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


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

Argument Yes: The trick attack is a full round action. You have to be able to do a full round action for the entire round

Argument No. The trick attack is a compound action and one of the parts is moving. The attack occurs at a specified point, after the move. If the trick attack had a limitation it would say so.

(Full disclaimer i'm a strong no on this one)

Sczarni

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Starfinder Charter Superscriber

Quoted from the Operative Class description, but broken up into steps:

1) As a full action, you can move up to your speed.

2) Whether or not you moved, you can then make an attack

3) Just before making your attack, attempt a Bluff, Intimidate, or Stealth check (or a check associated with your specialization)

So you start by declaring that you're spending a full action doing a Trick Attack. Next, you move. Then, you roll your skill check. Finally, you attack.

Sovereign Court

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Compare Trick Attack to Charging:

CRB p. 248 wrote:

Charge

Charging is a full action that allows you to move up to double your speed and make a melee attack at the end of the movement. You can draw a weapon during a charge attack if your base attack bonus is at least +1.
Charging carries tight restrictions on how you can move. You must move at least 10 feet (2 squares), and all movement must be directly toward the designated opponent, though diagonal movement is allowed. You must have a clear path toward the opponent, and you must move to the space closest to your starting square from which you can attack the opponent. If this space is occupied or blocked, you can’t charge. If any line from your starting space to the ending space passes through a square that blocks movement, slows movement (such as difficult terrain), or contains a creature (even an ally), you can’t charge.
You can still move through helpless creatures during a charge.
If you don’t have line of sight (see page 271) to the opponent at the start of your turn, you can’t charge that opponent.

Trick attack has no clause about line of sight to an opponent in it. And also:

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.

This makes it clear you don't have to an particular opponent when you begin the movement part of your trick attack.

And trick attack says:

CRB p. 93 wrote:
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.

"You can"; not "you must". The rules don't force you to designate an enemy when you begin the trick attack, and after you've done the first part of the trick attack (the optional movement), you don't have to make an attack.

So I don't think you need to have any enemy in sight to make a trick attack, and also, if you want to declare a trick attack and just not move and make any attack, just do nothing, that's an allowed way to spend a full action.


Pathfinder Maps, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

Do you need to know there’s someone there?

Can I declare a trick attack, move around a corner into an unexplored room (maybe I suspect there’ll be a guard post or something) and then make my skill roll and attack if there’s anything I want to shoot at?


Pathfinder Maps, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Ascalaphus wrote:
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.
This makes it clear you don't have to an particular opponent when you begin the movement part of your trick attack.

This was the nail in the coffin in our group for those who believed you had to designate a target as soon as you declared a trick attack.

There didn’t seem any situation where you wouldn’t meet the precondition of this feat, unless the designers anticipated you not being able to see the target at the start of your turn.


Steve Geddes wrote:


There didn’t seem any situation where you wouldn’t meet the precondition of this feat, unless the designers anticipated you not being able to see the target at the start of your turn.

As much as I agree with the conclusion. I think the choose your target clause is written to avoid this

Operative runs past giant crab monsters 1 and 2 to hit giant grab monster number 3 in order to focus fire and bring him down.

Giant crab monster 1 makes an AOO by rolling a 1, crab monster 2 rolls a nat 20. Operative decides they'd like to be all uncannily mobile and sneak attack 2 instead.


Pathfinder Maps, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
BigNorseWolf wrote:
Steve Geddes wrote:


There didn’t seem any situation where you wouldn’t meet the precondition of this feat, unless the designers anticipated you not being able to see the target at the start of your turn.

As much as I agree with the conclusion. I think the choose your target clause is written to avoid this

Operative runs past giant crab monsters 1 and 2 to hit giant grab monster number 3 in order to focus fire and bring him down.

Giant crab monster 1 makes an AOO by rolling a 1, crab monster 2 rolls a nat 20. Operative decides they'd like to be all uncannily mobile and sneak attack 2 instead.

You were a little too succinct for me there I didnt get what you meant.

