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Trigger Happy


Sean Waters
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So, interesting thread running about triggering movement and it got me thinking about trigger and, so as not to derail that, I'm posting this here.

 

I have some questions...

 

For the purposes of this discussion, assume we have a trigger that you can define the trigger on each use, takes no time to activate and resets automatically (+1 1/4) unless otherwise noted.

 

1. When does the triggered power go off?  Specifically, can it interrupt another action.  You'd think this one is obvious but I can not see it explicitly stated anywhere.  Example might be: a pressure trigger is triggered by a character passing over it whilst half way through a move.  Does the triggered power go off when the trigger is activated or when the action that activated it is complete?  I'm assuming the former, but I'd appreciate any clear reference that confirms this.  Does the trigger work, in effect as an abort to action?

 

2. How many times can you set the triggered power?  I'm assuming that you can set it as many times as you like as it automatically resets, and that is what the entry suggests.  If you used this to build a land mine, you could presumably plant several of them.  

 

2.1. If the power was 'takes a turn or more to reset', would your answer be different?  I'm assuming not as that affects the time it takes to set the trigger and there is nothing indicating how many live triggered powers you can have set.  However, the text is not terribly clear, and may well suggest the opposite.

 

3. Can you use the power 'normally' once you have set a triggered power.  So if you have a triggered Blast, can you set a Blast to go off when someone comes through Door A, and then use your Blast to hit someone coming through Door B without affecting the trap on Door A?

 

3.1. Would your answer be any different if the trigger was bought as a naked advantage?

 

4. Assuming you can use a power with trigger once a triggered power is set, if you set this up to trigger a half phase move, how long would that half phase move take?  So, you set this up to do a half phase move after you do a half phase move (so you move the equivalent of a full phase move): is your phase now over?

 

4.1. What actions could you take during the triggered half phase move?  Is this treated as another move action (so you have done two, and your phase ends) or could you attack, say, during that half phase as the triggered movement does not impact on your half phase allowance?

 

4.2. Would your answer be any different if you had set it to do a full phase move after a full phase move, allowing you to move twice as far as normal?

 

4.3. Would your answer be any different if you had set the trigger to automatically reset and move you closer to a target point that is several miles away?

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The smoke grenade example in the trigger writeup seems to implicitly allow for the triggering action to 'interrupt' the triggering event.  That's why it specifically points out that he bought activating the trigger as a no action, so he can get the benefit of the smoke grenade when someone decides to shoot at him.

 

The ability of a trigger to reset and how many triggers you can have are separate things.

 

The trigger reset time is for things like an electric floor that takes time to build it's zappiness back up after having zapped someone.  So I could deploy several electric floor panels (triggers) and each one could only zap someone every (reset time).  You can set as many triggers as however you wrote up your power construct and the other people at the table allow, as far as I can see.

 

A 'half phase move' is not a measure of time, but a measure of I dunno, call them action points spent, or something.  It actually takes no 'time' to execute that movement.  In addition, you don't get 'a half phase' when your trigger goes off having a half phase implies you can also do things like reallocate your multipowers and skill levels, reset 0 phase triggers, and so on.  You have to abort an action to do that.  Having a triggered movement go off just means you move. 

 

In addition, a triggered movement seems to give you the full movement allowance, not half (i.e. it's not a half phase move.).  I presume that you can even use that triggered movement to move at non-combat speed, as long as you also take the appropriate penalties for non-combat movement.  (GM note: watch for using triggered movement for NCM speed and setting the trigger off just before you get a phase normally, so the NCM penalty is suffered almost no time at all.)

 

4.3 In general, no since this seems to be a deliberate attempt to get around the costs of movement.  Though I suppose I could be convinced if the retriggered movement only retriggered over a 'reasonable' time.

 

Example:

Ghost Train moves everyone toward the bad thing.  It's triggered movement goes off twice a turn (in segments 6 and 12) and moves you Xm closer to the bad thing.

 

Otherwise it's just as bad a '1m of flight megascale (1m = 10,000 km)' to get you anywhere you want to go very quickly.

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So, interesting thread running about triggering movement and it got me thinking about trigger and, so as not to derail that, I'm posting this here.

