Does an operative need to see their target at the start of the round to trick attack them?


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Steve Geddes wrote:


It’s definitely not a proof, more evidence against - same way Mozart’s music doesn’t disprove solipsism but does tend to make people discard it.

Doh. Sorry. Fair enough


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BigNorseWolf wrote:
Does an operative need to see their target at the start of the round to trick attack them?

Absolutely not. I can full attack into an empty space for no other reason than sheer boredom. I can attack a square where I think an enemy might be. If I sense the presence of an enemy, I can start attacking random locations hoping for the best.

I see no reason to restrict trick attack from the same thing. So I have no problem with a player wanting to trick attack their way across a room because they think there might be an enemy around the corner, or just because they want their character to show off for the cute Lashunta character that is in the party.

Pantshandshake wrote:
I just want to point out that, during the various incarnations of this debate, I've been unable to find a rule that says you declare your actions before you take them.

I don't see it as having to declare the actions before they are taken. It is that a player has to pay all of the costs for an action (or part of a compound action) before they get the results of that action. That is why you have to pay the action cost before rolling dice for a skill check. Once the dice stop rolling, you have at least a good indication of how well you did - which is a result of the action taken. That is why you have to state that you are doing a full attack action before you roll the first attack - in addition to taking the penalty, you have to pay the right action cost before you get the result of the first attack. Similarly, any movement that opens up new areas seen would have to be paid for (the appropriate action cost) before any new information about what is in that area are given - Because that information is a result of the action.

Sczarni

Starfinder Charter Superscriber
Garretmander wrote:
Nefreet wrote:
Garretmander wrote:
I'm pretty sure the answer to this thread's question is yes.

Can you elaborate why?

I am pretty solidly in the "no" camp, for many of the reasons stated, but am open to changing my mind.

The bolded parts of the below quotes, especially the period after 'you can move up to your speed.'

CRB p. 93 wrote:
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.
CRB p. 95 wrote:

Uncanny Mobility (Ex)

When you make a trick attack, if you choose the target of your attack before you move, your movement doesn’t provoke attacks of opportunity from that target. When you use your standard action to move, you can choose one creature; you don’t provoke attacks of opportunity from that creature for this movement.
You're still taking a full action to trick attack no matter what, but the trick attack is broken down into multiple parts resolved separately, just like a full attack, but unlike a charge.

Are you getting your "no" and "yes" mixed up, then?


Nefreet wrote:
Are you getting your "no" and "yes" mixed up, then?

The logic of the question reversed.

BigNorseWolf wrote:
Does an operative need to see their target at the start of the round to trick attack them?
Garretmander wrote:
'Can an operative declare a trick attack, move, then make the skill check and attack roll against a target they weren't aware of before moving.'

So a No answer to the first question is equivalent to a Yes answer to the second.

Sczarni

Starfinder Charter Superscriber

This thread's question is, "Does an operative need to see their target at the start of the round to trick attack them?"

Garretmander's statement was "I'm pretty sure the answer to this thread's question is yes."

But I'm pretty sure Garretmander meant to say "No", right?


True, but when he wrote

Garretmander wrote:
I'm pretty sure the answer to this thread's question is yes.

He was referring to his own reversed interpretation, rather than to the original question.

Garretmander wrote:

No, that was the old thread.

This thread is: 'Can an operative declare a trick attack, move, then make the skill check and attack roll against a target they weren't aware of before moving.'

None of that turn a movement into a full action bit that was a part of the other thread.

I'm pretty sure the answer to this thread's question is yes.


But I should probably defer to Garretmander to be the final say on what he actually meant.


breithauptclan wrote:

So a No answer to the first question is equivalent to a Yes answer to the second.

It would help but one doesn't necessarily lead to the other. Its possible you require at least awareness of a target to do something like that.

Realy wish i could draw on this thing...

If you need to see your target to trick thats the end of it

If you don't need to see the target to trick do you require awareness.

If you don't require awareness can you tell the dm i'd like to file declaration of intent to trick attack and move to the corner.

and IF you can do all that THEN you might be able to move to the corner without filing the flight plan and then either move or trick attack.

So don't worry, still plenty of room on the slope till you hit my asylum.


BigNorseWolf wrote:
breithauptclan wrote:

So a No answer to the first question is equivalent to a Yes answer to the second.

It would help but one doesn't necessarily lead to the other. Its possible you require at least awareness of a target to do something like that.

Realy wish i could draw on this thing...

