Resist banes during boss actions

Just wandering:
Can a boss make a resist bane roll as part of its boss action?

Rules state:

In addition to its normal allotment of actions, a boss also receives a number of special boss actions on its turn equal to its boss edge score. Each boss action is a single major action that does not count against its normal action limit.

Also, in the combat section, in a list of available major actions Take an extra move action is listed as one of the available options, which to me sounds like a boss would be able to use every boss action to make a resist roll. This doesn’t make much sense to me, because at this point why would anyone bother using any banes against a boss? Since they’re most likely to be resisted before the turn even ends.
Or would you consider burning the additional boss action to resist a bane rather than attack a sufficient reward for a sacrificed player’s action?


This is already 1 of the big benefits of doing a bane in the first place, controlling action economy. Which would you rather a boss do, do one of its mega attacks against you, or try and shrug off a bane instead?

Also, if a boss does attempt to use all those boss actions to resist, and fails, 3 failures is still 3 failures, even if they are on the same round or not.

Just like a player can use their Move action to resist a bane, and if they fail, they could choose to use their Major action to resist again. If they fail both, that’s 2 fails towards the 3 fails, etc.


But doesn’t it make banes to be an annoyance rather than a threat? Especially since like you said any one can sacrifice a turn and have a 75% chance of getting rid of them.
To me it makes them irritating to experience (due to the lack of variety of effect - just losing a turn) and kind of pointless to use. It seems like the best possible course of action in any fight would be to hit the opponent over and over and never do anything else and that’s just boring.

1 Like

Well, there’s two main parts to this.

GM has already mentioned Action economy, you only use one Action to Inflict the Bane but the Boss may very well need multiple Actions to get rid of it, especially if you have the Potent Bane Feat. That gives you and your party more time to deal with them since they’re not actively beating on you at full strength and speed. And with most Banes, you can simply do it again.

The other part is that we’re talking about Bosses. These NPCs are intentionally unfair and get advantages no other NPC gets because they’re supposed to be a bigger threat.
Oftentimes they face the party on their own, so if we consider the party as one entity too, we can see how they are only partially affected by any single-Target effect, get multiple Move and Major Actions per Round as well and can specialize in many different fighting styles at once. So the Boss needs to be more than a single entity, but rather a one-man-team of their own to face the party.


I suppose you’re both right to an extent. And I understand the boss is supposed to be challenging and I have no problem with it being able to use multiple attacks and move around a lot. But resisting banes (maybe due to its random, arbitrary nature) doesn’t feel challenging to me, it feels unfair.
But maybe I’m worrying for nothing. I’ll play-test it a bit more and see what happens.


Correct, most Banes aren’t able to take out an opponent on their own, with few exceptions like Fatigue.

Generally, yes, that’s the most efficient way to play most Pen and Papers. But the same is true for NPCs, and especially for Bosses. If a Boss is allowed to use all their actions as attack actions, then the group is probably in bad shape, as a boss could very well take out any PC within one turn. So, banes are a key part of preventing the opposition from executing their game plan, while hindering them and giving you advantages to be in a better position, not about being lethal on their own. Take for example the Knock Down bane, which doesn’t look all that impressive at first glance, but if a Boss has to spend all their Boss actions for getting back up and resisting other banes that might have been inflicted previously, then you’ve cost the Boss a turn during which they didn’t hurt anyone on the PCs’ side.

Indeed, resisting banes wasn’t meant to be too difficult because Banes are much easier to inflict than dealing large chunks of damage. So if it were too hard to get rid of them, fights would become slogfests where each party would just try to bury each other in banes until they can’t do much anymore. And as mentioned previously, there is the Potent Bane feat for banes that are meant to be difficult to resist.


I disagree. I know it happens sometime, but mostly designers do their best to steer players away from such tactics and towards cooperation and combining varying sets of skills. “Pick one thing and everybody do it over and over again” seems like an inferior approach.

1 Like

Agreed, but even when combining skills, powers, etc., the end goal is often to put yourself and your group in position to succeed more often or to succeed “better” when attacking. Obviously, non-combat focused games have other focuses but this is beside the point of Boss Actions and Resisting.

Either way, I was wondering for whom you think this is unfair towards? The PCs or the NPCs/Bosses?

1 Like

Nothing exists by itself. This is often brought up when people are talking about banes and resisting. There is an entire team of players, and you can synergize with them. You aren’t always inflicting a bane for yourself, but for a party member to take advantage of or benefit from.

In addition, some banes get their affect at the beginning of a creatures turn, so you still get the affect of the bane before a creature/NPC gets to resist it. Also, not every NPC/creature is going to take the time to resist a bane, that’s going to depend on their nature, if they really notice it (or care), and what their goal is.

