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CrunchyDemon

Allow a player to ride a swoop in personal combat?

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I have a player.

 

He has a swoop.

 

(UH!) Player-Swoop.

 

I do have a player who plays a Coruscant Scoundrel Biker with a Starhawk Speeder Bike.  He wants to participate in personal combats with the rest of the group on foot (sorta like a D&D cavalier), but while riding his swoop (combat-area permitting, usually outdoors).

 

I actually like the concept, the rest of the players think it's cool.

 

I'm just not sure how to handle things like movement and handling of his swoop.  How do I do this?

 

Picture like an abandoned train yard, there's plenty of outdoor space, the ground is gravel, there are jersey concrete barriers around.

 

Alternatively, picture like a moisture farm turned into a battlefield on Tatooine.

 

Do the rules allow for my biker player do things like stop his swoop, line up lasers, circle around, etc, when we're having on-foot fights with bad guys?  (I am imagining he must simply use the normal vehicle combat maneuvers).

Edited by CrunchyDemon

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Point out just because a swoop can travel at X mph, doesn't mean that's practical in close combat, or that full vehicle speeds can actually be used effectively. Point out as well Despairs suffered while rocketing along have consequences....

To me it provides a way under acceptable conditions to use a much larger weapon, a readily available escape option, and the ability to fly over obstacles/difficult terrain. I don't bother trying to ram vehicle combat and personal combat together.

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Not sure on the RAW, but I'd have a talk with the players about how to work this. I'd start by having to utilize piloting skills to navigate the terrain, obviously. However, I'm not sure I'd allow that PC a chance to shoot every turn. The speed of a swoop should have the pilot popping in and out of combat. Also, depending on the skill & weaponry it may be more powerful than standard weapons. So, Piloting one turn to swoop into range, shoot on the next AND maneuver past the target, Piloting the next to swoop back around. Piloting-Shoot-Piloting-Shoot and so on.

I think it's a fair trade off even just on the cool factor alone, which this would be VERY cool to narrate. The biggest thing I could suggest is to work out something that makes sense narratively, is fair to all involved, and is fun.

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I would handle swoop exactly the same way I handle jetpacks or  jump boots. Movement becomes quite dynamic and switching range bands is naturally a lot quicker, which means a daring escape from personal combat is just one maneuver away, BUT if you are out of range you are not gonna shoot yourself either, if you are in range than so are your opponents and while your mobility is great on a swoop your opponents have tons of quite harmful options with their advantages, their triumphs and your despairs, etc

 

On top it is quite expensive to get shot down from a moving swoop bike as an explosion afterwards and your 5,000 to 10,000 credits are gone in one blast. So there are quite some downside, now personally with my character I would mount a vehicle weapon or at least heavy arms onto that bike and simply snipe from long range or indeed joust the enemy opposition if the line of sight is limiting the range from which I can operate, which in return would make the opposition either die in a fire or bring vehicles itself … which brings the local authorities into the game and everything does down in a chase sooner or later anyway. ;-)

 

Boy-That-Escalated-Quickly-Anchorman.gif

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   I would not allow sniping, as we're basically talking about a big gun mounted on the front of a Harley.  There's no precision aiming with that thing.  It's gonna be pretty cool-looking, but very difficult, to ride in, guns a'blazin' at short range, and then just zipping right through the battlefield.  I would probably make it simple by just throwing a bunch of setback dice at the player and anyone shooting at him.  He's on an unstable surface, going fast as hell, trying to pick out targets and shoot them without crashing into a tree.  Meanwhile the badguys are in a firefight, which is stressful enough, but every 20 seconds some guy charges through, blasting everything in sight, and is gone before you can really get a good bead on him.  What he would be really good at is drawing attention.  He may not hit anyone with that death machine, but as soon as they hear that engine approach, everyone will dive for cover.

