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  1. - Top - End - #1
    Barbarian in the Playground
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    Default Overwhelm Penalties [3.5, PLUM]

    The following rule would replace flanking rules:

    Overwhelm Penalties:
    When a creature is being attacked by multiple foes at once, it is less able to defend itself. A creature is considered overwhelmed if it is being threatened by more than one creature. It takes a penalty to armor class equal to the number of creatures threatening it.

    Rogues would be able to sneak attack any foe suffering overwhelm penalties.

    Design notes:
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    The game-y nature of making sure players end up precisely opposite a foe has bugged me; it encourages micromanaging combat, is not intuitive for new players, and makes it harder to play without miniatures. In addition, I think that being surrounded by four foes should be worse than being surrounded by two foes, and being surrounded by eight foes should be downright terrifying. Finally, I think ranged rogues should be playable; the current flanking rules make it nearly impossible for a ranged rogue to get sneak attacks. This change addresses all of those issues.

    And for the curious, PLUM means "Please Like Unequivocally, Maybe?". Because I don't particularly like peaches.


    Thoughts?

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    Default Re: Overwhelm Penalties [3.5, PLUM]

    I kind of like it, though it really does encourage dogpiling on to one enemy at a time. Also, it increases the power of weapons with Reach or large-size opponents, since they can frequently threaten an entire room.

    If I where going to use it, I might include an additional rule that you had to be within a certain level to overwhelm a creature. For example, anything enemy with a CR/ECL of 4 or more less than yours does not count when calculating the penalty to AC.

    That way it still grants the potential for sneak-attacking, but high-level creatures are able to defend themselves against armies of mooks and minions.
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    Default Re: Overwhelm Penalties [3.5, PLUM]

    Quote Originally Posted by Vadskye View Post
    Finally, I think ranged rogues should be playable; the current flanking rules make it nearly impossible for a ranged rogue to get sneak attacks.
    This is probably the best part, but the other side effects are good too.

    One consideration: what's the cap for the number of creatures that can threaten? I'm imagining two dozen kobolds using Swarm Fighting and using Aid Another on their to-hit....

    And for the curious, PLUM means "Please Like Unequivocally, Maybe?". Because I don't particularly like peaches.
    I did wonder.

    Quote Originally Posted by Deepbluediver View Post
    If I where going to use it, I might include an additional rule that you had to be within a certain level to overwhelm a creature. For example, anything enemy with a CR/ECL of 4 or more less than yours does not count when calculating the penalty to AC.

    That way it still grants the potential for sneak-attacking, but high-level creatures are able to defend themselves against armies of mooks and minions.
    While this could be a problem, I'm not sure the best solution is to give every creature a limited form of Improved Uncanny Dodge.

    Speaking of which, Improved Uncanny Dodge probably needs a bit of rewording to work properly.
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    Default Re: Overwhelm Penalties [3.5, PLUM]

    I like the idea here and actually like the reduction in AC. For realism I would say it reduces your dex bonus to AC but this would favor heavily armoured characters and enemies where they shouldn't really be favored by these rules. If you don't mind I plan on using this in my system. It seems fun and simplifies the whole ordeal of flanking quite a bit.
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    Default Re: Overwhelm Penalties [3.5, PLUM]

    Quote Originally Posted by Vadskye View Post
    And for the curious, PLUM means "Please Like Unequivocally, Maybe?". Because I don't particularly like peaches.

    Thoughts?
    I do feel flanking rules were stupidly written, on the other hand, i feel that this change has the problem that in a party of 6, with a fighter, archer, healer, mage, theif, and bard, every enemy is going to have at least -3 to AC because of the 2 casters and archer. One thing this can do though is make shields useful.

    I like the concept of your new acronym, but i feel it loses alot of value when it isnt a class. My first Templar topic got really annoying because i was getting Peaches built off of Biases established by people who wrote paladin rewrites, and Bias means that they are fulfilling the PE but not the CH.
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    Default Re: Overwhelm Penalties [3.5, PLUM]

    I like it, particularly because I see an opportunity to implement an ability for character archetypes that are skilled at holding off multiple foes. Just increase the number of threatening creatures necessary to overwhelm and reduce the penalty. I would recommend including a rule similar to Deepbluediver's suggestion and then having some class features and stuff that increases the CR/ECL required to overwhelm. This would allow for a 2-axis spectrum of someone's ability to withstand multiple foes. Some guys can just fight 3 enemies of at least Level-5 with ease, some remain specialized in single combat but can basically disregard anyone who isn't at least Level-2, and others can handle being tag-teamed by a pair of dudes at least Level-4.

