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Chunky_Salsa
Hey all, I'm kinda scratching my head over this:

If you defend against a ranged attack, everyone simply rolls reaction.
If you defend against a ranged attack in full defense, it's reaction + dodge skill.

But dodge is defaultable. So in full defense, what the hell do you roll? A friend of mine says that if you default a skill you don't get skill + attribute, therefore if you default dodge in full defense, it kills the reaction part of it and you're left subbing dodge with just reaction-1. But wait a second, that's even worse than not using full dodge!

Another opinion I heard was that, if you don't have dodge you can't do full defense because you lack the skill to do it. Wait a second, looking at defaulting the rulebook says "Sometimes a character wants to attempt an action but does not have the necessary skill. A character in this situation can still act, however, she will find it more difficult to succeed than a character who has the needed skill. (p 110)" So that don't make no sense either, it's the whole point of defaulting to play like you have the necessary skill, albeit with a penalty, to pull something off.

So what the drek is the dealio with that?

You should be able to use dodge default to do an action (full defense). But to do it with worse dice than when not using full defense don't make no fraggin' sense.

It seems like defaulting other skills is way clear and easy, like shadowing or palming, but defaulting dodge for full defense looks borked.

And I'm not talking about melee full defense, that's another mess.

So what do you roll? Anyone run into this?



Garrowolf
Basically I think that you have to roll reaction. You don't get the benefit of a full defense but there is no reason to try it anyway and take the default penalty. It's an advantage to those who bought the skill.

Besides it is cheap to buy the first few ranks in a skill so what is your player's excuse?
Chunky_Salsa
Well here's the dilemma I guess.

It's pretty clear that dodge is a defaultable skill.

Regarding ranged full dodge defense, players with dodge skill roll reaction + dodge.

It seems that it can go 2 ways for players without dodge when defaulting:
1) The player roll reaction-1 only and that's it, which means that the char is rolling even less dice in full dodge defense and also has to forgo their next action phase. This seems kind of counter to the whole idea of putting effort into not getting hit than not putting effort into it (by simply rolling reaction without full dodge against the ranged attack).
2) The players rolls reaction + (reaction-1) subbing out dodge for reaction-1. Problem here is, if the player has a high reaction like say 5, they would be doing better than players that have invested in dodge at 1,2, or 3.

See the dilemma?
Thanee
Defaulting doesn't work here, since this is not a normal success test.

It's a resistance test and has different, specific rules.

You roll Reaction + Dodge or Reaction + Gymnastics or just Reaction, whatever is best for you.

Bye
Thanee
adamu
Chunky Salsa - I totally see the dilemma in both your posts, and couldn't agree with you more. This contradiction had me flipping pages for literally days when I first got the new BBB - I was in a bit of a panic - If this rule is this broken, what about other rules??? I was desperate to find a RAW fix, but to this day have failed. I even actually turned to the credits page to see if there had actually been playtesters on this edition.

As for my own personal fix, I mostly agree with Thanee and Garrowolf -

my preferred solution is just to rule Dodge a non-Defaultable skill, like Pilot Aircraft is.
The only justification I can otherwise see for the RAW to list it as defaultable to Reaction is that you may let someone default in some sort of non-combat case where the test is something like getting out of the way of a falling boulder or something.

Otherwise, you are are in a rules limbo where, as you say, some player or another gets punished for having the skill either way you slice it.
Chunky_Salsa
Thanee, that struck me as a cool answer, but I'm lookin' at the rules and I don't see it.

As far as I can tell, defending against a ranged attack falls under Combat Sequence, step 3, "Make the opposed test" (pg 139). The only reference I see to resistance tests is a couple steps ahead at step 5, "Damage resistance test" where you roll to try to reduce the DV.

So it looks like an opposed test, not a resistence test. (And I couldn't find anything about resistence tests being special anywhere either)


toturi
QUOTE (Chunky_Salsa)
Well here's the dilemma I guess.

