Operative Exploit - Cloaking Field


Rules Questions

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Maps Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Superscriber

Does the +10 bonus a Ghost Operative gets from Cloaking Field apply to his roll for tricks attacks?


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I don't think so, since it requires him to remain perfectly still, and a trick attack includes an attack, which is movement

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Maps Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Superscriber

I’m trying to anticipate how my players will argue this, so here goes: The trick attack allows a move action. Therefore, the operative activates the cloaking field as his move action then makes his trick attack using the +10 cloaking field bonus to add to his trick attack roll. Rinse and repeat each round up to 10 rounds. Additionally, the attack doesn’t end the cloaking field, just that particular attempt to hide. And trick attacks don’t require the character to actively be using the associated skill. They’re simply using that skill to get the roll.


You don’t gets +10 bonus until you activate it and stand still for 1 round. Your scenario in no way works.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Maps Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Superscriber

In that case, I can see them make these arguments:
1) They have a situation where they are aware of the enemy. Prior to going into
combat, the operative uses the cloaking field, so that he can use the bonus on
his 1st round.
2) In subsequent rounds, he uses one round to shoot as a standard action and
activate the cloaking field as a move action. Then in the next round he takes the
+ 10 bonus for his trick attack.

I know this sounds like a lot of rules lawyering, but my players are adept at
exploiting rules that are not well-defined.

Sovereign Court

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I'm not sure the trick attack move action allows for actions other than simply moving (unless you have talents etc that specifically allow you to do such actions like the sniper one that allows you to aim during the trick attack). Therefore they cannot sub in the move action to activate the cloaking field, so the whole point is moot. Except I suppose for the first shot if they were already cloaked, in which case I don't see why not.

Dark Archive

Something to consider is that the trick attack is a full action that allows the operative to move up to their speed before making their attack with an operative melee weapon or a small arm.

So, no move action to activate the cloaking field as part of the trick attack.

However, I could see getting some utility from the Cloaking Field, presuming that the operative spent a round standing still prior to each use of their trick attack to gain the +10 bonus to Stealth. Might be useful for an ambush, but doesn't seem very action-efficient once combat has started.

(this is kind of what the OP describes in his example, but that plan (Step 2) doesn't account for the 1 round of "remaining perfectly still" to gain the +10 Stealth bonus on subsequent rounds of combat)


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Honestly, you should be pretty close to auto success at trick attacks when this is (not actually) even an option.

Dark Archive

Xenocrat wrote:
Honestly, you should be pretty close to auto success at trick attacks when this is (not actually) even an option.

Yeah, usually requires the operative to be 10th level for this one, but the Ghost gets it at 5th as their specialized exploit.


The only way this might remotely work is:
Round 1 activate cloak
Round 2 remain perfectly still - i think this just means don't use an action to move from your square
Round 3 you get a +10 bonus to stealth that might apply to stealth checks as part of a trick attack to enable the use of trick attack successfully.

If a player wants to spend their turns doing this in combat...let them I guess. It's probably not within the rules, but at that point they're playing pretty sub-optimally. Especially while their friends are getting hit by the enemy.

Especially since around that same time frame the chance to make the the trick attack is almost guaranteed, since last time I checked you can use operatives Specialization Skill Mastery on your trick attack check.


Jarek Khasad wrote:


I know this sounds like a lot of rules lawyering, but my players are dept at exploiting rules that are not well-defined.

Yeah. That can be really annoying. And time consuming.

One of my tricks to deal with things like that is to allow the rule as they want it, but only for very specific edge cases that are unlikely to actually come up naturally.

Jarek Khasad wrote:

In that case, I can see them make these arguments:

1) They have a situation where they are aware of the enemy. Prior to going into combat, the operative uses the cloaking field, so that he can use the bonus on his 1st round.
2) In subsequent rounds, he uses one round to shoot as a standard action and activate the cloaking field as a move action. Then in the next round he takes the + 10 bonus for his trick attack.

In this case, the exploit that the player is arguing for is already fairly difficult to pull off. They have to waste an entire round doing absolutely nothing in order to get that +10 bonus.

