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Dakka Dakka
It is explicit in that the surprised character cannot do anything about the attacker's actions. It says nothing about the effects of such actions, which could be the bang of a fired shot or the sustained wounds.
Ascalaphus
It says "cannot counteract" - and alerting the other guards is clearly counteracting a surprise attack. It also says "cannot react in any way". With that in mind, I think the rest should be read to mean that you can only do things that aren't in reaction to the surprise - things you would have done had the surprise not happened.
Dakka Dakka
QUOTE (Ascalaphus @ Nov 17 2009, 09:18 PM) *
It says "cannot counteract" - and alerting the other guards is clearly counteracting a surprise attack. It also says "cannot react in any way". With that in mind, I think the rest should be read to mean that you can only do things that aren't in reaction to the surprise - things you would have done had the surprise not happened.

QUOTE ('Merriam Webster entry for counteract')
to make ineffective or restrain or neutralize the usually ill effects of by means of an opposite force, action, or influence <a drug used to counteract fatigue>
Calling for backup has no influence at all on the shooter or the shot. This is one of the mentioned unrelated actions which are mentioned. As I said before the victim is not reacting to the shooter or the shot he is reacting to the effect of the shot. This is not forbidden.
Apathy
If you insist on being strickly literal in the interpretation of the "can't react in any way" comment, then the surprised party wouldn't be able to take cover. Taking cover is a response to the aggressors shooting at him. Since the paragraph explicitly allows the surprised character to take cover in response to the attack, the only logical interpretation is that you're extremely literal interpretation of the sentence is not accurate or in keeping with the desired effect of the rule.
Ascalaphus
That's a very dubious distinction - separating the shot from being hit by it, as if they were something entirely unrelated. Calling for backup when you're hit is clearly a reaction to being hit, which is explicitly made impossible due to surprise.
Ascalaphus
QUOTE
cannot react to those charactersí actions in any way


So no, you can't drop prone in reaction to the surprise, but you can drop prone in reaction to something else (another combatant who didn't surprise you, perhaps). I don't see another way to read it that isn't self-contradictory.


I think the intention of the rule is that people do not react to the surprise, but don't lose all their actions just because someone surprised them. Otherwise you could try to pin down an opponent by making a surprise every round, keeping them from ever acting - I think that is the intent of the rule. However, determining just what is a reaction to a surprising event is difficult.

But really, calling in backup is clearly a reaction to getting shot, don't you agree?
Saito
QUOTE (Ascalaphus @ Nov 17 2009, 10:03 PM) *
So no, you can't drop prone in reaction to the surprise, but you can drop prone in reaction to something else (another combatant who didn't surprise you, perhaps). I don't see another way to read it that isn't self-contradictory.


I think the intention of the rule is that people do not react to the surprise, but don't lose all their actions just because someone surprised them. Otherwise you could try to pin down an opponent by making a surprise every round, keeping them from ever acting - I think that is the intent of the rule. However, determining just what is a reaction to a surprising event is difficult.

But really, calling in backup is clearly a reaction to getting shot, don't you agree?



I agree that its a delicate matter of determining what a surprised person can or cannot do. I will try to ask a few questions to this interpretation:

1. You can react to something other than the surprising characters. So what happens when the guard sees the other guard go down shot to the head, he can react to the guard but not the surprising runners. Can he now call for backup? Dodge for cover? or is he still to surprised to do anything other than his "normal" guard duty actions. Tell a joke? Take a seat? Check in with the other guard patrol to hear if something is up?

2. A guard who is surprised gets shot in the stomach, can he react to that or can he still only take "normal" guard action that he would have taken hadn't he been surprised? He could be to surprised by the shot to do anything useful, but on the other hand his training should/could be such that he would report "I have been shot" or "shots have been fired" as soon as possible.

Even though there isn't a clear cut answer I am still looking forward to see what peoples take are on these scenarios.
MikeKozar
QUOTE
Surprised guards can sound the alarm or call for help, as it is not strictly reacting to the PCs.


