order of combat steps

Discussion on game mastering Earthdawn. May contain spoilers; caution is recommended!
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earcaraxe
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order of combat steps

Post by earcaraxe » Wed Jun 19, 2019 8:19 am

instead of putting the question here in a general form i present the concrete one:

A lioness attacks, uses pounce and knocks her opponent to the ground. Can she use her surprise strike for the following damage roll? (It wasnt eligible when the attack "started")

Bonhumm
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Re: order of combat steps

Post by Bonhumm » Wed Jun 19, 2019 10:41 am

earcaraxe wrote:
Wed Jun 19, 2019 8:19 am
A lioness attacks, uses pounce and knocks her opponent to the ground. Can she use her surprise strike for the following damage roll? (It wasnt eligible when the attack "started")
My opinion:

Although Surprise Strike may be used on targets that are Knocked Down, the Attack and the Damage roll happens at the same time: thus, the target was not Knocked Down(yet) when the damaged was applied. In fact, the falling IS due to the damage in the first place.

earcaraxe
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Re: order of combat steps

Post by earcaraxe » Wed Jun 19, 2019 11:33 am

No. The falling isnt because of the damage, see "pounce". It's because of the attack test.

Bonhumm
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Re: order of combat steps

Post by Bonhumm » Wed Jun 19, 2019 11:55 am

They way I'd see it (and again, that's only my opinion) is that in this case 'Pounce' is just another type of attack, in the same 'family' as Melee/Missile/Throwing Weapons.

And that therefore, just like those attacks, the attack and the damage happen at the same time.

It think the way you are picturing it is:

Step 1: I 'Pounce' the target.
Step 2: The target fells to the ground
Step 3: I then deal the damage.

If so, I have to disagree; the attack IS Pounce, you don't get to do what would essentially be a 'Second Attack' after the target fell.

In other word; I see it just like a normal attack that resulted to the target being knocked down (wound + failed STR/Wound Balance Test): the target did fall BUT the damage of the attack that made him fall did not get the 'knocked down' bonus for he was not down yet when the hit happened.

But again; just my opinion. Would like to have others/DEV give their thoughts on this.

Belenus
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Re: order of combat steps

Post by Belenus » Wed Jun 19, 2019 3:54 pm

I'd say you can use Pounce to knock down the enemy and then use Surprise Strike.
Even if the player has to activly use Surprise Strike, it's nothing the character will intentionally use.
His adepts magic will feel the advantage given through the enemy going to fall over and therefore unconsciously increase his damage.

ChrisDDickey
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Re: order of combat steps

Post by ChrisDDickey » Wed Jun 19, 2019 5:15 pm

I could really see a GM reasonably ruling this ether way.

Just to be clear and get the issue spelled out,
Pounce wrote:If the creature reaches its opponent with a leap and the opponent isn’t too much larger, the creature may spend an additional success from the Attack test to force the opponent to make a Knockdown test against a DN equal to the Attack test result
So if the conditions are met, and the Lion spends the extra success, the target must make a knockdown test against the Attack test result, regardless of how much damage was dealt, or even if no damage was dealt past the targets armor. This extra knockdown test is granted by the Pounce ability, so it is not really accurate to say that the Surprise Strike would be an "Second Attack", it would simply be and addition to the damage of a test that is already going to be made anyway.

So I can reasonably see somebody saying that they want to do the Knockdown test before doing damage, and then if the Knockdown test does knock them down, do surprise strike damage.

My own personal interpretation, however, would be that Surprise Strike can only be done if the attacker meets the conditions for a Surprise Strike before the attack is made. So if the target is already surprised, blindsided, or knocked down when the attack is started, then surprise strike can be used, otherwise it can not. If somebody has two attacks and knocks the target down with the first attack, I would allow the 2nd attack to be made with surprise strike, because the target was already knocked down when the 2nd attack was started.

Note also the wording on Surprise Strike,
Surprise Strike wrote:The adept takes advantage of an unaware or distracted opponent to inflict a telling blow. This talent may be used against targets that are Surprised, Blindsided, or Knocked Down. If the adept’s Attack test against such an opponent is successful, he substitutes his Surprise Strike Step for his Strength Step in the Damage test.
The order in which this is written seems to me to say that first you check to see if the surprise strike conditions are met, then you declare that it is a Surprise Strike, then you make the Attack, then you do damage. It just does not seem to me that a target who became knocked down during the attack met the conditions early enough.

But I could easily see other GMs reasonably disagreeing.

Avanti
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Re: order of combat steps

Post by Avanti » Mon Jul 01, 2019 1:26 pm

For me, the damage test is part of the attack. And you check attack conditions at the time of making it. It may well be that some special effect trigger of the result of attack test, but that is clearly mentioned in the description.
RAW to use surprise strike you need to attack a knocked down ( or surprised or blindsided) enemy:
PG p. 172. Surprise strike talent wrote:(...)If the adept’s Attack test against such an opponent is successful, he
substitutes his Surprise Strike Step for his Strength Step in the Damage test.

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