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    Default Re: Overwhelm Penalties [3.5, PLUM]

    Quote Originally Posted by Virdish View Post
    I like the idea here and actually like the reduction in AC. For realism I would say it reduces your dex bonus to AC but this would favor heavily armoured characters and enemies where they shouldn't really be favored by these rules. If you don't mind I plan on using this in my system. It seems fun and simplifies the whole ordeal of flanking quite a bit.
    What if you are Tiny and facing a Huge monster? Do you really want dragons easily slain by a village of commoner Gnomes?

    Second that it should reduce dex to AC, up to "flatfooted" status.
    Heavily armored characters should be favored by these rules - armor has only a few weak points, and only one or two opponents have access to those Achilles Heels, the rest are actually making it harder for them to hit.

    And the attackers should receive a to-hit penalty if their number is above 4 (i.e. some of them use reach weapons).

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    Barbarian in the Playground
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    Default Re: Overwhelm Penalties [3.5, PLUM]

    You are all lovely, friendly commenting people! To each of you I bestow return comments.

    Quote Originally Posted by Deepbluediver View Post
    I kind of like it, though it really does encourage dogpiling on to one enemy at a time.
    You say that like it's a bad thing!

    Also, it increases the power of weapons with Reach or large-size opponents, since they can frequently threaten an entire room.
    Agreed. Not sure if I want to tweak the way Reach weapons work - but maybe that's okay. Spiked chains aside (which will be changed separately), reach weapons never really got much use in my experience.

    If I where going to use it, I might include an additional rule that you had to be within a certain level to overwhelm a creature. For example, anything enemy with a CR/ECL of 4 or more less than yours does not count when calculating the penalty to AC.

    That way it still grants the potential for sneak-attacking, but high-level creatures are able to defend themselves against armies of mooks and minions.
    I agree that sufficiently powerful characters shouldn't be "overwhelmed" by mooks; including a mechanic of some sort for this purpose also prevents shenanigans by PCs involving Summon Monster spamming or similar effects. But I don't think an HD cap is the best way to do this.

    Quote Originally Posted by tuggyne View Post
    This is probably the best part, but the other side effects are good too.
    Thanks!

    One consideration: what's the cap for the number of creatures that can threaten? I'm imagining two dozen kobolds using Swarm Fighting and using Aid Another on their to-hit....
    Cap? We don't need no steenking cap! I see "powerful enemy swarmed under by hordes of small foes" as a classic trope (and it certainly happens a lot in nature in real life). I think enough kobolds should be able to swarm over and around a giant (or fighter) to bring him down. Even powerful characters should consider walking into a horde of enemies without any sort of strategy to be stupid. (Also, if those kobolds all have Swarm Fighting and are using Aid Another, those are darn smart, trained kobolds that should be pretty scary, in my opinion). On the other hand, Whirlwind Attack and the Cleave feats get a whole heck of a lot better now...

    I should mention that I'm using using a Pathfinder-style combat maneuver system, which means the penalty to AC also penalizes resistance to combat maneuvers - this allows swarms to trip, grapple, and generally brutalize single opponents. Scary, yes - but if the fighter just finds a corner to fight from, he's vastly safer, as he should be.

    Speaking of which, Improved Uncanny Dodge probably needs a bit of rewording to work properly.
    My rewording splits it into "Improved Uncanny Dodge" and "Greater Uncanny Dodge", since "immune to overhwhelm penalties" is a pretty big deal. The new wording is as follows:
    Improved Uncanny Dodge (Ex): At 5th level and higher, a barbarian can no longer be overwhelmed as easily; he can react to multiple opponents as easily as he can react to a single attacker. The barbarian reduces all overwhelm penalties he takes by 2. This defense denies a rogue the ability to sneak attack the barbarian y by overhwelming him if it would reduce the overwhelm penalties he takes to 0, unless the attacker has at least four more rogue levels than the target has barbarian levels.