This is a GM dick move. When somebody surprises the NPCs in my game, the NPCs don't try and find a way to screw the players with legal loopholes that let them act in the IP they're not supposed to get to act in; They're surprised. They got a roll, they blew it, and now they suffer. Same goes for players.

The only reason to let the guards sound the alarm is if you're punishing the players for trying to use tranq rounds in the first place.


Didn't we already have this exact conversation two pages ago?
Dakka Dakka
QUOTE (MikeKozar @ Nov 17 2009, 11:15 PM) *
This is a GM dick move. When somebody surprises the NPCs in my game, the NPCs don't try and find a way to screw the players with legal loopholes that let them act in the IP they're not supposed to get to act in; They're surprised. They got a roll, they blew it, and now they suffer. Same goes for players.

The only reason to let the guards sound the alarm is if you're punishing the players for trying to use tranq rounds in the first place.
a)Biomonitors cannot be surprised. b)They are only not supposed to interact with the surprising characters. c) If you slap a random person (I assume he will be surprised) across the face, will this person wait 3 seconds before he says Ouch?
Orcus Blackweather
QUOTE (Dakka Dakka @ Nov 17 2009, 03:33 PM) *
a)Biomonitors cannot be surprised. b)They are only not supposed to interact with the surprising characters. c) If you slap a random person (I assume he will be surprised) across the face, will this person wait 3 seconds before he says Ouch?

The surprised person will probably say ouch immediately. The initial attack took 1 second leaving 2 seconds in the initial round during which they will likely not think to key their commlink to say ouch. Their immediate response to being attacked from surprised is to cover up, or to say "Oh shit, oh shit, oh shit". Two seconds is a fair amount of time, at the end of that they are starting to react, but I see no problem with someone that is not adequately trained (ie they failed their surprise test) panicking for the entire time.

http://www.adjunct.diodon349.com/Attack_on...bat_mindset.htm

I consider a character that failed a surprise test to be in white or yellow mode. Unless they succeeded in the surprise test against some of their attackers, they are completely flatfooted, and may be staring with a stupid expression for the rest of their lives.
Kagetenshi
QUOTE (Dakka Dakka @ Nov 17 2009, 05:33 PM) *
a)Biomonitors cannot be surprised. b)They are only not supposed to interact with the surprising characters. c) If you slap a random person (I assume he will be surprised) across the face, will this person wait 3 seconds before he says Ouch?

I just tested this, and it turns out it depends on how hard you slap.

~J
MikeKozar
QUOTE (Dakka Dakka @ Nov 17 2009, 03:33 PM) *
a)Biomonitors cannot be surprised.


Absolutely, and they should be part of any 'air-tight' corp security net. I'm not going to use them every time, but they sure make a whole lot of sense for the places with the budget. Yes, I learned a lot from Arkham Asylum. biggrin.gif
Dakka Dakka
The thing is the book does not assume complete flatfootedness in case of surprise, otherwise dropping prone, and especially readying a weapon should not be possible.

Getting a walkie-talkie out of a backpack and phoning home would be a bit much for 3 seconds, but that's the case whether the character is surprised or not. Giving a mental command to your commlink however isn't IMHO. Depending on the setup, someone might even be monitoring the guard just waiting for the "Oh shit, I'm shot!"

@Budget: The monitor is cheaper than any armor (except helmets and shields)
MikeKozar
QUOTE (Dakka Dakka @ Nov 17 2009, 04:25 PM) *
@Budget: The monitor is cheaper than any armor (except helmets and shields)


In this case, 'budget' is code for 'difficulty level'. The more professional the security net, the more the players will expect to get paid, and rightly so. Just like any other part of the game, the GM has all the ammo he needs to completely wreck the players' ability to do the job, and just has to decide how much of it he's throwing at them.

If you give all the guards biomonitors, you're setting up one of three scenarios: go in shooting, hack the security net first (busywork for the matrix guy) and then take the guards down quietly, or go completely around any meat security via exotic entry methods. None of these are bad games to run, but you're taking the KO/Elegant Takedown methods of infiltration off the table. I save that for special occasions.