 

I have some questions...

I have some answers.

 

 

For the purposes of this discussion, assume we have a trigger that you can define the trigger on each use, takes no time to activate and resets automatically (+1 1/4) unless otherwise noted.

 

1. When does the triggered power go off?  Specifically, can it interrupt another action.  You'd think this one is obvious but I can not see it explicitly stated anywhere.  Example might be: a pressure trigger is triggered by a character passing over it whilst half way through a move.  Does the triggered power go off when the trigger is activated or when the action that activated it is complete?  I'm assuming the former, but I'd appreciate any clear reference that confirms this.  Does the trigger work, in effect as an abort to action?

"abort" is a term with a specific defined meaning in the game system. You're using it in a context where that meaning doesn't apply, which I think can be confusing.

 

But to answer the question, I think the Triggered power goes off when the Trigger is activated, but that does not necessarily end the activating action. If you move 12 meters and on the 7th hit the tripwire or pressure plate, the Triggered power activates but that does not necessarily mean you fail to complete the intended movement.

 

2. How many times can you set the triggered power?  I'm assuming that you can set it as many times as you like as it automatically resets, and that is what the entry suggests.  If you used this to build a land mine, you could presumably plant several of them.

I think this falls under "common sense, dramatic sense, and game balance."

 

2.1. If the power was 'takes a turn or more to reset', would your answer be different?  I'm assuming not as that affects the time it takes to set the trigger and there is nothing indicating how many live triggered powers you can have set.  However, the text is not terribly clear, and may well suggest the opposite.

 

3. Can you use the power 'normally' once you have set a triggered power.  So if you have a triggered Blast, can you set a Blast to go off when someone comes through Door A, and then use your Blast to hit someone coming through Door B without affecting the trap on Door A?

 

3.1. Would your answer be any different if the trigger was bought as a naked advantage?

I think these have already been addressed. A Power with an Advantage can't be used without the Advantage, but if it's a Naked Advantage then you have a choice to use it or not. Is there any reason this particular question was in any kind of doubt?

 

4. Assuming you can use a power with trigger once a triggered power is set, if you set this up to trigger a half phase move,

STOP.

 

Stop right there. You don't, and you can't because "a half phase move" is not something you can validly put a Trigger Advantage on.

 

how long would that half phase move take?  So, you set this up to do a half phase move after you do a half phase move (so you move the equivalent of a full phase move): is your phase now over?

 

4.1. What actions could you take during the triggered half phase move?  Is this treated as another move action (so you have done two, and your phase ends) or could you attack, say, during that half phase as the triggered movement does not impact on your half phase allowance?

 

The premise of the question is invalid. There can't be a "triggered half phase move."

 

4.2. Would your answer be any different if you had set it to do a full phase move after a full phase move, allowing you to move twice as far as normal?

My answer is, you also can't validly put a Trigger on a full phase move.

 

What you CAN do is put a Trigger on "X meters of Y Movement Power."

 

4.3. Would your answer be any different if you had set the trigger to automatically reset and move you closer to a target point that is several miles away?

You still can't put a Trigger on a half phase move or a full phase move, so that doesn't change.

 

But to answer what you seem to be trying to ask: If you want to go to Timbuktu and buy Flight, X meters, on a Trigger that autoresets and moves you closer to Timbuktu each time, you are creating a situation similar to when you get a few hundred thousand people to line up shoulder to shoulder from here to Timbuktu and hand a baton to the person at one end of the line to be passed along - technically grabbing the baton and letting the next person grab it in turn should take up only one half phase, and since these are the half phases of different people, shouldn't the baton reach Timbuktu in a matter of seconds, a single phase?

 

In other words, it goes back to common sense and dramatic sense and game balance. Now, if I'm making the call, the Trigger will reset but can only activate once during each of your phases, so you will still take a long time flying to Timbuktu.

 

 

Lucius Alexander

 

I can't validly put a Trigger on a palindromedary. I COULD validly put a Trigger on "Summon Palindromedary"

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OK then...

 

 

I have some answers.

 

Good.

 

 

 

 

"abort" is a term with a specific defined meaning in the game system. You're using it in a context where that meaning doesn't apply, which I think can be confusing.

