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How is it handled mechanically when during combat (so Tactical time), a character wishes to, say, attack the next character through a door?  They lie in wait for that next person to walk through.

There's no "Hold Action" action or "Overwatch" action, and I can't find anything in the system to address this.  Since there's no way to act in the middle of another character's turn (with the exception of 2 Threats being spent to provide a foe an immediate free maneuver), the target could come through that door and continue clean out of that room without the attack ever taking place.

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There isnt an option for this, Id guess because a player can get to play in whatever order they choose , there are no fixed slots as such. There are however some talents that simulate this letting a player choose the initiative order for example, or letting everyone go now, etc. There is no actual hold option, note that the actual order of events is that everything pretty much happens at the same time, except that those higher up the initiative order have their actions and maneuvers take effect and be felt first. Just because its your turn it doesnt mean everyone stopped shooting at you. 

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Yes, choosing your Turn Order slot might mitigate this flaw, depending on the specific situation, but it doesn't actually solve it.  Your character is set up to shoot a guy after he comes into your room but before he exits it.  However, the target makes its way completely through and out of the room on his turn - so no attack takes place despite the shooter ready to fire.

I understand your point about all actions in a Round are "simultaneous", but I think for almost all games that's theoretical, not practical.  Your target just took cover before your Turn and now you're shooting at him in the same Round.  If it's simultaneous he shouldn't have cover because he didn't get there until the end of his turn, and you should be shooting at him while he's on his way - but nobody plays that way.  If he's in cover when your Turn begins, then he has cover - no real simultaneous about it.  So a hard application of the simultaneous actions in a Round would be a huge adjustment for most games.  If your target is out of the room by the time your turn begins - he's gone and you can't shoot him.

I think the main mitigating factor is that, most of the time, the kind of ambush attack I'm speaking of starts a combat, rather than happens in the middle of a combat.  This problem doesn't arise if the ambush starts the conflict.  However, if your player tells you during combat that he dashes out a door and waits for his foe to come through to hit him with his lightsaber - the player's not going to be happy when you tell them his foe just went right on by.

Appreciate the response. :)  

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There's no "holding your action" in this system, mostly as the order in which PCs and NPCs can act is rather fluid; in many instances the primary reason to "hold your action" is to allow certain chains of events to occur, which could quite often be abused to the detriment of the group's overall fun.  Plus, this system is not a tactical combat simulation, so things to that level of detail, including results for targeting specific parts of a target's body and exact range band increments, are deliberately left out.  The designers wanted combats to be quick and fun, not get bogged down as player and GM fret over how to best exploit what's on the map to their best advantage.  It's also why combat rounds aren't given an exact time frame in the range of several seconds that games like D&D and its various clones use, and instead is left rather nebulous with the assumed default being somewhere around a minute.

That being said, if you're really desperate to include some sort of "held action" ability, have it cost a maneuver so that they can use either an action or a maneuver at a later point, but also have them specify what the trigger is.  And if that trigger doesn't occur (in this case, the specified NPC never enters their line of fire) by the end of the combat round, then their 'held action' is lost.   The core mechanics of this system is built around resource management, and doing something out of the ordinary working of the rules should have an additional cost.

One of the core issues with held actions in a lot of systems is that there really wasn't any drawback to doing so, and thus players tended to abuse the hell out it, with one classic example being a ranged attacker readying/holding their action to shoot an enemy spellcaster to interrupt their spells (very prevalent in D&D 3.X).  D&D 5e has changed this so that if a PC wants to hold their action, they're effectively giving up their action and using up their one reaction for that round in order to do so.

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Don't forget that combat rounds account for a series and exchange of actions that take place over a span of approximately a minute. So there's no need for a Hold Action because your single swing at then as they come thru is only a small part of what transpires between you and that target.

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The Hold Action's role is giving the high initiative characters a good action to take even if none is available - because they are too fast.  In essence, it's to avoid "punishing" the characters for going first before there is something effective to do. 

