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yesferatu
Hey guys,

So I have a trollbow that specializes in stealth and toxins.
He's prefers a chameleon suit.

Surprise question:
Basic combat style...
1. Infiltrate somewhere
2. Ready arrow
3. Aim w/ 1st simple
4. Fire

How does my target defend against that?
Is that attack treated as a surprise attack?

What about the next shot?
Does my target need to locate me before he isn't surprised?
Does the surprise attack only count on the first shot?


Darkness:
How would someone defend against me in the dark?
The visibility rules seem to only apply to attackers.
Is there some kind of penalty on defense in total darkness?
Does it matter if you know you're being attacked, but you don't know where it's coming from?

Spirits and toxins:
Can I hit a manifested spirit with a Gamma Scopolamine arrow and knock them out or do they have innate immunity to toxins?
Usually, immunity to anything is a listed power (Devil rats).
So...do toxins work on spirits?
bannockburn
1. Infiltrate
1a. Target makes perception test to notice you (if he does, commence normal combat)
2. Ready arrow
3. Aim
4. Make surprise test, probably with bonus, depending on circumstances.
5. Roll initiative
6. If you're first, roll attack, if target is first, he will do nothing (provided he lost the surprise test).
6a. If target lost surprise test, he may not dodge or use reaction to evade your attack and will just soak the damage. If target won the surprise test, he may attack you or react to your attack as normal. Initiative order applies, of course.

The next shot will not surprise the target anymore, and he will very probably be dead. If he isn't, he may dodge and react normally. It only counts on one initiative pass. If you can squeeze off, say, two salvoes with a SMG, the target is unable to react to any of them.

Defense against surprise in the dark can use visibility modifiers, if the GM is so inclined, but there are, of course, other senses.
Umidori
Darkness will impose the appropriate visibility modifiers to the enemy's perception rolls.

By RAW, spirits are not immune to toxins, but if you're using injection arrows for the toxin, you need to actually inflict at least a single point of damage with the arrow to successfully deliver the toxin. As spirits have immunity to normal weapons, that might normally be somewhat difficult, but since you're using a trollbow, I imagine you'll be doing 10P per arrow anyway. Add in the fact that a suprise attack is simply a success test rather than an opposed one, and you probably don't even need the toxin to drop a spirit.

~Umi
Dakka Dakka
QUOTE (bannockburn @ Jan 17 2013, 05:40 PM) *
4. Make surprise test, probably with bonus, depending on circumstances.
5. Roll initiative
6. If you're first, roll attack, if target is first, he will do nothing (provided he lost the surprise test).
6a. If target lost surprise test, he may not dodge or use reaction to evade your attack and will just soak the damage. If target won the surprise test, he may attack you or react to your attack as normal. Initiative order applies, of course.
The thing is surprise only means that the character cannot interact with the shooter/any one else that surprises him. It does not prohibit him from running away or dropping prone. This however will only matter if the target loses the surprise test but rolls a higher initiative.
Lantzer
QUOTE (Dakka Dakka @ Jan 18 2013, 10:58 PM) *
The thing is surprise only means that the character cannot interact with the shooter/any one else that surprises him. It does not prohibit him from running away or dropping prone. This however will only matter if the target loses the surprise test but rolls a higher initiative.


Dropping prone or running away IS reacting to the shooter. Kind of hard to decide to run away from the complete suprise shot before it happens.
Umidori
Seconded.

If someone surprises you, you are not allowed to respond to their actions in any way. You might respond to a different hostile who didn't surprise you, but for the one that DID suprise you, you as a player must act as if you are unaware or unprepared for them and their actions. So no running, no putting your hands up and surrending, nothing.

~Umi
Dakka Dakka
QUOTE (Umidori @ Jan 21 2013, 08:07 PM) *
Seconded.

If someone surprises you, you are not allowed to respond to their actions in any way. You might respond to a different hostile who didn't surprise you, but for the one that DID suprise you, you as a player must act as if you are unaware or unprepared for them and their actions. So no running, no putting your hands up and surrending, nothing.

~Umi
The thing is you are not reacting to the character surprising you, you are reacting to the surprise. You can drop prone/run for cover, but once you are prone/behind cover you cannot defend yourself against anyone that surprises you. Neither actions have any interaction between the surpriser and the surprised. If any action were prohibited the rules would say so. Instead they say
QUOTE ('SR4A p. 165')
The surprised character also cannot react to those charactersí actions in any way. 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).
Umidori
And directly after that comes this.

