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Trog
2008-06-10, 09:43 PM
Yeah, yeah I know... another 4e thread. Since half the threads here last just a week or two I don't really consider any thread on here a big deal.

Anyways. My question. I know that 4e states that specific rules beats general rules in order to give an overarching way for DMs and players to adjudicate rule conflicts. But what about specific vs. specific?

Example:
If a monster gets to shift and not incur attacks of opportunity but is next to fighter who can attack anyone who shifts... who wins? :smallconfused:

Maybe there are rules for this but I haven't come across them yet. Anyone know?

Occasional Sage
2008-06-10, 09:50 PM
*snip*
Example:
If a monster gets to shift and not incur attacks of opportunity but is next to fighter who can attack anyone who shifts... who wins? :smallconfused:

Maybe there are rules for this but I haven't come across them yet. Anyone know?

I haven't looked at too much 4e material; where did you find these specific items?

Helgraf
2008-06-10, 09:52 PM
Yeah, yeah I know... another 4e thread. Since half the threads here last just a week or two I don't really consider any thread on here a big deal.

Anyways. My question. I know that 4e states that specific rules beats general rules in order to give an overarching way for DMs and players to adjudicate rule conflicts. But what about specific vs. specific?

Example:
If a monster gets to shift and not incur attacks of opportunity but is next to fighter who can attack anyone who shifts... who wins? :smallconfused:

Maybe there are rules for this but I haven't come across them yet. Anyone know?

Exception beats specific.

In this case, the specific is that shift does not provoke Opportunity Attack.

And the fighter power is an exception. Thus the exception trumps the specific rule and the fighter gets the OA.

Collin152
2008-06-10, 09:53 PM
4E rule:
Player wins.
No matter what the cost.

North
2008-06-10, 09:54 PM
Id say the monsters rule trumps the fighters as the monsters seems to be more specific.

Helgraf
2008-06-10, 10:00 PM
Id say the monsters rule trumps the fighters as the monsters seems to be more specific.

Except that shifts not provoking OAs isn't an exception of that monster - it's a specific rule related to shifting.

Whereas the fighter power(s) in question deliberately allow you to break that rule - thus qualifying as an exception, which by the ruleset definition, automatically trumps the specific rule.

Enlong
2008-06-10, 10:00 PM
4E rule:
Player wins.
No matter what the cost.

?
???????????????????

Collin152
2008-06-10, 10:03 PM
?
???????????????????

Given a conflict of rules (or any other conflict), rule in the Player's favor.

Enlong
2008-06-10, 10:08 PM
Given a conflict of rules (or any other conflict), rule in the Player's favor.

General RPG rule to make sure the game goes smoothly, or mocking of 4th ed?

Holocron Coder
2008-06-10, 10:09 PM
Looking at the book, it looks like shifting does not provoke a OA normally. So, for the monster power to mean anything, it'd have to be effective against the player's power, in this case.

Does that make sense?

Collin152
2008-06-10, 10:10 PM
General RPG rule to make sure the game goes smoothly, or mocking of 4th ed?

Take your pick.

Helgraf
2008-06-10, 10:12 PM
Looking at the book, it looks like shifting does not provoke a OA normally. So, for the monster power to mean anything, it'd have to be effective against the player's power, in this case.

Does that make sense?

The monster's power may allow it to shift x distance or under y circumstances, but it follows all the standard rules for shifting.

The fighter power in question deliberately calls out the fact that it permits an AoO when a target shifts - this is an exception to the specific rule on shifting, so, just like whenever the rules on a card in a collectable card game differ from the general rules, the rules on the card (or in this case, the power) trump the basic rules of the game.

Enlong
2008-06-10, 10:14 PM
Take your pick.

... sorry if I sounded snarky or rude or something. Perhaps I overreacted.

Holocron Coder
2008-06-10, 10:17 PM
The monster's power may allow it to shift x distance or under y circumstances, but it follows all the standard rules for shifting.

The fighter power in question deliberately calls out the fact that it permits an AoO when a target shifts - this is an exception to the specific rule on shifting, so, just like whenever the rules on a card in a collectable card game differ from the general rules, the rules on the card (or in this case, the power) trump the basic rules of the game.

