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chrisbremen

Shooting into engaged combat despair rule

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Maybe Im missing something but this rule deters my players from using engaged combat because of the despair rule from shooting at enemies who are engaged with one of your party members.  More often than not that despair shows up and all the damage gets diverted to the engaged player.

I know there is a new talent in the Champion book that helps with this, but that is the only thing I can find.

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If the person firing the weapon is using auto-fire, and they have more than one hit, then the desired target can still take damage — the problem is that their associate also takes damage.

My Wookiee has literally been there and done that with regards to taking friendly fire during a melee combat, and the time his Klatooinian buddy hit him in the back with the LRB is probably still the single greatest amount of damage ever done to him in one blast.

Of course, that Klatooinian otherwise rolled pretty good, and got several activations of auto-fire on that shot, and my Wookiee only took one of the blasts. But boy, was that one more than enough to seriously hurt.

And he never let the Klatooinian live it down, either. ;)

Edited by bradknowles

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More often than not that despair shows up and all the damage gets diverted to the engaged player.

 

That would be a "miss", IMHO.  If somebody succeeded with a shot, even with a Despair, it means they still hit the target.  I don't think it's fair to take that away.  But remember, one turn of shooting isn't just one shot, it can represent several shots...one of which, unfortunately, hits your friend.

 

It might come of sarcastic, but maybe don't shoot at enemies engaged with allies?

 

 

That too :)

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Personally, I just ignore the "must take effect" aspect of that rule, especially since it's the only time that a Despair will completely override the effects of an otherwise successful check.

 

Instead, I treat the "hit the ally that's engaged with the target" result as an option to spend a Despair upon.  To be honest, I think that just having the check upgraded is enough of a penalty, and the forced effect of "shoot an ally" is unnecessarily punitive.

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Personally, I just ignore the "must take effect" aspect of that rule, especially since it's the only time that a Despair will completely override the effects of an otherwise successful check.

I think it’s a reasonable first option, if the person firing the weapon has enough Advantage to activate multiple blasts from auto-fire, or something like that.

Sure, you succeeded and you hit the target. But you also hit your buddy.

OTOH, if the person firing the weapon had a net Success+Despair but didn’t activate more than one blast from auto-fire (or somesuch), then you have convinced me that the shot should actually hit the target (as intended), and something else appropriately nasty should happen to their buddy who was unfortunately too close to said target.

Instead, I treat the "hit the ally that's engaged with the target" result as an option to spend a Despair upon.  To be honest, I think that just having the check upgraded is enough of a penalty, and the forced effect of "shoot an ally" is unnecessarily punitive.

It’s a good first option, IMO. But I now agree that it shouldn’t be the only choice.

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Well, my gut says "you shot your friend", but we can be more creative than that. Stuff like making your friend flinch (upgrading their attack) because there's flurry of blaster bolts inches from their head. Damage their stuff. Knock their stuff out of their hand.

 

Oh, and then shoot them.

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Well, my gut says "you shot your friend", but we can be more creative than that. Stuff like making your friend flinch (upgrading their attack) because there's flurry of blaster bolts inches from their head. Damage their stuff. Knock their stuff out of their hand.

 

Oh, and then shoot them.

Oh, knee shot, and they're hamstrung.  Favorite gun just took a rank of damage.  Odd ricochet and shot hit someone else completely maybe.

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Okay, I just need to clarify whether this is true:  everyone here seems to think that a Success with a Despair diverts the shot.  In other words, you do not hit your target.  You might as well have failed.

 

Am I misinterpreting, or do some of you really think that?  And if so, how do you justify it?  No other skill use does that (uses Despair to become, essentially, a failure).  If you successfully slice a computer but get a Despair, you still succeed, there are just additional complications.

 

Comments?

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Personally i like the RAW of hitting your buddy 'instead'. It makes it crystal clear just how dangerous it is shooting into an engagement. It makes the PC's be more tactical:

 

Round 1 the Ranged PC shoots then melee PC engages and attacks

Round 2 the melee PC goes first and disengages after swinging, then the ranged PC has their turn.

