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  1. - Top - End - #1
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
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    Default Fighting Will o' Wisps

    Let's imagine we have the standard four person party of 6th level fighting a will o' wisp (CR 6 monster).

    The will o' wisp has:
    Immunity to Magic (Ex): A will-o-wisp is immune to most spells or spell-like abilities that allow spell resistance, except magic missile and maze.

    It also has INT 15 and WIS 16, so it's no mental slouch. And it has AC 29 (same AC for touch attacks), 40 hp and Fly 50' (Perfect). It can do 2d8 electrical per round and with a +16 to hit, it's going to be hitting most of the time.
    The wizard has Magic Missile, among other choices:
    The missile strikes unerringly, even if the target is in melee combat or has less than


    But:
    Natural Invisibility (Ex): A startled or frightened will-o-wisp can extinguish its glow, effectively becoming invisible as the spell.


    No mention of what sort of action this is. Free, partial, standard? It's not a spell-like ability, and most Ex are feat-like or natural, the sort of thing that doesn't take an additional action by themselves. I would assume a will o' wisp could do it voluntarily. Invisibility grants total concealment and...
    A Spot check result higher than 20 generally lets you become aware of an invisible creature near you, though you cant actually see it.


    So even with a successful Spot check, you can't target the creature with Magic Missile.

    Is there any reason why the will o' wisp couldn't attack (standard action), go invisible, then 5' step for its action each round? This would negate Magic Missile, most ray attacks (assuming its formidable touch AC doesn't stop those), cause a 50% miss chance for melee attacks, etc. Of course someone could ready an action for when it next appears.

    How does a party without See Invisible kill these things? Are they going to be able to take it?
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    Default Re: Fighting Will o' Wisps

    Well, why wouldn't your party have See Invisible? What, isn't your arcanist a Diviner?

    Okay, okay, maybe he's not. He should have Glitterdust (hey, look, no-SR) prepared anyway, though. With Will +9 vs. a DC of, oh, 10, plus... level 6, 17 base INT, +1 for level 4, +2 item, +5 from int, +2 from the spell level, a DC 17 on the Glitterdust, the Wisp's got a better chance of saving than not, so it's probably not blinded, but it's still visible.

    Also, I'd say that abilities use a standard action unless they specify otherwise, so the tactic you're describing couldn't work.

    And if the party really wants to beat the wisp, they can just grapple it. It's got -3.

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    Ogre in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: Fighting Will o' Wisps

    Quote Originally Posted by Gamebird View Post
    Let's imagine we have the standard four person party of 6th level fighting a will o' wisp (CR 6 monster).

    The will o' wisp has:[/I]
    It also has INT 15 and WIS 16, so it's no mental slouch. And it has AC 29 (same AC for touch attacks), 40 hp and Fly 50' (Perfect). It can do 2d8 electrical per round and with a +16 to hit, it's going to be hitting most of the time.
    The wizard has Magic Missile, among other choices:

    But:

    No mention of what sort of action this is. Free, partial, standard? It's not a spell-like ability, and most Ex are feat-like or natural, the sort of thing that doesn't take an additional action by themselves. I would assume a will o' wisp could do it voluntarily. Invisibility grants total concealment and...

    So even with a successful Spot check, you can't target the creature with Magic Missile.

    Is there any reason why the will o' wisp couldn't attack (standard action), go invisible, then 5' step for its action each round? This would negate Magic Missile, most ray attacks (assuming its formidable touch AC doesn't stop those), cause a 50% miss chance for melee attacks, etc. Of course someone could ready an action for when it next appears.

    How does a party without See Invisible kill these things? Are they going to be able to take it?
    Mage Glitterdusts the area, then spams True Strike on the fighters. Fighters kill it dead.
    Quote Originally Posted by Dervag
    Quote Originally Posted by kpenguin
    Thus, knowing none of us are Sun Tzu or Napoleon or Julius Caesar...
    No, but Swordguy appears to have studied people who are. And took notes.
    "I'd complain about killing catgirls, but they're dead already. You killed them with your 685 quadrillion damage." - Mikeejimbo, in reference to this

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    Ogre in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: Fighting Will o' Wisps

    DAMN it Bears! I spent an extra 2 minutes on the d20 SRD double-checking that glitterdust allowed no SR on any portion of its effects, and you ninja me!