QUOTE (SR4A p. 165)
Note that friends may surprise as well as foes. A character caught in an ambush situation may not react to his friend’s warning to duck, for example, if the friend also surprised him.

So you're basically saying that as you read the rules, if an enemy surprises you, you can react to that by "ducking" and dropping prone, but if an ally surprises you, you can't react to his warning to duck or "drop prone"?

~Umi
yesferatu
I understand the initial surprise rules, but what about the following IP/Turn?
Is there a benefit to the attacker if he remains undetected?
If a target can't locate their attacker, how can they defend themselves?

Is the only benefit of stealth that your target can't attack back?
Umidori
As far as I know, surprise only applies for the first pass. Even for a Disguised sniper who remains undetected, after that first pass the enemy can try to dodge their shots as normal, as well as return fire (albeit at a -6 for Blind Fire if they still can't see the sniper).

As for the benefits of stealth, it's not just that the opponent can't return fire during the first pass, but it's also that they can't defend themselves via Dodge, Block, or Parry. Basically you roll your attack and if you get any hits, it's an automatic success, since the enemy doesn't get to roll and therefor opposes your attack roll with 0 hits.

~Umi
yesferatu
Well sure, that's the benefit of Surprise, but if you can defend against subsequent attacks as normal - I don't see a benefit from remaining hidden. Isn't there a "blind" defense modifier? It isn't exactly surprise, but you still don't know the source of the attack?
It seems like all the visibility rules only concern the attacker.
Umidori
QUOTE (SR4A @ p. 159)
Defender Unaware of Attack

If the defender is unaware of an incoming attack (he does not see the attacker, the attacker is behind him, or he is surprised), then no defense is possible. Treat the attack as a Success Test instead. This does not apply to defenders who are already engaged in combat (see Superior Position,p.†158).

QUOTE (SR4A @ p. 158)
Superior Position

A character has a superior position if he is standing on higher ground (by at least half a meter) than his opponent, if he is standing on stable ground while the opponent is not, if he is attacking the opponent from behind, or if the opponent is in a restricted position and the character is not. Note that if a target is not aware that an attack is coming (see Surprise, p.†165), then he cannot defend against it (no dodge or parry). It is generally assumed that characters engaged in combat have enough situational awareness to notice attacks from behind (and thus dodge/parry them) unless the attacker is using Infiltration skill to sneak up on the character.

In straight combat, visibility modifiers don't affect Defense rolls, to my knowledge. Attackers lose dice for having their vision impaired, but Defenders do not. The exception is when the Defender is Unaware of an attack. When an attacker is hidden, Visibility Modifiers indirectly affect Defense by reducing the defender's perception dice pool, thus making it harder to detect the attacker, and if the defender fails to do so, making the attack impossible to defend against.

The benefit of remaining hidden, as an attacker, is that you can keep getting "Surprise Attacks" throughout a combat by alternating Infiltration and Attacking. Remember, since Infiltration requires a Complex Action, you'll have to "disengage" from combat after every attack to hide somewhere, and then jump back in from hiding to catch the defender unaware. If you are a sniper, you can instead Disguise yourself to set up a hidden sniping point and can fire freely, only becoming visible once the defenders are able to beat your disguise threshold with a perception roll and see through your disguise.

~Umi
Halinn
QUOTE (yesferatu @ Jan 21 2013, 11:08 PM) *
I don't see a benefit from remaining hidden.

Your targets not shooting back at you would seem to be a benefit, but that might just be me...
Umidori
Your targets CAN shoot back at you via Blind Fire, albeit at a -6 modifier and using Intuition instead of Agility.

~Umi
yesferatu
I guess I'm trying to determine if Infiltration should give you the Superior Position bonus until your target locates you.
If you have to spend a complex action re-Infiltrating every turn/IP you'd never get an attack off.
Umidori
Per RAW, if you're attacking from behind, you get the Superior Position bonus.

If you are also Hidden, the defender is Unaware and cannot defend. You still get the Superior Position bonus.

If the enemy spots you with their Perception roll, they are not unaware and can defend, but if you are still behind them, you still get the Superior Position bonus.

If you are mid combat and Infiltrate, and beat the defender's perception roll to see you, you are (per GM discretion) Hidden until your next action phase, at which point you can Infiltrate again to maintain your Hidden state - or you can make a Suprise Attack, coming out of hiding and reverting to "Normal" combat until the combat either ends, or you hide again.

