Actions in combat


Rules Questions

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Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Society Subscriber

Because the Operative's Pounce thread is being completely derailed, here a new one.

Actions in combat:

When is the action defined? At what moment during your turn do you perform your move, standard or swift, or when do you perform a full-action. The discussion is focused around trick attack.

We have 2 arguments going.

My interpretation of argument 1. BNW please correct me if I am interpreting it wrong.
The action is left open until the end of the turn, at which point the action economy has to be correct.
This ensures that an operative can move up to his speed, then decide to trick attack.

Argument 2:
The action is signaled to the GM before anything happens on the battlemap. The operative takes a move action: move up to his speed, after which they only have a standard and swift left and are not allowed to trick attack.


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While I haven't followed the entirety of the previous thread, I would say that as a GM, I would favour procedure 2 mostly but allow procedure 1 under certain circumstances.

My view would be based on the premise that if the character (not the player) gained some knowledge due to (say) moving first, then you can't go back and suddenly incorporate the move into a full action.

So, if a character walks around a corner and notices something going on (that they would have been unaware of) then they couldn't change the move to be part of a full action.

If a character double moved to be adjacent to an enemy and then the player says "Well, I can't attack since I've used up my action". I would be happy to allow that to be changed to a Charge if someone reminded them of what Charge does allow.


Most actions have an in world thing they represent, and most actions in world have a defined action type.

The operatives trick attack is really weird in that there is no difference if they are waltzing accross the floor to get a glass of milk or they are waltzing accross the room to gank someone in the kidney.

Some really weird corner case where that isn't so isn't a reason to have an operative's player filing a flight plan differentiating between the move part of their trick attack and an in world indistinguishable move action. A distinction that exists only between the DM and the player and nowhere else. There's nothing in the rules that says that distinction even needs to be made. Actions are performed, not declared (except ready)

If you are in initiative and the operative is acting, there should be at least be awareness that a kidney to gank is lurking nearby. Making characters that have won initiative waste their turn "going" with nothing to act on has in my experience been a method of cheesing people out of an action far more than anything else.

In a turn based game, there is no declaration phase. You just do your alloted actions. The game doesn't cover very well and kind of breaks down
when you leave the turn based system to be interrupted, even with information mid turn. Those interruptions are part of the game, but the rules really don't cover what happens when they break things. (thats one reason offensive readied actions got nerfed so hard)


Pathfinder Maps, Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

I handle it much like xris does in my games.

I typically ask my players to clearly communicate what their characters are doing as they do it. Not after the fact. There's no rolling a save at the start of the round, getting a poor result, then claiming it was a knowledge check, then rolling the save again at my table. If the table doesn't know what you're doing before you do it, it is invalid.


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between

knight to queen bishop 3 witht he kaperski manuever

Starknight rushes accross the map desperate to defend his party members and slices at the not a xenomorphs ribcage

I know how i'd prefer to see combats described.


How would GMs handle the following situation.

A hero is attacking a monster. She can see that the monster has taken a far amount of damage but she is not sure just how much longer the monster will last. One more hit? Two more? The hero also wants to move away and help out somewhere else so she would also like to move as soon as the monster is dealt with.

So, the hero has a number of choices, but let's just consider two of them.

(a) Take a Full Action (Full Attack) and make the two Attacks at a -4 penalty. Hopefully that should finish off the monster, the hero can move away next turn.

(b) Take an Attack action, hope to take down the monster now and if so she can move away this turn.

Case A
Now, what happens if the monster is defeated with the first attack? Would the GM allow the Full Attack to be turned into a Attack and Move action?

Personally, I think I would allow this. The player made the first attack roll with a -4 penalty, it hit and dealt with the monster. I would say that they player can now take a move action, she has already accepted the first attack would incur a -4 penalty and since it worked, there's no need for the second attack. I don't think the rules actually allow this but I'm of the opinion that "GMs should say 'Yes'" more so I would allow it.

Case B
What happens if the monster survives the first hit. Should the GM allow the player to turn the Attack action into a Full Attack action so the player can make a second Attack?

In this case I would say no. A Full Attack incurs a -4 penalty, if the player didn't accept that before rolling, then no matter if the first attack hit or missed, a second attack wouldn't be allowed. It wouldn't matter if the first attack would have still hit with the -4 penalty or if the first attack would have still missed with the -4 penalty. Before rolling the player has to announce if it was an Attack (with no penalty) or a Full Attack (with -4 penalty).


xris wrote:

Case A
Now, what happens if the monster is defeated with the first attack? Would the GM allow the Full Attack to be turned into a Attack and Move action?