It's pretty clear that dodge is a defaultable skill.

Regarding ranged full dodge defense, players with dodge skill roll reaction + dodge.

It seems that it can go 2 ways for players without dodge when defaulting:
1) The player roll reaction-1 only and that's it, which means that the char is rolling even less dice in full dodge defense and also has to forgo their next action phase. This seems kind of counter to the whole idea of putting effort into not getting hit than not putting effort into it (by simply rolling reaction without full dodge against the ranged attack).
2) The players rolls reaction + (reaction-1) subbing out dodge for reaction-1. Problem here is, if the player has a high reaction like say 5, they would be doing better than players that have invested in dodge at 1,2, or 3.

See the dilemma?

There are 2 ways to look at this:

1) This is a test with a defaultable skill, so you substitute the appropriate Attribute at -1 dice.

2) This is not a test per se, so you roll whatever the book tells you and that's it.
Thanee
Well, what I'm trying to say (sorry, no rulebook here currently, so things are maybe a little vague smile.gif) is, that it's not a typical test with attribute+skill. Normally you just roll the attribute when you try to avoid a ranged attack, the skill works kinda like bonus dice when you use full defense. You don't make a normal test with the skill, hence no defaulting.

It's opposed, since you compare hits and count net hits to determine the result.

Bye
Thanee
Chunky_Salsa
Adamu, I'm glad you caught what I was trying to get at smile.gif I'm not glad you had to flip pages because I feel for you frown.gif

I sent the question to the info@shadowrunpg.com folks and haven't heard from them about it, probably because it's an embarassing glitch that didn't get looked at lol.

I still think that players that put effort into not getting hit, without being formally trained in dodge, should have some help just by sheer effort when using full defense than not using it, especially at the cost of their next action phase - be it jiggling around like a freak on novacoke or whatever.

But I think your solution is the next best and simplest way to deal with it. Non defaultable for combat purposes but defaultable in other situations.

Thanks man, a breath of fresh air! A lot of people have tried to answer this elsewhere but seem to not just say "the rule is fragged, gotta work around it", they've been trying to say "Here's the rule" and I can't find what they are pointing at.

The rule is fragged.
Chunky_Salsa
QUOTE (Thanee)
it's not a typical test with attribute+skill. Normally you just roll the attribute when you try to avoid a ranged attack, the skill works kinda like bonus dice when you use full defense. You don't make a normal test with the skill, hence no defaulting.

That's better, that makes some sense. It definately ain't a normal test.

Ya'd think if they made dodge defaultable, yet knowing it's pretty much used heavily in full defense, ranged and melee, that they'd mention something special about it being non defaulting due to the nature of the "bonus" dice.

Ah well. Maybe someone in their editting room with catch it.
Fastball
It is pretty silly. Dodge is a skill, but it doesn't appear there is anytime that you actually use it as a skill.

The rules are explicit that there is no skill for defending against a ranged attack (it isn't a dodge test). Likewise, full defense isn't a use of the dodge skill, so you can't default.

The interesting question, is in melee combat, where you can parry, block, or dodge. One could argue that is an actual application of the dodge skill, so if you have no weapon, unarmed, or dodge skill, you would default to dodge at Reaction - 1. This would make the ability to default logical, but I doubt it was the intent, especially since you could also parry or block by default at the same Reaction - 1, so there would still be no need for defaulting to dodge.
Thanee
The Dodge skill is pretty much a design flaw, anyways. It's almost completely useless. wink.gif

Bye
Thanee
Chunky_Salsa
Just to correct you fastball, I'll post up step 3 from the general combat sequence rules

QUOTE ("pg 139 SR4")
3. Make the opposed test
The attacker rolls attack skill + attribute +/- modifiers. The defender rolls defending skill + attribute +/- modifiers.  If the attacker scores more hits the the defender (the defender wins ties), the attack hits the target.  Otherwise, the attack misses....


