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Operative Trick Attack: Does the rules of the skill used still apply?


Rules Questions

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Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

The rules for Trick Attack state that you must attempt a Bluff, Intimidate, or Sealth check and if you succeed at the check you deal additional damage. The question I have is can you attempt a check even if the conditions normally would not allow it?

Trick Attack Rules:
You can trick or startle a foe and then attack when she drops her guard. As a full action, you can move up to your speed. Whether or not you moved, you can then make an attack with a melee weapon with the operative special property or with any small
arm. Just before making your attack, attempt a Bluff, Intimidate, or
Stealth check (or a check associated with your specialization; see
page 94) with a DC equal to 20 + your target’s CR. If you succeed
at the check, you deal 1d4 additional damage and the target is
flat-footed. This damage increases to 1d8 at 3rd level, to 3d8 at
5th level, and by an additional 1d8 every 2 levels thereafter. You
can’t use this ability with a weapon that has the unwieldy special
property or that requires a full action to make a single attack.

An example of this would be can you make a stealth check to perform a trick attack if you are being observed? The rules on observation state that you can't:

Page 260 Observing - the Second paragraph:
A creature currently being observed can’t attempt a Stealth check without first breaking that observation. To break
observation, the creature must either mask itself from your
precise senses (with darkness, fog, invisibility, or the like, but
not with effects such as displacement that still leave a clear
visual indicator of its location), move somewhere it can’t be
observed (a place with cover, for example), or use Bluff to create
a distraction to momentarily break your observation of it.

If this does not apply, then do any of the rules both aiding or otherwise still apply?

Page 54 Ysoki:
Ysoki receive a +2 racial bonus to Engineering, Stealth, and Survival checks.

Page 397 Undergrowth:
Fungal blooms, vines, roots, and short bushes cover much of
the ground in a forest. Undergrowth counts as difficult terrain
(see page 257), provides concealment (20% miss chance), and
increases the DCs of Acrobatics and Stealth checks by 2. Squares
with undergrowth are often clustered together. Undergrowth
and trees aren’t mutually exclusive; it’s common for a 5-foot
square to have both a tree and undergrowth.

What about armor check penalties?


1) Yep.

2) Yep.

3) ... maybe?

Liberty's Edge

The way I read the Trick Attack, it is a class features that allows your character to do something unexpected that provide a benefit if successful.

The specific rule thus overrides the general rule. The specific rule related to Trick Attack overrides the general rule of no stealth if observed.

Bonuses granted by race or feats would apply. Penalties caused by external conditions like undergrowth would also apply.

Since Armor Check Penalties are on the skill check, they would still apply.


The thing to bear in mind is that succeeding on the Trick Attack, be it stealth or otherwise, ONLY grants the bonus dice to damage after you hit. The end.

Trying to bring in all of the other parts of the skill, such as the penalty to move as well as the benefits, such as being targeted, DO NOT APPLY.


Trick Attack is its own thing and does not require all the additional rules for the specific skill in question. Otherwise... a Ghost Operative could never utilize their Trick Attack option in Combat and would be absolutely worthless. You are not hiding to gain the Trick Attack per se, but doing something in a stealthy way that helps your attack be more successful.


Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Gary Bush wrote:

The way I read the Trick Attack, it is a class features that allows your character to do something unexpected that provide a benefit if successful.

The specific rule thus overrides the general rule. The specific rule related to Trick Attack overrides the general rule of no stealth if observed.

Bonuses granted by race or feats would apply. Penalties caused by external conditions like undergrowth would also apply.

Since Armor Check Penalties are on the skill check, they would still apply.

What is the specific rule that overrides the general rule? The rules on Trick Attack itself says that you must succeed at a check in order to deal the extra damage. Regardless of your success you still can move up to your speed and you use a full action. I see nothing in the rule that explicitly says it is overriding a rule that would affect the outcome of the check and I can't find anything in the rules that would suggest it is implicit.

Kaderaan wrote:

The thing to bear in mind is that succeeding on the Trick Attack, be it stealth or otherwise, ONLY grants the bonus dice to damage after you hit. The end.

Trying to bring in all of the other parts of the skill, such as the penalty to move as well as the benefits, such as being targeted, DO NOT APPLY.

What does it matter if the only result of the Trick Attack only grants the bonus dice to damage after you hit (It also grants flat-footed)? It still requires a skill check to succeed. I'm sorry, I'm not following your logic which could be entirely my fault.