I just compared the CRB from starfinder and pathfinder, and starfinder has indeed done away with the option to give up full attacking after the first attack.

If you kill the monster in the first attack, you just waste the second one (unless there's another target available).

xris wrote:

Case B

What happens if the monster survives the first hit. Should the GM allow the player to turn the Attack action into a Full Attack action so the player can make a second Attack?

From the CRB:

"In a normal round, you can perform one standard action, one move action, and one swift action, or you can instead perform one full action."

"A full action requires your entire turn to complete. If you take a full action, you can’t take your usual standard, move, and swift actions."

As soon as the players makes a regular attack (a standard action), he gave up the option of using a full attack (full action).

Sovereign Court

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I don't agree with the distinction between declaring actions and performing actions.

Any action you perform is a specific action. You're not performing "some kind of movement", you're performing the "move your speed as a move action" action, or "move up to your speed and then make a trick attack as a full action".

If you just start moving your mini outside your turn, everyone is going to look strangely at you unless you can tell them why you're allowed to do that. "I use Step Up" for example.

But it's the same in your own turn. You can't perform "generic movement". You're either performing a move action to move your speed, or a run full action, or a charge full action, or a trick attack full action, or a move action as a prelude to a hasted full attack, or something else like that. It's always a specific action that you're performing. You're not moving and then after the fact deciding what kind of action it was that allowed you to move.


Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

In my case, I wouldn't require a player to necessarily decide which action they intend to do *after* completing their movement. If they want to hustle 30 feet and then decide exactly what they will do on arriving, that's fine. However, they aren't allowed to retroactively turn their move action into a full action. If you want to Charge or Trick Attack, since those are full actions? They need to be declared as such, you can't retroactively turn your move action into part of a full action after initiating it.


I asked a similar question a while ago (for Pathfinder), but didn't get a conclusive answer, either. Since it's not directly Starfinder-related (and thus action economy might be different), I'll put it in spoilers so people can ignore it if they want.

My question:
My question was about the Slayer's Studied Target. It starts out as a move action, but turns into a swift later on. The Lenses of Predator's Gaze up your Slayer level by 5. Say I'm level 4. Using the item makes me level 9. Does that allow me to use it faster? There were two trains of thought in that topic:
- Yes, because you declare the action, then see what that falls under (standard, move, swift). In this case, "I use Studied Target with my Lenses, which would be a move action, but my Lenses make it a swift."
- No, because you have to spend the action first to get the effect. In this case, "I use my move action to Study Target."
- And a subtrain of that, which said your action is "refunded": "I use my move action to Study Target, which becomes a swift instead."

Anyway, that whole deal never got anywhere, and I didn't get an official answer. The only useful reply was, "varies per GM."

I personally believe the more negative interpretation works for the player. In this case, declare actions beforehand. "I want to do A, B, and C. I'll use my swift for A, move for B, standard for C," and then the magic actually happens. But I certainly see the opposite being true.

Usually, unless declared otherwise by the powers that be, the least favourable interpretation is true.


The Ragi wrote:
xris wrote:

Case A
Now, what happens if the monster is defeated with the first attack? Would the GM allow the Full Attack to be turned into a Attack and Move action?

I just compared the CRB from starfinder and pathfinder, and starfinder has indeed done away with the option to give up full attacking after the first attack.

If you kill the monster in the first attack, you just waste the second one (unless there's another target available).

I don't know if one of those necessarily follows from the other

(not saying it doesn't, I'm just not sure it does)


Damanta wrote:

Argument 2:

The action is signaled to the GM before anything happens on the battlemap. The operative takes a move action: move up to his speed, after which they only have a standard and swift left and are not allowed to trick attack.

The Operative Trick Attack is not a standard movement. First, you can't draw a weapon while doing it. Second, Starfinder has reactions. If an opponent has a reaction with the trigger: An enemy makes a trip attack, this reaction will be generated by your movement.

So, if you start to move, and then announce you're doing a trick attack, the DM may have to go back in time to tell you it generated an effect at the start of your action. You have to state the action beforehand to avoid that.
Also, I find it far more tactical to state the action beforehand. Are you doing a full attack or do you take the risk of only doing a standard attack to be able to move after that...

