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Defense Maneuver and Sneak Attack (Deadly Blow)

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Hi Steve,


How does the No attacker is considered to be attacking “from behind” aspect of Defense Maneuver interact with the Sneak Attack variant of Deadly Blow?


16    Sneak Attack: Deadly Blow:  +1d6 (Talent) (Only Works With Blows Struck From Behind Or Against Surprised Targets)

[Notes: Created as Talent per 6e1 page 113 and CC page 40]


Does it mean that a higher standard of Surprise* is needed in combat for Sneak Attack to work? 


*Like being Invisible to the Targeting Sense used by the target.


Please advise.





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Defense Maneuver I, “no attacker is considered to be attacking “from behind””, refers to the Surprised Combat Modifier, which lists as its first possible example “when a character is attacked from behind[.]” All that means is that if a character who has Defense Maneuver I is using that Skill (which takes a Half Phase Action), someone who attacks him from behind is not considered for game rules purposes to be “attacking from behind” (i.e., with Surprise). It does not force the attacker to attack from the front or any other such thing. Defense Maneuver I simply means, “in this particular situation, where most characters would suffer a Surprise modifier, I do not.”


Sneak Attack’s Limitation specifies two conditions under which it works:  attacks from behind; and attacks against Surprised targets. Even if Defense Maneuver I protects a character from suffering a Surprised modifier when being attacked from behind, he is still, in fact, being attacked from behind. Therefore the first Limitation condition applies and the Sneak Attack bonus damage also applies.

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