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   I would not allow sniping, as we're basically talking about a big gun mounted on the front of a Harley.  There's no precision aiming with that thing.  It's gonna be pretty cool-looking, but very difficult, to ride in, guns a'blazin' at short range, and then just zipping right through the battlefield.  I would probably make it simple by just throwing a bunch of setback dice at the player and anyone shooting at him.  He's on an unstable surface, going fast as hell, trying to pick out targets and shoot them without crashing into a tree.  Meanwhile the badguys are in a firefight, which is stressful enough, but every 20 seconds some guy charges through, blasting everything in sight, and is gone before you can really get a good bead on him.  What he would be really good at is drawing attention.  He may not hit anyone with that death machine, but as soon as they hear that engine approach, everyone will dive for cover.

 

Vehicle weapons operate with vehicle rules, humanoids are sil 1, speeders are usually 2, makes an average check, dodge, sidestep, adversary ranks apply and again despair might be a collision with something. And there is the issue with rolls for terrain which is rather complicated imho if you are in something like a city and trying to ride circles around a firefight, adding setbacks to the piloting check and making it most likely a check for speed 1 and sil 2, so 1 red dice and about 2 setback dice … so, most pilots should be ok until someone knocks them off that bike with a good shot …

 

And btw, nothing stops a vehicle to just take a position at extreme personal scale range and unleash hell while standing still … even when just RAMMING people via a pilot check might be indeed look a lot cooler. ;-)

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GM: 'Ok after all the dice are cancelled you have a Despair left. Hmmmm, here ya go *passes core rules and blank character sheet to swoop adrenaline addict*

 

Gm (to other players): There's an explosion, followed by a plume of smoke. You lose radio contact with your crew mate' :D

 

Anything goes really, I still think a Despair would be very messy  :lol: 

Edited by ExpandingUniverse

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GM: 'Ok after all the dice are cancelled you have a Despair left. Hmmmm, here ya go *passes core rules and blank character sheet to swoop adrenaline addict*

 

Gm (to other players): There's an explosion, followed by a plume of smoke. You lose radio contact with your crew mate' :D

 

Anything goes really, I still think a Despair would be very messy  :lol:

 

Technical we have rules for vehicle combat and collisions based on that, creating critical hits on the vehicle which may or may not lead to explosions. We have as well at least a suggestion for damage when getting hit by vehicles. The suggestion was to use for this the force move damage which is sil * 10 and factor in the speed, which should be in this case just one. Meaning it hurts like hell, might incapacitate a character too, but should usually not downright kill a player. But yeah, a crash with a speeder bike for sure is a risk and despair is certainly an option on those piloting checks. Good when you still have a maneuver left after the check to jump off before the thing is crashing. See speeder chase on endor against scout trooper minions ;-)

 

What is it in this forums with this reluctance to use vehicles in personal combat. Star Wars is full of it, from the Falcon with his AX-108 Surface Defense Blaster Cannon wrecking havoc in a hangar full of stormtroopers over at-ats attacking echo base on hoth to the battle of endor with AT-STs fighting against those freaking sil 0 ewoks …

If a player wants to use his swoop as a weapon he should go for it, he better wears a crash suite because getting shot off the bike will happen and as GM you adjust the opposition to deal with such problems. We have plenty of tools to deal with vehicles and we have plenty of tools to shoot at the pilot in case of speeder bikes as well. 

Edited by SEApocalypse

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If he wants it, let him have it, thats what swoops are for.

 

I handle them like flyers, they may use one maneuver to cross two rangebands within personal scale

(to show an reasonable combat speed without driving all around the planet in one round).

 

He may Use the Vehicle installed weapons (average difficulty)

He may use a normal handfireweapon (difficulty depending on the range + 1 Setback for the speed and the movement of his vehicle)

He may use a normal meeleweapon (average difficulty engage +1 Boost for charged attack if he moved from mid to engaged this round)

I won't allow dual weapon fighting as long as the vehicle has no autopilot...