Faelyn wrote:

Trick Attack is its own thing and does not require all the additional rules for the specific skill in question. Otherwise... a Ghost Operative could never utilize their Trick Attack option in Combat and would be absolutely worthless. You are not hiding to gain the Trick Attack per se, but doing something in a stealthy way that helps your attack be more successful.

I'm not sure how you came to this conclusion. Nowhere in the rules that I can find does it say that when you are making a skill check for an ability that you ignore the conditions of the skill check. If you can find it I would love it! No joking, I'm not trying to argue against ignoring the additional rule, I am trying to find the justification to do so.

Also, there are many ways you can use stealth in combat. The stealth check only requires that you break observation. They can still be aware of you and you can take a stealth check. So anything from smoke to dim light can allow you to make a stealth check.

Grand Lodge

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Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Society Roleplaying Guild Subscriber

You kinda forgot a big portion of the text.

The quoted bit of the stealth skill only applies to using stealth to Hide, not to make a trick attack.

You're also not using the skill to Snipe.

You're making a Stealth check to Trick attack.
There is nothing in the skill that adds or subtracts anything from that.

Edit, nvm, just noticed that the quoted text is from a different part of the book.

Anyway, this is a case of applying common sense.
Do you want to purposefully make it impossible for an operative to use the Stealth skill for his trick attack, read it as restrictive as possible.
Do you want the class feature to work, allow the stealth skill to be made even when observed.


Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Damanta wrote:

You kinda forgot a big portion of the text.

The quoted bit of the stealth skill only applies to using stealth to Hide, not to make a trick attack.

You're also not using the skill to Snipe.

You're making a Stealth check to Trick attack.
There is nothing in the skill that adds or subtracts anything from that.

Edit, nvm, just noticed that the quoted text is from a different part of the book.

Anyway, this is a case of applying common sense.
Do you want to purposefully make it impossible for an operative to use the Stealth skill for his trick attack, read it as restrictive as possible.
Do you want the class feature to work, allow the stealth skill to be made even when observed.

Why would it be impossible to use the trick attack if you apply the rules involving stealth? You only need to break observation in order to make a stealth check, and a full-speed movement is part of the ability, why couldn't you just hide behind a box?


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The hide application of the stealth check is not applicable here, and not all stealth checks are subject to the Hide rules.

You can use stealth while being observed. You are applying a specific application of stealth (Hide) that has not been asked for.

While it's understandable that you're connecting the two, Stealth =/= Hide. You can hide something (move in a way that deters active scrutiny) with stealth while being observed, but Hiding your entire self while being observed requires hide in plain sight/diversion/cover etc.

Yes, there are crossovers with bluff or sleight of hand but this is actually fine.

Stealth is just 'be stealthy' and can be done in a lot of different ways. You are not attempting, for example, to hide your entire person in this example, therefore 'hide' is not applicable.

If the rules wanted to have a specific, yet different method for resolving each of these, they would explain accordingly (and simultaneously make the whole system much more cumbersome, which would fly against the apparent design goals of Starfinder as a whole).

In cases where there's additional requirements to rolling the dice other than just changing the check, they are mentioned: ie hacker needs nearby computers and it covers this.

If you want an example of why doing otherwise would be problematic, if you apply the logic to the other specializations:


  • Detective should probably require an opposed bluff check vs their sense motive for trick attack
  • Thieves using sleight of hand might require opposed perception checks because "hide object" entry requires it.

It bogs it all down, and the supposed class 'feature' quickly morphs into something bizarre, at best situationally useful, and at worst a direct downgrade from the original.

Basically:

Unless a specific skill check calls out a specific rules entry usage, it may not actually be using that usage.

Yes, common sense applies: but in this case, you aren't attempting to disappear from observation entirely, therefore the "Hide" entry is not applicable. Does it have a bit of a hazy crossover with Sleight of Hand? yes. But it's not meant to completely rework the application of the skill, simply change which one gets rolled.

Liberty's Edge

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Who is to say that the stealth check is to draw the holdout blaster that your future husband is blocking line of sight from the stormtrooper?I

It is a class feature. Let's not over think it.


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Starfinder Charter Superscriber

This has been discussed, with very good points on either side, in another thread. I think we just need to FAQ it and wait for an answer.


Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Obbu wrote:

The hide application of the stealth check is not applicable here, and not all stealth checks are subject to the Hide rules.

You can use stealth while being observed. You are applying a specific application of stealth (Hide) that has not been asked for.

