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I have a general concepts (see title) that I would like to run by the rules experts. I recently designed a Centered Breath Monk, lvl16 that, according to the current build, has two events that trigger when I kill a creature.

  • RoH; Rain of Hammers Ki Focus +2:

    Whenever you reduce an enemy to 0 hit points or fewer, one enemy adjacent to you takes damage equal to 2 + this focus’s enhancement bonus damage. Note that this is essentially auto-damage.

  • GW-RS: Ghostwalker, Ride the Spirit (16th level) feature (FREE ACTION.):

    Whenever you reduce an enemy to 0 hit points, you can use a free action to teleport a number of squares equal to your Wisdom modifier. Until the end of your next turn, you have combat advantage against each enemy adjacent to you at the end of the teleportation.

How do these triggers (1) and (2) interact when you kill a creature?

Example:

Monk is surrounded by 7 minions and one non-minion enemy. The monk uses a burst 1 power, and hits all enemies, killing 7 minions and damaging the non-minion.

How do the triggers resolve, and in what order?

It is my impression that after resolution of the attack, (which kills 7 minions), you get 7 triggers of Rain of Hammers (item property), and 7 triggers of Ghostwalker feature Ride the spirit (free actions). Could I resolve all 7 of the rain of hammer iterations on the non-minion (doing 7 times the damage), and then teleport 7 times in sequence, gaining CA against all the enemies that are adjacent to me at the end of each teleport? Or can I teleport only once?

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Edited, this is now a one part question –  pipboyDND Jun 11 '13 at 16:17

2 Answers 2

up vote 3 down vote accepted

I have a somewhat different interpretation, though I agree that it is definitely left somewhat vague by the rules.

I base my difference on the fact that I couldn't find anywhere that Free Actions by themselves interrupt other actions, and on the fact some powers explicitly list No Action when triggered.

No Action abilities seem to be what gets listed when powers want things to happen triggered off other things mid power/effect. An example is the Deva's Memory of a Thousand Lifetimes (add d6 to a triggering roll, trigger being "I don't like that result"). Monk flurry of blows also is a No Action ability, though I am unsure whether that would make it part of the triggering attack or a separate attack. The compendium has no glossary term listed for "No Action" despite it being used repeatedly.

Because of this, and the fact that I was unable to find a Free Action ability that by themselves explicitly happen during another ability's hit/effect block (ie: not some time after or between states like moving squares) I believe the damage happens during the attack power and the teleport(s) happen after. If anyone has any examples of free actions that don't match this model, please put them in the comments so I can adjust/delete my answer accordingly.

Here's a blow by blow breakdown of how I see things resolving.

  • Attack Power is used
  • Attack power hits each enemy in burst
  • Damage is applied to the enemies
    • As the enemies die (each time) Rain of Hammers triggers and resolves, it is not an action in of itself and simply adds it's effect to what is already going on (note this is very similar to the No Action Flurry of Blows, just not in power form).
    • As the enemies die (each time) you gain the ability to use a free action teleport, note that it does not say "immediately" like a few powers that grant free actions do and you may spend them when you could normally spend a Free Action
  • The initial power finishes resolving
  • You may now use your free action teleport(s)

Now there is still a bit of a question about whether the enemies die all at once or one at a time, as well as if you are granted the ability to do something x times if you can then use it x times, but I wasn't able to find explicit answers to either of those.

Really though, for something like this where the rules are somewhat open to interpretation, the best thing you can do is talk it over with your DM and come to an agreement of how it works at your table. That way the ruling is unambiguous and you can make sure to go with what feels most right for everyone involved.

