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Aluminium Falcon

Strain and "Combat"

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Even if the players know that talking won a fight, when translated to film it may to an audience look like talking prevented a fight.

 

We enter into a slightly more creative example of the talent at this point, but I invite you to go woth me for a bit, here...

 

If we, as GMs, broaden "Scathing Tirade" to include less narrow descriptions than, well, tirades per se then we can see situations like this:

 

A Politico is trying to pass as Ace Hoyle the Sabaac King, but is found cheating at cards.  The mooks at the table (collective minions) have a history of blasting cheaters. The combat encounter begins and, using the "Scathing Tirade" talent, the GM and player agree the the tirade is actually a calm and even freindly description (booost die if they can manage a fun Billy Dee Williams impression) of all the holy hell that would rain down on anyone foolish enough to harm such an august personage as Ace Hoyle the Sabaac King.

One possible outcome would be to deal enough strain to win the "combat".  The gamblers slink away, perhaps uttering a stern warning about the next time they meet.

In game, that was a combat. Damage was generated and dealt.  To an audience that was a tense social situation.

In EotE, it can be both.

Edited by Aluminium Falcon

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Dealing enough strain to "kill" doesn't mean they actually die. They could be incapacitated, surrender, retreat, or whatever needs to happen to take them out of the situation.

 

Good point. Were I narrating a gun fight with storm troopers and the scathing tirade finished one off, I would likely say they were distracted by the tirade and have them catch some blaster fire to the face from a character shooting...

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that's a good example. but i think it also strenghtens my argument that these kinds of actions should be rare. because most of the time harry shoots people. (actually, i don't know the dirty harry movies that well, so i could be wrong about this. :))

 

i could also argue that it was just a successful intimidation roll on harry's part, but i won't. ;)

 

i agree that it is a talent best used against the pcs.

 

if i may ask, how often did you use it? in every fight? if that, how often did your group fight?

 

i think players should never be frustrated when using his abilities. if they are, there's something wrong with the ability i question. wouldn't you agree?

 

i think a solution for me would be to make scathing tirade more powerful (more strain damage?), but limit it to once/session, like some other talents.

 

 

shlominus, you bring up good points and ideas. Making it a bit more powerful but limiting it to once a session or encounter would be a decent idea. A Tirade should have a bold immediate effect, not something that you'll have to nickle and dime your enemies with. And it should be an effect that shouldn't be often repeated. Once you start yelling, if you keep it up you're enemies will start ignoring you.

 

I will admit that it did start feeling goofy in some fights after using Tirade every turn. Those fights were the ones where the battle was fairly stagnant and the rest of the party wern't killing many badguys. In most fights it felt ok to keep using Tirade because what I yelled transitioned from "Put down your guns or we'll kill you" to "See what the Wookie did to your friends? You're next."

 

I used Tirade in ever fight and never made an attack with a weapon. We're a group who the GM is running us like we're playing D&D, which is to say many fights. The only reason why Tirade was frustrating was because I was trying to come up with something unique to say each time I used Tirade. Giving setback dice was useful, but not extremly effective. It didn't bother me much that I wasn't too useful in combat since I was the party face and did all of the talking and it was fun to role play that character, but it does make me think there are flaws in how Tirade was designed.

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When Scathing Tirade causes an opponent to exceed his WT (as in the case of a Rival or Minion), it is incredibly simple to say, if appropriate, that the character was distracted/distraught by the acting character so much so that they were done in or knocked out by:

  • friendly fire
  • a stray blaster bolt
  • being run through by the acting character's vibrodagger
  • being stunned by the acting character's blaster
  • another player taking the advantage and killing them (do this sparingly, since you don't want players feeling as if their thunder is being stolen)
  • losing their footing and falling off a cliff
  • staying in one spot for too long and getting run over by a speeder
  • staying in one spot for too long and getting blown up by a bomb
  • having a heart attack
  • etc

The point in any of this is that the character's Scathing Tirade led to the defeat of said minion- or rival-level NPC. They are obstacles to be overcome, and were overcome by the character's use of words. The details of their particular demise are purely narrative, so just narrate appropriately. 

