One of the founders of our hobby and one of the most unsung contributors to Dungeons & Dragons, Len Lakofka has passed away at the age of 76.
Along with the many adventures, classes, spells, and rules he created, Len was also father of the Suel in Greyhawk, designer of their gods, and namesake of the Lendore Isles.
The value of his work goes without saying, but his presence will be sorely missed. The adventures of Leomund go on.
The effects of this spell and the Ring state that nothing can impede the movement of the recipient. A person cannot be Held or Slowed, and grappling attacks (also by creatures) are ineffective. Netting or lassoing the person is also prevented. Finally, a person can move, unhindered, throughout water, mud, and snow.
Question: What about slipping on ice? Puddles of water?
I think the effects of this spell or magical item would likewise prevent this from happening since the slipperiness affects movement. In my mind the ice and pools of water would be treated as if they were normal ground.
I have to agree with your interpretation, Lanthorn, but I can see it being abused if allowed to be taken to an extreme. The DM must be willing to adjudicate individual situations and put a reasonable limit on what is allowed.
For example, does gravity impede the recipient of Free Action? If not, the person can fly. If it does, then it is reasonable to rule that ground conditions, like slipping or tripping, may still affect the creature operating under the effects of Free Action.
I agree that abuse of any spell effect or power must be weighed heavily. Basically, I consider the ice and puddles of water to fall under the same environmental situations as the hindering effect of underwater movement (which I think is far more difficult to overcome...but negated by this spell and ring), muddy terrain, and snow drifts.
Bear in mind that the chilling touch of a lich or paralytic touch of a ghoul is likewise nullified by this potent spell and the item in question!
If any physical effect (magical or not) can be moved through, even if only in the slightest way, free action allows normal movement. Let me expand on that a bit in way of limiting factors.
A tied up or shackled character, or one that is mostly buried (and therefore unable to move), wouldn't just spring out of their bonds or what they are buried in due to a free action effect. Likewise, normally hindered movement, such as from Encumbrance, is not altered. For free action to function, things have to impede movement but not prevent movement entirely. By that I mean physically, not due to non-physical effects. For instance, a character standing in calf deep mud, which is then turned to stone, will be physically trapped in such a way that movement is simply impossible, not merely impeded, as it is with a web spell.
I recently had a PC in my campaign make very good use of a ring of free action in U3 The Final Enemy. He was able to move and attack normally under water, was immune to various magical effects that targeted him, and shrugged off a potentially encounter altering hooked net attack which hit him...but that was automatically discounted.
He'll probably get killed by something unexpected. _________________ - Moderator/Admin (in some areas)/Member -
Last edited by Cebrion on Thu Oct 29, 2015 12:48 am; edited 1 time in total
I concur with you, Cebrion, and took a similar point of view when discussing this with my fellow. Physical barriers like walls cannot be passed through with this effect...you cannot passwall.
I told him that slippery surfaces like ice, puddles of water, or a Grease spell should be negated since they all hinder normal movement, but gravity still applies, so you cannot walk off a cliff and expect to keep moving in thin air. "You'll be free to act, for sure!" I told him, "flailing your arms and legs, and screaming, as you plummet to your death!"
A counter-argument arose, as they always do, and he wondered about the effects of terrain, such as hills and mountains, or even forests and jungles. All of these impede movement, after all, so we began to discuss back and forth. I thought that the former likely would not be affected given that it is the undulation (rise and fall), along with gravity that you are battling, but perhaps the tangles of vines in a jungle or the bog of a marsh/swamp would be.
Oh, as an aside, according to the Wilderness Survival Guide (page 100), a character using a Ring of Free Action (and thus, by default, under the influence of a Free Action spell) treats moderate and light encumbrance as no effect, and shifts heavy encumbrance to moderate. However, the overall total encumbrance value based on Strength is NOT altered. Very interesting.
I think you need to get a new group that plays more than it argues about rules.
