A Dual-Cursed Oracle gets the following Revelation at 1st level:

Misfortune (Ex): At 1st level, as an immediate action, you can force a creature within 30 feet to reroll any one d20 roll that it has just made before the results of the roll are revealed. The creature must take the result of the reroll, even if it’s worse than the original roll. Once a creature has suffered from your misfortune, it cannot be the target of this revelation again for 1 day.

This can be used against any creature, including those the GM controls; indeed, that appears to be the intent of the ability, hence the name Misfortune. The problem is that in order for it to work on said creatures, the player needs to see the GM's die roll, which to my knowledge is generally frowned upon, and see it whenever any enemy makes any d20 roll since Misfortune can potentially be activated at any time. Is there a better way to handle this?

Similar abilities include a Fate Cleric's Tugging Strands, and a Nornkith's Fate Weaver.

  • 5
    \$\begingroup\$ Personally, I'm of the opinion that GM's shouldn't be hiding their rolls anyways. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Mar 15, 2021 at 19:59
  • 8
    \$\begingroup\$ That's not really helpful, unfortunately \$\endgroup\$ Commented Mar 15, 2021 at 20:57
  • \$\begingroup\$ Wait, what? Don't you need to not see the roll to activate this effect? \$\endgroup\$ Commented Mar 16, 2021 at 22:56
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ @user2357112 supports Monica : You know the roll was a 15, but not necessarily whether that hit or not, or what modifiers apply to it. Otherwise, the ability replaces a d20 roll of unknown value with... another d20 roll of unknown value. What would the point be? \$\endgroup\$ Commented Mar 16, 2021 at 23:38
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ @JoelHarmon That feature seems to be designed for superstitious people who have the irrational believe that some die rolls are more or less likely to happen depending on the situation. "I have super bad luck today, so reroll that damage roll so I get the result the fates intended for the next player and not me". \$\endgroup\$
    – Philipp
    Commented Mar 17, 2021 at 10:05

3 Answers 3



Assuming your GM does not want to show all their dice rolls, you can simply ask the GM what they have rolled for important dice rolls. Alternatively you could preemptively say you want to know the result they rolled for a save (e.g. "I cast disintegrate on the creature, I'd like to know their roll on the d20 for purposes of Misfortune.") This serves as a reminder you have this ability and a gate for not asking about trivial dice rolls.

A pre-emptive reminder is also useful because otherwise a GM may continue play with expedience already knowing the results of what happened.

I also recommend reminding a GM you have this ability at least once a session regardless; I would probably do it at the beginning before it comes up.

You could also blanket ask them to let you know any time a roll is important to you (like a natural 20 on a save or attack).

  • \$\begingroup\$ A friendly GM who is informed of this ability can also suggest moments where the ability could be useful. Example: "The creature swings at you with it's razor sharp claws." - small pause, looking at the player with misfortune. If she doesn't care just continue narrative, if she asks, just answer quick "it rolled a 15" giving the player a moment to decide and if she does not, just continue - "the claws penetrate your armor and gut you for 20 dmg" \$\endgroup\$
    – Falco
    Commented Mar 17, 2021 at 9:01

the player needs to see the GM's die roll, which to my knowledge is generally frowned upon,

This is not really true—it’s frowned upon by some, but standard operating procedure for others. Either way can work, and individual GMs/tables can and do make their own decision on that. The existence of abilities like this (and misfortune is not alone) suggests that Paizo generally endorses GM rolls in the open, however.

Clearly, at tables where showing the GM’s rolls is the norm, there is no problem using this ability in conjunction with this ability. So I’ll consider the question answered for such tables, and focus the rest of my answer on tables that don’t normally reveal things.

The primary reason to avoid revealing GM rolls is to prevent metagaming—if players know a roll has been made, they can start guessing why even if their characters would have no particular knowledge that any event took place. Likewise, with the number, they can start to guessing that, say, a high number means they just made a hidden saving throw and avoided some danger they didn’t know about, and a low number means they just failed a Perception check to notice some hidden danger. If players have difficulty separating player knowledge from character knowledge, hiding those rolls can have value.