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Semantics.  The point being there are rules for what can be done with a Coercion check and there is nothing in Scathing Tirade that says you ignore the aspects of a Coercion check when using Scathing Tirade, therefore there is nothing RAW that says what I propose can't be done.

 

I'm going to have to side with the other guy on this one, 2P51.  When you perform a skill check, successes and advantages are used to create certain effects.  Coercion, for instance, allows you to use successes to inflict strain at a rate of one strain per two successes, and to affect additional subjects by spending two advantages.  Scathing Tirade allows you to take successes to affect additional targets, and advantages to inflict additional strain.  But once those successes and advantages are spent, they're gone, since you can't use an advantage or success for more than one thing.  (For instance, you can't use the same two advantages in a combat check to activate both Two Weapon Combat and Autofire (on the one Ranged (Light) weapon that has Autofire).

 

In this case, if you make the Coercion check, you can choose to use the successes and advantages with Scathing Tirade, or you can use them with a basic Coercion check, but once you spend those successes on one, they go poof, and can no longer be used on the other.

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I tend to have them give up or flee. I think an issue is that minions only having a wound threshold is taken literally. Their wounds threshold is more like a measurement of their over-all fortitude. Strain isn't literally being converted into a physical wound, but they are just pushed one more step into being taken out of the battle.

Those "they were distracted and taken out by something else" ideas are really great though, may steal.

Edited by Revanchist7
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Semantics.  The point being there are rules for what can be done with a Coercion check and there is nothing in Scathing Tirade that says you ignore the aspects of a Coercion check when using Scathing Tirade, therefore there is nothing RAW that says what I propose can't be done.

 

I'm going to have to side with the other guy on this one, 2P51.  When you perform a skill check, successes and advantages are used to create certain effects.  Coercion, for instance, allows you to use successes to inflict strain at a rate of one strain per two successes, and to affect additional subjects by spending two advantages.  Scathing Tirade allows you to take successes to affect additional targets, and advantages to inflict additional strain.  But once those successes and advantages are spent, they're gone, since you can't use an advantage or success for more than one thing.  (For instance, you can't use the same two advantages in a combat check to activate both Two Weapon Combat and Autofire (on the one Ranged (Light) weapon that has Autofire).

 

In this case, if you make the Coercion check, you can choose to use the successes and advantages with Scathing Tirade, or you can use them with a basic Coercion check, but once you spend those successes on one, they go poof, and can no longer be used on the other.

 

Since the Difficulty of the two types of Coercion checks differ (one fixed, one opposed) you need to decide and declare which you're doing before you throw the dice.

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i still have a problem imagining any reasonable scenario where anyone would be "defeated" by nasty words only.

 

could anyone give examples? star wars relevance for bonus points.

 

I imagine that a Force Sensitive Exile PC or "Jedi Exile" NPC using Scathing Tirade could be an excellent in-system representation of Dun Möch.

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Semantics.  The point being there are rules for what can be done with a Coercion check and there is nothing in Scathing Tirade that says you ignore the aspects of a Coercion check when using Scathing Tirade, therefore there is nothing RAW that says what I propose can't be done.

 

I'm going to have to side with the other guy on this one, 2P51.  When you perform a skill check, successes and advantages are used to create certain effects.  Coercion, for instance, allows you to use successes to inflict strain at a rate of one strain per two successes, and to affect additional subjects by spending two advantages.  Scathing Tirade allows you to take successes to affect additional targets, and advantages to inflict additional strain.  But once those successes and advantages are spent, they're gone, since you can't use an advantage or success for more than one thing.  (For instance, you can't use the same two advantages in a combat check to activate both Two Weapon Combat and Autofire (on the one Ranged (Light) weapon that has Autofire).

 

In this case, if you make the Coercion check, you can choose to use the successes and advantages with Scathing Tirade, or you can use them with a basic Coercion check, but once you spend those successes on one, they go poof, and can no longer be used on the other.

 

Since the Difficulty of the two types of Coercion checks differ (one fixed, one opposed) you need to decide and declare which you're doing before you throw the dice.