Quentin Coldwater wrote:
My question was about the Slayer's Studied Target. It starts out as a move action, but turns into a swift later on. The Lenses of Predator's Gaze up your Slayer level by 5. Say I'm level 4. Using the item makes me level 9. Does that allow me to use it faster?

Yes. Lenses of Predator's Gaze are worn items, you benefit from their bonus all the time. So, for you, studied target is a swift, because you have it at level 9, not 4.

And even with use activated items it would have worked. If you have a sword stating that you can attack with it as a swift action, then you can.


I can't see why or even if someone would take that as the trigger for their readied action.


BigNorseWolf wrote:
I can't see why or even if someone would take that as the trigger for their readied action.

For a trick attack, it would be kind of odd, but for a charge, it's far less strange.


SuperBidi wrote:

For a trick attack, it would be kind of odd, but for a charge, it's far less strange.

RAW if you ready to shoot someone because of a charge

-they charge first (because offensive readied actions go after the action that triggered them)

They hit you

You try to shoot them

You get an AOO in the face

Or you ready an action to charge and they trick attack

They do their attack

If they moved up to you now it's your turn

There's no reason to use either of those as a trigger, as opposed to "if you take one step closer I pump you full of lead". You don't need to declare an action type as a trigger just something your character can see.


BigNorseWolf wrote:
RAW if you ready to shoot someone because of a charge

I've never said anything like that.

I just said that charging generates reactions at the start of the charge, hence you have to specify a charge before making your first step.
And it's valid for all type of actions.


SuperBidi wrote:
BigNorseWolf wrote:
RAW if you ready to shoot someone because of a charge

I've never said anything like that.

I just said that charging generates reactions at the start of the charge, hence you have to specify a charge before making your first step.
And it's valid for all type of actions.

If an opponent has a reaction with the trigger: An enemy makes a trip attack, this reaction will be generated by your movement.

OH... do you meant the space squids?


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My table has always played as:
You must declare the specific type of action you're taking. There is no generic "I'm moving and I'll tell you what kind of move after".

If you're moving as part of a trick attack you have to declare trick attack. If you're moving as part of charge you must declare a charge. And you meet the requirements to do those types of actions, like having a valid target to charge.

So in short, BNW's scenario of round the corner while moving and turning that move action into part of a trick attack would be a no go at my group's table. You already spent your move action to move your regular movement speed. It's gone, you can't turn that into part of a full action.


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Claxon wrote:


So in short, BNW's scenario of round the corner while moving and turning that move action into part of a trick attack would be a no go at my group's table. You already spent your move action to move your regular movement speed. It's gone, you can't turn that into part of a full action.

And if someone said "The dms keeping us in initiative ... for some reason, there's probably something around the corner , I'll just move to the corner as part of my trick attack" ?


BigNorseWolf wrote:

If an opponent has a reaction with the trigger: An enemy makes a trip attack, this reaction will be generated by your movement.

OH... do you meant the space squids?

Sorry, I don't see what you mean.

If an opponent has a reaction with the trigger: An enemy makes a trip attack, this reaction will be generated by the fact that you do a trick attack, so, when you specify the type of action you're taking, before even saying that you're moving or shooting.


Besides a readied action I'm not sure when that would come up


BigNorseWolf wrote:
Besides a readied action I'm not sure when that would come up

Attacks of opportunity due to movement? If I wait before the end of my movement to specify if it was a guarded step, a move or a withdraw...

Anyway, if you don't state the action before using it, you have issues with reactions.


SuperBidi wrote:
BigNorseWolf wrote:
Besides a readied action I'm not sure when that would come up

Attacks of opportunity due to movement? If I wait before the end of my movement to specify if it was a guarded step, a move or a withdraw...

Anyway, if you don't state the action before using it, you have issues with reactions.

You're either confusing the thing being a guarded step with declaring a guarded or arguing from the idea that you have to declare in order for it to be a guarded step.

I move here and its 5 feet away thats going to be a guarded step. I move here and attack and its 10 feet away it's not.


BigNorseWolf wrote:

You're either confusing the thing being a guarded step with declaring a guarded or arguing from the idea that you have to declare in order for it to be a guarded step.

I move here and its 5 feet away thats going to be a guarded step. I move here and attack and its 10 feet away it's not.

Nice. So, I can move my whole movement, discover new areas, then stop and say it was no withdraw, so I go back in time, take my attack of opportunity, and finally move in the opposite direction because what I first saw was too frightening.