In no interpretation did we think you can wait to see what the enemy rolled before you decide if they're able to make that attack against you.


Steve Geddes wrote:


You were a little too succinct for me there I didnt get what you meant.

In no interpretation did we think you can wait to see what the enemy rolled before you decide if they're able to make that attack against you.

But what if the exploit read

When you make a trick attack your movement doesn’t provoke attacks of opportunity from the target of your trick attack.

Then it could be read that way, or at least lead to an argument about who didn't get to AOO you this round, crab monster 1 or crab monster 2.


Steve Geddes wrote:
Ascalaphus wrote:
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.
This makes it clear you don't have to an particular opponent when you begin the movement part of your trick attack.

This was the nail in the coffin in our group for those who believed you had to designate a target as soon as you declared a trick attack.

There didn’t seem any situation where you wouldn’t meet the precondition of this feat, unless the designers anticipated you not being able to see the target at the start of your turn.

Whoa, whoa, whoa. To be clear, are you saying that Uncanny Mobility proves you don't need to have line of sight to the target of your Trick Attack?

What about the situation where the Operative starts his turn adjacent to the target? The Operative wants to move away from the target and then use his small arm for a ranged (trick) attack. Since Uncanny Mobility allows the Operative to choose his target before movement, then it means he can move away without provoking an attack of opportunity from the target.

Or did I misunderstand the point you are making?

The question on line of sight is an interesting one, I would also be interested if line of effect is required (in the sense that the character needs to be aware there is a potential target for Trick Attack). Can a Operative run around a corner and trick attack targets he was totally unaware of. I suspect this might typically happen because the player knows of the existence of targets but should he be allowed to announce trick attack when the character would be unaware of the targets. GMs call I suspect.


xris wrote:
Whoa, whoa, whoa. To be clear, are you saying that Uncanny Mobility proves you don't need to have line of sight to the target of your Trick Attack?

It proves that you don't have to have to choose a target to attack until you decide to make an attack roll, possibly after your movement.

The situation you've outlined is the 'typical' use for uncanny mobility, but it also shows that the full action trick attack is:

Move.

Now that you're done moving, select a target, attempt your skill check and then make an attack roll.

So, you don't need line of sight to your target at the start of your turn, but you need line of sight after you've moved.


Pathfinder Maps, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
xris wrote:
Steve Geddes wrote:
Ascalaphus wrote:
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.
This makes it clear you don't have to an particular opponent when you begin the movement part of your trick attack.

This was the nail in the coffin in our group for those who believed you had to designate a target as soon as you declared a trick attack.

There didn’t seem any situation where you wouldn’t meet the precondition of this feat, unless the designers anticipated you not being able to see the target at the start of your turn.

Whoa, whoa, whoa. To be clear, are you saying that Uncanny Mobility proves you don't need to have line of sight to the target of your Trick Attack?

What about the situation where the Operative starts his turn adjacent to the target? The Operative wants to move away from the target and then use his small arm for a ranged (trick) attack. Since Uncanny Mobility allows the Operative to choose his target before movement, then it means he can move away without provoking an attack of opportunity from the target.

Or did I misunderstand the point you are making?

It wasn’t really my point, but it wasn’t related to people avoiding Opportunity attacks from their target. That’s a given.

The holdouts at our table (who were adamant that you define all aspects of an action when you declare it, therefore you had to pick your target at the start of your turn) conceded that, given this wording, you’re clearly allowed to declare your target after you’ve moved.


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 think that we all play that way because we play that way, maybe our GM likes it when everyone declares so there's no cheating, or maybe at some point people describing their actions became the norm, and it's easier to describe the visuals of your character as or before you actually perform the actions in-game.

Honestly, half of my Pathfinder group falls into the 'Have been playing and/or GMing Pathfinder games for so long that they have some incredibly incorrect ways of doing things, but they've been doing them for so long that even showing them the rules that refute them doesn't always convince them they've been wrong for 8 years' category.

