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canudig

Disengage from melee

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This question stems from my current inability to separate this game system from D20, but how does disengaging from melee work. For instance, a shooter is engaged with a vibro knife wielder. He doesn't want the difficulty increase for shooting while engaged. Can he just use a maneuver to step back to short range and then fire at the melee combatant, or is there more to it than that?

 

Thanks in advance!

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There are interesting ways to utilize this. 

 

 

In our game, the wookie melee fighter rushed an enemy who was behind sturdy cover (2 setback dice cover).  The guy was then forced to step back from the Wookie in order to get a good shot, which took him out of cover and also let the rest of the Wookie's allies take a shot at him.  A) he was not in cover, and B) he was not engaged, so the allies had no risk of hitting Wookie.

 

Because of this, it might be in the enemy's best interest to stay engaged for the time being, depending on what's happening.

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You can always have them make an opposed coordination/athletics check with a difficulty equal to the opponents brawl/melee skill to see if they manage to break away.

 

Good idea, but I think that makes sense to me if they were actually grappling, but not sure if I would use that if the melee NPC were simply engaged with the ranged PC.

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I wouldn't make them do a check unless it made sense for the situation. So for most of the time i wouldn't. Its going to be hard for the ranged person to get away from the melee person. The most they can hope for it to take 2 moves to force the melee person to take 2 moves. At that point they are just running away. Also as stated above sometimes they can only go so far before running into something.

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Regardless, this is an obvious loophole which can be abused to keep someone from ever having to fire their weapon while engaged. If all you have to do is keep using your maneuver to step back and reduce the roll to difficulty 1 instead of 2-3(depending on the weapon used) then the ranged attacker is always going to be at a slight advantage when he shouldn't be.

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Remember that combat is abstracted.  You aren't just walking away from a guy trying to punch you.  You might push him, or wait until he is off balance before running a few steps away, or feint to distract him, or duck under a punch and run past him.  You aren't just walking away from an attacker, you're taking a whole maneuver just to find a way out of the fight, and your opponent is still able to maintain contact (IE - chase you around, swinging) if he chooses to do so.

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Greybird has the right idea here, a move in combat is not limited to just a simple walk its a maneuver that includes distance. So unless the melee attacker has actually grappled (grabbed) their opponent they can always duck/weave/whatever to get back un-resisted in the narrative style of this system. In most cases this is an advantage, the advantage earned by bringing a gun to knife fight... However it's not always going to be a total advantage because the melee fighter now controls their opponents movement on the field. They can move them out of cover exposing them the other fire, force them into/away from a particular item/object/place, and can eventually corner them by moving into a place they cannot get away from (assuming they live that long).

 

I'd rule that unless there is a compelling reason justifying an escape/disengage roll, one should not be required. Some reasons would be being cornered or if moving would require another roll like jumping over an obstacle.

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Regardless, this is an obvious loophole which can be abused to keep someone from ever having to fire their weapon while engaged. If all you have to do is keep using your maneuver to step back and reduce the roll to difficulty 1 instead of 2-3(depending on the weapon used) then the ranged attacker is always going to be at a slight advantage when he shouldn't be.

Things to do against 'abusers' of this 'loophole:' use knockdown more frequently. use sunder more frequently. Use threat to knock them prone (3 threat or a despair), grapple them, use 3 advantage (or a triumph) to disable them for a turn instead of dealing damage or use that 3 advantage to disarm them.

Edited by osu4fan

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Disengage in a vacuum is abuse-worthy and broken.  Disengage in play is simply one of many options that a person may use to try and keep themselves from venting their preferred breathing mixture through holes in their chest/carapace/membrane/chasis.

 

Keep in mind that it's fine to ask a player "how" when they want to do something in dN.  Not just to be a knee-chopping jerk of a GM, but this game system is designed with the intent of describing actions and intents in cool ways (where creative juices permit of course).  "I use disengage, spend 2 strain to aim and then fire"  might work when all other ideas run out (or at like 11pm after a 10hour sesh), but you should generally have some kind of contextual queues to work with that will guide your round by round choices; assuming you have a doodle / map of an area or a description or...the usual stuff that exists in an encounter.  If every fight occurs on even terrain in the spatial equivalent of the Utah salt flats ...  any game system is going to be "abused" and more importantly, boring.  Sure it CAN happen ... chasing down Jawas on Tatooine with a hydrospanner is an age old tradition in star wars gaming, I know.  But usually the players will see (or have a description of) where they are in a combat encounter and know that certain manuevers just aren't available to them at the moment (crap there isn't s--- for cover near me ... I am backed up to a wall ... gulp).

 

Play the game, not the system.

