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  • "Are Gambits really Decisive attacks?"

    ... we don't know.

    Really, please don't post your answers, the rules contradict themselves in this, so yes, whichever opinion you hold, there's official backing for it. That is not the purpose of this thread. Instead, I thought we could break down the issue of what does it mean if Gambits do or do not get treated as a "special type of" Decisive attacks?

    As far as I can tell, there's no innate difference - the Gambit rules clear up any issues of Accuracy and Resets - so this comes down to how they'll end up intersecting with other effects, mostly Charms. For example, several Charms (like Wise Arrow, or XXXXXXXX) explicitly help a "Withering or Decisive attack," so if Gambits aren't either of those things, they technically couldn't do anything for them. Conversely, if Gambit are not Decisive (or Withering) attacks, they become immune to Counterattacks (outside of Crane Style, but let's not go down that rabbit hole here.).

    There's some stranger stuff, too. In Gambits are Decisive Attacks, you could use multiattack Charms to launch a ton of Gambits at once - but once they resolve, the game sort of shrugs and throws up its hands, because it's really unclear what happens to your Initiative after that stunt (to me, the clearest reading mechanically is that you Crash, then immediately reset to base, which is pretty goofy flavor-wise). For that matter, would a multiattack-based Gambit be rolling your full Initiative, or the amount which would be Damage for a "normal" Decisive off the same Charm? And then there's really odd stuff. Like, say, Blood Without Balance - If Gambits are Decisive Attacks, you can fire one out-of-action after benefiting from an ally's Gambit. That sounds a little goofy, but there's no real balance concern of a "feedback loop" where two Solars have this Charm, since Distract Gambits don't really get you a new increase in Initiative. The part about Damage rolls probably won't help Gambits either way.

    So, clearly making Gambits count as Decisive introduces a few problems. That said, I also think it's a shame to take this cool new part of the design and keep it from interacting with huge chunks of the combat trees. My impulse is to make Gambits be Decisive, but disallow them from multiattack Charms to avoid the most common pitfall, but I'd like to hear others' thoughts. How would you rule it, and why?


    "For me, there's no fundamental conflict between really loving something and also seeing it as very profoundly flawed." -- Jay Eddidin

  • #2
    It'd be kinda pointless to Disarm or Unhorse someone more than once, wouldn't it? And it's not like you can Double Grapple them.

    Aside from the inherent benefit of getting multiple tries, what Gambit is gonna benefit from you doing it more than once?

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    • #3
      Originally posted by TheCountAlucard View Post
      Aside from the inherent benefit of getting multiple tries, what Gambit is gonna benefit from you doing it more than once?
      Lots of them benefit from being used against a bunch of people in the same action.

      But really, I see that problem as secondary to the one of what exactly happens to your Initiative in the process. That gets sticky, fast.


      "For me, there's no fundamental conflict between really loving something and also seeing it as very profoundly flawed." -- Jay Eddidin

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      • #4
        Gambits are explicitly Decisive attacks, as stated in the first sentence of their rules on page 199. Instead of doing damage you do a special effect. If you think there is a contradiction in the rules, you need to actually say what and where that is, instead of stating it to be true.
        Last edited by Gallus; 05-26-2016, 08:25 PM.


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        • #5
          Originally posted by Gallus View Post
          Gambits are explicitly Decisive attacks, as stated in the first sentence of their rules on page 199. Instead of doing damage you do a special effect. If you think there is a contradiction in the rules, you need to actually say what and where that is, instead of stating it to be true.
          P. 183 says instead that they are similar to Decisives. Shadow Wind Slash throughout presents "Disarm gambits" as a separate category of thing from Decisives - not just, "Here are more specific rules for this one type of Decisive," but more "In addition to Decisives, you can also do Gambits!"

          To the question: I would not count Gambits as Decisives, though I would allow Counterattacks to trigger off of 'em. It's just less headache to sort out the interactions that way.


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          • #6
            To use a gambit you have to declare and make a decisive attack. If you do not treat them as decisive attacks themselves, then they are always part of a decisive attack, rendering the distinction moot. Shadow Sword Slash is a Charm, so any special rules it has would be specific trumps general.
            Last edited by Gallus; 05-26-2016, 08:58 PM.


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            • #7
              Originally posted by Chejop Kejak View Post
              Lots of them benefit from being used against a bunch of people in the same action.
              I don't particularly see a problem with smacking the swords out of three guys' hands as opposed to just bisecting the guys entirely.

              Originally posted by Chejop Kejak View Post
              But really, I see that problem as secondary to the one of what exactly happens to your Initiative in the process. That gets sticky, fast.
              I'll try and give the books a look when I get home, but it didn't feel all that unclear to me when I read them before.

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              • #8
                Perhaps, if the extra action charm resets you to base after all attacks, it should instead give you no initiative penalty while doing the attacks, but then you pay the highest initiative cost after all effects?
                I mean, this isn't a RAW thing, just that seems most sensible to me.