It's also used to setup an instantaneous action that can be anticipated to allow for more narrative actions in a combat - for example, the Big Bad has taken a hostage and a PC wants to talk them into letting the hostage go, while the more combat focused characters who go first take the Hold Action ("Fire if they try to harm the hostage") to accommodate the attempt at negotiations.  As a side note, I think FFG does this scenario better if for no other reason that it's reasonable to expect a single shot from a competent PC to take out a hostage taker wheras in d20 systems a single shot only takes out the weakest of opponents and even then rarely (though Saga edition did have a number of Condition Track killer builds, those aren't easily achievable).

I think these can be addressed in FFGs system by:

1. GM setup.  The GM should setup scenarious so that there's little to no "nothing to do right now until the bad guys go".  It doesn't seem too much to expect of a GM to establish a scene such that the first initiative slot has something to do and that the action is already started.  If the Bad Guys are behind a door and initiative is started by a failed Stealth, Skulduggery, whatever Check by the PCs...the scene starts when the opponents burst through the door (or the PCs succeeded in opening the door, but failed to do so stealthily...).

2. Spend Advantage/Triumph.  If the PCs want to manipulate the scene to open up certain kinds of actions - or waiting for them with a Hold Action - they can use Advantage/Triumph (or the NPCs Threat/Despair) to do this.  The sniper doesn't want to go until he's got the perfect shot?  He tries to shoot anyway using Aim or hoping for Advantage to be able to add an element to the narrative to give him the perfect shot ("he shoots through the crate", or "the bad guy peaks over at the wrong time", or "the sniper finds the perfect unexpected firing position").

Also, a negotiation check could also generate Advantage/Triumph that could be used to allow the hostage to escape as the enemy is distracted.

3. PC's determine order.  A PC wants to try to negotiate and the combat types want to accommodate that?  Then pick PC order to accommodate this.  It may not be perfect - the PCs may not have two slots in sequence high enough up in the order, but this can help to add tension and suspense and drama to the negotiation check.

This may not be quite as perfect or reliable as a Hold Action but there are a number of initiative manipulating effects in the game that suddenly become more useful for the resourceful party.

Edited by Jedi Ronin

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This exact situation came up on the Edge board a little while ago, just under a different name: "Can a move/shoot/move," or something to that effect.

Essentially, the question asked was, if you have a hallway with a door, can you use the Move maneuver to move to a place where you can shoot, take your action to attack, and then Move back into "total cover," such that you are not able to be targeted once it's the enemy's turn.

The scenario you describe of "the target comes out of the door, moves through the room, and is no longer in range!!1!1" is the same thing, only turned against the PCs instead of used by them.  And the answer I give is the same: what is the reason that target cannot be attacked?  If the answer is that it's not the sniper's turn when the target is in the open, then no.  That's a rules limitation, not a physical one on the sniper.  So even though the target can't be attacked on their turn, if the sniper takes his shot sometime later that round, he can shoot the target even if the discrete "action-units" never have him in range when the sniper takes his turn.

The reason is as others mentioned: a round is fluid, and the actions are happening simultaneously.  We just can't parse them simultaneously, because our brains just don't have the processing power.  If the rules present an illogical scenario, common sense rules.  Yes, by the rules, from the sniper's perspective the target moves from "unseen" to "unseen" effectively instantaneously, but that's not what happened.  That guy ran from one doorway to another, out of cover the entire time, and that movement had to have taken at least five to ten seconds.  Plenty of time for a skilled sniper to take a shot.  So let him do it.

 

However, if that solution doesn't sit well for with you, there's a better one: this scenario is also almost exactly the definition of a situation that calls for initiative.  Can the sniper get off his shot before the target's dash get him across the field?  Or does the target notice the sniper and have the chance to dive for cover?  The encounter starts with the target in the doorway: the sniper rolls Cool, the target Vigilance, highest roll gets the first action, and possibly the win.