    Boo.
    Quote Originally Posted by Dervag
    Quote Originally Posted by kpenguin
    Thus, knowing none of us are Sun Tzu or Napoleon or Julius Caesar...
    No, but Swordguy appears to have studied people who are. And took notes.
    "I'd complain about killing catgirls, but they're dead already. You killed them with your 685 quadrillion damage." - Mikeejimbo, in reference to this

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    Barbarian in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: Fighting Will o' Wisps

    Okay, let's assume the wizard doesn't have True Strike or Glitterdust memorized (which I believe is the case in my game). What now?
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    Default Re: Fighting Will o' Wisps

    Quote Originally Posted by Bears With Lasers View Post
    Also, I'd say that abilities use a standard action unless they specify otherwise, so the tactic you're describing couldn't work.
    Extraordinary abilities are free actions unless otherwise noted.

    Quote Originally Posted by SRD
    Extraordinary: Extraordinary abilities are nonmagical, don’t become ineffective in an antimagic field, and are not subject to any effect that disrupts magic. Using an extraordinary ability is a free action unless otherwise noted.
    Quote Originally Posted by Gamebird View Post
    Is there any reason why the will o' wisp couldn't attack (standard action), go invisible, then 5' step for its action each round? This would negate Magic Missile, most ray attacks (assuming its formidable touch AC doesn't stop those), cause a 50% miss chance for melee attacks, etc. Of course someone could ready an action for when it next appears.

    How does a party without See Invisible kill these things? Are they going to be able to take it?
    Going invisible is a free action, so the party would have to rely on ready actions, Resist Energy, Protection from Energy and the fact that they usually avoid combat.
    (Apart from what was mentioned above, of course)

    Quote Originally Posted by SRD
    COMBAT

    Will-o’-wisps usually avoid combat. They prefer to confuse and bewilder adventurers, luring them into morasses or other hazardous places.
    Last edited by Lord Lorac Silvanos; 2007-03-07 at 02:05 PM.
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    Default Re: Fighting Will o' Wisps

    Quote Originally Posted by Swordguy View Post
    Mage Glitterdusts the area, then spams True Strike on the fighters. Fighters kill it dead.
    True Strike can't be cast on others as far as I know.

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    Default Re: Fighting Will o' Wisps

    Quote Originally Posted by zife View Post
    True Strike can't be cast on others as far as I know.
    No, you're right. I was getting my homebrew stuff (cast True Strike on someone else as a 3rd level spell, all other things like duration are unchanged) confused with reality.

    The glitterdust part is the important part, though.
    Quote Originally Posted by Dervag
    Quote Originally Posted by kpenguin
    Thus, knowing none of us are Sun Tzu or Napoleon or Julius Caesar...
    No, but Swordguy appears to have studied people who are. And took notes.
    "I'd complain about killing catgirls, but they're dead already. You killed them with your 685 quadrillion damage." - Mikeejimbo, in reference to this

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    Barbarian in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: Fighting Will o' Wisps

    Using an extraordinary ability is usually not an action because most extraordinary abilities automatically happen in a reactive fashion. Those extraordinary abilities that are actions are standard actions unless otherwise noted.
    And yeah, Glitterdust is a good spell to have at those levels anyway. Magic Missile is not, though; you have better things to do than 3d4+3 damage. (besides, do you really have four memorized? It has 40 hp.)

    edit: gah, massively simuposted beause I checked the SRD. Lord Silvanos: where is your quote from? Mine is from http://www.d20srd.org/srd/specialAbi...inaryAbilities

    Second edit: you guys should probably ready actions to attack it when it becomes visible (grapple would be good, as Bears noted), or try to find a way to not fight it.
    Last edited by Jacob Orlove; 2007-03-07 at 02:14 PM.

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    Default Re: Fighting Will o' Wisps

    Quote Originally Posted by Gamebird View Post
    Okay, let's assume the wizard doesn't have True Strike or Glitterdust memorized (which I believe is the case in my game). What now?
    The wizard should have Glitterdust memorized, is what! Second-level spells don't get much better than that.

    But if that's so, just have everyone ready actions to grapple. Squish it like Tinkerbell.

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    Ogre in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: Fighting Will o' Wisps

    As for the Will-O-Wisp:

    cast Major Image of another adventuring party so it goes and bothers them.

    wind wall will keep it away from you

    I can't recall: Do extraordinary abilities detect as magical? If they do, cast Arcane sight. Now you know where it is.

    Summon a monster with the scenting ability and tell it to go after the wisp.

