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blatamano

Applications of ¨Brace¨ Talent

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On my table we have a bit of a recurring issue with the Brace talent. The player wants to twist its reference to environmental factors. He thinks it should also apply to everyhting physical like negating 1 setback die due to darkness, fog... when doing Perception or Vigilance checks even outside of structured play.

Because of the name Brace I believe it is more like taking a few seconds to breathe, calm oneself and focus before doing something and it should not apply to simply remove setbacks due to factors you do not control.

What is the general opinion? Can anybody give me more examples of its use?

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Posted (edited)
6 hours ago, blatamano said:

On my table we have a bit of a recurring issue with the Brace talent. The player wants to twist its reference to environmental factors. He thinks it should also apply to everyhting physical like negating 1 setback die due to darkness, fog... when doing Perception or Vigilance checks even outside of structured play.

Because of the name Brace I believe it is more like taking a few seconds to breathe, calm oneself and focus before doing something and it should not apply to simply remove setbacks due to factors you do not control.

What is the general opinion? Can anybody give me more examples of its use?

Weather effects like fog, storms, etc most definitely fall under Brace's umbrella. The text of the talent explicitly mentions the effects of inclement weather as one of the things it negates. So while the talent doesn't allow you to x-ray through tall grass or walls or see in the dark, it does remove setbacks on Vigilance, Perception (or any other skill checks, including combat skills) imposed by weather conditions. And the player is right in that the talent works outside of structured play - it's not limited to combat, it applies to any skill check.

Edited by Stan Fresh

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Early in EotE's days this was hotly debated.

Quote

The talent's descriptions has, "This allows a character to remove Setback...based on changing conditions, inclement weather, unstable surfaces, zero gravity, heavy gravity, or other disruptive physical obstacles..." The briefer tree description adds, "..may only remove setback added by environmental circumstances".

To me, it's physically bracing against physical disturbances. You're on a shaky platform as the base is exploding so you brace yourself to remove setback before taking a shot. You're on a ledge during a sudden storm, so you brace yourself to remove setback to your Athletics check to hold on. That sort of thing. Since it's called "brace" and speaks of disruptive physical conditions, I don't allow it to remove setback for seeing through fog or darkness. How can you "brace yourself" to help you see through darkness better? I keep it to things that physically affect the bracer.

There are two sides so I guess you need to pick one. 

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Posted (edited)

This reminds me of the argument from some people back in the day, How can you 'aim' a melee attack?

It's arbitrarily restrictive (and dare I say unimaginative) to say that Brace can't work for Vigilance/Perception checks. Especially when the text of the rule clearly allows for something, but you take a narrow definition the name and say "Well that's not really 'bracing.'"

As for the name of the talent, there are at least two relevant definitions of the word Brace, found on ye olde Google...

  • to prepare (someone or oneself) for something difficult or unpleasant.
  • to press (one's body or part of one's body) firmly against something in order to stay balanced.

The mechanics of the talent bear this out. You take a maneuver, and you "brace" yourself (could be physically or mentally) as part of your effort to do whatever you're trying to do.

But that's only part of the issue. The larger issue is that you've got a player that is trying to use a talent that they purchased, and a resource they have available (their one free maneuver, or possibly even spending strain to take one), to remove a measly situational setback die. He's wanting to do this in a way that isn't in the least bit abusive, and is within a reasonable reading of the talent's mechanics: not generous, not even permissive—just reasonable. And somehow, this is "twisting" the wording of the talent??  

Now, as a GM, you have every right to rule that the player doesn't have time to take the maneuver outside of structured play. That's definitely a thing. Not every situation is equal. But bro. Let your players use their talents, bro.

Edited by awayputurwpn

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I've waffled on Brace and its applicability, but based on the full description, I believe it is intended largely for skills like Athletics or Coordination, but not exclusive to, as some of the effects would affect other skills, like an unsteady surface would affect your aim for firing a blaster rifle. It doesn't really affect sight. All of the obstacles mentioned* do not necessarily impair sight. Most of them have to do with motion or obstacles to motion, hence "disruptive physical obstacles." The book is fairly clear on that front.

I also cannot come up with any good narrative justifications for using it to negate things like camouflage, darkness, or other concealment.

*With the exception of "inclement weather" but that includes wind and slickness from rain and given context, I have no reason to believe that it would apply to optical impairment.

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9 hours ago, blatamano said:

Because of the name Brace I believe it is more like taking a few seconds to breathe, calm oneself and focus before doing something and it should not apply to simply remove setbacks due to factors you do not control.

Pretty much all factors that add Setback are ones you do not control, especially the ones clearly outlined in the book under the description for Brace.

9 hours ago, blatamano said:

On my table we have a bit of a recurring issue with the Brace talent. The player wants to twist its reference to environmental factors. He thinks it should also apply to everyhting physical like negating 1 setback die due to darkness, fog... when doing Perception or Vigilance checks even outside of structured play.

I disagree with darkness or fog, just refer to the book and it's description for additional information and examples.

It absolutely applies outside of structured play. What's to stop them from taking a Maneuver? They take Maneuvers constantly when outside of structured play, we just don't call them that because it isn't structured.

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18 minutes ago, P-47 Thunderbolt said:

*With the exception of "inclement weather" but that includes wind and slickness from rain and given context, I have no reason to believe that it would apply to optical impairment.

So it includes slickness from rain, but not the reduction in visibility from rain? Yeahnooooooo.

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18 minutes ago, Stan Fresh said:

So it includes slickness from rain, but not the reduction in visibility from rain? Yeahnooooooo.

Slickness and visibility are entirely different things. Given that it did not mention darkness or any other effects that obstruct vision, it is an entirely logical conclusion based firmly in context.

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2 minutes ago, P-47 Thunderbolt said:

Slickness and visibility are entirely different things.