Of course, this option works best if you are not already in rounds.  But the game has the frameworks necessary to resolve this issue without adding new actions.  That said though, if you feel you'd like to add one (the option Donovan gave is a good one), then there's really nothing stopping you.

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Im having trouble getting my head around that players have nothing to do until the bad guys act problem. 

Let's take an extreme example of players not being able to act because of a sniper. 

The Gm has set up a hidden sniper shooting at the players time comes and the PCs roll vigilance and the Sniper rolls cool. PC's have a slot where they go first this means that someone catches sight of the sniper or the sniper gave away his position by letting of a shot early, whatever, but when that PC comes up to fight they may have the first slot but they can do something to spot the bad guys or shoot at them or approach them, or duck for cover BEFORE the maneuvers /actions of the sniper takes effect. This could be an opposed perception/ stealth check that helps the next ally along the line to shoot at said sniper or could even allow the acting PC to shoot. A dice roll can cover up to a minute and everything is said to happen at pretty much the same time, so acting before the sniper does not mean that you have to wait till turn 2.

Edited by syrath

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There's quite a bit to unpack with the responses - I appreciate the input!

Let me first reframe the question.  The downside of detailed tactical combat systems are the costs of complexity (perhaps slow pace, too many rules to track, necessitates a grid map, etc.).  I would offer that the downside of, let's call it, less detailed combat systems (because FFG's Star Wars is assuredly not "rules light"), are infrequent (hopefully) situations that the system doesn't handle that well.  So in starting this thread, I am pointing out one of those situations - an infrequently occurring "glitch", if you will.  I was hoping for two things:  1) To see if perhaps I was missing something in the rules (I've played the game a decent amount so I didn't think so - but hey, who knows) and 2) to see how various groups were handling it in their games (hand-waving it, house-ruling it, just shrugging and dealing with it per RAW, etc.).  Thanks for piling in on the subject everyone!

Let me briefly restate the proposed "glitch":
In the middle of a combat, a PC dashes through a door and to one side - waiting for their foe to follow so as to strike them with a melee weapon.  The foe goes by on their own Turn, the PC is unable to act and the foe continues onward out of range.  The PC should be able to attack there, but is frozen out by the system.  Obviously, one can hand-wave or house-rule, but with RAW it's a glitch.

Here are, I think, some key aspects to this discussion that either myself or others have made:

  • This "glitch" situation only occurs in the middle of a combat.  A number of you have offered examples (e.g. Jedi Ronin's GM setup, syrath's hidden sniper) that are likely from the beginning of a combat - and I think the system handles those at the beginning of a combat fine.  At the beginning of a combat you're going to have Vigilance checks, Perception checks and fresh Initiative rolls that inform play/explain if and why that ambush did or didn't work - that don't help in the middle of a combat (see my briefly restated example of the "glitch" immediately above).
  • The system's unassigned initiative slots certainly helps with this overall situation, but it doesn't solve it.  For some examples mentioned by others, particularly I thought Jedi Ronin's hostage/negotiation example, I think the system's unassigned initiative slots basically addresses any issue there.  If the PCs want to sequence their actions, they can order the initiative slots to do that  - done deal.  However, this doesn't solve the glitch example I've presented above.  Let me take this chance to point out that, while my stated "glitch" example above isn't going to happen constantly, it's also not in the "that'll never happen" folder, either.  It's going to happen, by PCs and foes alike.
  • The Simultaneous Approach - this is a popular one that has been mentioned by most.  I would offer that I don't think this works, because for just about all our games I think the whole "it's all simultaneous" thing is very theoretical, and used rarely.  If you rule that the foe, lying in wait to the side of a door, is able to strike the PC moving through that door to effectively out-of-range, because you tell them "it's all simultaneous", then you're going to have a lot of adjustments to make in combat.  To wit, when the PCs use their high initiative slots to rush to cover, that cover doesn't apply until the next round because, it being all simultaneous, all attacks this round on the PCs happen while they're on their way to cover.  Are any of us actually playing that way?  When a foe is incapacitated or even killed early in a Round, that foe still gets to attack later in the same Round because it's all simultaneous.  Are any of us playing that way?  When a PC successfully leaps across a small chasm away from their melee-foes, all those melee-foes in engaged range still get to attack that Round because it's all simultaneous.  The PC gets successfully hit multiple times by them and one of the hits triggers Knockdown, essentially um...preventing the leap?  Now what?  Simultaneous Rounds is a fun conceit but, in reality, we use the discreteness of initiative order to an overwhelming extent to decide what happens.  I would suggest, that to treat a Round as truly simultaneous would add considerably more complexity to the system than adding Hold-Action/Overwatch would.  I would speculate that very few of us are treating our Rounds as actually simultaneous, and is a can-of-worms best left unopened.
  • Donovan's suggestion, to be sure, is the tried-and-true Hold-Action/Overwatch rule of countless games.  The player must dedicate their Action that Round to a declared discrete trigger - using my  "glitch" example above, striking the next foe that comes through that door.  If the trigger doesn't occur by the same PC-slot the next Round, then that PC's Action is essentially lost.  If a foe comes through that door within the Action's window - then the foe is immediately attacked, with a Combat check ensuing.  Given the system's unassigned initiative slots, to this house-rule you'd have to add either:  1) this PC on the subsequent Round cannot use any initiative slot that occurs before the initiative slot they used for the Hold-Action/Overwatch, because they're still waiting by that door!  2) Or that the duration for the Hold-Action/Overwatch action is the end of the Round in which it was taken, so it's trigger-window would be less than a Round.  The unattractive aspect of the first option, is it introduces an action that goes from mid-round to mid-round, which is a bit wonky in an unassigned initiative slot system.  The unattractive aspect of the second option is that it leaves the "glitch" in place if the mid-combat ambush of the "glitch" example occurs near the end of a Round.  To wit, in their last initiative slot a PC sets up by the door sword cocked.  Early the next Round the foe comes through - but the PC's Hold-Action/Overwatch has expired with the last Round, so the foe on their Turn moves (inexplicably) to out-of-range unmolested.

In summation, the responses tell me that I'm not missing anything rules-wise - it's just a small, yet meaningful, glitch in a system due to a dedication not to be too tactical.  I'm not willing to turn combat, as we all know it, essentially on its head by actually treating every Round as truly simultaneous, as I described above.  So what am I going to do?  I have no desire for house-rules but, frankly, it seems just a little too painful to leave RAW as-is for this glitch-situation, "I know you were right by the door sword-cocked - it's a nice idea - but he just runs past you yet again."    What's the least intrusive house-rule to handle it (that doesn't necessitate other house-rules)?  Probably the described classic Hold-Action/Overwatch...but not sure yet.

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Ok, here's my suggestions.

First, just to make sure I'm understanding the situation, why is the PC dashing through a door and to one side? To get some sort of "surprise" attack? 

It looks like the PC just wants to attack the NPC with a melee weapon so they should just Maneuver to Engaged and attack.

Now, if the PC (for whatever reason) wants to dash through a door and to one side and be able to attack an NPC running past them I'd let them Maneuver into position then use their Action to make a Stealth, Skulduggery, Athletics, or whatever check (depending on the scenario and how they describe what they're doing and why) and if they succeed then they'll "shadow" an NPC running past them - so on their next turn they'll be Engaged and able to make a melee attack (along with whatever effects are appropriate for the check they made, like if it was stealth, or how any adv/triumph were spent, etc).

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The example of a PC dashing through a door and to one side of it in the middle of combat, to lay in wait to attack when a character comes through, is the simplest I could think of to describe this "glitch" that the system doesn't handle very well.  A great many systems use Hold-Action/Overwatch to address what would otherwise be a nonsensical result of the ambushing character being frozen by the system while their target passes by and continues out-of-range.  There are other examples that could be used, but this one seemed straightforward.