 

 

Yup. My point was that successes and advantages are the currency of player action, and once that currency is spent, it's gone, which means you can't spend it on both Coercion and Scathing Tirade, just like you couldn't spend the same two advantages on Autofire and Two-Weapon Combat.

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i still have a problem imagining any reasonable scenario where anyone would be "defeated" by nasty words only.

 

could anyone give examples? star wars relevance for bonus points.

 

I imagine that a Force Sensitive Exile PC or "Jedi Exile" NPC using Scathing Tirade could be an excellent in-system representation of Dun Möch.

 

 

another good example (and bonus points! :lol: ). and another one that convinces me that once/session is the way to go. most (all i guess?) lightsaber duels in the movies include dialogue, because the fights are less about hacking the others bits off and more about the relationship between the fighters involved.

 

coercion, deception, even charm can all be used during such a duel. as could a scything tirade. such an element works well if used once. maybe twice. they can help vreate powerful, memorable scenes. they lose their power if used constantly.

 

it's also much more interesting between 2 closely matched individuals, as a taunt, where a single slip might cause one to lose the fight. screaming constant abuse at a group of ruffians during a firefight... meh. :)

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Semantics.  The point being there are rules for what can be done with a Coercion check and there is nothing in Scathing Tirade that says you ignore the aspects of a Coercion check when using Scathing Tirade, therefore there is nothing RAW that says what I propose can't be done.

 

I'm going to have to side with the other guy on this one, 2P51.  When you perform a skill check, successes and advantages are used to create certain effects.  Coercion, for instance, allows you to use successes to inflict strain at a rate of one strain per two successes, and to affect additional subjects by spending two advantages.  Scathing Tirade allows you to take successes to affect additional targets, and advantages to inflict additional strain.  But once those successes and advantages are spent, they're gone, since you can't use an advantage or success for more than one thing.  (For instance, you can't use the same two advantages in a combat check to activate both Two Weapon Combat and Autofire (on the one Ranged (Light) weapon that has Autofire).

 

In this case, if you make the Coercion check, you can choose to use the successes and advantages with Scathing Tirade, or you can use them with a basic Coercion check, but once you spend those successes on one, they go poof, and can no longer be used on the other.

 

Since the Difficulty of the two types of Coercion checks differ (one fixed, one opposed) you need to decide and declare which you're doing before you throw the dice.

 

 

I'm away from my books so I can't verify the wording of Tirade's long description, but the online PDF talent trees are: Take the Scathing Tirade Action, make an Average Coercion Check." To me, you can't use any other abilities the Coercion skill offers because you're not taking an action to use Coercion, your action is to use Tirade. Now, if it was worded as "When you make a Coercion Check you may use Scathing Tirade..." then I'd agree that the Coercion skill extra rules could be used.

 

Although, this might be a good question for Sam. Do you want to ask 2P51, or shall I?

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i still have a problem imagining any reasonable scenario where anyone would be "defeated" by nasty words only.

 

could anyone give examples? star wars relevance for bonus points.

 

I imagine that a Force Sensitive Exile PC or "Jedi Exile" NPC using Scathing Tirade could be an excellent in-system representation of Dun Möch.

 

another good example (and bonus points! :lol: ). and another one that convinces me that once/session is the way to go. most (all i guess?) lightsaber duels in the movies include dialogue, because the fights are less about hacking the others bits off and more about the relationship between the fighters involved.

 

coercion, deception, even charm can all be used during such a duel. as could a scything tirade. such an element works well if used once. maybe twice. they can help vreate powerful, memorable scenes. they lose their power if used constantly.

 

it's also much more interesting between 2 closely matched individuals, as a taunt, where a single slip might cause one to lose the fight. screaming constant abuse at a group of ruffians during a firefight... meh. :)

Its only boring if you allow it to be. I think it works well (and realistically) as something done multiple times to wear down someone's resolve

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You can, I think he is sick of my emails..... :blink:

 

Will do and I'll post the results in the thread. As much as I disagree with you, I do hope your stance is right. Would've made life much easier for my Tirade character.