 

It gives NPC's with the Adversary talent even more longevity, and increases the encounter risk a lot. Besides if there are multiple targets then whats the problem, suck it up and deal with the fact you just shot the guy standing between you and the Bad Guys... not your best day i'm sure and it just got a whole lot worse...

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Okay, I just need to clarify whether this is true:  everyone here seems to think that a Success with a Despair diverts the shot.  In other words, you do not hit your target.  You might as well have failed.

 

Am I misinterpreting, or do some of you really think that?  And if so, how do you justify it?  No other skill use does that (uses Despair to become, essentially, a failure).  If you successfully slice a computer but get a Despair, you still succeed, there are just additional complications.

 

Comments?

I think that's what this discussion is about. Page 210 (EotE Core) in the section on ranged attacks at engaged targets does state that when an ally is engaged with your target, the check is upgraded and "if the attacker's check succeeds but he generates at least one [Despair], that [Despair] is automatically spent to make the attacker hit one of the individuals engaged with the target (of the GM's choice), instead of the target." Emphasis mine.

 

Okay, so RAW does say that the successful check does affect a different target. (not necessarily the ally) I think the discussion is whether most GMs enforce that regularly, or find other ways.  

 

To the point of it being the only case where a success becomes a "failure", yes, it's the only instance I can think of where the specific action is diverted. There can be times when a Despair can make a successful check ineffective. In the slicing example, you can succeed in what you are doing (accessing the computer's memory) but still not achieve what you really wanted. ("Congratulations Mario, but the Death Star plans are in another computer") 

 

Of course, I'm glad I went back and looked up the rule, because I hadn't recalled the possibility that it is hits another individual, which may or may not be the ally. This way, a melee fighter attacking a group might be safer from his allies (depending on the GM) than if he was fighting somebody one-on-one. 

 

I think part of the ruling is to keep the fighting cinematic. If there are multiple enemies in a scene, and your marauder is in melee with the Rival, pick a different target. If it's down to just them, either let your ally finish it mano-a-mano (perhaps taking other actions to provide Boost dice) or crowd around the enemy, blasters drawn, and make a coercion check to get the surrender. 

 

Having said that, I have considered a house rule, allowing the attacker to take a maneuver (either Aim or positioning) to compensate, resulting in a setback die instead of an upgrade. This makes it possible for a good marksman to pick low level enemies off of his friends with little risk. Rivals or Nemeses with the Adversary talent and GM spending of Destiny can still add the risk of Despair. 

 

I think, for the most part, the main thing I would change is the "automatically", but leave the possibility in there. 

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Looking at page 217 of the Force and Destiny core rulebook, under "Making Ranged Attacks at Engaged Targets," the second paragraph ends with the following sentence...

 

"In addition, if the attacker's check succeeds but generates at least one Despair, that Despair is automatically spent to make the attacker hit one of the individuals engaged with the target (of the GM's choice), instead of hitting the target. (emphasis mine)

 

So based upon that wording, then yes the Despair overrides the effect of a successful combat check, and if the only other person engaged with the intended target is an ally, then congrats on just shooting your own ally.  And most GMs that I've seen haven't been the least bit hesitant to have a PC's attack in this instance hit an ally even if there were other viable targets in the mix.  And it's also the only instance of a Despair completely overriding the intent of the skill check, forcing the shooter to miss their intended target.

 

Now, if a GM wanted to have a shot that originally targeted a Nemesis who was engaged with a fellow PC as well as an enemy minion group instead peg the engaged minion group. that's perfectly fine.  But generally speaking, it tends to be a case of multiple PCs engaged with a single adversary, so the GM's choice of targets for the Despair result in that instance are to pick a PC to get blasted.  Thus, why I prefer to treat that Despair result as just another choice on the GM's part as opposed to being automatically spent in a specific manner, especially if the GM has a devious idea for how a Despair result could make things more problematic for the players.  For instance, yes the shot hit the intended target, but a couple of your other shots zipped past their mark and blasted some control panels that I'm sure won't be important later....  ;)

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So a related question of a "What If" for everyone

 

It seems to me the 'shooting into engaged' rules are treating the entire engagement as a single target. If you hit you hit something in the engagement, while if you miss you miss the entire engagement.