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generally free actions happen after the action that triggered them. In this case a creature going to 0 HP. I think the entire difference rests in how you deal with the 7 enemies dying. If it's all at once then the 14 actions could be resolved in any order. If they happen one at a time each pair of actions would have to be resolved discretely. –  wax eagle Jun 11 '13 at 20:36
    
@waxeagle if they go off after the action that triggered them, assuming that the term is being used in the Standard/Minor/Move/Free/No/...etc context, means they should go off immediately after the power resolves entirely (ie: not after part of the hit block is done). Rain of Hammers as it is worded seems to trigger as part of the Hit block the damage happens in. I could be wrong of course, but this is how a strict reading of the rules looks to me. –  Lunin Jun 11 '13 at 20:43
    
Sorry, by action I mean "the triggering event" not the full action completion. But the rules seem to be with you. From "immediate actions" "...assume that it behaves like an immediate reaction, waiting for it's trigger to completely resolve...". That does indicates that the free action teleports would happen after. –  wax eagle Jun 11 '13 at 20:43
    
Even in that case it seems like that would put it after the Hit block resolves while the essentially No Action item property would happen during. I will admit though that my understanding of resolution order is entirely based on powers I've seen and the fact that the Free/No action distinction makes no sense if they both do exactly the same thing. Since this is getting somewhat discuss-y though I'll hop into chat. (note didn't see your comment edit, heh) –  Lunin Jun 11 '13 at 20:47
    
the big distinction between free/no action is the ability to use a no-action power while stunned or unconscious, and to bypass the 1 free action attack/turn rule. –  wax eagle Jun 11 '13 at 20:49

Considering the example power is a burst and that means all of the attacks and damage happen simultaneously. This is definitely and odd case.

I think you would get the damage all 7 times. It does not have an action power, it's an effect from killing an enemy and it triggers on the death of each enemy.

The question then is whether or not each pairing of the two effects would happen on the death of the enemy or whether you'd get to do each 7 times.

I think the way I would rule this (because I believe the rules to be unclear here). Is that you must choose between teleporting the 7 times and dealing the damage the 7 times (though if you maintain adjacency to an enemy the whole time you could get the damage off 7 times). Here is my rationale:

  • I believe each pairing of damage and teleporting to be an individual event tied to the creature's death. This means (to me) that each death should be handled as a discrete event and thus all effects triggered by it happen together. So you kill the first minion and damage the other monster, you then teleport (if you want). The next monster dies, you can teleport and if you're adjacent to a monster use the damage and so forth.

  • While the first effect is not subject to this, the second effect is subject to the potential DM fiat ruling limiting free actions. I would hesitate to abuse this as a DM is allowed to step in at any time and say "enough free actions".

To be honest, while the movement is a bit crazy, I don't find this power all that overpowered. It's a bit much from an item (up to ~35 damage), but it requires a rather subpar tactical position for a striker and isn't insanely out of line with the power level of a L16+ character.

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It is indeed unclear, but thanks for the interpretation. A logical "order of death" would indeed seem to make it so that the order would be "damage is dealt to adjacent enemy , then teleport" x 7. However with it ruled this way, assuming the DM doesn't interfere with free actions, you could do as follows: (1) Enemy #1 dies, deal damage to adjacent enemy, teleport, (2) Enemy #2 dies, deal damage to adjacent enemy (after teleport), teleport, (3) Enemy #3 dies, deal damage to adjacent enemy (at new teleport position), and so on. Thanks for your thoughts! –  pipboyDND Jun 11 '13 at 16:08
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@pipboyDND yes, my ruling definitely leaves that open. And I think that's the correct one, though it's odd. Don't be surprised though if your DM rules that it's a once/attack thing. Remember that when the rules are unclear it's your DM's ruling that matters not the randoms on the 'net. And please don't use this as a bludgeon, talk to him and work out something that works for the power level of your group. –  wax eagle Jun 11 '13 at 16:15
    
In a room full of low-powered nothings this could mean endless teleport-kill-teleport-kill-teleport... which may not be bad for all campaigns, if you're powerful enough to deal with a horde of nothings easily, just establishing a method could be enough (and looks cool in the movie, which is one of my group's pre-req's for a ruling). –  Ryno Jun 11 '13 at 19:47
    
@Ryno autokilling a room full of minions is great...it just means the DM won't be using that tactic again :). –  wax eagle Jun 11 '13 at 20:03

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