The rule of not being able to do a stealth check while being observed does not state that this is only applicable to 'hide'. It says it is generally used for the 'hide' aspect of a stealth check but clearly says you cannot attempt a stealth check while being observed:

Page 260 Observing full text:
When you are observing a creature, you can directly perceive
the creature with a precise sense. Generally, this occurs when
a creature is visible, when the situation makes it impossible for
the creature use Stealth to hide, or when you have succeeded
at a Perception check to pinpoint the creature using a precise
sense such as blindsight. You must be observing a creature to
use a ranged effect that targets a specific creature without
requiring an attack roll to hit (such as magic missile). You
can also make normal attacks, including ones using ranged
abilities, against creatures that you are observing. Again, it is
subject to area effects that affect its location.

A creature currently being observed can’t attempt a Stealth
check without first breaking that observation.
To break
observation, the creature must either mask itself from your
precise senses (with darkness, fog, invisibility, or the like, but
not with effects such as displacement that still leave a clear
visual indicator of its location), move somewhere it can’t be
observed (a place with cover, for example), or use Bluff to create
a distraction to momentarily break your observation of it.

Obbu wrote:

In cases where there's additional requirements to rolling the dice other than just changing the check, they are mentioned: ie hacker needs nearby computers and it covers this.

If you want an example of why doing otherwise would be problematic, if you apply the logic to the other specializations:

Detective should probably require an opposed bluff check vs their sense motive for trick attack
Thieves using sleight of hand might require opposed perception checks because "hide object" entry requires it.

The Trick Attack rule gives you a DC that you are rolling against.

Obbu wrote:

Unless a specific skill check calls out a specific rules entry usage, it may not actually be using that usage.

So do you apply bonuses such as racial bonuses if it is not specifically called out?

Gary Bush wrote:

Who is to say that the stealth check is to draw the holdout blaster that your future husband is blocking line of sight from the stormtrooper?I

It is a class feature. Let's not over think it.

That's still a stealth check to do the Trick Attack in your scenario. Nothing that I have read says you ignore rules if it's a class feature. And I don't consider it over thinking it.


Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Jhaeman wrote:
This has been discussed, with very good points on either side, in another thread. I think we just need to FAQ it and wait for an answer.

I agree, I think a FAQ is the only way to get a clear-cut answer. And I am sorry if I am coming off as argumentative. It's honestly not my intent. I will leave this alone until we hopefully get an answer from the FAQ.


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On the one hand, I feel that the intent of the wording of the Trick Attack ability is pretty clear about it being a separate and stand alone skill check; but on the other hand, there are possibly several parts of the Rulebook interacting here, and each part is just vague enough that it isn't unreasonable to want a little clarification from the Developers. Even a single line in this thread would probably be enough to set minds at ease; and it would give us somewhere to point to if and/or when confusion about this crops up in the future.

It's worth a FAQ if it prevents worries or arguments about it later.


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dvrobiqu wrote:
Jhaeman wrote:
This has been discussed, with very good points on either side, in another thread. I think we just need to FAQ it and wait for an answer.
I agree, I think a FAQ is the only way to get a clear-cut answer. And I am sorry if I am coming off as argumentative. It's honestly not my intent. I will leave this alone until we hopefully get an answer from the FAQ.

You haven't really come across as argumentative to me; more as someone who sees a potential issue with the system, and who refuses to hand wave the possible interactions away just because that is the likely intent.

You want a concrete answer one way or another; and lacking one you interpret the rules in a literal, if harsh, fashion. I don't think you'll find many people around who would take your interpretation as the correct one; but that doesn't mean that your reasoning is without merit.

Attempting to understand what a rule actually says and means can be just as important as understanding what the people writing it were trying to convey.


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Spoiler:

Observing
When you are observing a creature, you can directly perceive
the creature with a precise sense. Generally, this occurs when
a creature is visible, when the situation makes it impossible for
the creature use Stealth to hide, or when you have succeeded
at a Perception check to pinpoint the creature using a precise
sense such as blindsight.
You must be observing a creature to
use a ranged effect that targets a specific creature without
requiring an attack roll to hit (such as magic missile). You
can also make normal attacks, including ones using ranged
abilities, against creatures that you are observing. Again, it is
subject to area effects that affect its location.

A creature currently being observed can’t attempt a Stealth
check without first breaking that observation
. To break
observation, the creature must either mask itself from your
precise senses (with darkness, fog, invisibility, or the like, but
not with effects such as displacement that still leave a clear
visual indicator of its location), move somewhere it can’t be
observed (a place with cover, for example), or use Bluff to create
a distraction to momentarily break your observation of it.

emphasis mine.

