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Counter Attack modifier question.

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So my group was looking at the Counter Attack talent and there is a confusion as to what the end WS modifier should be. The relevant text is as follows:

 

Counter Attack:

"...character may immediately make a Standard Attack action as a Free Action...using the weapon with which he Parried. The character suffers a -20 penalty on the Weapon Skill test for this attack."

 

Standard Attack:

"The active character makes...one melee attack by making an Ordinary (+10) Weapon Skill test...Success inflicts one hit on the target"

 

The question comes down to if the modifiers stack.

On one hand, you make a Standard Attack which gives a +10 to WS and the Counter Attack gives a -20 to WS totaling to -10 WS.

 

On the other hand, Counter Attack could just force the counter attack roll to be at -20 WS.

 

Right now I am ruling in favor of the players for it being only -10 WS.

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This is a case where FFG needs to issue an errata, as the -20 for the talent is a copy paste from pre-BC rules where basic attacks were at +0. When copy pasting, they forgot to account for the changed standard attack bonus. Send them an email about it and hopefully they'll send out a correction.

If you need a ruling right now, I'd go with the attack being at -20, because that's how the talent was originally meant to work.

Edited by Nimsim

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The way I read it is that if you're making a counter attack it is a single standard Attack (no option to swift Attack) with a -20 penalty instead of the regular +10.

In my view, rule texts are additive, unless it's obvious they're not (explicitly stated or implied by contradiction).

As such I see 'You get to do X(general rule) with Y (specific rule)' as 'you apply all the rulesfir X and the rules for Y in addition to them unless mutually exclusive, then Y takes precedence'. I find this interpretation consistent with what I have read in most rulebooks.

Assuming you want consistent rules interpretation, the other way to see this rule opens the interpretation that anything that 'grants a character a +10 bonus to a test' for example will actually let the character roll a +10 test regardless of other modifiers.

Edited by LordBlades

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I will offer the opinion that I see this rule as clearly calling for both the +10 of Standard Attack and the stated -20 penalty of the Counter Attack.

 

The reasoning is based on this talent explicitly expressing that the bonus attack that Counter Attack affords is a "Standard Attack action".  If it instead merely stated something like a "bonus attack" was granted, that would open the door to all sorts of questions including the one posed by this thread and others such as whether Swift/Lightening Attacks were permitted.  However, this talent explicitly defining the bonus attack as being a "Standard Attack action" (defined on page 224) tells us that an Ordinary Weapon Skill test is what you start with before other modifiers (which is +10), it's a single attack & it's not Swift/Lightening Attack or any other kind of attack besides a Standard Attack.

 

Otherwise, one would have to make the argument that FFG explicitly calls for a "Standard Attack action", but doesn't want you to use the rules for a Standard Attack action.  Where does it state that in the Counter Attack talent?  Where in the rules would one base that argument off of?  Why would the talent expressly define that bonus attack as a "Standard Attack action", but then not want you to use the rules for a Standard Attack action?

 

By expressly defining the bonus attack as a "Standard Attack action", I posit that we know what we need to know.

 

Cheers

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As a PSA, I received an official answer concerning Counter Attack:

 

Me: It came up on the forums that [Counter Attack] uses a [standard Attack] as written. Does the Counter Attack gain the +10 from normal Standard Attacks for a final modifier of -10? I thought that the Counter Attack's modifier ignored the normal bonus from Standard Attacks, but now I'm not sure.
Tim Huckelbery: It's a –20 penalty, that replaces the usual +10 bonus.

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