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OgreBane99

Brace Maneuver vs. Cover

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So I get that it could be used to remove setback dice imposed by smoke on a Perception check, or a setback dice imposed by chaos of a battlefield for a Computes checks.

 

But...

 

Would you allow the Brace special talent to remove setback dice imposed by cover for ranged attacks?  Seems like solid arguments for both sides.  Has there been an official answer to this?  I searched the forums but didn't find any thing.

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I would say yes, because Cover is listed as an Envorinmental Factor, and Brace removes Setback Dice From Environmental factors.

 

But I would also rule Cover Only giving setbeck dice, If you are in a cover that would allow you to shoot at someone. If you are completely hidden by the Cover, I would give the Character behind the cover additional soak, depending og the thickness of the Cover, or just say "yo're shot wouldn't do anyhting, because the wall is to thick for your weapon"

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Doesn't really need to be an official answer, as the talent itself is pretty clear.  Brace lets you ignore a setback die that's been imposed by an environmental circumstances.  While the talent description in the Talents chapter gives a more detailed listing, pretty much anything that's listed under the header "Environmental Effects" in the Combat chapter qualifies, including concealment and cover on attack rolls, since that involves a combat skill check and Brace doesn't differentiate as to whether it affects a combat skill, knowledge skill, or general skill.

 

Pretty nifty little talent to have, come to think of it.

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Is it really that general?

I can totally see why it woudl work on all Physical skills, such as Athletics, but I woudl find it rather amusing, that you can reduce setback dice, on knowledge skills, due to Low Oxygen/Weird Athmospehre, because of your strength enhancing armor. ;)

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Is it really that general?

I can totally see why it woudl work on all Physical skills, such as Athletics, but I woudl find it rather amusing, that you can reduce setback dice, on knowledge skills, due to Low Oxygen/Weird Athmospehre, because of your strength enhancing armor. ;)

The way the Brace talent is written, it would.  Maybe it's more a fact of the upgraded armor negating the debilitating effects of those environments, thus cutting out the distractions when trying to recall some bit of knowledge.

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I think that's way to general. My ruling on "environmental effects" is darkness, fog/smoke, vegetation obstructing view, unstable terrain (like an earthquake, or firing from a moving vehicle). Removing cover is what 3 Advantage is for.

 

Sounds good to me.

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I think that's way to general. My ruling on "environmental effects" is darkness, fog/smoke, vegetation obstructing view, unstable terrain (like an earthquake, or firing from a moving vehicle). Removing cover is what 3 Advantage is for.

Well, you're certainly welcome to do so for your games, but as written Brace would negate the effects of cover.

 

From page132 under Brace, 2nd paragraph:

"This allows a character to remove Setback dice per rank of Brace from the next skill check based on changing conditions, inclement weather, unstable surfaces, zero gravity, heavy gravity, or other disruptive physical obstacles that would make a skill check more difficult."

 

Doesn't take a bunch of linguistic gymnastics to consider cover (something put between you and the target) to be a "disruptive physical obstacle" when making a combat-based skill check.  In fact, cover could well be a textbook example of a "disruptive physical obstacle."

 

However, Brace only works for a single person on a single check (plus the required maneuver to use it), where as spending 3 Advantage to negate cover works to benefit any and all further skill checks until the current round is over, meaning that if the first of several PCs negates that cover, everyone else's shot aren't impeded by the cover.  There's also the matter of Brace not being widely available (only three careers have access to it in EotE, and only two in AoR Beta, the later of which could change based upon feedback), while the 3 Advantage perk is open to anyone, and happens no matter if you succeed or fail the attack roll.

 

Also bear in mind that cover is "ranged defense," so while it might seem that Brace being able to bypass cover would step on the toes of the Precise Aim talent, there's also the matter of Precise Aim being able to ignore both melee and ranged defense of any source.  So while Brace is handy against those street toughs using trash bins to hide behind, it's no good against that crime boss wearing superior armored clothing or the bounty hunter that's jury-rigged their armor to have a ranged defense value, or even that Forsaken Jedi with his lightsaber and the funky defensive qualities it's got attached to it.