If you don't state your action first, you'll have tons of time travel and metaknowledge in your games.


BigNorseWolf wrote:
Claxon wrote:


So in short, BNW's scenario of round the corner while moving and turning that move action into part of a trick attack would be a no go at my group's table. You already spent your move action to move your regular movement speed. It's gone, you can't turn that into part of a full action.

And if someone said "The dms keeping us in initiative ... for some reason, there's probably something around the corner , I'll just move to the corner as part of my trick attack" ?

That's metaknowledge and isn't permitted.


Pathfinder Maps, Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

Pretty sure you need to declare it a guarded step before you do any moving at all. Otherwise you're likely to get into a no takebacksie tussel with the GM.

This is how I see it playing out:
You move your piece 1 square away from a melee enemy.
The GM smiles and declares an attack of opportunity before you can say "guarded step."

You then say it's a guarded step," but now you have no proof you aren't just covering up your mistake and now have to convince the GM that, that was what you meant to do all along.

Most GMs likely aren't that strict, and will let it slide without any blip at all, but you can avoid the potential confusion in the first place by clearly communicating your intent prior to moving your play piece.


SuperBidi wrote:


If you don't state your action first, you'll have tons of time travel and metaknowledge in your games.

You don't really. Because situations where it matters are so incredibly rare in actual play.

Withdraw only works on your first square, and I'm pretty sure you can't withdraw against an invisible opponent, So when you're leaving that first square you're standing right next to the thing that wants to eat you, and both you and your character are aware of that. If the player doesn't say either "i withdraw" or " I can take it! Hit me sucka!" then you ask.

Not seeing any reasonable circumstance where time travel would be involved. Especially since if you don't have a declaration phase seperate from the doing phase there's no declaration to violate

Quote:
Nice. So, I can move my whole movement, discover new areas

That isn't something you usually do in initiative.


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Claxon wrote:
BigNorseWolf wrote:
Claxon wrote:


So in short, BNW's scenario of round the corner while moving and turning that move action into part of a trick attack would be a no go at my group's table. You already spent your move action to move your regular movement speed. It's gone, you can't turn that into part of a full action.

And if someone said "The dms keeping us in initiative ... for some reason, there's probably something around the corner , I'll just move to the corner as part of my trick attack" ?
That's metaknowledge and isn't permitted.

But differentiating between the move part of a trick attack and a move action isn't meta ?

And what if the character is just paranoid and runs to every corner like that?

Grand Lodge

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Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Society Subscriber

This is pretty much table conventions I'm seeing.

At BNW's table picking up the mini and moving it 5 ft. is a Guarded Step when next to an enemy and maybe probably something else when not.
The 10ft. movement and attack is a full-action charge when used in conjuction with melee, or a full-action trick attack from an operative, or a move action followed by a standard action attack if it's neither of the first two.

At my table I expect a player to somehow signal me that their action is a guarded step (usually this is done with the words "I take a 5ft. step" quite often followed within the same breath by "Oh wait, that's a guarded step here".)

Same goes for pretty much all other actions. I'd like to know what is being done before minis are being picked up or dice are rolled. I don't care if you want to describe it with a Shakespearean sonnet, interpretative dance or moviequotes, as long as I can translate that prosa into the action system.


BigNorseWolf wrote:
You don't really. Because situations where it matters are so incredibly rare in actual play.

Incredibly rare, I agree. But seeing a game going for a one-hour halt because of such things is something I have sometimes seen. Because the DM doesn't like such kind of metaknowledge, because players don't like when you tell them what they are doing instead of them.

The worst cases I've seen were situations with a death involved, and players rewinding the whole combat explaining where the DM made a mistake that, obviously (for them), caused the death. And such a situation is an obvious candidate for endless debates. And an unfair death may be a showstopper for a whole campaign.

Anyway, the fact that a situation is rare doesn't mean you have to play ignoring it.
Most DMs I've seen consider you're doing a normal move if you don't specify what you are doing. So, if you just walk 5 feet, you take your attack of opportunity, and next time, you'll be more accurate in your action description.


SuperBidi wrote:
Anyway, the fact that a situation is rare doesn't mean you have to play ignoring it.

It's less ignoring it and more

1) Combat has a certain level of bandwith. I'd really rather have the player describing their character doing something dramatic than calling chess moves.

2) When you start taking a deep dive into the rules and looking at odd circumstances it starts to look like this section of the rules shouldn't have a diving board.

