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I'm running an arena combat game online with occasional PVP. One of my players just got hit by euphoric cloud and is fascinated. He is currently bleeding from a previous attack and wants to know if the bleed damage would break the fascinated effect.

I'm not sure. Help?

Fascinated

A fascinated creature is entranced by a supernatural or spell effect. The creature stands or sits quietly, taking no actions other than to pay attention to the fascinating effect, for as long as the effect lasts. It takes a –4 penalty on skill checks made as reactions, such as Perception checks. Any potential threat, such as a hostile creature approaching, allows the fascinated creature a new saving throw against the fascinating effect. Any obvious threat, such as someone drawing a weapon, casting a spell, or aiming a ranged weapon at the fascinated creature, automatically breaks the effect. A fascinated creature’s ally may shake it free of the spell as a standard action.

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The rules are unclear

There are no rules regarding the fascinated condition that says anything about breaking the condition when the creature takes damage.

A fascinated creature is entranced by a supernatural or spell effect. The creature stands or sits quietly, taking no actions other than to pay attention to the fascinating effect, for as long as the effect lasts. It takes a –4 penalty on skill checks made as reactions, such as Perception checks. Any potential threat, such as a hostile creature approaching, allows the fascinated creature a new saving throw against the fascinating effect. Any obvious threat, such as someone drawing a weapon, casting a spell, or aiming a ranged weapon at the fascinated creature, automatically breaks the effect. A fascinated creature’s ally may shake it free of the spell as a standard action.

Personally, I would say that if the condition is broken by a potential threat (if you pass the save), then an obvious threat, such as bleeding to death, pain, your precious warm liquid of life pouring out of your body (etc), should also break the fascinated condition, allowing the character to attempt to treat his wounds.

However, note that there are specific effects in the game that won't break the condition even if the creature takes damage from it, like the Pipes of Pain.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ How would that line of reasoning work with other conditions that may be pre-existing before the fascination effect? If the caster cast blindness on the player, that would count as an obvious threat and break the effect. But if he was already blind, would he then get fascinate immunity? What about sickened, dazed, dazzled, entangled, etc? All the text in the fascinated condition speak to new actions being taken. Someone drawing a weapon breaks it, but it doesn't mention what happens if someone already had a weapon drawn. \$\endgroup\$ – OzzyKP Apr 24 at 20:48
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It depends whether you consider it to be an obvious threat or a potential threat

So, bleeding is, from an observer's perspective, obviously a threat of some sort to the creature that is bleeding, but the real issue is, is that threat obvious to the one that is bleeding?

At the very least, continuous bleeding satisfies the any potential threat condition described in the spell, since it is in fact a threat to the creature's health. I would rule at a minimum that the player gets to make a saving throw. But... it's questionable whether the bleeding would be considered an obvious threat to the player character.

I think they get a saving throw, and don't automatically break the effect

I say this because there have been times where, for example, I've reached under furniture, and found my hand to be bleeding when I pull it out, having never felt the wound. Had I not seen the blood, I likely wouldn't have been aware of the injury. It's not hard to imagine then that a character distracted by, for example, a euphoric cloud might not even notice that they are still bleeding. Plus, adrenaline is really good at making you not notice pain.

Of course, if you think the affected creature would realize, while thus affected, that bleeding is obviously a threat, then the effect does automatically end. So really, it's a matter of how obvious the threat would be to the character.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Would any of the cuts you received and didn't notice even cause HP damage to a PC though? If the bleeding is bad enough to where untreated it would eventually kill I feel like that counts as an obvious threat to the PC. \$\endgroup\$ – Nathan Apr 24 at 17:36
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As the player in question who is currently subject to the bleeding effect I figured I'd throw my logic out here.

From a purely RAW perspective there is no exact answer to this question as nothing in Fascinate directly states that suffering damage breaks Fascinate though it is highly suggested.