Free action affects things that add additional hindrances to already allowed movement. Terrain won't be affected, so climbing a mountain or hill will be at standard movement rates. However, if a character with free action climbs those surfaces when they are slicked with mud from rain or covered in a layer of ice, they will do so using the normal movement rate, not an even worse movement rate due to the adverse conditions. Similarly, dense jungles can't simply be sprinted through, but if those jungles are mired in mud and quicksand, the character can ignore any penalties associated with the mud and quicksand, but not the jungle itself. And so adverse conditions of terrain (i.e. additional exceptional conditions) are negated by free action, but not the movement slowing effects of the terrain itself; the only exceptions to this being non-solid terrain features, such as quicksand, rivers, lakes, seas, etc., which a character does not move upon, but through. _________________ - Moderator/Admin (in some areas)/Member -
I think you need to get a new group that plays more than it argues about rules.
Not likely. He's as bad as I am at this! It sharpens our wits and generates some good discussion, though, admittedly, sometimes it gets heated when both of us are entrenched in our own stances. However, typically we work out a compromise.
However, if a character with free action climbs those surfaces when they are slicked with mud from rain or covered in a layer of ice, they will do so using the normal movement rate, not an even worse movement rate due to the adverse conditions.
Just to clarify, are you saying that Free Action effects (ring or spell) will negate the slippery effects of ice in that a recipient will not fall or slide?
I am in a 'discussion' right now about this very issue.
Slipping on ice involves movement: falling to the ground. A person who slips is in no way impeded from moving after that, other than any injuries from the fall itself.
Would a ring or spell of Free Action prevent a broken ankle from slipping on the ice?
The ring doesn't impart sure-footedness, just the ability to ignore outside physical effects which impede movement, so a slippery surface is not a good example in retrospect. One could move at full speed over slippery surfaces...if one doesn't slip, just as one could move at regular speed over a tightrope...if one doesn't lose one's balance and fall off of it. Anyone can potentially do either. Full movement would be allowed, but Dexterity checks would still be required; if you even allow them, depending on the case, and a ring of fee action won't help with that either. This isn't a ring of free action & spider climbing, just free action, so no sticky feet! Reserve the free action effect for mentioned spells and other spells with VERY similar effects, and for things that physically impede movement by being in the way. An icy lake, a tightrope, or a steep slope do not not impede movement by being in the way, but deep mud/snow/water/dense foliage that can still be pushed through (but not "walls" of impassable jungle/forest one has to literally hack one's way through to move at all) do impede movement, and so movement penalties due to those conditions would be ignored by a character wearing a ring of free action. _________________ - Moderator/Admin (in some areas)/Member -
I would say all of those thing work against somebody with a free action effect on them. The effect doesn't prevent being grabbed, and it doesn't automatically guarantee the ability to slip out of something that has a physical hold on a character (i.e. that is a physical barrier to them). A character cannot slip out of being tied up with ropes, slip out of manacles, slip out of the grip of someone/thing, slip through bars too narrow for them, free themselves from mud that has been affected with a mud to rock spell, etc. Now, what I think would apply is if a giant octopus has a grip on a character, and that grip is not just about being bound up in the octopus' tentacles but about the sucker effect too, *the sucker effect would NOT apply* (as it is about movement hindrance and not being physically wrapped around something, meaning a barrier), so you might give them a bonus to break free from a giant octopus' grapple as it will be easier for them than for a character without free action. You could apply a bonus to break free of a giant sundew's tentacles too, as the character is really only breaking the grip, the stickiness of the sundew's sap being a non-issue due to the free-action. _________________ - Moderator/Admin (in some areas)/Member -
OK, I can see your point about grappling still working, especially since the spell (and Ring) make no mention of a bound character getting free from a net, manacles, ropes, shackles, or chains, etc. (good point there, Ceb!)!) Normally, the writers are good about mentioning such things in spell descriptions, but you and I both know that this isn't always the case.
I guess magical ropes and nets (of Entanglement, and Snaring) are not foiled by a Ring or spell of Free Action, in that case...
Looking in the Complete Priest's Compendium didn't help clarify, either. The write-up description is the same.
