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Tywyll

How does the 'Cover' maneuver work?

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So how does this work in regards to actions. The way it seems to read is that if someone establishes Cover before a combat starts, they could effectively attack twice once it does (since inflicting the damage 'takes no time'). 

 

We had a scerario where a character was covered last night (the cover being established before the characters were in actual combat), and when the pc took his action, the covering npc took the shot (in phase 12) and then when it rolled around to the npcs phase, he was going to go again. 

 

Is that correct? Or should his phase have been spent already?

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25 minutes ago, Doc Democracy said:

You know, I never thought about it this way previously but it makes rules sense and it is an additional disincentive for someone to ignore someone covering them - they WILL take damage and may take it twice...

 

Doc

 

Me neither.

 

To add a slight wrinkle, does Covering someone interact with holding an action or do you surrender your action to maintain the cover? 

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I had a couple paragraphs typed up, but really now.  If you were going to pose this question about 6e Rules-As-Written to Steve, why bring it to us first?  It comes off as pretty insulting to ask a question only to turn around and ask somebody else the exact same question. 

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Personally, I think I might allow certain things that do no interfere with the cover, other things would allow the person to break cover due to distraction with other things and there will be actions that are simply incompatible with maintaining cover. 

 

GM decisions all over the place....

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32 minutes ago, Gnome BODY (important!) said:

I had a couple paragraphs typed up, but really now.  If you were going to pose this question about 6e Rules-As-Written to Steve, why bring it to us first?  It comes off as pretty insulting to ask a question only to turn around and ask somebody else the exact same question. 

 

I dunno.  It is always good to get an official answer alongside some crowd-funded ones.  I can then decide what I want to use in my game...

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9 minutes ago, Doc Democracy said:

 

I dunno.  It is always good to get an official answer alongside some crowd-funded ones.  I can then decide what I want to use in my game...

 

Exactly.

 

I certainly don't agree with all of Steve's Rule Calls, and don't use them all (Only vs Fire I'm looking at YOU). But I decided to ask for the official answer after I started this thread because having reread the maneuver, I'm just so in the dark about how it's supposed to work, I wanted to get the RAW interpretation as well as other people's views on it. 

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Not to mention that since Steve is only one person the rest of us might be able to give our opinions before he even sees the post. Then again, not everyone reads the official rules questions forum. 

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Going to your original question. I'd like to ask for a clarification :

 

Are you asking if it let's him attack twice in his same Phase?  As in:  I unload the Cover damage and fire again? 

 

In two different phases, I tend to think of it akin to a Held action of sorts. 

 

Remember that by the rules, even if it is in the same Phase, all you are doing mechanically is rolling damage; the actual "attack" was made in whatever phase you covered the target. 

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CI do not think it IS analogous.  🙂  That's why this is a conversation, right!? 😄

 

The actual action in cover has been taken last phase.  All that is left is to resolve the damage of that action and the character covering has taken a slight disadvantage to defer the decision on whether or not to actually resolve that damage.

 

  I think if covering was out of combat, then it exists, it is a surprise round action.  The action has been taken and the damage hovers like a sword of Damocles. If the covered character makes a break for it the damage happens and phase 12 occurs as normal (including an action for the person that was covering).

 

Doc

 

 

 

 

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The hero is in a running battle with the guards at an evil villain's base.  He's shot several of them, knocked out a few more, and now he's sprinting down a hallway with a large group of men following him.  He turns a corner and there's just a big glass window in front of him.  There's gunfire down the hall behind him, and he knows this is his only chance.  He rushes forward and jumps through the window, shattering it, and falls 30 feet down into the unknown.  He bounces off of a railing halfway down, and then does a shoulder roll as he slams into the ground.  He shakes his head for a second and looks up -- only to see 5 men with machine guns standing directly over him with their guns pointed right at his face.

 

Our hero has just had the Cover maneuver used against him.

 

The bad guys have already used an action.  They've already rolled to hit.  All they need to do is declare that they want to do damage, and it's automatic.  The hero has to surrender and let himself be taken captive, because otherwise he's screwed.  He can't dodge, he can't try to quick draw a weapon, he's completely vulnerable.  The Cover maneuver is a roleplaying aid, it really helps to set the tone in certain genres, and it should be encouraged.  The hero has to wait until something distracts the people pointing guns at him, in which case he now has a chance to dodge or run without getting killed.

 

In my opinion, you should be allowed to take a shot with the Cover maneuver and then use your phase (as long as it hasn't already gone by), even if it results in two attacks in the same phase.  After all, there's a strategic advantage in holding your action.  There's almost never a strategic advantage to Cover.  You could have just shot the guy in your previous phase.  It's something that reinforces the genre, so we shouldn't penalize it.

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Just my $.02.

 

I would deem that the rolling of the damage completes the attack action.  So once the damage is rolled, the attacker completes their attack action and thus gets no more actions in that segment.  Given in the OP description that the attack is coming from out of combat at the start of combat, I'd probably give the target 2x Stun for surprise unless something tips them off.  Off course, if the attacker doesn't want to lose their action on 12, they should have fired on 11.  They could always give up their cover and take their action as normal, possibly targeting a new target.  

 

Of course all this is my interpretation.  I am curious what Steve will say.