As far as the 'calling for help during a surprise round' debate, I've gone around in circles as often as I care to. If you want to go RAW, it comes down to the line 'Cannot react in any way' versus the line 'drop prone or ready (but not fire) a weapon'. The second quote raises a question about the first, enough to spark an apparently endless debate about the intent of the rule. As for me, I intend to keep treating Surprise as I always have, which is that the ambusher has earned a free move though guile and stealth. Provided that ruling is applied equally to both players and NPCs, the game should still work just fine. If I ever need guards who cannot be quietly taken down, I'll just use biomonitors.
Ascalaphus
SR initiative rules seem to be pretty fierce; you don't even get to take free actions before your initiative. If you don't roll well on initiative, you might be too late to duck for cover, scream or declare counterspelling protection on your teammates.
AKWeaponsSpecialist
Through strict reading of the "cannot react in any way" clause of the rule, it could (potentially, in the hands of an Evil GM (as opposed to me, behind the screen I'm just evil)) lead to every surprised fool being a Man Of Steel.... because he cannot "react" to being shot at, or hit. The bullet couldn't pierce his skin, because that would be in reaction to the high force being applied over the small area, and since he *can't* react, the bullet would just bounce off without any form of dent or ripple, let alone piercing his flesh. Now the greatest security forces in the WORLD will be blind, deaf, mental-stats-1 trolls standing in a hallway, because anything that happens would surprise them. Obviously this isn't RAI, but still, the argument can (and probably will, by one of my players >.<) be argued. Unsuccessfully argued, but argued nonetheless.
Dakka Dakka
Again someone confuses reacting to the effect of an action with reacting to an action. Only the latter is prohibited under surprise.
AKWeaponsSpecialist
QUOTE (Dakka Dakka @ Nov 18 2009, 05:43 AM) *
Again someone confuses reacting to the effect of an action with reacting to an action. Only the latter is prohibited under surprise.

Actually, I didn't confuse it, I was taking an argument to its (arguably) logical extreme; I was trying to make a point, partially in your favor, dakka.
Warlordtheft
Not sure if this is RAW or edition creep, but in the suprise round you only have 1 IP, then you roll. It only becomes complicated when two already engaged characters are suprised by another.

BTW-the fact that the affected and suprised character cannot react to the PC's actions in any way, implies that the effects of those actions cannot be included as well.

Shoot some one with narcojet rounds (silenced, and hidden) at a suprised target, there is nothing for the guard to react to. (and if there are 2 guards, on SA you can do 1 shot each). What are they going to react to that was not a result of the PC's actions.

PS:The biomoniter should be "disabled" in a way to prevent it from causing an alarm in the first place. Do your home work before the run to know that you'll need to do this.

PSPS: This thread neads a little of this

extinguish.gif
Neraph
QUOTE (Orcus Blackweather @ Nov 17 2009, 05:06 PM) *
The surprised person will probably say ouch immediately. The initial attack took 1 second leaving 2 seconds in the initial round during which they will likely not think to key their commlink to say ouch. Their immediate response to being attacked from surprised is to cover up, or to say "Oh shit, oh shit, oh shit". Two seconds is a fair amount of time, at the end of that they are starting to react, but I see no problem with someone that is not adequately trained (ie they failed their surprise test) panicking for the entire time.

http://www.adjunct.diodon349.com/Attack_on...bat_mindset.htm

I consider a character that failed a surprise test to be in white or yellow mode. Unless they succeeded in the surprise test against some of their attackers, they are completely flatfooted, and may be staring with a stupid expression for the rest of their lives.

