type of Undead draining healing surges, not to explain to the nth detail which powers the monster has and exactly how they work. Dragons have breath weapons and have bite attacks, claw attacks, and possibly some tail or wing attack. Some dragons are known for mesmerizing or even dominating creatures, or possibly burrowing into the ground.

Page 26 in the DMG indicates the reason for knowledge checks and what to do. The DM is supposed to give basic information to allow the players to make informed decisions. He is not supposed to make them omnipotent with monster checks.

It says nothing about allowing the monsters to make informed decisions. The game is played by players, not monsters. ;)

If you give detailed information to the players and to the monsters in your game, that's fine. A bit excessive, but I don't play in your game, so shrug.
 

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