The context is provided in the first paragraph: I'm willing to concede that if you decide that the first paragraph of the "Observing" rules does not provide context for the second paragraph of the "Observing" rules, but that instead you should apply the second paragraph to checks that are outside of the current discussion, then we might have a problem.

That sentence, if taken in a vacuum, would prevent stealth checks of any description from being attempted, I can agree on that.

I'm also willing to concede that future printings might be served by using the words "such a stealth check" instead of "a stealth check", and thus you could probably justify an FAQ.

However: I assert that the RAW and RAI is extremely clear:

1) observing rules are used against "stealth to hide"

2) the rule about not being able to perform that check comes under the observing rules, after their scope has already been narrowed to "stealth to hide" and is thus relevant to the observing rules using stealth to hide, not all stealth checks.

Liberty's Edge

dvrobiqu wrote:
That's still a stealth check to do the Trick Attack in your scenario. Nothing that I have read says you ignore rules if it's a class feature. And I don't consider it over thinking it.

Ok maybe I was a little too subtle.

Is it possible to break observation for part of your body? Can you break observation as part of the move by passing behind another creature, either ally or hostile?

There are ways to make it work if the player can give a reasonable justification. I believe the intent of the designers is for the player to use a class feature even of if they are observed.

So table variance time I guess.

Grand Lodge

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Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Society Roleplaying Guild Subscriber

You don't need to give justification for how you do your trick attack.


Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Obbu wrote:

** spoiler omitted **

emphasis mine.

The context is provided in the first paragraph: I'm willing to concede that if you decide that the first paragraph of the "Observing" rules does not provide context for the second paragraph of the "Observing" rules, but that instead you should apply the second paragraph to checks that are outside of the current discussion, then we might have a problem.

That sentence, if taken in a vacuum, would prevent stealth checks of any description from being attempted, I can agree on that.

That is honestly not how I read it.

The first paragraph is describing the conditions that need to be met in order to determine if you are observing a creature. It then lists examples of what situations would warrant being considered observed. The first paragraph does not require the creature to make a stealth check to hide, it is saying that if a stealth check to hide is impossible to make the creature generally is considered observed. The second paragraph is stating the ramifications of being observed. Neither of the paragraphs requires the creature to make a stealth check to hide.

Gary Bush wrote:


Ok maybe I was a little too subtle.

Is it possible to break observation for part of your body? Can you break observation as part of the move by passing behind another creature, either ally or hostile?

There are ways to make it work if the player can give a reasonable justification. I believe the intent of the designers is for the player to use a class feature even of if they are observed.

So table variance time I guess.

The Trick Attack does not require the player to justify how you do the Trick Attack.

Damanta wrote:

You don't need to give justification for how you do your trick attack.

Which is exactly where a lot of the issues I have with the Trick Attack lie. If a player does not give a justification for how she is using the Trick Attack then I as GM must apply the rules as written. If you can stealth while being observed because the trick attack doesn't say you can't, then can a paralyzed player move? Of course not, which is why saying a player doesn't need justification, in my opinion, does not excuse a GM from applying the situational mechanics of the game.

I know there's a better example than paralyzed out there but it's fairly early where I'm at and I think it gets the general point across that not needing a justification should not mean that you do not need to apply limitations.

Grand Lodge

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Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Society Roleplaying Guild Subscriber

No it's you trying to find justification for not letting a *core class feature* work.


Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Damanta wrote:
No it's you trying to find justification for not letting a *core class feature* work.

That is simply not true.


Honestly I'm leaning to going with dvrobiqu. It makes the granting of multiple skills to use Trick Attack make more sense. If you can't use Stealth, you can still try Bluff (not possible against creatures without absolute knowledge of truth/lies) or Intimidate (not possible against creatures unable to feel fear) or whichever skill you get from your Specialization.

All of the skills specializations use have plenty or ways they wouldn't work. The fact that there are certain situations in which some skills don't work does't contradict "you don't have to justify."

There a situations in which every single class feature in the game can be restricted, why should Operative's specifically be exempt from this?


Quote:
There a situations in which every single class feature in the game can be restricted, why should Operative's specifically be exempt from this?

Really? Every single one? How do you turn off a soldier's bonus feats then?


swoosh wrote:
Quote:
There a situations in which every single class feature in the game can be restricted, why should Operative's specifically be exempt from this?
Really? Every single one? How do you turn off a soldier's bonus feats then?

Don't turn them off, but literally every situation in which combat isn't happening they don't apply.

RPG Superstar Season 9 Top 16

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Trick Attack invokes a new unique type of use for the skill that does not follow the rules for other uses of the skill.