~Umi
Dakka Dakka
QUOTE (Umidori @ Jan 21 2013, 08:51 PM) *
So you're basically saying that as you read the rules, if an enemy surprises you, you can react to that by "ducking" and dropping prone, but if an ally surprises you, you can't react to his warning to duck or "drop prone"?
You cannot follow his order to duck, but if your reaction to anything unexpected is to duck/run for cover, you can do that.

Also I'm not saying that the rules make sense, just what they are.
Umidori
I think they're just badly written, and you're accidentally misinterpreting the ruling.

The way I see it, if you get jumped by two goons, one of which you see coming, the other of which you do not, and you want to react to Goon B by dropping prone, you are allowed to do so because it isn't a direct response to Goon A, who suprised you. It still indirectly affects Goon A's ability to attack you by modifying his roll, but because it is a coincidental action, it doesn't create a confliction. Likewise, you could ready your gun in response to Goon B, and even fire it at Goon B, but you couldn't fire it at Goon A.

That reading of the rule makes much more sense and seems more likely to be what was intended (and poorly conveyed).

~Umi
Dakka Dakka
I disagree. Dropping prone and running to cover can be done with or without an attacker. So there need not be an interaction between the attacker and the surprised.

Don't forget though that his only very rarely occurs. The surprised must roll less successes than the attacker and have a higher initiative than him.
Umidori
Except whether or not you can do it, no one would ever drop prone or run to cover if they weren't being attacked. ("Take cover from what?! There's no attacker!")

To me this is tantamount to metagaming. Your character just got surprised. They're blindsided, entirely unaware of the enemy leveling a pistol at them from behind. But because you as a player know that you lost a surprise roll, your character magically thinks "I should duck behind cover!" for absolutely no reason? I call bullshit.

Maybe if you were already Alerted via your perception test, then taking cover would make sense. (Although if you have enough time to throw yourself bodily to the ground or behind an object, why don't you have enough time to shoot a gun?)

~Umi
Dakka Dakka
That is a basic flight reaction. Something startled the character, but he does not know what. So he might try to dive behind the dumpster. Whether this actually helps will only become clear to him after the first shot. Only then can he determine if the dumpster is indeed between him and the threat. A similar determination can be made for dropping prone (Is it a ranged or melee attack? Is the attacker farther away than 5m?).
Umidori
You're refering to the Fight or Flight Response, I assume. To which I must ask, if you have the instinctual response to be able to reflexively Flee, why would you not also be able to reflexively Fight?

Or put more bluntly, if you don't have time to pull a trigger, even just to spray lead wildly, how the fuzz are you able to throw yourself to the ground?

~Umi
Dolanar
My input on this: You lost the Surprise test, your instincts are dull & your flight instinct is not helping you, the initiative phase has nothing to do with your perception of the attacker, it is simply a mechanic that determines the order in which things happen in the game. Someone who has lost the surprise action & has no way of knowing the attacker is there, has no reason to think anything is wrong, (mind you this is the reason I think the initative phase should come AFTER the surprise attack has happened to alleviate problems of this nature) You should take actions as though there is no attack coming your way, whatever they may be (If I were GM'ing this scenario if the player jumped behind cover I would ask what they were hiding from, if they in any way indicated the surprise attacking coming after their action I would correct them)
Teulisch
for a given point, theres going to be a limited number of good sniping spots. there is always the possibility that the targets overwatch is already using that sniper nest....
Dakka Dakka
QUOTE (Umidori @ Jan 22 2013, 01:54 AM) *
You're refering to the Fight or Flight Response, I assume. To which I must ask, if you have the instinctual response to be able to reflexively Flee, why would you not also be able to reflexively Fight?

Or put more bluntly, if you don't have time to pull a trigger, even just to spray lead wildly, how the fuzz are you able to throw yourself to the ground?
I don't see any rule that surprised characters are not allowed to use suppressive fire. That is not an action that "directly affect(s), impede(s), or counteract(s) characters that have surprised them."

QUOTE (Dolanar @ Jan 22 2013, 02:36 AM) *
My input on this: You lost the Surprise test, your instincts are dull & your flight instinct is not helping you, the initiative phase has nothing to do with your perception of the attacker, it is simply a mechanic that determines the order in which things happen in the game. Someone who has lost the surprise action & has no way of knowing the attacker is there, has no reason to think anything is wrong, (mind you this is the reason I think the initative phase should come AFTER the surprise attack has happened to alleviate problems of this nature) You should take actions as though there is no attack coming your way, whatever they may be (If I were GM'ing this scenario if the player jumped behind cover I would ask what they were hiding from, if they in any way indicated the surprise attacking coming after their action I would correct them)
The thing is you cannot be surprised at things that you do not notice, then you would be oblivious. So even a failed surprise test must mean that you are aware that something is wrong. The failed result simply means you do not know what.
Dolanar
not at all, a surprise test is still just a mechanic used to determine whether or not in a given situation your instincts would kick in.

on a successful surprise test you realize something is amiss & you react to the unforeseen danger.

if you fail...your character has no clue that something behind the scenes is going on, I don't see how something that is essentially "behind the scenes" suddenly alerts your character to a danger they have no way to perceive in character.