There's no rule for what happens if you want to change your mind after say a full attack, (including a rule saying you can or can't)

How closely you're supposed to declare your action (I declare a trick attack against mook 1 and then move 20 feet and get tripped by invisible Ike with the pike am I still stuck trick attacking mook 1?)

What happens if your action gets interrupted (someone slams the door in my face when i tried to charge them.. okay now what?)

Sovereign Court

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Eh. We're usually not that persnickety. If you move your technomancer 5ft away from the monster and say you cast a spell, we all know what that means. If you've been kiting the same monster with Uncanny Mobility/Trick Attack for a couple of rounds and you move your mini away from it again and pick up the d20, we know what it means. If you move your fully attuned solarian next to a group of enemies and say Boom we know what it means. If the envoy's player says from the far side of the table "move me back there" and "do the needful" we know it means take a guarded step out of melee and improved get 'em/shoot the same guy as the last two rounds.

If you move your operative around a corner that nobody's been around before though, we don't know. Maybe there's an enemy and you wish you'd called trick attack. Maybe there's a closed door and you wish you hadn't called trick attack, because now you can't open it.


BigNorseWolf wrote:
Claxon wrote:
BigNorseWolf wrote:
Claxon wrote:


So in short, BNW's scenario of round the corner while moving and turning that move action into part of a trick attack would be a no go at my group's table. You already spent your move action to move your regular movement speed. It's gone, you can't turn that into part of a full action.

And if someone said "The dms keeping us in initiative ... for some reason, there's probably something around the corner , I'll just move to the corner as part of my trick attack" ?
That's metaknowledge and isn't permitted.

But differentiating between the move part of a trick attack and a move action isn't meta ?

And what if the character is just paranoid and runs to every corner like that?

It is metaknowledge, but not based on something that you and your character don't know / wouldn't be aware of.

And what do you mean moves around every corner like that?
Do you mean by just deciding to declare a trick attack for every round to move?

My response would be that you're not allowed to declare a trick attack without a target. I understand that the rules are written saying "you can attack". So you could make a pedantic argument that it's not required. And my response will be "It's called Trick Attack, if you're not attacking you're not making a Trick Attack. And if you don't have a target to attack, you can't attempt to make a trick attack."


BigNorseWolf wrote:
1) Combat has a certain level of bandwith. I'd really rather have the player describing their character doing something dramatic than calling chess moves.

Which means that, as a DM, you are nice with players. Otherwise, your players would complain too much.

It's ok to be nice with players, but it reduces the perception of challenge. As a DM, I prefer to "look like" a tough GM. So, my players think there is challenge.
As such, if one of my player moves around a corner, it's a normal move unless otherwise stated.


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Claxon wrote:

It is metaknowledge, but not based on something that you and your character don't know / wouldn't be aware of.

And what do you mean moves around every corner like that?
Do you mean by just deciding to declare a trick attack for every round to move?

My response would be that you're not allowed to declare a trick attack without a target. I understand that the rules are written saying "you can attack". So you could make a pedantic argument that it's not required. And my response will be "It's called Trick Attack, if you're not attacking you're not making a Trick Attack. And if you don't have a target to attack, you can't attempt to make a trick attack."

In my opinion, you are going too far away, Claxon. For example, if I full attack, I will just declare my first target, and declare the second one after the result of my first attack. So, stating the action at its beginning is necessary, but stating all the variables of an action at its beginning is too much. You can declare a trick attack, and move to the corner. You may end up not doing your attack, but it means your character is moving to the corner in a "trick attack style" (stealthy, bluffy, sense motivy or whatever type of trick attack he's doing).


I'm sort of new to the Starfinder forums and I don't know the posters that well but the impression I'm getting is that BigNorseWolf is basically trolling. Replies to him appear to just be Feeding The Troll.

Am I wrong in this impression? Currently I'm mostly ignoring his posts but sadly the few treads I've noticed in which he participates seems to get somewhat inflated, off-topic, and the signal-to-noise decreases alarmingly. In a previous thread I was reading, it seemed that BNW believed that if he repeated the same thing ad-infinitum then it became true. Have I just caught him on a bad day or can I expect this on a regular basis? I'm sure now and then he adds something to the conversion but is this just due to random chance?

If his table plays the way he describes, fair enough, but I'm glad I'll never get to play at that table.

A lot of the issues discussed in this thread don't seem to have a direct answer but that just means it comes down to GM interpretation. It's good to get some new viewpoints all the same.