For example, you wouldn't use the same rules and restrictions for tumbling with the Acrobatics skill as you would for flying because these are two completely different uses of the Acrobatics skill. The same logic applies to trick attack and any other use of the utilized skill.

Armor check penalty still applies because the penalty applies directly to your total skill bonus regardless of how you use the skill.


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Also, Trick Attack is vs. a fixed DC (level dependent, of course) as opposed to a normal skill use, which is opposed.

Stealth doesn't oppose the opponent's Perception.

Bluff doesn't oppose the opponent's Sense Motive.

That leads me to believe this is a unique use and not dependent on the normal (or abnormal) uses of the skills as written under the skill headers.


Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
dvrobiqu wrote:


Damanta wrote:

You don't need to give justification for how you do your trick attack.

Which is exactly where a lot of the issues I have with the Trick Attack lie. If a player does not give a justification for how she is using the Trick Attack then I as GM must apply the rules as written. If you can stealth while being observed because the trick attack doesn't say you can't, then can a paralyzed player move? Of course not, which is why saying a player doesn't need justification, in my opinion, does not excuse a GM from applying the situational mechanics of the game.

I know there's a better example than paralyzed out there but it's fairly early where I'm at and I think it gets the general point across that not needing a justification should not mean that you do not need to apply limitations.

After rereading all relevant sections, I'm coming down on dvrobiqu's side regarding an operative's trick attack. The observing rules SHOULD have been more specific that you can't hide while being observed, but they aren't. So, no using the stealth skill unless you can somehow break the observation, including the specific new use of the skill that the trick attack ability grants.

As a GM, I'd probably allow it anyways (to ghost operatives at the very least). Especially if more than on person is engaged with the target and they can reasonably argue the target is a bit distracted already, so no need to bluff then stealth. If they wanted to Hide, I'd still require the bluff, but not trick attack.

I also still feel that the Trick attack ability is granting new Operative-only uses to the relevant skills, and that limitations to one use of the skill don't necessarily impact the trick attack use. Restrictions (and bonuses! like the ability to take 10) to the entire skill, and the wording on Observed is blunt enough to qualify, do though.


AnimatedPaper wrote:
dvrobiqu wrote:


Damanta wrote:

You don't need to give justification for how you do your trick attack.

Which is exactly where a lot of the issues I have with the Trick Attack lie. If a player does not give a justification for how she is using the Trick Attack then I as GM must apply the rules as written. If you can stealth while being observed because the trick attack doesn't say you can't, then can a paralyzed player move? Of course not, which is why saying a player doesn't need justification, in my opinion, does not excuse a GM from applying the situational mechanics of the game.

I know there's a better example than paralyzed out there but it's fairly early where I'm at and I think it gets the general point across that not needing a justification should not mean that you do not need to apply limitations.

After rereading all relevant sections, I'm coming down on dvrobiqu's side regarding an operative's trick attack. The observing rules SHOULD have been more specific that you can't hide while being observed, but they aren't. So, no using the stealth skill unless you can somehow break the observation, including the specific new use of the skill that the trick attack ability grants.

As a GM, I'd probably allow it anyways (to ghost operatives at the very least). Especially if more than on person is engaged with the target and they can reasonably argue the target is a bit distracted already, so no need to bluff then stealth. If they wanted to Hide, I'd still require the bluff, but not trick attack.

I also still feel that the Trick attack ability is granting new Operative-only uses to the relevant skills, and that limitations to one use of the skill don't necessarily impact the trick attack use. Restrictions (and bonuses! like the ability to take 10) to the entire skill, and the wording on Observed is blunt enough to qualify, do though.

Just to clarify...

You wan the Operative, during combat, to first roll the opposed skill check (as relevant to the action). Have a target oppose it (but operative doesn't have to pick a target). THEN roll the trick attack still check vs. the DC listed in the trick attack section. THEN roll the attack. Every round.

No thanks. That is almost as bad as a million summoned critters as everyone waits around for all of these checks.


Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

No. Like I said, I'd just let them roll it, but that's me houseruling it.

If they were trying to do a trick attack without first seeking cover, concealment of some kind, going invisible, or creating a distraction (which targets everything that can observe you, and gives every potential target an opposed roll), AND I was adjucating a table where house rules didn't apply, such as SFS, then I would regrettably have to say that they cannot make any use of the stealth skill, including making a trick attack using that skill.


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AnimatedPaper wrote:

No. Like I said, I'd just let them roll it, but that's me houseruling it.