Edit: just to throw an example out there to be sure we're on the same wavelength...I have your character in my cross hairs, I am 10 stories above you o the top of a building, we roll the surprise test, & I beat you, but you roll a better initiative...you have NO WAY of knowing you are in my cross hairs...you have NO REASON to duck & hide, because there is no perceived danger to you, takign any action to defend or block my shot is pure & utter metagaming.
Dakka Dakka
QUOTE (Dolanar @ Jan 22 2013, 07:58 AM) *
not at all, a surprise test is still just a mechanic used to determine whether or not in a given situation your instincts would kick in.

on a successful surprise test you realize something is amiss & you react to the unforeseen danger.
No, a successful test allows you to realize what is going on and act accordingly

QUOTE (Dolanar @ Jan 22 2013, 07:58 AM) *
if you fail...your character has no clue that something behind the scenes is going on, I don't see how something that is essentially "behind the scenes" suddenly alerts your character to a danger they have no way to perceive in character.
A failed result only prevents you from interacting with those that surprised you. That the character is surprised means that he notices something is wrong and can react to that fact. Don't forget even allies can surprise each other, so such a blind reaction need not always be helpful.

QUOTE (Dolanar @ Jan 22 2013, 07:58 AM) *
Edit: just to throw an example out there to be sure we're on the same wavelength...I have your character in my cross hairs, I am 10 stories above you o the top of a building, we roll the surprise test, & I beat you, but you roll a better initiative...you have NO WAY of knowing you are in my cross hairs...you have NO REASON to duck & hide, because there is no perceived danger to you, takign any action to defend or block my shot is pure & utter metagaming.
No it is not. You have a reason to duck and hide because you took a surprise test. The failed result means you do not know who or what to hide from. In this case the GM should not give any indication from where the attack is coming, so the player cannot deduce (metagame) the right direction. He then has a chance to randomly pick the right one, but that is about it.
Dolanar
yeah, but in the example above, what actions would you take? you'd go on about your business as usual.
Dakka Dakka
QUOTE (Dolanar @ Jan 22 2013, 08:38 AM) *
yeah, but in the example above, what actions would you take? you'd go on about your business as usual.
Why? Wen you notice that something is wrong, going for cover is not unreasonable.
Dolanar
except in the situation well above that was originally mentioned the person in question has FAILED the surprise test but succeeded on the Initiative test, THAT is what we are discussing not passing the surprise test.
Dakka Dakka
As I said before, rolling the test means that the character knows something is wrong, succeeding at it means that he knows who or what wants to do him or someone else wrong. The initiative roll is independent of that it merely determines who gets to act first.
Dolanar
so you contend that the act of rolling a surprise roll tips the character off regardless of whether her succeeds or fails the surprise test?

That is overpowered beyond belief IMO, that means there is no use rolling surprise in a game that you play because even if you fail, the person is not surprised.
Dakka Dakka
QUOTE (Dolanar @ Jan 22 2013, 03:43 PM) *
so you contend that the act of rolling a surprise roll tips the character off regardless of whether her succeeds or fails the surprise test?

That is overpowered beyond belief IMO, that means there is no use rolling surprise in a game that you play because even if you fail, the person is not surprised.
He is surprised. That is what the rules state. He is not however oblivious or unable to act (that is The Other Game). He is only unable to directly interact with those that surprise him. Dropping prone or running behind an object is no direct interaction with anyone surprising him, and only if he rolls a higher initiative than the attacker will that happen before the attack. He will not get defense tests nor will be able to attack anyone who surprises him, regardless of initiative.
Dolanar
ok...in a situation where there is 2 people only, you & the person attacking you, & he is nowhere near you (as in the case of a sniper) you fail your Surprise Roll & win the initiative. WHAT ARE YOU REACTING TOO to take cover or drop prone? this is where I am getting the conflicting idea. In any way of interpreting it I don;t see a the dropping prone or hiding a logical reaction in this scenario. The only thing I can think is that the character is reacting to the actual Roll not a perceived danger.
Tymeaus Jalynsfein
QUOTE (Dakka Dakka @ Jan 22 2013, 07:57 AM) *
He is surprised. That is what the rules state. He is not however oblivious or unable to act (that is The Other Game). He is only unable to directly interact with those that surprise him. Dropping prone or running behind an object is no direct interaction with anyone surprising him, and only if he rolls a higher initiative than the attacker will that happen before the attack. He will not get defense tests nor will be able to attack anyone who surprises him, regardless of initiative.