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No, I still don't agree. And you make my point for me when you point out that cover is ranged defence 1. Setback dice from environmental effects is something separate from Setback dice from defence. If you were to carry your arguments further you would arrive at the inevitable conclusion that Bace negates ranged defence from cover; therefore it must also negate ranged defence from armour, and since armour is also the definition of a "disruptive physical obstacle" then Brace would render it useless.

 

I get where you're coming from, and your arguments are sound, but you're interpreting the rules much too rigidly. The "disruptive physical obstacle" does not, in my opinion, mean cover; it means stuff that intrudes on the line of sight (notice I say "sight") between you and your target. Cover isn't meant to break line of sight, it's meant to put something solid between you and the guy shooting at you.

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I get where you're coming from, and your arguments are sound, but you're interpreting the rules much too rigidly. The "disruptive physical obstacle" does not, in my opinion, mean cover; it means stuff that intrudes on the line of sight (notice I say "sight") between you and your target. Cover isn't meant to break line of sight, it's meant to put something solid between you and the guy shooting at you.

Except that Cover is listed under the category of "environmental effects" in both the EotE core and AoR Beta rulebooks, where other sources of ranged defense quite specifically aren't.  Though I guess if you say that Brace doesn't work because Cover specifically provides ranged defense instead of directly applying setback dice, then you could also make an argument that Skilled Jockey does nothing about negating the Handling penalties from a bulky transport, since Handling and Defense (Ranged and Melee) both function by applying setback dice equal to their rating to a given roll.  In the case of Cover, saying "ranged defense" instead of "setback dice" is both design shorthand as well as preventing the stacking of cover and ranged defense from armor, something that Sam and Jay said was very much intentional.

 

For what it's worth, in principle I agree with you that Brace shouldn't have any effect on cover, and is exactly how I've run it in my games in the past, and how I'll continue to run it, possibly even if a dev says something to the contrary.

 

However the OP asked a question based upon the RAW, and my answer is that RAW says "yes, by RAW the Brace talent would work to remove the setback dice enforced by cover."  And it doesn't even need the linguistic gymnastics that the recent Pierce arguments needed to justify some of the opinions expressed there.

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Heh... In that case I think we agree more than we disagree. You're right that the RAW can absolutely be interpreted that way. And I, too, have been running Brace the exact same way you have. I suspect this is how the rule was intended to be, but the literal phrasing in the book is different.

 

And for god's sake, let's not go where the Pierce discussion has gone before us. That thread turned unpleasant fast.

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I'd say, Brace is intended for Physical skills primarily, due to the name, therefore an "disruptive physical obstacle" just might also by licke a rock in the way of your sprint.

I agree that, at elast for balancing reasons alone, brace shouldnt negate cover, because it makes cover pretty useless.

 

also it's kinda wierd to brace yourself so shoot better around a cover?

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I've not done the math myself, but it's my understanding from other threads that adding a Boost die is more beneficial than taking away a Setback die.  If that's correct, then even if Brace allows a character to take away a Setback die from cover at the cost of a maneuver, then until a character has two ranks of Brace, that maneuver is better spent on Aim, so at Brace 1 I'm not sure there's any harm in allowing a character to use Brace against cover.

 

At Brace 2, the character can use one Brace maneuver to bypass 2 Setback dice, which means that so long as there are two Setback dice in play, Brace beats Aim, in which case the question of cover becomes meaningful.  But if a character has invested the XP required to purchase Brace twice, I'm not sure that allowing him to bypass two dice worth of cover is such a bad thing.  In Edge of the Empire, two ranks of Brace are going to cost a minimum of 10 XP plus the cost of buying into a second out-of-Career specialization because it doesn't appear on any two trees within the same Career. The Bodyguard can buy Brace twice within his tree for 25 xp and the Outlaw Tech twice for 40 XP,  The Gadgeteer an the Scholar only have access to one rank each, though it's at the 5 point level in both trees.

 

So, while I agree that it maybe seems a little weird, it may not throw off the balance of the game.