I feel like this sort of question falls right about there.


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I'm not going to argue in this thread BNW, because you already know where I stand.

But I'm curious, what made you want to rehash this argument?


BigNorseWolf wrote:

Operative runs past giant crab monsters 1 and 2 to hit giant grab monster number 3 in order to focus fire and bring him down.

Giant crab monster 1 makes an AOO by rolling a 1, crab monster 2 rolls a nat 20. Operative decides they'd like to be all uncannily mobile and sneak attack 2 instead.

In no shape manner or form would you be allowed to do this at my table.

Assuming a crab with a 5 foot reach here. You do not get opp attacked until you leave the threatened square, so you are heading toward crab 3 when crab 2 nails you in the back.

You are getting hit for a critical by crab 2, period end of story. I might allow you to alter your move at this point (if the critical effect does not change it for you).

At my table you will live with the consequences of a dubious action decision. (Yes I am stating running through the first two crabs to get to the third is dubious).


As for the original question.

In my game no, you do not have to see the target to make a trick attack, but you do have to have an idea of a target.

I will allow: "I trick attack the invisible guy in the back of the room"

or "I move around the corner with the intent of trick attacking any enemies in the hall"

My game works on this very simple premise.

1: You decide what you want to do.
2: You tell me what and how you are going to do what you want to do.
3: We execute your turn based on what you told me you were doing.
4: You reap the reward or suffer the consequences of you actions.


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.

You don't necessarily need to declare your actions before you take them, but you definitely must declare your actions as you take them.


Hawk Kriegsman wrote:


In no shape manner or form would you be allowed to do this at my table.

Nor at mine. Note the context.

But what if the exploit lacked the choosing the target clause

Steve Geddes thinks the clause disproves needing to start the trick attack with LOS to the target. I think it's there to avoid having an argument about which space crab gets to hit you. IE, it serves a purpose even if you need LOS to the trick attack target.


Claxon wrote:

I'm not going to argue in this thread BNW, because you already know where I stand.

But I'm curious, what made you want to rehash this argument?

1) FAQ bait. They prefer the question be straight up the first question in the thread right at the top, not burried under 3 miles of back and forth.

2) It came up at a convention so it's not JUST you doing that.


BigNorseWolf wrote:
Hawk Kriegsman wrote:


In no shape manner or form would you be allowed to do this at my table.

Nor at mine. Note the context.

But what if the exploit lacked the choosing the target clause

Steve Geddes thinks the clause disproves needing to start the trick attack with LOS to the target. I think it's there to avoid having an argument about which space crab gets to hit you. IE, it serves a purpose even if you need LOS to the trick attack target.

Reading is a skill. Missed the context part. My bad.


Hawk Kriegsman wrote:

Reading is a skill. Missed the context part. My bad.

Happens. Some of these conversations need a yarn conspiracy board.

Sovereign Court

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

1) This implies that you can also not choose the target of your attack before you move.
2) You can't conveniently decide to avoid AoOs from a particular enemy in the middle of the move, because you had to have made that choice before you started movement. So the whole crab story doesn't fly.

If you don't have to choose targets at the beginning of your turn, I don't think you have to have line of sight to any (potential) targets either.

There's also nothing in the rules that says a blind operative can't trick attack, or that you can't trick attack invisible enemies.


BigNorseWolf wrote:
Claxon wrote:

I'm not going to argue in this thread BNW, because you already know where I stand.

But I'm curious, what made you want to rehash this argument?

1) FAQ bait. They prefer the question be straight up the first question in the thread right at the top, not burried under 3 miles of back and forth.

2) It came up at a convention so it's not JUST you doing that.

I feel slightly insulted at your point 2, but moving past that I understand since this seems to be something coming up in standardized play format that you would want to nail down exactly how it functions.

And yes, it is easier to get an FAQ if the first post has the question clearly stated.