SuperBidi wrote:
Claxon wrote:

It is metaknowledge, but not based on something that you and your character don't know / wouldn't be aware of.

And what do you mean moves around every corner like that?
Do you mean by just deciding to declare a trick attack for every round to move?

My response would be that you're not allowed to declare a trick attack without a target. I understand that the rules are written saying "you can attack". So you could make a pedantic argument that it's not required. And my response will be "It's called Trick Attack, if you're not attacking you're not making a Trick Attack. And if you don't have a target to attack, you can't attempt to make a trick attack."

In my opinion, you are going too far away, Claxon. For example, if I full attack, I will just declare my first target, and declare the second one after the result of my first attack. So, stating the action at its beginning is necessary, but stating all the variables of an action at its beginning is too much. You can declare a trick attack, and move to the corner. You may end up not doing your attack, but it means your character is moving to the corner in a "trick attack style" (stealthy, bluffy, sense motivy or whatever type of trick attack he's doing).

I'm not asking people to declare every target of an attack in a full attack when the initially declare a full attack. But I am saying you can't make an attack if you have no one to target, and thus can't make a trick attack.

Unless you really believe the Operative is intended to only move via trick attacking, unless they're trying to hustle (double move) or run. If you can just always be moving as part of a trick attack why wouldn't you unless you know you need to do something else. That just doesn't make sense to me.

A trick attack is a special kind of attack, and to me its not something you can do unless you intend to attack, which requires having a target.


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xris wrote:
I'm sort of new to the Starfinder forums and I don't know the posters that well but the impression I'm getting is that BigNorseWolf is basically trolling. Replies to him appear to just be Feeding The Troll.

I would say BNW is not a troll in my experience, but he is out in left field (in my opinion) on how this part of the rules work. Especially based on interactions with them in the Pathfinder rules sub-forum.

But I don't think he's doing this just to get a rise out of people like a troll does. I believe he is sincere is his statements.

I just don't agree with them.


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Claxon wrote:

s

My response would be that you're not allowed to declare a trick attack without a target.

See and this is where we go from divergent DM styles to your interpretation spitting out rules that don't exist.

That isn't a rule.

To get to it you had to go through things that aren't a rule either.

Its like a second level of a cards tower.

But it's not present and it REALLY should be. I know absence of evidence is far from definitive but if trick attack had a requirement like being able to see the target at the start of the round it would spell it out.

i HAVE seen people say that was a rule. I'm wondering if this line of thought is where it came from.

You also have an issue where the knowledge is meta and thats verbotten, but somehow the difference between the two actions is ALSO entirely meta but that's fine.


Claxon wrote:


I would say BNW is not a troll in my experience, but he is out in left field .

Look, I couldn't catch, but I could bat, and it didn't affect the game if I sat down to watch the bugs and on the rare occasion a ball came out there I could just throw it home without a middlema.....OH. YOu mean figuratively not my little league career.


xris wrote:
In a previous thread I was reading, it seemed that BNW believed that if he repeated the same thing ad-infinitum then it became true.

Nope, just that people really should be capable of making arguments that proceed from knowns to a conclusion rather than having to use the conclusion to reach itself. Should I be THAT bothered by it? Probably not.

Sovereign Court

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Claxon wrote:

I'm not asking people to declare every target of an attack in a full attack when the initially declare a full attack. But I am saying you can't make an attack if you have no one to target, and thus can't make a trick attack.

Unless you really believe the Operative is intended to only move via trick attacking, unless they're trying to hustle (double move) or run. If you can just always be moving as part of a trick attack why wouldn't you unless you know you need to do something else. That just doesn't make sense to me.

A trick attack is a special kind of attack, and to me its not something you can do unless you intend to attack, which requires having a target.

I think you need to be a bit context sensitive here.

First, Uncanny Mobility implies that you don't have to choose the target for a Trick Attack at the beginning; it grants you a benefit only if you actually do.

However, suppose the GM says "you're not out of initiative yet" while all known enemies have been defeated, and the operative then goes trick attack tiptoeing around the corner trawling for leftover enemies... eh, iffy. Do you as a PC know you're still in initiative? If you aren't allowed to act on still being in initiative, should the GM end initiative, or start a surprise for the latecomer enemy that was aware of the PCs while the PCs were unaware of it? (Note that if the enemy is also an operative, it might not actually want a surprise round, since you can't do trick attacks in surprise rounds. Many ambush monsters really need a full round to do their thing, like both moving into melee and attacking too.)