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These are all great points! I'm wondering do you all think maps and minis help or hinder this RP system? I beginning to think using those items in combat may hinder the creative input during such encounters. Thoughts?

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These are all great points! I'm wondering do you all think maps and minis help or hinder this RP system? I beginning to think using those items in combat may hinder the creative input during such encounters. Thoughts?

I would recommend maps to help get the encounter or set-piece description accross if you have more visual oriented players (I am, and a couple of my players are such).  I tend to use a vinyl mat because it's around, big, and easily visible.  But we just use pennies, popcorn and junk like that for keeping relative position and showing features of the terrain.  You could use minis as long as people don't start trying to get all tactical gamey with em because this system really isn't conducive to an Iron Kingdoms or DD4E combat layout.

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These are all great points! I'm wondering do you all think maps and minis help or hinder this RP system? I beginning to think using those items in combat may hinder the creative input during such encounters. Thoughts?

I would recommend maps to help get the encounter or set-piece description accross if you have more visual oriented players (I am, and a couple of my players are such).  I tend to use a vinyl mat because it's around, big, and easily visible.  But we just use pennies, popcorn and junk like that for keeping relative position and showing features of the terrain.  You could use minis as long as people don't start trying to get all tactical gamey with em because this system really isn't conducive to an Iron Kingdoms or DD4E combat layout.

 

 

 

"Well, that stormtrooper went down, he's now bleeding..."

 

*eat popcorn*

 

"caramel"

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These are all great points! I'm wondering do you all think maps and minis help or hinder this RP system?

 

When a fight breaks out (as they often do), maps and minis really help you spend your time describing what things look, sound and (ugh!) smell like, who's doing what to whom (in the where) instead of describing who's standing where in the Cantina for the the 1,000,000th time because someone got a text message when you were speaking.

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These are all great points! I'm wondering do you all think maps and minis help or hinder this RP system? I beginning to think using those items in combat may hinder the creative input during such encounters. Thoughts?

 

After playing a few sample sessions with my wife using only crude sketched out maps, I played Escape from Mos Schuuta with a larger group using the provided town map and I really noted how useful the map proved to be.

 

With our group, they were escaping from Stormtroopers through the streets, and I think being able to see the landmarks of the town helped them plot out what to do and where to go. They could say to each other "let's head over toward the water tower" "no let's go to the slagworks" and everybody knew where and what they meant.

 

I'm not sure my own maps for homemade adventures will be as good as Mos Schuuta's but I'm definitely keeping it in mind.

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Disengage in a vacuum is abuse-worthy and broken.  Disengage in play is simply one of many options that a person may use to try and keep themselves from venting their preferred breathing mixture through holes in their chest/carapace/membrane/chasis.

 

Keep in mind that it's fine to ask a player "how" when they want to do something in dN.  Not just to be a knee-chopping jerk of a GM, but this game system is designed with the intent of describing actions and intents in cool ways (where creative juices permit of course).  "I use disengage, spend 2 strain to aim and then fire"  might work when all other ideas run out (or at like 11pm after a 10hour sesh), but you should generally have some kind of contextual queues to work with that will guide your round by round choices; assuming you have a doodle / map of an area or a description or...the usual stuff that exists in an encounter.  If every fight occurs on even terrain in the spatial equivalent of the Utah salt flats ...  any game system is going to be "abused" and more importantly, boring.  Sure it CAN happen ... chasing down Jawas on Tatooine with a hydrospanner is an age old tradition in star wars gaming, I know.  But usually the players will see (or have a description of) where they are in a combat encounter and know that certain manuevers just aren't available to them at the moment (crap there isn't s--- for cover near me ... I am backed up to a wall ... gulp).

 

Play the game, not the system.

I don't think I've ever read a post that you have made that hasn't made me chuckle.

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These are all great points! I'm wondering do you all think maps and minis help or hinder this RP system? I beginning to think using those items in combat may hinder the creative input during such encounters. Thoughts?

 After playing a few sample sessions with my wife using only crude sketched out maps, I played Escape from Mos Schuuta with a larger group using the provided town map and I really noted how useful the map proved to be. With our group, they were escaping from Stormtroopers through the streets, and I think being able to see the landmarks of the town helped them plot out what to do and where to go. They could say to each other "let's head over toward the water tower" "no let's go to the slagworks" and everybody knew where and what they meant. I'm not sure my own maps for homemade adventures will be as good as Mos Schuuta's but I'm definitely keeping it in mind.

I am first time GM'ing with this system, and I have found a ton of great maps online. The compiled resources thread on these boards has links to tons of great stud that is as good as the Mos Shutta materials. don't forget to DL Long Arm of the Hutt(follow up adventure to Mos Shuuta) it's free from FFG. sorry I don't have links right now, on my phone at the DMV.

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