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The Diviners Forewarned SU is:

You can always act in the surprise round even if you fail to make a Perception roll to notice a foe, but you are still considered flat-footed until you take an action. In addition, you receive a bonus on initiative checks equal to 1/2 your wizard level (minimum +1). At 20th level, anytime you roll initiative, assume the roll resulted in a natural 20.

This ability makes us a tough time while playing. The question is actually, what does the diviner knows about the upcoming event? (Let us assume the diviner wins the initiative.)

Let me give you an example:

> GM: "Ok anoying diviner, something is going to happen" 
> Diviner: "Hey friends, something is going to happen soon, but I have no idea what. But I have that feeling." 
> GM: "Hey diviner, some badass orc hits you with his crossbow" 
> Dwarf Barbarian: "Damn Torag, feelings are good for nothing! Let's fight!"

The point is, if this is always be handled as "Hey something is going to happen" this is good for nothing, since you have no idea what is going to happen. Another Starfall? A fireball? A red mantis? On the other hand, if you know what is happening, this would just kill every suprise round functionality for the GM.

Any idea how this can be handled?

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The ability works exactly like the Anticipate Peril spell, but is active 24/7. The effect is always on, but this vision of danger happens for a a very short time period, enough so you can react quickly to danger, which in the rules is translated as being able to act in the surprise round.

If you decide to roleplay the insight from the future (and you don't have to, the mechanics are clear on what they do), you could do it during the character's initiative turn in the combat.

In most situations, the character will be able to act even when others cannot, due to his short vision that prepares him for danger/combat, that doesn't mean he has enough time to warn the others (that is the domain of divination spells or the Alarm spell), because the ability does not say he has the option to warn others and grant them any kind of initiative or surprise benefit from his ability.

Also remember that speaking is a Free Action, and that by the rules, you can only make free actions during your own turn.

For instance, this is how i would do it: Combat happens (a bunch of orcs tried to ambush the group), we check to see who is surprised (the diviner automatically pass), but another character also passes (he saw the bushes moving suspiciously or was simply on alert).

If the diviner acts before the other character, he could yell to others about his vision, but that doesn't mean they are unsurprised (as the ability does not grant that effect to others). He also could make his knowledge check and warn others of possible dangers (hey, that is a medusa, avert your eyes!), but normally that has to be done during his action.

If the other character acts before the diviner, that means his awareness was even quicker than the diviner's vision. Or that the diviner was simply too slow to react to his vision, maybe he was still seeing things that are not there while the orcs attacked the group.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ +1 for reminding that you can't generally speak out of turn since it's a (Free) Action \$\endgroup\$ – Ifusaso May 27 '17 at 23:02
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Your GM doesn't need to RP the actual forewarning if they don't want to; if they do, it seems to function as more of 'spidey sense'. The character would know to whip out his weapon, spellbook, or cast a spell at a time when others may have been oblivious.

You would all roll the necessary rolls (stealth, bluff, perception, sense motive, etc) then Initiative because you're being ambushed (or you wouldn't have a Surprise round). The Diviner acts on their rolled Initiative in the surprise round but they don't have time to warn anyone, or if they do it's not enough to prepare them any more than someone who passed their Perception saying 'look at that orc in the shadows'.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ With emphasis on "you're being ambushed (or you wouldn't have a Surprise round)." Surprise rounds only happen when one side is lying in wait for the other. During your basic "kick in the door" encounter, the diviner is no better off than anyone else. \$\endgroup\$ – PlutoThePlanet May 26 '17 at 18:58
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Not every situation needs to give him a forewarning or a special "warning session". The ability has a mechanical way to handle it and it works well enough. Some GM (myself) hate using the surprise round mechanics because they are wonky, but with a diviner, that character gets an opportunity to do something before it "goes down". If he uses that action to talk about his feelings, rather than throw up some type of protection spell - such as mage armor or shield - then that's it.

Also, remember that not all combats start with a surprise round.

However, if the GM wishes to use this to foreshadow event or as a plot hook or as a way to nudge you forward, then that discussion is different.

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