Would operatives always be moving around in trick attack mode? Well, that would be as tiring as hustling. So in combat, maybe. If you're in enemy territory, it's not such a stretch to treat each corner as if an enemy might be lurking there.

But it can go wrong too. Suppose you're having a fight in a nightclub on Verces. It's loud, and the enemy goes around a corner. You can't hear the door sliding shut around the corner so you confidently trick attack around the corner only to be faced with a closed door. If you'd been moving regularly, you could have opened the door again. Now you're just stuck spinning your wheels.

Sovereign Court

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xris wrote:
I'm sort of new to the Starfinder forums and I don't know the posters that well but the impression I'm getting is that BigNorseWolf is basically trolling. Replies to him appear to just be Feeding The Troll.

He's not a troll, we've been talking on this forum for years. He can be stubborn though :)


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Claxon wrote:
Unless you really believe the Operative is intended to only move via trick attacking, unless they're trying to hustle (double move) or run. If you can just always be moving as part of a trick attack why wouldn't you unless you know you need to do something else. That just doesn't make sense to me.

Well, a player can do that, it won't change the fact that it's useless outside combat, as you will roll initiative as soon as combat starts and his trick attack will be lost.

During combat, this is a completely different story, and, yes, I do expect someone to move differently during combat. At least, I would :)

For me, forcing to have a target to make a trick attack will generate many issues. For example, if there's an enemy behind a crate, that you don't see but you know is here, can you trick attack him? As you don't see him, he may no more be there. And if you force a line of sight to trick attack, you greatly nerf the ability.

Same here, not a troll, but quite stubborn (which is the case for many a member here).

Second Seekers (Jadnura)

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"If you think I'm being paranoid walking around every corner like something's going to kill me i have two words for you. Toilet. Mimic."


BigNorseWolf wrote:
Claxon wrote:
My response would be that you're not allowed to declare a trick attack without a target.

See and this is where we go from divergent DM styles to your interpretation spitting out rules that don't exist.

That isn't a rule.

To get to it you had to go through things that aren't a rule either.

Its like a second level of a cards tower.

But it's not present and it REALLY should be. I know absence of evidence is far from definitive but if trick attack had a requirement like being able to see the target at the start of the round it would spell it out.

i HAVE seen people say that was a rule. I'm wondering if this line of thought is where it came from.

You also have an issue where the knowledge is meta and thats verbotten, but somehow the difference between the two actions is ALSO entirely meta but that's fine.

Eh...I wouldn't say the rules doesn't exist. To me it's an implied rule.

You can't make an attack without having a target.
Trick Attack, does use the phrasing "you can make an attack" but I just view that as a specific way of writing. The main component of trick attack is the attack, IMO. I can understand how you would read it differently, but please don't imply that I'm just completely making things up. I believe there is a compelled attack to be made if you're going to trick attack.

I also don't think the rules need to call out you have to see someone to make an attack, because that is likely one of the things that was considered "obvious". Remember this isn't Pathfinder, they tried to make things simpler but forgot how...specific and legalistic we as players can be.

Also the meta is about acting on information that your character doesn't have. You character doesn't know they're in initiative order. But you as a player do need to know how to tell everyone else what you're doing, and by what rules elements you do it, so everyone knows how to respond.


SuperBidi wrote:

For me, forcing to have a target to make a trick attack will generate many issues. For example, if there's an enemy behind a crate, that you don't see but you know is here, can you trick attack him? As you don't see him, he may no more be there. And if you force a line of sight to trick attack, you greatly nerf the ability.

That's fair, and perhaps I should then revise my statement.

If you character is aware of an enemy, but cannot currently see them it does make sense that you could attempt a trick attack by attempting move into a position to see and then attack them. If you move your movement speed and find that you still cannot see the enemy (maybe the enemy was able to move into some kind of hollow that provides cover on 3 sides) then you would lose the attack and wouldn't be able to transfer the action into something else.

But I certainly don't think you can claim to want to make an attack against someone you're not aware of it.

But I will admit I'm not certain exactly on how to precisely word such a statement.

Sovereign Court

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"We've beaten these guys, I'm just going to check around the corner to make sure that was all of them" is a valid enough excuse for me to trick-tiptoe around the corner.

If it's three rounds and five corners and the GM is still keeping you in initiative without an enemy that anyone's noticed, perhaps you need to turn your GM off and on again.