If you need to see your target to trick thats the end of it

If you don't need to see the target to trick do you require awareness.

If you don't require awareness can you tell the dm i'd like to file declaration of intent to trick attack and move to the corner.

and IF you can do all that THEN you might be able to move to the corner without filing the flight plan and then either move or trick attack.

So don't worry, still plenty of room on the slope till you hit my asylum.

Well, other than paying the action cost for the movement after actually moving in-game, I am right in the Asylum with you.

Awareness not needed. Flight plan not needed either. I would allow changing targets of the attack after the movement if you started a trick attack against a known enemy and discover a new enemy as a result of the movement.

Sczarni

Starfinder Charter Superscriber
breithauptclan wrote:
Awareness not needed. Flight plan not needed either. I would allow changing targets of the attack after the movement if you started a trick attack against a known enemy and discover a new enemy as a result of the movement.

I agree with all of this.


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...I was misreading your response then, my bad.

I agree that the operative does not need LOS or awareness of an enemy before beginning a trick attack, only after the movement.


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Wait, what?? Possible consensus???

Wow!!


Nefreet wrote:
breithauptclan wrote:
Awareness not needed. Flight plan not needed either. I would allow changing targets of the attack after the movement if you started a trick attack against a known enemy and discover a new enemy as a result of the movement.
I agree with all of this.

Did you both change your mind about allowing retroactive decisions on actions?

For me, you do have to tell the GM whether you are moving around the corner as part of the full action to trick attack or using a move action to move. You can't move around the corner and then decide based on the position of enemies you see.

So, I follow along with BNW, and would generally allow a trick attack without awareness of an enemy. But, I maintain that you must pay the action cost before moving, not after.


GM OfAnything wrote:
Nefreet wrote:
breithauptclan wrote:
Awareness not needed. Flight plan not needed either. I would allow changing targets of the attack after the movement if you started a trick attack against a known enemy and discover a new enemy as a result of the movement.
I agree with all of this.

Did you both change your mind about allowing retroactive decisions on actions?

I'm not going that far into the Asylum. Actions and phases of complex actions have to be paid for before the results are known.

GM OfAnything wrote:


But, I maintain that you must pay the action cost before moving, not after.

I did sort of change my mind on this. Explaining the rules of the game as that actions must be paid for before being taken is probably an easier way of doing things, especially for younger or inexperienced players. But I think technically the game mechanics allow for paying for an action at the same time that the action is taken. Though the distinction is rather minor.

But still, the action has to be paid for before the results are learned.

Sczarni

Starfinder Charter Superscriber
GM OfAnything wrote:
Nefreet wrote:
breithauptclan wrote:
Awareness not needed. Flight plan not needed either. I would allow changing targets of the attack after the movement if you started a trick attack against a known enemy and discover a new enemy as a result of the movement.
I agree with all of this.

Did you both change your mind about allowing retroactive decisions on actions?

For me, you do have to tell the GM whether you are moving around the corner as part of the full action to trick attack or using a move action to move. You can't move around the corner and then decide based on the position of enemies you see.

So, I follow along with BNW, and would generally allow a trick attack without awareness of an enemy. But, I maintain that you must pay the action cost before moving, not after.

See post #2 in this thread for my response.

Sovereign Court

GM OfAnything wrote:
Nefreet wrote:
breithauptclan wrote:
Awareness not needed. Flight plan not needed either. I would allow changing targets of the attack after the movement if you started a trick attack against a known enemy and discover a new enemy as a result of the movement.
I agree with all of this.

Did you both change your mind about allowing retroactive decisions on actions?

For me, you do have to tell the GM whether you are moving around the corner as part of the full action to trick attack or using a move action to move. You can't move around the corner and then decide based on the position of enemies you see.

So, I follow along with BNW, and would generally allow a trick attack without awareness of an enemy. But, I maintain that you must pay the action cost before moving, not after.

I think most if not everyone in this thread now agrees that you can decide on a specific target after moving. You're only restricted to a target chosen upfront if you committed to that target to gain the benefit of Uncanny Mobility.

We also agree that you didn't need to have strict line of sight to a target to attack it. Nothing in trick attack requires line of sight. A blind operative can still make trick attacks.

