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Gimpster
07-06-2007, 02:53 PM
By the D&D rules, Heavy Fortification items that prevent critical hits do not prevent a magic weapon's special effects that trigger on critical hits, such as Flaming Burst or Vorpal. And, DDO obeys those rules.

However, surprisingly Wizards today published that Heavy Fort should block vorpalizing. I don't know what their justification for that ruling was, however.

Ask Wizards Archive (http://www.wizards.com/default.asp?x=dnd/arch/ask)

PS. DDO already allows the Deathward spell to block vorpals, which is unsupported by the rulebooks except insofar as Vorpal weapons require the crafter to have necromantic death magic.

Ziggy
07-06-2007, 03:01 PM
Well im gonna have to agree with gimp here. Maybe Turbine already knows stuff that is going to be changed, amd they just forgot to add the heavy fort to the "blocks vorpal" stuff.:D

llevenbaxx
07-06-2007, 03:03 PM
I think a whole lot of mobs just sent away for their hvy and mod fort items.

So would this mean that fort items will also block vs bursting affects?

MysticTheurge
07-06-2007, 03:06 PM
That's a particularly uninformed and/or illogical ruling.

Dane_McArdy
07-06-2007, 03:16 PM
OMG! They are changing the rules!?!?

Hawt Dang! Cause now we have the perfect excuse for when Turbine has to change rules! WoTC changes the rules, so what's wrong with Turbine doing it with their permission?

SWEET~!

I'm calling it Vorpal-Gate!~

joker965
07-06-2007, 03:20 PM
Even back in the old days in our house rules, we changed the vorpal effect. It is just too powerful. Anything that is "no save your dead" and can effect any character regardless of level is too powerful. Everything should have some defense and this is why the rule is probably changing.

Conejo
07-06-2007, 03:30 PM
That's a particularly uninformed and/or illogical ruling.

at first glance i would have disagreed.

if heavy fortification blocks Vorpal, you thusly cannot use it against anything immune to critical hits (which Heavy Fort makes you)

AxeM
07-06-2007, 03:36 PM
The Sage has been wrong a huge amount of times. (Although he's mostly right) It wouldn't supprize me if he's wrong this time because there are things that are immune to critical hits that Vorpal works on, the biggest example being Vampires.

Shrazkil
07-06-2007, 03:39 PM
Well if they do make that change, maybe they will re-open trip and stun on red named mobs.

Plus they could re-apply , just needing a critical to vorpal, not a 20.

tihocan
07-06-2007, 03:46 PM
I don't really understand the logic in the answer. The "sage" says you can vorpal a vampire, then "if the critical hit is ignored, so is the vorpal ability" :confused:

MeNorel
07-06-2007, 04:00 PM
Off subject but totally missing from the game and from the intregue that I always enjoyed in RPG play is that when you find an item you know exactly what it is without having anykind of arcanum.

If a fighter currently in the game picks up weapon sure he can determine that it is a finely crafted weapon but should he/she really be able to determine its magical properties?

Ithrani
07-06-2007, 04:42 PM
I spoke to a CS (who can be wrong) and one was, when I called back I was put on hold the CS went to speak with the person there who knows the latest official rules. He said that Vorpal does not work on someone with heavy fort since 100% of the time the critical is negated, "it acts as cover against critical and a Vorpal weapon cannot get past the cover" That was the explanation, who ever he spoke to knew the official rules well because the person he spoke to also said that Harm can kill in the 3.5 rules, which I argued tooth and nail it could not due to Paizo screwing up their FAQ and a CS rep who also answered me wrong. So someone over at WOTC GS hotline knows the right rules, you just have to ask the GS rep to make sure they are right, they will put you on hold for about 2-3 mins.

Gimpster
07-06-2007, 04:52 PM
That's a particularly uninformed and/or illogical ruling.
It makes logical sense from an in-character perspective: "Fortification is a magical defense which prevents weapons from causing you excessively bad damage with a single hit"

However, that sensible interpretation is not at all supported by the rules as written (and one would expect the Q&A column to give priority to the letter of the rules)

Ithrani
07-06-2007, 05:45 PM
If you do not want to get Vorpaled use Deathward in DDO. Somewhere the DEVS thought Vorpal was a magical death effect and not your head getting chopped off. Checked while asking about heavy fort, deathward should not prevent Vorpal.

KristovK
07-06-2007, 07:31 PM
Their justification is found in the vorpal descriptor itself...


Vorpal: This potent and feared ability allows the weapon to sever the heads of those it strikes. Upon a roll of natural 20 (followed by a successful roll to confirm the critical hit), the weapon severs the opponent’s head (if it has one) from its body. Some creatures, such as many aberrations and all oozes, have no heads. Others, such as golems and undead creatures other than vampires, are not affected by the loss of their heads. Most other creatures, however, die when their heads are cut off. A vorpal weapon must be a slashing weapon. (If you roll this property randomly for an inappropriate weapon, reroll.)
Strong necromancy and transmutation; CL 18th; Craft Magic Arms and Armor, circle of death, keen edge; Price +5 bonus.

The bolded section explains their logic perfectly. We all know vorpal only goes off on a natural 20, but then you have to confirm the critical in order for the effect to take place. If you can't confirm the critical, the effect can't go off, and heavy fortification prevents criticals.

Allowing vorpal on vamps..well..that's based on one of the ways to kill a vamp, removing it's head, so vorpal can work on them despite them being immune to crits otherwise.

With this official ruling from WoTC, I would expect that other effects of this sort, requiring a confirmed critical, won't take place if the target has heavy fortification.

MysticTheurge
07-06-2007, 07:48 PM
Allowing vorpal on vamps..well..that's based on one of the ways to kill a vamp, removing it's head, so vorpal can work on them despite them being immune to crits otherwise.

No. There's no logical way the rules can have it both ways.

If fortification negates the vorpal effect because it blocks the critical from happening, then a vampire's immunity to critical hits does the same thing.

If you can vorpal a vampire, then you can vorpal someone in heavy fortification.

The ruling utterly negates this paragraph:


Some weapon qualities and some specific weapons have an extra effect on a critical hit. This special effect functions against creatures not subject to critical hits, such as undead, elementals, and constructs. When fighting against such creatures, roll for critical hits as you would against humanoids or any other creature subject to critical hits. On a successful critical roll, apply the special effect, but do not multiply the weapon’s regular damage.

If fortification blocks vorpal effects then it should also block burst effects, smiting (as a warforged), the death effect of a Nine Lives Stealer, the level drain of a Sword of Life Stealing, and any other weapon that has an on-crit effect. There's absolutely no other way to interpret it.

ChaosTheEternal
07-06-2007, 09:31 PM
If fortification blocks vorpal effects then it should also block burst effects, smiting (as a warforged), the death effect of a Nine Lives Stealer, the level drain of a Sword of Life Stealing, and any other weapon that has an on-crit effect. There's absolutely no other way to interpret it.Exactly what I would argue. If immunity to criticals negates effects that only work on confirmed criticals, smiting, as it is written in PnP, wouldn't work at all.

Maybe they should read the effect for Fortification:

Fortification

This suit of armor or shield produces a magical force that protects vital areas of the wearer more effectively. When a critical hit or sneak attack is scored on the wearer, there is a chance that the critical hit or sneak attack is negated and damage is instead rolled normally.It only specifies that damage is rolled normally, not that all aspects of the critical hit or sneak attack are cancelled.

Ithrani
07-06-2007, 09:47 PM
It can go both ways because it states right there in the Vorpal's text that it works on Vampires. The point of heavy fort is to negate the crit from happening. "there is a chance that the critical hit or sneak attack is negated" Since heavy fort is a 100% chance to negate the crit, it is negated meaning that the effects do not take place. And though Vamps cannot be critically hit the text of the Vorpal, "Others, such as golems and undead creatures other than vampires, are not affected by the loss of their heads." So since a Vamp can be affected by the Vorpal effect you are allowed to roll the crit confirmation if you rolled a 20 to hit. It isn't so hard to say that the Vampire has a heavy fort armor on, a +1 mithral twilight chainshirt of heavy fort makes for a great high level Vamp armor, if it is a caster.

This does raise the issue, "why then does burst effects work on anything when you roll a possible critical even if the target cannot be critically hit?" I don't have answer for that one, maybe tomorrow I will call back and have them double check that.

Gimpster
07-06-2007, 10:47 PM
Since heavy fort is a 100% chance to negate the crit, it is negated meaning that the effects do not take place.
But that is explicitly NOT what it means to "negate a crit" in D&D. Negating a crit only prevents the extra physical damage from the crit. As clearly explained in the DMG section on magic weapons, a weapon's special critical effects always trigger if the crit is confirmed, regardless of any racial or magical crit-immunity the target might have.

Rokurgepta
07-06-2007, 11:10 PM
OMG! They are changing the rules!?!?

Hawt Dang! Cause now we have the perfect excuse for when Turbine has to change rules! WoTC changes the rules, so what's wrong with Turbine doing it with their permission?

SWEET~!

I'm calling it Vorpal-Gate!~

Just what turbine needs another reason for players to leave. If i was turbine i wouldnt change the vorpal effect to match the new WOTC change.

KristovK
07-07-2007, 01:28 AM
As I said, with this ruling, other effects that take place only upon a confirmed critical are liable to now be negated by heavy fortification, or any fortification for that matter if it happens to block the critical from taking place. It would definately seem that WoTC is about to head that direction with this ruling on vorpal and heavy fortification and the logic behind the ruling, which is taken directly from the descriptor for vorpal. Other effects like vorpal have the same descriptor in regards to confirming a critical before the effect can take place, so...

Seems to fit in perfectly with the printed rules as well...if you don't confirm the critical, the effects don't take place, and if heavy fortification prevents a critical from being confirmed...well...simple logic dictates that the effect can't take place if the target has heavy fortification since it negates any confirmation of a critical roll. Vamps are susceptable to vorpal because it specifically states in the descriptor for vorpal that they are...you roll a natural 20, then you have to confirm the critical, and off comes their head. Don't confirm the crit and..well..you've got a ****ed off vampire on your hands. Constructs are susceptable to smiting because it again specifically states that in the descriptor, you confirm a critical. Now...take either the vamp or the construct, which have NATURAL immunties to criticals which negates the damage multipliers NOT the ability to hit them with a critical, and give them a heavy fort item and you can roll natural 20s all day long, but you can NOT confirm a critical because the fortification prevents it. WoTC is clearly defining the difference between natural critical immunity and fortification critical immunity.

I would fully expect WoTC to further expand this ruling to cover light and medium fortification blocking these same effects when they successfully block a critical attempt.

As for burst effecting anything immune to criticals..it shouldn't, the descriptor is pretty clear as is the DMG on the subject. Rolling a critical threat is not what sets these effects off, you must confirm the critical. If the target is immune to criticals, then these effects can't ever take place. No where does burst state it will effect anything immune to criticals.

ChaosTheEternal
07-07-2007, 05:05 AM
I would fully expect WoTC to further expand this ruling to cover light and medium fortification blocking these same effects when they successfully block a critical attempt.Read the description for Fortification again. I posted it earlier. All it states it does if it negates a critical hit or sneak attack is force damage to be rolled normally. It states nothing about preventing additional effects of a critical hit or sneak attack from taking affect.

By your definition, even if "not being subject to critical hits" (as Constructs are) is not the same as "100% fortification", then Warforged can become immune to Smiting.

For a bursting effect, it's an extra effect from the weapon. For flaming burst, it's an explosion of fire. Why should fortification or critical immunity prevent the extra damage from that burst of fire? Even if there are no weak points to hit or vital organs to damage, a burst would still cause more damage because of the explosion it has.


Just look at the Vorpal descriptor itself:

Vorpal
This potent and feared ability allows the weapon to sever the heads of those it strikes. Upon a roll of natural 20 (followed by a successful roll to confirm the critical hit), the weapon severs the opponent’s head (if it has one) from its body. Some creatures, such as many aberrations and all oozes, have no heads. Others, such as golems and undead creatures other than vampires, are not affected by the loss of their heads. Most other creatures, however, die when their heads are cut off. A vorpal weapon must be a slashing weapon. (If you roll this property randomly for an inappropriate weapon, reroll.)
Do you see where it says "creatures immune to critical hits cannot be slain with vorpal"? I don't. Closest I see is:

Other [creatures], such as golems and undead creatures ... are not affected by the loss of their heads.By the way it's worded, it sounds like Vorpal will still trigger and decapitate the target, as long as it has a discernable head (meaning not against oozes or beholders, etc.), but a creature that doesn't need it's head to act, like a Golem, isn't affected by the loss.

MysticTheurge
07-07-2007, 06:15 AM
Seems to fit in perfectly with the printed rules as well...if you don't confirm the critical, the effects don't take place, and if heavy fortification prevents a critical from being confirmed...well...simple logic dictates that the effect can't take place if the target has heavy fortification since it negates any confirmation of a critical roll.

No. This is absolutely, 100% not what the printed rules say. The printed rules say:


Magic Weapons and Critical Hits

Some weapon qualities and some specific weapons have an extra effect on a critical hit. This special effect functions against creatures not subject to critical hits, such as undead, elementals, and constructs. When fighting against such creatures, roll for critical hits as you would against humanoids or any other creature subject to critical hits. On a successful critical roll, apply the special effect, but do not multiply the weapon’s regular damage.

Ghoste
07-07-2007, 06:57 AM
No. There's no logical way the rules can have it both ways.

If fortification negates the vorpal effect because it blocks the critical from happening, then a vampire's immunity to critical hits does the same thing.

If you can vorpal a vampire, then you can vorpal someone in heavy fortification.

The ruling utterly negates this paragraph:



If fortification blocks vorpal effects then it should also block burst effects, smiting (as a warforged), the death effect of a Nine Lives Stealer, the level drain of a Sword of Life Stealing, and any other weapon that has an on-crit effect. There's absolutely no other way to interpret it.
Heavy fortification blocks criticals, undead (including vampires) just do not generally take extra damage fromthese "more vulnerable areas". The crit isnt negated/blocked on the undead, it just doesnt matter.

For example,
-a rogue sneaks up and attempts to kidney stab an unwary wizard. BOING! His daggers slide of a magic fortification barrier and puncture flesh next to the kidneys.
-A rogue sneaks up and attempts to kidney stab an unwary vampire. Hehe, foolish mortal, my kidneys stopped working centuries ago.

Gimpster
07-07-2007, 07:51 AM
The crit isnt negated/blocked on the undead, it just doesnt matter.
No. That is explicitly not what the rules for undead say.

The rule DOES NOT say: Undead to not take the extra damage from critical hits.
The rule DOES say: Undead are not subject to critical hits, nonlethal damage, ability drain, or energy drain. (pasted (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/typesSubtypes.htm#undeadType))

mgoldb2
07-07-2007, 12:55 PM
CRIT RULE

Some weapon qualities and some specific weapons have an extra effect on a critical hit. This special effect functions against creatures not subject to critical hits, such as undead, elementals, and constructs. When fighting against such creatures, roll for critical hits as you would against humanoids or any other creature subject to critical hits. On a successful critical roll, apply the special effect, but do not multiply the weapon’s regular damage.

UNDEAD


Not subject to critical hits, nonlethal damage, ability drain, or energy drain. Immune to damage to its physical ability scores (Strength, Dexterity, and Constitution), as well as to fatigue and exhaustion effects.

The rule specifically says creatures not subject to critical hit. Undead says they not subject to critical hits. It even mentions specifically what creatures they meant. No where does it say anything about magical immunity to them or about fortification. It a subtle difference but there is a difference.


This suit of armor or shield produces a magical force that protects vital areas of the wearer more effectively. When a critical hit or sneak attack is scored on the wearer, there is a chance that the critical hit or sneak attack is negated and damage is instead rolled normally.

Description of fortification says it negate critical hit but not 100% clear on what that includes. It hard to tell from the vague rules but a argument could be made in that fortification not the same as being a creature not subject to critical hits. Is negating an critical hit the same as not being subject to one. It would seem the person at wizard of coast ruled it not the same thing.

TreknaQudane
07-07-2007, 12:58 PM
I would rule that fortification still allows the critical hit, the damage just isn't rolled as a critical

KristovK
07-07-2007, 01:06 PM
MT, you actually highlighted the very passage that WoTC is basing this ruling on.

When fighting against such creatures, roll for critical hits as you would against humanoids or any other creature subject to critical hits. On a successful critical roll, apply the special effect, but do not multiply the weapon’s regular damage

Now, pray tell, how does one get a successful critical roll? That's right, you roll to confirm it, otherwise you've only gotten a threatening roll, which is NOT an automatic critical. Rolling a natural 20 is NOT a critical, it's a threat, you still must roll again and hit the target's AC to confirm the critical takes place. Every critical is the result of 2 rolls, the threat and the confirmation, that's the rule.

Fortification removes the ability to confirm the critical, so there is no second roll involved, unless you're facing Light/Medium fortification, which case you must first check to see if their chance of negating the critical kicks in. If it does..no confirmation of critical roll. Heavy fort removes that chance totally, so there's never a confirmation of critical roll.

It's rather clearly written in the rules and in no situation does this ruling contradict anything else in the rules as printed.

The very passage you used MT shows exactly how this is supposed to work. Some weapons/weapon effects are specifically meant to be used against creatures normally immune to criticals, in those cases, you CAN attempt to confirm the critical threat and see if the special effect goes off, but that's only against their NATURAL immunity to criticals. Otherwise, you hit a skeleton with a burst weapon, nothing special happens on a natural 20, it's immune to criticals and you won't get a confirmation roll. Hit a vampire with a burst weapon with a natural 20, again, NOTHING happens, there is no confirmation roll because the vampire is immune to criticals and burst only takes place IF you confirm the critical. Hit the vampire with a vorpal on a natural 20 and you get to make a confirmation roll because vampires ARE subject to vorpal. Hit a construct with a burst weapon and that burst will never take place no matter how many natural 20s you roll, you can't confirm a critical since it's immune to criticals. Swing a Smiter at that construct and roll a natural 20, you get a confirmation roll because Smiting is specially made to ignore construct critical immunity.

The rules on this are actually pretty simple and clear and I don't see what the problem is. The critical hit rule is pretty clear, threat does NOT equal a critical, you must confirm it. If some state exists which prevents confirming that critical, then anything tied to that critical can't happen. Undead, being immune to criticals, are therefore immune to burst weapons and vorpal and so on. Special case rule, Vorpal and Vampires, which is clearly stated IN THE RULES, as is every other special case situation concerning undead and criticals.

From the SRD on a weapon you brought up MT...

Nine Lives Stealer: This longsword always performs as a +2 longsword, but it also has the power to draw the life force from an opponent. It can do this nine times before the ability is lost. At that point, the sword becomes a simple +2 longsword (with a hint of evil about it). A critical hit must be dealt for the sword’s death-dealing ability to function, and this weapon has no effect on creatures not subject to critical hits.

Bolded section says it clearly, anything not subject to critical hits is not subject to the weapon's special effects. Says that for the Sword of Life Stealing as well. Just because a weapon CAN do something on a critical does NOT mean it can get criticals on targets immune to criticals, unless they are specifically mentioned as is the case with Vorpal and Smiting. And those are clear, you must confirm the critical...which can not be done with heavy fortification in play on the target.

You can argue it anyway you want, but the actual printed rules don't once contradict the WoTC ruling on this subject, they only confirm it.

Ithrani
07-07-2007, 02:27 PM
It acts as cover, that is the logic behind it. Send an email and ask WoTC, MT you got the official ruling on Harm from them, you were right. Because you did that it prompted me to make sure the GS double checks, I explained the confusion behind Harm, stated both our points and told him about the email you posted. He put me a hold 2 mins later informed me that the email was the correct ruling of the Harm spell as it is in 3.5.

I then moved on to heavy fort explained the confusion my PnP group has been having (Pally just got heavy fort) as well as Turbine's impression of Vorpal (Deathward works against it, good jobs Devs) Again put on hold for 2 mins so he could speak to the same person who confirmed the Harm rules, probably Sammy who I have gotten on the phone and answered your email MT. His responce when he came back was, "Since heavy fort negates the chance to crit the vorpals effect does not happen, the fortification acts as "Cover" for those body parts" So it is like having a brick wall around your neck, you can't chop through it, around it, over it, it is 100% cover. Those are the new rules MT. I admitted I was wrong when I saw your email. Maybe I should do the emailing this time, kinda turn the tables :p

Shade
07-07-2007, 03:44 PM
No. That is explicitly not what the rules for undead say.

The rule DOES NOT say: Undead to not take the extra damage from critical hits.
The rule DOES say: Undead are not subject to critical hits, nonlethal damage, ability drain, or energy drain. (pasted (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/typesSubtypes.htm#undeadType))

Comon dude. Rules like that are meant to be bent. Read between the lines. Vorpal is a iconic special effect that should get special rules for many monsters.

Heavy fort is a magical property, so any creature with it should be completely imune to criticals and all effects that require criticals like vorpal. No exceptions. (heavy fort also shouldnt exist in DDO as such a common easy to aquire item but oh well thats said and done, time to assume every character has it and move on)

Now some creatures are imune to criticals, but really logically there should be some exceptions,

Like a vampire, reason you cant crit it isn't because he has magical wards, its because you stab him in a vital organ and he doesn't feel it because hes already dead. You cut his head off - he still might not feel it, but he - he dies. Thats what vorpal does.

Hmm now a zombie.. Non-intellgient zombies anyways, are just animated flesh, so chopping off there head might cause damage, but wont kill them because they can function without a head. Think this should apply to all non-intellgent undead - but intellgent ones should die (like an arcane skeleton).

Now another creature that is imune, say a iron golem.. The reason hes imune to criticals is hes made of freakin iron, he has no vulnerable points. Not even his neck. So no cutting off his head because you just cant.

Or say an elemetals.. Elementals aren't alive so they have no nervous system and no vulnerable points, you could possibly cut off what u might think is a earth elementals head, but it wouldnt kill him becauses it not really a head.

Or creatures with multiple heads like a hydra, cutting off one will **** them off but wont kill them, and there not imune to criticals.

Basicly i say the exception should be, that if logicaly a creatures head could be chopped off, and he would definetely die from that - it can be vorpaled, regardless of natural crit imunity (but if said creature is also wearing a heavy fort item he cant)

MysticTheurge
07-07-2007, 03:59 PM
Now, pray tell, how does one get a successful critical roll? That's right, you roll to confirm it, otherwise you've only gotten a threatening roll, which is NOT an automatic critical. Rolling a natural 20 is NOT a critical, it's a threat, you still must roll again and hit the target's AC to confirm the critical takes place. Every critical is the result of 2 rolls, the threat and the confirmation, that's the rule.

