The Venomous Gunslinger Paladin & the Fleeing Burn Victim
Posted August 8, 2022
The Venomous Gunslinging Paladin
Consider a Paladin who has taken the venom maleficence and wields a firearm. The Paladin's technique says: "For 1 MP, you may apply the peril of your maleficence to an attack with your weapon (this does not count as an action)." This means when a paladin successfully attacks with a firearm, the target gets the poisoned status as a result of the venom maleficence being applied to the attack. The venom maleficence reads: "The victim is poisoned and receives an additional 2 damage per round for a number of rounds equal to the damage dealt."
The problem here is not necessarily the combination of a firearm (which has bleeding and piercing as its tactics) with the venom maleficence's peril applied to an attack, but the amount of damage being conveyed over time. Bleeding reads: "When you deal damage with this weapon, your opponent suffers 2 HP damage on the next round, and each round thereafter, until they are healed." Overall, the victim suffers 4 damage per turn: 2 damage per round until they heal the bleeding status, and 2 damage per round for a number of rounds equal to the damage of the initial attack (in this case 1d6 rounds).
To make this damage less excessive, the bleeding and venom maleficence has been revised to read:
- Venom: "The victim is poisoned and receives an additional 1 HP damage on the next round, and each round thereafter, for a number of rounds equal to the damage dealt."
- Bleeding: "When you deal damage with this weapon, your opponent suffers 1 HP damage on the next round, and each round thereafter, until they are healed.""
(Both the bleeding tactic and the venom maleficence had earlier been revised to do more damage [2 vs. 1] so as to up the deadliness of play; in this revision we try to keep the deadliness intact by making both sources of damage ignore armor and soak conferred by armor, since the damage is dealt to HP in particular. This also agrees with the fictional positioning of these status effects as applied to armored victims.)
The Fleeing Burn Victim
The question raised regarding the burning status is whether a victim can act and/or move on their turn while burning. The fire maleficence reads:
"The victim is burning. If the victim does not spend a turn putting themselves out in the round after being subject to your maleficence, they suffer cumulative 2 damage per round."
The burning status as written doesn't technically prevent the victim from acting or moving while burning. To "spend a turn" here implies acting, because characters without actions can still move. The victim can choose to continue to act and/or move and ignore the fact that they're on fire, but the fact that they're on fire, coupled with the cumulative damage they receive each turn (2 damage on the first round after being subject to the maleficence, then an additional 4 damage in the next turn, then an additional 6, and so on) fictionally positions the scene. Because of this, the GM is warranted in ruling that the character must forego any action and immediately put themselves out, unless they take extraordinary measures to ignore the fact that they're on fireâ€”e.g., by making a relevant check at a penalty to resist (if the character were exceptionally Mighty or affected by an enraged status, as examples), or by spending a Fate point, etc.
Errata for Vampiric Maleficence
The vampiric status has been amended to read: "You must touch a living victim to deal HP damage with this maleficence. For each point of damage the maleficence deals, you recover 1 HP. If this maleficence would deal zero damage, the victim is fatigued instead." This revision removes the portion that says the damage ignores soak; soak conferred by armor is already ignored because the damage is dealt to HP, and natural soak not conferred by armor should in fact protect the victim.
Errata for First Strike
The First Strike tactic now confers advantage with the attack it grants as a reaction: "When the first opponent in a round enters melee range, you may make one of your attacks as a reaction against them with advantage. (This tactic does not grant you extra attacks.)"