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The Selective Explosions stunt is one of the Engineering stunts for Operatives' Stunt & Strike alternative class feature. It allows you to exclude squares when making AoE attacks:
Selective Explosions: If your stunt and strike skill check and attack roll both succeed and your attack is made with a weapon that targets an area (such as a weapon with the automatic, blast, explode, flexible line, or line properties), you can select a number of squares up to your Dexterity modifier and remove them from the affected area.
But, you can only exclude squares, "if your stunt and strike skill check and attack roll both succeed."
I think this needs some clarification, since different AoE weapon properties have different ways of making attack rolls:
Line, Flexible Line, Wide Line, Blast: make one attack roll, compare against AC for all targets in area
Automatic: make a separate attack roll against each target in area
Explode: make one attack, but target a grid intersection (usually AC 5) rather than targets
So it's straight forwards for Explode weapons, but for the others: how many attack rolls do I need to succeed with for Selective Explosion to trigger? If I've got an ally in the Area (which is the primary use case for this stunt) do I just need to succeed on the attack vs one ally? What if there's multiple allies? Or, do I need to success vs foes? Or versus all targets?
For that matter, when making the skill check for the Stunt: do I make a separate check vs all targets? Or just allies, or enemies, or one check vs the highest CR, or, or, or. (Is there a precedent for how Trick Attack vs multiple targets works?)
If I'm attacking an area with 1 foe and 1 ally (which, again, seems like what this ability is designed for) the most punitive reading would require me to succeed at two Skill checks and two Attacks to exclude squares. Which is a lot of rolls: not only am I more likely to fail at any single one (which is maybe all it takes for the stunt to fail) but it also slows down my turns a lot. It's a cool ability, and I am theorycrafting an Operative/Experimental Weapons Mechanic to really make an AoE specialist work, but it needs a bit of clarification, and hopefully fewer rolls to be viable.
I hit that FAQ button, but I'll go ahead and add my opinion too.
I think you would probably need to succeed at the skill check vs the highest CR significant enemy in the area.
I'm less sure on the attack roll, I would think as long as one attack roll vs a significant enemy in the area succeeds the trick succeeds, but I could see it needing to be vs all targets.
|Joe Pasini Starfinder Lead Designer|
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FAQ updated—thanks for the question and FAQ clicks!