You're misunderstanding the rules. The rules say the following:

1) If the target is immune to critical hits and you threaten a critical, roll like you normally would.
2) If that roll is successful (i.e. it hits the target's AC), the effect goes off.

This is the fundamental basis for why things like Burst weapons work against things like Undead, Constructs and Elementals. You can't have a "successful critical" against an undead, construct or elemental, because they are immune to criticals. But the rule I quoted says you still roll when you threaten and if successful the effect goes off (but your base damage is not multiplied as normal).


Fortification removes the ability to confirm the critical, so there is no second roll involved, unless you're facing Light/Medium fortification, which case you must first check to see if their chance of negating the critical kicks in. If it does..no confirmation of critical roll. Heavy fort removes that chance totally, so there's never a confirmation of critical roll.

Fortification remove the ability to confirm the critical, fortification prevents the damage from being multiplied. You could still roll to confirm if you wanted (and in some cases, like when wielding a Burst weapon, you should according to the rules) you're just not going to multiply your damage.


The very passage you used MT shows exactly how this is supposed to work. Some weapons/weapon effects are specifically meant to be used against creatures normally immune to criticals, in those cases, you CAN attempt to confirm the critical threat and see if the special effect goes off, but that's only against their NATURAL immunity to criticals. Otherwise, you hit a skeleton with a burst weapon, nothing special happens on a natural 20, it's immune to criticals and you won't get a confirmation roll. Hit a vampire with a burst weapon with a natural 20, again, NOTHING happens, there is no confirmation roll because the vampire is immune to criticals and burst only takes place IF you confirm the critical. Hit the vampire with a vorpal on a natural 20 and you get to make a confirmation roll because vampires ARE subject to vorpal. Hit a construct with a burst weapon and that burst will never take place no matter how many natural 20s you roll, you can't confirm a critical since it's immune to criticals. Swing a Smiter at that construct and roll a natural 20, you get a confirmation roll because Smiting is specially made to ignore construct critical immunity.

This is entirely counter to what the rule says. You've only quoted half of it. The full rule states:


Some weapon qualities and some specific weapons have an extra effect on a critical hit. This special effect functions against creatures not subject to critical hits, such as undead, elementals, and constructs. When fighting against such creatures, roll for critical hits as you would against humanoids or any other creature subject to critical hits. On a successful critical roll, apply the special effect, but do not multiply the weapon’s regular damage.

I've highlighted the part that specifically counters what you have writen above. The above is the more generic rule and affects all weapons with extra effects on a critical hit unless the effect specifically states otherwise.


The critical hit rule is pretty clear, threat does NOT equal a critical, you must confirm it. If some state exists which prevents confirming that critical, then anything tied to that critical can't happen.

There are actually no rules that prevent "confirming the critical" there are really only rules that prevent dealing extra damage on a critical hit. Fortification specifically states this:


...there is a chance that the critical hit or sneak attack is negated and damage is instead rolled normally.


Undead, being immune to criticals, are therefore immune to burst weapons and vorpal and so on. Special case rule, Vorpal and Vampires, which is clearly stated IN THE RULES, as is every other special case situation concerning undead and criticals.

No, the general rule states that creatures that are immune to criticals are vulnerable to on-crit effects. It takes a specific rule to the contrary in the description of the effect for that to be changed. This means that undead, constructs, elementals (and so on) are vulnerable to Burst weapons.


Bolded section says it clearly, anything not subject to critical hits is not subject to the weapon's special effects. Says that for the Sword of Life Stealing as well.

Ah, this is actually a good example which makes me glad I made the mistake in the first place. These two weapons have on-crit effects; according to your logic there's no reason to say that anything immune to criticals is immune to an on-crit effect because that's the default state of things. Of course, your logic is wrong and the default state is that things immune to critical hits can be affected by on-crit effects which is why these two weapons specifically include the fact that their on-crit affects cannot affect targets which are immune to critical hits.


His responce when he came back was, "Since heavy fort negates the chance to crit the vorpals effect does not happen, the fortification acts as "Cover" for those body parts" So it is like having a brick wall around your neck, you can't chop through it, around it, over it, it is 100% cover.

It's worth noting that this is a completely different set of logic than the one presented in the Sage Advice answer and makes a tiny bit more sense (in that it doesn't mean everything immune to criticals is immune to on-crit effects).

However, as logic it's utterly ridiculous. The following are the effects of "cover":


Cover
To determine whether your target has cover from your ranged attack, choose a corner of your square. If any line from this corner to any corner of the target’s square passes through a square or border that blocks line of effect or provides cover, or through a square occupied by a creature, the target has cover (+4 to AC).

When making a melee attack against an adjacent target, your target has cover if any line from your square to the target’s square goes through a wall (including a low wall). When making a melee attack against a target that isn’t adjacent to you (such as with a reach weapon), use the rules for determining cover from ranged attacks.

Low Obstacles and Cover
A low obstacle (such as a wall no higher than half your height) provides cover, but only to creatures within 30 feet (6 squares) of it. The attacker can ignore the cover if he’s closer to the obstacle than his target.

Cover and Attacks of Opportunity
You can’t execute an attack of opportunity against an opponent with cover relative to you.

Cover and Reflex Saves
Cover grants you a +2 bonus on Reflex saves against attacks that originate or burst out from a point on the other side of the cover from you. Note that spread effects can extend around corners and thus negate this cover bonus.
Cover and Hide Checks

You can use cover to make a Hide check. Without cover, you usually need concealment to make a Hide check.

Soft Cover
Creatures, even your enemies, can provide you with cover against ranged attacks, giving you a +4 bonus to AC. However, such soft cover provides no bonus on Reflex saves, nor does soft cover allow you to make a Hide check.

Big Creatures and Cover
Any creature with a space larger than 5 feet (1 square) determines cover against melee attacks slightly differently than smaller creatures do. Such a creature can choose any square that it occupies to determine if an opponent has cover against its melee attacks. Similarly, when making a melee attack against such a creature, you can pick any of the squares it occupies to determine if it has cover against you.

Total Cover
If you don’t have line of effect to your target he is considered to have total cover from you. You can’t make an attack against a target that has total cover.

Varying Degrees of Cover
In some cases, cover may provide a greater bonus to AC and Reflex saves. In such situations the normal cover bonuses to AC and Reflex saves can be doubled (to +8 and +4, respectively). A creature with this improved cover effectively gains improved evasion against any attack to which the Reflex save bonus applies. Furthermore, improved cover provides a +10 bonus on Hide checks.

Which is all to say that cover doesn't prevent critical hits in any way. Except "total cover" but if fortification provides total cover then you can't attack something with fortification at all.


Heavy fort is a magical property, so any creature with it should be completely imune to criticals and all effects that require criticals like vorpal. No exceptions.

Again, this is entirely contrary to the pre-existing rules regarding immunity to critical hits and how that affects on-crit effects.


Basicly i say the exception should be, that if logicaly a creatures head could be chopped off, and he would definetely die from that - it can be vorpaled, regardless of natural crit imunity

Yes, this is actually what the Vorpal description says. However, it happens regardless of natural critical hit immunity because that's how all on-crit effects work. The vorpal description simply states that some things (like golems and most undead) can continue to function without their head.


(but if said creature is also wearing a heavy fort item he cant)

This, however, is the problematic part. It simply isn't in keeping with the pre-existing rules for on-crit effects.

Grimdiegn
07-07-2007, 04:26 PM
You guys are arguing that D&D books contradict themselves? NO way!!


/sarcasm off

Dane_McArdy
07-07-2007, 04:59 PM
You guys are arguing that D&D books contradict themselves? NO way!!


/sarcasm off

he he he, thanks for the smile.

Ghoste
07-07-2007, 08:03 PM
No. That is explicitly not what the rules for undead say.

The rule DOES NOT say: Undead to not take the extra damage from critical hits.
The rule DOES say: Undead are not subject to critical hits, nonlethal damage, ability drain, or energy drain. (pasted (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/typesSubtypes.htm#undeadType))
You misunderstood what I was saying. As I read your post, I see the exact same thing I was saying.

Why are undead not subject to critical hits? Because when you hit them in areas that were vulnerable when they were living, it doesnt matter. Those parts no longer play the role they did in life, so no extra damage.


I read my original post over again, and really cant see where you got the impression that I was implying undead take extra damage from what would have been a crit were they still alive. I just plain didnt say that.

Another example: stab a wizard in the throat - "Ouch!" Stab a vampire in the neck - "silly mortal, can't you tell by my pale complexion that my arteries no longer carry blood to my head. You may as well have stabbed my toe."

---------------------------
I read my original post over again, and really cant see where you though I was saying undead would take extra damage for what would have been a crit were they still alive. I just plain didnt say that.

Clawstorm
07-07-2007, 08:25 PM
I don't really understand the logic in the answer. The "sage" says you can vorpal a vampire, then "if the critical hit is ignored, so is the vorpal ability" :confused:

Critical damage yes , but it's part of the vampire myth - remove the head of the vampire to keep it from walking at night...along with nailing the skull to the coffin.

Ghoste
07-07-2007, 08:30 PM
I don't really understand the logic in the answer. The "sage" says you can vorpal a vampire, then "if the critical hit is ignored, so is the vorpal ability" :confused:
The real issue is this: "why is the critical ignored?" Is it because you cant hit the vampire in the neck? Or is it because hitting a vampire in the neck in general doesnt matter anymore than hitting him in the hand (unless you actually go all the way through and take the head off)?

Fortification stops you from hitting the neck, immunity to crits means: so you hit it in the neck, so what?

Gimpster
07-07-2007, 10:23 PM
You misunderstood what I was saying. As I read your post, I see the exact same thing I was saying.
Incorect. You SAID undead are subject to crits, and that is untrue.


Why are undead not subject to critical hits?
Irrelevant. Undead are not subject to crits because the rules say undead are not subject to crits. The results of combat and magic weapons are what the rules say they are.


I read my original post over again, and really cant see where you got the impression that I was implying undead take extra damage from what would have been a crit were they still alive. I just plain didnt say that.
That is true, you did not say that. Its still irrelevant. Undead are immune to MORE than just the extra damage from crits: they are not subject to the crit itself.

Gimpster
07-07-2007, 10:24 PM
Fortification stops you from hitting the neck, immunity to crits means: so you hit it in the neck, so what?
Incorrect. That is something you made up yourself; it is not a D&D rule.

In fact, a target with Heavy Fortification can be hit in the neck, and does take some damage, just it is not muliplied as usual. There is some logical consistency to declaring that an effect which prevents that kind of physical weapon-damage increase would also prevent vorpalizing- but there is nothing in the D&D rules to say so.

MysticTheurge
07-07-2007, 10:50 PM
There is some logical consistency to declaring that an effect which prevents that kind of physical weapon-damage increase would also prevent vorpalizing...

At that point, it's a question of which magic trumps which. Let's be honest, a vorpal isn't just chopping off something's head because you got a lucky strike, there's magic involved. Magic that can slice through heavy armor, magic that can slice through feet of flesh, magic that ignores pretty much every defense the target has.... except, apparently, fortification?

I think, even in terms of "logic," it makes more sense for the vorpal to win that particular fight. But even if you don't agree, it's certainly a toss up.

But of course "logic" has little to no bearing on the actual rules, and as you point out, the rules say pretty much the opposite of what this ruling says.

Ghoste
07-07-2007, 10:53 PM
Incorrect. That is something you made up yourself; it is not a D&D rule.

In fact, a target with Heavy Fortification can be hit in the neck, and does take some damage, just it is not muliplied as usual. There is some logical consistency to declaring that an effect which prevents that kind of physical weapon-damage increase would also prevent vorpalizing- but there is nothing in the D&D rules to say so.
Of course it's something I made up...the point is immune to crits is not the same as immune to vorpal. Was just trying to help people see how there could be a difference. The rules dont say what that difference is, so it's up to people to figure it out themselves.

You say fort allows them to hit a crit area, just not do extra dmg. That's your interpretation. The rules dont say you can still hit that area. You made that up. See how fun this is when we nitpick based on vague interpretations when instead we could both look at the fact that we're actually making the same point...again.

MysticTheurge
07-07-2007, 11:05 PM
Of course it's something I made up...the point is immune to crits is not the same as immune to vorpal. Was just trying to help people see how there could be a difference. The rules dont say what that difference is, so it's up to people to figure it out themselves.

Of course immune to crits isn't the same as immune to vorpals. The rules say that things that are immune to crits are still vulnerable to on-crit effects.

The vorpal rules specifically say that some things may continue to function without their heads. In fact, this would seem to pretty clearly imply that things that are immune to crits (such as the golems and undead that are not vampires mentioned in the vorpal description) can still actually be vorpaled. The statement suggests that you do actually "vorpal" them and remove their heads but that it just doesn't matter. There'd be no reason to say "Others, such as golems and undead creatures other than vampires, are not affected by the loss of their heads" in the vorpal description if you couldn't actually remove the heads of golems and undead creatures with a vorpal weapon.

KristovK
07-07-2007, 11:51 PM
You are, as you usually are, correct MT concerning the crits vs immune creatures in regards to Burst. I missed that section in the SRD, kept scrolling right past it while looking for it. My own DM has always said crit immune targets aren't subject to such effects as burst, just went with him on that as it does make sense after all, never bothered to look up the rule and argue...he never loses such arguments :)

Either way, the ruling by WoTC concerning vorpal and fortification would clearly indicate that Burst and any other effect that goes off on a critical wouldn't function vs fortification. Again, it's logical and makes sense by the printed rules, fortification is a magical property after all and it's obviously a strong one(+1 for light, +3 for med, +5 for heavy), and it appears WoTC has decided that it supercedes weapon magics that apply on criticals. As I said earlier, WoTC is clearly defining the difference between natural critical immunity and magical critical immunity from fortification. One allows special effects from weapons to take place, the other doesn't. House rules always overrule anything by WoTC though, so I'm sure many people will ignore this as they do so many other rules and rulings.

As for Turbine and DDO...there's already some funky stuff going on with criticals vs various magical properties...deathward for example. The WoTC ruling would imply that DDO will soon make fortification make one truely immune to things like burst, smiting(for the Forged players) and vorpal. Not that that will really impact the game much, since that's usually a PvP issue, haven't seen any mobs to date that use burst weapons, vorpals, smiters, or banishers(not that that would work on a player anyway). Unless they start giving the mobs heavy fortification, no impact on the game. If they start giving the mobs heavy fortification...I really doubt burst/vorpal/smiting/banishing would be our biggest worry...or our biggest complaint.

Gimpster
07-08-2007, 12:32 AM
Magic that can slice through heavy armor, magic that can slice through feet of flesh, magic that ignores pretty much every defense the target has.... except, apparently, fortification?
It would be totally understandable and even expected for the Fortification entry of magic armor to specify that it can negate Vorpal attacks. Indeed, if that's how Wizards wants it to work, they'll have to do that in D&D 4.0.

Ghoste
07-08-2007, 12:43 AM
Of course immune to crits isn't the same as immune to vorpals. The rules say that things that are immune to crits are still vulnerable to on-crit effects.

The vorpal rules specifically say that some things may continue to function without their heads. In fact, this would seem to pretty clearly imply that things that are immune to crits (such as the golems and undead that are not vampires mentioned in the vorpal description) can still actually be vorpaled. The statement suggests that you do actually "vorpal" them and remove their heads but that it just doesn't matter. There'd be no reason to say "Others, such as golems and undead creatures other than vampires, are not affected by the loss of their heads" in the vorpal description if you couldn't actually remove the heads of golems and undead creatures with a vorpal weapon.Ok, so the real question is, does the loss of head immediately kill a vampire?

Wulf_Ratbane
07-08-2007, 12:52 AM
The simple solution is to rule that Fortification prevents critical threats. That should close the loophole.

And MT, where balance is a design consideration, defense should always trump offense.

Gimpster
07-08-2007, 02:29 AM
The simple solution is to rule that Fortification prevents critical threats. That should close the loophole.
There's no loophole.
Preventing critical threats would not be remotely "simple".
And most importantly, it would prevent the desired behavior of Flaming Burst affecting a character with Heavy Fort.


And MT, where balance is a design consideration, defense should always trump offense.
Wrong. That is completely backwards.

When in doubt, offense should win. A game design that accidently is too biased towards defense leads to boring stalemates. If the design has too much offense in it, then encounters end too quickly, but at least the best team is winning the fights.

MrWizard
07-08-2007, 03:39 AM
As far as I know, critical hit has nothing to do with a vorpal effect at all.

Vorpal is on a natural 20. After play testing they found this to be way too tough, and added a crit confirm....or not...not sure on the history.

Natural 20...not critical hit...

I would assume confirming is just the way we did it in PnP...if you rolled a 20, then you rolled on a special table to see what happened.. (d100)....ahhh those were the days.

Vorpals can be uber powerful, so they nerfed them a bit..I believe the original vorps were on any crit at all....so a 15-20 scimitar rocked..

Ithrani
07-08-2007, 12:39 PM
As far as I know, critical hit has nothing to do with a vorpal effect at all.

Vorpal is on a natural 20. After play testing they found this to be way too tough, and added a crit confirm....or not...not sure on the history.

Natural 20...not critical hit...

I would assume confirming is just the way we did it in PnP...if you rolled a 20, then you rolled on a special table to see what happened.. (d100)....ahhh those were the days.

Vorpals can be uber powerful, so they nerfed them a bit..I believe the original vorps were on any crit at all....so a 15-20 scimitar rocked..

So an improved critical feat with a bladed gauntlet from the 3.0 fighter book swords and fist gives you a 13-20. Build a TWF with two Vorpal Bladed Gauntlet's and watch the heads fly. Ahhh the munckiness of 3.0, before 3.5 i was thinking of using an ogre with this set up as a way of ruining my parties "up on high good times" :p thats ok 3 Balors seem to do the job just fine.

BTW who cares what logical literary sense the rules makes. Wizards does not want vorpals working against fort anymore. I am just happy to get a straight answer. MT what I don't get is why you were so accepting of the GS email support ruling on Harm and yet the same GS confirmed the fort vs critical and gave the explanation of cover, yet you argue that. I can admit when I am PROVEN wrong dude, time for you to do the same, I don't care if you do it here but at least to yourself.

Gimp you always hopeless to argue against. :p

Gimpster
07-08-2007, 12:41 PM
BTW who cares what logical literary sense the rules makes. Wizards does not want vorpals working against fort anymore. I am just happy to get a straight answer.
No. They do want it to work against fort. This published answer was from someone out-of-the-loop.

Ithrani
07-08-2007, 12:59 PM
No. They do want it to work against fort. This published answer was from someone out-of-the-loop.

No your wrong the do not, give a call and ask, or email them, or just read the entries in the books. When you first read fort you would think it works against any critical effect. The entry that says that creatures are immune to crits but not to their effects is talking about being IMMUNE to critical. Fort does not make you IMMUNE to crits it "negates" the chance of the critical from succeeding and if the crit cannot succeed the effect cannot take place. Personally I think it is very logical and simple, but then I am brilliant :D

MysticTheurge
07-08-2007, 03:12 PM
MT what I don't get is why you were so accepting of the GS email support ruling on Harm and yet the same GS confirmed the fort vs critical and gave the explanation of cover, yet you argue that.

I've never suggested that this ruling shouldn't be (relatively) official, just that, as a ruling, it makes little-to-no sense and actually contradicts other published material (or comes perilously close to doing so). I've also, much of this time, simply argued that if fortification blocks vorpal-effects because it blocks crits it has to do the same thing for any other on-crit effect such as burst weapons. That would be the only logical interpretation of the rules and the ruling.

As I said the "explanation of cover" doesn't make any more sense (from a rules standpoint) than the "it negates the critical, so it negates the vorpal effect" reasoning.

I was, I'll grant you, more willing to accept their ruling on Harm because it's consistent with the text as written in the PHB. This ruling is inconsistent with the text as written in the DMG.

Ithrani
07-09-2007, 12:56 PM
I've also, much of this time, simply argued that if fortification blocks vorpal-effects because it blocks crits it has to do the same thing for any other on-crit effect such as burst weapons. That would be the only logical interpretation of the rules and the ruling.

But look over the crit based effects again, it says creature "Immune" to critical, which in PnP is a very specific thing. To be Immune as compared to negating the crit. I agree that if you can't vorpal someone with fort because the crit is negated then no other effects such as burst or anything should apply if the crit is negated. But when it comes to a creature that is "Immune" to the critical but can still be hit with the effects it is because the creature has nothing "negating" the crit but is actually immune to being stabbed through the heart. Thats why is does make sense, yes Wizards has confused the **** out of everyone with this but it does make sense if you separate being immune to crits from negating crits.

I am immune to poison, so poison can not harm me

I am not immune to poison but I can negate the effects instantly, so the poison can harm me but I can stop it before that.

Poor analogy but I think it shows the difference between the two.

MysticTheurge
07-09-2007, 01:17 PM
...but it does make sense if you separate being immune to crits from negating crits.

Yeah, but separating those two things doesn't really make sense.

The only reason fortification is "negating" crits instead of making you immune to them is that light and medium fortification don't negate(/make you immune to) all criticals, only a certain percentage of them. And so the action has to be active (negate) rather than passive (immune to).

dameron
07-09-2007, 01:27 PM
I've never suggested that this ruling shouldn't be (relatively) official, just that, as a ruling, it makes little-to-no sense and actually contradicts other published material (or comes perilously close to doing so). I've also, much of this time, simply argued that if fortification blocks vorpal-effects because it blocks crits it has to do the same thing for any other on-crit effect such as burst weapons.

I see no contradiction. 100% fort = no vulnerable area to hit. A thousand hits with a sword will never find a weak spot because there are none. It makes prefect sense that this would include having your head chopped off.

And bursters should still work. Why? Because it's a property of the weapon that causes the weapon to do something. A particularly solid hit causes the weapon to explode for extra elemental damage. That the fortification negated the weapon's physical extra damage isn't important, the impact was great enough to make the weapon disgorge it's extra elemental damage, whereas a beheading is definitely extra physical weapon damage of a sort.