    Greater Uncanny Dodge (Ex): At 9th level and higher, a barbarian no longer suffers overwhelm penalties, regardless of the number of foes surrounding him.
    This defense denies a rogue the ability to sneak attack the barbarian by overwhelming him unless the attacker has at least four more rogue levels than the target has barbarian levels.

    Quote Originally Posted by Virdish View Post
    I like the idea here and actually like the reduction in AC. For realism I would say it reduces your dex bonus to AC but this would favor heavily armoured characters and enemies where they shouldn't really be favored by these rules. If you don't mind I plan on using this in my system. It seems fun and simplifies the whole ordeal of flanking quite a bit.
    Glad to hear it, thanks! Feel free.

    Quote Originally Posted by toapat View Post
    I do feel flanking rules were stupidly written, on the other hand, i feel that this change has the problem that in a party of 6, with a fighter, archer, healer, mage, theif, and bard, every enemy is going to have at least -3 to AC because of the 2 casters and archer. One thing this can do though is make shields useful.
    How would everyone have -3 to AC? Overwhelm penalties specifically require the foe to be threatened, which means requires being in melee waving a pointy stick at your enemy. I don't see the casters or the archer doing that much.

    Quote Originally Posted by SinsI View Post
    What if you are Tiny and facing a Huge monster? Do you really want dragons easily slain by a village of commoner Gnomes?
    Dragons can kill the gnomes with a breath, fly, have damage reduction, and can use their flurry of natural attacks to one-shot each gnome separately. I don't see them having much of an issue.
    Your general point is worthy of concern; large foes who only have single attacks are vulnerable to swarming, but the foes will have to be a little more robust than "commoner gnomes" (who are Small, not Tiny); most such foes already have Cleave and Great Cleave in the monster manual, and if they don't, they should consider it in a game that uses this system. But I just don't see it being an issue from a practical standpoint; the only way to get huge mobs of creatures like that is usually if there's a serious power mismatch, which means the mobs tend to explode quickly. I'll let you know if this becomes an issue when I run games with this system.

    Second that it should reduce dex to AC, up to "flatfooted" status.
    Heavily armored characters should be favored by these rules - armor has only a few weak points, and only one or two opponents have access to those Achilles Heels, the rest are actually making it harder for them to hit.
    I thoroughly disagree.

    And the attackers should receive a to-hit penalty if their number is above 4 (i.e. some of them use reach weapons).
    Well, you can fit 8 people around a Medium-sized creature without resorting to reach weapons, but keep in mind that soft cover rules already penalize people who use reach weapons over their allies' heads, giving them effectively a -4 to attack.

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    Default Re: Overwhelm Penalties [3.5, PLUM]

    Quote Originally Posted by Vadskye View Post
    How would everyone have -3 to AC? Overwhelm penalties specifically require the foe to be threatened, which means requires being in melee waving a pointy stick at your enemy. I don't see the casters or the archer doing that much.
    because the threatened area for a Bow and for spells are a 30' circle, the only thing is you dont force AoO like with Melee weapons.
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    Barbarian in the Playground
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    Default Re: Overwhelm Penalties [3.5, PLUM]

    Quote Originally Posted by toapat View Post
    because the threatened area for a Bow and for spells are a 30' circle, the only thing is you dont force AoO like with Melee weapons.
    I'm afraid that's not correct.

    Quote Originally Posted by The SRD
    You threaten all squares into which you can make a melee attack, even when it is not your action. Generally, that means everything in all squares adjacent to your space (including diagonally).

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    Default Re: Overwhelm Penalties [3.5, PLUM]

    Quote Originally Posted by Vadskye View Post
    I said it didnt apply to AoO
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    Default Re: Overwhelm Penalties [3.5, PLUM]

    Quote Originally Posted by toapat View Post
    I said it didnt apply to AoO
    This is getting a bit off-topic, but there is no definition of "threatened" in D&D other than the definition pertaining to attacks of opportunity. There is no 30' radius of "threatened area". That doesn't exist. I think that's all I can say about that, unless you show me a rule I've missed.

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    Default Re: Overwhelm Penalties [3.5, PLUM]

    Quote Originally Posted by Vadskye View Post
    This is getting a bit off-topic, but there is no definition of "threatened" in D&D other than the definition pertaining to attacks of opportunity. There is no 30' radius of "threatened area". That doesn't exist. I think that's all I can say about that, unless you show me a rule I've missed.
    the normal range limit on precision damage is 30 feet.

