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  • Sunder the Gold
    started a topic What is "Embattled", really?

    What is "Embattled", really?

    Originally posted by Exalted Third Edition Code, Page 197
    When a character is at close range, he is in an opponent’s face, close enough to easily attack with a hand-to-hand weapon such as a sword, spear, or his fists. This doesn’t mean that the characters are necessarily within arm’s reach of each other at all times, but rather that they are able to close such a distance in moments. If an opponent is within close range of a character, that character is embattled, and must use a disengage action if he wishes to move away from the opponent.

    Movement Actions
    A character can take only one of the following actions per round, unless otherwise noted. A character could not, for example, use a disengage action and a move action during the same turn. All movement actions may only be taken on the character’s turn, regardless of whether they are reflexive or a combat action.

    Characters may remain stationary in terms of range bands while stunting dramatic movement, if desired—circling an opponent at close range, stepping back from a powerful attack, or otherwise engaging in acrobatic stunts are all possible without changing relative positioning or using a movement action.

    Move (Reflexive Action): The character may move one range band toward any other character or landmark present in battle once. This action can only be taken on the character’s turn. It is the most commonly-used movement action.

    • Disengage (Combat Action): This action must be taken when a character at close range with one or more hostile opponents wishes to retreat to short range—the standard reflexive move action cannot be used to do so. Disengaging is an opposed roll of (Dexterity + Dodge) against the (Dexterity + Athletics) of all opponents who wish to contest the disengage action. If the character defeats all of his opponents, then he moves out to short range; furthermore, if one of the opponents he disengaged moves toward him on her next turn, the character immediately and reflexively retreats one further range band away from her, even if this means he would move outside of his turn. Like a rush action, this reflexive movement does not count as a movement action. It occurs only the first time after a disengage action that a disengaged opponent moves toward the character.

    If any opponent beats the character’s disengage roll, he is incapable of moving away—there’s simply no opportunity for the character to safely escape his enemies.

    Taking this action causes the character to lose 2 Initiative points regardless of its success.

    Despite being an extremely important concept for Third Edition's new, abstracted movement and positioning rules for combat, the term "embattled" never reappears in the entire book, making its very existence easy to forget. Which may be why some posters here have taken to calling this condition "engaged".

    Over in the Ask The Devs thread, some of us had some very interesting questions about what, exactly, being "embattled" meant, in terms of narrative and mechanical possibilities.

    Originally posted by Therian View Post
    The regular move action lets you move closer to another character or a landmark. If you are engaged with a opponent, do you have to disengage to move through the scenery or towards something? Was that the intent? I ask because many cinematic inspirations feature the combatants ranging all over the place while fighting.
    By the strict wording of the rules, Yes, you need to successfully Disengage from an opponent in order to leave your current range band. The rules make no allowance for using your Move action to travel into another range band by enabling your opponent to reflexively follow you into it.

    Yet this is how Robert answered:

    Originally posted by Robert Vance View Post
    If you want to stage a cinematic fight in which, say, two swordsmen are running through a marketplace trading blows, you can simply declare that they're running through the marketplace as the fight goes on, without them needing to use their movement actions or change range bands to do so. In that context, a disengage would be attempting to put distance between yourself and your foe.
    Robert argues in favor of allowing the scenery to change, but doesn't actually address the problem. Indeed, assuming that a small variety of scenery can be contained within a single range band, the rules already make this clear: The opponents who embattle you do not prevent you from moving around inside of the range band you share with them, as that does not require a Move action.

    But Therian is asking about moving towards another character or landmark; the landscape is already divided into multiple range bands, each with different, pre-determined tactical values. Changing the scenery of the immediate duel isn't merely a matter of narrative and stunt-fodder, because if your opponent has any ability to prevent you from moving into another range band, he's going to want to prevent you from reaching your wife to administer the life-saving antidote, or to keep you from boarding the river-raft that will carry you away to safety.