To summarize my point where this was previously discussed (but I myself am hoping not to be drawn into this argument):

In my opinion Trick Attack requires awareness of (but not necessarily sight of) a specific enemy to be used. So you would be unable to perform a trick attack without being aware of any enemies.

Normally such a thing wouldn't come up, unless a player wants to try to metagame the turn based system by saying they move by Trick Attacking everywhere just in case there's an unknown enemy that reveals itself.

Hopefully I have the willpower to stay out any argument


Ascalaphus wrote:
The exploit says "When you make a trick attack, if you choose the target of your attack before you move".

Right. And with that rule there you definitely can't decide Critty Crab number 2 can't hit you as he whacks you.

But without that rule there you could try to argue it. That's why I think that clause is there. While i agree with the conclusion that you can trick attack someone you can't see at the start of the round I disagree how good of an argument that clause makes for that conclusion.

Sovereign Court

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The charge action is very explicit about needing to designate a target at the beginning. Trick attack says nothing of the sort.

I see nothing in the rules that prevents you from trick attack moving around a corner on the off chance there's something there. And I'm just not accepting the premise that it would be some kind of awful metagame thing to do.

If you're not already in combat, then it doesn't matter because the initiative roll would break up your action so you've gained nothing.

If the GM won't let you go out of initiative when there's no more enemies in sight, then you're already "metagaming" by taking combat style turn based actions. Except the GM is the one forcing you to metagame. So I guess your character hears that the combat soundtrack is still playing.

If the GM wants the players to treat the monster around the combat as a new and separate combat, then so should he. Go out of initiative, check for surprise and start a new combat when the players turn the corner. If you don't go out of initiative, don't complain if the players act like there's still danger around.


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At this point all FAQ optimization strategies are indistinguishable from cargo cults.

Sczarni

Starfinder Charter Superscriber
Pantshandshake wrote:
I've been unable to find a rule that says you declare your actions before you take them.

Core Rulebook, Page 244:

"An action’s type essentially tells you how long the action takes to perform within the framework of a 6-second combat round. There are five types of actions: standard actions, move actions, swift actions, full actions, and reactions.

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."

The colloquial nickname for this is "action economy", meaning your round has a budget of action types you can spend.

In the specific example of a Trick Attack, which is a Full Action, you wouldn't have a move action left to do anything else (except a free action, like drop your weapon). If you spent a move action to move around a corner, thus granting you line of sight to an enemy, you couldn't then declare a Trick Attack.

Exception: if you were a Skittermander, which 1/day can gain a bonus move action, you could first spend your normal move action to move around a corner, then declare you're using your Skittermander racial ability, and combine that bonus move action with your remaining standard and swift to perform a full action.

(there are probably a couple other corner case exceptions as well)


It's a slightly separate issue, and I don't want to clog up this threads narrow issue with that threads deep dive into the rules. But your actions being budgeted works with your action limit whether they're declared before/while/ or after doing them.


Nefreet wrote:


"An action’s type essentially tells you how long the action takes to perform within the framework of a 6-second combat round. There are five types of actions: standard actions, move actions, swift actions, full actions, and reactions.

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."

The colloquial nickname for this is "action economy", meaning your round has a budget of action types you can spend.

In the specific example of a Trick Attack, which is a Full Action, you wouldn't have a move action left to do anything else (except a free action, like drop your weapon). If you spent a move action to move around a corner, thus granting you line of sight to an enemy, you couldn't then declare a Trick Attack.

Exception: if you were a Skittermander, which 1/day can gain a bonus move action, you could first spend your normal move action to move around a corner, then declare you're using your Skittermander racial ability, and combine that bonus move action with your remaining standard and swift to perform a full action.

(there are probably a couple other corner case exceptions as well)

While I appreciate you finding the rules telling us what kind of actions we can take, you appear to have missed a few points.

First, the lead up to this question was, initially, that the operative isn't spending a move action and then trying to trick attack. The operative is using its turn to perform a trick attack, doing the movement portion of said trick attack, and then (if a target is there) performing the 'trick' and 'attack' part of the trick attack. If there is no target there, then the operative wasted half of its turn. The last half of is the crux of 'does the operative need to see a target to declare a trick attack.'