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                • #9
                  The rules are clear. The first sentence of the section on gambits reads, "Gambits are a special sort of decisive attack. [emphasis not mine]". So yes, they are decisive attacks, charms and other mechanics that apply to decisive attacks apply to them, and there's no disputing it. Mutli-attack charms do not apply because they're Simple charms create decisive attacks, not gambits.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by lessens View Post
                    The rules are clear. The first sentence of the section on gambits reads, "Gambits are a special sort of decisive attack. [emphasis not mine]". So yes, they are decisive attacks, charms and other mechanics that apply to decisive attacks apply to them, and there's no disputing it. Mutli-attack charms do not apply because they're Simple charms create decisive attacks, not gambits.
                    Er... you do realize you are saying contradictory things, right?


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                    • #11
                      People, if you really wanna revive that debate, make a thread. As for this one,

                      Originally posted by Chejop Kejak View Post
                      Really, please don't post your answers, the rules contradict themselves in this, so yes, whichever opinion you hold, there's official backing for it. That is not the purpose of this thread.
                      Originally posted by TheCountAlucard View Post
                      I'll try and give the books a look when I get home, but it didn't feel all that unclear to me when I read them before.
                      So, every multiattack Charm works slightly differently (another pet peeve of mine which we can hopefully avoid derailing this thread with), but they all tend to come at the way Initiative get divvied up with some assumptions which don't quite apply to Gambits. Like, with Trance of Unhesitating Speed, "the Exalt's Initiative does not reset until she has completed every attack" - Gambits never reset your Initiative, so this might mean that you still lose Initiative for successful Gambits, potentially Crashing yourself partway through. Likewise, even though Gambits normally don't Reset you, there's a case to be made that you do Reset at the end of ToUS. Lots of strange interactions come up.

                      Originally posted by The Wizard of Oz View Post
                      Perhaps, if the extra action charm resets you to base after all attacks, it should instead give you no initiative penalty while doing the attacks, but then you pay the highest initiative cost after all effects?
                      I mean, this isn't a RAW thing, just that seems most sensible to me.
                      That seems like a solid houserule. Thanks!


                      "For me, there's no fundamental conflict between really loving something and also seeing it as very profoundly flawed." -- Jay Eddidin

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by danelsan View Post

                        Er... you do realize you are saying contradictory things, right?
                        They're not contradictory. The rules further clarify:

                        To execute a gambit, the player must declare what he’s attempting and then make a decisive attack against his opponent. If the attack fails, he loses Initiative as normal (p. 191).
                        This strongly implies that gambit must be executed as part of a normal decisive attack, not as part of a mutli-attack. If you're being extraordinarily generous, it allows someone to execute the same gambit against an opponent over and over - something no sane player would do. The rules could use some clarification, but the book is already out and the intent is clear.

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                        • #13
                          Why would multi-attack charms function any different if you use the decisive attacks to deliver gambits, than if you just did damage? You are still making decisive attacks, you just roll against a difficulty instead of rolling for damage.


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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Chejop Kejak View Post
                            People, if you really wanna revive that debate, make a thread. As for this one,
                            No. I'm going to keep pointing out that the rules very clearly state that they are decisive attacks whether you like it or not. It's 100% unambiguous. It's debatable whether multi-attacks can include decisives, but the rules say "gambits are decisive attacks".

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                            • #15
                              You said gambits are most definitely decisive attacks. You then said "Mutli-attack charms do not apply because they're Simple charms create decisive attacks, not gambits. " But gambits are decisive attack, you just said. So, if the charms create decisive attacks, couldn't those decisive attacks be gambits? That's why you're being contradictory.
                              If gambits are not decisive attacks, then you couldn't use them with charms that create decisive attacks, but you said they are.

                              Why would multi-attack charms function any different if you use the decisive attacks to deliver gambits, than if you just did damage? You are still making decisive attacks, you just roll against a difficulty instead of rolling for damage.
                              Because their initiative cost works differently.
                              I mean, strictly RAW, I guess that using a charm that resets you to base after making, say, 4 decisive attacks, to try 4 disarm attempts, would still reset you to base at the end. It's a little odd, but it seems the clearest RAW.

                              For charms that don't say you reset to base at the end (you know, the really odd extra-action charms that don't make a huge amount of sense), I guess RAW you'd just pay the gambit cost after each one, which may cause you to crash and thus not be able to make more decisive attacks (so there may be a limit on how much you can do it).

                              I also would say that, if you've split your initiative between attacks, you really should only roll that much initiative for each gambit.

                              So, basically, you can use extra-action charms for gambits, they're just not very good generally.
                              Last edited by The Wizard of Oz; 05-26-2016, 10:09 PM.


                              My characters:
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                              Brother Alazar, Zenith occultist and last survivor of the Black Monastery of Leng
                              Shadow of Kings, Twilight barbarian scholar, master of lost First Age crafting techniques. Has a lot of clones. Picture by Jen.

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