 

 

Fine. I will be more precise in my use of game terms.

 

 

 

But to answer the question, I think the Triggered power goes off when the Trigger is activated, but that does not necessarily end the activating action. If you move 12 meters and on the 7th hit the tripwire or pressure plate, the Triggered power activates but that does not necessarily mean you fail to complete the intended movement.

 

 

Makes sense

 

 

 

I think this falls under "common sense, dramatic sense, and game balance."

 

 

Ever notice how this means all things to all people?

 

 

 

I think these have already been addressed. A Power with an Advantage can't be used without the Advantage, but if it's a Naked Advantage then you have a choice to use it or not. Is there any reason this particular question was in any kind of doubt?

 

 

But if you have a trigger you can define every time you use it, you can define it as 'Now' and there is no practical difference.

 

 

 

 

STOP.

 

Stop right there. You don't, and you can't because "a half phase move" is not something you can validly put a Trigger Advantage on.

 

 

The premise of the question is invalid. There can't be a "triggered half phase move."

 

 

My answer is, you also can't validly put a Trigger on a full phase move.

 

What you CAN do is put a Trigger on "X meters of Y Movement Power."

 

 

You still can't put a Trigger on a half phase move or a full phase move, so that doesn't change.

 

But to answer what you seem to be trying to ask: If you want to go to Timbuktu and buy Flight, X meters, on a Trigger that autoresets and moves you closer to Timbuktu each time, you are creating a situation similar to when you get a few hundred thousand people to line up shoulder to shoulder from here to Timbuktu and hand a baton to the person at one end of the line to be passed along - technically grabbing the baton and letting the next person grab it in turn should take up only one half phase, and since these are the half phases of different people, shouldn't the baton reach Timbuktu in a matter of seconds, a single phase?

 

 

 

More. precision, I get it. I was asking 'Can you define a trigger as (say), "move forward 5 metres and automatically reset an re-execute if you have not reached the target point yet". This seems like a rule valid use, and allows virtually infinite movement at very low cost so long as you are creative enough in how you set the trigger."

 

 

 

 

In other words, it goes back to common sense and dramatic sense and game balance. Now, if I'm making the call, the Trigger will reset but can only activate once during each of your phases, so you will still take a long time flying to Timbuktu.

 

 

 

The reason we have rules, rather than a simple requirement to play the game fairly, is because different people interpret common and dramatic sense and game balance very differently. There is no good reason not to get the rules as clear and concise as we can, and the same with character builds.

 

 

 

Lucius Alexander

 

 

 

Correct

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But if you have a trigger you can define every time you use it, you can define it as 'Now' and there is no practical difference.

You have a point here. If that's how the Trigger is built, then yes, you can effectively use it as if it were the unAdvantaged Power (but still paying the END cost, etc.)

 

I stand corrected.

 

Lucius Alexander

 

And I sit on a palindromedary corrected

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Note that to set multiple triggers with the same power, you need some disadvantage that theoretically limits your number of triggers.  Charges, foci, etc.  This turns out to usually make trigger powers cheaper, since (-0) gets you 16 land mines (or whatever) which should be plenty, assuming you are operating on personal scale.  And if you wanted bigger mine fields, you should have brought followers with land mines :P.

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So, another question about 'trigger' - how smart is it?

If I set up an attack, can I have a condition that it attacks only a certain person, i.e. can I make identity a trigger condition?  The rules say that you can only use senses that you have, and you can certainly identify the target if they were in front of you, but is that how a trigger works?  It seems a bit more than the intent of the power to me.  

 

Similarly, what control do you have over the power when it is triggered?  None I assume, but can you give yourself the ability to control it with a clever trigger set?  Say you have 20m of triggered movement that goes off when you are attacked, can you set the trigger to 'move to where I want to in range when the trigger is activated'.

 

My view is that a trigger is set to do something specific and you then do not get to do what you like with it when it goes off, except in very general terms that are pre-defined and can not be changed once set.

 

I'd be interested to know what people think, and why.