Second, there's nothing in the rules you quoted telling me that I have to tell my GM "I'm going to use my move action to move in this specific way, and then when I finish the move I'll use my standard action to shoot that specific NPC over there." While most people probably do this during a game, it appears to be force of habit, and not something we *need* to actually do because of rules.

Edited because I forgot which of the many threads about this question this was.

Sczarni

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Starfinder Charter Superscriber

Ah. Didn't realize there was another thread.

Regardless of whether your GM asks you to formally "declare" your actions ahead of time, or whatever, what you definitely could not do would be spend your move action to move around a corner, see an enemy, and then change your mind and do a full action trick attack.

Similarly, if you miss with a single attack against an adjacent enemy, you couldn't then change your mind to perform a full attack.

(there are lots of full actions that combine minor actions; you could not piece apart any of them in this manner)


Nefreet wrote:

Ah. Didn't realize there was another thread.

Regardless of whether your GM asks you to formally "declare" your actions ahead of time, or whatever, what you definitely could not do would be spend your move action to move around a corner, see an enemy, and then change your mind and do a full action trick attack.

Similarly, if you miss with a single attack against an adjacent enemy, you couldn't then change your mind to perform a full attack.

(there are lots of full actions that combine minor actions; you could not piece apart any of them in this manner)

This, I agree with 100%.

Sczarni

Starfinder Charter Superscriber

If you do, then what is wrong with "declaring" your actions as you take them?

I do not understand that distinction.


Pantshandshake wrote:
Nefreet wrote:

Ah. Didn't realize there was another thread.

Regardless of whether your GM asks you to formally "declare" your actions ahead of time, or whatever, what you definitely could not do would be spend your move action to move around a corner, see an enemy, and then change your mind and do a full action trick attack.

Similarly, if you miss with a single attack against an adjacent enemy, you couldn't then change your mind to perform a full attack.

(there are lots of full actions that combine minor actions; you could not piece apart any of them in this manner)

This, I agree with 100%.

The problem is that if you don't have to declare your action as you're taking it (which is essentially before) then you can just say you always intended to trick attack. And no one, except you, would know otherwise.

Sczarni

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Starfinder Charter Superscriber

Oh, yeah, that I would have a problem with.

Regarding this thread, and the question asked in the OP, I would have worded it this way:

"Can an Operative who has just moved up to their speed then perform a Trick Attack? Or must the full action Trick Attack be announced before they move?"

If that question were FAQ'd, I would hope the answer sided with the second half.


Nefreet wrote:

Oh, yeah, that I would have a problem with.

Regarding this thread, and the question asked in the OP, I would have worded it this way:

"Can an Operative who has just moved up to their speed then perform a Trick Attack? Or must the full action Trick Attack be announced before they move?"

Yeah, that's what the OP is really asking.


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.

Sczarni

Starfinder Charter Superscriber

On a related note, is THIS this other thread in question?

I apparently hid it 219 posts ago.

Sczarni

Starfinder Charter Superscriber
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.


I let my player operatives absolutely state.

"I move around the corner with the intent of trick attacking any enemy that I see."

or

"I move to the back corner of the room and trick attack the square where the technomancer just went invisible"

This is perfectly valid to me, even though they cannot see a target at the beginning of their turn. Just the knowledge of their may be a threat is enough for me.

Reasons being the following reasons.

1: Maybe in the previous round the enemy ran around the corner.

2: Maybe in previous rounds enemies have come around that corner towards the players.

3: I saw the technomancher in the back corner go invisible.

4: maybe their is a new visual hindrance like smoke that has appeared on battlefield now obscuring the operative's vision and the target they he knows is there.

If my players are wrong about the enemy around the corner then they don't make an attack. Trick attack states you may make an attack.

If my players are wrong about the invisible technomancher then they swing/shoot at air.