I concur; I was assuming that the monster's power was to shift w/o OAs. If such was detailed as the case, it's the more specific rule (since they don't normally, so if it details that it doesn't, it must be for a reason).

Helgraf
2008-06-10, 10:18 PM
... sorry if I sounded snarky or rude or something. Perhaps I overreacted.

No, it's not a general rule to make the game run easier. It was, in fact, a potshot - and an inaccurate one - at 4th ed combined with a slice of snark.

Collin152
2008-06-10, 10:20 PM
No, it's not a general rule to make the game run easier. It was, in fact, a potshot - and an inaccurate one - at 4th ed combined with a slice of snark.

I suppose you're a mind reader, are you?

Trog
2008-06-10, 10:42 PM
I haven't looked at too much 4e material; where did you find these specific items?
Well the rule I am referring to is on p. 11 of the PHB under Three Basic Rules:

Specific Beats General
If a specific rule contradicts a general rule, the specific rule wins. For example, a general rule states that you canít use a daily power when you charge. But if you have a daily power that says you can use it when you charge, the powerís specific rule wins. It doesnít mean that you can use any daily power when you charge, just that one.

Then there is this rule... or definition, I guess from p 292 of the PHB:

SHIFT: MOVE ACTION
- Movement: Move 1 square.
- No Opportunity Attacks: If you shift out of a square adjacent to an enemy, you donít provoke an opportunity attack.

Which would be the general rule. Then there is this rule from the Fighter Class Features on p76


In addition, whenever a marked enemy that is adjacent to you shifts or makes an attack that does not include you, you can make a melee basic attack against that enemy as an immediate interrupt.

Also:
You gain a bonus to opportunity attacks equal to your Wisdom modifier. An enemy struck by your opportunity attack stops moving, if a move provoked the attack. If it still has actions remaining, it can use them to resume moving.

So here we have a specific rule that seems to trump the general rule.

But then there is this from the Angel of Battle in the MM:


Mobile Melee Attack (standard; at-will)
An angel of battle can move up to half its speed and make one melee basic attack at any point during that movement. The angel doesnít provoke opportunity attacks when moving away from the target of its attack.

RTGoodman
2008-06-10, 10:50 PM
Well, that Fighter ability doesn't say that it's an opportunity attack that's triggered by shifting - it's literally just a free regular attack (not an OA) if they shift. Rules about Opportunity Attacks don't apply to it. In fact, the Fighter could hit that Angel, too, if the Angel is meeting a qualification (hitting someone else while adjacent to the Fighter while marked) without being negated by the Angel's ability (ignores Opportunity Attacks).

At least, that's what it seems like to me.

Helgraf
2008-06-10, 10:51 PM
Well the rule I am referring to is on p. 11 of the PHB under Three Basic Rules:


Then there is this rule... or definition, I guess from p 292 of the PHB:


Which would be the general rule. Then there is this rule from the Fighter Class Features on p76

So here we have a specific rule that seems to trump the general rule.

But then there is this from the Angel of Battle in the MM:

Ahh, well that's not a shift, then. It's a move, which normally does provoke. The Angel's rule makes it so it doesn't, therefore the angel's rule is the exception that applies here as long as it uses that at-will power. If it uses any other power, or even its basic attack (and certain conditions can force it to do so), then the standard rules apply and it will get OAed.

HeirToPendragon
2008-06-10, 10:52 PM
At this point, I'd say don't worry about it and just make a gut call.

I'd rule in favor of the fighter though seeing as shifting never grants OA and that little bit of information was probably just tacked on as a reminder.

Reinboom
2008-06-10, 10:53 PM
Combat Challenge nowhere states it's an Opportunity Attack.

Since what the angel doesn't provoke is opportunity attacks, and this isn't one, the fighter can slap her... that is, if the "shifts or makes an attack that does not include you" text include movement. Shifting is specific. The angel isn't shifting either.

So no, the fighter can't slap her. She isn't shifting. If she was shifting, then yes, the fighter can slap her since the fighter's attack isn't an opportunity attack.

But in this case, it's the "no".

Mewtarthio
2008-06-10, 10:54 PM
Ah, but the Angel isn't shifting. The Angel is just making a move which explicitly renders him immune to OAs. Thus, the Fighter can't use his power against him (not the anti-shifting part, anyway; he could use the anti-attack part, since only the Angel's movement is immune from OAs).