The attacker cannot use a Maneuver or a Combat check Action, as you suggest, because it's not their Turn - as we know, this system does not permit using Maneuvers or Actions except on your own Turn (with the noted exception of the GM spending two Threats to give a foe an immediate free maneuver on the rolling character's Turn).  So not able to act in any way on the foe's Turn, the attacking PC is frozen in place while the target continues past out-of-range of their melee attack.  It's nonsensical because the PC is right by the door with weapon cocked and ready to go.  They should be able to attack, but the mechanics of the system prevent them from doing so.

Having the ambushing PC make a Stealth check to see if the target noticed their move to the side of the door, I believe, would certainly be called for - but that's not really the crux of the mechanical issue.  Let's assume for the sake of our discussion that the PC succeeds on the Stealth check, because otherwise the target doesn't just come through the door, and therefore the mechanical "glitch" of the PC being frozen in place because it being another character's Turn doesn't occur.

Your suggestion of a successful skill check causing the GM to permit a "shadow" move, as you describe it - it's a thought, but here's the issue with it.
It should be stated that your suggestion would constitute a house-rule, not RAW.  It sounds like the PC, by virtue of the successful skill check, would be receiving a free Maneuver to Engaged status with the target - which wouldn't be RAW.   It's a house-rule workaround - which is fine, one of the reasons I posted is to see what hand-waving and house-ruling was undoubtedly going on out there to deal with this glitch - but it is a house-rule.

If you don't grant the free Maneuver, your suggestion is actually what RAW would call for after it's frozen the ambushing PC in place.  The target proceeds through the door, during which the PC is mechanically frozen and watches them go by.  The target concludes their Maneuver at, say, Short range from the door and ambushing PC.  The PC now simply uses his Maneuver to move to Engage and then attacks.  That's fine, but there's multiple reasons that might very well be not nearly as advantageous for the ambushing attacker.  For example what if the target concludes their Maneuver at Medium range from the door/PC - back among his four allies?  Now your player is asking, why do I have to follow this guy back to his homies for my attack - I want to hack him right by this dang door that I was lying-in-wait next to.

The other issue with this is one of resources - if the target concludes their move at Medium range to the PC, then the PC must now spend two Maneuvers to achieve Engaged status with the target (1 to move from Medium to Short, and 1 to move from Short to Engaged).  And assuming the PC wants to attack as well right then, they're going to have to spend 2 strain for that second Maneuver - and no "aim" Maneuver is available now for their melee attack.  In contrast, if they were allowed to attack by the door, at the worst, you necessitate them spending a Maneuver to Engage and they can burn 2 strain for an "Aim" Maneuver - and they use their Action for a Combat check.  However, given the doorway guarantees where the target will be, the GM might decide that the target effectively moved to Engaged range for the PC, and thereby the PC doesn't have to spend the Maneuver to do so.  All of that is moot though per RAW, because the ambushing PC is frozen in place while the target passes by.

Again, this isn't a situation that's going to happen constantly - but it's also not in the "that'll never happen folder, either.  There are Hold-Action/Overwatch rules throughout RPG systems for a few reasons - one of those reasons is the situation we're discussing here.  Appreciate the input!

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There is no RAW Hold/Overwatch mechanic, so yes, solutions are going to not be strictly RAW.

What is RAW, is the PC asking "Hey, I want to do X" and the GM saying "Ok, make Y check."  The details are left up to the PC/GM.  Such interaction is RAW in this system but the details are not laid out in RAW, which is the point because the system is flexible so it basically says this is a way of providing that flexibility.

Some GMs might decide - for the reasons you state - that my solution of making a Skill Check letting you shadow the NPC is either too good or not good enough.  Fine, such GMs can decide for themselves how much the Skill Check can accomplish.