You still can't find a weak spot on the enemy, but you don't have to, all you have to do is hit him hard enough to make your weapon explode.

Ziggy
07-09-2007, 01:32 PM
Ok, so the real question is, does the loss of head immediately kill a vampire?
I would say yes.
http://www.d20srd.org/srd/monsters/vampire.htm


Reducing a vampire’s hit points to 0 or lower incapacitates it but doesn’t always destroy it (see the note on fast healing). However, certain attacks can slay vampires. Exposing any vampire to direct sunlight disorients it: It can take only a single move action (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/combat/actionsInCombat.htm#moveActions) or attack action and is destroyed utterly in the next round if it cannot escape. Similarly, immersing a vampire in running water robs it of one-third of its hit points each round until it is destroyed at the end of the third round of immersion. Driving a wooden stake through a vampire’s heart instantly slays the monster. However, it returns to life if the stake is removed, unless the body is destroyed. A popular tactic is to cut off the creature’s head and fill its mouth with holy wafers (or their equivalent).

Ithrani
07-09-2007, 01:48 PM
WOW what a tactic I never even thought of this one, someone grapple a vamp pin him and then open up a decanter of endless water on it HAH what a crappy and embarrassing way for a Vampire to die.

Ok tougher then I thought since the geyser part can only target one creature per round but still thats a third of it's HP, or you could hold him down in his coffin and just turn on the fountain, that will immerse it in the water with in a round or two and it will continue to run.

Furgulder
07-09-2007, 03:39 PM
And MT, where balance is a design consideration, defense should always trump offense.

because everyone knows the best offense is a good defense!

er.....

JosephKell
07-09-2007, 08:52 PM
No. There's no logical way the rules can have it both ways.

If fortification negates the vorpal effect because it blocks the critical from happening, then a vampire's immunity to critical hits does the same thing.

If you can vorpal a vampire, then you can vorpal someone in heavy fortification.No, the rule makes sense.

Fortification is like having a magical shield come up and soften critical hits.

Vampires are susceptible to vorpals because it is traditional to kill a vampire by beheading it. Vampires are an exception to the "critical immune things are immune to vorpals" and you should never use exceptions to a rule to change the general rule.

Anything else that would die from beheading is vulnerable to a vorpal no matter what other special quality the creature possesses.

-JK

MysticTheurge
07-09-2007, 09:15 PM
No, the rule makes sense.

You say this and then go on to justify it by listing a few things that are not rules.

If the fortification prevents vorpaling because a vorpal requires a critical and fortification stops criticals (this is the logic presented in the sage advice answer, regardless of what some of you have posted here regarding a difference between critical "negation" and critical "immunity), then an immunity to criticals will also prevent vorpaling because you cannot critical something that is immune to criticals.

Ithrani
07-10-2007, 03:32 AM
You say this and then go on to justify it by listing a few things that are not rules.

If the fortification prevents vorpaling because a vorpal requires a critical and fortification stops criticals (this is the logic presented in the sage advice answer, regardless of what some of you have posted here regarding a difference between critical "negation" and critical "immunity), then an immunity to criticals will also prevent vorpaling because you cannot critical something that is immune to criticals.

Unless it is a Vampire, because Vorpal's description says so, and we all know that the original source of the rule supersedes any conflict. So the statement that it works against Vampires in paticular supersedes the rules about vampires being immune. And because there is nothing in Vorpal's text to state that it does work against fort, it does not and further more because the ability to vorpal requires a critical confirmation, which fort prevents from happening, it cannot work against a target that has fort and rolls the %. Heres another example, undead cannot be affected by death effects correct, yet we have undead slaying arrows... There is no rules bending here, that is just how the rules read. Now where does this leave the question about burst effects and crit, well Wizards has to find a way to answer that more clearly. I have to look over again the entry about criticals and burst and see if it only states creature immune to crits or any creature that is not subject to criticals. Which MT I figured you would see not being subject to critical hits divided into immunity and negation since they are beginning to look like two different things of the same category.

Checked and here is the answer:

Magic Weapons and Critical Hits

Some weapon qualities and some specific weapons have an extra effect on a critical hit. This special effect functions against creatures not subject to critical hits, such as undead, elementals, and constructs. When fighting against such creatures, roll for critical hits as you would against humanoids or any other creature subject to critical hits. On a successful critical roll, apply the special effect, but do not multiply the weapon’s regular damage.

Not subject to critical hits, that means whether you are immune or just having the crit negated you are subject to "extra effects" And someone will say in retort, "but what about 'such as undead...' that should mean only those types of creatures" which is not necessarily true since "such as" simply means "Ie." or "an example would be" and not "exclusively"

You could argue that even Vorpal does work against a Lich but does not kill it, as long the crit is confirmed the head comes off and rolls around on the floor while the body still slams away. I think that is what a DM who wants to add some fun effects and let the players get ingenuitive they start kicking the Lich's head around for fun. But of course that one of you will argue then if it works on the lich but does not kill it should work on the guy with fort blah blah... I hope you guys realize I am just showing what a playful DM might do with that understanding of the rules. But I mean how much simpler can it get.

MysticTheurge
07-10-2007, 07:31 AM
Not subject to critical hits, that means whether you are immune or just having the crit negated you are subject to "extra effects"

Um... yeah.

So why does Fortification block the vorpal "extra effect" then?

Gandalfs_Ghost
07-10-2007, 08:57 AM
The exception to the rule is not that vampires can be affected by vorpal weapons, the exception is that vampires are the only undead that needs its head to live. Er, be undead.
If you cut off a vampires head with a spoon it would still die. And hurt more.

Vorpals do not lop heads on a crit, they lop on a 20. The confirmation roll is not the effect of a crit per se, it is a confirmation to hit for the vorpal affect to occur. The vorpal rules specifically state that creatures immune to crits still get a crit confirm roll for deciding the result of the vorpal effect.
In my mind immunity is synonymous with 'negating' and to say otherwise is splitting a purty fine hair and unnecessarily confusing the issue.

So imho I think the sage is very wrong, using silly game logic, and as a result mucking up peoples heads, as evidenced by some of the mental contortions presented in various posts here to justify the ruling.

Aspenor
07-10-2007, 08:58 AM
I was under the impression that undead and constructs (golems) were IMMUNE to critical hits, not necessarily 100% fortified. Are there not high level PnP feats that allow a fighter to lower fortification by 25%? I thought I heard that once, too busy right now to research it. I wouldn't think that feat would work on undead or golems.

Vampiric IMMUNITY to critical hits does not necessarily equate into 100% fortification, which would block a vorpal. Therefore vampires won't be immune to it, unless they have actual fortification from some source. Does anybody follow me?

Gandalfs_Ghost
07-10-2007, 09:26 AM
One could also argue that fortification negates damage, not weapon special effects, therefore burst go off, etc, vorpals vorp, etc.
But the damage roll itself, thats just calculated normally thanks to fort.

But hey, when I played pnp vorpals worked based off the + of the weapon, no confirmation roll, so a +3 vorp worked on a 17. Githyanki were known to sport +5 vorpal greatswords.
Astral travel therefore could be very dangerous, uphill both ways, barefoot in the snow.
And we liked it.

Conejo
07-10-2007, 10:24 AM
this does bring up a good point though:

"Sage Advice" has gone down the ****-in-it-device since the actual Sage left and was replaced by a "team" of "sages"

Aeneas
07-10-2007, 11:16 AM
I'm pretty dumb, but as far as undead are concerned, vamps are a very special case.. Although undead they are still kind of living and as such require their brains for relevant body function. They aren't magically animated lumps. A vorp is not a crit, it's more of an unspoken called shot to the neck imho. Crits are very good hits that would tend to break arms or legs, or puncturing through skin and into organs causing excessive damage which in MOST undead means nothing as none of those old decrepit organs or lack thereof being damaged means any more than being grazed. I feel like saying undead are immune to crits is a mis-statement. Rather they are not affected as a living being is on a critical hit.

Heavy fort is described as a magical shield against particularly harmful or damaging critical hits isn't it? Since vorpal effect isn't a critical hit, it just happens to happen on a number which is a critical for all weapons why should it be blocked by fortification? Would you feel better if vorpal effect were given a separate roll on each successful attack? Maybe you have to roll a 1 on a d20 after a successful to-hit roll to vorpal? Perhaps that would clear up the difference between the effect and a critical. (Yes i know this would further water down the strength of a vorpal, but perhaps if this were instituted instead of the confirm crit roll, we could come to a happy medium where vorps aren't as powerful and the confusion goes away) The second roll could be considered the critical mistake roll for the creature being hit with the vorpal weapon - he rolls a 1 and makes the mistake of putting his neck in the way of that brutally sharp blade.

IMHO this would also balance the power of vorpals so a displaced wizard who can't hit the broad side of barn doesn't lop off heads as often as a highly trained barbarian who hits on every swing since both currently only crack off a neck shot on 20's. Heck in endgame a properly buffed wizard dual wielding vorpals (finessable or not, doesn't matter with vorps) could outkill a barb which is preposterous. I mean, vorpal throwing axes are dropping - what happens when you take a super sorc and give him a pair of those when dual wield throwing is implemented? Or for that matter a bard with little to no strength who only hits on 20's making it so he can fascinate mobs and just swing on them until he bangs a twenty on each one. Cheese.

Ithrani
07-10-2007, 11:21 AM
Um... yeah.

So why does Fortification block the vorpal "extra effect" then?

It requires a confirmed crit and Fort stops successful confirmation of crits. Immunity just means your "uncritable" to begin with. They are subtly different.

Gandlafs Ghost, we all know is requires a 20 and not just any crit? Did you read the rest of the thread before you posted?

Gandalfs_Ghost
07-10-2007, 11:51 AM
Yes, but thanks for checking.

Maybe you could go back and clarify something tho, on the one hand you say:
"because there is nothing in Vorpal's text to state that it does work against
fort, it does not and further more because the ability to vorpal requires a critical confirmation, which fort prevents from happening, it cannot work against a target that has fort and rolls the %."

But then you say:
Not subject to critical hits, that means whether you are immune or just having the crit negated you are subject to "extra effects"
And go on to argue that a lich could be vorped just wouldnt be bothered without its head.

You appear to me to be arguing both sides.

As far as my previous comment:
The point of contention seems to be at least in part whether or not vorpal is a crit effect.
I felt it was worth repeating that a vorpal 20 is not the same as a crit 20, and also was not the sum total of my comment.
Heavy fort is describes as 'negating crits' and therefore trumps vorpal. I do not think this arguement holds water and tried to explain why.

MysticTheurge
07-10-2007, 12:11 PM
this does bring up a good point though:

"Sage Advice" has gone down the ****-in-it-device since the actual Sage left and was replaced by a "team" of "sages"

Yeah, that's for sure.

Olaustt
07-10-2007, 12:13 PM
This is a "Grey Area" left wide open specifically for individual interpretation. IMO vorpal is a "Death Effect" not a "Critical Effect", so Fortification should not stop Death Effects. However, things like Death Block and Death Ward make perfect sense.

The Fortification issue is just a way for Turbine to manipulate gameplay. I personally think if things go this way it is total BS. I have a Vorpal that I use situationally.

Fortification should block Critical effects like bursting. (Looks like flaming, frost and holy weapons may be more popular again)

Harbinder
07-10-2007, 12:32 PM
A natural 20 is perfect, ie:

The vorpal sword wielder just swung a perfect blow (20) ...and he needs to see if he cut your head off with it...he rolls a 1...fail!

Now, with 100% fort, that perfect swing that landed (natural 20) but didn't sever the head (rolled a 1) will not do critical damage, either.

If you didnt have 100% fort you'd keep your head, in this case, but still take the critical damage. thats all fort is good for.

Fortification does not equal Deathward.

Aspenor
07-10-2007, 02:25 PM
A natural 20 is perfect, ie:

The vorpal sword wielder just swung a perfect blow (20) ...and he needs to see if he cut your head off with it...he rolls a 1...fail!

Now, with 100% fort, that perfect swing that landed (natural 20) but didn't sever the head (rolled a 1) will not do critical damage, either.

If you didnt have 100% fort you'd keep your head, in this case, but still take the critical damage. thats all fort is good for.

Fortification does not equal Deathward.

I think the point of the thread is that this fact has just been overturned by WoTC, the governing DnD body.

Yaga_Nub
07-10-2007, 02:44 PM
I think the point of the thread is that this fact has just been overturned by WoTC, the governing DnD body.

Actually, best I can tell, a post on a WoTC sanctioned site has given an interpretation and a forum user that says he spoke to a CS agent (for all pratical purposes) at WoTC has some kind of agreement with that interpretation. Until I see an updated rule book then nothing has changed and fortification doesn't stop a vorpal from beheading you nor does it stop the burst effects of a burst weapon.

Besides the best thing about DnD is that the rules are open to your interpretation. You run your campaign your way, I'll run mine my way and Turbine is obviously going to run theirs their way in DDO.

Aspenor
07-10-2007, 02:46 PM
Actually, best I can tell, a post on a WoTC sanctioned site has given an interpretation and a forum user that says he spoke to a CS agent (for all pratical purposes) at WoTC has some kind of agreement with that interpretation. Until I see an updated rule book then nothing has changed and fortification doesn't stop a vorpal from beheading you nor does it stop the burst effects of a burst weapon.

Besides the best thing about DnD is that the rules are open to your interpretation. You run your campaign your way, I'll run mine my way and Turbine is obviously going to run theirs their way in DDO.

Oh I agree wholeheartedly with that. I'm not THE source for this :) If the rule has changed, its not in my book yet so whatever. Turbine has to run their game a bit differently than PnP, so it is what it is.

I was just trying to make sure people didn't misunderstand and were trying to rehash the point that fortification doesn't stop vorpal, when the OP was about a conflicting communication from WotC. It doesn't help to beat a dead horse :)

The DM can make his calls, as always.

Josh
07-10-2007, 02:59 PM
Even back in the old days in our house rules, we changed the vorpal effect. It is just too powerful. Anything that is "no save your dead" and can effect any character regardless of level is too powerful. Everything should have some defense and this is why the rule is probably changing.

Kind of like the orbs of madness?

Bizbag
07-10-2007, 11:35 PM
Perhaps it would be better to use different wording when describing critical hits and creatures that are immune?

Undead, Constructs, Elementals and creatures with fortification are immune to extra physical damage from critical hits. They do not, however, stop a critical from occurring in the first place; they merely ignore the extra physical damage. When you roll a 19 and confirm the crit against a zombie with your Icy Burst Longsword, the zombie ignores the extra physical damage but the crit takes place; the weapon Bursts.

Likewise, Smiters work only on critical hits, but by definition only function on creatures immune to extra physical damage from crits (constructs; warforged are an exception to the rule)

When you roll a 20 to hit a Dwarf wearing the Nightforge Gorget with your +1 Vorpal Kukri and confirm the crit, he ignores the extra physical damage but suffers the other effect of the weapon, triggered on a critical hit - his head is cut off. In the dwarf's case, this causes him to die. In a zombie's case, it does not cause it to be destroyed.

Gimpster
07-11-2007, 04:04 AM
Perhaps it would be better to use different wording when describing critical hits and creatures that are immune?

Undead, Constructs, Elementals and creatures with fortification are immune to extra physical damage from critical hits. They do not, however, stop a critical from occurring in the first place; they merely ignore the extra physical damage.
Yes, it would be nice to use that wording. But that is not the wording used in the D&D rules, and anything based on that idea is a house rule with zero validity here.

Gelandor
07-11-2007, 04:17 AM
In reading this entire thread, I kept asking myself the following question:

What exactly is the vorpal effect?

Many of you will say that vorpal goes off because you strike the neck, or you land a particularly strong blow in a fatal location of the body, but if you look at how vorpal is created on the weapon, it is actually a spell-like effect.

To create a vorpal weapon, these are some of the required items:


Ability to craft magic arms and armor
Spell - Circle of Death
Spell - Keen Edge


So when you roll a natural 20, and confirm, with a vorpal weapon, basically you are getting a combination of the Circle of Death Spell, and the Keen Edge Spell.

So, with this in mind, does the fact that a heavy fortification which is pretty much protecting all vulnerable areas of the body, prevent you from chopping off someone's head, make sense with a vorpal weapon?

I don't think it does.

It doesn't matter that you have a solid steel barrier around your neck protecting a sword from chopping your head off, the vorpal effect is magical, if you activate the effect, it should go off, just like the burst effect of a weapon.

Don't tell me that you can't confirm because the target is immune to critical attacks, because if it were a burst effect, you would still roll to see if you hit the target's AC to see if a burst effect goes off, this is the same thing.

It is very late (or very early if you want to be technical) so please forgive my spelling errors, and bad grammar, I will probably edit this post after I have had some sleep, but in summary, I think that:

A heavy fortification item could protect you from getting your head cut off if it were from a lucky, or skilled strike at the neck, but in the case of vorpal, this is not the case, as it is a weapons magical effect.

Yaga_Nub
07-11-2007, 07:17 AM
Yes, it would be nice to use that wording. But that is not the wording used in the D&D rules, and anything based on that idea is a house rule with zero validity here.

Gimp, as you pointed out that's not the wording in the rules and the Sage's response to a posed question is not the wording in the rules either, it's an interpretation of the rules. Right now, as posted many, many times in this thread, the rules say that vorpals affect vampires, fortification negates the extra damage from the weapon, and that any affect that happens on a crit should still be rolled.

House rules have 100% validity here because we are playing by Turbine's house rules of which we have ZERO clue as to what they are other than what we see happen in the game.

So for all of you arguing about this on both sides it doesn't make a bit of difference and you're only clarifying something for your DnD sessions. You are and always will be wasting your time when trying to put this into DDO terms.

Gandalfs_Ghost
07-11-2007, 09:44 AM
So for all of you arguing about this on both sides it doesn't make a bit of difference and you're only clarifying something for your DnD sessions. You are and always will be wasting your time when trying to put this into DDO terms.

Im at work, so really Im wasting someone elses time.
Plus, the point isnt ddo and vorpals,
its the sages recent ruling on vorpals and why many think its flat out wrong.
But more interesting I think is the logic used behind the arguments, hashing this stuff out is fun.

Really, you could add that quote above to your sig, could be valid for most of the threads in the forum. Dont discuss anything, its pointless!

Yaga_Nub
07-11-2007, 10:37 AM
Im at work, so really Im wasting someone elses time.
Plus, the point isnt ddo and vorpals,
its the sages recent ruling on vorpals and why many think its flat out wrong.
But more interesting I think is the logic used behind the arguments, hashing this stuff out is fun.

Really, you could add that quote above to your sig, could be valid for most of the threads in the forum. Dont discuss anything, its pointless!

Actually I might do that GG. Some might think it in bad taste to quote one's self but I just aggrogant enough to do it! :)

And the only reason why I bring up the pointlessness of this discuss is because of the area that this thread is in. This thread is in the DDO Development Discussion. It probably more applicable in "Dnd has very little to do with DDO" discussion group because I didn't see anything about feeback on an update that happened, a suggestion to make this change, and I don't see how this is related to to any other development related topic.

DDO Development Discussion This forum is for the discussion of the ongoing development of DDO. Post your feedback on updates, suggestions and other development related topics here!

On the other hand I do enjoy DnD lawyers battling it out.

MysticTheurge
07-11-2007, 11:10 AM
This thread is in the DDO Development Discussion.

DDO Development Discussion This forum is for the discussion of the ongoing development of DDO. Post your feedback on updates, suggestions and other development related topics here!

The OP intended this as a suggestion that Turbine might want to bring these two items in line with the latest ruling. Hence it's location in the Dev Discussions folder.

One can never truly control where discussion in a thread goes.

dameron
07-11-2007, 07:03 PM
When you roll a 20 to hit a Dwarf wearing the Nightforge Gorget with your +1 Vorpal Kukri and confirm the crit, he ignores the extra physical damage but suffers the other effect of the weapon, triggered on a critical hit - his head is cut off. In the dwarf's case, this causes him to die. In a zombie's case, it does not cause it to be destroyed.

But the vorpal effect is extra physical damage, a deadly amount, thus it's negated by the 100% fortification.

Gimpster
07-11-2007, 07:09 PM
But the vorpal effect is extra physical damage, a deadly amount
No, it is not. In D&D, "damage" means a reduction to hitpoints.

If Vorpal were physical damage, the rule would be written like so: "On a natural 20 that is confirmed as a critical hit, the Vorpal weapon inflicts bonus damage equal to the target's current hitpoints + 10". But obviously, that is not how Vorpal exists in D&D.

Gelandor
07-11-2007, 07:37 PM
But the vorpal effect is extra physical damage, a deadly amount, thus it's negated by the 100% fortification.

It is not physical damage, it is a magical death effect.

dameron
07-11-2007, 07:46 PM
No, it is not. In D&D, "damage" means a reduction to hitpoints.

If Vorpal were physical damage, the rule would be written like so: "On a natural 20 that is confirmed as a critical hit, the Vorpal weapon inflicts bonus damage equal to the target's current hitpoints + 10". But obviously, that is not how Vorpal exists in D&D.

No, only an idiot would write a rule like that. Sorry. The massive damage rules aren't nearly so obtuse, for example.

It -is- the weapon inflicting additional physical damage on the target, based on the placement/impact of the weapon against the target, penetrating the target in an particularly damaging manner.

Physical damage.

If the vorpal effect were such that on a critical you "sucks the life out"/disintegrates/annihilates the opponent, then yes, fort items would be useless.

However you're chopping their goddamn head off, with your weapon, not some effect your weapon is applying to them.

It flies in the face of the very idea of fortification to be beheaded.



This suit of armor or shield produces a magical force that protects vital areas of the wearer more effectively.


100% fort protects vital areas 100% of the time. Getting your head chopped off is pretty freaking vital.

dameron
07-11-2007, 07:49 PM
It is not physical damage, it is a magical death effect.

To my knowledge "Death Ward" does not block vorpal in PnP, so no, it's not a magical death effect since "Death Ward" makes one



immune to all death spells, magical death effects, energy drain, and any negative energy effects.

Gimpster
07-11-2007, 08:33 PM
No, only an idiot would write a rule like that. Sorry.
True- it would be idiotic to rewrite the vorpal weapon rule that way. And that's my point: you are interpreting the rule as if it were written that way.

The "hit point" mechanic is a core concept of the D&D game (and literally thousands of other games derived from it). Hit points are an abstraction that cannot directly correlate to a physical object/action existing in the game world. As an abstraction, they are defined only by what the rules say about them.