@Nefreet: There's nothing wrong with declaring your actions before you take them, if that's what happens at your table. In the same vein, there's nothing wrong with not declaring your actions before you take them. There do not appear to be rules telling us to do either, which functionally makes this merely a difference in playstyles.

The problem is that, as far as actions go, if the operative says "I'm trick attacking NPC X, by walking forward 20 feet and then rolling my 'trick' and 'attack' dice," he accomplishes the same thing as walking 20 feet forward and then rolling his 'trick' and 'attack' dice without telling everyone what he's doing. Several people on these boards are of the opinion that if you didn't say you were trick attacking when you began your turn, then all you did was perform a move action, and you can't trick attack anymore.

It seems like BNW, with this thread, is trying to skirt around the outrage and mouth-frothing cause when he DARED to suggest that if the end result is the same, it doesn't matter how you get there, by asking if it was rules legal to perform a trick attack without a current target, in the hopes that there would be one available after the move portion of the trick attack. Because, if it seems legal to trick attack without a target, then should be legal to use the movement portion of a trick attack to hunt around for a target. At least, I think that's the purpose.

@Claxon: Your resolve held for almost 7 hours! Damn proud of you.
So, here’s the thing. I’ve never met anyone in real life, over countless versions of ‘some kind of D&D,’ who plays the way BNW proposes. Zero. Everyone I know does the “I’m moving here” while moving the mini, and “Now I’m shooting that guy” while pointing at the NPC mini, or we say “I’m going to do a full attack. The target of my first attack is that thing over there,” and then we wait for the GM to acknowledge those words, so everyone knows everyone is paying attention and will appropriately react to those dice being rolled.

I’m only in these threads because I think the amount of venom and vitriol surrounding this is absurd. I’m not going to check on every game I’ve played, but Starfinder doesn’t seem to have a rule that says you have to announce your intentions prior to performing them. So if we would all just take a step back, realize that the way we play is because we’re creatures of habit, and solve this entire series of conversations by asking our GM how they would like us to narrate our character’s actions.


I don't think anyone is trying to be vitriolic, at least not in this thread and at least not yet.

And I actually think I still haven't crossed the line into argument. My previous post was to (in my opinion) clarify what was being stated and understood. Though I could see where I might cross the line. Obviously I am following this thread because the topic interests me. But I guess I'm about to cross into argument anyway...so....

I don't think any game has ever explicitly stated you need to state your actions prior to performing them, and that you only need to account for what was done at the end of the turn to ensure you didn't violate action economy.

But I do think there is a strong argument to be made that its a built in assumption of the game, much like the "two hands of effort" ruling or the "magic is super obvious" ruling. The dev team may have never thought it needed to be written down because they never imagined you might not do it that way. The specific issue of defining how you spend your actions is however a separate topic form the specific topic of this thread.

And the ruling for that wouldn't also answer this question so the debate on this is still...valuable. Maybe. I'm not sure on that. Time will tell I guess.

Sczarni

Starfinder Charter Superscriber

No vitriol here, but I personally equate the "piecing apart" of a full action and the "only you know what you're doing" behavior to my all-too-often observation of players who roll their dice before deciding what they do for their turn.

I call it "cheating".

When I give my GM spiel before a game at a Convention I ask players to roll their dice out in the open for everyone to see, and if they fall back into their habits of rolling dice behind objects or literally covering them up with their hands, I call them on it.

I guess maybe I should add "you must declare your actions" to my ever-increasing list of ways to get everyone on the same page.


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Garretmander wrote:

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.'

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

Okay, I would agree with that.

This example seems okay to me

Player: I move forward 30' toward that mook as part of a trick attack

GM: Okay, when you come around those boxes, you see a another baddie who was hiding behind them.

Player: I choose to attack the other baddie

*rolls dice*


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.


GM OfAnything wrote:


Yeah, that's what the OP is really asking.

No actually, I'm not. I'm really asking the question I'm really asking. I hate doing otherwise, hate when others do otherwise, and do not like the implication there.