 

I suppose you could get round this with 'character controls trigger'.  Actually I'm a bit confused by that too: if you can set the trigger every time can you set a triggered power you control: I suppose that can allow you to move where you want, then, next time, set a trigger that someone else sets off so you don't need to be there.

 

Hmm.  I probably should be having this discussion in my head rather than on the forum...

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Note that to set multiple triggers with the same power, you need some disadvantage that theoretically limits your number of triggers.  Charges, foci, etc.  This turns out to usually make trigger powers cheaper, since (-0) gets you 16 land mines (or whatever) which should be plenty, assuming you are operating on personal scale.  And if you wanted bigger mine fields, you should have brought followers with land mines :P.

 

Some contradiction int eh rules here as it also says this:

 

There’s no limit to the number of Triggers or Triggered Powers a

character may place on the same object/person/

place at once (or on different objects/persons/

places), unless the GM imposes one. Nor is there

any limit to the number of powers he can Trigger

at once by the same method, unless the GM

restricts this

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Your trigger can be based on any of your senses (or any senses you buy specifically for triggers). So in your example, 'go off only for that guy' anything that would cause your senses to misidentify 'that guy' will set your trigger off. Examples: shapeshifting, disguise, images, etc.

 

Re: multiple triggers: If you have multiple triggered powers, or have the ability to set multiple triggers with the same power, you can put them all 'in the same place' So there no limit, for example, on how many landmines you can plant on the door (well, the other players can throw cheetos at you).

 

If the trigger is not controlled by you (example: land mine) then the power targets whoever set it off. If you control the trigger (example: triggered counter attack power) then you control how it is set off. This is where the justification for allowing you to control your triggered movement comes from.

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So, another question about 'trigger' - how smart is it?

Probably about as smart as the player and/or the character. Thus a character can get hoist by their own petard.

 

If I set up an attack, can I have a condition that it attacks only a certain person, i.e. can I make identity a trigger condition?  The rules say that you can only use senses that you have, and you can certainly identify the target if they were in front of you, but is that how a trigger works?  It seems a bit more than the intent of the power to me.

 

 

You know, earlier you said

 

The reason we have rules, rather than a simple requirement to play the game fairly, is because different people interpret common and dramatic sense and game balance very differently. There is no good reason not to get the rules as clear and concise as we can, and the same with character builds.

And I was thinking of responding that there ARE some good reasons "not to" such as not wanting rules that are the length of a encyclopedia. But when the rules actually do spell something out clearly, as they do in this case, and you still say "but is that how a Trigger works?" even after admitting "The rules say that you can" earlier IN THE SAME SENTENCE....well, I guess I can add another good reason which is that if the rules were the length of an encyclopedia, in your case it still wouldn't help. You read a clear answer, even acknowledge that it's a clear answer, and turn around and ask the question anyway.

 

Some thing goes for your questions about how much control a character has over a Triggered power. To summarize for anyone who doesn't have the 6th ed vol 1 or doesn't care to look it up, if it's something like a landmine you leave behind you on the trail, "not much"; if it's something like a warrior's follow through attack or riposte (an attack Triggered by putting down one enemy with another standing adjacent or by blocking an attack) then "lots."

 

Once again though I have to concede that you have a point about the rules contradiction. I had such a hard time finding the text you quoted I almost concluded it must not be in the book I was consulting, but it's there - you quote lines from near the end of the Trigger Advantage section and Crusher Bob was referencing lines near the beginning of the section.

 

I think it can be harmonized. The earlier passage states WHEN a Triggered Power may have multiple instances: when it also includes Charges or Focus. The later passage states HOW MANY such instances can be: No Limit by default, but one may be imposed. I certainly admit this is potentially confusing and the second passage by itself could easily be read to imply that any Trigger can have multiple instance set up.

 

Maybe someone should ask Mr. Long, but I think the second passage was meant to be read in light of the first.

 

Lucius Alexander

 

The palindromedary points out this was written by a lawyer

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Yeah, Lucius, but it is a lawyer asking the questions. You don't wanna get in the middle of that....

 

:-)

It's good practice. That skill of interpreting one part of a document in light of what another part says can come in handy in my business.

 

Lucius Alexander

 

My day job, that is, although it could also be useful wrangling palindromedaries.

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