 

 

 

 

 

i still have a problem imagining any reasonable scenario where anyone would be "defeated" by nasty words only.

 

could anyone give examples? star wars relevance for bonus points.

 

I imagine that a Force Sensitive Exile PC or "Jedi Exile" NPC using Scathing Tirade could be an excellent in-system representation of Dun Möch.

 

another good example (and bonus points! :lol: ). and another one that convinces me that once/session is the way to go. most (all i guess?) lightsaber duels in the movies include dialogue, because the fights are less about hacking the others bits off and more about the relationship between the fighters involved.

 

coercion, deception, even charm can all be used during such a duel. as could a scything tirade. such an element works well if used once. maybe twice. they can help vreate powerful, memorable scenes. they lose their power if used constantly.

 

it's also much more interesting between 2 closely matched individuals, as a taunt, where a single slip might cause one to lose the fight. screaming constant abuse at a group of ruffians during a firefight... meh. :)

Its only boring if you allow it to be. I think it works well (and realistically) as something done multiple times to wear down someone's resolve

 

 

It would be cool to use while fighting (Tirade would be like the talking bits while fighting that's often displayed in fiction, especially comics) although I question its usefulness. As written, you're already spending a strain to use it as a maneuver. Is it really worth using for just one or two strain and perhaps a setback die on your opponet in a one-on-one well matched duel? Or how about one where you're out matched and are trying to use your taunting as a way to throw off the better fighter? In my experiences, I'd have to think twice. The strain cost on me would add up, especially if I needed to do two maneuvers in a turn to tirade and do something else, like move into engaged.

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One of my PC's was blind (literally), handcuffed and surrounded by enemies who are holding the spaceport against the rest of the players and used scathing tirade for a few rounds.

He kept screaming profanities about their mothers and their intense relationships with banthas, about their certain doom once the rest of his "army" arrives, their impending emasculation and evisceration etc. etc.

He rolled pretty well, (and accordingly had quite an effect on them) so the goons were stressed, unconcentrated, (strain, setbacks) but at the same time increased their barricades and prepared to evacuate earlier, which was actually hindering the pc's a little bit in their plan to enter the spaceport.

Edited by derroehre
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Semantics.  The point being there are rules for what can be done with a Coercion check and there is nothing in Scathing Tirade that says you ignore the aspects of a Coercion check when using Scathing Tirade, therefore there is nothing RAW that says what I propose can't be done.

Do you allow other double dips as well? For example, can a character with Field Commander and Inspiring Rhetoric use both together since they both use Leadership? Can a character roll Discipline to resist Fear and also activate Hard headed with the same roll? I tend to think that any specialized use of a skill - such as from the mentioned talents - overwrites the basic use of the skill as described in the skills section.

 

No because they are separate effects.  The example with Scathing Tirade is the same as using Frenzied Attack in conjunction with Stunning Blow on a melee attack.  The talents are modifying the skill check for the same objective, Field Commander and Inspiring Rhetoric are not accomplishing the same objective.  Scathing Tirade is simply adding utility to a Coercion check in exact same way Stunning Blow adds a utility to a melee check.

 

Bad Motivator isn't looking to repair a piece of equipment.  That's not its intent nor its effect.  Scathing Tirade is being used to inflict Strain, that is the intent and use of Coercion.

 

 

During the process of writing my question I went back and read through the Coercion rules in AoR. At this time, I'm more swayed towards 2P51's interpretation.

 

Scathing Tirade calls for a Coercion check. In the Coercion skill entry, there is a paragraph which reads: "Extra * on a Coercion check may be used to inflict strain upon the target at a rate of one strain per **." The next paragraph goes on to tell what to do with advantages and triumphs on a Coercion check. Because the skill description and the talent both use the broad termonalogy of a "Coercion check", I'm starting to think that the rules from the skill description could be used when the talent is used. Two success could be used for additional strain, two advantages for additional targets, and triumphs for breaking their will.

 

I sent in the following question, so we'll see what they say.