The "extra damage from a critical hit" is literally the increase to the hitpoint damage you take from the crit- it doesn't mean anything else.

By your interpretation, a character wearing heavy fortification can never have his hitpoints reduced below -9 by a weapon, as that would necessarily mean a vital wound was inflicted.

Gelandor
07-11-2007, 08:44 PM
To my knowledge "Death Ward" does not block vorpal in PnP, so no, it's not a magical death effect since "Death Ward" makes one

Well, it does not specifically say that deathward blocks vorpal, but it doesn't say the opposite either.

How can you say it is not a magical death effect, it is created using the Circle of Death Spell, and the Keen edge spell, it is most certainly magical.

Gimpster
07-11-2007, 09:06 PM
How can you say it is not a magical death effect, it is created using the Circle of Death Spell, and the Keen edge spell, it is most certainly magical.
Vorpal is not a death effect, because there is no rule that says it is a death effect. And in practice, some creatures can survive being vorpalled. For example, a hydra or ettin takes multiple vorpalizings to kill, as they have extra heads.

dameron
07-11-2007, 09:06 PM
True- it would be idiotic to rewrite the vorpal weapon rule that way. And that's my point: you are interpreting the rule as if it were written that way.

Here, Gimp, answer me this:

By what mechanism is the vorpal killing?

What parenthetical effect is is applying? If any.

Is it untyped? Is it epic?

If I were to try to create a creature immune to physical weapons, what effect should I include to make him immune to vorpals?

And no, the immunity to crits would not make a creature immune to taking them below -9 hit points, it make them immune from taking -extra- damage from the weapon for hitting a vital area.

The regular damage still applies, and still kills.

It just means there's no exceptionally vulnerable areas.

Really, how hard is it for you to understand the logic of an item that, 100% of the time:

"protects vital areas of the wearer"

should keep you from getting your head cut off.

It really doesn't matter at this point as, for now, WotC has spoken.

MysticTheurge
07-11-2007, 10:09 PM
By what mechanism is the vorpal killing?

You roll a 20, then you roll to confirm, if you succeed the target dies.

It is not killing via HP (i.e. "damage").


What parenthetical effect is is applying? If any.

I'm confused what you're asking here.


Is it untyped? Is it epic?

Uh, is what untyped or epic? This question doesn't really apply.

A vorpal weapon isn't "epic" unless it has a +6 or greater enhancement bonus or a total effective enhancement bonus of +10 or greater, just like any other weapon.

Damage from a weapon isn't "untyped" generally speaking. It usually has a few types applied to it. Damage from a vorpal weapon will be slashing, for instance.

However, neither of these things has any bearing on the weapon's death-causing abilities.


If I were to try to create a creature immune to physical weapons, what effect should I include to make him immune to vorpals?

Creatures aren't immune to physical weapons. They have high AC or get DR. Neither one makes you immune to weapons.

If you wanted to make a creature "immune" to vorpals you should give him a very high AC, making the "confirmation" roll impossible. Short of that, there isn't anything to make you immune to vorpals.


Really, how hard is it for you to understand the logic of an item that, 100% of the time:

"protects vital areas of the wearer"

should keep you from getting your head cut off.

How then does a person wearing heavy fortification ever die? Surely magic that protects his vital areas would stop things like his heart pumping all blood out of cuts to his non-vital areas, right? And, I mean, let's be honest, my arms are pretty vital to me. So it seems obvious that heavy fort protects a persons arms, right? Legs too. So basically heavy fort makes you immune to attacks.

Yeah, that's the ticket.

dameron
07-11-2007, 10:14 PM
How then does a person wearing heavy fortification ever die? Surely magic that protects his vital areas would stop things like his heart pumping all blood out of cuts to his non-vital areas, right? And, I mean, let's be honest, my arms are pretty vital to me. So it seems obvious that heavy fort protects a persons arms, right? Legs too. So basically heavy fort makes you immune to attacks.

Yeah, that's the ticket.

Now you're just being silly.

MysticTheurge
07-11-2007, 10:18 PM
Now you're just being silly.

Yes, that's precisely the point.

You quote the rules in one breath and the flavor text in the next. They're not compatible. Or at least the latter is open to all manner of interpretation and shouldn't really be used as justification for the former.

You can't say "Regular damage still kills you, fortification just prevents you from taking extra damage from a crit" and then turn around and say "But it also 'protects your vital areas' which clearly means you can't get your head chopped off."

How about this. Why can't a vorpal sword chop off your head when you're wearing heavy fortification, but a phantasmal killer can stop your heart?

Doesn't heavy fortification protect your vital organs?

You all seem to be confusing a Vorpal with a regular old chopping off of one's head. It's not. It's magical. Regular head-chopping is handled by the Coupe de Grace rules, which themselves refer to the Critical Hit rules. I would certainly understand a ruling that said Heavy Fortification prevents Coupe de Grace'ing because it prevents extra damage from a critical hit and that's exactly what a Coupe de Grace amounts to, a critical hit with some extra saves added on. No extra damage from the CdG critical means no save or die. That's perfectly logical.

dameron
07-11-2007, 10:37 PM
How about this. Why can't a vorpal sword chop off your head when you're wearing heavy fortification, but a phantasmal killer can stop your heart?

Doesn't heavy fortification protect your vital organs?



Literally, since you're being silly, it doesn't damage your heart, you just die from fear. I'm sure all your organs are 100% intact at the moment of death.

Anyway, just stop.

I was quoting the flavor text to make it even more obvious, but for the terminally addled I'll include "rules":



Fort:

When a critical hit or sneak attack is scored on the wearer, there is a chance that the critical hit or sneak attack is negated.





Vorpal:

Upon a roll of natural 20 (followed by a successful roll to confirm the critical hit)


Try to pull your head out of your portable hole and read this just like it's written, since almost all of WotC's rulings tend to favor the rules exactly as written (even if they're goofy).

Which is what the sage did. And it makes sense to me.

MysticTheurge
07-11-2007, 10:57 PM
Try to pull your head out of your portable hole and read this just like it's written, since almost all of WotC's rules tend to favor the rules exactly as written (even if they're goofy).

Actually, despite the fact that you've misquoted (Fortification says "there is a chance that the critical hit or sneak attack is negated and damage is instead rolled normally." You've added a period where there isn't one.) you bring to light the very illogic in this ruling.

A vorpal requires a 20 and then a successful roll to confirm. Success here is defined in the critical hit rules as "a hit against the target’s AC" on the confirmation roll.

Fortification doesn't prevent confirmation rolls or critical threats. In fact, Fortification says "When a critical hit or sneak attack is scored..." meaning that you actually do roll the confirmation roll and then only check the fortification if that roll is successful.

Now, the part about the critical hit being negated might matter if a vorpal required a successful critical hit. But it doesn't. It requires, from your very own quote, "a roll of natural 20 (followed by a successful roll to confirm the critical hit)" and there's absolutely nothing in the fortification rules that prevents either of those things from happening.

dameron
07-11-2007, 11:09 PM
Actually, despite the fact that you've misquoted (Fortification says "there is a chance that the critical hit or sneak attack is negated and damage is instead rolled normally." You've added a period where there isn't one.) you bring to light the very illogic in this ruling.

A vorpal requires a 20 and then a successful roll to confirm. Success here is defined in the critical hit rules as "a hit against the target’s AC" on the confirmation roll.

Fortification doesn't prevent confirmation rolls or critical threats. In fact, Fortification says "When a critical hit or sneak attack is scored..." meaning that you actually do roll the confirmation roll and then only check the fortification if that roll is successful.

Now, the part about the critical hit being negated might matter if a vorpal required a successful critical hit. But it doesn't. It requires, from your very own quote, "a roll of natural 20 (followed by a successful roll to confirm the critical hit)" and there's absolutely nothing in the fortification rules that prevents either of those things from happening.

Other than natural logic, like what follows from:

D&D glossary for "critical hit":



A hit that strikes a vital area


and the Fort quote about "vital areas", there's the language in the quote on vorpal:

"Upon a roll of natural 20 (followed by a successful roll to confirm the critical hit)"

"The" critical hit. Not "a" critical hit.

To confirm "the" critical hit.

It's clear to me. Logically it's clear from the "flavor" of the rules. Until the sage(s) says otherwise, I say it stands.

MysticTheurge
07-12-2007, 07:18 AM
Other than natural logic, like what follows from:

Ah good, this one's easy.

The D&D rules don't depend on "logic" they depend on the rules. If you have to resort to a "logical" reading of the flavor text in order to refute actual rules, then I think we're pretty much done.

dameron
07-12-2007, 10:53 AM
Ah good, this one's easy.

The D&D rules don't depend on "logic" they depend on the rules. If you have to resort to a "logical" reading of the flavor text in order to refute actual rules, then I think we're pretty much done.


That's a particularly uninformed and/or illogical ruling.

So which is it?


This potent and feared ability allows the weapon to sever the heads of those it strikes. Upon a roll of natural 20 (followed by a successful roll to confirm the critical hit), the weapon severs the opponent’s head (if it has one) from its body.


Which critical hit?

THE critical hit?

Which one?

Why the one you just rolled (the 20).

GeneralDiomedes
07-12-2007, 11:02 AM
Just what turbine needs another reason for players to leave. If i was turbine i wouldnt change the vorpal effect to match the new WOTC change.

You don't think that people are leaving _because_ of Vorpals?

They are. Vorpals are boring.

MysticTheurge
07-12-2007, 11:10 AM
So which is it?

You can have logical and illogical interpretations of the rules. For example, if I said "Undead are immune to critical hits so they're all pink and smell like roses" that would be illogical.

The rules don't derive from logic however, and you cannot use logic to justify things which the rules explicitly contradict. Logic would, for example, dictate that someone who wasn't proficient with longswords but spent 10 years wielding one would eventually overcome their penalty to hit with it because they've learned how to wield it. But in D&D you can't just wield a longsword for X number of sessions and then know how to use it, you have to become proficient, by the means the rules provide (generally spending a feat or taking appropriate class levels, though there are a few others out there).




Which critical hit?

THE critical hit?

Which one?

Why the one you just rolled (the 20).

And neither fortification nor immunity to criticals prevents the target from making a confirmation roll, nor does it prevent that confirmation roll from being a success.

You roll a 20. You roll to confirm. If the confirmation roll exceeds the targets AC it is a success. That is what vorpaling requires.

You want it to also require a critical hit, which I've pointed out innumerable times makes absolutely no sense. If it required a critical hit, in addition to just a successful confirmation roll, then you wouldn't be able to vorpal vampires as they're immune to criticals.

dameron
07-12-2007, 12:08 PM
You want it to also require a critical hit, which I've pointed out innumerable times makes absolutely no sense. If it required a critical hit, in addition to just a successful confirmation roll, then you wouldn't be able to vorpal vampires as they're immune to criticals.

I believe your concern about vampires was specifically addressed by the sage, vorpals can:



sometimes score its particular kind of critical hit against creatures that typically are immune to such things. (like the vampire or other creatures the DM sees fit)

That's all the caveat necessary to keep bursters, smiters and such working against things they're designed to work against.

But even discussing other weapons/effects and creatures is outside the ruling. The ruling deals with 2 things: fortification and vorpals. I don't see anywhere that it changes any other rule for any other creature or effect. Suggesting that it does, and arguing that it's inconsistent because it might, is, imho, a hysterically overly broad interpretation.

Look, I know things like:



(like the vampire or other creatures the DM sees fit)


require DM adjudication, and that causes some people's gonads to crawl up the wall, but really, it's not so hard to understand that a Nightforged gorget (A piece of armor protecting the throat, btw) would keep someone from lopping your head off.

Emili
07-12-2007, 01:25 PM
A critical hit is just a way to define a tremedously important wound causing massive amount of current damage to health... undead naturally could care less about loss of blood... etc...

Fortification just negates the extra damages of a critical ie.) the damages being multiplied. It does not negate the roll ... fact is the order of things just is to apply another roll in the chain... roll to-hit, crit threat, confirm crit roll then roll for fortification to negate the x multiple when the damage rolls are tallied.

Fortification is not an immunity... even at 100% it's a damage reduction in this sense. It does not in any sense mean the critical did not occur. Just it's damage effect does not by passing the fortification roll.

When it comes to special damages by a critical ie.) extra saves... such as a banisher, smiter, vorpal ... those things are uneffected by fortification or even what people consider crit immunity. Ie.) the vampire... he's dead without his head - removal of a vampires head was always considered the way to destroy them in Romania, a golem is not dependent on a head, a zombie or skeleton keeps fighting away without a head also... a ghost? surely don't care either. Although I often wonder how a headless horseman chased Ichabob Crane without the power of sight I could only assume other senses of supernatural must prevail.

Yaga_Nub
07-12-2007, 01:53 PM
The OP intended this as a suggestion that Turbine might want to bring these two items in line with the latest ruling. Hence it's location in the Dev Discussions folder.

One can never truly control where discussion in a thread goes.

Actually he didn't MT. He said look at this website. There is nothing in the OP that suggests that Turbine conform to the post from the Sage.


By the D&D rules, Heavy Fortification items that prevent critical hits do not prevent a magic weapon's special effects that trigger on critical hits, such as Flaming Burst or Vorpal. And, DDO obeys those rules.

However, surprisingly Wizards today published that Heavy Fort should block vorpalizing. I don't know what their justification for that ruling was, however.

Ask Wizards Archive (http://www.wizards.com/default.asp?x=dnd/arch/ask)

PS. DDO already allows the Deathward spell to block vorpals, which is unsupported by the rulebooks except insofar as Vorpal weapons require the crafter to have necromantic death magic.

SneakThief
07-12-2007, 02:20 PM
Ok so after reading 3 pages of bantering ...


Magic Weapons and Critical Hits

Some weapon qualities and some specific weapons have an extra effect on a critical hit. This special effect functions against creatures not subject to critical hits, such as undead, elementals, and constructs. When fighting against such creatures, roll for critical hits as you would against humanoids or any other creature subject to critical hits. On a successful critical roll, apply the special effect, but do not multiply the weapon’s regular damage.


Construct Traits
....
Not subject to critical hits, nonlethal damage, ability damage, ability drain, fatigue, exhaustion, or energy drain.


Undead Traits
...
Not subject to critical hits, nonlethal damage, ability drain, or energy drain. Immune to damage to its physical ability scores (Strength, Dexterity, and Constitution), as well as to fatigue and exhaustion effects.


Fortification
This suit of armor or shield produces a magical force that protects vital areas of the wearer more effectively. When a critical hit or sneak attack is scored on the wearer, there is a chance that the critical hit or sneak attack is negated and damage is instead rolled normally.
Strong abjuration; CL 13th; Craft Magic Arms and Armor, limited wish or miracle;


Vorpal
This potent and feared ability allows the weapon to sever the heads of those it strikes. Upon a roll of natural 20 (followed by a successful roll to confirm the critical hit), the weapon severs the opponent’s head (if it has one) from its body. Some creatures, such as many aberrations and all oozes, have no heads. Others, such as golems and undead creatures other than vampires, are not affected by the loss of their heads. Most other creatures, however, die when their heads are cut off. A vorpal weapon must be a slashing weapon. (If you roll this property randomly for an inappropriate weapon, reroll.)


Critical Hits
When you make an attack roll and get a natural 20 (the d20 shows 20), you hit regardless of your target’s Armor Class, and you have scored a threat. The hit might be a critical hit (or "crit"). To find out if it’s a critical hit, you immediately make a critical roll—another attack roll with all the same modifiers as the attack roll you just made. If the critical roll also results in a hit against the target’s AC, your original hit is a critical hit. (The critical roll just needs to hit to give you a crit. It doesn’t need to come up 20 again.) If the critical roll is a miss, then your hit is just a regular hit.
A critical hit means that you roll your damage more than once, with all your usual bonuses, and add the rolls together. Unless otherwise specified, the threat range for a critical hit on an attack roll is 20, and the multiplier is ×2.

Does that basically boil down the places people are quoting to make their arguments?

To me, it seems pretty straight forward, both in spirit and in the actual letter of the rules.

Critical Hit = "... roll[ing] your damage more than once, with all your usual bonuses, and add the rolls together" (aka: extra damage)

No where does it say "immune to crits". Immune implies things they didnt want to imply. They use the verbiage "not subject to critcals" (Not subject to "roll[ing] your damage more than once...").
They use that same verbiage under the Type/Subtype traits. Therefore the two are connected. Undead are not subject to the extra damage but they are subject to separate effects that happen to only go off on a successful crit, as per the rules.

Vorpals in 3.5 only go off on a successful crit on a natural 20. Natural 20 is a crit threat for every weapon and they wanted to limit Vorpal to that so that it wouldn't get out of hand with things like keen scimitars (which is obvious from the change on all crits in 3.0 to only 20 in 3.5).

Fortification is a magical effect (requiring a limited wish or miracle spell even). It does not say it makes the wearer "not subject to criticals" ... it says the critical is "negated".



Main Entry: ne·gate
Pronunciation: ni-'gAt
Function: transitive verb
Inflected Form(s): ne·gat·ed; ne·gat·ing
Etymology: Latin negatus, past participle of negare to say no, deny, from neg- no, not (akin to ne- not) -- more at NO
1 : to deny the existence or truth of
2 : to cause to be ineffective or invalid
synonym see NULLIFY


So fortication causes the very existance of the critical to become invalid by power of a Limited Wish or Miracle. Seems by the letter of the rules, that any on crit effect should NOT go off if the crit is negated (never existed).

SneakThief
07-12-2007, 02:32 PM
The rules don't derive from logic however, and you cannot use logic to justify things which the rules explicitly contradict. Logic would, for example, dictate that someone who wasn't proficient with longswords but spent 10 years wielding one would eventually overcome their penalty to hit with it because they've learned how to wield it. But in D&D you can't just wield a longsword for X number of sessions and then know how to use it, you have to become proficient, by the means the rules provide (generally spending a feat or taking appropriate class levels, though there are a few others out there).

As someone who has acutally studied sword fighting, after many many years of just playing around with them ... Ten years of playing around with them with them will never make someone as proficient as someone with specific training. Sure, after a certain amount of time, you might attain a basic level of proficiency on your own, but in D&D (hell even IRL), wielding a weapon you couldnt hit with in combat, you'd be dead long before that point anyway. Training is the trasfer of knowledge of however many hundreds of years of people that lived to tell how they did it. Its VERY unlikely you're going to do that on your own.

Gimpster
07-13-2007, 12:03 AM
Vorpals in 3.5 only go off on a successful crit on a natural 20.
Absolutely not, if you'd read the rules you pasted above.

Vorpals do NOT go off on a crit; a Vorpal triggers when you successfully role to confirm a crit. If the crit fails for some other reason (like the enemy is undead or has Heavy Fortification), you still confirmed so the vorpal still happens.

Richtenfaust
07-13-2007, 06:40 AM
SWEEEEET!!!

Actually, I saw this ruling the day it came out and was completely overjoyed. To all the people who have so much difficulty interpreting wording and kept telling me that Deathward wasn't supposed to prevent vorpal I must say now: I TOLD YOU SO!! (Refer to the Deathward Vs Vorpal thread... http://forums.ddo.com/showthread.php?t=98052 )

Now, as for there not being justification in the ruling...

"...its trademark ability is still contingent on the confirmation of a critical hit. If that critical hit is ignored, the vorpal ability is stymied."

How exactly is that unclear?

And Gimp, when you were talking about how DDO follows the rules...I think you told me once that DDO shouldn't be used as any sort of official rules interpretation.

By reading the rest of this thread, though, it seems you are not taking this decision well.

WotC has ruled, which means any arguments you make to the contrary are inherently wrong and personal misinterpretations, so why are you still arguing?

Vorpals don't go off on a crit...you are right. They go off on a crit confirmation. Well, if there was never a crit in the first place, HOW CAN YOU CONFIRM IT? Now you are just arguing without logic.

Sneakthief's breakdown of the exact wordings and how they work in harmony is a brilliant interpretation.

Give it up, man. WotC has ruled.

Richtenfaust
07-13-2007, 06:48 AM
Mystic, what you said about wielding something for "x number of sessions and not know how to wield it" is...umm...silly.

See, when you take the *feat* to overcome the penalty, *that* is the point where you finally "get it" and become proficient with the weapon. If you don't take the feat for 100 sessions, it just means your character is ******** and can't seem to grasp the concept of wielding a longsword. If you take it the next session, then you picked it up pretty quick.

So...your argument about D&D not being logical, while a sound argument, has no practical application in arguing about proficiency. Not everyone picks up a skill or proficiency at the same pace, or ever...that is perfectly represented in D&D with the feat system.

MysticTheurge
07-13-2007, 07:16 AM
Now, as for there not being justification in the ruling...

"...its trademark ability is still contingent on the confirmation of a critical hit. If that critical hit is ignored, the vorpal ability is stymied."

How exactly is that unclear?

It seems pretty obvious how it's unclear.

A vampire ignores critical hits. Therefore a vampire cannot be vorpaled, according to the logic above.

Likewise, it means that any other weapons whose "trademark abilities" are "contingent on the confirmation of a critical hit" should be "stymied" if that "critical hit is ignored." This is entirely contrary to the actual printed rules.


Mystic, what you said about wielding something for "x number of sessions and not know how to wield it" is...umm...silly.

Uh, yeah. I know that's not how D&D works. That was the point.

Yaga_Nub
07-13-2007, 07:50 AM
.......

Give it up, man. WotC has ruled.

WotC didn't rule. As far as I know WotC has never said that the Sage's decision became canon. The Sage is NOT WotC.

From the website:

About the Author
The Sage is a mammal classified in the bear family, Ursidae, native to central and southern China. Debate continues as to whether he is truly a bear or more related to the raccoon rather than the bear, or perhaps in a family of his own. When not eating bamboo and answering rules questions, he works under the nom de plume of Andy Collins as an RPG developer in Wizards of the Coast R&D, where his development credits include Complete Mage, Dragon Magic, and the Player's Handbook v.3.5. He can be easily recognized by his large, distinctive black patches around the eyes, ears and on his rotund body.

So the Sage is answering questions, most likely using his own interpretation of the rules, and putting those answers out for everyone to see, not necessarily to use.

If you can find an offical statement anywhere on the WotC website that says that the Sage's interpretation are in fact WotC's intent for the rules please post it otherwise every single person's interpretation in the thread is just as valid as the Sage's or any others.