 

He may use a second maneuver to move to mid again (at the cost of 2 Strain and 2 Systemstrain)

 

An Enemy who attacks the Player will automatically hit the vehicle, with two exception:

 

1. he hits with an triumph, then he can spend it to hit the driver (lucky shot)

2. he uses aim at special point (the driver in this case), adding two setbacks to his pool or one if he aims two times.

 

 

Of course the player can always choose to escape by accelerate to full speed by the normal vehicle rules.

 

 

If the player wants to go at full speed in and out of the fight, I would rule that for his vehicle weapons all his friends count as Engaded, thus gaining an automatic upgrade of the difficulti and hitting one of his allies with each dispair.

 

Because he would driving faster than an lamborginie while trying to figure out which of the shemes that are there in front of him is his allie...

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If he wants it, let him have it, thats what swoops are for.

 

I handle them like flyers, they may use one maneuver to cross two rangebands within personal scale

(to show an reasonable combat speed without driving all around the planet in one round).

 

He may Use the Vehicle installed weapons (average difficulty)

He may use a normal handfireweapon (difficulty depending on the range + 1 Setback for the speed and the movement of his vehicle)

He may use a normal meeleweapon (average difficulty engage +1 Boost for charged attack if he moved from mid to engaged this round)

I won't allow dual weapon fighting as long as the vehicle has no autopilot...

 

He may use a second maneuver to move to mid again (at the cost of 2 Strain and 2 Systemstrain)

 

An Enemy who attacks the Player will automatically hit the vehicle, with two exception:

 

1. he hits with an triumph, then he can spend it to hit the driver (lucky shot)

2. he uses aim at special point (the driver in this case), adding two setbacks to his pool or one if he aims two times.

 

 

Of course the player can always choose to escape by accelerate to full speed by the normal vehicle rules.

 

 

If the player wants to go at full speed in and out of the fight, I would rule that for his vehicle weapons all his friends count as Engaded, thus gaining an automatic upgrade of the difficulti and hitting one of his allies with each dispair.

 

Because he would driving faster than an lamborginie while trying to figure out which of the shemes that are there in front of him is his allie...

Driving faster than a lamborghini would be speed 3, driving as fast as a lamborghini would be speed 2, driving as fast as an AT-AT is speed 1. And even an at-at can get you from engaged to extreme in a single round as those rounds leave plenty to time to move.

Tot allowing enemies to hit the player sounds like a pretty heavy buff for speeders, sure most have just 1 or 2 Hull, but others have 2 Hull with 1 armor, so you need to deal at least 20 personal scale damage to deal damage to that speeder. That 85-XS Odyssey Heavy Speeder Bike becomes a small tank with HT 3, Armor 1 and 4 Hardpoints if you can not just hit the pilot. Imo giving at best a setback dice for the cover sounds better for those bikes. Now speeders with a closed cockpit are a little different, but than you are in the area of small fighters already anyway.

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Well even at the speed of an Lamborgini / Ferrarie or high tuned Kawazaky (choose the brand of you style) it is hard to determine at what you are fireing while it comes in your view and away again within seconds, so the the engaged rule works well.

 

And for AT-AT with Speed 1... we see in the movies how fast they are... a person can out run them (Running but still we see Luke doing it, also we see it already in Rouge One trailer how fast they are DURING COMBAT)

 

 

I think it is aprotiate to use the RAW aim rule for this situation, to sit on an vehicle or Mount is an advantage an it is always harder to hit something thats moving on something an if you got hit with the "knocked prown" advantage... well the bike will be mostly suffer some collision damage if not totally destroyed (depends on the surroundings)

But while the vehicle is not moving it would be another case, since then there is no differents between a target in a graden chair and a person on the bike, but while moving (something it does during the hole fight normally) it would be the setback aim.

 

But of course this is only my two cent.

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I think it is aprotiate to use the RAW aim rule for this situation, to sit on an vehicle or Mount is an advantage an it is always harder to hit something thats moving on something an if you got hit with the "knocked prown" advantage... well the bike will be mostly suffer some collision damage if not totally destroyed (depends on the surroundings)

But while the vehicle is not moving it would be another case, since then there is no differents between a target in a graden chair and a person on the bike, but while moving (something it does during the hole fight normally) it would be the setback aim.