So it's supposed to be a defending skill, but it's not.

This is where they contradict themselves:

QUOTE ("pg 142 SR4")
Defending against ranged combat
There is no skill that applies to defending against ranged attacks-defending characters simply roll Reaction (the defaulting modifier does not apply).  Characters may also go on full defense.


So yeah, it makes sense that rolling reaction is not a skill.

However, going on full defense does involve skill.

QUOTE ("pg 151")
Full defense
Characters who are expecting to be attacked can spend a Complex Action and go on full defense until their next action phase.  Characters who choose this option focus all their energy on dodging, weaving, ducking, and blocking incoming attacks.  ...
Full Dodge: Characters on full defense may add their dodge skill to their dice pool when defending against incoming attacks.  So a character on full defense against a ranged attack rolls Reaction + Dodge...


Now all of a sudden your using a complex action involving a skill. Wait a second, Use Skill is a complex action.

So first they say in the opposed test that it's a defending skill, then they say in ranged defense it's not a skill, then in full dodge they make you use a complex action and add your skill.

Gaaahdamn! Someone slap the freaking developers for that crap!

I can see though that even though it's a complex action, and you are involving "dodge skill" dice to be added to the dice pool, as Thanee put it, it's more like bonus dice than explicitly "using a skill".

But it sure as hell is freakin misleading.
Fastball
In combat generally, (p. 139) the defender rolls defending skill . . . . However, for ranged combat there is no defending skill (142). This isn't a contradiction, it is a general rule followed by an exception.

There is, however, a problem when you carry the general rule through. Since there is no exception to melee combat, the general rule applies and a defending skill is used. Thus, if you default to the skill you should be at reaction - 1. That is what doesn't make sense, because it shouldn't be easier to dodge a ranged attack than it is to dodge a melee attack.

There is a problem, but it is in melee combat, not ranged. Unfortunately, making dodge non-defaultable won't solve this, because then you would default to parry or block. To solve the problem, they need to make an exception to the defaulting rules, allowing a player to default to dodge without suffering a -1 penalty.

Also, Full Defense is the Full Defense Complex Action, not the Use Skill Complex Action.
Chunky_Salsa
Fastball,

Yeah, I haven't even -looked- at the melee dodge, and I'm not sure I want to smile.gif

QUOTE (fastball)
Also, Full Defense is the Full Defense Complex Action, not the Use Skill Complex Action.

Yeah, apparently, I can buy that...

It's just the way it's presented. You add your "dodge skill", you use a "complex action", you roll Dodge and Reaction, it certainly has that nice soft velvetty feel of what it takes to use a skill. But apparently it isn't! You can see how that can be confusing.

Anyways I'll be looking at melee defense next, with a shot of tequila handy...
Thanee
QUOTE
There is no skill that applies to defending against ranged attacks-defending characters simply roll Reaction (the defaulting modifier does not apply).


QUOTE
Characters may also go on full defense.


QUOTE
Characters on full defense may add their dodge skill to their dice pool...


Here's the important parts. It's not a Dodge skill roll, it's still the Reaction roll as with normal (not full) defense, but you can add your Dodge skill (hence the 'kinda like bonus dice' I mentioned above) to the dice pool.

Bye
Thanee
adamu
QUOTE (Thanee)
The Dodge skill is pretty much a design flaw, anyways. It's almost completely useless. wink.gif

Bye
Thanee

Thanee - I very much disagree that it is useless.

I have seen that argument a zillion times on this board and concede it is of limited use for combat type characters.
To wit, against Ranged attacks - take Gymnastics - it works almost as well (almost because I don't suppose there is a "Ranged Attacks" specialization of Gymnastics), plus it has a lot of other great uses.
And against Melee attacks, your basic fighter type is going to have at least one high close combat skill, so no need for Dodge there either.
Plus, you have to use an action to do Full D, and that means not killing the other guy first.