Gimpster
07-13-2007, 08:27 AM
WotC didn't rule. As far as I know WotC has never said that the Sage's decision became canon. The Sage is NOT WotC.

From the website:

About the Author
The Sage is a mammal classified in the bear family, Ursidae, native to central and southern China...he works under the nom de plume of Andy Collins
No, the text you quoted identifying him as Andy Collins is not included at the end of the Vorpal vs Fortification question. The other Sage Advice questions generally have that text, but not this one, suggesting that a different person might have written it.


If you can find an offical statement anywhere on the WotC website that says that the Sage's interpretation are in fact WotC's intent for the rules please post it otherwise every single person's interpretation in the thread is just as valid as the Sage's or any others.
The Sage Advice answers are always folded into an official FAQ after a short timeframe (unless the answer turns out to have been mistaken, which has happened before)

Gimpster
07-13-2007, 08:30 AM
And Gimp, when you were talking about how DDO follows the rules...I think you told me once that DDO shouldn't be used as any sort of official rules interpretation.
That's true.


By reading the rest of this thread, though, it seems you are not taking this decision well.
That is an utter non-sequitur.


WotC has ruled, which means any arguments you make to the contrary are inherently wrong and personal misinterpretations, so why are you still arguing?
When an authority figure makes a mistake, it's still wrong.


Vorpals don't go off on a crit...you are right. They go off on a crit confirmation. Well, if there was never a crit in the first place, HOW CAN YOU CONFIRM IT?
By rolling a second d20+attack bonus and beating the target's AC, obviously. That's how they are confirmed.

Treerat
07-13-2007, 11:13 AM
Simple solution to this - ask what order things are confirmed in. If it's roll > critical threat > fortification > confirm critical hit, then 100% fortification is probably intended to stop things like vorpal (and bursting, etc). If the order is roll > critical threat > confirm critical hit > check fortification, then it's unlikely to be intended as a means to stop vorpal. Since in this case the critical hit is confirmed (prior to which there is no critical hit, only the threat of one) and the fortification simply prevents the extra damage.

And people wonder why there aren't any 18+ gaming groups in my area that use 3.0 edition. If we tried using those rules, we would be constantly having to change outcomes. AD&D doesn't change (especially now since Wizards keeps its greedy mass-marketing paws away from it) so there is a level of consistency in the rules.

SneakThief
07-13-2007, 11:40 AM
Absolutely not, if you'd read the rules you pasted above.

Vorpals do NOT go off on a crit; a Vorpal triggers when you successfully role to confirm a crit. If the crit fails for some other reason (like the enemy is undead or has Heavy Fortification), you still confirmed so the vorpal still happens.

Yes, rolling a 20 followed by a successful confirmation roll is a successful crit on a natural 20. Exactly. The vorpal rules went from any successful crit to only successful crits on a natural 20.

A crit doesnt fail because something is undead ... there is only one way a crit can fail and that is if you dont successfully confirm. The undead is not subject to the extra damage (a critical hit IS defined as the extra damage). So yes, on a successful natural 20 crit, the vorpal still goes off even if the creature is not subject to the extra damage.

And well, the whole thread is about how the Vorpal DOES NOT go off with fortification, so. The reason is right there in the rules, fortification negates (makes non-existent) the crit. If there never was a crit, then the on-crit effect cant go off.

SneakThief
07-13-2007, 11:55 AM
Simple solution to this - ask what order things are confirmed in. If it's roll > critical threat > fortification > confirm critical hit, then 100% fortification is probably intended to stop things like vorpal (and bursting, etc). If the order is roll > critical threat > confirm critical hit > check fortification, then it's unlikely to be intended as a means to stop vorpal. Since in this case the critical hit is confirmed (prior to which there is no critical hit, only the threat of one) and the fortification simply prevents the extra damage.

Actually, I would argue that the only order that mattered would be where an on crit effect took place.

Technically you couldn't have "roll > critical threat > fortification > confirm critical hit" because until its confirmed, there is no crit, only a threat.

If I had to diagram this:
Roll > Hit = Y > Crit (Threat + Confirm) = Y > Fort = N > Effects
Roll > Hit = Y > Crit (Threat + Confirm) = N > Normal Damage

Fortification only comes into play if its a crit (which means a threat and a successful confirm). Fortification negates (make non-existant) the crit, which basically backs up flow to the "Hit" portion and erases the crit.

dameron
07-13-2007, 12:14 PM
Yes, rolling a 20 followed by a successful confirmation roll is a successful crit on a natural 20. Exactly. The vorpal rules went from any successful crit to only successful crits on a natural 20.

A crit doesnt fail because something is undead ... there is only one way a crit can fail and that is if you dont successfully confirm. The undead is not subject to the extra damage (a critical hit IS defined as the extra damage). So yes, on a successful natural 20 crit, the vorpal still goes off even if the creature is not subject to the extra damage.

And well, the whole thread is about how the Vorpal DOES NOT go off with fortification, so. The reason is right there in the rules, fortification negates (makes non-existent) the crit. If there never was a crit, then the on-crit effect cant go off.

Agreed, 100%. It's not about creature's immunity to critical hits (vampires, constructs, etc.) it is solely about fortification's abiliity two negate crits, to completely different things.

And, if I were a vampire, I'd start running BAM, stat, since without that gorget a vorpal can cut your head off.

Gelandor
07-13-2007, 12:51 PM
I don't get why this is so hard to understand:



Magic Weapons and Critical Hits
Some weapon qualities and some specific weapons have an extra effect on a critical hit. This special effect functions against creatures not subject to critical hits, such as undead, elementals, and constructs. When fighting against such creatures, roll for critical hits as you would against humanoids or any other creature subject to critical hits. On a successful critical roll, apply the special effect, but do not multiply the weapon’s regular damage.


This says that weapons that have extra effects on them still go off, even if there the creature is not subject to critical hits, just the additional weapon damage multiplier is not added.

Sage got it wrong, thats all there is to it.

Richtenfaust
07-13-2007, 03:51 PM
WotC didn't rule. As far as I know WotC has never said that the Sage's decision became canon. The Sage is NOT WotC.

From the website:

About the Author
The Sage is a mammal classified in the bear family, Ursidae, native to central and southern China. Debate continues as to whether he is truly a bear or more related to the raccoon rather than the bear, or perhaps in a family of his own. When not eating bamboo and answering rules questions, he works under the nom de plume of Andy Collins as an RPG developer in Wizards of the Coast R&D, where his development credits include Complete Mage, Dragon Magic, and the Player's Handbook v.3.5. He can be easily recognized by his large, distinctive black patches around the eyes, ears and on his rotund body.

So the Sage is answering questions, most likely using his own interpretation of the rules, and putting those answers out for everyone to see, not necessarily to use.

If you can find an offical statement anywhere on the WotC website that says that the Sage's interpretation are in fact WotC's intent for the rules please post it otherwise every single person's interpretation in the thread is just as valid as the Sage's or any others.

So...the guy had a hand in the PHB 3.5 and several other books...he works in R&D...WotC posts his Q&A's on the DUNGEONS & DRAGONS PORTION OF THE WOTC WEBSITE...but...his answers are unsanctioned by D&D and WotC? Yeah...if you could just stop posting, that would be great. Clearly the concept of logic escapes you.

MysticTheurge
07-13-2007, 04:21 PM
You guys keep acting like "negate the critical hit" is all the fortification description says. It's not. Fortification says "there is a chance that the critical hit or sneak attack is negated and damage is instead rolled normally." The damage is instead rolled normally. That's the effect of "negating" a critical hit. It's pretty much the same as not being subject to critical hits. On-crit effects can still go off.

Furthermore, a vorpal doesn't even require a critical hit, it simply requires a to-hit roll of a 20 and then a successful roll to confirm the critical. Both of those things happen even if you want to argue that Fortification later "negates" the critical hit. Even supposing that fortification negates criticals and therefore on-critical effects, the following scenario takes place with a vorpal.

Roll to hit -> Get a 20
Roll to confirm -> Meet or exceed the target's AC (i.e. a successful confirmation roll)
Roll % check for Fortification -> Fortification succeeds at negating the critical hit

All vorpal asks is: Did you roll a 20? Did you then roll successfully on the confirmation roll? If the answer to both of those things is yes, then you chop off the target's head. Vorpal does not require a successful critical hit.

You could theoretically argue that a successful percentage check for Fortification negates a critical hit and therefore prevents any effect that requires a successful critical hit (such as Burst weapons), though I think this is fairly clearly counter to the spirit of the rule regarding "Magic Weapons and Critical Hits" that precedes the magic weapons section. You very clearly cannot use that argument against vorpals which do not require a successful critical hit.

MysticTheurge
07-13-2007, 04:30 PM
So...the guy had a hand in the PHB 3.5 and several other books...he works in R&D...WotC posts his Q&A's on the DUNGEONS & DRAGONS PORTION OF THE WOTC WEBSITE...but...his answers are unsanctioned by D&D and WotC? Yeah...if you could just stop posting, that would be great. Clearly the concept of logic escapes you.

Yaga Nub is correct to a degree. "Sage Advice" answers rate pretty low on the scale of "real answers."

Core Books with Errata (with the FAQ to aid in understanding them)
Other Supplements and books with Errata (and sometimes FAQ to understand them)
Sage Advice and other WotC online columns
Other comments from WotC employees such as Customer Service

There are a couple problems here. First and most obvious (and the one that's being discussed) is that the Sage Advice answer in question has some flaws in it when compared to things that are actually published in the Core Books.

Second, as Gimpster points out, that blurb about Andy Collins is not, in fact, at the end of the Sage Advice in question, implying that he is not the one who answered the question. Thus Mr. Collins' status as one of the authors of the PHB is irrelevant.

Third, as Gimpster also points out, just because he works for WotC doesn't mean he can't be entirely and completely wrong about this. Customer Service has given out almost innumerable wrong answers to questions, sometimes going so far as to contradict themselves when asked the same question multiple times. Likewise, the Sage has been wrong before. Heck, even the books are wrong at times, or else there wouldn't have to be Errata.

Fourth, as Yaga Nub and Gimpster both point out, vetted (and correct) Sage Advice answers generally make their way into the FAQ, especially if they come up a lot and/or are related to confusing source material such as this. Until that time, the Sage Advice answer is to be taken with a grain of salt.

Richtenfaust
07-13-2007, 04:36 PM
Did you read what you just wrote?

"A vorpal doesn't need a critical hit...it just needs a successful roll to confirm the critical..."

Confirm...verify...make valid...render true and accurate...

Per the DMG 3.5, pg. 219:

"Fortification: ...effectively. When a critical hit or sneak attack is scored on the wearer, there is a chance (with Hvy Fort there is no chance, since it is 100% effective) that the critical hit or sneak attack is negated and damage is instead rolled normally."

Step 1: roll a 20
Step 2: roll to confirm Crit
Step 3: If confirmed, roll Fort (with 100% Fort, no roll necessary)
Step 4: Negate crit if Fort is successful (ignore extra damage and effects generated by steps 1 & 2).

I'll concede that a crit was rolled and confirmed to start, but negating it is the key here. If you negate the crit, it was never confirmed because it didn't exist in the first place.

How about a CCG series of events:

roll 20...20 goes on stack
roll confirmation...if confirmed, crit effect goes on stack
check Fort...if successful, Fort effect goes on stack

Fort comes off first, negating the crit effect... A 20 was still rolled, but damage is dealt normally, since no crit actually occurred.

Now, Gimp, I will also concede that it is possible for people to make poor judgements, even those who make the rules. But here's the kicker...if they make an official ruling, it is then part of the rules, and no longer a mistake...whether anyone else agrees with it or not. Poor judgement? In your opinion, yes. A mistake, as in "oops, didn't mean to post that ruling...we were *way* off..."? No. It is a rule now. If it is a mistake, they will rescend it...then you can all feel free to flame me as much as you like. But for the moment, the law is on my side...as they say.

Richtenfaust
07-13-2007, 04:41 PM
Yaga Nub is correct to a degree. "Sage Advice" answers rate pretty low on the scale of "real answers."

Core Books with Errata (with the FAQ to aid in understanding them)
Other Supplements and books with Errata (and sometimes FAQ to understand them)
Sage Advice and other WotC online columns
Other comments from WotC employees such as Customer Service

There are a couple problems here. First and most obvious (and the one that's being discussed) is that the Sage Advice answer in question has some flaws in it when compared to things that are actually published in the Core Books.

Second, as Gimpster points out, that blurb about Andy Collins is not, in fact, at the end of the Sage Advice in question, implying that he is not the one who answered the question. Thus Mr. Collins' status as one of the authors of the PHB is irrelevant.

Third, as Gimpster also points out, just because he works for WotC doesn't mean he can't be entirely and completely wrong about this. Customer Service has given out almost innumerable wrong answers to questions, sometimes going so far as to contradict themselves when asked the same question multiple times. Likewise, the Sage has been wrong before. Heck, even the books are wrong at times, or else there wouldn't have to be Errata.

Fourth, as Yaga Nub and Gimpster both point out, vetted (and correct) Sage Advice answers generally make their way into the FAQ, especially if they come up a lot and/or are related to confusing source material such as this. Until that time, the Sage Advice answer is to be taken with a grain of salt.

So *when* they put it in a FAQ, I get to say "I told you so" again? Sweet.

MysticTheurge
07-13-2007, 04:42 PM
I'll concede that a crit was rolled and confirmed to start, but negating it is the key here. If you negate the crit, it was never confirmed because it didn't exist in the first place.

No. That's not how criticals work in D&D.

First you have a critical threat. Then you roll to confirm. If you confirm you have a critical. Negating a critical can't, by any stretch of the imagination, be extended to also negating the threat or preventing the confirmation. And those two things (a 20 on the original roll and a successful confirmation roll) are all that are required for a vorpal to take effect.


How about a CCG series of events

Please explain how this is, in any way, relevant? Why not true making your point using, I don't know, the D&D rules?


But here's the kicker...if they make an official ruling, it is then part of the rules, and no longer a mistake...whether anyone else agrees with it or not.

A "Sage Advice" answer is not considered "part of the rules." Sorry.

MysticTheurge
07-13-2007, 04:43 PM
So if they put it in a FAQ, I get to say "I told you so"? Sweet.

Fixed.

SneakThief
07-13-2007, 06:05 PM
No. That's not how criticals work in D&D.

First you have a critical threat. Then you roll to confirm. If you confirm you have a critical.

Well ... First you have to hit. Then it has to be in the threat range. THEN you have to confirm. IF you have a hit, a threat, and a confirm, you have a critical hit. If there is no confirm there is no critical hit. If there is no threat, there is no confirm. And of course, no hit, no threat.

To simplify, no threat or no confirm = no critical hit. So critical hit = threat + confirm. Basic logic.


Negating a critical can't, by any stretch of the imagination, be extended to also negating the threat or preventing the confirmation.

Then what do you think negating a critcal means? How do you define negate? And certainly how do you define a critical hit, because obviously neither of your definitions conform with reality.

No crit = no threat or no confim. no threat = no confirm. No confirm = no vorpal. Negating a critical would mean negating at least one part of the equation, and negating either part of the equation negates the whole thing.


And those two things (a 20 on the original roll and a successful confirmation roll) are all that are required for a vorpal to take effect.

You cant change the definition of Vorpal to just say "if you roll a 20, make another to-hit roll against thier AC". Vorpal says "to confirm the critical hit". Fortification says the "critical hit or sneak attack is negated" (not the hit is negated). Negated means to deny the existence of or make invalid. You cant change the definition of either just to suit you.

MysticTheurge
07-13-2007, 06:43 PM
Then what do you think negating a critcal means? How do you define negate? And certainly how do you define a critical hit, because obviously neither of your definitions conform with reality.

To use your train of thought:

Hit --> Threat --> Confirmation Roll --> Critical Hit

How does "negating the critical hit" negate anything before it in the chain? You still had (and have) a threat. You still had (and have) a successful roll to confirm the critical. What you no longer have though, is a critical. That's all.


No crit = no threat or no confim. no threat = no confirm. No confirm = no vorpal.

No. This logic is clearly false because there are cases where you confirm a critical and yet there is not an actual critical. Such as when you're using a bursting weapon against undead (or something else not subject to critical hits). Likewise, you can have a "threat" against undead, it's just not going to amount to anything. You can say "no threat means no critical" but the phrase is not commutative. That is, you cannot say "no critical means no threat." I think that's the main flaw in your thinking right there.

Or perhaps you're simply missing a factor in your faux-math equation:

Hit + Threat + Confirmation + Vulnerable to Critical Hits = Critical Hit

You can thusly, obviously, negate the critical by making the target invulnerable to critical hits as fortification does for a given attack.

Regardless of what the "math" says, fortification in no way suggests that it prevents threats or makes confirmation rolls unsuccessful. It simply negates the critical (which it goes on to explain merely means that the damage is rolled normally).


You cant change the definition of Vorpal to just say "if you roll a 20, make another to-hit roll against thier AC".

I haven't. That's the description of a vorpal. If you roll a 20 and a successful roll to confirm then you vorpal. A roll to confirm is considered successful if it hits the target's AC.

A vorpal does not say if you roll a 20 and score a critical hit against the target. As such, it's absolutely irrelevant whether you negate the "critical" since it's not required for the vorpal to take effect.

dameron
07-13-2007, 07:13 PM
Now, the part about the critical hit being negated might matter if a vorpal required a successful critical hit. But it doesn't. It requires, from your very own quote, "a roll of natural 20 (followed by a successful roll to confirm the critical hit)" and there's absolutely nothing in the fortification rules that prevents either of those things from happening.

The Razor Boar entry from the srd:


Vorpal Tusks (Ex)

On a successful critical hit against a creature of up to one size category larger than itself, the razor boars's tusk slash attack severs the opponents head (if it has one) from its body.


Vorpal Tusk clearly requires a successful critical hit as it uses exactly that term.

It's likely the only reason the "Vorpal" entry under weapons is written the way it is (natural 20 + confirmation roll) is because they specifically wanted to point out that a natural 20 is required regardless of the weapon's natural crit range since this is a big deviation from 3.0.

In fact that's exactly why the sage referenced that it can "can even modify some aspects of the weapon’s critical range".

Remember, we're talking about fortification, not crit immunity.

So you can still vorpal a vampire, but not a vampire in a power suit.

MysticTheurge
07-13-2007, 09:26 PM
Vorpal Tusk clearly requires a successful critical hit as it uses exactly that term.

And by all means, argue that fortification blocks vorpal tusks.


It's likely the only reason the "Vorpal" entry under weapons is written the way it is (natural 20 + confirmation roll) is because they specifically wanted to point out that a natural 20 is required regardless of the weapon's natural crit range since this is a big deviation from 3.0.

This is pure and utter speculation.

And if we're going to get into what the writer's meant to say, I think it's pretty clear that the inclusion of an entire subheading and paragraph on the fact that on-crit effects can affect you even if the critical doesn't affect you would point heavily in my favor.


Remember, we're talking about fortification, not crit immunity.

Well, I've spent a large part of the thread talking about the justification the Sage actually cites and how it's clearly wrong as it uses the failure to crit as the reason the vorpal doesn't work, and the vorpal description itself flat out says that you can vorpal things that you can't crit.

dameron
07-13-2007, 11:42 PM
And by all means, argue that fortification blocks vorpal tusks.


So you'd be perfectly happy explaining to a character why the Boar couldn't cut his head off but the sword could. Good luck with that. :)



This is pure and utter speculation.


I just contrasted the two "vorpal" abilities in the srd, and it's no less speculative than you wildly assuming that this ruling has anything to do with undead or bursting weapons or anything other than fortification and vorpal weapons. Read narrowly and it makes perfect sense.



And if we're going to get into what the writer's meant to say, I think it's pretty clear that the inclusion of an entire subheading and paragraph on the fact that on-crit effects can affect you even if the critical doesn't affect you would point heavily in my favor.


It would, if fort were written like simple race or subtype specific critical immunity, but it's not, and the interpretation the sage gives conveniently leaves all other on-crit weapons intact against things they're designed to destroy.

Pretty weird huh, how what I see as a simple expansion of fort's power vs. vorpals stays just that.



Well, I've spent a large part of the thread talking about the justification the Sage actually cites and how it's clearly wrong as it uses the failure to crit as t1he reason the vorpal doesn't work, and the vorpal description itself flat out says that you can vorpal things that you can't crit.

That paragraph stinks of racial or type critical immunity, for example:



When fighting against such creatures, roll for critical hits as you would against humanoids or any other creature subject to critical hits.


So not at all "fortification", which is a completely different ability than race/type immunities. Thus vampires with neck braces.

I any case the "Vorpal Tusk" writing is pretty damning if you read it without having a pony in the race, and I think my interpretation is spot on.

You know what we should do? We should ask WotC if fort protects against vorpals.

Oh wait...

SneakThief
07-14-2007, 01:50 AM
To use your train of thought:

Hit --> Threat --> Confirmation Roll --> Critical Hit

How does "negating the critical hit" negate anything before it in the chain? You still had (and have) a threat. You still had (and have) a successful roll to confirm the critical. What you no longer have though, is a critical. That's all.
Except that wasnt my train of thought. Thats what you made up. A hit is ONLY a critcal hit if it has a threat and a confirmation.

Again, simple Logic 101 (ps, its not math its logic):
If you have a threat AND a confirm, THEN you have a critical hit.
If A=True AND B=True THEN C=True.
Therefore, if A=False OR B=False THEN C=False.
And also, if C=False THEN A=False AND/OR B=False.

Can you argue against that? Are you trying to say you can have a critical hit WITHOUT a threat or WITHOUT a confirmation?


No. This logic is clearly false because there are cases where you confirm a critical and yet there is not an actual critical. Such as when you're using a bursting weapon against undead (or something else not subject to critical hits). Likewise, you can have a "threat" against undead, it's just not going to amount to anything. You can say "no threat means no critical" but the phrase is not commutative. That is, you cannot say "no critical means no threat." I think that's the main flaw in your thinking right there.
The logic isnt false, you are just applying a falsehood to it. A bursting weapon against an undead is a fine example.

Hit, Threat, Confirm

You have still made a successful critical hit. Undead dont negate anything, the rules say they are "not subject" to critical hits, and under critical hits says that a critical hit means the extra damage from the weapon(multiplier). The undead is only ignoring (not being subject to) that extra damage multiplier because it has no critical points to hit. Its not negating the critical or anything else.