 

But of course this is only my two cent.

There is one difference between forcing a setback aim maneuver or adding setback from the cover rules for being in partial cover from the bike. And that is that it cost a maneuver, which could be spend on a lot of other useful stuff even to just aim for a boost dice. You don't demand a aim maneuver to hit someone behind behind cover either, right? Especially relevant for minions who can not move when they used their own free maneuver for aim. Just handing out the setback dice for cover sound more in line with raw :)

And yeah spending advantages for "prone" or knockdown are indeed a good way to cause collision and critical hit onto a vehicle while shooting down the driver.

Top speed for AT-ATs is rated at 60km/h btw. Source for that is "The New Essential Guide to Vehicles and Vessels"

Edited by SEApocalypse

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This is all great stuff.  Thanks for the feedback.  Here's how this is gonna work at our table:

 

RAW makes it pretty clear with vehicle maneuvers for things like accelerate/decelerate.  

 

Speed 1 vehicle is probably moving like a character with a jetpack through personal-scale range bands.  (again, accelerate/decelerate are vehicle maneuvers).

 

I think a setback for attacking on-foot enemies of silhouette 1 with personal-scale weapons (blaser pistol, vibrosword) is appropriate.  I think melee attacks on a charge should get a boost (because awesome)

 

I think attacking with the laser cannons on the swoop itself uses Gunnery, this is a Starhawk Swoop (Fly Casual, Page 53) and factors in the silhouette of the bike which is 2, the difference in silhouette from human-size is one, this upgrades/downgrades attack difficulties by 1 (need RAW check please, AFB).

 

Starhawk swoop has 3 HT and 0 armor.  This should equate to 30 points of damage dealt from personal-scale weapons to break it.

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[...]

Top speed for AT-ATs is rated at 60km/h btw. Source for that is "The New Essential Guide to Vehicles and Vessels"

 

 

yep you're right but that is max speed in a straight line with no obstacles around NOT actuall combat speed. (you would be far away from your target and to turn this babys you need make a full break and turn them slowly around or it will be lying on the ground very fast ;)

 

 

 

 

 

To hit a charakter in normal cover like rocks, pillows, crates and other obstacles... no of course no special aim is needed just 1-2 setback dice.

 

to hit a charakter in special cover like in a fortres behind a shooting slit, or hidden on the ground in a bunker, or when mounting a vehical or Mount that has his own woundthresholds and is moving, because therefor you'll just need to aim mor to hit (even in real life)

 

But everyone can use his own way with the hybrid situation.Whateverworks on your table ^^

 

 

 

@ Chrunchy yes when it is Sil 3 and the target is Sil 1 the Gunner has to throw a hard (3 purple) check.

your solution sounds solid!

 

have fun with your player playing the chavalery :D

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Sounds good. Few notes.
 

I think melee attacks on a charge should get a boost (because awesome)

I think attacking with the laser cannons on the swoop itself uses Gunnery

Starhawk swoop has 3 HT and 0 armor.  This should equate to 30 points of damage dealt from personal-scale weapons to break it.


Hitting something while riding the bike is harder then when you are actually with your target and keep hitting and hitting and hitting in that minute or more of time which is a combat round. And the damage of such a "cavalry" melee attack could be massive. (or rip you off your mount). Upgrading the melee check sounds like a good idea, while increasing the damage by 10*speed sounds like another possible approach. Lightsabers are out of luck for that damage boost.

Vehicle weapons are used with gunnery, though there are a few personal scale sized weapon as exception to that rule. AX-108 from FC p.62 comes to mind. Though that one is to large for size 2 vehicles.

The Starhawk swoop has 3 HT which is the equivalent to 30 points of personal damage, but damage is tracked in whole numbers and all damage is rounded down, so you need to reach 10 damage to actually do damage,while 4 hits of 9 damage deal zero damage overall to the bike. Good hits make short for of a bike, but most hold-out blasters will ruin the paintjob, but not the bike itself.
 