    Thus we still need an answer to the real question; does the opponent who embattles you have the power to prevent you from leaving the range band, or does he only have the power to reflexively (and thus, outside of their turn) follow you into another range band unless you succeed at a Disengage action?


    Originally posted by ale137 View Post
    If you fail a disengage action, can you still move a range band even if the relative distance between you and the opponent remains the same?
    Originally posted by Robert Vance View Post
    You can use your reflexive move action to reposition yourself, as long as you stay at close range to all your enemies, but if you try to disengage and fail, you've used up your move action for the turn and don't get to take another one.
    Again, Robert doesn't answer the real question. It's not a matter of "staying at close range to all your enemies", because the confusion is what THEY are able to do. They cannot prevent you from moving around inside the range band you share with them, but can they prevent you from leaving or do they merely have the power to reflexively follow you, if they wish?


    Originally posted by Sunder the Gold View Post
    But could this movement take you one range band closer to another combatant or a tactically important feature of the environment?

    That is, does being Embattled mean that your opponents can always reflexively Move with you outside of their turn to keep you in close range, such that you can tactically reposition yourself across the battlefield, close ranks with an ally, or pursue an in-Embattled opponent?

    Because that is very different from the interpretation where Embattled characters cannot move around *at all* in a mechanically or tactically significant sense.
    Originally posted by Robert Vance View Post
    Embattled characters can still take reflexive move actions, just as long as they're staying in close range to everyone they're already at close range with.

    In a cinematic "running fight" where all parties involved are just assumed to be moving through the marketplace/town/rooftops/whatever, you aren't having the characters take movement actions to do the running, just to maneuver in relation to each other. You could think of it as the terrain being the one that's moving underneath them, for stylistic effect.
    Again, the answer focuses on the wrong character and doesn't solve the question.


    And of course, NONE of this addresses another question, which is whether your opponents can decide on their own -- or be convinced/forced, as by social influence or magic (particularly of the intimidating variety) -- to refrain from chasing after you, allowing you to move away from them with just a Move action instead of a Disengage.

    I mean, logically, no one should be forced to keep fighting you when it becomes in their best interest to stop attacking you, but the issue is never once addressed in the book.

  • TGUEIROS
    replied
    Originally posted by Klaek View Post
    ...

    So the combat range and movement rules engine do not work well with the fiction when you need to measure distance to an important landmark. Hence we should fudge something to represent progress(or losing progress for that matter) towards an important landmark such as the bridge.
    I have been trying to say this so many times... We're discussing the "fudge something" here, where the RAW was always clear, and RAI having been given measure by both the previous and current dev, I thought we could proceed with the house rule discussion.

    Discussion as in something different than "RAW says this and it is enough" or "This is terrible". Hell, like you said, one of the authors already said to fudge something because the engine and the fiction are drifting apart.

    If you don't care that there is distance between engine and fiction, or think that the distance in this case doesn't matter, then the discussion is just not your cup of tea.

    I haven't seen anybody call the rules bad or broken, just that they don't jive that well in this case, and that is supported by author/former dev. So there is no need to "defend" the system either.

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  • TGUEIROS
    replied
    Originally posted by AtG View Post

    Move is a system term. Range bands are a system term. They have a vague relation to actual geometry but that is it, it is vague, and they do not in themselves form a fully consistent geometry over which you can define metrics, etc.

    The rules for the reflexive move action and disengage are completely unambiguous:



    Meanwhile, there are no rules granting people "free reflexive move actions" outside of the rules for Rush, Disengage, or individual Charms.

    Orthogonal to all of this, is the fact that attacks of opportunity are bad (at least, in relatively less-tactical systems like Exalted) and introducing them is a terrible idea that also doesn't even make sense given the nature of withering attacks.
    I never said the RAW granted people free RMAs outside of what you mention. On the contrary I stated pretty clearly what I believed the RAW to be, and that was confirmed through Vance answering my questions in the Ask the Devs thread. What I was discussing was houserules (also clearly stated) to address a perceived problem (clear stated as that too). So if it is not a problem for you, feel free to ignore the discussion.

