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Ambush, Join Battle and Initiative

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  • Serpent Axis
    started a topic Ambush, Join Battle and Initiative

    Ambush, Join Battle and Initiative

    ....Ok, what?

    An ambush is defined as an attack against a target completely unaware of the attacker’s presence—generally only possible during the first round of a fight, against a target with a lower Initiative value than the attacker.
    Ahem.
    Does this mean that ambush is only possible if Join Battle rolls have been made in advance - i.e, the people who are about to get "ambushed" have been shouted "en garde!" at and given a moment to reach for their swords?
    Or does this mean that Ambush can only attempted by someone who in advance has a bigger Wits+Awareness+3 pool?
    Or does it mean that - as Reddit suggests (sigh) - Ambush is rolled first, then even if it succeeds the ambushed people get to roll Join Battle and if they succeed the Ambush is nullified into a Surprise Attack?

    Because all three of those things seem really, er, dumb to me.

    If I understood correctly, after much re-reading and headdesking, is that the comma between "...first round of a fight, against a target..." is a typo and whoever put it there was just saying that if an Ambush is attempted during a combat then the Initiative thing is a factor, because the Ambusher would have to be acting first in order to attempt it.
    This still makes about 80% less sense than literally anything else, because the first thing that a visible attacker (Join Battle was rolled = everybody involved 100% know they're in a fight situation) would have to do is re-establish stealth.

    So... What actually happens if you attempt an Ambush and succeed on the opposed Stealth vs Awareness roll? Do you have to roll Join Battle before you attempt the Ambush (again, senseless since the whole point is to attack without people getting a chance to know that they're being attacked and draw swords)?

    Also, how would Initiative work in this instance?

    Suppose Join Battle isn't rolled (=AKA the sensible thing) - if I make a Withering attack from stealth, do I still get Initiative that then gets added to my upcoming Join Battle roll?

    ....How does... Literally anything work?

  • Sith_Happens
    replied
    Originally posted by Maseiken View Post
    That ruling from Vance is odd, I!d assumed that JB was player knowledge but not character knowledge, as so many other things are.
    Yeah, and it’s something I’m personally going to continue assuming, especially since there are a lot of situations where it’s basically ST call when exactly Join Battle should happen.

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  • The Wizard of Oz
    replied
    For pretty minor fights (ie Exalt vs 1 mortal thug) I just have the player make an Attribute+Ability check like anything. Dexterity+Melee, something like that. Quick and easy. (And the book mentions this, incidentally).

    So for a quick stealth kill of 1 guard, I'd have them just roll Dex+Stealth to sneak up and then Dex+Melee(/Brawl/Archery/Thrown/Martial Arts) to stealth kill (or stealth KO).

    I just roll out the combat rules for when PCs are fighting outnumbered by goons 10-1, or dueling a badass hero. Otherwise you make a lot of very complex rolls that you'll almost certainly pass easily.

    Leave a comment:


  • Lioness
    replied
    Originally posted by Flare View Post
    though to be honest if you as a Archery Supernal Dawn Solar were taking pot shots at deaf and blind mortals from miles away I'd probably let you kill them without a roll, because that scene's conflict isn't on if you can carry out your random murder but what it's going to cause.
    Yeah, Ex3 combat isn't trying to simulate violence but provide a satisfactory encounter.

    Leave a comment:


  • Maseiken
    replied
    That ruling from Vance is odd, I!d assumed that JB was player knowledge but not character knowledge, as so many other things are.
    Ultimately the ST is going to make some rulings to verisimilitude for their players, so I don’t think it’s an incredibly vital issue.

    I would say though, that in the case that an ambushed party did win JB without detecting their attacker, the most reasonable thing to do would be to dive for cover and take a full defence or defend other action. Which does greatly punish super stealthy stealtherinos for not stacking their wits+awareness.

    Than again, as above, The ST doesn’t Have to do the optimal thing with all npcs all the time.

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  • Flare
    replied
    though to be honest if you as a Archery Supernal Dawn Solar were taking pot shots at deaf and blind mortals from miles away I'd probably let you kill them without a roll, because that scene's conflict isn't on if you can carry out your random murder but what it's going to cause.