Here's the real conundrum that makes me pause about grappling attacks and a Ring or spell of Free Action effect.
The spell (and ring) counters such things as a Web spell, which is a type of grapple, isn't it? How can a Web be negated, but grappling and grabbing attacks cannot.
Just playing Devil's advocate.
My fellow player sees this effect as a sort of 'grease' that permits the recipient to shake free of being affected by Web and grappling attacks. But maybe not.
your turn (and anyone else who wants to chime in!),
A web spell isn't a kind of grapple; at least until it was chnged to be treated as such in later version of the game. Oil of slipperiness (iirc) and free action allow for escaping a web or similar things that rely on stickiness to trap a character. Many things were changed in later rules sets - for good cause in most cases - as effects were streamlined and applied in a more uniform manner, resulting in more clarity in situational game play. Particular things are specifically mentioned in later rules versions because, over time, writers became much better at keeping in mind the permissive nature of rules and how certain things needed to be specifically mentioned. Then of course there are decades for FAQ's to draw from too.
Later rules editions (especially 3.X/Pathfinder) changed how many things work with regard to magical effects, but those are not points insofar as how things must then work in earlier editions. If you prefer how a later edition handles something by all means implement it. If you choose to do so, the free action effect is something which will definitely be affected so far as certain attack forms, spells, and magic items are concerned. I speak from experience, having run the U-series, which features nearly ever single thing which free action will affect, at least when the series is updated to Pathfinder rules. _________________ - Moderator/Admin (in some areas)/Member -
Yes. In Pathfinder the ring gives the wearer a continual freedom of movement spell effect:
Freedom of Movement
School abjuration; Level bard 4, cleric 4, druid 4, ranger 4
Casting Time 1 standard action
Components V, S, M (a leather strip bound to the target), DF
Range personal or touch
Target you or creature touched
Duration 10 min./level
Saving Throw Will negates (harmless); Spell Resistance yes (harmless)
This spell enables you or a creature you touch to move and attack normally for the duration of the spell, even under the influence of magic that usually impedes movement, such as paralysis, solid fog, slow, and web. All combat maneuver checks made to grapple the target automatically fail. The subject automatically succeeds on any combat maneuver checks and Escape Artist checks made to escape a grapple or a pin.
The spell also allows the subject to move and attack normally while underwater, even with slashing weapons such as axes and swords or with bludgeoning weapons such as flails, hammers, and maces, provided that the weapon is wielded in the hand rather than hurled. The freedom of movement spell does not, however, grant water breathing.
Seeing as Pathfinder treats its versions of Evard's Black Tentacles, nets of snaring, and ropes of entanglement (among other things) as grapple attacks or as being subjected to an "entanglement" effect (which by definition *impedes movement*), the wearer is unaffected by them. In Pathfinder this ring is a much more powerful item, as the wearer is outright immune to many more things. The party's dwarf fighter got hold of this ring either just before entering the the sahuagin lair, or just after. Bottom line is, a whole lot of sahuagin could not get him with black tentacles, nets of snaring, regular nets, grappling, hold spells, etc. That dwarf brutalized a lot of sahuagin. _________________ - Moderator/Admin (in some areas)/Member -
OK, that explains your earlier comment which seemed to contradict your 2e ruling that the Free Action does not counter grappling attacks.
Yeah, that IS more powerful in Pathfinder! However, I can see a downside to this. Imagine a case where you WANT to be tied down...say flying an aerial mount...and your ring prevents it, and you fall out to your death.
My friend and I reached a difficult consensus...finally...and agreed only after comparing Free Action to the effects of Oil of Slipperiness, which explicitly says that grappling does NOT work against the protected person. Offhandedly, one could fashion a Ring of Slipperiness, I imagine.
In your example, one is oily and so very sensibly slippery/hard to grab on to; the other very sensibly just prevents [not so proactive as grappling] movement limitations. I give that a thumbs up. The best rule of thumb is to go with explicit over implicit so far as rules are concerned. _________________ - Moderator/Admin (in some areas)/Member -
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