    Sleet storm will make it lose you (blocks all sight, even darkvision).

    Protection from Energy (electrical) or Resist Energy will help

    Darkness will give it a miss chance

    Web the area where it last attacked

    give an Unseen Servant a bunch of sand and tell it to sprinkle sand over an area where someone was last attacked.

    Throw Orbs of X at it. No SR, requires a ranged touch attack (so yo may miss or get miss chanced, but its something)

    That's all I've got off the top of my head.
    Quote Originally Posted by Dervag
    Quote Originally Posted by kpenguin
    Thus, knowing none of us are Sun Tzu or Napoleon or Julius Caesar...
    No, but Swordguy appears to have studied people who are. And took notes.
    "I'd complain about killing catgirls, but they're dead already. You killed them with your 685 quadrillion damage." - Mikeejimbo, in reference to this

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    Barbarian in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: Fighting Will o' Wisps

    Hm. Useful answers. I'm the DM in this situation, incidentally. We stopped in the middle of combat last game. Faced with an ambiguous rules situation, I had the will o' wisp withdraw, since it wasn't imperative that the thing fight it out.

    Hmmm. Grapple. Assuming you could hit it - doesn't that require hitting its touch AC?

    Though really for this exact case, that's not a problem. The PCs are around 10th and they're busy fighting the big boss's main minions. The will o' wisp is just a local nuisance/hanger-on. It has no loyalty to the boss. Having made at least one attack, it could retreat and have credibility later that it "fought bravely" if the big boss survives. It would rather the boss was gone. Too bad the PCs will probably try to kill it anyway afterwards. It's willing to bargain.
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    Default Re: Fighting Will o' Wisps

    Oh, Web's another good choice. Good luck moving through that with your STR, sparky!

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    Barbarian in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: Fighting Will o' Wisps

    Quote Originally Posted by Gamebird View Post
    Hmmm. Grapple. Assuming you could hit it - doesn't that require hitting its touch AC?
    It's really not that absurd. Sure, it might take a few tries. But once you get the thouch, the wisp becomes useless. Succeeding on both grapple and pin should be a piece of cake.
    Last edited by Aximili; 2007-03-07 at 02:40 PM.
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    Default Re: Fighting Will o' Wisps

    Quote Originally Posted by Bears With Lasers View Post
    And if the party really wants to beat the wisp, they can just grapple it. It's got -3.
    But, as i can see the whole problem is to hit it. And it's touch AC is 29 anyway. ANd with + 16 to hit it can easily ruin the grapple atemtp. Unless improved grab of course
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    Default Re: Fighting Will o' Wisps

    Quote Originally Posted by Jacob Orlove View Post
    edit: gah, massively simuposted beause I checked the SRD. Lord Silvanos: where is your quote from? Mine is from http://www.d20srd.org/srd/specialAbi...inaryAbilities
    MM page 315 or
    http://www.wizards.com/default.asp?x=d20/article/srd35
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    Default Re: Fighting Will o' Wisps

    Quote Originally Posted by Aximili View Post
    It's really not that absurd. Sure, it might take a few tries. But once you get the thouch, the wisp becomes useless. Succeeding on both grapple and pin should be a piece of cake.
    THAT's where the True Strike comes in. Mage gives hisself TS and grapples the Wisp. Then the strong PCs can jump in...
    Quote Originally Posted by Dervag
    Quote Originally Posted by kpenguin
    Thus, knowing none of us are Sun Tzu or Napoleon or Julius Caesar...
    No, but Swordguy appears to have studied people who are. And took notes.
    "I'd complain about killing catgirls, but they're dead already. You killed them with your 685 quadrillion damage." - Mikeejimbo, in reference to this

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    Default Re: Fighting Will o' Wisps

    Quote Originally Posted by Lord_Silvanos View Post
    Huh. That's odd, I'm looking at that one right now, and it doesn't have the sentence that says it's a free action unless otherwise specified. Which is weird because I remember reading that part in the MM myself.

    The first section on combat, however, says:
    Extraordinary Abilities: Using an extraordinary ability is usually not an action because most extraordinary abilities automatically happen in a reactive fashion. Those extraordinary abilities that are actions are usually standard actions that cannot be disrupted, do not require concentration, and do not provoke attacks of opportunity.
    I guess that was changed since the MM came out.