But I like to think there are a few non-combat types out there. People who would rather invest in one nice defensive skill rather than the usual raft of combat abilities. People who plan to use their first action after the ambush starts getting safely to cover, and then summoning or hacking or whatever. People who want a badass character but don't want Gymnastics because they just can't get their head around their badass up-from-the-gutter machoman doing backflips and pirouettes out of the danger zone.

For all these types, Dodge is an excellent skill...provided one doesn't play slave to the RAW and punish them in one way or another as described by Chunky Salsa.
Chunky_Salsa
Hey, whats "RAW" stand for, I thought you guys were talking "raw" like raw fish...

Yeah Thanee, I gotchya, it's coming into focus!

But like I said, -10 karma for FanPro devs for really making it look like a skill test. They should have included a concept of "bonus" dice, and hell, resistance dice, to the beginning chapters of the book to go along with the two main groups they talk about; success tests and opposed tests, and also included a clause about not being able to default a defaultable skill in certain situations. Would'a saved me 3 cans of Alleve...
Chunky_Salsa
Just to erase all my confusion and last tidbits of doubt...

Since they say that characters that take full defense "focus all of their energy on dodging, weaving, ducking, and blocking incoming attacks." strike you, as common sensically, using a skill?

That's what kinda gets me. Or should I just throw common sense out of the window here for the sake of sanity.


Garrowolf
How about this as a house rule?

For a full defense roll you Reaction + Reaction OR your Reaction + Dodge (or Gymnastics, Melee,etc) whichever is better.

My house rule is also that you can spend a point of edge to to a full defense action without taking the extra time.
Chunky_Salsa
QUOTE (Garrowolf @ Apr 5 2007, 06:18 AM)
How about this as a house rule?

For a full defense roll you Reaction + Reaction  OR  your Reaction + Dodge (or Gymnastics, Melee,etc) whichever is better.

My house rule is also that you can spend a point of edge to to a full defense action without taking the extra time.

(speaking of just ranged)

I guess that the problem with that is then why would anyone spend points on dodge, if you go by whichever is better.

A char with 5 reaction 0 dodge would get 5 + 5, a char with 5 reaction 4 dodge would get 5 + 5.

Here's what I would do, I would allow dodge to be defaulted to reaction/2(round down)

So the char like above with 5 reaction and no dodge going on full defense would get 5+2, which is better than not full dodging which would just be a 5.

Yeah 2 dice is better, and kinda reflects that you're not really skilled at dodging at the same time since it's not that great.

It would encourage getting the dodge skill, because overcoming 2 dice would at minimum be 12BP to get dodge at 3.

And this would also work for chars with no dodge and low reaction. A char with reaction 1 just sucks and should just get shot, when they "focus their energy" on dodging they're more likely to trip over themselves - no bonus, don't even bother full dodging. Chars with reactions of 2-3 would get 1 more die when full dodging, reactions 4-5 get 2 measly dice, and for those exceptionally naturally quick chars with reaction 6+ get some fairly decent dice, but still beatable by relatively cheap skill purchasing of dodge...
Aaron
I used to think that Dodge wasn't a skill, or at least one that should be merged with something else, like Gymnastics or something.

Then, just last night, I spent about half an hour being a target for some folks who wanted to become combat archers. I'm no gymnast, but I was able to do a lot of ducking and dodging.

If I was an SR4 character, was that my Dodge skill at work? Probably. It could have been a function of my Reaction. When I was concentrating on dodging (defaulting my actions), it certainly made me a more difficult target.

Maybe there's a better way to simulate it, but I am now a believer in the Dodge skill.
Ophis
can you jump well Aaron?

Thats gymnastics in SR4...

Gymnastics is not just poncy shit.
FriendoftheDork
Guys, I think you are over analyzing this. Surely it was not intended that characters without dodge should have to default in combat, being even easier to hit when taking full defense. But really, as it is no benefit either to use full defense for someone without dodge, it doesen't really matter.

