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Traipsingvoyager

Attacking Helpless Opponent

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I may have missed this in the book somewhere, but with powers such as bind and sneak attacks, how is this handled in system? Is this simply the addition of a boost die, or something more, or is this up the GM?  Any responses would be helpful 

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Well by RAW neither Bind nor a sneak attack (which isn't even really a defined thing here) cause an opponent to be "helpless" in this system.

 

Attacking a prone target (pg 153) is what you're looking for though. You gain a boost when attacking with a melee weapon. GM can always adjust further if needed.

 

Though if the opponent is actually helpless, you're also probably gonna need to look at pg. 220 as it's likely you're at the very least talking Unprovoked Violence or Assault.

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Well by RAW neither Bind nor a sneak attack (which isn't even really a defined thing here) cause an opponent to be "helpless" in this system.

 

I'd follow this up by saying that, in general, "helpless" means "helpless." Since there's no "Dex bonus to Reflex Defense" in this system, I would encourage adopting a cinematic sense about these things: 

 

Knife to throat and in an arm lock = helpless

Tied to a duracrete wall = helpless

On your butt, backed into a corner, with a lightsaber to your chest = helpless

 

In general, this is what the Wound & Strain Thresholds and Critical Injuries are generally for. Also, if a character is ensnared and staggered, I might rule that as "helpless," too. But there are certain circumstances where a certain skill check (or series of checks) might resolve in such a way that leaves a certain character at the mercy of another. 

Edited by awayputurwpn

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There is no sneak attack if their vigilance roll results are higher than your cool dice results. The advantage is who can react faster. Now if the target is unconscious or otherwise unable to react by some sort of force (pun not intended) no roll required.

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There is no sneak attack if their vigilance roll results are higher than your cool dice results. The advantage is who can react faster. Now if the target is unconscious or otherwise unable to react by some sort of force (pun not intended) no roll required.

I would counter that, just because you have two parties acting in an initiative order, doesn't mean they are mutually aware of each other's presence. Since "sneak attacks" aren't a mechanic in this system, it becomes a situational thing (like being helpless) and means different things in different circumstances.

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Staggered is helpless.

immobilised is helpless.

This is a good point. My players went up against a mature zakkeg while hunting on Dxun, and won by causing a massive Crit on it...they got the critical injury result that staggered it for the remainder of the encounter. So weused the "foregone conclusion" rules: I had then make one roll each and narrate what they did to finish the beast off.

I wouldn't say immobilized is helpless, though. Even if you're stuck in place, you can still act to fight or free yourself. Certainly you'd be disadvantaged, but not generally helpless.

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Staggered is helpless.

immobilised is helpless.

"There is no 'helpless' state" argument aside, neither one of these is enough to be helpless.

 

Staggered makes you unable to launch an attack, but doesn't prevent you from defending yourself. You can make certain defensive moves like reflect, parry, dodge, move to cover, or plain run away.

 

Immobilized makes you unable to escape or otherwise change certain conditions, but it doesn't make you unable to defend yourself, and with the right weapons and conditions you are still able to launch an attack. You can make certain defensive moves like reflect, dodge, and parry, and are still able to take actions allowing you to use equipment and make attacks (with talents like quick draw you can even still pull a different weapon if you need to).

 

Both combined is very close, but with so many defensive actions as incidentals you can still defend yourself. If you're unarmed as well that limits you down quite a bit, but you can still use anything that allows an action or maneuver to be an incidental, as well as of course actual incidentals...

 

That's the trick, by RAW helpless essentially boils down to unconsciousness and the inability to take any actions of any kind.

 

Of course if the GM says you're helpless, you're helpless.

But just saying that because one or even both of those conditions applies, you're helpless, isn't really correct.

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A sleeping character is helpless. A prisoner with his hands tied behind his back is helpless. A child confronted by (armed) adults is helpless. I suspect this is the sort of thing the developers had in mind when they used the word "helpless".

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A sleeping character is helpless.

And is also, for all intents and purposes, unconscious.So they can't take any action, maneuvers, or incidentals. So yeah, helpless. At least until they wake up...

 

A prisoner with his hands tied behind his back is helpless.

Certain point of view. He could be, but might not. After all, is he helpless, or merely not able to take any kind of action that requires the free use of his hands?

 

Even a pair of characters tied to chairs back to back might be able to do something....

 

A child confronted by (armed) adults is helpless.

The Goonies would disagree.

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What's missing, I think, is the paralyzing fear that comes with certain situations that lead to helplessness.  A prisoner might be bound, but not necessarily helpless.  But the same bound prisoner who failed a fear check and is now terrified of his or her captors could be.  Same with the child against armed adults.  Clearly The Goonies passed most of their fear checks!  So call for more fear checks!

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Something to consider as well is that an "Attack" roll isn't just the Attack it's the PC's action and how it influences the scene, this is why you can spend Advantages and Triumphs, and Despairs, on things other than Damage etc. So you should roll against a "helpless" Opponent, possibly with a Boost die or two, as you would normally. If you Fail the roll you may still have "Hit" them in the narrative you just didn't change your target's condition in any meaningful way that Round, it's how you describe the result. The important thing is to roll to see if the over all situation changes by rolling Adv., Triumphs etc.

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