Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
stevebob13

Unmatched Protection

Recommended Posts

Hello all,

 

I've got a rules question on how to interpret the use of "Unmatched Protection" from the Dangerous Covenants supplement.

 

The text for the basic ability says, "Once per game session as an incidental, the character may spend 2 Destiny Points to gain the following ability: once per round, after suffering a hit and determining damage, the character may halve the damage (rounded up) dealt before it is applied to his soak. This ability is active for the remainder of the current round and two additional rounds."

 

My question is, does the initial incidental action (and Destiny Point expenditure) have to happen in turn or can it happen in response to suffering a hit? The way it's written implies to me that you have to activate the ability on your turn but then it can be applied after that whenever you are injured. However, that interpretation seems to go against the spirit of the ability, which is reacting to getting injured.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Unlike Maneuvers and Actions, there is no statement that Incidentals can only happen during a given character's turn. See p. 199-200.

 

The descriptions of other "reactive" Incidentals like Dodge lead me to believe you can activate it when targeted (which would happen during someone else's turn). 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't think the spirit is anything other than being a lot tougher.  I don't think allowing it to be used once you do suffer damage is all that particularly game breaking, but I do think you're trying to do an end run by trying to avoid using it until you're certain you've suffered a hit.  Honestly it should be used against the Nemesis type fight anyway, anything else is a waste.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think the whole purpose of "after suffering a hit and determining damage" is to allow players to decide whether to use this based on how bad the hit is.

 

Look at the power--to even get it, you have to get to two of the bottom powers and buy it.  By allowing players to decide to use it once they've determined damage, they're guaranteed to get at least some utility out of it, while still leaving an element of chance (as you don't know if you'll even be hit again before it expires).  It's a huge point sink to have to activate it without even knowing if it's going to do anything.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Unlike Maneuvers and Actions, there is no statement that Incidentals can only happen during a given character's turn. See p. 199-200.

 

The descriptions of other "reactive" Incidentals like Dodge lead me to believe you can activate it when targeted (which would happen during someone else's turn). 

 

 

I read through that section but didn't come to the same conclusion. On p. 129-131 the talents section it specifically says which Incidental talents can be used Out Of Turn. However, reading through the other talents, the ones that don't out the Out of Turn descriptor don't make sense to use without an accompanying maneuver or action so you would never use them Out of Turn anyway. Also many of the suggested Incidental actions, such as speaking or dropping something don't make sense to me to not be able to do in response to another character's action.

 

 
 It's a huge point sink to have to activate it without even knowing if it's going to do anything.

 

 
That's how I felt but I don't think that's the way it's implied to work.
Edited by stevebob13

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I read through that section but didn't come to the same conclusion. On p. 129-131 the talents section it specifically says which Incidental talents can be used Out Of Turn. However, reading through the other talents, the ones that don't out the Out of Turn descriptor don't make sense to use without an accompanying maneuver or action so you would never use them Out of Turn anyway. Also many of the suggested Incidental actions, such as speaking or dropping something don't make sense to me to not be able to do in response to another character's action.

 

Well, that page clearly doesn't include keywords for Talents and the Signature Abilities released in later books. I interpret Unmatched Protection to be intended to work as Dodge does. 

 

And I think the RAW (per my previous cite) and the RAI is for speaking or dropping to be doable in response to other peoples' actions. But those don't require Talents to do hence they're not on that page.

Really the RAW is vague, so I believe the RAI should be read as what makes the Signature Ability (AKA class capstone) to be as useful to the class as possible. Reading it to trigger like Dodge does, accomplishes that.

 

But there's always a customer service email to get an official position on it.

Edited by Kshatriya

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm sure they read the forums, I believe that a few developers comments on the Order66 podcast is evidence enough of that They just do not respond on the forums.

The only developer posts I've seen were announcements for errata and beta updates.

Edited by kaosoe

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If you look under The Turn/Incidentals (pg 199) it says: "... There is no hard limit to the number of incidentals a character may perform during his turn,...". As far as I have been able to find there is no reference anywhere that indicates that an Incidental can be taken outside their turn or at any other time during the Round and if there is no positive indication then it can't be assumed to exist. Additionally in the Ability's description you've provided it says ".. to gain this ability,..." and it lasts for three Rounds it seems to me that you must activate the Ability ahead of time in anticipation of being Damaged. Basically it's a Buff that you activate to to protect yourself ahead of time.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If you look under The Turn/Incidentals (pg 199) it says: "... There is no hard limit to the number of incidentals a character may perform during his turn,...". As far as I have been able to find there is no reference anywhere that indicates that an Incidental can be taken outside their turn or at any other time during the Round and if there is no positive indication then it can't be assumed to exist. Additionally in the Ability's description you've provided it says ".. to gain this ability,..." and it lasts for three Rounds it seems to me that you must activate the Ability ahead of time in anticipation of being Damaged. Basically it's a Buff that you activate to to protect yourself ahead of time.