EDIT: Wow. Lookit all the ninjas...

Sir_Dr_D
2008-06-10, 10:58 PM
The fighter mark is supposed to prevent monsters from shifting. It is one of the key purposes of it. The fighter gets an OA when the monster tries to move away.

The general rule is that shifting allows you to move away form an opponent without provoking an attack of opportunity.

But the rule for a specific ability (marking) of a specific class (fighter), overrides that rule. In this case the OA happens.

[edit: I just noticed the part about the angel. In normal situations if a monster makes an attack and then moves away without shifting, oportunity attacks will happen against them. But since it is an angel it can do that withour provoking an attack. With those abilities it will be hard for the fighter to get close, and mark the angel. But if the fighter does succeed in doing so, the angel can not move away without the fighter attacking it. ]

Holocron Coder
2008-06-10, 11:02 PM
The fighter mark is supposed to prevent monsters from shifting. It is one of the key purposes of it. The fighter gets an OA when the monster tries to move away.

The general rule is that shifting allows you to move away form an opponent without provoking an attack of opportunity.

But the rule for a specific ability (marking) of a specific class (fighter), overrides that rule. In this case the OA happens.

But, like the other posters have said, it's not a shift. It is a move; therefore, the fighters anti-shifting power does not come into play.

The portion of the power about attacks, however, is open.

Point being, shifting ≠ moving, technically speaking.

Ryuuk
2008-06-10, 11:03 PM
From my understanding, if the angel is marked by the fighter and the angel uses its at will to hit the fighter then leave the adjecent square, the fighter wouldn't get an OA. The angel's movement isn't a shift, so the Marked ability wouldn't come into play. Its at will also protects it from the normal OA, as stated so as long as it starts next to the fighter, attacks and moves at half speed at most, it'll be fine.

Sir_Dr_D
2008-06-10, 11:07 PM
I corrected my above post. I added the following.
..........
I just noticed the part about the angel. In normal situations if a monster makes an attack and then moves away without shifting, oportunity attacks will happen against them. But since it is an angel it can do that without provoking an attack. With those abilities it will be hard for the fighter to get close, and mark the angel. But if the fighter does succeed in doing so, the angel can not move away without the fighter attacking it.

The angel rules talk about an exception to the moving rule, not about shifting.

skywalker
2008-06-10, 11:10 PM
No, it's not a general rule to make the game run easier. It was, in fact, a potshot - and an inaccurate one - at 4th ed combined with a slice of snark.

I disagree. While it is not technically stated in the DMG, having read the material, I find that if you asked WOTC what you should do in this case(or a similar case where it's a DM judgement call), I think they would say "rule in favor of the players."

I'm also not sure how you know there was snark.

It seems like a fairly good rule to follow to me(I've never put it into words, but I follow this rule, and like other DMs who do as well.)

Justin_Bacon
2008-06-11, 01:10 AM
Which would be the general rule. Then there is this rule from the Fighter Class Features on p76

So here we have a specific rule that seems to trump the general rule.

But then there is this from the Angel of Battle in the MM:

(1) The fighter can make an attack as an immediate interrupt if the the marked opponent shifts or attacks a different target.

(2) The Angel of Battle avoids OAs as a result of moving away from the target of its attack.

The two abilities are, in fact, not interacting at all.

First, the fighter's ability is not described as an opportunity attack. Therefore, the Angel of Battle's immunity to OAs is irrelevant.

Second, even if you decide to interpret the fighter's ability as an OA, the Angel of Battle using that ability is not shifting. So the fighter's ability to attack a target shifting away from him is not triggered by the use of this ability (which is not a shift).

Third, the Angel of Battle's ability only prevents OAs from the target of its attack. Since the only trigger left for the fighter's ability is if the Angel of Battle doesn't attack the fighter, the Angel of Battle's ability is irrelevant to the fighter's ability to take the OA: Either the Angel of Battle attacked the fighter (in which case the fighter's ability is not triggered) or the Angel of Battle attacked somebody else (in which case the angel's ability won't prevent the fighter from taking his OA).

marjan
2008-06-11, 01:18 AM
And how about Alertness and Seize The Moment? Attacked creature with Alertness doesn't grant combat advantage to enemies during surprise rounds, while attacker with Seize The Moment gets combat advantage against the foes with lower initiative during surprise rounds and first round of combat.