    In 3rd ed 2 rogues can flank a dude if they are 60 feet between eachother and a straight line can be drawn between both of them and the flankee
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    Default Re: Overwhelm Penalties [3.5, PLUM]

    Quote Originally Posted by Vadskye View Post
    This is getting a bit off-topic, but there is no definition of "threatened" in D&D other than the definition pertaining to attacks of opportunity. There is no 30' radius of "threatened area". That doesn't exist. I think that's all I can say about that, unless you show me a rule I've missed.
    the normal range limit on precision damage is 30 feet.

    In 3rd ed 2 rogues can flank a dude if they are 60 feet between eachother and a straight line can be drawn between both of them and the flankee
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    Default Re: Overwhelm Penalties [3.5, PLUM]

    Quote Originally Posted by SinsI View Post
    What if you are Tiny and facing a Huge monster? Do you really want dragons easily slain by a village of commoner Gnomes?

    Second that it should reduce dex to AC, up to "flatfooted" status.
    Heavily armored characters should be favored by these rules - armor has only a few weak points, and only one or two opponents have access to those Achilles Heels, the rest are actually making it harder for them to hit.

    And the attackers should receive a to-hit penalty if their number is above 4 (i.e. some of them use reach weapons).
    This would make it entirely circumstantial. For instance if you are wailing on a fully armored foe with bludgeoning weapon his armor may provide protection but it's still going to hurt. Your assumption works on piercing or slashing but only minimally. Take plate armor for instance. Any place where the plates come together (commonly at joints) is going to be susceptible to precision damage. These weak points would be available on most if not all sides of an opponent. Thus weakening the point of having it only effect max Dex because a overwhelmed opponent would be considerably less able to defend those weak spots.
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    Default Re: Overwhelm Penalties [3.5, PLUM]

    Quote Originally Posted by toapat View Post
    the normal range limit on precision damage is 30 feet.

    In 3rd ed 2 rogues can flank a dude if they are 60 feet between eachother and a straight line can be drawn between both of them and the flankee
    I'm afraid that's also not correct.

    Quote Originally Posted by The SRD
    When making a melee attack, you get a +2 flanking bonus if your opponent is threatened by a character or creature friendly to you on the opponent’s opposite border or opposite corner.

    <snip>

    Only a creature or character that threatens the defender can help an attacker get a flanking bonus.
    In core 3.5, you can only flank in melee. Likewise, you can only overwhelm in melee That's all there is to it.

    On a more general note, I'm a little worried that giving a foe -2 AC for fighting just two opponents is going to make everyone pretty darn easy to hit whenever groups are involved, but I'm not sure whether that's a bug or a feature. If anyone actually uses this in a game before I do (it should be really easy to port into any system), I'd be very interested to hear results.

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    Default Re: Overwhelm Penalties [3.5, PLUM]

    Quote Originally Posted by Vadskye View Post
    In core 3.5, you can only flank in melee. Likewise, you can only overwhelm in melee That's all there is to it.
    i didnt say in 3.5, i said in 3rd ed.

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    Default Re: Overwhelm Penalties [3.5, PLUM]

    Quote Originally Posted by toapat View Post
    i didnt say in 3.5, i said in 3rd ed.
    Then... how is it relevant to a 3.5 rules modification, if 3.5 no longer works the way it did in 3.0 anyway?
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    Default Re: Overwhelm Penalties [3.5, PLUM]

    Quote Originally Posted by tuggyne View Post
    Then... how is it relevant to a 3.5 rules modification, if 3.5 no longer works the way it did in 3.0 anyway?
    the point is that sometimes the 3.0 rules are better.

    also, i have better direct memory of the 3rd PHB because i have a physical copy
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    Default Re: Overwhelm Penalties [3.5, PLUM]

    Personally, I like. The only thing I'll suggest, is a cap this way: You can't add the penalty given from a side that already has a penalty.
    Let me explain: 1 medium character is surroundered by 8 sides, thus getting a -8 penalty. If someone behind one of the attackers has reach, he benefits from the lowered AC and other flat-footed bonuses, but doen't add anymore penalties, since there's aleady someone in his front doing it. It may need miniatures to properly know where everyone is, but it limits (a little) how many can do the overwhelming at once (with more smaller creatures being able to overwhelm large enemies).