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    Barbarian in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: Fighting Will o' Wisps

    Quote Originally Posted by Spiryt View Post
    But, as i can see the whole problem is to hit it. And it's touch AC is 29 anyway. ANd with + 16 to hit it can easily ruin the grapple atemtp. Unless improved grab of course
    Does it have Combat Reflexes? If he does, grappling him gets way tougher. But if he doesn't he can only ruin one attempt per round.
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    Default Re: Fighting Will o' Wisps

    Quote Originally Posted by Spiryt View Post
    But, as i can see the whole problem is to hit it. And it's touch AC is 29 anyway. ANd with + 16 to hit it can easily ruin the grapple atemtp. Unless improved grab of course
    So make several grapple attempts. Geez, the poor thing needs SOMETHING to counteract its glaring weaknesses so it's CR 6.

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    Default Re: Fighting Will o' Wisps

    Quote Originally Posted by Jasdoif View Post
    Huh. That's odd, I'm looking at that one right now, and it doesn't have the sentence that says it's a free action unless otherwise specified. Which is weird because I remember reading that part in the MM myself.

    The first section on combat, however, says:

    I guess that was changed since the MM came out.
    It is here:
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    Default Re: Fighting Will o' Wisps

    (Ex) abilities like Improved Grab, Trip, et cetera are free actions, they happen as part of other things. (Ex) abilities like going invisible take a standard action.

    Makes perfect sense.

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    Firbolg in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: Fighting Will o' Wisps

    Quote Originally Posted by Lord_Silvanos View Post
    Ahh...I didn't find it there the first time because I was looking for a bold "extraordinary ability" entry which didn't exist, when in fact it's covered under special abilities. Combat still says if they're actions in and of themselves, they're generally standard actions.

    Bears With Lasers said what makes the most sense and works with both definitions, anything that's part of another action is a free action and everything else is a standard action (unless otherwise noted).

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    Default Re: Fighting Will o' Wisps

    Quote Originally Posted by Bears With Lasers View Post
    (Ex) abilities like Improved Grab, Trip, et cetera are free actions, they happen as part of other things. (Ex) abilities like going invisible take a standard action.

    Makes perfect sense.
    Maybe, but the RAW seems to disagree.

    However, I agree that in this case it probably should have been a standard action.
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    Default Re: Fighting Will o' Wisps

    The RAW disagrees?

    "Extraordinary Abilities: Using an extraordinary ability is usually not an action because most extraordinary abilities automatically happen in a reactive fashion. Those extraordinary abilities that are actions are usually standard actions that cannot be disrupted, do not require concentration, and do not provoke attacks of opportunity."

    Going invisible is an action.

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    Troll in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: Fighting Will o' Wisps

    Personally, I'd go with 'ready an action to hit it when it goes visible on its' turn to attack,' after I figured out its' tactic.

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    Troll in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: Fighting Will o' Wisps

    Quote Originally Posted by Bears With Lasers View Post
    The RAW disagrees?

    "Extraordinary Abilities: Using an extraordinary ability is usually not an action because most extraordinary abilities automatically happen in a reactive fashion. Those extraordinary abilities that are actions are usually standard actions that cannot be disrupted, do not require concentration, and do not provoke attacks of opportunity."

    Going invisible is an action.
    The first quote is from the PHB and is a general description with loose wording.

    Use of the word "usually" could either be a general description of the state of the world when it comes to EX-abilities or it could mean that unless otherwise noted it is a standard action.

    Quote Originally Posted by SRD
    Extraordinary Abilities: ... Those extraordinary abilities that are actions are usually standard actions...
    (My emphasis)

    However, in light of the quote from the MM the latter interpretation would result in a conflict between the two sources.
    The first interpretation, that it is just a general description, does not come into conflict with the MM.

    Quote Originally Posted by SRD
    Extraordinary: ... Using an extraordinary ability is a free action unless otherwise noted.
    I have yet to see something that directly contradicts the MM quote.
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    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    Gamebird's Avatar

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    Default Re: Fighting Will o' Wisps

    Lord Silvanos - that's how I'd read it. That if the monster's entry called out the type of action specifically, then it would usually be a standard action. If it wasn't listed, assume it's free.
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    Barbarian in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: Fighting Will o' Wisps

    I guess the hypertext SRD I linked to is wrong. Is there a better online one, or am I going to have to start using ctrl-f a lot?

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    Default Re: Fighting Will o' Wisps

    I use www.d20srd.org. Works for me.
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