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The 7th level Battle Master feature Know Your Enemy allows a Fighter to spend a minute of noncombat interaction with someone to determine relative values (higher, lower, or equal to the user) for 2 game statistics selected from Str, Dex, Con, AC, HP, character level, and Fighter level.

  • Can the Battle Master repeatedly use this feature over the course of four minutes to estimate all seven statistics?
  • How aware is the target that it's being assessed?
  • Are there any abilities in the game which would defeat or deceive this feature?
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Are there any abilities that would defeat or deceive this feature? I currently see NO game abilities, spells, or Spell-like Abilities (monsters usually have these) that adversely effect 'Know your Enemy'.

How aware is the target that it's being assessed? How aware the target is of your assessment of it depends on how you describe (or roleplay) assessing your target of choice. If you are just interacting with the target for 1 minute as per normal interactions such as conversation, shopping, dialogue, or any other non combat interaction? It would have no idea of your comparable knowledge.

Can the Battle Master repeatedly use this feature over the course of four minutes? Yes.

Does that mean you gain insight into two more ability scores each minute you spend? No.

"...if you spend at least 1 minute observing or interacting with another creature..."

This key phrase locks you in to only ever learning two abilities of your choice compared to yours, no matter HOW long you spend observing the creature beyond 1 minute. Even if you stopped observing them and started again, that key phrase remains. Any amount of time spent past 1 minute confers no extra knowledge to you. It would otherwise include the word 'Each' somewhere in there. Such as "for EACH minute you spend observing..." or "EACH time you spend 1 minute or more observing..." . This phrasing let's you know that it is an ability that you can start, stop, and then repeat again to gain additional knowledge. This is not the case as of it's current printing.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ " Even if you stopped observing them and started again, that key phrase remains. Any amount of time spent past 1 minute confers no extra knowledge to you." This bothers me a bit. Does this mean the Battle Master can only Know The Enemy once in a lifetime? Right now I'm ruling it as once per level. \$\endgroup\$ – Pitzy Jan 28 '16 at 9:15
  • \$\begingroup\$ I would probably rule it as, I don't know; something that resets daily? RAW though? It unquestioningly states no extra benefits are conferred past 1 minute of observation, no matter what form or how you separate that observation, because it doesn't say "EACH time you spend 1 min.". Not a rule I agree with either as, as a non combat ability, I see no harm in learning the 'rating' of a full line of ability scores as compared to the fighter over the course of a few days interaction with the same creature. It doesn't break anything, and they aren't learning the actual scores, just a comparison. \$\endgroup\$ – Airatome Jan 28 '16 at 21:50
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Pitzy I rule it as once per target creature. Yes, this does technically mean that if you meet three trolls, you get to work out six statistics for trolls. This kinda makes sense, because you're spending a lot of time watching multiple trolls; you're basically doing a survey. If this bothers you as a DM, you can always give them minor variations in stats (which you'd expect, not all trolls are identical). It's only useful until you come up against a different enemy type anyway. \$\endgroup\$ – anaximander Jan 29 '16 at 12:42
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No you cannot do it repeatedly; at least, not in the same interaction:

Starting at 7th level, if you spend at least 1 minute ...

4 minutes is still "at least 1 minute".

Unaware, there is nothing in the text that suggests that what the fighter is doing is in any way anything more than interacting.

Defeat yes, deceive no, this can be defeated by preventing the fighter interacting for at least one minute. I know of nothing that would deceive it.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ curses, you beat me to it :P \$\endgroup\$ – Airatome Jan 28 '16 at 4:48

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