Both affected by bad weather, which is explicitly mentioned as part of what the talent allows you to ignore.

There is no textual foundation to disallow Brace on visibility-related setbacks caused by inclement weather. 

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6 minutes ago, Stan Fresh said:

Both affected by bad weather, which is explicitly mentioned as part of what the talent allows you to ignore.

There is no textual foundation to disallow Brace on visibility-related setbacks caused by inclement weather. 

There is no textual foundation to allow Brace on visibility-related Setbacks. There is textual foundation to disallow it:

The talent does not say that you can ignore Setbacks caused by inclement weather. If it said that, it would be pretty cut-and-dried. It says that you can ignore Setback based on several things, inclement weather, or other disruptive physical obstacles. This means that when it says inclement weather, it is referring to disruptive physical obstacles based on inclement weather.

Perhaps we differ on the definition of "disruptive physical obstacles" but there is nothing in the text that would suggest it applies to vision-impairing effects unless you take a very liberal reading of "inclement weather" divorced from context.

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Posted (edited)

Heavy or zero gravity are not a physical obstacle either.

And a physical obstacle can absolutely impair visibility - a sandstorm or heavy downpour, for example.

 

Edit - and what exactly does a Scholar use Brace on if not deciphering arcane runes etched into an obelisk, during a heavy thunderstorm, while hanging upside down from the ceiling?

 

Edited by Stan Fresh

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1 hour ago, awayputurwpn said:
  • to prepare (someone or oneself) for something difficult or unpleasant.
  • to press (one's body or part of one's body) firmly against something in order to stay balanced.

Which of these do you use to explain getting rid of a setback to Perception caused by fog?

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13 minutes ago, P-47 Thunderbolt said:

This means that when it says inclement weather, it is referring to disruptive physical obstacles based on inclement weather.

No, it means setbacks based on inclement weather, or on other disruptive physical obstacles. Your grammar is off.

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7 minutes ago, Stan Fresh said:

And a physical obstacle can absolutely impair visibility - a sandstorm or heavy downpour, for example.

I completely agree the sandstorm or heavy downpour could give setback to physical actions (some attacks, athletics, coordination) that Brace should remove. I also agree that Setbacks should be given to Perception for sandstorms or a heavy downpour. But, can you describe how "bracing oneself" makes it easier to see through the sandstorm or downpour? That's a big difference for some of us.

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Just now, Stan Fresh said:

No, it means setbacks based on inclement weather, or on other disruptive physical obstacles. Your grammar is off.

If I were to say "the Carolina Panthers, the New Orleans Saints, and other basketball teams." I would be incorrect. The Panthers and Saints are football teams. "Other" means further or additional in this case, so to rephrase, that would be "the Carolina Panthers, the New Orleans Saints, and additional basketball teams." and that is clearly incorrect.

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5 minutes ago, awayputurwpn said:

Fog is disruptive, and is physical, and is an obstacle. 

Fog is a disruptive physical obstacle.

Then is a grumpy NPC a disruptive physical obstacle? You offended him, and that adds 2 Setback to all checks to interact with the organization he has influence over. He is physical, he is disruptive, and his is an obstacle.

He is a disruptive physical obstacle.

But is he? Words strung together are different than a cohesive phrase, and words can have different definitions. Twisting them by using alternate definitions to completely change the meaning of a phrase does not make it applicable.

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3 minutes ago, Sturn said:

I completely agree the sandstorm or heavy downpour could give setback to physical actions (some attacks, athletics, coordination) that Brace should remove. I also agree that Setbacks should be given to Perception for sandstorms or a heavy downpour. But, can you describe how "bracing oneself" makes it easier to see through the sandstorm or downpour? That's a big difference for some of us.

By squinting, or holding your hands up to cover against the weather. Brace doesn't mean just planting your feet firmly. 

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3 minutes ago, P-47 Thunderbolt said:

If I were to say "the Carolina Panthers, the New Orleans Saints, and other basketball teams." I would be incorrect. The Panthers and Saints are football teams. "Other" means further or additional in this case, so to rephrase, that would be "the Carolina Panthers, the New Orleans Saints, and additional basketball teams." and that is clearly incorrect.

Reread my comment. Setbacks based on X, not physical obstacles based on X.

 

 

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7 minutes ago, P-47 Thunderbolt said:

Twisting them by using alternate definitions to completely change the meaning of a phrase does not make it applicable.

Then don't do it. Meanwhile, fog remains a disruptive physical obstacle.

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14 minutes ago, Stan Fresh said:

No, it means setbacks based on inclement weather, or on other disruptive physical obstacles. Your grammar is off.

3 minutes ago, Stan Fresh said:

Reread my comment. Setbacks based on X, not physical obstacles based on X.

Well, I just conferred with a professional editor, and she backed me up. My interpretation of the grammatical structure is correct. "Other disruptive physical obstacles" means that the previous examples were "disruptive physical obstacles."

Just now, Stan Fresh said:

Then don't do it. Meanwhile, fog remains a disruptive physical obstacle.

Well then he should find a different way of making his point, because that is what he did.

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4 minutes ago, Stan Fresh said:

By squinting, or holding your hands up to cover against the weather. Brace doesn't mean just planting your feet firmly. 

Our wiggle room for the title and descriptions are immensely different.

With this amount of loose interpretation, Brace could conceivably be used to remove ANY type of Setback posed by ANY condition. Other Setback-removal talents could be worthless if Brace is the catch all even though it can be purchased for 5xp by some (most?) careers it is available to.  Example: A referee imposes Setback for making a Piloting roll through an asteroid field. Skilled Jockey can be used to remove this Setback. But why have that talent since the asteroids can be described as a, "physical object" of the "environment". Brace needs limits.

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