TheLoneCleric
2008-06-11, 04:54 AM
And how about Alertness and Seize The Moment? Attacked creature with Alertness doesn't grant combat advantage to enemies during surprise rounds, while attacker with Seize The Moment gets combat advantage against the foes with lower initiative during surprise rounds and first round of combat.

Two different cases. Alertness is only in case of Surprises. You can still start a non-surprised combat and gain combat advantage.

Trog
2008-06-11, 08:50 AM
Hmmm... okay I'm beginning to see how this works. The angel is not making a move with the keyword "shift" therefore the fighter does not get an attack since in that ability it specifically states that he gets it when an opponent shifts.

I picked out the angel one but I also found movements like this in more than a few skirmishers in the MM. Particularly those that can do a flyby attack or something like it. Non of those state that the move is a shift either.

Well that clears that up. :smallsmile:

Though I will say keeping this thread open for others who have run across specific vs. general questions is probably a good idea. Personally I'd sooner read through a thread like this in my spare time than go through the argument at the game table with my group. I gotta get used to all these new-fangled keywords and start thinking outside of the 3.5 box I guess. :smallbiggrin:

marjan
2008-06-11, 09:47 AM
Two different cases. Alertness is only in case of Surprises. You can still start a non-surprised combat and gain combat advantage.

Yes, but what about that surprise round where defender has lower initiative? They still have conflict.

Muyten
2008-06-11, 10:27 AM
I agree with Marjan that one really is a conflict.

I'd rule that Alertness only works against granting Combat Advantage under the specific condition of being surprised. So not against the Rogues First Strike ability, Flanking or Seize The Moment, etc.

That's just my personal ruling though.

Yakk
2008-06-11, 11:41 AM
Alertness then denies combat advantage during the surprise round, then regrants it in the first round when you lose initiative?

Or worse -- with Alertness, you are less open when you are surprised than when you just lose initiative?

...

I'd rule it as "Alertness pushes back the Combat Advantage by a notch". Ie:
Surprised by someone who gets CA by winning initiative? They get CA during the surprise round, but not during the win-initiative round.

Alertness vs someone who gets CA during the win-initiative round? They cancel.

Justin_Bacon
2008-06-11, 01:51 PM
Though I will say keeping this thread open for others who have run across specific vs. general questions is probably a good idea. Personally I'd sooner read through a thread like this in my spare time than go through the argument at the game table with my group. I gotta get used to all these new-fangled keywords and start thinking outside of the 3.5 box I guess. :smallbiggrin:

My guess -- and this is just a guess -- is that there won't actually be many specific vs. specific conflicts.

For example, the fighter's ability to make an attack against opponents who shift breaks the general rule. Since the general rule is that those who shift don't provoke attacks, it's unlikely for anyone to have an ability that says "they can shift without provoking an attack" unless the designer was specifically thinking of a case like the fighter's, in which case the ability will say "they can shift without provoking an attack even if a character could normally attack them for shifting" (which would be more specific than the fighter's ability and clearly trump it).

The exception will be poorly worded abilities. For example...


And how about Alertness and Seize The Moment? Attacked creature with Alertness doesn't grant combat advantage to enemies during surprise rounds, while attacker with Seize The Moment gets combat advantage against the foes with lower initiative during surprise rounds and first round of combat.

For reference, here's the relevant text from the rulebook:



"Surprised: If youíre surprised, you canít take any actions (not even free actions, immediate actions, or opportunity actions), and you grant combat
advantage (page 279) to all attackers."

ALERTNESS: "You donít grant enemies combat advantage during surprise rounds."

SEIZE THE MOMENT: "During the first round of combat and during surprise rounds, you automatically gain combat advantage over a foe whose initiative result is lower than yours."


Here's what I would say: Alertness is a specific rule which overrides the general rule for the surprised condition. IOW, Alertness is poorly worded, but the intent is, IMO, properly understood to be: "You do not grant enemies combat advantage when you are affected by the surprised condition."

If that isn't the proper interpretation of Alertness, I feel like you get other silly results: For example, why should Alertness allow you to avoid flanking during a surprise round, but not after a surprise round?