    Leave a comment:


  • Lioness
    replied
    Originally posted by Epitome View Post
    In some cases it is magical awareness. For instance, if an Archery Supernal starts aiming at an enemy from extreme range, how do you explain that the enemy suddenly knows they're in danger as a direct result of the archer merely drawing their bow? If you want to make it even more egregious assume that the attacker uses Charms/Evocation to conceal herself from all senses, and make the enemy a blind and deaf mortal for good measure, they will still know they are in danger.
    I find it helps to remember that in a lot of games attacking from an ambush like that is only going to net you surprise attack level penalties. Exalted is unusually commited to letting you sneak up and kill significant characters in one move, even if it's made it harder to do that this edition.

    Leave a comment:


  • TheCountAlucard
    replied
    Originally posted by The Wizard of Oz View Post
    Thanks.
    If I could cook the egg on my face from every time I misremembered a rule, I wouldn't have to buy groceries.

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  • The Wizard of Oz
    replied
    Thanks. /10char

    Leave a comment:


  • TheCountAlucard
    replied
    Originally posted by The Wizard of Oz View Post
    That teaches me to comment on one discussion while I'm in the middle of reading a different book.
    Hey, we all do it. It's hard to expect to remember every detail from a tabletop RPG correctly.

    Leave a comment:


  • The Wizard of Oz
    replied
    Originally posted by Isator Levi View Post

    What?

    Wizard, the sidebar explicitly says that it's for poisons that deal Initiative damage.

    Those poisons have intervals that are measured in rounds.

    If you're dosed with something that will last for days, it will do damage directly to your health track in any event. There's no need to have an Initiative pool for it to attack.
    Ah, I see you are right. That's fine.

    That teaches me to comment on one discussion while I'm in the middle of reading a different book.

    Leave a comment:


  • Magnus K
    replied
    Ah, good to hear, Isator Levi. I see I need to re-read the rules once again (seems I can never read them too often).

    Leave a comment:


  • Isator Levi
    replied
    Originally posted by The Wizard of Oz View Post

    Huh... technically of course you do, but then you've got an Initiatiave that's lasting for, like, five days or something. So if someone poisons you with arsenic, and then 3 days later you get attacked, do you have to keep your old Join Battle? Roll again but minus the initiative from the damage you've taken so far? Yeah, it's a bit weird. I think, especially considering how ineffectual poison is against Exalts in my experience, that I'm inclined to agree with you.
    What?

    Wizard, the sidebar explicitly says that it's for poisons that deal Initiative damage.

    Those poisons have intervals that are measured in rounds.

    If you're dosed with something that will last for days, it will do damage directly to your health track in any event. There's no need to have an Initiative pool for it to attack.

    Leave a comment:


  • Magnus K
    replied
    Originally posted by The Wizard of Oz View Post

    Huh... technically of course you do, but then you've got an Initiatiave that's lasting for, like, five days or something. So if someone poisons you with arsenic, and then 3 days later you get attacked, do you have to keep your old Join Battle? Roll again but minus the initiative from the damage you've taken so far? Yeah, it's a bit weird. I think, especially considering how ineffectual poison is against Exalts in my experience, that I'm inclined to agree with you.
    I think the rule concerinig ignoring the rules when you find them highly counter intuitive exists for a reason. Exalted is so full of rules that we can't expect them all to be good. And rolling wits awareness against slow working poison damage like arsenic is indeed, incredibly stupid. I don't know any GM's personally that would follow that RAW.

    Leave a comment:


  • Epitome
    replied
    Originally posted by The Wizard of Oz View Post
    I see your point Epitome, but I think those are all examples that involve the PC getting a turn in the battle.
    I may have misinterpreted the dev's statement, maybe "Once battle is joined" refers to the combatant getting their first turn, rather than rolling join battle.

    Either way I agree it makes a lot more sense if the combatant remains unaware of danger while ambush is still possible.

    Leave a comment:

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