You also mentioned stopping the NPC from getting past the PC.  That's different than ambushing them at the door with a melee attack (and unless you had specialized Feats/Talents in d20 attacks of opportunity didn't stop them from moving past you).  If the PC wanted to stop the NPC from moving past the door I'd call for an appropriate Skill Check to pull that off.  And given the fluid nature of initiative your character would likely be able to go again before the NPC pulling off the effect of hiding in wait behind the door, stopping them from proceeding and then attacking them in melee.

But that's how I'd do it (another issue might be how do you know the NPC will run past the door).  There are lots of ways PC could stop an NPC from getting through a doorway - all RAW - from using a Maneuver to close the door and a Mechanics Check to disable the door, etc.  But the same principle applies - a PC wants to affect the scenario in a specific way that's not listed as a "combat" Action/Maneuver then it becomes a Skill Check (if reasonable), perhaps requiring Maneuvers to get into position or set up.

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The NPC running past the door was an assumption of the example, or else the situation under discussion doesn't occur and there's nothing to discuss.

No, not sure what I wrote that gave that impression, but I haven't addressed "stopping" the NPC at the door - only the ambushing PC attacking them.  In effect, however, as long as we're talking about the PC personally physically stopping them as the target uses a Maneuver to move through the doorway - it'd be a similar situation.  Whether the ambushing PC wants to make a skill check to stop the target, or to attack the target - until the target's Turn concludes, RAW doesn't let the PC act to interfere.  Sure, the PC could simply close the door before the target got there - but that has nothing to do with our subject matter, which is very specific.  Anyway, my example was never stopping the target, it was to ambush them as they came through the door.

Yes indeed, the Star Wars system allows for a good deal of flexibility, but it's not unlimited, of course.  One small example, is there's a hard cap of two Maneuvers per Turn - if a GM allows more than that, that's not RAW, there's no flexibility allowed there.  However, in the area of using Advantages/Threats there's all sorts of flexibility - and creativity is heartily encouraged.  So it just depends.

So if a PC indicates they want to attack a target as they're in the middle of using Maneuver on their Turn walking through a door - there isn't any area of flexibility in the FFG Star Wars system that allows doing exactly that.  Hence why I posted this question - and notably, hence why no one put a succinct end to this thread by simply pointing out my oversight by quoting RAW with a page number.  No one in this thread has quoted from RAW on interfering with a character's Maneuver, I think, because there isn't anything to quote.  Oh I wish! ;-)  I was actually hoping that was the case.

I like the idea for players to possibly use a closed door (of course, that assumes there's a door to close) to get around this limitation of the FFG system.  Due to the target having to use a Maneuver resource to open the door, depending on the sequence of things, it could interfere with the target being able to move past the ambushing PC in a single Turn.  However, that doesn't really get us past the issue of this post - that a PC shouldn't have to go through mechanical machinations to simply stand beside a door and skewer the unaware guy coming through it.

There's certainly nothing wrong with your "Shadow" idea of offering characters a free Maneuver when they make a successful Stealth check; my intention wasn't to criticize it - I was simply pointing out its Pros & Cons.

My first hope, was to possibly learn a way of allowing a PC to attack that target as they're coming through the door within RAW.  This thread has well-confirmed that this isn't possible - all good, it's good to know I wasn't missing something.  To boot, there's been good suggestions of other options - whether they be player strategies to avoid the mechanical limitation (by closing the door prior to ambush) or by various house-rule suggestions.

 

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I fail to see how the system cannot handle this as-is.

ROUND 0

PC and NPC are at Engaed Range. (Why does PC need to move behind the door, if the goal is to Melee NPC? I dunno but that appears to be the premise.)

ROUND 1

PC Maneuvers (1), to behind the door - Short Range.

PC forgoes Action, or performs Skill (Hide? Whatever)

NPC Maneuvers (1), through the door - is at Engaged Range.