 

Hello,

 

A question about the Scathing Tirade talent came up on the forums and we’d like some clarification.

http://community.fantasyflightgames.com/index.php?/topic/110877-strain-and-combat/

 

Scathing Tirade allows the user to inflict strain damage to enemies. The user can affect a number of enemies equal to the number of success and can deal additional damage per advantage. This is with a “Scathing Tirade” action, which uses a “Coercion check”.  The Coercion skill rules also have the ability to inflict strain on targets for successes, add targets for advantages, and even break the will of a target with a triumph.

 

The question is: how does this interact with the base Coercion rules found in the skill description? Do they interact with one of the following interpretations?

 

1. When using a talent which gives an action, such as Scathing Tirade, only the text in the talent can be used. So, when Scathing Tirade is used, the only way to add targets is with success and the only way to deal more damage is with advantages, as depicted in the talent. All text in the skill description is disregarded when using a talent.

 

2. When a talent is used which calls for a skill check, the rules for the check found in the skill can also be applied. So, when Scathing Tirade is used, targets can be added with success per the talent and advantages per the skill, extra damage can be inflicted with advantages per the talent and successes per the skill, and the target’s will can be broken with a triumph.

 

3. There is some other interaction between skills and talents that wasn’t described above.

 

Thank you for a help on this issue.

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Here's the other issue for me...

 

Is activating a skill check an action?  Yes.  (Per CRB p. 204) Therefore coercion is an action.

 

Is activating Scathing Tirade an action?  Yes.  (Per CRB p. 142)

 

Can you perform more than one action in a turn?  No.

 

You can either perform a coercion check as a coercion check or or you can perform it as a Scathing Tirade check.  (I suppose otherwise it would mean we'd have to allow the Piloting check for Full Throttle to apply to Gain the Advantage in the same turn.)

 

I'm willing to hear what the game devs have to say on the subject, but I doubt it'll change out our table.

Edited by Simon Fix
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I've never had anyone die from strain loss, even minions, unless it led to some other situation that killed them.  Like someone was scaling a cliff in a desert, and the strain from the heat finally got to them.  They fell to their death.   In the case with the storm troopers, given by the OP, I would have just had the stormtroopers put down their weapons and surrender, or say "f this" and leave.

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I had originally asked this question about a month back, then GenCon happened, then I forgot about it. I asked again today and I bet I caught Sam in a good mood on his lunch break, because he answered super quick. The answer was what I expected, but not what I hoped. I said I'd post it, so here it is.

 

Rule Question:
Hello,

I play a Politico who uses the Scathing Tirade talent in combat. My GM and I have a question as to how Scathing Tirade interacts with the Coercion skill rules.

Scathing Tirade allows the user to inflict strain damage to enemies. The user can affect a number of enemies equal to the number of success and can deal additional damage per advantage. This is with a "Scathing Tirade" action, which uses a "Coercion check". The Coercion skill rules also have the ability to inflict strain on targets for successes, add targets for advantages, and even break the will of a target with a triumph.

The question is: how does Scathing Tirade interact with the base Coercion rules found in the skill description? Do they interact with one of the following interpretations?

1. When using a talent which gives an action, such as Scathing Tirade, only the text in the talent can be used. When Scathing Tirade is used, the only way to add targets is with success and the only way to deal more damage is with advantages, as depicted in the talent. All text in the skill description is disregarded when using a talent.

2. When a talent is used which calls for a skill check, the rules for the check found in the skill can also be applied. When Scathing Tirade is used, targets can be added with success per the talent and advantages per the skill, extra damage can be inflicted with advantages per the talent and successes per the skill, and the targets will can be broken with a triumph.

3. There is some other interaction between skills and talents that wasn't described above.

Thank you for a help on this issue.

 

Answer from Sam:

Scathing Tirade is a separate and discrete action that follows the rules listed in it, and nothing else. The rules offered in the skills chapter are simply guidelines for using those skills if no other rules apply. They do not stack.
 
Hope this helps!
 
Sam Stewart
Senior RPG Producer
Fantasy Flight Games
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