If you do want to make it even more rare to actually work, make them pick the square that they will be attacking into at the start of the 1-round immobile cost.

So: pick a square to attack into. Begin being completely immobile for 1 round. When your round comes up again, if there happens to be an enemy in that square, you can trick attack it with the +10 bonus from Cloaking Field.

If they manage to pull that off, they kind-of deserve the +10.


breithauptclan wrote:
Jarek Khasad wrote:


I know this sounds like a lot of rules lawyering, but my players are dept at exploiting rules that are not well-defined.

Yeah. That can be really annoying. And time consuming.

One of my tricks to deal with things like that is to allow the rule as they want it, but only for very specific edge cases that are unlikely to actually come up naturally.

Jarek Khasad wrote:

In that case, I can see them make these arguments:

1) They have a situation where they are aware of the enemy. Prior to going into combat, the operative uses the cloaking field, so that he can use the bonus on his 1st round.
2) In subsequent rounds, he uses one round to shoot as a standard action and activate the cloaking field as a move action. Then in the next round he takes the + 10 bonus for his trick attack.

In this case, the exploit that the player is arguing for is already fairly difficult to pull off. They have to waste an entire round doing absolutely nothing in order to get that +10 bonus.

If you do want to make it even more rare to actually work, make them pick the square that they will be attacking into at the start of the 1-round immobile cost.

So: pick a square to attack into. Begin being completely immobile for 1 round. When your round comes up again, if there happens to be an enemy in that square, you can trick attack it with the +10 bonus from Cloaking Field.

If they manage to pull that off, they kind-of deserve the +10.

You can do more in the round you activate Cloaking Field, since it takes a move action to do it. You can always re-position our self and or take advantage of cover and any environmental advantage/s.


By the time you have the cloaking field aren't you taking 10 to stealth things and thus auto succeed on any stealth check to trick attack against cr +7 or lower?


BigNorseWolf wrote:

By the time you have the cloaking field aren't you taking 10 to stealth things and thus auto succeed on any stealth check to trick attack against cr +7 or lower?

Core Rulebook, p. 133 wrote:
Unless you have an ability that states otherwise, you cannot take 10 during a combat encounter. Also, you can’t take 10 when the GM rules that a situation is too hectic or that you are distracted, and taking 10 is almost never an option for a check that requires some sort of crucial effect as a key part of the adventure’s story.


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The Penecontemporaneous One wrote:
BigNorseWolf wrote:

By the time you have the cloaking field aren't you taking 10 to stealth things and thus auto succeed on any stealth check to trick attack against cr +7 or lower?

Core Rulebook, p. 133 wrote:
Unless you have an ability that states otherwise, you cannot take 10 during a combat encounter. Also, you can’t take 10 when the GM rules that a situation is too hectic or that you are distracted, and taking 10 is almost never an option for a check that requires some sort of crucial effect as a key part of the adventure’s story.

Operatives have an ability which states otherwise - Specialization Skill Mastery.

Taking 10 in combat, and thus on Trick Attack checks, is 99% of the point of that feature.


BigNorseWolf wrote:

By the time you have the cloaking field aren't you taking 10 to stealth things and thus auto succeed on any stealth check to trick attack against cr +7 or lower?

In this context, the cloaking field doesn't seem too terribly unbalancing. You can trick attack every round up to CR +7ish, or trick attack every other round in the ungodly unfair situation of your GM putting you up against CR +8 or higher (seriously, when would this happen? Attacking Cthulhu?).

*also, re: the last two posts, yes it's explicitly confirmed that skill mastery can be used to take 10 on trick attack.

Dataphiles

Or, using the same formatting as CanisDirus,

Core Rulebook, p. 93 wrote:

Specialization Skill Mastery 7th Level

You become so confident in certain skills that you can use them reliably even under adverse conditions. When attempting a skill check with a skill in which you have the Skill Focus feat, you can take 10 even if stress or distractions would normally prevent you from doing so.


And that, friends, shows exactly how far I haven't gotten in reading the higher levels of the Operative class! :P

Carry on!

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