I've seen a few DMs online and one in person say that you cannot trick attack someone you didn't have LOS to at the start of the round. Even if you knew they were there. Including things that shot at you and hid behind walls.

If the operative needs LOS to trick attack at the start of the round that would obviously answer the question of moving up to attack something they didn't even know was there. If the operative doesn't need LOS that still wouldn't mean that my Schrodinger's operative interpretation would drop out of that ruling


The exact situation I'm asking about, as it happened online and in conventions.

Evil Space squids are heard talking around the corner.

DM ruling: you don't have line of sight to them so you can't trick attack them, trick attack is a full round action so if you can't attack at the start, you can't trick attack them at all.

Space squids come out and shoot for a few rounds, some move behind walls.

DM ruling: you don't have line of sight to them so you can't trick attack them, trick attack is a full round action so if you can't attack at the start, you can't trick attack them at all.

_W___O
SW
_W

O= operative
S= Space squid
W= wall

This is NOT the deep dive into the rules weirdness and schrodingers operative we were doing last week. Not trying to trick the developers into signing off on something (although a no answer would answer no for that. A yes answer would not answer it at all)

I'm asking exactly what's in the thread title, and exactly what's in the original post.


I think I may have reversed my no and yes in the last post...


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BigNorseWolf wrote:

The exact situation I'm asking about, as it happened online and in conventions.

Evil Space squids are heard talking around the corner.

DM ruling: you don't have line of sight to them so you can't trick attack them, trick attack is a full round action so if you can't attack at the start, you can't trick attack them at all.

Space squids come out and shoot for a few rounds, some move behind walls.

DM ruling: you don't have line of sight to them so you can't trick attack them, trick attack is a full round action so if you can't attack at the start, you can't trick attack them at all.

_W___O
SW
_W

O= operative
S= Space squid
W= wall

This is NOT the deep dive into the rules weirdness and schrodingers operative we were doing last week. Not trying to trick the developers into signing off on something (although a no answer would answer no for that. A yes answer would not answer it at all)

I'm asking exactly what's in the thread title, and exactly what's in the original post.

Again at my table, in this scenario you may attack the Space Squid all day long.

1: Do you have an idea where the threat is? = yes
2: Is he within a full movement (as best the player knows)? = yes
3: Do you have a operative weapon or small arm in hand (cause you can't draw one during a trick attack)? = yes
4: Can he be trick attacked? = yes

All the operative has to state (at my table anyway).

"I move around the corner in trick attack mode and attack the squid." 100% within the rules.

Now if it turns out that the space squid is 65 feet away and your full move is 60 feet, then you cannot attack the space squid with an operative weapon but if you had the small arm in hand at the start of the turn then please make your trick attack roll and roll to hit.

Seems simple enough to me.


I think the answer is no, an operative declaring a trick attack at the beginning of their turn doesn't need to see (and maybe not be aware of) an enemy, they can move and then shoot once they have line of sight.

Ruling otherwise would do a lot of damage to the Shot on the Run feat for a Trick Attack vs. a standard move and attack, which I can't believe is the intent.


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BigNorseWolf wrote:
Hawk Kriegsman wrote:


In no shape manner or form would you be allowed to do this at my table.

Nor at mine. Note the context.

But what if the exploit lacked the choosing the target clause

Steve Geddes thinks the clause disproves needing to start the trick attack with LOS to the target. I think it's there to avoid having an argument about which space crab gets to hit you. IE, it serves a purpose even if you need LOS to the trick attack target.

It’s not strictly important, but to be clear I don’t think it disproves this.

I am in the camp that says you can trick attack even if you can’t see your target (I think of it more as a “stance” or “fighting style” rather than a “backstab” or “sneak attack” to use analogies from other games).

We had a group who were of the “choosing an action includes stipulating all components of that action at the outset” camp. The wording of that clause persuaded them that their reasoning was wrong (clearly it is possible to choose your target after moving, nullifying the root of their objection).

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.

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