If they were trying to do a trick attack without first seeking cover, concealment of some kind, going invisible, or creating a distraction (which targets everything that can observe you, and gives every potential target an opposed roll), AND I was adjucating a table where house rules didn't apply, such as SFS, then I would regrettably have to say that they cannot make any use of the stealth skill, including making a trick attack using that skill.

Then you would be in error.

No point of the Trick Attack says that you are attempting to hide as part of the Trick Attack.


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Rysky the Dark Solarion wrote:
AnimatedPaper wrote:

No. Like I said, I'd just let them roll it, but that's me houseruling it.

If they were trying to do a trick attack without first seeking cover, concealment of some kind, going invisible, or creating a distraction (which targets everything that can observe you, and gives every potential target an opposed roll), AND I was adjucating a table where house rules didn't apply, such as SFS, then I would regrettably have to say that they cannot make any use of the stealth skill, including making a trick attack using that skill.

Then you would be in error.

No point of the Trick Attack says that you are attempting to hide as part of the Trick Attack.

Exactly.

Hide is an opposed skill check. Trick Attack is not.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
dvrobiqu wrote:
If a player does not give a justification for how she is using the Trick Attack then I as GM must apply the rules as written. If you can stealth while being observed because the trick attack doesn't say you can't, then can a paralyzed player move? Of course not, which is why saying a player doesn't need justification, in my opinion, does not excuse a GM from applying the situational mechanics of the game.

"It's nice if you justify it in a cool way, but it's only necessary if you want it to be. Otherwise you can just say something generic like <snip> "I use Trick Attack." It depends on group preference."

Please notice the tag next to his name, "Designer" - he's a person you should generally listen to, when they seek to understand the rules.

Notice the other examples given:

Quote:
"I try to distract her with my computer again" "I try to duck out of her line of sight" "I read her movements" "I fake her out"

- Computer: how is it done? Doesn't matter.

- Stealth: how is it done? Irrelevant.

- Sense Motive: well, that's kind of straight-forward.

- Bluff: at least, I'm guessing it's bluff - could be Sleight of hand.

Why doesn't it matter? Because...

Quote:
Otherwise you can just say something generic like <snip> or just "I use Trick Attack."

Now, there may be a difference between RAW and RAI, but the RAI has been made extremely clear. You are not "forced" to do anything, because one of the Designers has made it clear what the intent was.

Of course, if you want to, you can tell your group you intend to do it in a manner other than Designer intent, but within more solid RAW. After all,

Quote:
It depends on group preference.

And that's fine. Preferring to play that way is not wrong, it's just not considered standard when Designer intent is so clear.

As an aside (not directly related to the topic, but worth noting, jsut in case it's a question), you roll two dice when making a Trick Attack. Made by "Starfinder Design Lead" - another person people should generally listen to, when they seek to understand the rules.

Hope that helps!


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Rysky the Dark Solarion wrote:
AnimatedPaper wrote:

No. Like I said, I'd just let them roll it, but that's me houseruling it.

If they were trying to do a trick attack without first seeking cover, concealment of some kind, going invisible, or creating a distraction (which targets everything that can observe you, and gives every potential target an opposed roll), AND I was adjucating a table where house rules didn't apply, such as SFS, then I would regrettably have to say that they cannot make any use of the stealth skill, including making a trick attack using that skill.

Then you would be in error.

No point of the Trick Attack says that you are attempting to hide as part of the Trick Attack.

The issue they are having problems with is that, while the first paragraph on observation gives an example of stealth for hiding, the second paragraph simply states that you cannot attempt a Stealth check while being observed.

It doesn't say you can't attempt a Stealth check to hide; it states you can't make a Stealth check at all.

I don't believe that these rules are supposed to interact with Trick Attack; but the wording is unfortunate nonetheless.


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Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Except as Dvr points out, the observed rule says you can't use stealth at all while being observed. I think that was an error, but until it is corrected, I also agree with his interpretation that the observed rules first paragraph doesn't narrow the observed rules to only apply to stealth checks to hide. Again, I think it should have, but I disagree that it currently does.

But that's honestly a slightly different question than the thread originally proposed. Our point of contention is not if we're supposed to apply all relevant stealth penalties and bonuses to trick attacks that use that skill, which I think we all agree should be the case, it's whether or not being observed prevents you from using stealth at all, not just stealth to hide. It's exceptionally annoying because it's just this one skill afaik; no other skill has that kind of blanket "do not pass go" restriction without it being referenced by the trick attack itself.

Edit:

Deadbeat Doom wrote:
I don't believe that these rules are supposed to interact with Trick Attack; but the wording is unfortunate nonetheless.