The secondary reason for hiding GM rolls is that it allows for fudging rolls. Generally speaking, fudging rolls is done to avoid wrecking things for PCs when it wouldn’t improve the story for that to happen; fudging things to ruin things for PCs is generally frowned upon.

Luckily, in the case of misfortune, both of these concerns are considerably reduced: since enemies roll saving throws in response to PC actions, there is a lot less for players to learn that their characters shouldn’t. They already know the target is making a saving throw—that was the point of subjecting them to an effect that required one. They do learn, if the roll is poor but the target succeeds anyway, that the target has a much stronger save than they were perhaps expecting—but frankly that sort of thing should be getting described by the GM anyway (e.g. “the orc struggles to move its muscly bulk out of the way of the blast, but mostly manages to do so, taking only half the damage” for a difficult but successful Reflex save against fireball, compared to “the cultist laughs at your feeble attempts to sway him from his devotion, as your dominate person spell finds no purchase at all,” say).¹ And fudging rolls has a lot less justification if you’re doing it to prevent the PCs from succeeding where they otherwise would.

So I would recommend, in such cases, that revealing these rolls has few of the problems that might lead one to hiding most rolls. It would be fairly safe to reveal these rolls, even if it’s every single one. (If an enemy for some reason is forced to make a saving throw when the PCs aren’t aware of it, I think it’s fair that the oracle couldn’t use misfortune anyway.)

But if you’re really devoted to not revealing rolls, the answer is to provide enough description of the target’s attempt to save to hint at whether it was a good roll or a bad roll, so that the oracle has something to base their decisions on. Really, you should be doing this anyway, as I suggested above, but now it becomes particularly crucial.

  1. And, it goes beyond the scope of this question, but, really, D&D and Pathfinder in general really ought to be revealing a lot more about enemies’ capability to PCs—I have had conversations with numerous martial artists who suggest that things like BAB, Strength, overall level, and so on, should be readily apparent just from seeing someone shape up and assume a fighting stance. We can presume similar cues for spellcasters. Something to consider here—I often try to go beyond what the rules suggest for PCs recognizing the abilities of their foes. (All of this assumes, of course, that the enemy isn’t actively trying to disguise their ability; if they are, all of this goes out the window, at least if the enemy can succeed on their Bluff check.)
  • \$\begingroup\$ In the second paragraph: "...there is no problem using this ability in conjunction with this ability." This seems to be miswritten, but I can't really nail down the intended words. The general meaning of "the issue doesn't exist in this situation" is quite clear though. \$\endgroup\$
    – Egor Hans
    Commented Mar 17, 2021 at 12:19
  • \$\begingroup\$ Regarding your footnote, D&D 5e's Battlemaster Fighter has a 7th level ability, Know Your Enemy, that allows learning a vague idea (better, worse, or same as me) about two of a character's "physical" characteristics after interacting with them for a minute. So the concept exists in 5e, though clearly much less effective than for real life martial artists, based on your description. \$\endgroup\$
    – 8bittree
    Commented Mar 17, 2021 at 14:19
  • \$\begingroup\$ @8bittree Yeah, battlemaster fighter has something too. But they’re really limited, and only available to mid-level characters in particular subclasses. \$\endgroup\$
    – KRyan
    Commented Mar 17, 2021 at 14:34
  • \$\begingroup\$ Yes, that could make sense for an enemy with a similar physique, so may apply to humanoids. But no matter how well trained I was in the martial arts, I doubt it'd help me determine the physical characteristics of an aberration, monstrosity, fey, etc... \$\endgroup\$
    – Ajschuit
    Commented Mar 17, 2021 at 19:49

You could just use a 'threshold' tell your DM that if he rolls higher than let's say 15. you want to cast misfortune on that NPC.


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