And with that understanding, it's clear that Seize the Moment is granting combat advantage in a way that Alertness doesn't negate.

RTGoodman
2008-06-11, 02:07 PM
Here's what I would say: Alertness is a specific rule which overrides the general rule for the surprised condition. IOW, Alertness is poorly worded, but the intent is, IMO, properly understood to be: "You do not grant enemies combat advantage when you are affected by the surprised condition."

Yeah, I see some errata coming up regarding that. As of now, the RAW is indeed that even flanking and such don't grant enemies combat advantage against you in the surprise round, but I think the RAI is definitely supposed to be as you say - "You don't grant combat advantage when effected by the surprised condition" or something like that.


And with that understanding, it's clear that Seize the Moment is granting combat advantage in a way that Alertness doesn't negate.

Yep, that's probably what I'd rule.

Person_Man
2008-06-11, 04:31 PM
I'm reminded of the 3.5 debates over Thicket of Blades vs. Tumble.

Anywho, I'm assuming that you are talking about the Fighter Power, Strike Watchful Guard (pg. 84) and the numerous monster abilities that allow them to Shift under various circumstances. If that is the case, I would side with the PC power.

In fact, as a general DMing rule, I would say that a specific "rule exception" PC power always trumps a general rule or a specific "rule exception" monster ability. Otherwise, the PC just feels screwed. If a particular PC power is so useful that you find it unbalancing, you can balance it out by adding more minions or other monsters to the mix. There's nothing in 4E (that I've found yet) that's remotely akin to and game breaking like Polymorph or Divine Metamagic. So let the PC shine, or feel like they've "won" a rules argument with you. It'll be more fun for everyone involved that way, and odds are that it won't break your plotline or storytelling ability.

JaxGaret
2008-06-11, 10:29 PM
Two different cases. Alertness is only in case of Surprises. You can still start a non-surprised combat and gain combat advantage.

So you would rule that a character with Seize the Moment would get Combat Advantage vs. a foe with Alertness during the first round of combat, but not during the Surprise round?

EDIT: Missed that there was a 2nd page to this thread, so uber-ninja'd.

RTGoodman
2008-06-12, 01:38 PM
In case anyone's interested, WotC just issued "updates" (a.k.a. errata) for the 4E stuff, and Alertness was included.



Alertness [Revision]
Playerís Handbook, page 193
Replace the first sentence of the
benefit section with "You donít grant
enemies combat advantage from
being surprised."

TwystidMynd
2008-06-12, 05:59 PM
Paying attention to the specific wording of these two abilities:



Mobile Melee Attack (standard; at-will)
An angel of battle can move up to half its speed and make one melee basic attack at any point during that movement. The angel doesnít provoke opportunity attacks when moving away from the target of its attack.



In addition, whenever a marked enemy that is adjacent to you shifts or makes an attack that does not include you, you can make a melee basic attack against that enemy as an immediate interrupt.

Assuming the angel is using the Mobile Melee Attack ability, then the angel has three choices for targets:
(1) the Fighter
(2) one of the Fighter's allies that would cause the Angel to be in melee range of the Fighter when it makes its attack
(3) one of the fighter's allies that is so far away that the Fighter's ability doesn't come into question anyways.

(1) If the Angel attacks the Fighter and then moves away, then I would say that the Fighter does not get an Immediate Interrupt attack (because the Angel attacked him), nor does the Fighter get an Opportunity Attack (because the Angel's ability specifically states that the movement does not provoke from the target of the attack). However, that movement away from the fighter could provoke Opportunity Attacks from any other creatures that are nearby (since the ability only states that the movement doesn't incur OAs from the target).
(2) If the Angel attacks one of the Fighter's allies and then moves away, but was within melee range of the fighter when it made the attack, then I would say the Fighter DOES get the Immediate Interrupt attack (because the Angel is attacking someone other than the fighter), and would probably also incur an OA from the fighter, again because the Angel would be moving out of his threatened area, and he's not the target of the attack. The only situation where the Fighter wouldn't get an OA is if the Fighter was using a Reach weapon, then he would have range for the Immediate Interrupt, but not for the OA.
(3) Otherwise the Fighter is too far away to do anything about the Mobile Melee Ability.