    I don't see what withering attacks have to do with this. But you might be laboring under the misperception that there is any narrative difference between the attack types. There isn't. A withering attack can land, hurt and sometimes even take you out of combat. So whether the attack is withering or not is immaterial to whatever it is attacks of oportunity aim to achieve and at what cost.

    I don't know why you seem bent on stating attacks of opportunity are bad. Might be a per peeve of yours, but I'm not invested in it. It was just an idea that floated in my head, followed by a "I dunno". So yeah, not much to say about this anymore.
    Last edited by TGUEIROS; 08-22-2017, 08:04 PM.

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  • Klaek
    replied
    Why are you picking Vance's comment over Holden's in regards to the rules? I would certainly rather take the comment of the author of the rules in this circumstance as you get the intent as well.

    Although I do not believe that their responses are mutually exclusive. You should be able to have dramatic reasons why your "current" range band edges closer to a landmark without progress being measured in range bands.


    Originally posted by Holden View Post


    Yes. This is one of the reasons the game uses range band (which only care about your distance relative to other characters or some landmark in the scene you have a reason to give a shit about) rather than zones or a grid or whatever. The engine doesn't really give a shit if you're running in lockstep through a bamboo forest, standing in place, or having a lightsaber duel while standing on two force-fielded pieces of debris as they're carried over miles of lava-river-- they're all two characters just remaining at close range bashing away at one another as far as the system is concerned, so long as there's no important third point in the scene that you need to mark distance against.

    (At that point, fudge something, because the engine and the fiction are starting to come unglued from one another.)
    So the combat range and movement rules engine do not work well with the fiction when you need to measure distance to an important landmark. Hence we should fudge something to represent progress(or losing progress for that matter) towards an important landmark such as the bridge.

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  • Sunder the Gold
    replied
    There's no need for a "bowl over" gambit; just use a grapple to tackle someone out of your way (throw/slam) or pick them up and take them with you as you then use your Move action.

    There are also Smashing attacks, if you have the right weapon.

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  • Janissary87
    replied
    Originally posted by Sunder the Gold View Post
    Anyway, there are at least three scenarios regarding the duelists and the bridge.

    1) One of them wants to reach the bridge and the other seeks to prevent it. Use the Disengage rules, and Rushes if necessary.

    2) Both duelists wish to reach the bridge, but will not stop attacking each other. They both get closer to the bridge each round without contesting the other's movement.

    3) Both duelists give up fighting each other to focus totally on racing for the bridge. Make an opposed Athletics "contest of speed" roll, possibly extended if the storyteller wants to draw it out some.

    Make sense? Thoughts, opinions?
    Any of those would work for me.

    I'd prolly also let a character attempt a "bowl over" gambit using Str+Brawl or athletics to bypass the need to disengage, or let a character (pc or ncp) move forward without a disengage check if they're willing to sacrifice 2 initiative and cut their DV in half until their next turn.

    While there is technically a canonical rule, I think it makes sense to allow for situations where a character is just goimg to care more about gettimg where they'd like to be then they would about who is in threatening range.

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  • Leetsepeak
    replied
    4) one of characters (probably a storyteller controlled one) does not want the other duelist to reach the bridge, but the Storyteller thinks it would be cool, so she allows it to happen. They both move (narratively, but not mechanically Move) closer to the bridge to have their duel.

    Otherwise, yeah. All of those are valid, depending on what you and your ST want to focus on in a given scene.

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  • Sunder the Gold
    replied
    Originally posted by Janissary87 View Post

    No apology necessary, we were both getting heated about our imaginary games discussion xD
    That's why I vanished for half of last week.


    Anyway, there are at least three scenarios regarding the duelists and the bridge.

    1) One of them wants to reach the bridge and the other seeks to prevent it. Use the Disengage rules, and Rushes if necessary.