But everyone can use his own way with the hybrid situation.Whateverworks on your table ^^


That applies anyway always. Speaking of cavalry, beast riders are actually tons of fun. :D


Varactyl_DK.png

Edited by SEApocalypse

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Oh, it's also worth pointing out (way to late) that "swoops in personal combat" is already represented in the rules:

 

Act II of Chronicles of the Gatekeeper has an entirely encounter that is "swoop gangers bust into a factory and cause havoc while players try to deal with that". it's not incredibly detailed, I'll admit, but it's a good starting point to look at.

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Just remember that piloting checks always get an upgrade on difficulty. (EotE CRB p240) A  Silhouette 2 Swoop moving at a speed of only 1 has a Piloting check of 1 Red. (plus setbacks for other obstacles) It's a little unclear on when the check is made, since generally Maneuvers don't require a check. The way I run it, this is still a check, but doesn't count as taking an action. 

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Just remember that piloting checks always get an upgrade on difficulty. (EotE CRB p240) A  Silhouette 2 Swoop moving at a speed of only 1 has a Piloting check of 1 Red. (plus setbacks for other obstacles) It's a little unclear on when the check is made, since generally Maneuvers don't require a check. The way I run it, this is still a check, but doesn't count as taking an action. 

 

The way we run it, we make those checks in case of chases each round before the new round starts and thus as an out of round action, while combat related actions do indeed count as your action for that turn.

Ramming someone for example with your ship is your combat action. Navigating in a dense asteroid field while shooting at incoming tie fighters is not and does not require each round a check, but just once when entering the field and on every special occasion afterwards. 

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The swoop-riding PC should be making a Piloting test every round. The difficulty of which and what happens when he fails should be dependent on what he's doing at the time. This test would be independent of anything else he's doing though you could add some black dice to simulate the multitasking he's engaging in while piloting.

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The swoop-riding PC should be making a Piloting test every round. The difficulty of which and what happens when he fails should be dependent on what he's doing at the time. This test would be independent of anything else he's doing though you could add some black dice to simulate the multitasking he's engaging in while piloting.

 

And characters moving around should do each round an athletics check?

Besides that is a check of exactly one challenge dice on a swoop bike with speed 1, that is basically handing out for the most part free triumphs and advantages every round. Seems rather counter intuitive in contest that you want to hand out setback dice for the shooting … which is btw strictly against raw. Now if want to handle that way, enjoy it, nothing wrong with that. 

 

Still, your post made me thinking. Attacks from a mount as beast rider use survival, which is your piloting skill for beasts. I guess rolling against piloting(planetary) would make sense for melee attacks as not your skill with the weapon, but your skill with the bike determines for the most part if you can land your attack. Same as your skill at controlling your varactyl determines if the attack with the beak or the tail of a Cracian Thumper will hit something or not. 

Cracian_thumper1.jpg

Great, now I want such a Thumper for the group …grumble

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Just remember that piloting checks always get an upgrade on difficulty. (EotE CRB p240) A  Silhouette 2 Swoop moving at a speed of only 1 has a Piloting check of 1 Red. (plus setbacks for other obstacles) It's a little unclear on when the check is made, since generally Maneuvers don't require a check. The way I run it, this is still a check, but doesn't count as taking an action. 

 

We'll use the Edge of the Empire Core (since most people have that one) for my quote: page 240, first paragraph - the entry on Stellar Phenomena or Terrain.

 

"When a ship passes near or through one of these treacherous obstacles, the pilot might need to make an appropriate Piloting check, even if he is attempting a starship maneuver that typically wouldn't require one."