Some folks have used RAI logic to suggest that some bleed damage is not noticeable or that if the character is bleeding at the start of the fascinate that it does not automatically break it. Now I am pretty sure any sane DM would allow automatic breakage from the fascinate condition if the fascinated creature was stabbed while fascinated. Even if that stab only dealt 1 point of damage it is still a hostile action and threat to the character.

Mechanically speaking, there is no different RAW from taking 1 point of damage from a physical attack and taking 1 point of damage via Bleed damage. Each 1 point of damage is a new instance of damage despite being caused by the same effect.

Examples of Failing Logic: A. The fascinated creature was immolated prior to being fascinated. By the some of the above logic mentioned, since the immolated character was already suffering continuous damage prior to being fascinated he would not automatically break fascination...... even though he is literally on fire. (A clear and obvious threat)

Now you might argue that bleed damage is more subtle, but RAW, damage is damage whether it be 1 point or 20.

B. The fascinated creature is stabbed in the leg for 1 point of damage and naturally thinks "Ouw that hurt. I should not get hurt or stop whatever is hurting me." (IE: He breaks the fascinate automatically) But as some of the above have suggested it would be. "Ouw that hurt, but look at the pretty colors. I'll ignore this repeating pain."

While fascinate can overrule the characters logic and make them forget about their situation, the RAW rules of the effect specifically call out obvious and immediate threats as breaking it completely. (Not a new save, but complete and utter removal of said condition)

I fully admit that there is room for interpretation on this matter and some of the above points have been excellent in providing alternative viewpoints. In the end this issue has to be decided by the DM.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Hi, welcome to the site, and thanks for the answer. I should note that RAI is commonly used for Rules as Intended, which we normally use when we have a developer clarifying that he didn't intend for a certain rule to be interpreted in a certain way. Normally, to discuss RAI, we need a developer quote on the subject. If you meant to say Rules as Interpreted, instead, that should be clarified. Also, a great part of the answer seems to be in rely to another answer, instead of replying to the question at hand. Maybe that part could be rephrased to better suit the question. \$\endgroup\$ – ShadowKras Apr 24 at 17:37
  • \$\begingroup\$ Interesting, I always thought RAI meant Rules as Interpreted too. \$\endgroup\$ – OzzyKP Apr 25 at 1:37
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Ooh, I like this one. Does the spellcaster know the other player is bleeding?

If this was happening in my homebrew I would go one of two ways:

1) Tell the bleeding character that he became fascinated while bleeding, and therefor will remain fascinated, but may attempt another save.

2) If you side with the bleeding player, andthe spellcaster knows the other player is bleeding, tell them that they as a spellcaster should pick another spell, as their character would know that it would not fascinate a bleeding creature.

2a) If the spellcaster does not know they are bleeding. They've likely wasted a spell.

Breaking free automatically part-way is not an option. It either affected them or it didn't. If it wouldn't, the spellcaster would likely know this as a character (but not necessarily as a player).

All the threats listed are actions taken by other people. "Continuing to bleed" is not enough to break fascination automatically, as they were bleeding when they were fascinated to begin with. If it were a new bleeding effect, sure. There are other affects in the game that cause damage but aren't "threats" as well.

Either way, let us know what you chose? I'm intrigued.

Edit: I can't reply to the people below me.

I have not ever run into this personally. I'm just saying what I would do if I were in the GM's position. It is a good question, and I was just adding my two cents. I said at the start "If it were my homebrew."

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Yea, good point about letting the spellcaster know and plan accordingly. In this case the spellcaster does know the player is bleeding. And I'd love to see some citations of effects in the game that cause damage but aren't "threats". That could be useful supporting evidence in this case. \$\endgroup\$ – OzzyKP Apr 24 at 18:01
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    \$\begingroup\$ Welcome to RPG.SE! We work a little different from forums and similar sites, take the tour if you haven't already and learn the differences and see the help center if you need more guidance. We generally expect answers to justify their statements, either by refering to rules, or by citing their own experiences. Have you used any of the things you suggest? If so, what worked and what didn't? Good Luck and Happy Gaming! \$\endgroup\$ – Someone_Evil Apr 24 at 20:47

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