Or perhaps you're simply missing a factor in your faux-math equation:

Hit + Threat + Confirmation + Vulnerable to Critical Hits = Critical Hit

You can thusly, obviously, negate the critical by making the target invulnerable to critical hits as fortification does for a given attack.
Except this is wrong too. The crit still goes off. You just dont get to apply the extra damage from the multiplier because they ignore it(are not subject to it).
And again, its not math or faux math, its basic remedial logic (might be good for you to learn the difference).


Regardless of what the "math" says, fortification in no way suggests that it prevents threats or makes confirmation rolls unsuccessful. It simply negates the critical (which it goes on to explain merely means that the damage is rolled normally).
Exactly. Its says negate. How do you define negate? Seriously ...
They use completely different terminology for Fortification for a reason. Its a magical effect powered by a Limited Wish or a Miracle for crying out loud. It magically makes the hit a normal one instead of a crit.


I haven't. That's the description of a vorpal. If you roll a 20 and a successful roll to confirm then you vorpal. A roll to confirm is considered successful if it hits the target's AC.

A vorpal does not say if you roll a 20 and score a critical hit against the target. As such, it's absolutely irrelevant whether you negate the "critical" since it's not required for the vorpal to take effect.
Wow ... so thats what it says huh? It says "if you roll a 20, make another to-hit roll against thier AC"? Really? NOPE! It says role to confirm the critical. A 20 is a threat on every weapon including a wet noodle. Its in the very definition of critical hit. So you have a threat, and then you are rolling to "confirm the critical"(the actual wording in Vorpal) and yet somehow its not a critical hit? Face it already. Its a critical hit ignoring any increased threat ranges.

MysticTheurge
07-14-2007, 09:04 AM
So you'd be perfectly happy explaining to a character why the Boar couldn't cut his head off but the sword could. Good luck with that. :)

I'm simply pointing out that the two things are written differently.


I just contrasted the two "vorpal" abilities in the srd, and it's no less speculative than you wildly assuming that this ruling has anything to do with undead or bursting weapons or anything other than fortification and vorpal weapons. Read narrowly and it makes perfect sense.

Except the rules I'm referencing don't talk about "undead" and "bursting weapons." They talk about things that aren't "subject to critical hits" and weapons that "have an extra effect on a critical hit."


It would, if fort were written like simple race or subtype specific critical immunity, but it's not, and the interpretation the sage gives conveniently leaves all other on-crit weapons intact against things they're designed to destroy.

Fortification is written the way it is because it's an active ability. Furthermore, it can't use the phrase "not subject to critical hits" because with anything but Heavy Fortification the owner is still subject to (a certain percentage of) critical hits.

I think, however, the intent of that paragraph is pretty clear. Things that don't get critical'ed can still be affected by an on-critical effect. That is pretty obviously the intent of that paragraph. Trying to make a distinction between "not subject to critical hits" and "critical hits are negated" is making a big deal about a minor difference in words.


Pretty weird huh, how what I see as a simple expansion of fort's power vs. vorpals stays just that.

Again, this is patently untrue. At the very least, the sage's ruling states that Fortification stops all on-crit affects. The Sage Advice answer says "...its trademark ability is still contingent on the confirmation of a critical hit. If that critical hit is ignored, the vorpal ability is stymied."

This can easily be extended to any magical weapon or property that has an ability "contingent on the confirmation of a critical hit."

Further more, the last sentence pretty readily suggest that the ruling counters the paragraph on "Magic Weapons and Critical Hits." "If that critical hitis ignored," he says, "the <magical weapon property> is stymied." Regardless of whether you're "negating" the critical hit or if you're simply "not subject" to them, you're definitely "ignoring" the critical hit.

So regardless of your interpretation(s) of the rules, the Sage Advice answer and it's reasonings is pretty clearly counter to the D&D rules as written.



Again, simple Logic 101 (ps, its not math its logic):
If you have a threat AND a confirm, THEN you have a critical hit.
If A=True AND B=True THEN C=True.
Therefore, if A=False OR B=False THEN C=False.
And also, if C=False THEN A=False AND/OR B=False.

And again, you assume the logic is commutative which there's no reason or proof to believe. You seem to be confusing preconditions with properties.

For example:

If a quadrilateral has four sides of the same length (A) and it has four right angles (B) then it is a square (C). In this case, your logic holds. If the quadrilateral is not a square then it either doesn't have four equal sides or it doesn't have four right angles.

But alternatively consider this statement. If a quadrilateral is a parallelogram (A) then it may be a rectangle. If it's also a rectangle (B) then it may be a Square (C). There are methods by which C can be false, but A and B can still be true.

The latter is the situation here. If you score a hit (A) it might be a threat. If it's a Threat (B) then you roll a confirmation roll. If you succeed on your confirmation roll (C) then you may also have a critical hit (D). But there are ways to not have D and still have A, B and C.


Can you argue against that? Are you trying to say you can have a critical hit WITHOUT a threat or WITHOUT a confirmation?

I've never suggested that. What I have said is that you can have a threat and a successful confirmation roll without actually having a critical.


The logic isnt false, you are just applying a falsehood to it. A bursting weapon against an undead is a fine example.

Hit, Threat, Confirm

You have still made a successful critical hit. Undead dont negate anything, the rules say they are "not subject" to critical hits

Incorrect. You cannot have a successful critical hit against an undead target because undead targets are not subject to critical hits. How can you possibly apply an effect to something that is not subject to that effect? You're attempting to ignore the english language here. Let's look at the other things that creatures are "not subject to"

If something is not subject to Nonlethal damage can you hit it with nonlethal damage?
If something is not subject to ability damage, can you damage its abilities?
If something is not subject to fatigue, can you fatigue it?
If something is not subject to energy drain, can you energy drain it?

And yet, your logic states that being "not subject to critical hits" means you can still score a critical hit against the target.



and under critical hits says that a critical hit means the extra damage from the weapon(multiplier). The undead is only ignoring (not being subject to) that extra damage multiplier because it has no critical points to hit. Its not negating the critical or anything else.

Ok, you've got me really confused now.

Under the critical hit rules it says that a "critical hit" means "extra damage from the weapon." But somehow fortification which negates the critical hit ("extra damage from the weapon") also negates other on-crit effects?

But since the undead is only ignoring the critical hit ("extra damage from the weapon") it still gets hit by the on-crit effect?

I can't possibly see how you think that's logical.


Exactly. Its says negate. How do you define negate? Seriously ...
They use completely different terminology for Fortification for a reason.

Yes, they do. They use completely different terminology because fortification is an active effect (you have to roll dice and see if it takes effect and if it does then something happens).

Can you imagine how awkward that sentence would be if you tried to use the "not subject to critical hits" concept there?

"When a critical hit or sneak attack is scored on the wearer, there is a chance that the wearer is not subject to that particular critical hit or sneak attack and damage is instead rolled normally."

It sounds silly.


Its a magical effect powered by a Limited Wish or a Miracle for crying out loud.

I fail to see how that's relevant.


It magically makes the hit a normal one instead of a crit.

Just like "not being subject to critical hits" does. But you can still suffer on-crit effects.

rev_g33k_101
07-15-2007, 12:13 AM
Just like "not being subject to critical hits" does. But you can still suffer on-crit effects.

Ok I have sat here and watched this for quite a while and have finally gotten to the point that I must throw my $2,000,000 in the ring.

Not being subject to critical hits is defined differently then fortification for a good reason.

Not being subject to critical hits = I stab ZombieX in the spleen, ZombieX's spleen dose not work and has not for years, ZombieX does not, I repeat does not, suffer internal hemorrhaging like his living Human-Dwarf-Elf-Halfling-Half Elf counterpart does, damage is still dealt to ZombieX's spleen but the effect is not on the same level as it would be if he/she was alive.

Critical hit is negated = I go to stab Human FighterX's spleen, fortification kicks in protecting Human FighterX's spleen, my hit becomes a flesh wound, Human FighterX now requires only a heal light wounds to recover form his injuries (as opposed to the Cure Critical he would require had the critical hit not been negated) and continues to fight another day.

Or if you wish here is the same thing from a different prospective.

Why Vorpal works on undead and not on PC/NPC's wearing or having fortification

In order for vorpal to work it must be able to hit or sever the "vital" organs in the neck. (I put vital in quotes because the organs of undead are not necessarily so....well... vital!) there is nothing stopping you from cutting the head off an undead creature (unless it is already missing its head) so go ahead have a field day slicing the heads off of these vile creatures, but nothing says this will end their un-life. (except in the case of vampires where the rules clearly state that decapitation is one of the best ways to end its reign of terror)

Fortification on the other hand is a magical barrier protecting the vital organs, (I like to think of it as a suit of armor just under the muscle before the internal organs, the larger the percentage of fortification the more organs the suit covers) that the vorpal weapon can not pass through, therefore negating the ability to remove the head. But still dealing damage to the skin and muscle of the target (hence damage is still rolled normally)

Now you may ask....

"Well Rev_g33k_101 how do burst weapons still...... well.... burst?"

I answer you like this; Burst weapons burst on a peculiarly solid hit. The bust is not contingent on access to the vital organs of the target, only the skin, so when you confirm the critical hit you confirm that you have hit more solid then normal and the weapon bursts. But you don’t get to hit the vital organs because the fortification has stoped the weapon from making physical contact with the organs, therefore no internal bleeding and no extra physical damage from the weapon. But the flame, for example, can still sear the flesh of the target with out hitting the organs.

Argument over.

Gimpster
07-15-2007, 12:50 AM
I answer you like this; Burst weapons burst on a peculiarly solid hit. The bust is not contingent on access to the vital organs of the target, only the skin
I admit: inventing your own rules from thin air is a very effective way to "win" arguments.

rev_g33k_101
07-15-2007, 01:13 AM
I admit: inventing your own rules from thin air is a very effective way to "win" arguments.

What part of the description of a burst weapon even implies requiring contact with the internal organs of the target?

How else would explain burst weapons bursting on Warforged and the like?

I tried to constructive, your turn.

Gimpster
07-15-2007, 01:17 AM
What part of the description of a burst weapon even implies requiring contact with the internal organs of the target?
It says nothing one way or another. Your claim that burst triggers based on the strength of the hit is your own invention. It may or may not make some sense, but that is not relevant: you made it up.

In the first post to this thread I stipulated that there are logical in-character explanations for Fortification to prevent Vorpal. But those explanations are counter to the rules.


How else would explain burst weapons bursting on Warforged and the like?
The rules says it works on them, therefore it works on them. (Note that warforged are not immune to critical hits)

rev_g33k_101
07-15-2007, 01:34 AM
It says nothing one way or another. Your claim that burst triggers based on the strength of the hit is your own invention. It may or may not make some sense, but that is not relevant: you made it up.

In the first post to this thread I stipulated that there are logical in-character explanations for Fortification to prevent Vorpal. But those explanations are counter to the rules.


The rules says it works on them, therefore it works on them. (Note that warforged are not immune to critical hits)


Way to take the "R" out of an RPG, the rules of the game are there to assist the DM in creating the world he/she submerges the players in to. To say that the rules are there just because they are means you do not truly understand the rules and the effect they have on the world that is made by the DM.

To understand why things interact the way the rules say do you have to look beyond the mechanics of the game, in to your imagination and make the world live in your mind.

I understand this is not pen and paper, but just because the picture of the world is on your screen not in your mind, dose not mean you take what is there for face value. Continue to use your imagination to add color and life to Stormreatch.

MysticTheurge
07-15-2007, 09:39 AM
Burst weapons burst on a peculiarly solid hit. The bust is not contingent on access to the vital organs of the target, only the skin, so when you confirm the critical hit you confirm that you have hit more solid then normal and the weapon bursts.

And here's my response:

Vorpal weapons slice off the head of your target on a particularly solid hit, magically enforcing themselves and carving through any defenses your target may have like butter.

Vorpal doesn't care if you have DR 100/-, vorpal doesn't care whether you're wearing heavy armor around your neck, vorpal doesn't care if there's a magical field protecting your vital organs. Vorpal cuts off your head when the confirmation roll is successful.

See, making up reasons is fun! Except of course mine's in keeping with the rules and yours isn't.

rev_g33k_101
07-15-2007, 01:18 PM
See, making up reasons is fun! Except of course mine's in keeping with the rules and yours isn't.

I think you need to take a look at the first two parts of my justification again; my reasons are based on the descriptions given by the weapon/item match up.

Yours is based only on the vorpral description not taking in to account the description of fortification.

MysticTheurge
07-15-2007, 02:09 PM
I think you need to take a look at the first two parts of my justification again; my reasons are based on the descriptions given by the weapon/item match up.

Yours is based only on the vorpral description not taking in to account the description of fortification.

Well mine is really based on the rules and uses some of the flavor text to derive a meaningful and logical explanation. Where as yours interprets the flavor text to derive rules which are counter to those that are written in the books.

rev_g33k_101
07-15-2007, 10:09 PM
Well mine is really based on the rules and uses some of the flavor text to derive a meaningful and logical explanation. Where as yours interprets the flavor text to derive rules which are counter to those that are written in the books.

Might I ask what parts of the descriptions are, as you say, "flavor text"?

Because it seems to me all of the written description is necessary to determine how the items work.

MysticTheurge
07-16-2007, 07:10 AM
Might I ask what parts of the descriptions are, as you say, "flavor text"?

Because it seems to me all of the written description is necessary to determine how the items work.

Flavor Text: "This suit of armor or shield produces a magical force that protects vital areas of the wearer more effectively."

Rules: "When a critical hit or sneak attack is scored on the wearer, there is a chance that the critical hit or sneak attack is negated and damage is instead rolled normally."

rev_g33k_101
07-16-2007, 11:13 AM
Flavor Text: "This suit of armor or shield produces a magical force that protects vital areas of the wearer more effectively."

Rules: "When a critical hit or sneak attack is scored on the wearer, there is a chance that the critical hit or sneak attack is negated and damage is instead rolled normally."


So going off your template;
What is going on here is you are counting out part of the rules based on calling it "Flavor Text" as a means to lessen its significance and impact on the rule, just to suit your side of the argument.

(By the way. You talk about making things up? I have never seen the term “Flavor Text” in D&D in all my years playing it, I have however encountered it numerous times in the CCG Magic the Gathering. “Flavor Text” is not a D&D term)


This could be likened to some under handed political practices…..

But I won’t go in to that.

MysticTheurge
07-16-2007, 11:54 AM
So going off your template;
What is going on here is you are counting out part of the rules based on calling it "Flavor Text" as a means to lessen its significance and impact on the rule, just to suit your side of the argument.

Flavor text has no impact on the rules because it's not written as rules nor using rules terms. Let's look at a few other armors and see if we can differentiate between flavor text and rules. I'll put the flavor text in blue and the rules in yellow, since we apparently enjoy coloring our posts.


Cold Resistance

A suit of armor or a shield with this property normally has a bluish, icy hue or is adorned with furs and shaggy pelts. The armor absorbs the first 10 points of cold damage per attack that the wearer would normally take (similar to the resist energy spell).

See how the first sentence doesn't actually tell us anything about how the armor interacts with the D&D rules? That's flavor text. See how the second sentence tells us what the armor actually does? That's the relevant rules.

Should we assume that armor decorated with fur takes extra damage from fire attacks? Fur burns after all, right? It would probably also burn for a while. Thus let's pretend that the flavor text tells us that anytime someone wearing Armor of Cold Resistance gets hit with a fire attack they are afflicted with the "Burn" ability as described under the Fire Elemental entry. In order to put out the fires on your Armor of Cold Resistance you have to take a move action, otherwise you'll keep taking fire damage each round.

That makes sense right? I mean it's all right there in the description for Cold Resistance.


Ghost Touch

This armor or shield seems almost translucent. Both its enhancement bonus and its armor bonus count against the attacks of incorporeal creatures. It can be picked up, moved, and worn by incorporeal creatures at any time. Incorporeal creatures gain the armor or shield’s enhancement bonus against both corporeal and incorporeal attacks, and they can still pass freely through solid objects.

So Ghost Touch armor seems translucent hmm? That could be a little embarrassing when you go visit the king and queen and they can almost see your undergarments. Clearly Ghost Touch armor ought to give a penalty to NPC attitudes for unseemly display of one's knickers.


Shadow

This armor is jet black and blurs the wearer whenever she tries to hide, granting a +5 competence bonus on Hide checks. (The armor’s armor check penalty still applies normally.)

Jet Black, huh? Well that's clearly not going to help you much when you're trying to hide in, say, a wilderness area where everything is green and brown unless it's kind of dark. Clearly jet black is going to stand out anywhere with pretty bright lights. So, Shadow armor really should only give you it's bonus if you're hiding in an area with a low level of ambient light, say, shadowy illumination or worse. Bright light ought to utterly negate the bonus from the armor on top of it's usual penalties.


Silent Moves

This armor is well oiled and magically constructed so that it not only makes little sound, but it dampens sound around it. It provides a +5 competence bonus on its wearer’s Move Silently checks. (The armor’s armor check penalty still applies normally.)

It dampens sound around it. That clearly is going to pose some problems when the wearer or nearby allies attempt to cast spells with verbal components. Armor of Silent Moves should probably apply a spell failure chance of 5% (higher for more powerful versions of the armor) to any spell with a verbal component that's being cast within a 5' radius.

I could probably keep going, but hopefully you've gotten the point by now.

Gimpster
07-16-2007, 12:52 PM
Flavor text has no impact on the rules because it's not written as rules nor using rules terms.
It is a fallacy to claim that there is a firm kind of distinction. There is not actually a clear division between flavor/rules or fluff/crunch. There is text which matters and which does not, but that may change from time to time.

One never knows when some new rule will come around that interacts with pre-existing "flavor text" in a mechanically meaningful way. Just think about superheros who can't cast their powers on objects of a certain color.

In short, an argument that relies on discounting some text as "just flavor" is weak. The reason the first sentence of the Fortification description doesn't matter isn't that it's flavor, but that it's vague and inconsequential.

MysticTheurge
07-16-2007, 02:01 PM
One never knows when some new rule will come around that interacts with pre-existing "flavor text" in a mechanically meaningful way.

At that point it stops being just flavor text. I will agree that what is and is not "flavor text" can change over time. And I will agree that at times the distinction is particularly blurry ("Pain" effects are a good example of this one in D&D). But generally speaking, the rules take precedence because they're clearly defined and fit with the rest of the rules in clear and meaningful ways. You basically suggest this in your last line, but it's just kind of a semantics discussion about what is and is not "flavor text" and what that means in terms of the game. I think we can both agree that the flavor text, while it may at some point intersect with the rules in meaningful ways, is not intended to hint at or suggest rules of its own that go above and beyond the actual rules presented (as in my four examples).

Yaga_Nub
07-16-2007, 03:05 PM
Wow, this thread is still going?

Prinstoni
07-16-2007, 03:21 PM
Wow, this thread is still going?

^Right!

Look vorpal will always overcome heavy fort because DDO has it classified as a death affect. In PNP anything with a head can be vorpaled, including some undead. Anything that would normally die from losing its head should be vorpalable, end of story. To that note, it is stupid that the giants in the Reaver Preraid cannot be vorpaled. However, that is how it is.

Lets get a new topic!

rev_g33k_101
07-16-2007, 04:50 PM
At that point it stops being just flavor text. I will agree that what is and is not "flavor text" can change over time. And I will agree that at times the distinction is particularly blurry (as in my four examples).
At this time the fortification "Flavor Text" has stopped being "just flavor text" and has become one of the justifications for the sage's stance on vorpral VS fortification.


But like was said…


vorpal will always overcome heavy fortification because DDO has it classified as a death affect.

I agree here that Turbine is the DM for DDO. The DM can (and often dose for the sake of storyline) over ride any written rule, their world their rules. My statements are that in my games I run things differently as far as vorpral VS fortification goes.
The players always have the right to question a DM's rulings and also have a right to an explanation and debate on the rulings.

In closing I do not expect my posts to change anyone’s point of view on this subject but I will continue debating because I enjoy it and because I DM differently then Turbine.

MysticTheurge
07-16-2007, 04:51 PM
At this time the fortification "Flavor Text" has stopped being "just flavor text" and has become one of the justifications for the sage's stance on vorpral VS fortification.

No. There are no other rules that interact with the fortification flavor text.

Yes, fortification blocks Vorpals (officially) because the sage says so. But since we're debating whether or not that's a good ruling, that's really neither here nor there.

rev_g33k_101
07-16-2007, 06:13 PM
No. There are no other rules that interact with the fortification flavor text.

Yes, fortification blocks Vorpals (officially) because the sage says so. But since we're debating whether or not that's a good ruling, that's really neither here nor there.

<pirate voice>
So what now, MysticTheurge? Are we to be two immortals locked in an epic battle until Judgment Day and trumpets sound?
</pirate voice>
(Credit to Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl)

MysticTheurge
07-16-2007, 06:26 PM
Are we to be two immortals locked in an epic battle until Judgment Day and trumpets sound?

I'd hardly call it epic. ;)

rev_g33k_101
07-16-2007, 06:27 PM
I'd hardly call it epic. ;)

well when they rase the lvl cap above 20 then it will be :p

dameron
07-16-2007, 07:33 PM
I'd hardly call it epic. ;)

Considering your comment earlier that there's no way to make a god immune to being vorpaled, I'd call it "near epic".

MysticTheurge
07-16-2007, 08:27 PM
Considering your comment earlier that there's no way to make a god immune to being vorpaled, I'd call it "near epic".

Yes, that is the danger of the whole automatic-success-on-a-20 rule. Even a level 1 fighter with a vorpal sword has a 1 in 400 chance of rolling two 20s and hitting a god and cutting off his head.

Of course, it's pretty easy to make a god immune to death from being vorpaled. You just say he continues to live even if his head is separated from his body.

dameron
07-16-2007, 09:54 PM
Yes, that is the danger of the whole automatic-success-on-a-20 rule. Even a level 1 fighter with a vorpal sword has a 1 in 400 chance of rolling two 20s and hitting a god and cutting off his head.

Of course, it's pretty easy to make a god immune to death from being vorpaled. You just say he continues to live even if his head is separated from his body.

You could make him 30' tall.

Or would his head magically pop off his shoulders if you whacked him in the knee on a successful critical hit?

SneakThief
07-16-2007, 11:23 PM
Regardless of whether you're "negating" the critical hit or if you're simply "not subject" to them, you're definitely "ignoring" the critical hit.