NPC Manuvers (2), taking 2 Strain, deeper into room - Short Range

NPC Action, shoots PC (or not if the hide was good?).

ROUND 2

PC Maneuvers (1), to Engage

PC Action, Melee attacks.

NPC Maneuvers (1), to Short Range.

NPC Action, Shoots PC.

Rinse, repeat. Right?

So:

In a system with Attacks of Opportunity/Hold Action AND square-by-square movement, the NPC gets an attack in Round 0, and Round 1 of they live. In FFGSW the NPC gets an attack in Round 1 and Round 2 if they live, but not Round 0. So it's just a shift of action resolution to more uniformity (less fiddling), no?

Is your problem actually with FFGSW's "kiting" mechanic?

Edited by emsquared

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For the PC in a door scenario:

the NPC should be spending a manoeuvre to Engage the PC(and the door), then another to Disengage into the new room. This represents the NPC putting effort into dodging and weaving the PC's attacks to get past... but they are still only at Short range from the PC, so next round that PC can Engage, Aim and Attack.

 

For situation of "I aim at the door and as soon as it opens I shoot whoever comes through".

The simplest answer as to why this doesn't work in the system is "I press the door Control button and as soon as the door opens I immediately spray the entire room with Blaster fire". As you can see it goes both ways. 

The way this is actually handled in raw is through Aiming for a Boost die, which can be carried over from one round to the next. And also through cover:

PC dives for cover (1 manoeuvre) then aims at the door (2nd manoeuvre). Next the NPC comes through the door and shoots, with an extra setback for the cover. The following round the PC acts first, Aiming a second time and shooting with 2 Boost dice.

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24 minutes ago, seanpp said:

So if a PC indicates they want to attack a target as they're in the middle of using Maneuver on their Turn walking through a door - there isn't any area of flexibility in the FFG Star Wars system that allows doing exactly that.  Hence why I posted this question - and notably, hence why no one put a succinct end to this thread by simply pointing out my oversight by quoting RAW with a page number.  No one in this thread has quoted from RAW on interfering with a character's Maneuver, I think, because there isn't anything to quote.  Oh I wish! ;-)  I was actually hoping that was the case.

 

The system actually does offer some flexibility here. It comes in the form of Contested and Opposed skill checks. 

You have your PC that says he wants to cover the door with his blaster rifle, and shoot anyone that comes through. Okay, he can do one of two things: 

  1. Make a Contested Cool vs. Vigilance roll against the character (player rolls now, and the NPC rolls if/when they come through the doorway). Winner determines if the NPC gets hit. Keep it simple and use the Cool check as a combat check to determine damage, etc. Include Setbacks for ranged defense from cover, as appropriate. 
  2. Have the NPC make an Opposed (perhaps Vigilance, perhaps Coordination) roll against the PC's combat skill of choice (Ranged [Heavy], for example). The player uses his action to pin down the doorway, forcing the NPC coming through (if he does so) to use his action to move through what is now, effectively, "difficult terrain." Include Boost dice for the NPC's ranged defense from cover. Successful Coordination might mean he times his dash just right, gets across the space in one piece, and dives for cover. Successful Vigilance might mean detects the blaster weapon pointed in his direction and hunkers down just inside the doorframe, using it for cover. Failure could indicate a hit for base weapon damage, with uncancelled Failures adding to the damage. Threat and Despair could activate weapon qualities, critical injuries, strain, etc. 

And herein lies the tradeoff that modern RPGs are (IMO, rightly) fond of: the player is giving up his action for a maybe, and that maybe will also usually have an overall lower chance of scoring a hit (because the negative dice aren't quite as good as the positive dice). But the nice thing is that, if the trigger happens, then the PC is causing the NPC to give up his action as he tries to navigate this terrain. 

