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I am looking at Bloody Blades for my L9 fighter, but I have a question before I take it.

The second effect line on the power has the following text:

You can assume the stance of the bloody blades. Until the stance ends, as a free action you can deal damage equal to your primary ability modifier to any enemy that starts its turn adjacent to you. Any enemy you deal damage to cannot shift until the end of your next turn.

My question is with the third sentence, its unclear whether this is an effect that happens to any enemy you deal damage to or just to enemies damaged by the free action from the stance.

Also, does the damage from the effect mark? I would assert that it does (Using Rain of Steel as an example), but I'd like confirmation of that.

Either way its a solid choice, but I'd like a clear ruling on it before I get it into play.

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2 Answers

up vote 3 down vote accepted

If that is the exact wording on the stance, then the third sentence should happen to any enemy you damage, regardless of the source.

For the second question, I agree with Simon Withers that you mark when attacking, but I don't think the damage dealt from this stance counts as an attack. It has no attack roll or damage roll, it has no separate attack card, it just says that you deal damage.

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No attack roll, no damage roll, not an attack. –  okeefe Nov 10 '11 at 5:53
    
Agreed that it doesn't mark. Rain apparently doesn't mark either. It looks like for a power to mark it has to have a target line. This also has an interesting effect. Inflicting damage with Rain of Steel or this stance does not revoke your hidden status... –  wax eagle Nov 10 '11 at 12:38
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I find it difficult to read "any enemy you deal damage to" as anything other than referring to the prior sentence. In which case the shift restriction only applies to enemies damaged by the bloody blades free action.

While as GMNoob observes in the comments, sentences tend to stand alone, there is a clear progression in the structure of the sentences with each building on the prior.

  • "There is a stance"
  • "The stance allows you to inflict damage in some circumstances"
  • "Damage inflicted adds a condition"

And so I read the condition as being applied to the damage inflicted by the stance.

And on your second question, Fighters mark when they attack, not when they damage

Every time you attack an enemy, whether the attack hits or misses, you can choose to mark that target.

So the question becomes is the free action an attack? To which the answer seems to be no as it lacks an defined target, attack and damage roll.

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This is a similar problem to the healing potions question I had. More often than not, sentences stand on their own and don't necessarily refer to the statements before it. If your reading was correct it would have stated: "that creature, can not shift" or something similar. –  GMNoob Nov 10 '11 at 11:31
    
I'd seen this before, but forgot when I was writing the qusetion, a power needs a target line to be considered an attack. Something both the stance power here and Rain of Steel lack. Thus neither marks. –  wax eagle Nov 10 '11 at 13:24
    
@GMNoob can you point me to the healing potions question? –  Simon Withers Nov 11 '11 at 2:45
    
@SimonWithers This one. rpg.stackexchange.com/questions/10627/… –  GMNoob Nov 11 '11 at 11:46
    
btw, my comment about not referring to statements before it should read "statements directly before it" –  GMNoob Nov 11 '11 at 11:46
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