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I have a Warden character, and the Strength of Stone At-Will power. It seems like it would be nice to grant myself those temporary hit points at a few other times, like if I plan to 'deactivate' a trap by stepping on it, or some other act that I know will probably hurt.

My question is, are there any rules specifically allowing or disallowing at-will side effects such as this outside of direct combat?

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up vote 13 down vote accepted

Most at-will features only happen when you hit. Strength of Stone is no exception.

Therefore to get THP from strength of stone you have to have a valid target and you have to hit. So easy right, you grab a sack of something easily hit able and you have instant perma THP while out of combat. Not so fast, the DMG quite clearly rules this out:

When a power has an effect that occurs upon hitting a target—or reducing a target to 0 hit points—the power functions only when the target in question is a meaningful threat. Characters can gain no benefit from carrying a sack of rats in hopes of healing their allies by hitting the rats. (DMG p.40)

Thus no, you cannot use a power that procs on hitting out of combat. Note, that if a power has an Effect: line this might not be so clear.

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Silly DMG, ruining my fun. Glad they made a ruling for it, and given that example, I could see how it could be abused. –  Ckhrysze Apr 4 '12 at 14:11
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Can you attack an ally? After all, the ally may be a meaningful threat, depending on how often you try this :-). –  bryanjonker Apr 4 '12 at 17:47
    
@bryanjonker depends on the target line, if its creatures then yes, if its enemies then no. –  wax eagle Apr 4 '12 at 17:48
    
@bryanjonker Given that an ally is not (or at least, rarely) a "meaningful threat", the DMG's rule would appear to avoid using allies as "Bags of Rats" as well. Ultimately, I'd leave it to the discretion of the DM. –  Trey Kirk Apr 10 '12 at 17:10
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@WaxEagle Indeed, so too is a rat a valid target of powers that target "creatures". I don't dispute the validity of the target, rather the validity of the effect based on the target. I would carefully gauge how the effects of how a power should be played out for PvP with the obvious purpose of reward without any risk. In-combat, while there are bad guys around, there is risk and thus give them the effect's reward. Safe in their castle, there is no risk and thus no reward should be granted. The rule is in place to allow the DM to curb risk-free abuses of Powers and PvP is a gray area. –  Trey Kirk Apr 11 '12 at 14:43
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