Edited by awayputurwpn

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7 hours ago, Absol197 said:

However, if that solution doesn't sit well for with you, there's a better one: this scenario is also almost exactly the definition of a situation that calls for initiative.  Can the sniper get off his shot before the target's dash get him across the field?  Or does the target notice the sniper and have the chance to dive for cover?  The encounter starts with the target in the doorway: the sniper rolls Cool, the target Vigilance, highest roll gets the first action, and possibly the win.

Fantastic answer. Just treat your action as a "stakeout", where if you roll well enough (success + advantage) you get to hit your target. Essentially, even if they are behind the door, you could narrate that they've moved into position during your "round". Possibly, you could also pair this with the Aim maneuver to make the scene even more dramatic or add a few setbacks to indicate the risk of the target not coming into your line of sight.

You could resolve these "held action" scenarios under the Gunslinger shootout rules, Fly Casual, p85. 

Edited by masterstrider

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NPC runs through door, attacks PC at range, and then ducks back down corridor is using the doorway as cover, they are not getting out of range and as a GM that is the call I would make. during their turn they were able to be shot at and as a result dont get away scot free, if no-one closes with them next round they can move further out of range, because this is essentially what cover is albeit on the grander scale of peeking over a box. If instead they just run away without presenting themselves for combat then they are moving range bands. This is down to the GM to adjudicate when to say the character is using movement to move in and out of cover or using it to change range bands 

Edited by syrath

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We've had this question come up in our group where a Jedi wanted to hold his action as a "reaction": in case the stormtrooper threw an explosive at them, the Jedi would be prepared to use his Move Force power to attempt to shove it away.  Our GM ran with it, but we weren't sure if that was RAW, or should be handled in the standard dice results (failures/threats/despair).

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45 minutes ago, Volt80 said:

We've had this question come up in our group where a Jedi wanted to hold his action as a "reaction": in case the stormtrooper threw an explosive at them, the Jedi would be prepared to use his Move Force power to attempt to shove it away.  Our GM ran with it, but we weren't sure if that was RAW, or should be handled in the standard dice results (failures/threats/despair).

This is also covered with a couple of throwaway comments made by one of the devs, Max Brooke on the artwork in Keeping the Peace of what looks like Kanan diverting a rocket launched at him , where in the Order66 deep dive episode into the book where it was described as narrative use of improved reflect. 

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Just an idea:

1) As has been stated this isn't a tactical combat sim, but more of a "Movie Simulator" intended more to allow narration adaptable action scenes and sequences over detailed combat activities.

2) Hold actions don't exist because of the initiative system's existing flexibility and disruption of game play that holding actions cause.

3) The system core functionality includes multiple mechanics specifically to allow player injected action, events, and features. (Advantage, Triumph, D Points, ect.)

So, with those points in mind, it seems like you could use the systems existing options to replicate the effects of a held action without introducing specific mechanics that risk allowing a disruption.

--------------------

Why not try using a Vigilance check to direct action to an intended outcome within the existing initiative order?

So... "I wait till the Stormtrooper walks through the door to attack."

OK. Make a Vigilance check. Difficulty would be based off the Stormtrooper's Vigilance or Will, modified by existing situations. If successful the Stormtooper will use his next turn to enter the doorway, and then... do something compatible with the proposed event chain, with possible input/adjustment based on Threat/Advantage. Wait a moment while his eyes/lenses adjust to the darkness, take aim, whatever. The Stormtrooper's action/maneuver is over and the player now can take a slot early in the  next turn to hit the Stormtrooper "before the Stormtrooper can fight back"

If the Check is a failure the Stormtrooper either gets to go ahead and act normally, or otherwise doesn't do what the player wanted.

There's some reasonable GM oversight in much the same way any use of Threat/Advantage/Dpoints needs to be tempered.

But otherwise it would allow for the intended action (do something in a specific order) not monkey with the game system too much (no detailed holding action system bolt-on) sill provide a "risk" to the action (fail the roll, you've blown your Action), and make use of an appropriate and not often utilized skill (Vigiliance, and skill that's all about a character's ability to see an opportunity AND act upon it.)

 

 

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