In playing this game for over 4 years (mostly as a GM), I can say the fact they can resist more than once in a round doesn’t make it feel less effective for the players. It makes it a real threat. And comparing DnD which has Legendary Resists/Actions, it really isn’t much different in that specific regard.

My players still go for banes. Anything in OL can situationally be a more powerful choice at any given time. Lots of factors go into that. They enjoy the strategy that can be used be sprinkling in certain banes amongst their damaging attacks.


That’s exactly what worries me. Since the chance of a successful resist during the turn is so high it seems more likely that you won’t be able to help your allies. And responding to:

This is the scenario that would infuriate me as a player: I try to help a fellow player and despite the fact I purposefully targeted an attribute that I know is week, chose a perfect bane for the situation, burned several Legend Points to make sure it sticks - none of it matters - my ally won’t benefit from my efforts because the boss resisted (and not because it is stronger in that regard, it just got more chances to flip the coin). The apparent disconnect between bosses stats and its ability to resist banes is what seems unfair to me.
It seems slightly different to Legendary Resistances in D&D since they are a resource that can be drained and this is just a thing that happens.

But I won’t lie if @Great_Moustache’s playes haven’t complained for 4 years I think mine will be alright as well :slight_smile:

1 Like

Well, since bosses tend to have higher stats then the players, it would probably be even more likely to resist if it was based on that.

Likewise, boss actions can be drained, it’s even more powerful for OL though, b/c you take away a Major action that could be anything (attack, boon, etc). With the Legendary, some of them can be spent on other actions, or some special attacks in DnD, they refresh at the start of the bosses turn. Kinda similar here.

It’s just a matter of getting used to it for sure!! After using them a bit and interacting with the players, you’ll start to get a good feel for them.

Though also, Bosses are designed to be rare, sprinkled throughout in small doses, which helps to make them a bit beefier feeling as a result when you pull them out.


I wouldn’t mind it being able to resist more easily if the chance to do it occurred more rarely. It would increase the chance of a reasonable success (bane active for a full turn) while decreasing the chance of lasting success (bane active for an entire fight) . In my mind this would make for a more entertaining fight, seeing as currently a player has no way to strategize against bosses ability to shrug off banes (no way to stack odds in their favor), they just have to hope the dice are with them against the same flat odds no matter what they do.
However as you say these encounters are supposed to be few and far between, so maybe the issue I’m seeing is rare enough that is never becomes an actual problem.

Just as a note

I specifically meant Legendary Resistances (the closest analogue to the scenario I’m writing about) that do not reset on each turn, not Legendary Actions that in fact do.

But they do have something: The Potent Bane Feat.
Disadvantage on Resist Rolls may not seem like a big deal if the Boss can still Resist multiple times, but most Banes only allow up to 3 Resist attempts before sticking for a longer time. And while Resisting a Bane 3 times usually only has a 9% chance or so of failing every time, Potent Bane ups that to about 34%. So if you have that for a Bane that can be reapplied, you’ll likely get it stuck properly within 2 Turns or so (and direct a bunch of Boss Actions away from your party in the process).

If you and your players feel like Banes don’t stick enough, you can also introduce an Exceptional Success for Bane Attacks, in which the Bane turns Potent or increases in PL or something to that effect if the Attack exceeds the Defense Score by 15 or 20.

But yes, in the end, this is one of the things that make Bosses dangerous and is intended. They also can’t be subjects to Finishing Blows before reaching 0 HP, the Stunned Bane affects them much less, etc.


Sure, but that’s a choice they have to make in advance not during the combat.
And it’s not about making the banes stick more (although the rule you suggested could be interesting in some circumstances). It’s about players’ choices having varying effects to create an additional space for play.
The fact remains that during a fight with a boss the tactical importance of choosing and inflicting a bane is significantly diminished. But as you say:

and it makes sense that it is so. Otherwise to boss might not seem as threatening or the fight might go on for too long and nobody wants that. So the answer to my original question would be: yes and there are good reasons for that.

Thanks guys for extensive responses, this has been educational :slight_smile:


From my personal experience as Game Master, I’ve played it such that Bosses can’t generally resist more than one bane.

I have on occasion used Boss Actions to try and resist a number of banes, but I’ve seen it fail more often than not (I’ve used different d20s and, pardon the pun, no dice). This has led me to basically reconsider using my Boss Actions to simply resist a number of banes that are layered on the Boss NPC.

I’ve always been confronted with the question of whether to use Boss Actions to deal as much havoc as possible or to lick my wounds, the failure of which is far more likely to happen considering I’m only rolling 1d20 to try and resist a bane. This decision making happens practically every time I run a Boss NPC.

1 Like