    2) Both duelists wish to reach the bridge, but will not stop attacking each other. They both get closer to the bridge each round without contesting the other's movement.

    3) Both duelists give up fighting each other to focus totally on racing for the bridge. Make an opposed Athletics "contest of speed" roll, possibly extended if the storyteller wants to draw it out some.

    Make sense? Thoughts, opinions?
    Last edited by Sunder the Gold; 08-22-2017, 03:10 PM.

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  • Janissary87
    replied
    Originally posted by Sunder the Gold View Post
    I want to apologize if my last post sounded like an "I told you so." That's not the attitude I want to take in this discussion.
    No apology necessary, we were both getting heated about our imaginary games discussion xD

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  • Sunder the Gold
    replied
    I want to apologize if my last post sounded like an "I told you so." That's not the attitude I want to take in this discussion.

    Leave a comment:


  • Janissary87
    replied
    Whelp, I gotta eat crow here. My apologies Sunder, per Vance your reading of the rules was correct.

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  • AtG
    replied
    Originally posted by TGUEIROS View Post
    Like has been said many times over across the thread, depending on your take on when the disengage is needed we don't have a problem.

    If you interpret the rules as Janissary proposes, you can move and opponents are free to follow, then disengage is about getting the free move away from pursuers

    If you interpret it as if you don't win the disengage you can't leave Close, then disengage anchors a characters movement in what makes little sense to many of us.
    Move is a system term. Range bands are a system term. They have a vague relation to actual geometry but that is it, it is vague, and they do not in themselves form a fully consistent geometry over which you can define metrics, etc.

    The rules for the reflexive move action and disengage are completely unambiguous:

    This action must be taken when a character at close range with one or more hostile opponents wishes to retreat to short range—the standard reflexive move action cannot be used to do so.
    Meanwhile, there are no rules granting people "free reflexive move actions" outside of the rules for Rush, Disengage, or individual Charms.

    Orthogonal to all of this, is the fact that attacks of opportunity are bad (at least, in relatively less-tactical systems like Exalted) and introducing them is a terrible idea that also doesn't even make sense given the nature of withering attacks.

    Leave a comment:


  • AtG
    replied
    edit: double post
    Last edited by AtG; 08-22-2017, 02:06 PM.

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  • Sunder the Gold
    replied
    From the Ask the Devs thread:

    Originally posted by Robert Vance View Post
    If you're at close range to a guy and long range to a bridge, there is no way for you to advance towards medium range with the bridge without moving out of close range with the guy. You gotta disengage.
    And there you have it. Exactly what I said, based on the rules as written.

    Without Disengaging, being Embattled locks you into an abstracted location (of an uncertain square-meter radius and shape) which is an abstracted distance from other landmarks and characters. You can move freely around in this ambiguous zone without using a movement action, but your opponent will cut off your escape routes if you try to put any distance between the two of you.

    Thus, your opponent can prevent you from moving towards other characters or landmarks, because being Embattled prevents you from using the Move action that does just that.

    Which means we're looking at Merits or ST arbitration for larger creatures who logically cannot be stopped by a man jumping it front it.


    And here is the exception made for running duels, at the Storyteller's discretion:

    If the entire context of a fight is you and another guy duking it out as both of you run towards the bridge, the Storyteller might ad hoc it otherwise, declaring that, in effect, the bridge moves a range band closer towards each of you on each round without requiring any additional movement action on your part. This is a case-by-case assessment based on what works best for a specific scene, not something that you can extrapolate a universal rule from.
    Last edited by Sunder the Gold; 08-22-2017, 02:00 PM.

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  • Sunder the Gold
    replied
    Originally posted by Janissary87 View Post
    Ok, Jesus Christ kid.
    I am 35 years old and have been following this game for three editions and maybe seven different iterations of the official forum.

    I am not sure you have business calling me a child, especially when you seem to struggle to remember the words of the rules you argue about, or the words of the person you are arguing with.

    Leave a comment:

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