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Personally, I think that some of you are really misinterpreting the purpose of Brace. :unsure:

Quote: "As a maneuver, the character may Brace himself.  This allows a character to remove one setback die per rank of Brace from the next skill check based on changing conditions, inclement weather, unstable surfaces, zero gravity, or other disruptive physical obstacles that would make a skill check more difficult.

 

Thus far the only real example that they have given in the book of setback dice being applied for changing conditions is gravity, and according to the book zero doesn't apply any setback dice, so brace is really without examples of use. So, it is really open to a lot of misinterpretation. :wacko:

I interpret it as being used to Brace himself against changing conditions. Now in that line of thought, cover (while it is a "physical obstacle") is not a changing condition, if anything it is a static condition otherwise it wouldn't be able to be used as cover. ;)

 

Changing conditions that I would impose setback dice for that could be offset by the use of Brace would include situations like:

Luke bracing himself before he leaps from the back of Leia's speeder bike onto the back of the scout troopers speeder bike, certainly the speeder bikes zipping along at a couple hundred KMH would impose a set back die or two to an athletics check as they are weaving in and out of the trees.

Attempting to scale a cliff or a building in high winds would impose set back dice that could be offset by the climber bracing himself before each climb check to make sure he doesn't lose his footing or his grip.

When you're facing backwards standing up in the seat of your buddies XP-34 land speeder taking shots at the ganger's chasing you. Bracing yourself before taking your shot will offset the setback dice imposed when your buddy swerves to avoid oncoming traffic or stops suddenly to avoid hitting a pedestrian.

Using coordination to walk a tightrope or narrow blank between buildings in windy conditions would benefit from bracing.

Obi-wan and Anakin probably used bracing more than once while fighting on the various pieces of junk floating in the lava on Mustafar, as things tipped and shifted.

Probably dating myself with this one, but the fight scene between Flash Gordon and Prince Barin in the arena in Prince Vultan's flying city, they would have need to brace every time that platform shifted just to stay on their feet.

Trying to Brawl with someone on top of a bullet train.

 

This is my interpretation of how Brace is supposed to be used, heck it might even be accurate.

The only thing I have a hard time understanding is why so many specialization have access to it, unless it was their intention to prepare a lot of characters to be place in highly cinematic scenes like this, but then forgot to detail exactly under what circumstances it would come into play.

Edited by Dakkar98

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Personally, I think that some of you are really misinterpreting the purpose of Brace. :unsure:

Quote: "As a maneuver, the character may Brace himself.  This allows a character to remove one setback die per rank of Brace from the next skill check based on changing conditions, inclement weather, unstable surfaces, zero gravity, or other disruptive physical obstacles that would make a skill check more difficult.

 

Thus far the only real example that they have given in the book of setback dice being applied for changing conditions is gravity, and according to the book zero doesn't apply any setback dice, so brace is really without examples of use. So, it is really open to a lot of misinterpretation. :wacko:

I interpret it as being used to Brace himself against changing conditions. Now in that line of thought, cover (while it is a "physical obstacle") is not a changing condition, if anything it is a static condition otherwise it wouldn't be able to be used as cover. ;)

"Changing conditions" is simply the beginning of the list of situations in which the Brace talent can be applied. The way you're reading it would make sense if everything after "changing conditions" was set inside parentheses...but as it stands, I'm afraid you're limiting the talent too much :)

"Changing conditions" and "disruptive physical objects" are a little open to interpretation, I agree, but that is where the GM comes in.

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Well the little blurb in on the actual talent tree specifically says "added by environmental circumstances". The description in the talents section simply says "changing conditions". I was taking the two together to try and get at the true meaning of what they meant.

Edited by Dakkar98

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Got some clarification on the Brace maneuver from Sam:

Rule Question:

In the forums, I think that a lot of gamers are really misinterpreting the purpose of Brace.

Brace: "As a maneuver, the character may Brace himself. This allows a character to remove one setback die per rank of Brace from the next skill check based on changing conditions, inclement weather, unstable surfaces, zero gravity, or other disruptive physical obstacles that would make a skill check more difficult.

Thus far the only real example given in the book of setback dice being applied for changing conditions is gravity, and according to the book zero gravity doesn't apply any setback dice, so brace is really without examples of use. So, it is really open to a lot of misinterpretation.