So regardless of your interpretation(s) of the rules, the Sage Advice answer and it's reasonings is pretty clearly counter to the D&D rules as written.
Unless you actually use the definition of negate. You cannot ignore something that never existed in the first place.


And again, you assume the logic is commutative which there's no reason or proof to believe. You seem to be confusing preconditions with properties.

For example:

If a quadrilateral has four sides of the same length (A) and it has four right angles (B) then it is a square (C). In this case, your logic holds. If the quadrilateral is not a square then it either doesn't have four equal sides or it doesn't have four right angles.

But alternatively consider this statement. If a quadrilateral is a parallelogram (A) then it may be a rectangle. If it's also a rectangle (B) then it may be a Square (C). There are methods by which C can be false, but A and B can still be true.

The latter is the situation here. If you score a hit (A) it might be a threat. If it's a Threat (B) then you roll a confirmation roll. If you succeed on your confirmation roll (C) then you may also have a critical hit (D). But there are ways to not have D and still have A, B and C.
That's an even worse example, but a nice use of commutative (good job fitting that one in). This is not deductive logic. But if you want to go that route:
C = B
You must have a confirmation to have a crit. If there is no confirmation, there is no critical. The converse is also true. Since the confirmation is dependent on threat, if not A then not B, so we could leave A out of it entirely, further burying the argument that Vorpal doesnt require a crit.
Software logic would list C = (A AND B) and would never evaluate the condition of B if A was false.


I've never suggested that. What I have said is that you can have a threat and a successful confirmation roll without actually having a critical.
And thats exactly where I am saying you are wrong. You cannot have an on-crit effect if you dont have a critical hit. Therefore, your interpretation that you dont have a critical hit would be in direct contradiction to the rules under magic weapons.


Incorrect. You cannot have a successful critical hit against an undead target because undead targets are not subject to critical hits. How can you possibly apply an effect to something that is not subject to that effect? You're attempting to ignore the english language here. Let's look at the other things that creatures are "not subject to"
You are the only one ignoring the english language as I still dont know how you define negate. So lets look at your examples:


If something is not subject to Nonlethal damage can you hit it with nonlethal damage?
Sure you can. You can hit it as much as you want. It just ignores the non-lethal damage the same way undead ignore critical damage.

If something is not subject to ability damage, can you damage its abilities?
How would you do that? Spell? Does the spell go off? Sure, but the creature ignores the ability damage. Stat weapon? Do you still hit them? Of course you do! but the creature ignores the ability damage.

If something is not subject to fatigue, can you fatigue it?
Ray of Enfeeblement, Waves of Fatigue ... does the spell still go off? Of course it does, but the creature ignores it. Seeing a pattern?

If something is not subject to energy drain, can you energy drain it?
It does get repetative, but the point is there. The vehicle for the damage is not unsuccessful nor does it fail. The creature in question just ignores the effect in question.


And yet, your logic states that being "not subject to critical hits" means you can still score a critical hit against the target.
Exactly ... now your getting it.


Yes, they do. They use completely different terminology because fortification is an active effect (you have to roll dice and see if it takes effect and if it does then something happens).

Can you imagine how awkward that sentence would be if you tried to use the "not subject to critical hits" concept there?

"When a critical hit or sneak attack is scored on the wearer, there is a chance that the wearer is not subject to that particular critical hit or sneak attack and damage is instead rolled normally."

It sounds silly.
To you. It doesn't sound any sillier than some of the other things I have read in the rules. At least you arent trying argue vorpal is not on a crit any more. That's a good first step.


Just like "not being subject to critical hits" does. But you can still suffer on-crit effects.
Your back to missing the point entirely. Not being subject to criticals does not make them normal hits. On-crit effects do not go off on normal hits. Therefore your are arguring contrary to the rules. To steal someone else's flavor: You still stabbed the Zombie(Vampire, etc) in the spleen. He just doesnt care anymore (or in the case of elementals, oozes, etc, never had one to start with).
Rules wise (here's the kicker):

When fighting against such creatures, roll for critical hits as you would against humanoids (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/typesSubtypes.htm#humanoidType) or any other creature subject to critical hits. On a successful critical roll, apply the special effect, but do not multiply the weapon’s regular damage.

If you actually read what you are arguing it says: "on a SUCCESSFUL critcal roll" do not multiply the weapon's regular damage.

KristovK
07-17-2007, 05:54 AM
Sneakthief gave the relevent rule that shows the Sage's answer is correct by the rules...

When fighting against such creatures, roll for critical hits as you would against humanoids or any other creature subject to critical hits. On a successful critical roll, apply the special effect, but do not multiply the weapon’s regular damage.

Key line...On a successful critical roll, which is the confirmation of the critical threat. Fortification, heavy in this case, negates that, it doesn't happen, therefore anything that requires a confirmed critical to take effect can NOT take effect, even if the particular effect is allowed to take place on targets 'normally' immune to critical damage. At NO point in the descriptor for Fortification is the word immune used.

Which is the other problem here...critical hits have 1 and/or 2 possible effects...extra damage and/or special effects(burst/smite/vorpal/etc). The rules very clearly state that creatures immune to the extra damage from a critical hit CAN be affected by on-crit effects IF you confirm the critical roll. Fortification negates the critical, therefore, it would negate the on-crit effect from taking place. Please note, negate does NOT mean immune to, it means - make ineffective by counterbalancing the effect of; prove negative; show to be false; deny the truth of; be in contradiction with. At NO point in any of the definations of negate will you find the word immune.

WoTC is clearly defining the difference between 'natural immunity' to criticals and Fortification. 'Natural immunity' still allows the on-crit effects to take place, Fortification does not. And that's perfectly in line with the written rules and with the internal logic of the game itself, after all, Fortification requires a limited wish or miracle spell to create it, therefore it's rather powerful magic, so powerful it actually requires reality to be substantially altered to create it.

There's some key words being...well...ignored doesn't cover it...blatently being misused does. Negate doesn't mean immune, and immune doesn't mean negate, and the people trying to transpose those 2 words know better. If you don't like the ruling, it's your choice to ignore it, but don't try to negate it by twisting the language used in the rules when they clearly support it.

MysticTheurge
07-17-2007, 07:22 AM
Unless you actually use the definition of negate. You cannot ignore something that never existed in the first place.

I don't see how that's relevant. The Sage's reason you don't get vorpaled is that you're ignoring the critical hit. You say that fortification doesn't ignore the critical hit but being not subject to criticals does. "If that critical hit is ignored, the vorpal ability is stymied." are his precise words. That clearly indicates according to your logic (where undead creatures ignore critical hits) that undead are immune to vorpals.


Please note, negate does NOT mean immune to, it means - make ineffective by counterbalancing the effect of; prove negative; show to be false; deny the truth of; be in contradiction with. At NO point in any of the definations of negate will you find the word immune.

WoTC is clearly defining the difference between 'natural immunity' to criticals and Fortification.

Again no. You guys are defining that difference and doing a much better job justifying the ruling than the Sage did. The Sage ruled in such a way as to A) make Fortification stop all on-crit effects and B) Negate the paragraph about "Magic Weapons and Critical Hits."

"If that critical hit is ignored, the vorpal ability is stymied."

There's nothing in the entire answer that makes a distinction between "not subject to" and "negated," that's a distinction you guys have added. The sage advice answer as written is a bad answer. They could potentially make the same ruling, using you guys' logic, and it would be a far better answer. (It would be, in my mind, still contrary to the spirit of the "Magic Weapons and Critical Hits" rule but at least it would make sense.) But as it is now, it's a terrible answer that creates all kinds of logical inconsistencies in the D&D rules.

ChaosTheEternal
07-17-2007, 07:31 AM
Key line...On a successful critical roll, which is the confirmation of the critical threat. Fortification, heavy in this case, negates that, it doesn't happen, therefore anything that requires a confirmed critical to take effect can NOT take effect, even if the particular effect is allowed to take place on targets 'normally' immune to critical damage. At NO point in the descriptor for Fortification is the word immune used.
Let's look at the relevant text for Fortification:

Fortification

When a critical hit or sneak attack is scored on the wearer, there is a chance that the critical hit or sneak attack is negated and damage is instead rolled normally.Notice that they don't just say "the critical hit is negated", nor clarify that "any extra effects from the sneak attack or critical hit are also negated". They simply clarify it by saying that damage is rolled normally.

Besides, making it negate everything doesn't make all that much sense. That would mean that bursting weapons, which don't even have to hit a vital point (from the flavor text from Fortification), suddenly can't burst anymore. A Mace of Smiting couldn't kill a Warforged with Improved Fortification, which is fairly opposite how it should be, as a Warforged with Improved Fortification is more like the constructs a Mace of Smiting is intended to destroy.

Mad_Bombardier
07-17-2007, 09:40 AM
Yes, that is the danger of the whole automatic-success-on-a-20 rule. Even a level 1 fighter with a vorpal sword has a 1 in 400 chance of rolling two 20s and hitting a god and cutting off his head.Ok wait, noob question. I thought critical confirmation could miss on a 20 and hit on a 1. Is that not the case? Or were you giving a counter-example? :confused:

SneakThief
07-17-2007, 10:25 AM
I don't see how that's relevant. The Sage's reason you don't get vorpaled is that you're ignoring the critical hit. You say that fortification doesn't ignore the critical hit but being not subject to criticals does. "If that critical hit is ignored, the vorpal ability is stymied." are his precise words. That clearly indicates according to your logic (where undead creatures ignore critical hits) that undead are immune to vorpals.



Again no. You guys are defining that difference and doing a much better job justifying the ruling than the Sage did. The Sage ruled in such a way as to A) make Fortification stop all on-crit effects and B) Negate the paragraph about "Magic Weapons and Critical Hits."

"If that critical hit is ignored, the vorpal ability is stymied."

There's nothing in the entire answer that makes a distinction between "not subject to" and "negated," that's a distinction you guys have added. The sage advice answer as written is a bad answer. They could potentially make the same ruling, using you guys' logic, and it would be a far better answer. (It would be, in my mind, still contrary to the spirit of the "Magic Weapons and Critical Hits" rule but at least it would make sense.) But as it is now, it's a terrible answer that creates all kinds of logical inconsistencies in the D&D rules.

Ok ... I will give you that ... if he said "ignored", then it was a bad choice of words on his part, just like everyone else using the term "immune".

MysticTheurge
07-17-2007, 11:37 AM
Ok wait, noob question. I thought critical confirmation could miss on a 20 and hit on a 1. Is that not the case? Or were you giving a counter-example? :confused:

A confirmation roll is another attack roll with the same modifiers. Attack rolls automatically hit on a 20. A confirmation is successful if it would be considered a hit. Therefore a confirmation roll is always successful on a 20.

(The converse is also true for 1s.)

rev_g33k_101
07-17-2007, 12:10 PM
A confirmation roll is another attack roll with the same modifiers.

Unless you are using a seeker weapon or have bonuses to your confirm critical for other sources.

Then it is your normal attack + your confirm modifiers

Yaga_Nub
07-17-2007, 12:15 PM
Ok ... I will give you that ... if he said "ignored", then it was a bad choice of words on his part, just like everyone else using the term "immune".

Yup he used "if"


Q: Dear Sage
Since a vorpal weapons needs a successful confirmation roll to confirm a critical before its attack lops off someone’s head, can the successful use of the fortification armor ability stop a vorpal weapon critical from taking off a head?
--Erkki

A: You bet! Although a vorpal weapon certainly increases the power of a critical hit, can sometimes score its particular kind of critical hit against creatures that typically are immune to such things (like the vampire or other creatures the DM sees fit), and can even modify some aspects of the weapon’s critical ranger (a vorpal weapon with a critical range greater than 20 can score a critical that doesn’t decapitate its target), its trademark ability is still contingent on the confirmation of a critical hit. If that critical hit is ignored, the vorpal ability is stymied.

What is a critical ranger? I've been called critical but I wasn't aware that a vorpal could modify some of my aspects. :)

MysticTheurge
07-17-2007, 12:21 PM
You could make him 30' tall.

Or would his head magically pop off his shoulders if you whacked him in the knee on a successful critical hit?

This logic also makes Giants, Dragons, and anything else more than 10 or so feet tall (humans have a 5' reach) immune to vorpals.

Laith
07-17-2007, 12:27 PM
This logic also makes Giants, Dragons, and anything else more than 10 or so feet tall (humans have a 5' reach) immune to vorpals.

gods forbid that magic actually be, you know... magical.

dameron
07-17-2007, 02:27 PM
This logic also makes Giants, Dragons, and anything else more than 10 or so feet tall (humans have a 5' reach) immune to vorpals.

Relatively immune, I understand that, but there are other ways to get to their necks than jumping.

So, if I whack a 60' tall giant in the ankle with a vorpal weapon, roll a 20 then confirm the crit, does his head pop off or not?

Gelandor
07-17-2007, 02:38 PM
Relatively immune, I understand that, but there are other ways to get to their necks than jumping.

So, if I whack a 60' tall giant in the ankle with a vorpal weapon, roll a 20 then confirm the crit, does his head pop off or not?

Yes it does, which is why I have been saying the whole time that the removal of the head is magical.

Yaga_Nub
07-17-2007, 02:46 PM
Relatively immune, I understand that, but there are other ways to get to their necks than jumping.

So, if I whack a 60' tall giant in the ankle with a vorpal weapon, roll a 20 then confirm the crit, does his head pop off or not?


Yes it does, which is why I have been saying the whole time that the removal of the head is magical.


Vorpal: This potent and feared ability allows the weapon to sever the heads of those it strikes. Upon a roll of natural 20 (followed by a successful roll to confirm the critical hit), the weapon severs the opponent’s head (if it has one) from its body. Some creatures, such as many aberrations and all oozes, have no heads. Others, such as golems and undead creatures other than vampires, are not affected by the loss of their heads. Most other creatures, however, die when their heads are cut off. A vorpal weapon must be a slashing weapon. (If you roll this property randomly for an inappropriate weapon, reroll.)
Strong necromancy and transmutation; CL 18th; Craft Magic Arms and Armor, circle of death, keen edge; Price +5 bonus.

Nothing in the vorpal description says anything about hitting the neck of the opponent so I'm going to agree (for now) with Gel, it's a magical effect.

Arrowstorme
07-17-2007, 02:58 PM
All of this debate on the rules of vorpal weapons and fortification armor is all well and good... but it seems that you are forgetting the Golden Rule of Roleplaying:

<paraphrase>
If you don't like a rule, you may modify or discard it as you see fit. After all, it is your game.
</paraphrase>

It is well within Turbine's power to use this rule (it's in the DMG, look it up!) to ignore The Sage's ruling or WoTC to make DDO a better game for all. I don't know of any real reason why the devs would choose to blindly follow this ruling... except if the license for the game is dependent upon it.

I've been running PnP D&D games for almost 20 years... I've never allowed a book to dictate exactly how I'm going to play. If there's a rule I didn't like or if my players made a big deal about it, I would change the rule and see how it worked. If it did, great. If not, that's cool too.

Of course, if you prefer, just /cancel and get it over with. Up to you.

dameron
07-17-2007, 03:02 PM
Yes it does, which is why I have been saying the whole time that the removal of the head is magical.

There's "magical" and then there's "preposterous even in the context of magic".

Can a rogue sneak attack the pinky toe of a 300' giant?

Mad_Bombardier
07-17-2007, 03:12 PM
There's "magical" and then there's "preposterous even in the context of magic".

Can a rogue sneak attack the pinky toe of a 300' giant?Yes, hangnails are a b!+c#. :D

Gimpster
07-17-2007, 03:12 PM
All of this debate on the rules of vorpal weapons and fortification armor is all well and good... but it seems that you are forgetting the Golden Rule of Roleplaying:
If you don't like a rule, you may modify or discard it as you see fit. After all, it is your game.
No, they're not forgetting it. All of them know that the DM is allowed to change the rules if he wants.

But if you take that perspective, you may as well ignore the rulebook entirely, because anything written in it might have been randomly changed by your DM.

Velorn
07-17-2007, 03:42 PM
This whole issue could be solved if...when using a vorpal anything...the word critical was taken out of the text. As I understand it they have 2 definitions for critical. One for vorpals and one for all other weapons.

Consider. When referring to a "critical" hit with a vorpal...it should only refer to the roll of a 20 being confirmed with a d20 + modifier to confirm said 20. Eliminate the word critical from the text as it is now and you have the distinction between the 2 definitions. It would also define the use of heavy fort to negate critical hits (not avoid getting hit!) with everything but vorpals.

just my 2cP:D

MysticTheurge
07-17-2007, 03:58 PM
Can a rogue sneak attack the pinky toe of a 300' giant?

See this is the problem. You want to add rules that aren't present in, well, the rules by using "logic."

D&D has no height or size stipulations on sneak attacks. A halfling rogue can sneak attack a cloud giant even though "logically" he or she can't reach any of the giant's vital organs.

So the answer to your question is "Yes, and no." You cannot sneak attack someone's pinky toe (because that's not, by definition, how sneak attack works) but provided you can reach your target (using the D&D rules for Reach) and you meet all the other requirements for a sneak attack then you can sneak attack him. How exactly you manage to pull it off remains an exercise of creative description between you and your DM, but the rules allow it.

Laith
07-17-2007, 03:59 PM
There's "magical" and then there's "preposterous even in the context of magic".
the fun thing about "role-playing" and "fantasy" is that you can pretty much find away to make anything make sense if you try.

It's frigging "magic"... it can be ANYthing.

In this case, i'd assume that (since vorpal requires necromancy to create) some sort of necromancy energy courses up the target's body and violently severs the neck... or breaks the neck... crushes the windpipe.

Anything as long as it killed the target within that 6 second round. of course, i take liberties sometimes as DM (heads rolling all the time is boring).

Your explanations may vary.

SneakThief
07-17-2007, 04:00 PM
This whole issue could be solved if...when using a vorpal anything...the word critical was taken out of the text. As I understand it they have 2 definitions for critical. One for vorpals and one for all other weapons.
Only one definition. WotC just narrowed Vorpal down from all criticals in 3.0 to only natural 20 criticals in 3.5. I guess the thinking was with all the things that can modify crit range in 3.0+ it would be far too powerful.


Consider. When referring to a "critical" hit with a vorpal...it should only refer to the roll of a 20 being confirmed with a d20 + modifier to confirm said 20. Eliminate the word critical from the text as it is now and you have the distinction between the 2 definitions. It would also define the use of heavy fort to negate critical hits (not avoid getting hit!) with everything but vorpals.

just my 2cP:D
Hey, if thats what they want to do, cool. All they have to do is say to make a second attack roll, and if successful, the effect fires. Or... come up with any other number of ways to limit the firing of the effect. :D

SneakThief
07-17-2007, 04:05 PM
Can a rogue sneak attack the pinky toe of a 300' giant?

Sure you can. As MT points out, the rules say you can.

If you want flavor. Sure. You can always slice a few arteries, and if you can reach the toe, you can reach the Achilles tendon. Lots of bleeders in the foot. In perspective, if his toe is that big, the amount of sneak attack or critical damage you are going to be doing in proportion to his total HP is probably going to be about right anyway :D

Gimpster
07-17-2007, 04:07 PM
D&D has no height or size stipulations on sneak attacks. A halfling rogue can sneak attack a cloud giant even though "logically" he or she can't reach any of the giant's vital organs.
What a hilariously bad example. That is just flat-out 110% wrong.

Open Player's Handbook to Rogue and read the Sneak Attack class feature: "A rogue cannot sneak attack while striking a creature with concealment or striking the limbs of a creature whose vitals are beyond reach."

dameron
07-17-2007, 04:28 PM
What a hilariously bad example. That is just flat-out 110% wrong.

Open Player's Handbook to Rogue and read the Sneak Attack class feature: "A rogue cannot sneak attack while striking a creature with concealment or striking the limbs of a creature whose vitals are beyond reach."

Exactly the quote I was looking at when I asked the question.

Gelandor
07-17-2007, 04:38 PM
Exactly the quote I was looking at when I asked the question.

The problem with this is that we are discussing vorpal, a magical effect, and sneak attack is not a magical effect, it is based on class, and skills, vorpal is not.

Gimpster
07-17-2007, 04:39 PM
The problem with this is that we are discussing vorpal, a magical effect, and sneak attack is not a magical effect, it is based on class, and skills, vorpal is not.
Absolutely wrong. Rules are rules- the fact that one rule describes a nonmagical "extraordinary" ability and the other is a "supernatural" ability of a magic item is irrelevant to the rules mattering in both cases.

Indeed, D&D has specific rules concerning when it matters if an ability is magical or not- and they only apply in very uncommon circumstances.

dameron
07-17-2007, 04:40 PM
The problem with this is that we are discussing vorpal, a magical effect, and sneak attack is not a magical effect, it is based on class, and skills, vorpal is not.

Vorpal is not exclusively a magical attack. A Vorpal Boar will gladly cut off your head in an antimagic field.

Gimpster
07-17-2007, 04:41 PM
Vorpal is not exclusively a magical attack. A Vorpal Boar will gladly cut off your head in an antimagic field.
A Vorpal Boar does not have Vorpal. It has a Vorpal Tusk, and not a magic weapon with the Vorpal quality. Despite the related names, they are not defined in terms of each other, and understanding one of them doesn't tell you how the other should operate.

Strumpoo
07-17-2007, 04:46 PM
I think the Sage mistyped or was misunderstood in the orginal post.

To me the quote from the Sage sounded like you need to score a crit then confirm the crit to vorpal something.

It sounded like what he was trying to say is that due to the heavy fort is was possible for a creature to have a better chance of resisting the confirm crit roll. At least that is what I took from the post.

He even mentions creatures that are immune to crit (ie vampires) being vorpal-able in the post. If heavy fort or immunity to crits could stop vorpal effects, why would he mention this in the post?? It doesn't make sense. :confused:

I think we have a simple case of someone reading a posted question from someone too fast and typing an answer too quickly. And now thanks to the intranetszes the misquote is spreading like wildfire. ;)


Yeah! I guessed right!! at least kinda...

Wait a minute...Now it sounds like I actually could know what I was talking about.

