I spent some time flipping through some of the Core set today as well as reading some of the DM Guide for the Keep adventure. My reading answered some questions and presented more. There are currently 3 that stand out in my mind.
- Healing Skill – I think I understand now that one use of healing skill is First Aid. I assume that First Aid applies some kind of healing to an adjacent ally. How does this work? Does it use the other players healing surge if the check is successful? Or is there a die roll to determine the number of hit points added to the hurt ally? If so, which die? I assume this can be done while in combat as a standard action? Is there a limit to the number of times assuming the person succeeds in the check? Also, how is the DC for a healing skill determined?
- Perception Check – This is a question specifically regarding the Keep adventure (potential spoiler). The kolbolds ambush the players at some point in the adventure. The DM Guide calls for you to ask the players to make a Perception Check with a DC of 25. I understand that you want the DC to be hard and 25 counts as hard but I’m looking at the premade characters and unless I just do not understand how the perception check works, it seems only 1 can possibly pass the check and that is only with a roll of 20. My understanding of the perception check is that the players have to meet or beat the DC. So, in this case, they would have to make a 25 or better by rolling a d20 and adding their perception modifier. One character in the premade characters has a perception check bonus of +5. If he rolled perfect, he would not be surprised but no one else in the party stands a chance. Am I missing something? Am I misinterpreting something? I agree it should be hard (otherwise there is no point in an ambush) but this seems just about impossible (for 4 premade PC people it is impossible).
- Fortitude, Will and Reflex Defense – I understand that say an enemy makes a magic attack against a PC that instead of AC it might attack reflex. The enemy has to roll the d20 higher than the reflex defense figure of the PC it is trying to attack. Maybe this was a table rule specific to this particular DM (like the critical failures where I kept hitting myself in the damned head) but there were many times when I was asked to roll a d20. Supposing my Fortitude Defense was 12, I had to roll under 12 in order to be saved from damage. There was once I rolled in order to determine whether I took full or half damage. Is this a save roll? If it is a save roll am I mistaken in thinking that by 4e rules you just have to roll better than a 10 to be saved? My interpretation of the rules thus far have made it seem that the defense figures appear to be different versions of AC for different attacks and the save roll seems to be unrelated to the defense in this edition.
I started answering in her blog but then I thought we’d all be better served by some cross-blog pollination and allow all readers to take a stab at these questions and maybe add their own to the mix.
Here’s my stab at them!
You can use healing as a standard action so another PC can use his Second Wind ability (i.e spend a healing surge and heal 1/4 HP) without using a standard action herself.
Do note that if the character to be healed has already used the second wind ability, you can’t do it again.
This is mostly used when someone goes KO before having used second wind. Since a KO character can’t take action, the healing skill allows to use Second wind since it’s a conscious character that takes the action.
You can also use healing to stabilize a dying character (stop him from making death saving throws) but her HP don’t change.
Finally, you can use healing to grant another PC a saving throw. Usually a Saving throw (rolling a d20 and playing 10 or more to end a negative effect on your PC) occurs at the end of each PCs turn. A Healing skill check allows the healer to grant a saving throw to a PC during the healer’s turn.
As written, the 1st kobold ambush doesn’t give players the occasion to detect the ambush, its planned to show combat to players and since it’s a rather easy fight (compared to let’s say the hobgoblin one in the Game Day adventure), players aren’t put in deadly danger by not having access to a surprise round… do note that the kobolds also do not surprise the PCs so it’s a ‘fair trade’.
But to answer your question specifically, refer to pages 186 (Perception) and 188 (Stealth) of the players handbook. According to skill description I’d say that an ambush against unwary PCs (i.e. when PCs aren’t walking at a crawl pace checking every rocks and leaf) is played out by the ambushers rolling their stealth skills (one per ambusher) and you compare the roll against the PC with the highest passive Perception skill (i.e. 10+Perception Skill).
Success by each ambusher grants it a surprise round against the party. I assume here that the high perception PC will inform the whole party (as a free action) about each ambusher he spotted.
There are other ways to play it. For instance, to make this even faster, compare passive stealth of each ambusher vs passive perception of most perceptive PC.
The 4 defenses vs saving throws
Ack Heather, your DM was either incompetent and/or one that likes to impose his own house rules on people.
The only time you take half damage from an effect is when the DM attacks one of your 4 defenses (AC, Reflex, Will or Fortitude as required) and there is a ‘Miss’ entry in the power that says 1/2 damage.
Players never have to play against any of their own defenses. A saving throw only occurs at the end on your turn (see healing for exception) when you try to end a negative effect that calls for a saving throw (Sleep, slow, weakened, debuffs… etc) as described in the power that ‘granted’ the effect.
As you rightly assumed, you roll a d20 and make the saving throw on a roll of 10 or more (i.e. a flat 55% success)
There you go. If you have more questions, don’t hesitate to ask them here. I find that answering questions while away from the table is a great way to search the rules with a specific goal in mind and then remember them because of the time one takes to formulate the answer.
Anyone else has a question or want to clarify/challenge my answers? Let’s open this discussion and make this an unofficial FAQ until WotC chimes in.
Have a great week!
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