Is dodge a well written rule? That's another matter entirely. I was kind of disappointed when I saw how dodge works when I made my street samurai and found out I wouln't really benefit much from it.

But it isn't entirely useless. As said, if all you want to do in a combat is to duck for cover, then it doesen't matter if you spend a complex action.

And if you have more initative passes than the enemy and you're fighting multiple foes, it might make sense to use reaction+dodge one phase (getting alot more dice to avoid getting hit potentially).

You don't need to do this in the first phase either, so the "offense is the best defense" idea doesen't work.

Example: Joe the adept walks down the street. He is suddenly being attack by 5 orcs with guns. Winning initative, he takes down 1 orc easily. Then the remaining 4 orcs get to fire. Joe has Reaction 7 and Dodge 5, so instead of just rolling reaction and POSSIBLY negating the orcs hits, he takes full defense instead. 12 dice is enough to dodge shot after shot, even with the -1 per additional attack, but 7 would not have sufficed giving Joe several wound penalties and possibly even killing him.

After dodging the bullets, joe takes his last action to cap another orc. A new round ensues, and joe gets to shoot again smile.gif
Thanee
QUOTE (Chunky_Salsa)
Since they say that characters that take full defense "focus all of their energy on dodging, weaving, ducking, and blocking incoming attacks." strike you, as common sensically, using a skill?

Not at all. It just means they spend their whole combat action on defense.

Bye
Thanee
Thanee
QUOTE (adamu)
Thanee - I very much disagree that it is useless.

Only *almost* (completely) useless. wink.gif

Bye
Thanee
lorechaser
I'm really surprised you guys are this bent out of shape over this. wink.gif I can see the logical issue you have, but Thanee's point addresses that just fine. And this particular use destroying your faith in SR4 amuses me, because there are 1. Far bigger issues in SR4 and 2. just people designing it, not gods....

To me, it's easy. Do you have any skill at dodging? No? Then take all the time you want, you're not going to be any better at dodging bullets. Your better off finding cover and getting behind it. No skill at dodging means you have no innate sense of anticipation - you just react to what happens. Having a skill at dodging means you can somewhat (or very much) read events, and react to them.

If you have no skill at dodging, then all the time in the world won't matter - you're still taking your gut instinct. If you decide to spend time staring at the person attacking (full defense), then you just wasted time.

Your POV is that someone that has no dodge should get a bonus from full defense. My POV is that there's no reason for that. It's like someone that doesn't know how to use explosives taking more time to set them. They still can't use them.

They should use alternate methods, like getting to cover. Does that mean that someone who put skill points in dodge has an advantage (as you can't take a "Full Get To Cover" defense)? Yes, yes it does.
Ravor
Totally agree lorechaser, totally agree.
Aaron
QUOTE (Ophis)
can you jump well Aaron?

Thats gymnastics in SR4...

Gymnastics is not just poncy shit.

No. Not even a little bit. I've got a good sense of balance, but that's about it.
Chunky_Salsa
That's some good sound wording lorechaser!

Would you go with something like: Dodge is non defaultable in combat situations(If you don't have it, you don't get it), but defaultable in dodging boulders(So players without it can still get some roll (reaction-1) to get out of the way of things)?
Eleazar
Defaulting is used when you are doing a dice roll which involves a skill+the linked attribute. In the event you do not have the skill you can default rolling the linked attribute -1. A full defense does not fall under this because you are not making a test with a skill+the linked attribute. If this was the case, then for a full defense you would roll reaction+(reaction+dodge). For a gymnastics dodge it would be reaction+(agility+gymnastics). There is no linked attribute that is being rolled in a full defense. You are simply rolling JUST your skill. The only reason reaction is being rolled is due to the ranged combat rules. Since you are only rolling JUST reaction it is a attribute only test. A full defense combines an attribute only test with dodge dice. There is nothing in the text to suggest you are rolling the skill(dodge) plus the linked attribute(reaction) as a skill test. This is especially the case for a melee full defense which can actually involve one attribute and two different skills with two different linked attributes to form the dice pool. I don't think this logic follows of defaulting to reaction-1 in the explained scenario.