FASCINATING!! I've self-discovered this and have been training myself in this for at least a decade! It's nice to know I'm not some crazy guy, and now I have a reference to help explain what I do to other people (that is, now I can show other people a well thought out text of what/how I mentally train myself).
Neraph
QUOTE (AKWeaponsSpecialist @ Nov 18 2009, 08:41 AM) *
Through strict reading of the "cannot react in any way" clause of the rule, it could (potentially, in the hands of an Evil GM (as opposed to me, behind the screen I'm just evil)) lead to every surprised fool being a Man Of Steel.... because he cannot "react" to being shot at, or hit. The bullet couldn't pierce his skin, because that would be in reaction to the high force being applied over the small area, and since he *can't* react, the bullet would just bounce off without any form of dent or ripple, let alone piercing his flesh. Now the greatest security forces in the WORLD will be blind, deaf, mental-stats-1 trolls standing in a hallway, because anything that happens would surprise them. Obviously this isn't RAI, but still, the argument can (and probably will, by one of my players >.<) be argued. Unsuccessfully argued, but argued nonetheless.

Emphasis added.
Karoline
QUOTE (Dr. Funkenstein @ Nov 17 2009, 02:49 PM) *
But it's obviously conditional as seen in the followup sentence: "The surprised character can, however, carry out other actions that are not specifically directed at any surprising characters, such as dropping prone or readying a weapon (but not firing it)." I think that makes it pretty clear that the sole intent of the rule is "you get to beat on them without worrying about them beating on you for one turn." If it were genuine surprise, they wouldn't even be able to drop prone or pull out their weapon.


But it doesn't say "Drop prone in response to being attacked by someone who has surprise on you." You can for instance be surprised only by some of the people attempting to surprise you, and thus could react to those other people. There could thus be an entirely different reason for dropping prone or readying a weapon than the fact that someone who surprised you just attacked.

What we have here is a rule that says "Cannot react in any way to the surprising characters or their actions." and an example that says "A guard could drop prone." Now, it is true that a surprised guard could drop prone if it was not in reaction to the surprising character or anything they did, including shooting at the guard.

Basically this is another case of "Rule trumps example." The rule is the guard can't react to being shot, the example is that the guard can do something. There isn't a real conflict, but most people like to mentally change that example to 'the guard can do something in reaction to being shot at' which it in fact never says.

Otherwise there is no real point to surprise, because if the guard can react to the surprising character and anything they do, and can in turn do anything -except- shoot a gun at the surprising character, then all that effort to set up a surprise doesn't really net you any benefit.

People also seem to keep quoting that part about "Cannot make any action that directly affects the surprising character." as somehow superseding the rule of "cannot react in any way." The fact is that they go together. The guard can't react to being shot. But he also can't, for example, happen to make a perception test and spot the character and then get to shoot at him. He could however happen to make a perception check (Because he is a guard, and is supposed to be looking around for stuff), notice the surprising character, and then call in based on that. But at no point during his turn can the fact that he was shot at be factored into his decision making in any way.

Ideally the way to run any surprise round is to have people who are going to be surprised declare their actions, then roll for surprise. Anyone who is surprised is stuck in their declared action, and anyone who is not can change their action and react normally to the ensuing combat.
Karoline
Weird, never Double posted before, and suddenly I've done it twice in as many days.
Dakka Dakka
Nowhere in the rules does it say that a surprised character cannot react to the effects of the actions of surprising characters. If the surprised guard is being shot at he cannot by RAW defend against the attack, or interrupt it. He can however notice and react to the effects of the shot. He can hear a bang, he can see the holes in the walls or he can feel the wounds he just sustained and act accordingly since neither is part of the surprising character or his actions.
crizh
Interestingly the rules manage to be triple-contradictory here.

The description of the Drop Prone action explicitly bars you from using it while you are surprised.

Technically, if a Guard is attacked by two runners, one of whom clumsily glitches his surprise test and it beaten by the Guard on Initiative but the second runner aces the surprise test and loses to the Guard in Initiative you end up in a very odd situation indeed.

The Guard acts first, is aware of a runner that he has the drop on but cannot drop prone after whatever action he takes because he himself is surprised by another runner he may not even be aware of. Nuts.

This totally contradicts the example on p165 because if you are surprised by anyone Drop Prone is never an available action even in response to someone you are not surprised by.

Possibly the whole section needs tidying up...
Ol' Scratch
The general rule of thumb is: If an example contradicts the rule, the example is wrong, not the rule. smile.gif

It's really sad how often examples are wrong in Shadowrun. Every edition has a handful of them.
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