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On 4/3/2020 at 6:52 PM, Duke Bushido said:

Going to your original question. I'd like to ask for a clarification :

 

Are you asking if it let's him attack twice in his same Phase?  As in:  I unload the Cover damage and fire again? 

 

In two different phases, I tend to think of it akin to a Held action of sorts. 

 

Remember that by the rules, even if it is in the same Phase, all you are doing mechanically is rolling damage; the actual "attack" was made in whatever phase you covered the target. 

The hold was started before combat began.

 

Then Phase 12 occurred. He blasted the guy. Now does he immediately also get an action in his Phase 12 after that? Also, when does the Cover damage take place? In this case the bad guy was faster than the player, but it was the player taking an action that began the combat (meaning I treated it as though combat more or less started on the pcs dex). So in effect the bad guy was holding his normal action, released the Cover on the Pcs dex, then...could he still get his held action?

 

My players griped about it saying it made opening every potential encounter with a chat and pointed crossbows the optimal strategy and I have to agree they have a bit of a point.

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@masseyI like your explination and it does help with certain genre conventions. Though it raises anohter question-do people know if they are successfully covered or not? Like in your example with the five guys, would the player know that mooks 1-3 made their cover 'attack' and would cover him while 4 and 5 failed their roll? Or would he just know that they took that action?

 

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Personally, I think the player knows they took that action, there is no way to know whether it was successful or not (though at my table the dice are open, so it would remove that bit of tension.

 

Some heroes will be confident in their DCV or PD to risk it, others wont.

 

As for opening every encounter with a chat and a pointed crossbow, it would indeed be my optimal encounter strategy in many situations and I like that there is something in the rules to make it so.  Too often players charge into combat and it ruins so many different options you might have as a GM and this would provide those face characters with a chance to shine...

 

🙂


Doc

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5 hours ago, Tywyll said:

The hold was started before combat began.

 

Then Phase 12 occurred. He blasted the guy. Now does he immediately also get an action in his Phase 12 after that? Also, when does the Cover damage take place?

 

 

Thank you for the clarification. 

 

If he covered the opponent before Phase 12, then yes,  by the book he will get another action in Phase 12.

 

However, I would tend to rule that if this action was taken before resolving the Cover damage, that he would lose his Cover on his opponent.   At the moment I can't quote the book at you, but that is the way that I would go with it. 

 

The damage occurs.... 

 

Well, it might help to think of Cover as a sort of Trigger.  "if he moves, blast him!" The point at which damage is resolved is declared when you make the cover: I wait for him to step away from the kid or I wait for him to return to the window or the most common--if he twitches, I shoot. 

. That is the moment the damage occurs. 

 

 

Now is it a "free a second action?"  Not at all.   The Cover roll is the attack roll.  Once you take this Attack Action, your Phase has ended; your triggering condition determines when (or even if) the damage is ever resolved. 

 

That's just my read on it, and Steve's official answer may be completely opposite of what I just said.   :lol:

 

 

Quote

So in effect the bad guy was holding his normal action, released the Cover on the Pcs dex, then...could he still get his held action?

 

I'd leave that in GM call territory myself, as I can see situations where calling it either way is more appropriate than the other. 

 

 

Quote

 

My players griped about it saying it made opening every potential encounter with a chat and pointed crossbows the optimal strategy and I have to agree they have a bit of a point.

 

Yes; he does have a valid point, and it's the reasons that military and Swat raids are made with large amounts of men with their weapons drawn looking first for targets to cover (military) or young black men to shoot (SWAT).   :(

 

It is a clear Tactical advantage.  That clear advantage is probably the primary reason I don't use Cover very often: it's perfectly realistic, but it doesn't really fit that action hero feel players tend to prefer. 

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5 hours ago, massey said:

I think you can tell if somebody's got a gun barrel in your face.  The guy who failed his roll probably has it pointed off to the side or something.

Yeah, it's the failed roll and what that represents that is problematic. I mean maybe you see them blink, I guess?

 

In this case, the player had a magic sword pointed at him with no way to know it could shot beams, hence me not announcing it until after the fight started.

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1 hour ago, Greywind said:

If an action is held until it rolls around their next phase they lose the held action.

But that isn't what happened. They had cover, triggered it, then used a held action by virtue of combat starting thanks to a slower character initiating it.

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Cover is not necessarily known by the target.  If the target can see the attacker, it would be obvious that the attacker is covering someone and possibly the target.  But why should the target know they are being covered if there was no power activation and no LOS of the attacker.

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11 minutes ago, Tywyll said:

But that isn't what happened. They had cover, triggered it, then used a held action by virtue of combat starting thanks to a slower character initiating it.

 

In this case, I would rule that the covering character had the option to either roll his cover damage then enter combat normally, or forego his cover damage and enter combat normally, or forego entering combat and maintain his cover. 

 

 

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1 hour ago, Tywyll said:

But that isn't what happened. They had cover, triggered it, then used a held action by virtue of combat starting thanks to a slower character initiating it.

 

Doesn't matter. A character can only have one attack/action available at a time.

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4 minutes ago, Greywind said:

 

Doesn't matter. A character can only have one attack/action available at a time.

That isn't technically true, or else Trigger wouldn't work the way it did.

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