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Postby lincoln » March 15th, 2012, 11:59 am

Mechanics question... if you were a ranged character (Hugh, for example) and you were confident that no melee baddies were going to be able to get at you, would it be prudent to drop prone at the end of your turn as a minor action to take advantage of the +2 to defenses? Granted, next round you couldn't move (you would use your move to stand up), but am I crazy for thinking this could be a good thing? I had never thought about it.
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Re: Prone

Postby imafrog29 » March 15th, 2012, 12:53 pm

The problem is that it really limits some of your other options. If you have any kind of immediate reactions that are attacks you will suffer a penalty and ones that allow you to move will not work. You are also painting a target on your back. Sure ranged attacks might miss more often, but you may suddenly find that three monsters decide to shift and charge at the guy granting combat advantage. Losing your move on your next turn is also pretty limiting.

There are ways of making standing up a minor action, in which case this strategy becomes a bit more viable, but there are easier ways to get defense bonuses without sacrificing actions.
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Re: Prone

Postby Greg » March 15th, 2012, 12:56 pm

Yeah, immediate actions are probably the big reason not to do this.
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Re: Prone

Postby lincoln » March 15th, 2012, 1:01 pm

Yeah, that makes sense. I had just never thought about using it for some sort of tactical advantage before so I thought I'd run it up the flag pole.
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Re: Prone

Postby Dan » March 15th, 2012, 1:23 pm

Seems like the best thing is to stay near cover, like a low wall or a corner. Shoot with not penalties, but get some defense from ranged attacks.
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Re: Prone

Postby Kevin? » March 15th, 2012, 3:43 pm

It used to happen a lot in our 3rd Edition / Conan d20 games when the characters were fighting archers. But it seems like in our fights there are so many actions that occur in between each character's rounds that it would not be worth the defense advantage. At lower levels, it would probably be a good tactic, though.
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Re: Prone

Postby Thoth » March 15th, 2012, 6:57 pm

In open fields, it hurts you more than it can help you. If you have a position with a wall large enough to grant Cover, and you have a good Stealth check, it can be amazing - provided you meet a couple of conditions:

1. You can fight effectively with only your Standard each turn. This makes the concept almost totally useless for any of the 'minor action enabled' Strikers, as they need that action open to re-curse / quarry / etc.

2. As noted, your out of turn actions don't move you around or give you attacks.

Now, if you've gotten past those first two hurdles and you're a ranged character, you have the potential to stand, shoot, and drop each turn. If you have a good stealth check, you can probably become Hidden each time you drop (giving you CA against your target on your next turn). If you don't have a good stealth check, you can still benefit from buffed defenses (2 from prone, 2 from cover), making you a pesky target to hit.

Interestingly, it seems that Controllers in general get to make the best use out of this trick, as they usually only need their standard action to make the enemy dance, they rarely have the best to-hit numbers (and often are starved for ways to get CA), and their reactions often are not attacks. I still wouldn't do it in open ground, but with a nice low wall, and enemies that aren't going to swarm you, it can be gold (speaking from experience here, using my Hunter Ranger).
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