The Aim maneuver has the option to aim at a particular part of a target for the cost of 2 Setback.

 

So if the PC shooting into an engagement was to take the "Aim at a particular part" maneuver would you allow them to ignore the upgrade? i think i would, but I'm interested to see others opinions.

If there where Challenge Dice in the mix due to some other factor (Adversary) i would still force them to hit their buddy(or another engaged NPC), but they are not hitting them because of wildly shooting into an engagement.

Edited by Richardbuxton

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So a related question of a "What If" for everyone

 

It seems to me the 'shooting into engaged' rules are treating the entire engagement as a single target. If you hit you hit something in the engagement, while if you miss you miss the entire engagement.

The Aim maneuver has the option to aim at a particular part of a target for the cost of 2 Setback.

 

So if the PC shooting into an engagement was to take the "Aim at a particular part" maneuver would you allow them to ignore the upgrade? i think i would, but I'm interested to see others opinions.

If there where Challenge Dice in the mix due to some other factor (Adversary) i would still for them to hit their buddy, but they are not hitting them because of wildly shooting into an engagement.

The Warleader's Prophetic Aim talent allows the character to ignore the Despair rule if they aim, so, probably not?

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So a related question of a "What If" for everyone

 

It seems to me the 'shooting into engaged' rules are treating the entire engagement as a single target. If you hit you hit something in the engagement, while if you miss you miss the entire engagement.

The Aim maneuver has the option to aim at a particular part of a target for the cost of 2 Setback.

 

So if the PC shooting into an engagement was to take the "Aim at a particular part" maneuver would you allow them to ignore the upgrade? i think i would, but I'm interested to see others opinions.

If there where Challenge Dice in the mix due to some other factor (Adversary) i would still for them to hit their buddy, but they are not hitting them because of wildly shooting into an engagement.

The Warleader's Prophetic Aim talent allows the character to ignore the Despair rule if they aim, so, probably not?

 

Oh yeah, forgot about that :P

 

So what if the Warleader rolled a despair due to Adversary etc? would you use the "You hit something else" rule anyway?

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clipped

The Warleader's Prophetic Aim talent allows the character to ignore the Despair rule if they aim, so, probably not?

 

Oh yeah, forgot about that :P

 

So what if the Warleader rolled a despair due to Adversary etc? would you use the "You hit something else" rule anyway?

 

If they aimed, then no. The talent says Despairs cannot be spent to hit allies when aiming. And it only works with Ranged (Heavy) and Ranged (Light), so they're SOL with Gunnery weapons.

Edited by Blackbird888

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That would be a "miss", IMHO.  If somebody succeeded with a shot, even with a Despair, it means they still hit the target.  I don't think it's fair to take that away.  But remember, one turn of shooting isn't just one shot, it can represent several shots...one of which, unfortunately, hits your friend.

 

 

This. I don't think despair takes away your success. I narrate it as either your flurry of shots hits your intended target and unfortunately your ally or your shot tears through your intended target and also hits your ally. Keep in mind combat isn't 6 second rounds like D&D. I often remind my players the combat is a sequence of exchanges of blows or fire. You might fire of several shots before having a clear line of fire at your target.

 

You can narrate the despair as: As your wookie ally swings his vibroaxe at the stormtrooper sergeant you line up the perfect shot. Just as you squeeze the trigger the sergeant uses the wookie as a carpet shield absorbing several blaster bolts before your shots also strikes the sergeant in the chest and shoulder. Both take damage of X.

Edited by archon007

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