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    Default Re: Overwhelm Penalties [3.5, PLUM]

    Quote Originally Posted by Vadskye View Post
    I'm afraid that's also not correct.



    In core 3.5, you can only flank in melee. Likewise, you can only overwhelm in melee That's all there is to it.

    On a more general note, I'm a little worried that giving a foe -2 AC for fighting just two opponents is going to make everyone pretty darn easy to hit whenever groups are involved, but I'm not sure whether that's a bug or a feature. If anyone actually uses this in a game before I do (it should be really easy to port into any system), I'd be very interested to hear results.
    What about a -1 scaling penalty to AC for each additional creature that threatens it? It's slightly worse for the two "Flankers" than the regular system, but since that -1 applies to every attacker, it's a definite tradeoff, and works out strictly better for each additional target.

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    Default Re: Overwhelm Penalties [3.5, PLUM]

    What if you and a couple of your friends face 3 opponents, line vs line style?

    Flanking needs two opponents on opposite sides of you for a reason.

    At the very least, those in front of you should never count as more than one opponent.

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    Default Re: Overwhelm Penalties [3.5, PLUM]

    Quote Originally Posted by SinsI View Post
    What if you and a couple of your friends face 3 opponents, line vs line style?

    Flanking needs two opponents on opposite sides of you for a reason.

    At the very least, those in front of you should never count as more than one opponent.
    Simple change.

    Allies engaged in melee combat with a target other then your current target do not count as threatening for the purpose of these rules.
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    Default Re: Overwhelm Penalties [3.5, PLUM]

    Quote Originally Posted by Kholai View Post
    What about a -1 scaling penalty to AC for each additional creature that threatens it? It's slightly worse for the two "Flankers" than the regular system, but since that -1 applies to every attacker, it's a definite tradeoff, and works out strictly better for each additional target.
    I've pondered that for a while - it's either that, or saying that the overwhelm penalty equals half the number of people threatening you. I think I prefer your version.

    Quote Originally Posted by SinsI View Post
    What if you and a couple of your friends face 3 opponents, line vs line style?

    Flanking needs two opponents on opposite sides of you for a reason.

    At the very least, those in front of you should never count as more than one opponent.
    That's exactly the sort of case that is really important to notice (but I didn't). The middle guy should suffer overwhelm penalties if he's trying to defend against all three foes at once. But if people are just fighting directly across the line, he should be able to ignore the existence of the other two foes; they shouldn't penalize his armor class. In general, I think it's actually very reasonable to say that the middle guy should have a worse time defending than the two on the outside; he has three people who could turn their attention to attacking him, and they only have two. I imagine that, from a practical standpoint, they all should try to gang up on the guy in the middle to bring him down faster. But it should be possible to have them just line up and go across the line without suffering AC penalties.

    I think that this problem (and several others) is actually solvable with the addition of one mechanic: the ability to ignore opponents. The opponents that you ignore would receive some bonus to attack you. The only question is what that bonus should be. My first thought is that you lose all Dexterity and dodge bonuses to AC against them, and you lower your AC by an additional 2 against that opponent. This penalty mirrors the penalty for fighting while blind, which I really like.


    Quote Originally Posted by Virdish View Post
    Simple change.

    Allies engaged in melee combat with a target other then your current target do not count as threatening for the purpose of these rules.
    Simple in theory, but I think that would become very complicated very quickly in practice. I like the above solution better.
    Last edited by Vadskye; 2012-08-30 at 12:45 PM.

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    Default Re: Overwhelm Penalties [3.5, PLUM]

    Quote Originally Posted by Vadskye View Post
    I think that this problem (and several others) is actually solvable with the addition of one mechanic: the ability to ignore opponents. The opponents that you ignore would receive some bonus to attack you. The only question is what that bonus should be. My first thought is that you lose all Dexterity and dodge bonuses to AC against them, and you lower your AC by an additional 2 against that opponent. This penalty mirrors the penalty for fighting while blind, which I really like.
    There is already an optional rule from the Wizards regarding this (it was meant for Werewolves and the like, so that they can ignore opponents with no silver weapons). You are flatfooted against opponents you choose to ignore.

    That being said, I still don't see how facing two opponents in front of you can be as hard as facing those same opponents on opposite sides of you.

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    Default Re: Overwhelm Penalties [3.5, PLUM]

    What does this rule do that Aid Another doesn't do?