 

Actually, it explicitly says which incidental talents can be used "Out of Turn" in the talents section. In fact many of them are reactions to what other people are doing, such as Dodge, that have to happen on another characters turn. So there is precedent.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

If you look under The Turn/Incidentals (pg 199) it says: "... There is no hard limit to the number of incidentals a character may perform during his turn,...". As far as I have been able to find there is no reference anywhere that indicates that an Incidental can be taken outside their turn or at any other time during the Round and if there is no positive indication then it can't be assumed to exist. Additionally in the Ability's description you've provided it says ".. to gain this ability,..." and it lasts for three Rounds it seems to me that you must activate the Ability ahead of time in anticipation of being Damaged. Basically it's a Buff that you activate to to protect yourself ahead of time.

 

Actually, it explicitly says which incidental talents can be used "Out of Turn" in the talents section. In fact many of them are reactions to what other people are doing, such as Dodge, that have to happen on another characters turn. So there is precedent.

 

Good catch, though it makes my argument even stronger since it doesn't explicitly state that it is used in that way in the Ability.

Edited by FuriousGreg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

 

I understand your point, it doesn't explicitly say the initial Incidental Action to activate the ability is one way or the other. However, it is very similar to talents that are used Out of Turn and the ability breakdown leaves room for interpretation.

 

For example, talking is an incidental. Since it's not in the Talent section it isn't specified if you can use it Out of Turn but it seems silly to me to only allow characters to talk on their turn because it's not explicitly stated they can.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think this one is good to send in, and clarification could be made through a FAQ. I'd play this one as an out of turn, because signature abilities are intended to be over the top and powerful. I think the design idea behind them is to make them game changing, and allows for moments of awesome in storytelling. It is limited in use, requiring 2 destiny points and only happens once per session.

Of course, Last One Standing is also cool... As a GM, if my players had this, I would be looking for ways so that my players could make use of them as ways to move the story forward.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

 

 

I understand your point, it doesn't explicitly say the initial Incidental Action to activate the ability is one way or the other. However, it is very similar to talents that are used Out of Turn and the ability breakdown leaves room for interpretation.

 

For example, talking is an incidental. Since it's not in the Talent section it isn't specified if you can use it Out of Turn but it seems silly to me to only allow characters to talk on their turn because it's not explicitly stated they can.

 

Talking doesn't have a mechanical effect on Combat so it's essentially irrelevant. There are however examples of where it is specifically stated that something with a mechanical effect on Combat can be done out of Turn (a Positive indication of it's use). No such positive, explicit, or specific mention of this is present in the description of this very effective Ability. As such it's either a glaring error or it's intended to be as is stated: as an Incidental Action and Incidental Actions unless otherwise indicated take place during the character's Turn. But I guess we will see when CS gets back to us.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It's worth noting that none of the new Talents from new splatbooks include a reference table like that in the Core.

 

I dunno. To me, nothing breaks if you allow it to be used as Dodge. I lean toward "make this ability useful as a reaction after being hit" than "potentially make this ability useless as you pop it and are not targeted for anything for its duration."

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't think it's game breaking if someone lets a player use it as an out of turn Incidental, but there are only 3 out of turn Incidental Talents listed in the book, Dodge, Intimidation, and Rapid Reaction and they all make of point of stating they can be taken out of turn.

Edited by 2P51

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Just noticed a typo in Dangerous Covenant regarding the talent "Protect Ally" in the "Unmatched Protection" tree, it refers to an ability called "Unmatched Mobility", which obviously should be "Unmatched Protection" as nothing else is called "Unmatched Mobility".

 

Do FFG have a "report content error" system somewhere?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Oh right, well if they actually mean Unmatched Mobility I would expect them to clarify that (and slightly odd having a Talent that is dependent on the signature ability of another career being in use at the same time as yours). Gut feeling still says typo.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

Talking doesn't have a mechanical effect on Combat so it's essentially irrelevant.

 

If out of turn discussion doesn't have an effect on how your combats play out, either I admire your players' restraint in avoiding any kind of metagaming, or they're doing it wrong.  ;-)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Oh right, well if they actually mean Unmatched Mobility I would expect them to clarify that (and slightly odd having a Talent that is dependent on the signature ability of another career being in use at the same time as yours). Gut feeling still says typo.

 

Probably a copy + paste issue.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

Talking doesn't have a mechanical effect on Combat so it's essentially irrelevant.

If out of turn discussion doesn't have an effect on how your combats play out, either I admire your players' restraint in avoiding any kind of metagaming, or they're doing it wrong.  ;-)

I said a mechanical effect ie. one that changes the outcome of a die roll, not no effect. Because of this it's not a good example in the context of this argument.

 

They're spending 2 Destiny Points. Let them use it after they take damage if they want.

If the effect only lasted for that one round I'd tend to agree however since it lasts for three full rounds I think it's appropriate  to have the PC plan ahead and activate it before they take a hit. It's a powerful effect and three rounds is a sizeable chunk of combat.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Sign in to follow this  

×
×
  • Create New...