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Aborting Actions in Combat - dice pool query

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  • Aborting Actions in Combat - dice pool query

    Just reading through the amended combat rules in C20 and I'm a little confused by the idea of aborting actions as part of multiple actions.

    If a character has declared just one action for a turn and then aborts it to block instead, okay, fine, you succeed at a willpower roll, then switch actions and roll your whole regular dice pool for your block.

    But let's say that my character has decided to attack with my longsword and to split my pool so that I can also parry my foe's incoming attack. I have Dex 3 and Melee 3 for a total of 6 dice, which I split into 3 for attack and 3 for defense. My initial attack resolves, but wait! A second foe appears and shoots at me! I can't parry - my only option is to dodge. I succeed at my willpower roll, so I can abort my second action to a defensive one.

    But...what's my dice pool? If I have Dex 3 + Athletics 1, do I get to roll all 4 dice? Do I only get to roll 3 because that's how many dice I saved from my planned second action? Do I only get to roll 2 because I only saved half my original pool?

    It seems odd to me that I get a bigger dice pool when I abort to a defensive action, than when I plan one. But I suppose that might be why the Willpower roll is in there - as a balancing factor? You get a much bigger pool, but you've gotta exert your will to use it?

    Am I understanding this correctly?

    Secondary question. The C20 book talks about reloading and moving more than half your running speed as automatic actions. It says it takes an action, but because it's an automatic success you can perform it at no penalty. I take this to mean that you're splitting your dice pool - technically - but that you can assign no dice to either reloading or running. The only downside is that one of your actions needs to take place at the end of the round. If that's right - would you still be able to abort an automatic action to a defensive one, and use your full dice pool? Like - that's what I'm assuming if I'm reading this right, but I just want to check...

  • #2
    Originally posted by beccatoria View Post
    Just reading through the amended combat rules in C20 and I'm a little confused by the idea of aborting actions as part of multiple actions.

    If a character has declared just one action for a turn and then aborts it to block instead, okay, fine, you succeed at a willpower roll, then switch actions and roll your whole regular dice pool for your block.

    But let's say that my character has decided to attack with my longsword and to split my pool so that I can also parry my foe's incoming attack. I have Dex 3 and Melee 3 for a total of 6 dice, which I split into 3 for attack and 3 for defense. My initial attack resolves, but wait! A second foe appears and shoots at me! I can't parry - my only option is to dodge. I succeed at my willpower roll, so I can abort my second action to a defensive one.

    But...what's my dice pool? If I have Dex 3 + Athletics 1, do I get to roll all 4 dice? Do I only get to roll 3 because that's how many dice I saved from my planned second action? Do I only get to roll 2 because I only saved half my original pool?

    It seems odd to me that I get a bigger dice pool when I abort to a defensive action, than when I plan one. But I suppose that might be why the Willpower roll is in there - as a balancing factor? You get a much bigger pool, but you've gotta exert your will to use it?

    Am I understanding this correctly?

    Secondary question. The C20 book talks about reloading and moving more than half your running speed as automatic actions. It says it takes an action, but because it's an automatic success you can perform it at no penalty. I take this to mean that you're splitting your dice pool - technically - but that you can assign no dice to either reloading or running. The only downside is that one of your actions needs to take place at the end of the round. If that's right - would you still be able to abort an automatic action to a defensive one, and use your full dice pool? Like - that's what I'm assuming if I'm reading this right, but I just want to check...
    Split actions normally take place at the end of the round, unless it's a defensive action. Defensive actions always occur at the point when you're attacked.

    I would say that you can't abort when you're splitting your dice pool. You've already divided your focus, so you probably wouldn't even notice this oncoming attack. At the very least, you'd take a penalty to the Willpower roll for being spread too thin.

    You also have to ask why, if your attacker is going after you in the initiative round, you wouldn't just throw all your dice into an attack? The Storyteller system is skewed towards whichever players go first in combat. You'd have a chance to knock them out of combat altogether (especially if they're a mook, with only four health levels).

    If I were feeling really generous, I would allow you to abort your parry and switch to a dodge (with or without a penalty to your Willpower roll), but your new maximum dice pool would be four dice (you go by the smallest dice pool used), so you'd only have one die left (you used three to attack). It wouldn't be worth it, in my opinion.
    Last edited by adambeyoncelowe; 06-03-2018, 08:00 AM.

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    • #3
      As for your second question: I believe it's been answered before, but I can't remember what the solution was. I think they require your full turn in order to be automatic (i.e., without a roll). If you're running AND doing something else, or reloading AND doing something else, you need to roll for running or reloading.

      Thus, the first example would involve splitting your dice pool between a Dexterity + Athletics roll and your second action. The second example would involve spitting dice between a Dexterity (or Wits) + Firearms roll to reload, plus the roll for your second action.

      An automatic action requires no roll because you're using a turn to do it. If it doesn't require a turn to do it, that's a reflexive action instead (like soak).

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