 

So, you make this check whenever you take a maneuver or action that interacts with dangerous terrain - in personal scale combat, this is pretty frequent, unless you're fighting in open plains or platforms. Of course, when one needs to take a maneuver to do something in a vehicle isn't always certain but, thankfully, it seems a bit easier to piece out in personal scale combat: you make a maneuver when you want to change range bands. That said, if you want to narrate it such that you're zipping around the battle on your swoop (but maintaining the current range band status quo, thus not "requiring" a maneuver), you might need to adjust to the "check every round as an incidental to see results" method.

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And characters moving around should do each round an athletics check?

If they're hip deep in a swamp? Sure. If they were balancing on pipes I'd ask for a Coordination test. Otherwise, no, because every character is assumed to be capable of basic movement on normal terrain. Not every character is necessarily a good driver or pilot.

 

Besides that is a check of exactly one challenge dice on a swoop bike with speed 1, that is basically handing out for the most part free triumphs and advantages every round. Seems rather counter intuitive in contest that you want to hand out setback dice for the shooting … which is btw strictly against raw. Now if want to handle that way, enjoy it, nothing wrong with that.

 

If it's against RAW then what's the point of the Brace talent? Zipping around not under your own power is the definition of changing conditions. Maybe I misread the OP, but is the swoop using a mounted weapon or is it the character's personal ranged weapon? I was assuming personal ranged weapon.

EDIT: The Starhawk has cannons. I'll amend my statement to say "If in the event the player wants to use a personal weapon rather than a cannon..."

If the player wants to park his swoop just out of range on his turn and use Gunnery, he can go nuts. I would assume the GM would have the NPCs either take cover and/or close in on the rider to be more effective with their weapons.

Unless every man-vs.-cavalry combat encounter is going to be an automatic cavalry win, there needs to be some risk taking for the rider, especially if the rider is maneuvering around in a combat situation. If he's a skilled rider, then he use his Triumphs and Advantages to indirectly assist his compatriots or make his next check easier. I ran Chronicles of the Gatekeeper and if I hadn't had the speeder bike gang make rolls every round, they would have creamed the PCs.

Edited by Concise Locket

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The swoop-riding PC should be making a Piloting test every round. The difficulty of which and what happens when he fails should be dependent on what he's doing at the time. This test would be independent of anything else he's doing though you could add some black dice to simulate the multitasking he's engaging in while piloting.

 

And characters moving around should do each round an athletics check?

Besides that is a check of exactly one challenge dice on a swoop bike with speed 1, that is basically handing out for the most part free triumphs and advantages every round. Seems rather counter intuitive in contest that you want to hand out setback dice for the shooting … which is btw strictly against raw. Now if want to handle that way, enjoy it, nothing wrong with that. 

 

 

 

It's not necessarily my intention to beat the player at this game. Giving them a handful of advantage is good thing. It prompts players (and/or GMs) to be creative about how the presence of a swoop is affecting the tide of battle. I recently ran an encounter where the PCs (Rebels) banded a bunch of locals together against the empire. They even convinced a group of swoop racers to help. Instead of attacking, they swept through the enemy line, disrupting the grouping; ie. the minion groups they ran through lost the ability to upgrade the skill on their next attack. 

 

A single Challenge die against a Driver's skill is unlikely to cause a crash. (that typically requires Failure and Despair) And maybe a single Despair won't be the end of his riding in the combat, but it could mean falling off. If he's doing this a lot, maybe come up with a chart for how to spend Threat, or conversely, how enemies can spend advantage, even on attacks that miss. 

 

Despair could mean falling off. Or if you don't want to go that severe right away, it could mean he reaches where he was attempting to go, but has no enemies in his fire arc. (if using vehicle mounted weapon) 

Threat (or advantage from an attack against him) could cause him to become dislodged, and while still on the vehicle, it now only takes a couple more Threat/Advantage to knock him off until he uses a personal maneuver (or incidental on his turn if he has "Let's Ride") to position himself back on. Of course, the argument could be made that if it's a result of Threat on a piloting check, it's still his turn, and a character with "Let's Ride" could take the incidental at the end of his turn, but that's just another way of making those talents worth it. 

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