Not everyone agrees whether you can begin a trick attack if you're not aware of any enemies. Here Claxon claims it would be metagaming. I don't agree. There's no rule against it, and a character could be legitimately suspicious of a situation and want to try to draw out enemies. If there are no known enemies but the GM mysteriously keeps the PCs in initiative, then he's the one forcing metagame awareness onto the players. If he insists on "playing the combat soundtrack" then I think the PCs should be allowed to act like it, be that taking trick attacks, staying in full defense, or keeping a more tactical formation than usual. If the GM doesn't want characters to act like they're in combat, he should go out of initiative.

And another question (but NOT the topic of this thread!) is whether you can move, notice an enemy, and then decide your move was part of a trick attack action all alone. BNW thinks so, since "it could have been". I don't agree. My take is that you can't move unless you're using some action that allows you to move, so you already had to pick "move your speed" or "move as part of a trick attack" to leave your starting space. That's not pre-declaring your actions; there's no time gap between choosing an action and performing it. But you can't perform the effects of an action without choosing to perform a particular action that has the effects that you want. So to start moving your pawn on the map, you had to pick an action that lets you do that.


Ascalaphus wrote:

I think most if not everyone in this thread now agrees that you can decide on a specific target after moving. You're only restricted to a target chosen upfront if you committed to that target to gain the benefit of Uncanny Mobility.

We also agree that you didn't need to have strict line of sight to a target to attack it. Nothing in trick attack requires line of sight. A blind operative can still make trick attacks.

Not everyone agrees whether you can begin a trick attack if you're not aware of any enemies. Here Claxon claims it would be metagaming. I don't agree. There's no rule against it, and a character could be legitimately suspicious of a situation and want to try to draw out enemies. If there are no known enemies but the GM mysteriously keeps the PCs in initiative, then he's the one forcing metagame awareness onto the players. If he insists on "playing the combat soundtrack" then I think the PCs should be allowed to act like it, be that taking trick attacks, staying in full defense, or keeping a more tactical formation than usual. If the GM doesn't want characters to act like they're in combat, he should go out of initiative.

And another question (but NOT the topic of this thread!) is whether you can move, notice an enemy, and then decide your move was part of a trick attack action all alone. BNW thinks so, since "it could have been". I don't agree. My take is that you can't move unless you're using some action that allows you to move, so you already had to pick "move your speed" or "move as part of a trick attack" to leave your starting space. That's not pre-declaring your actions; there's no time gap between choosing an action and performing it. But you can't perform the effects of an action without choosing to perform a particular action that has the effects that you want. So to start moving your pawn on the map, you had to pick an action that lets you do that.

Good summary Ascalaphus.

As you say, the only slight ambiguity is if awareness of an opponent is required. For some GMs, this may be dependant of the specific situation and may vary due to that. For other GMs, this may lie between a definite "yes" or a definite "no". I think I'm in the "depends" camp.

As for the last point (which isn't the topic of this thread), I would also agree with you.


To clarify, while I do think it's metagaming I do agree that it's forced metagaming by the GM and the GM should simply take everyone out of combat which makes it a non-issue in practicality. Although I've known GMs who do such things( which ispoor GMing, in my opinion) such as continuing to run the game in "combat mode" when their is no obvious reason for the players or characters.


Its not always practical to end rounds even with no apparent enemies on board.

Here are some examples, where rounds are still needed:

1: One or more of the players is dying.

2: One or more of the players is suffering from an ongoing status effect.

3: One or more of the players is poisoned or drugged.

4: An explosive device is ticking down.

5: A computer is on a countdown.

6: and so on


Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Put me in the "yes, this is entirely possible" column. It does, however, require you to actually do a Trick Attack, which means you can't do any of the things that would otherwise use a full action or whatnot. So, if you Trick Attack around a corner, and there *aren't* any enemies visible or reachable, you can't turn it into a charge or a sprint or any other act. Its no different than declaring a held action and then not having the trigger condition pop up: you don't get a refund.

Sovereign Court

Hawk Kriegsman wrote:

Its not always practical to end rounds even with no apparent enemies on board.

Here are some examples, where rounds are still needed:

1: One or more of the players is dying.

2: One or more of the players is suffering from an ongoing status effect.

3: One or more of the players is poisoned or drugged.

4: An explosive device is ticking down.

5: A computer is on a countdown.

6: and so on

I think in those cases if you ignore the obvious problem and instead go trawling for hidden enemies with trick attacks against nothing, then the poisoned PC/hostage tied to the bomb is just going to yell at you to do something relevant.

Still no need to introduce a new rule that you have to be aware of (possible) enemies to begin a trick attack.