Dodge is defaultable because it is involved in some tests. For example, when you are driving and trying to ram a pedestrian they roll reaction+dodge to get out of the way. This is a perfectly defaultable test.
Ophis
QUOTE (Aaron)
QUOTE (Ophis @ Apr 5 2007, 07:11 AM)
can you jump well Aaron?

Thats gymnastics in SR4...

Gymnastics is not just poncy shit.

No. Not even a little bit. I've got a good sense of balance, but that's about it.

Then you have indeed invested in Dodge, hope you feel a fool for wasting your build points wink.gif
laughingowl
QUOTE
DEFENDING AGAINST RANGED COMBAT
There is no skill that applies to defending against ranged attacksódefending characters simply roll Reaction (the defaulting modifier does not apply). Characters may also go on
full defense (p. 151).


So Ranged defense, (not full) it explicitly states defaulting modifier does not apply.



QUOTE
FULL DEFENSE
Characters who are expecting to be attacked can spend a Complex Action and go on full defense until their next Action Phase. Characters who choose this option focus all of their energy on dodging, weaving, ducking, and blocking incoming attacks.  Characters on full defense may still walk or run, and in fact may be better off moving towards cover.  Full defense can either be taken as a full dodge, full parry, or gymnastics dodge.  Full Dodge: Character on full defense may add their Dodge skill to their dice pool when defending against incoming attacks. So a character on full defense against a ranged attack rolls Reaction + Dodge, whereas a character on full defense against a melee attack could roll Reaction + Dodge + Dodge, or Reaction + melee combat skill + Dodge. Full dodge may be used against both ranged and melee attacks.  Full Parry: Characters who go on full parry roll their Reaction + (melee combat skill x 2) against any and all melee attacks made against them. Full parry may not be used against ranged attacks.  Gymnastics Dodge: Characters skilled in Gymnastics can spend their action flipping, rolling, cartwheeling, etc. out of danger, and may add Gymnastics skill to their dice pool against either ranged or melee attacks.


QUOTE
DEFENDING AGAINST MELEE ATTACKS
Defenders have three choices for defending against unarmed attacks. If they have a melee weapon in hand, they can parry the attack by rolling Reaction + the appropriate weapon skill. If they have Unarmed Combat skill, they can choose to block by rolling Reaction + Unarmed Combat. Or they can simply dodge out of the way using Reaction + Dodge.  Melee defenders can also choose to go on full defense (p.151), and add Dodge skill dice to their defense roll.  Defenders apply dice pool modifi ers according to the Defense Modifi ers Table (p. 150). Some modifi ers from the Melee Modifiers Table (p. 148) may apply to the defender as well.




Full Defense is as listed, no exceptions made about defaulting. So ONLY reason to go full defensive is if you have trained in defensive manuvers (be it dodge, gymnastics, blocking , parrying).

For 'normal' Range Defense the rules state clearly your roll reaction (with no default penalties).

For normal 'melee' defense, the rules state clearly the three choices you have reaction + (dodge, weapon skill, unarmed skill). With no mention of removing the penalty for defaulting.

Yes this means that if a trained combatant gets within melee range of a non-trained combatant its get painful for the untrained person. Though this is largely true in life. While 'random' movements can make you much harder to hit at range, Just twitching and moving around doesnt make you really any harder to hit in melee and often will make it easier (as the attacker can use your momemetum to increase the impact).


I see no problems with the rules as written, and yes anybody that has ANY chance of ever getting into melee combat should get atleast Unarmed 1 and/or dodge 1.


peace
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