Actually Running away or dropping prone is a DIRECT RESPONSE to the action of the Surprising character, if he is the only combatant other than the target. Especially if the Action has yet to occur. The surprise is the bullet impacting the character (from the Sniper stationed 600 Meters away). If that action has yet to occur, then the character cannot by definition be surprised yet, since he will be unaware that there is a situation until the action has occurred (whether he is hit or the bullet misses him). Running/Taking Cover is a Defense mechanism that DIRECTLY IMPACTS the shooter in this instance (penalty to hit a running target/bonus of Cover to the Defending Character, who should get no defense). As such, he does not get to take those actions.
Umidori
QUOTE (Tymeaus Jalynsfein @ Jan 22 2013, 09:16 AM) *
Actually Running away or dropping prone is a DIRECT RESPONSE to the action of the Surprising character, if he is the only combatant other than the target.

Hear, hear!

~Umi
Dakka Dakka
QUOTE (Tymeaus Jalynsfein @ Jan 22 2013, 04:16 PM) *
Actually Running away or dropping prone is a DIRECT RESPONSE to the action of the Surprising character, if he is the only combatant other than the target. Especially if the Action has yet to occur. The surprise is the bullet impacting the character (from the Sniper stationed 600 Meters away). If that action has yet to occur, then the character cannot by definition be surprised yet, since he will be unaware that there is a situation until the action has occurred (whether he is hit or the bullet misses him). Running/Taking Cover is a Defense mechanism that DIRECTLY IMPACTS the shooter in this instance (penalty to hit a running target/bonus of Cover to the Defending Character, who should get no defense). As such, he does not get to take those actions.
First of all dropping prone while surprised is explicitly allowed by the rules:
QUOTE ('SR4A p. 165')
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).
So dropping prone and anything else that does not do anything to the shooter is allowed.

Secondly the order of events is different, if the surprised character gets a higher initiative than the shooter. The character is not surprised at the large hole in his chest, he is surprised at some clue the attacker gives before shooting. An Unsurprised character would correctly interpret this clue as someone trying to shoot him, while the surprised one would just know something is wrong.

If the character is surprised and too slow, he can only wonder at the large hole in his chest.
Tymeaus Jalynsfein
QUOTE (Dakka Dakka @ Jan 22 2013, 02:06 PM) *
First of all dropping prone while surprised is explicitly allowed by the rules:So dropping prone and anything else that does not do anything to the shooter is allowed.

Secondly the order of events is different, if the surprised character gets a higher initiative than the shooter. The character is not surprised at the large hole in his chest, he is surprised at some clue the attacker gives before shooting. An Unsurprised character would correctly interpret this clue as someone trying to shoot him, while the surprised one would just know something is wrong.

If the character is surprised and too slow, he can only wonder at the large hole in his chest.


And yet you are saying that you would allow an Action/Nonaction to somehow, mysteriously, alert someone 600 Meters away, who cannot even have a chance in hell of perceiving that action, to somehow react to something that has yet to happen. I call BS. The first indication of a problem will either be the gaping wound in his chest/head, or the snap of the bullet passing by the target at high velocity. At which point he is more than welcome to make a suprise test. *shrug*
Dolanar
this is IMO the problem with the surprise rules, Initiative & the surprise test should come AFTER someone has taken their shot, not before, because then you have issues such as this, where some mysterious force has somehow warned a character who has no reason to be warned that someone is about to shoot them.
Lionhearted
Gut feeling?
Having it be the other way around eliminates the point of a surprise test (as the assailant would always be successful) and lead to silly scenarios in situations where the attacker could be detected.
Starmage21
QUOTE (Dolanar @ Jan 22 2013, 06:24 PM) *
this is IMO the problem with the surprise rules, Initiative & the surprise test should come AFTER someone has taken their shot, not before, because then you have issues such as this, where some mysterious force has somehow warned a character who has no reason to be warned that someone is about to shoot them.


Its a game mechanic that favors the lives of player characters. Without it, your PC dies a horrible death anytime there is a high-flying security drone you didnt notice who takes a shot at you. Because you know, players arent their characters, and they forget to do simple shit ALL THE TIME.
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