Sums it up better than I can.


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So you have one reading for one skill that stops the trick attack being possible, and one reading for that skill that allows the trick attack to happen like every other skill and like the game's designers say should happen.

I think from those possibilities it's clear that it should be possible to use stealth to perform a trick attack if you're observed.


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I don't think it was explicitly mentioned, but conditional modifiers should probably apply, i.e. acrobatics in an icy surface or Sense Motive on an Android would take penalties.


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Andy Brown wrote:

So you have one reading for one skill that stops the trick attack being possible, and one reading for that skill that allows the trick attack to happen like every other skill and like the game's designers say should happen.

I think from those possibilities it's clear that it should be possible to use stealth to perform a trick attack if you're observed.

I strongly agree with this. Trick attack lets you make a check using your bonus to either bluff, intimidate, stealth, athletics, sense motive, survival, computers, or sleight of hand depending on your specialization.

Rules lawyering this so that stealth can't be used anytime in combat and every other mode can doesn't make sense. This isn't contract law and I don't understand why you are trying so hard to disqualify stealth. Operatives need trick attack to stay relevant in combat. Solarians and Soldiers crush them. Every other class with longarms would crush them if they couldn't consistently trick attack in combat until maybe when they get triple attack.

Are you going to disallow survival in an open field because you can't "use your surroundings"? Are you going to disallow bluff and intimidate against mindless monsters because they don't think? Are you going to make the operative physically use a computer since you can't hack at range unless you're a mechanic? Is sleight of hand useless against enemies that don't have vision? How deep does this rabbit hole go?

If I was playing with a GM that insisted on all these restrictions I'd just go daredevil and always use acrobatics which I can't think of any reasonable way to disallow use of. All of these modes always work and you should use whichever suits your character's theme the most.


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I'm going to play devils advocate just a bit. Not being able to use stealth when being observed is a general restriction on the skill and you use the skill to initiate your trick attack. There are examples of restriction in being able to use other skills in initiating trick attack, specifically with the hacking specialty you are required to have some computerized something nearby. Granted this is not likely to be a problem, but there is precedent for the initiation of a trick attack to be restricted. So I can see it being possible that you must meet certain requirements to initiate a trick attack, and general restrictions on using a skill (such as stealth) would apply.

Now it it obvious that operative rely heavily on being able to use their trick attack. If you only had one skill available as an operative to initiate a trick attack a restriction on that skill would be crippling. However, every operative has at least 3 skills that they may use to initiate a trick attack and most have four. Why? if you receive a large bonus to a specific skill and that skill could not be a restricted why would the designers give operatives a myriad of ways to initiate a trick attack if they would never use any except the one for which they receive the large bonus? I propose that this is because since there ARE restrictions on the various skill used for this purpose. Since designers want operatives to be able to be effective they give them several options to trick attack so that they can work around the various skill restrictions to meet the problem at hand.

Obviously an operative would usually use the skill that they are best at (their specialization) to trick attack as that has the greatest chance of success. When that option is unavailable due to some circumstance they use another skill to trick attack. Very occasionally all skill would not be usable, or at least not effective. Here is where the option of a triple/quadruple full attack becomes the option of resort. And actually by the time you can do these they are always a competitive option.

Now to address the comment Mark (designer) made regarding trick attack not having to be justified. Many people are using this comment as an excuse to say that trick attack works in all circumstances. This is not what Mark said, he said you don't have to justify it. To me this means you don't have to give a narrative for each and every trick attack. I think we can agree this would get old very fast. He did not say that you could ignore any restrictions on the skill.

Now for the ghost specialty being unfairly put upon by my interpretation. I would like to point out that by level 5 a ghost operative can hide in plain sight, which effective means that they can remove the usual restriction on the stealth skill.


EC Gamer Guy wrote:
I don't think it was explicitly mentioned, but conditional modifiers should probably apply, i.e. acrobatics in an icy surface or Sense Motive on an Android would take penalties.

Good point - Agreed.


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baggageboy wrote:
I'm going to play devils advocate just a bit. Not being able to use stealth when being observed is a general restriction on the skill and you use the skill to initiate your trick attack. There are examples of restriction in being able to use other skills in initiating trick attack, specifically with the hacking specialty you are required to have some computerized something nearby. Granted this is not likely to be a problem,

Comm units are computers and fitted in all armour, handheld computers are cheap, there's a good chance somebody will have a drone, most combats will be in high tech surroundings. Seems that not having the ability to use it will be rare.