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Claxon wrote:
Eh...I wouldn't say the rules doesn't exist. To me it's an implied rule.

It's an implied rule. But there's no guarantee you read the implication correctly.

Which you then argue implies another rule. Which there's no guarantee you read the implication of the implication correctly.

If starfinder were a perfectly coherent logical system and you were a perfect logician you could do that sort of thing. But starfinder is definitely NOT that system. What the rules say is often unclear and occasionally contradictory. Much less what they imply.

Quote:
You can't make an attack without having a target.

Total Concealment

If a creature has line of effect to you but not line of sight, you have total concealment. An enemy can’t attack you when you have total concealment, though it can attack into a square it thinks you occupy. A successful attack into a square occupied by an enemy with total concealment has a 50% miss chance (instead of 20%)

You can attack a square you think has an invisible critter in it and if you're right you have a50 50 shot at hitting them.

Quote:
but please don't imply that I'm just completely making things up. I believe there is a compelled attack to be made if you're going to trick attack.

I think you're treating your argument as far better than it is and ignoring evidence against your argument. That's not just making stuff up but there's a LOT of room for error here that allows you to get almost any answer.

Your argument is a stretch, its not guaranteed. Your argument is NOT something you could reasonably expect players to reach on their own. That sort of limitation is something trick attack would absolutely spell out.

Quote:
I also don't think the rules need to call out you have to see someone to make an attack, because that is likely one of the things that was considered "obvious".

The problem here is that you're arbitrarily treating the start of the trick attack as the entire thing. The trick attack is a compound action. Someone that starts at point A with cover against mook 1 and moves to his side and shoots him with a clear shot from point B doesn't have cover just because they had cover when the "trick attack" started.

Quote:
Also the meta is about acting on information that your character doesn't have. You character doesn't know they're in initiative order. But you as a player do need to know how to tell everyone else what you're doing, and by what rules elements you do it, so everyone knows how to respond.

The distinction between walking around the corner to trick attack and walking around the corner is entirely meta. Much like being in initiative it's something that only exists between the player and the DM, NOT to any of the characters. Meta is a problem when it works for the operative but not when it works against him. Its not consistent.


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Claxon wrote:
SuperBidi wrote:
Claxon wrote:

It is metaknowledge, but not based on something that you and your character don't know / wouldn't be aware of.

And what do you mean moves around every corner like that?
Do you mean by just deciding to declare a trick attack for every round to move?

My response would be that you're not allowed to declare a trick attack without a target. I understand that the rules are written saying "you can attack". So you could make a pedantic argument that it's not required. And my response will be "It's called Trick Attack, if you're not attacking you're not making a Trick Attack. And if you don't have a target to attack, you can't attempt to make a trick attack."

In my opinion, you are going too far away, Claxon. For example, if I full attack, I will just declare my first target, and declare the second one after the result of my first attack. So, stating the action at its beginning is necessary, but stating all the variables of an action at its beginning is too much. You can declare a trick attack, and move to the corner. You may end up not doing your attack, but it means your character is moving to the corner in a "trick attack style" (stealthy, bluffy, sense motivy or whatever type of trick attack he's doing).
I'm not asking people to declare every target of an attack in a full attack when the initially declare a full attack. But I am saying you can't make an attack if you have no one to target, and thus can't make a trick attack.

The trick attack action explicitly does not require an attack and thus does not require a target. A trick attack action at its base is use a full action to move your speed. That is the core of the action. It happens to have clauses that let you do other stuff if you want (can versus must), and those other clauses can include targets, but at the end of the day, it is "As a full action, you can move up to your speed." In order to use certain exploits, like Uncanny Mobility, you do need to declare your target before hand.

Uncanny Mobility wrote:


When you make a trick attack, if you choose the target of your attack before you move...

However, that exploit also makes clear it must be possible not to choose the target of your attack before you move using a trick attack.

I agree with BNW at least this far. If a player wants to describe their operative as going around a corner ready to trick attack, I let them. It is just the same as a soldier deciding to single move instead of double moving or using the run action around the corner so they can stop and shoot if they want.

I mean, I feel it is completely out of line for the GM to tell a player that no, their character has chosen to run, guarded step twice, or double move instead of a single move to go around that corner. If they want to play a cautious character, that is completely up to them. If the operative has their weapon out, then in my mind that is sufficient justification that the character can choose to be cautious when turning corners, since by my definition having a weapon out is an unusual situation.

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