/goes and hides.

dameron
07-17-2007, 04:47 PM
He even mentions creatures that are immune to crit (ie vampires) being vorpal-able in the post. If heavy fort or immunity to crits could stop vorpal effects, why would he mention this in the post?? It doesn't make sense. :confused:


Unless Fortification and crit immunity are two different things.

dameron
07-17-2007, 04:48 PM
See this is the problem. You want to add rules that aren't present in, well, the rules by using "logic."
.

You're being awfully smug for someone so obviously wrong.

A prereq for a successful sneak attack is the ability to reach a creature's vital organs. Can't reach the vitals, can't sneak attack.

Heck, if the giant's vitals are more than about 35' in the air the rogue couldn't sneak attack him with a ranged weapon either.

And critical hits? To score "a hit that strikes a vital area" you're probably gonna need to be able reach that vital area.

MysticTheurge
07-17-2007, 04:51 PM
What a hilariously bad example. That is just flat-out 110% wrong.

Open Player's Handbook to Rogue and read the Sneak Attack class feature: "A rogue cannot sneak attack while striking a creature with concealment or striking the limbs of a creature whose vitals are beyond reach."

Ah, well, good point.

However, as SneakThief points out, what can be considered "vital areas" is pretty debatable. For instance slicing an Achilles Tendon is a pretty serious attack with real ramifications. Does that make the Achilles Tendon a "vital area"? That particular rule, by necessity, required DM adjudication.

It is, however, interesting to note that Sneak Attack makes this distinction but Vorpal does not. There's no similar sentence in the Vorpal description which says "A Vorpal cannot take effect if the wielder cannot reach the target's neck."

MysticTheurge
07-17-2007, 04:52 PM
And critical hits? To score "a hit that strikes a vital area" you're probably gonna need to be able reach that vital area.

Again with the adding rules. Where does is the sentence like the one under sneak attacks which says critical hits require you to be able to reach the target's vital areas?

Edit -- For that matter I can't even find where the SRD says that a critical hit is a "hit that strikes a vital area." Where are you seeing that?

dameron
07-17-2007, 05:07 PM
Again with the adding rules. Where does is the sentence like the one under sneak attacks which says critical hits require you to be able to reach the target's vital areas?

Edit -- For that matter I can't even find where the SRD says that a critical hit is a "hit that strikes a vital area." Where are you seeing that?

The 3.5 glossary.

Oh that's right, there has to be an exact sentence saying:

"your weapon must be able to reach the vital organs of creature to register a critical hit"

or everything grinds to a halt.

How in the world do you ever DM a game, or is your last campaign still waiting on an email from Skip Williams?

Bob: I sneak attack the 1000' giant!
MT: Sorry, the only part of the giant you can reach right now is his big toe, it's jammed in the doorway, no vital organs to hit.
Rich: I swing my +1 keen scimitar at him.
MT: Cool, roll.
Rich: A 20!
MT: Roll to confirm...
Bob: But...
MT: Roll to confirm...
Rich: 19!
MT: You hit him in a vital area for 2x damage.
Bob: Sigh.

MysticTheurge
07-17-2007, 05:24 PM
How in the world do you ever DM a game, or is your last campaign still waiting on an email from Skip Williams?

Uh well, I start by not having 1000' tall giants with their toes stuck in doorways being attacked by my PCs. ;)

(But more seriously, here's how it works. A regular hit stabs the giant in the toe doing normal damage. A critical hit cuts off a big portion of the toe or hits a big (for the toe) artery in the toe or something and does extra damage.)

Solik
07-17-2007, 08:55 PM
Descriptions of many of these effects are vague and abstract on purpose, and MT's description of a critical on a big toe outlines the "why" for that.

Levying additional requirements on abilities like sneak attack is a balancing factor. I mean, let's face it. We don't want a bunch of fine (in terms of size) rogues beating the bejesus out of Cthulhu because they attached to the tip of one of his tentacles. In addition to being silly, it also makes sneak attacks overpowered.

Criticals? Okay, they do 2 damage instead of 1. Maybe.

Vorpal? It's a high-powered late-game magical ability, so not so many restrictions. It's also silly and more of a sacred cow than anything else, but what can you do? House-rule away, of course, if that's your desire.

rev_g33k_101
07-18-2007, 02:11 AM
All of this debate on the rules of vorpal weapons and fortification armor is all well and good... but it seems that you are forgetting the Golden Rule of Roleplaying:

<paraphrase>
If you don't like a rule, you may modify or discard it as you see fit. After all, it is your game.
</paraphrase>

It is well within Turbine's power to use this rule (it's in the DMG, look it up!) to ignore The Sage's ruling or WoTC to make DDO a better game for all. I don't know of any real reason why the devs would choose to blindly follow this ruling... except if the license for the game is dependent upon it.

I've been running PnP D&D games for almost 20 years... I've never allowed a book to dictate exactly how I'm going to play. If there's a rule I didn't like or if my players made a big deal about it, I would change the rule and see how it worked. If it did, great. If not, that's cool too.

Of course, if you prefer, just /cancel and get it over with. Up to you.

No it has not been forgotten.

In fact.....



I agree here that Turbine is the DM for DDO. The DM can (and often dose for the sake of storyline) over ride any written rule, their world their rules. My statements are that in my games I run things differently as far as vorpral VS fortification goes.
The players always have the right to question a DM's rulings and also have a right to an explanation and debate on the rulings.

In closing I do not expect my posts to change anyone’s point of view on this subject but I will continue debating because I enjoy it and because I DM differently then Turbine.

Gelandor
07-18-2007, 03:27 AM
The 3.5 glossary.

Oh that's right, there has to be an exact sentence saying:

"your weapon must be able to reach the vital organs of creature to register a critical hit"

or everything grinds to a halt.

How in the world do you ever DM a game, or is your last campaign still waiting on an email from Skip Williams?

Bob: I sneak attack the 1000' giant!
MT: Sorry, the only part of the giant you can reach right now is his big toe, it's jammed in the doorway, no vital organs to hit.
Rich: I swing my +1 keen scimitar at him.
MT: Cool, roll.
Rich: A 20!
MT: Roll to confirm...
Bob: But...
MT: Roll to confirm...
Rich: 19!
MT: You hit him in a vital area for 2x damage.
Bob: Sigh.

I can understand this debate, and difference of opinion, and thats all well and good, but do not resort to personal attacks, especially on someone that is known throughout the ddo community as one of the most knowledgable players (especially on the eberron setting) to play ddo. Heck, MT often corrects the devs on errors they make.

Lets keep this debate about d&d, without stooping to personal attacks.

Thanks,

Yaga_Nub
07-18-2007, 07:00 AM
It is, however, interesting to note that Sneak Attack makes this distinction but Vorpal does not. There's no similar sentence in the Vorpal description which says "A Vorpal cannot take effect if the wielder cannot reach the target's neck."

Thanks for agreeing with my previous post.

On a completely unrelated topic..... I miss the days when there was no such thing as a "confirm" roll. I really think confirming slows the game down and it causes some added grief. I agree that the 3.0 definition of critical was too powerful for vorpal so they went back to the time-tested "natural 20" but then added language about criticials and the confirmation roll. If vorpal, and only vorpal, were still using the old 2.0 definition then we wouldn't be having this debate because there was no talk of criticals or confirming. The 2.0 definition was always "a natural roll of a 20." That would get around the need to worry about fortification, because we aren't talking about a critical and a 5% chance to kill something instantly really isn't that powerful. Of course in DDO we would have to start asking why everyone and their dog now seems to have vorpals but that's a different argument.

EDIT: And I'd still like to point out the Sage isn't the be-all, end-all of rulings and this great debate is why he isn't.

SableShadow
07-18-2007, 07:57 AM
EDIT: And I'd still like to point out the Sage isn't the be-all, end-all of rulings and this great debate is why he isn't.

Agree totally.

From my perspective, the DM (Turbine) has decided they don't want some monsters to be insta-killed.

To implement that, they Deathwarded them.

The mechanism is pretty irrelevant, since we're dealing with DM fiat, not a true rule mechanism.

As I see it, there are only two outcomes to this debate:

1) The DM (Turbine) ignores it (my preferred outcome).
2) The monsters in question get *both* Deathward and Heavy Fort. :D

Good day.

Solik
07-18-2007, 09:20 AM
Critical confirms are good. First off, they make it so that, when you can only hit on a nat 20, you don't crit every hit. That's just weird. Second, they allow for more diversity in weapon selections, since crit ranges aren't automatically so strong.

Laith
07-18-2007, 09:21 AM
Again with the adding rules. Where does is the sentence like the one under sneak attacks which says critical hits require you to be able to reach the target's vital areas?

Edit -- For that matter I can't even find where the SRD says that a critical hit is a "hit that strikes a vital area." Where are you seeing that? Not necessarily responding to MT, just picked a part of the argument.

This whole argument has hinged around characters standing around taking swings at each other in turns anyhow (ala Final Fantasy).

If a dragon is biting at you, odds are it's neck is presented occasionally. If a giant is swinging a club at you with all it's might, chances are it's bending over slightly and putting it's vitals within reach.

Remember, combat in D&D is supposed to be an active thing. If you can't figure out how the blade got to your victim's vitals, say your victim made a mistake and became open (figuratively then literally).

dameron
07-18-2007, 10:38 AM
I can understand this debate, and difference of opinion, and thats all well and good, but do not resort to personal attacks, especially on someone that is known throughout the ddo community as one of the most knowledgable players (especially on the eberron setting) to play ddo. Heck, MT often corrects the devs on errors they make.

Lets keep this debate about d&d, without stooping to personal attacks.

Thanks,

Thanks for your input, but MT and I and some others go around like this quite a bit about any given subject, and they're all more than able to defend themselves -if- I'd made a personal attack, which, if I had, would be a lot more obvious than putting someone in a dialogue about a Giant's big toe, or questioning their PnP judgment.

MysticTheurge
07-18-2007, 11:21 AM
a dialogue about a Giant's big toe, or questioning their PnP judgment.

You know what else I was thinking about last night.

The D&D rules make it perfectly feasible, given enough time, for the PC in your example to kill the giant in question by stabbing him in the toe enough times.

dameron
07-18-2007, 11:34 AM
You know what else I was thinking about last night.

The D&D rules make it perfectly feasible, given enough time, for the PC in your example to kill the giant in question by stabbing him in the toe enough times.

Yep, but none of the blows would be particularly more effective than any other, since it's just a 6' toe after all.

But really, if someone was hacking on your toe for an hour you'd bleed to death eventually, but nobody's gonna get one-shotted in the toe. In any case this particulary example has grown beyond silly, my bad.

We should ask wizards flat out:

1) does the sage's ruling on fortification impact all other on-crit effects?
2) does the sage's ruling contradict the existing rules?
3) If so, is it because fortification is different from other forms of crit immunity?
4) do critical hits require access to a target's vital areas
5) do vorpal weapons have to be able to impact a creature's neck, or does it go off even if the mob's neck is out of reach?

I'm sure I've missed something, but answers to those would go a long way in clearing this up.

Solik
07-18-2007, 11:42 AM
Furthermore, by the rules, none of the blows are required to even hit the big toe. Attacks do not hit specific locations; they just hit.

Sneak Attack's requirement regarding vitals is one of the rare exceptions to this rule. Even then, however, once the requirement is met, the specifics of what is hit and how are abstracted away.

A DM should probably rule that a giant with only its toe exposed, assuming no specific weaknesses on the part of the giant, benefits from total cover. A good house rule would allow for touch attacks to strike, however, since you can deliver magical attacks via the toe.

DSL
07-18-2007, 11:57 AM
We should ask wizards flat out:

1) does the sage's ruling on fortification impact all other on-crit effects?
2) does the sage's ruling contradict the existing rules?
3) If so, is it because fortification is different from other forms of crit immunity?
4) do critical hits require access to a target's vital areas
5) do vorpal weapons have to be able to impact a creature's neck, or does it go off even if the mob's neck is out of reach?

You could, but really, you should be able to reason this out for yourself to reach some logical conclusion, and I would seriously question the capacity to DM of anyone who can't. Really, the core argument of this thread has persisted because so many people out there are either unable or unwilling to make a judgement call.

I can understand the desire to adhere to the established rules whenever possible, but I have a lot of trouble grasping the sort of crippling need some have to nit-pick over printed rules that are unclear, contradictory or flawed.

MysticTheurge
07-18-2007, 12:18 PM
Really, the core argument of this thread has persisted because so many people out there are either unable or unwilling to make a judgement call.

No. That's entirely untrue. The core argument in this thread has nothing to do with whether people can make the relevant judgment calls or not. As has been said any number of times I (and others in my position) could just disregard the ruling and those in favor of it can adhere to it in their own way.

The argument is over what, exactly, the ruling as it's written and presented by the Sage means for the rules in general and moreover whether it's consistent with the rules themselves.

DSL
07-18-2007, 12:41 PM
No. That's entirely untrue. The core argument in this thread has nothing to do with whether people can make the relevant judgment calls or not. As has been said any number of times I (and others in my position) could just disregard the ruling and those in favor of it can adhere to it in their own way.

The argument is over what, exactly, the ruling as it's written and presented by the Sage means for the rules in general and moreover whether it's consistent with the rules themselves.

I didn't claim that the core argument of this thread was about making these calls. I claimed that this thread has kept going because so many people seem to put so much stock in (and in some cases are entirely dependant on) these "official rulings", instead of simply interpreting the rules themselves, or at the very least taking the assorted "sage advice" rules interpretations under advisement and moving on.

dameron
07-18-2007, 12:54 PM
I didn't claim that the core argument of this thread was about making these calls. I claimed that this thread has kept going because so many people seem to put so much stock in (and in some cases are entirely dependant on) these "official rulings", instead of simply interpreting the rules themselves, or at the very least taking the assorted "sage advice" rules interpretations under advisement and moving on.

Well, no, my kidding with MT aside, I'm sure everyone who's able to successfully roll a die could and will come up with reasonable interpretations for their particular PnP games.

However, in the context of what DDO should do, it's important to have a clear ruling from WotC on the issue since this isn't my personal campaign and is instead based on the official 3.5 ruleset.

MysticTheurge
07-18-2007, 01:10 PM
...and moving on.

The only reason people pretty much ever discuss things, especially online, is an inability to "move on." It doesn't make the debate any less interesting.

Of course what's even more amusing is people who try to tell other people that they should just "move on." ;)

DSL
07-18-2007, 01:16 PM
Well, no, my kidding with MT aside, I'm sure everyone who's able to successfully roll a die could and will come up with reasonable interpretations for their particular PnP games.

However, in the context of what DDO should do, it's important to have a clear ruling from WotC on the issue since this isn't my personal campaign and is instead based on the official 3.5 ruleset.


Yet it seems clear that Turbine has already made a judgement call on this issue, allowing Death ward to block Vorpal effects (which I strongly disagree with incidentally - Fortification makes much more sense than Death Ward as a Vorpal defense). It is also clear that DDO does not strictly adhere to 3.5 rules, and as such I doubt that official rulings from "Sage Advice" will have a tremendous impact on any potential decisions Turbine makes regarding changes to their version of the Vorpal effect.

Don't get me wrong - I do not oppose this debate as an excersice in debate, but I have seen an overall tone that suggests that only an official ruling is "correct" regardless of logic and reason, and while debating the validity and reason behind these rulings is fine, your previous suggestion to consult WotC to provide the answers to the questions being debated, in a thread debating the meaning of these rulings, sort of makes the entire debate pointless by coming full circle

dameron
07-18-2007, 01:30 PM
Yet it seems clear that Turbine has already made a judgement call on this issue, allowing Death ward to block Vorpal effects (which I strongly disagree with incidentally - Fortification makes much more sense than Death Ward as a Vorpal defense). It is also clear that DDO does not strictly adhere to 3.5 rules, and as such I doubt that official rulings from "Sage Advice" will have a tremendous impact on any potential decisions Turbine makes regarding changes to their version of the Vorpal effect.


Sometimes Turbine implements WotC rules changes so fast that I barely realize they've changed in PnP, sometimes they don't.

These issues (Fortification and on-crit effects) will become more vital as we head toward level 20, where "save or die" and "race to see who can roll a 1" is the norm.

Yaga_Nub
07-18-2007, 01:43 PM
The argument is over what, exactly, the ruling as it's written and presented by the Sage means for the rules in general and moreover whether it's consistent with the rules themselves.

And there's the heart of the problem. The Sage hasn't RULED anything, he's interpreted. That's a big distinction.

Prove to me that the Sage has any power to RULE. Come on, find me one once of written evident that the Sage has the ultimate power to make any type of offical rule. YOU CAN'T! So all we have is the interpretation of a person that publishes on the WotC website and happens to work for them in some capacity.

Trust me on this, even though I am in the management structure of my company and tend to be the person that employees come to for interpretation of company policies and such, my interpretation means nothing when the CxO's make their final rulings. They generally tend to follow my lead on most things but not everything. That's they way they want it so they can test the waters on touchy subjects.

I imagine the Sage is much the same. WotC in general allows him to interpret the rules but they have never officially made him the final word on rules to give them the right to disagree with him when they feel it's necessary.

DSL
07-18-2007, 01:50 PM
Sometimes Turbine implements WotC rules changes so fast that I barely realize they've changed in PnP, sometimes they don't.

These issues (Fortification and on-crit effects) will become more vital as we head toward level 20, where "save or die" and "race to see who can roll a 1" is the norm.

True enough, but I hope Turbine will base it's decisions more on what makes sense within the context of DDO (especially with respect to DDO's game balance) and less on rulings from "Sage Advice".

Ultimately, I think that rampant fortification on MOB's would cause serious problems in any case, especially for rogues, and that if they want to give immunity to one-shot effects (which should only be done rarely anyway), they would best accomplish this some other way (and Turbine has established that they are willing to arbitrarily assign immunitites).

ChaosTheEternal
07-21-2007, 06:16 PM
Huh, check out the question (http://www.wizards.com/default.asp?x=dnd/ask/20070706a) now. I guess it's being planned to be reanswered on Wednesday.

Let's see what has to be said then.

tomdragon
07-21-2007, 07:05 PM
By the D&D rules, Heavy Fortification items that prevent critical hits do not prevent a magic weapon's special effects that trigger on critical hits, such as Flaming Burst or Vorpal. And, DDO obeys those rules.

However, surprisingly Wizards today published that Heavy Fort should block vorpalizing. I don't know what their justification for that ruling was, however.

Ask Wizards Archive (http://www.wizards.com/default.asp?x=dnd/arch/ask)

PS. DDO already allows the Deathward spell to block vorpals, which is unsupported by the rulebooks except insofar as Vorpal weapons require the crafter to have necromantic death magic.

Not tryin' to sound like an a$$ but...

They put spell crits in. Those dont even exist in proper DnD 3.5 rules. What makes you think that they wont try somethin' like this?

Ashet
07-22-2007, 03:38 PM
I don't really understand the logic in the answer. The "sage" says you can vorpal a vampire, then "if the critical hit is ignored, so is the vorpal ability" :confused:

Vampire is a special case. According to myth, you killed a vampire by cutting off it's head and filling it's mouth with holy wafers. Or by cutting off it's head and staking it in the heart with an oak stake. There are a couple different versions, but the point is that cutting off the head is a traditional method, which is why I think it's an exception.

Like using silver on werewolves.

I think the real problem with vorpals is that there are too many of them.

Ithrani
07-23-2007, 03:19 AM
Not tryin' to sound like an a$$ but...

They put spell crits in. Those dont even exist in proper DnD 3.5 rules. What makes you think that they wont try somethin' like this?

Next you will say you cannot sneak attack with a spell either. Spell crits do exist in "proper" DnD 3.5 rules. The core books even in 3.0 made it clear that any attack can be a critical on a 20, that rule always extended to spells that require an attack roll. Of course Turbine did their own overpowered version of spell crits.

ChaosTheEternal
07-25-2007, 06:41 PM
The Sage reanswered the question (http://www.wizards.com/default.asp?x=dnd/ask/20070725a).

To put it simply, the answer is that Fortification does not stop a Vorpal.

MysticTheurge
07-25-2007, 11:13 PM
The Sage reanswered the question (http://www.wizards.com/default.asp?x=dnd/ask/20070725a).

To put it simply, the answer is that Fortification does not stop a Vorpal.

He's still a little confused. It's not an "exception" that on-crit effect works even if you're immune to criticals. It's specifically stated that that's the way it works (in generic terms) at the beginning of the Magic Weapons section. The "exception" would be those items which specifically say that they don't work against creatures immune to critical hits.

But overall, a significant improvement in the answer.

ChaosTheEternal
07-25-2007, 11:58 PM
He's still a little confused.Yes, I don't see it either as an exception, but as the norm. I'm guessing this answer was based off of the thought process in the last answer, which is why he stated that as "the exception", even though it's not.

But this time the answer was more rationalized (and notice it's the same rationalizations you can find in this thread). Probably to correct the confusion from the previous answer.


But overall, a significant improvement in the answer.Yup. I'll agree with that.

Ithrani
07-26-2007, 12:36 AM
It's over, I just wish the Sage would get it right the first time. I am getting tired of defending his/their position and then he/they turn on me. Damn them all, Turbine, Wizards, get it straight the first time. Personally in my games I ran with the vorpals working against fort, just as any crit would until I found out from CS that it did prevent vorpals. Then the sage posted it a month later, so I rationalized it best I could since that seemed to be the ruling. Granted that means making an exception to the rules, like making a difference for some effects on crits and not others. Or what it means to be immune or fortified against crits. But then after all that hard work the Sage changes it again. Ah well, well argued all. This thread should soon fall far far away. I know one thing for sure, the Pally in my group in not going to be happy at all. He says he's ok with it, but ohhhh wait, Balors know his name and know where he lives :D

Strumpoo
07-26-2007, 09:09 AM
I think the Sage mistyped or was misunderstood in the orginal post.

To me the quote from the Sage sounded like you need to score a crit then confirm the crit to vorpal something.

It sounded like what he was trying to say is that due to the heavy fort is was possible for a creature to have a better chance of resisting the confirm crit roll. At least that is what I took from the post.

He even mentions creatures that are immune to crit (ie vampires) being vorpal-able in the post. If heavy fort or immunity to crits could stop vorpal effects, why would he mention this in the post?? It doesn't make sense. :confused:

I think we have a simple case of someone reading a posted question from someone too fast and typing an answer too quickly. And now thanks to the intranetszes the misquote is spreading like wildfire. ;)



Yeah! I guessed right!! at least kinda...

Wait a minute...Now it sounds like I actually could know what I was talking about.

/goes and hides