I interpret it as being used to Brace himself against changing conditions. Now in that line of thought, cover (while it is a "physical obstacle") is not a changing condition, if anything it is a static condition otherwise it wouldn't be able to be used as cover.

Changing conditions that I would impose setback dice for that could be offset by the use of Brace would include situations like:

Luke bracing himself before he leaps from the back of Leia's speeder bike onto the back of the scout troopers speeder bike, certainly the speeder bikes zipping along at a couple hundred KMH would impose a set back die or two to an athletics check as they are weaving in and out of the trees.

Attempting to scale a cliff or a building in high winds would impose set back dice that could be offset by the climber bracing himself before each climb check to make sure he doesn't lose his footing or his grip.

When you're facing backwards standing up in the seat of your buddies XP-34 land speeder taking shots at the ganger's chasing you. Bracing yourself before taking your shot will offset the setback dice imposed when your buddy swerves to avoid oncoming traffic or stops suddenly to avoid hitting a pedestrian.

Using coordination to walk a tightrope or narrow blank between buildings in windy conditions would benefit from bracing.

Obi-wan and Anakin probably used bracing more than once while fighting on the various pieces of junk floating in the lava on Mustafar, as things tipped and shifted.

Probably dating myself with this one, but the fight scene between Flash Gordon and Prince Barin in the arena in Prince Vultan's flying city, they would have need to brace every time that platform shifted just to stay on their feet.

Trying to Brawl with someone on top of a bullet train.

This is my interpretation of how Brace is supposed to be used, heck it might even be accurate.

The only thing I have a hard time understanding is why so many specialization have access to it, unless it was their intention to prepare a lot of characters to be place in highly cinematic scenes like this, but then forgot to detail exactly under what circumstances it would come into play.

Could you please offer some clarification on the Brace maneuver?

 

Hello Mr. Simms,

 
The examples you offered for when to use the Brace maneuver are all spot on, actually. These are exactly the situations the maneuver would be used. 
 
Hope this helps!
 
Sam Stewart
Senior RPG Producer
Fantasy Flight Games

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In my opinion, the question you asked the developer was not very clear and should have been "Does the Brace talent remove setback dice granted by Cover?"

 

I guess we will have to assume that he carefully read the entire question, did not just skip to the examples, and agrees with you that the setback from cover are not removed even though he doesn't address it directly.

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The talent says, "Brace himself". Common sense speaks what this means - bracing yourself against some sort of environmental affect hindering YOU. It's easy to imagine bracing yourself against a strong wind, zero gravity, etc. in order to prepare for an action of some sort. But I can't imagine how bracing myself could help me negate the cover someone else is hiding behind. That cover your target is behind isn't physically affecting you at all, so holding myself more strongly in place has no affect upon it. That's non-sensical. 

 

We shouldn't be getting so literal with reading of the rules when the common sense interpretation is already so obvious.

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I'd say, Brace is intended for Physical skills primarily, due to the name, therefore an "disruptive physical obstacle" just might also by licke a rock in the way of your sprint.

I agree that, at elast for balancing reasons alone, brace shouldnt negate cover, because it makes cover pretty useless.

 

also it's kinda wierd to brace yourself so shoot better around a cover?

We had someone use Brace to remove Setback from a Perception check made in a loud factory. Might not technically fall under a physical check in some ways, but it seemed to be fine.

 

What becomes a problem is when certain pieces of equipment grant Brace. I have a hard time seeing how artificial musculature on armor would help in the above task.

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Solution here is obvious.

 

What someone needs to do is for next GenCon, get into an FFG Star Wars game run by FFG staff, and bring a pre-gen of thei own making (which FFG does allow) that has the Brace talent, hope you get into a game run by Sam Stewart or one of the other FFG RPG design leads... and then try to exploit that talent for all it's worth :lol:

 

Use it to negate cover, citing cover as an 'environmental condition' given where's listed in the core rulebook.

 

Use it for scenarios like the one HappyDaze described above, and use Brace to remove setback dice caused by environmental conditions from non-physical checks.

 

(BTW, the above is said with tongue planted firmly in cheek)

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