    Granted, the mechanics are different, but it seems that both are there to indicate the exact same tactical situation.

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    Default Re: Overwhelm Penalties [3.5, PLUM]

    Quote Originally Posted by SinsI View Post
    What if you and a couple of your friends face 3 opponents, line vs line style?

    Flanking needs two opponents on opposite sides of you for a reason.

    At the very least, those in front of you should never count as more than one opponent.
    Simple change.

    Allies engaged in melee combat with a target other then your current target do not count as threatening for the purpose of these rules.
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    Default Re: Overwhelm Penalties [3.5, PLUM]

    Quote Originally Posted by SinsI View Post
    There is already an optional rule from the Wizards regarding this (it was meant for Werewolves and the like, so that they can ignore opponents with no silver weapons). You are flatfooted against opponents you choose to ignore.
    Really? Cool, I didn't know that. I don't want to just use that rule because I don't think it's enough of a downside; characters without a Dex bonus would want to ignore enemies the vast majority of the time, which feels very wrong to me.

    That being said, I still don't see how facing two opponents in front of you can be as hard as facing those same opponents on opposite sides of you.
    If two opponents could consistently stay on directly opposites sides of you, I could see that. But the argument that I'd use is that combat is very fluid, and any competent warrior wouldn't allow enemies to precisely flank them at all times; the actual combat positions are more likely to fluctuate between a variety of positions. Thus, while I agree in theory, I think that for the purpose of making a game mechanic, I can safely ignore that. The complexity it brings, and the unintuitive results it can give (You can have four people surrounding a single creature and still not have any of them be flanking), make it not worth the effort, I think.

    For specific situations where true flanking is necessary, such as having enemies on both sides of a single creature in a tunnel, I think circumstance bonuses can apply if necessary; I think those situations are too rare to worry about making them part of the general rule set. But I set an extremely high value on simplicity.

    A very simple extension of this rule that supports your point would be to set overwhelm penalties equal to half the number of foes you are fighting, and then retain the original flanking rules. Thus, two foes attacking an enemy could have either a +1 or a +3 bonus, depending on the orientation of the fighting. How does that sound to you?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ashtagon View Post
    What does this rule do that Aid Another doesn't do?

    Granted, the mechanics are different, but it seems that both are there to indicate the exact same tactical situation.
    Aid another is about literally doing nothing with your action except helping your ally. This rule lets both participants contribute to the fight - way more fun, and more likely to be used.

  29. - Top - End - #29
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    Default Re: Overwhelm Penalties [3.5, PLUM]

    I've considered a different variation on this.

    Every creature that attacks a target imposes a -1 penalty to AC for 1 round (until just before their next initiative). Optionally, the attack must have missed the lower of target's touch and flatfooted ACs by no more than 4.

    This does have the side effect of making AoOs slightly easier to hit with than regular attacks and strongly encouraging focus-fire. Note that the penalty does apply to ranged attacks (and if you don't use that option there, I'd restrict this to 30 feet just like precision damage).
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    Default Re: Overwhelm Penalties [3.5, PLUM]

    Quote Originally Posted by Siosilvar View Post
    I've considered a different variation on this.

    Every creature that attacks a target imposes a -1 penalty to AC for 1 round (until just before their next initiative). Optionally, the attack must have missed the lower of target's touch and flatfooted ACs by no more than 4.

    This does have the side effect of making AoOs slightly easier to hit with than regular attacks and strongly encouraging focus-fire. Note that the penalty does apply to ranged attacks (and if you don't use that option there, I'd restrict this to 30 feet just like precision damage).
    Definitely reminiscent of overwhelm penalties from other systems. But there are a few major problems with a system like this. The biggest one from my perspective is the difficulty of keeping track of all of these penalties, since they all start and refresh on different initiative counts and you can't just look at the map to figure out what the penalty should be. That's a lot more bookkeeping than I'm comfortable doing. It also has strange interactions with the initiative order; you want to make sure the strongest party member hits last, preferably right before the creature's turn, while the weakest party member hits first. Also, having penalties "refresh" every time the creature gets a turn creates a very noticeable cyclical effect, where the creature always starts out the round strong and ends it significantly weaker. That makes everyone pay attention to the very metagamey, mechanical construct of the round in a way that I'd really rather avoid.

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