Quote:

Since designers want operatives to be able to be effective they give them several options to trick attack so that they can work around the various skill restrictions to meet the problem at hand.

a good point.

Quote:
Now for the ghost specialty being unfairly put upon by my interpretation. I would like to point out that by level 5 a ghost operative can hide in plain sight, which effective means that they can remove the usual restriction on the stealth skill.

an even better point I'd not picked up on


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So the ghost has to use its level 5 ability in order to use its level 1 ability effectively? And if he chooses to use his level 5 ability to sneak into an area before combat he'll be useless in combat?

I'll restate my earlier point: Are you going to disallow survival in an open field (or indoors) because you can't "use your surroundings"? Are you going to disallow bluff and intimidate against mindless monsters because they don't think? Are you going to make the operative physically use a computer since you can't hack at range unless you're a mechanic? Is sleight of hand useless against enemies that don't have vision? How many restrictions are you going to put on an operative's class defining ability?

If your guys' interpretation were correct then the only logical conclusion would to play the daredevil specialization 100% of the time.


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If you run into a situation where you can't use one skill use a different one. That's why you have multiple options, so you can adapt to the situation. And daredevil will probably have some times when you can't use it too, or at least when doing so would be penalized to a point where another skill in your repritore would work better. Though it probably wouldn't happen very frequently. Also something to keep in mind that this choice has more effect than just your trick attack. There's more to the choice than just trick attack.

Dark Archive

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Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber

Here’s the funny thing. Now, I come down currently on the side that observation prevents the use... however...

It doesn’t take much to break that observation, just for an instant. Remember, trick attack come with a move as part of the action. Duck past that crate over there, or through that foliage. Go around a corner, then pop right back.

I’ve run 4 different SFS scenarios (including quests) and there were opportunities to use this in every single fight. Some may have taken a little more work, but all had the possibility.

The examples folks keep giving me always seem like bluff or sleight of hand, however. My main problem is, conceptually, I cannot envision what he operative is doing to set up the trick attack. Saying “it is a game mechanic, it just works, get over it” does not help me picture what is going on. That is where my problem is.

That being said, I will abide by what appears to be a ruling by Mark Seifter. At least, that is, until there is a more conclusive FAQ or errata (which I truly believe is needed).

Dark Archive

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My read is this when doing a trick attack you pick a skill that works with TA so Bluff, Intimidate, or Stealth check (or a check associated with your specialization). You use that skill modifier Vs the Dc. That's it don't over think it the trick attack gives you ever step you need to do to use the ability

Dark Archive

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Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber

But, that’s the thing. It actually says attempt a bluff, intimidate, or stealth check, not make a trick attack check using your bonus from bluff, intimidate, or stealth.

As a comparison, in starship combat, you can use your ranks in pilot plus your dex bonus for the gunnery check. This is called out as a different type of check. You are not making a piloting check, as you would be during the helm phase.

Dark Archive

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Still think you are reading to much into this. But seeing as you are rolling Vs the trick attack DC I still think this is use the skill (bonus) to make the trick attack check. Think it's to hard to figure out when you can and can not use skills to make trick attack work and that seems less fun.


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Trick attacks work from level one. That has to be the default assumption. If you are reading a rule so that it doesn't work you are reading the rule wrong, or making incorrect assumptions.

The restriction on hacking is explicit and mentioned in the operative class ability. No such restrictions on stealth are mentioned in the class ability.

Dark Archive

Well said. My biggest fear would be the monster you say can't bluff,intimate, stealth,or spec skill. Yes the odds of something having defenses to all of them is low.. But how fun would it be to have to use the one skill that you have no ranks it to try and trick attack something?


mike roper wrote:
Well said. My biggest fear would be the monster you say can't bluff,intimate, stealth,or spec skill. Yes the odds of something having defenses to all of them is low.. But how fun would it be to have to use the one skill that you have no ranks it to try and trick attack something?

I knew there was a reason I liked thief spec for sleight of hand trick attack.


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Well consider for a moment what it will be like if you are fighting an NPC operative. Do you want they to automatically get trick attack if all circumstances against you? It's very easy already to get trick attack to work. And you have tons of skill points, you get one trick attack skill at full ranks for free, have 8branks per level and are likely to have some intelligence to pick up even more. I don't think it unreasonable to ask an operative to max another skill or two if they want to be able to trick attack with skills aside from their specialty.

I still haven't gotten any answer to this question, if your specialty skill always works, why have other options given to you? They would be redundant. Why would anyone even care that they had them. You could say that it is so that a player can choose to flavor it differently, but that is a very weak argument.

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