Solarians can only enter stellar mode when facing significant enemies.

I don't see any rule saying that operatives can only do trick attack when the game is being run in initiative order.

So for example, if an operative wanted to sneak down the hallway with their weapon at the ready, I could easily see that (mechanically) as trick attacking down the hallway for several rounds while exploring.

This may be going into houserule territory; but if the operative encounters an enemy and gains surprise on them, I would allow them to finish the trick attack against the enemy during the surprise round.


That probably is. But its really really weird that the rogue class HATES getting the drop on people.


breithauptclan wrote:

Solarians can only enter stellar mode when facing significant enemies.

I don't see any rule saying that operatives can only do trick attack when the game is being run in initiative order.

So for example, if an operative wanted to sneak down the hallway with their weapon at the ready, I could easily see that (mechanically) as trick attacking down the hallway for several rounds while exploring.

This may be going into houserule territory; but if the operative encounters an enemy and gains surprise on them, I would allow them to finish the trick attack against the enemy during the surprise round.

It is a houserule unfortunately. Trick attack is a full action, surprise round is a full action.

You could run a few variants. Trick attacking every 6 seconds as movement meaning you can trick attack in the surprise round, using up one of your actions at the start of normal combat so that you can do it/or just trick attacking as a 'standard action'.


Garretmander wrote:
You could run a few variants. Trick attacking every 6 seconds as movement meaning you can trick attack in the surprise round, using up one of your actions at the start of normal combat so that you can do it/or just trick attacking as a 'standard action'.

I still best like the houserule that if you were already doing a trick attack before the surprise round, then you can finish it during the surprise round. That seems like a fair and non-abusable houserule - and fixes the wierdness of operatives not wanting to get the drop on enemies. I guess add it to the list of options.

Though there are some skills that wouldn't make as much sense - the ones where the skill is done against an opponent specifically. So stealth would work, probably sleight of hand. Probably not intimidate.

-----------

Operative Pounce kinda lets you do a sorta trick attack in a standard action. So could be done in a surprise round RAW.


Pathfinder Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber

That ends up kind of weird since sneaking down the hall (using the hide action of the stealth skill as you move) would not be compatible with trick attacking down the hall, so there probably wouldn't be a surprise round.


Here's my related question:

Does a character using a move action to move need to see the destination square before they move at all? Or a variant: Does a character need to know their destination square exists before they move at all?

In other words, is a move action a single, monolithic action with all decisions made at the start, or is it a series of sub-decisions made after each 5 feet traveled which we generally handle loosely, but occasionally interspersed with a GM's "Stop in that square! Suddenly a ..."

Anyone gots some rules pages to reference for that?

It seems to me its a very similar question to the trick attack question. Is a trick attack a single monolithic action with all decisions made at the start, or is it a series of sub-decisions made sequentially.

If you don't let an operative choose their target of their attack in a trick attack after they move, do you not let them change which squares they move along as new information pops up, such as spotting enemies present who could take AoOs as they pass by the cover they are stealthed behind?

Sovereign Court

Interesting comparison. For example, you're standing in a mist cloud and you can see only 5ft. Can you move your whole speed?

I'd say yes, you don't have to see your whole goal. Moving up to your speed is an excellent example of performing an action, not pre-declaring an action. But by performing it, you do have to decide what action you are performing, and different rules apply depending on whether you're performing movement as part of a run, charge, move, withdraw, guarded step, trick attack or some other kind of action.


At the end of the day, I think that both styles of handling movement actions can be seen as a correct interpretation of the rules. There are valid arguments for both cases, and there are downsides to both methods.

I generally run any type of terrain traversal as a complex action - a sequence of 5 foot movement phases. That has several affects on other rules.

* You can use the results of one movement step in making decisions about the future ones. So you could walk through think fog or smoke that limits visibility to 5 feet. You could also walk 15 feet to a corner in the hallway, see what is there (or not there), then decide to either walk down the hall with the rest of your movement speed, end your movement there, or nope your way back the way you came.
* An enemy can ready an offensive action on trigger of you moving into a particular square or area and have the triggered action happen in the middle of your movement.

And yes, the player would have to pay the action cost when taking the first step of the movement.

------

Treating movement as a complex action does have some down sides. Mostly dealing with metagaming especially regarding stealth movement. That is the one that I am most aware of.

If anyone does run the game where movement has to be done in one monolithic phase with a pre-determined path, I would be interested to know how to deal with interruptions like pit traps.

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