Defensive Deflection clarification

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Shadowstripe
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Defensive Deflection clarification

Sorry if this has been discussed elsewhere, but I am horrible at using Search functions (I sware that no matter the site, this function hates me and never gives me what I am looking for, no matter how carefully I word the search).  If it has been discussed, pleas point me to it or, if you have time, sum up what the consensus was.

Just need to clarify exactly how the Red Zone ability Defensive Deflection (from Self-Control) is supposed to work.  The wording makes it a little difficult if you are supposed to deflect the damage you defended against and take the remainder or reduce the damage by your Defend action then deflect the remaining damage (so you take none of the damage but someone takes the damage you couldn't block).

I am honestly more partial to the first interpretation as the higher you roll, the more damage is redirected to another target (potentially all the damage if the power you are using a high die power) and thus you only take damage from what you can't deflect (much like a normal Deflect action).  However, the second interpretation also has something going for it, especially if you plan on deflecting the attack towards a team mate that can reduce, negate or even heal from the damage (while you protect yourself completely).

I hope that I am not the only one who is a little confused by the wording of this Ability (as it would be rather embarasing if it was just me), but I just want to be sure that I am using the right interpretation (I wonder if they will try rewording this ability to make the intent of it more clear).


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catDreaming
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Defensive Deflection:

When an opponent would deal you damage, you may roll your single <Power> die to Defend against the Attack and also redirect that damage to a nearby target other than the source of the Attack.

 

As the ability is written, Defensive Deflection does the following:

An opponent would deal you damage, so you trigger Defensive Deflection.

You roll your single <Power> die as a Defend, giving you some defense until your next turn.

You redirect the damage to a target other than the one that dealt the damage. The damage isn't reduced at this point, because it never reached your freshly rolled Defend.


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Shadowstripe
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No... I don't think it works quite the way you are describing... as you are not only providing the Hero with a perfect Defense (they take no damage at all) but allowing them to redirect all the damage that would have been dealt to them to another Target of their choice (except the source of the Attack, effectively giving them a reactionary Attack) and a Defense against any other Attack against them this turn.  Way more powerful than any other Defensive ability in this Zone.

I think it should go more like this:

An opponent Attacks and would deal damage to the Hero who then Reactively triggers this Ability.

The Hero rolls this single die to Defend against this Attack.  Whatever damage is blocked by the Defense is redirected to another Target (except the source of the damage).

The Hero takes any damage their Defense wasn't able to block.

Simply put, unless there is something in the way of the attack, it can not be deflected (in whole or in part).  If the Hero is rolling a Defense in Reaction to an Attack, that Defense is applied to that Attack.  Even if the redirected damage is only what wasn't defended against, it is still more balanced in comparision to other Defensive Red abilities than what you described (where all the damage is mysteriously deflected before it hits the defense erected in reation to the damage that would have been dealt).


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Powerhound_2000
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The text says it is a defense roll against the attack so I don't agree CatDreaming that it is a defense that can be used for any subsequent attack.   What I'm not sure about is what damage should be redirected to another target.   I could read that as being the full damage redirected, what damage was left after the defend, or the damage that was defended against with that single die roll. 


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Rabit
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I'm with Shadowstripe on this. That interpretation also matches how most RPGs handle this kind of situation, in my experience, and also fits the wording as I interpret it (where "that damage" is IMPLIED to be the damage the Defend action prevents).

But I agree "that damage" is really vague. It would be great if it said something like "the damage prevented by the Defend".


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ErekLich
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Huh. When we ran it we interpreted it as the damage left after the defend gets redirected (which leads to the wierd thing that you want to use a smaller die) but now that y'all bring it up all 3 interpretations make sense with the wording.  I agree that Shadowstripe's ruling is the most "balanced".

Shadowstripe
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I think we should have this brough to the attention of the designers... if three different people can have three different interpretations of from the wording of this power, then I think it is safe to say that the intent of the power is too vague and should be better clairified for the final draft.

Anyone know how we would go about doing so?  I thing I think might work is a direct message through the Kickstarter, but even there I would have doubts.  I'd even link this thread so that they can see the confusion the current wording of the Ability has.

The closser we get to the finished product, the harder it will be for them to do this kind of editing... and once it is in print, this kind of confusion is likely to become common at tables were some give this ability more or less power than it should have.

 

Edit:  Sent a message through the Kickstarter... hopefully they will see it and respond.  If anyone has any other suggestions on how to bring this to their attention, please let me know.


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Powerhound_2000
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I've commented on this in playtester forums and I'm going to send a message to the Letters Page too. 


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Shadowstripe
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Thanks... hopefully it will at least get the intent of the Ability clarified, if not the wording of the ability reworked to reflect the intent (pun honestly not intended, but still funny).

Going over all the Red Zone abilities that have defensive aspects to them and none of them allow a complete negation of damage to the hero (without at least hindering them or a one-use-per-scene limitation), let alone letting the Hero use that damage to Attack a target and getting a Defensive action against the next Attack on them.

Like the Wind does negate damage, but uses the damage as a Hinder roll on the Hero to impose a penalty for their next action.

Impenetrable Defense allows one to use their Max + Min dice to defend against all Attacks against them until their next turn, but it requires them to activate it on their turn and (despite the name) can be overpowered by some of the more powerful attacks available (especially if the Attack rolls go well while this Defense rolls poorly, depending on how powerful the Powers/Qualities involved are).

Empowement allows one to Defend against an attack as a Reaction and use that same roll to also Boost themselves, but it only applies to a single Attack (unless one has another ability that allows for more than one Reaction).

Now, while some other abilities do have similar defensive qualities, more often they are or can be applied to others... and a few also has multiple other effects/action that can be done at the same time, but tend to require the spliting of the dice rolled (Max for one effect, Mid for another and Min for the final effect).  None of them allow for a complete negation of the Attack without some sort of drawback (like a Hinder or a Twist) or a limitation on their use (either because it requres it to be used as their Action or can only be used once in the scene).

It is because of these examples that I feel the interpretation that @catDreaming specified is too powerful and not what was intended.  If it turns out I am wrong in this, I will be embarased but will conceed the ruling (though likely use my prefered interpretation in my own games should it come up).  Hopefully we will get an official ruling before too long.


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catDreaming
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My reasoning for why the Defend does not apply to the damage.

When you take the Defend basic action, it gives you an effect that expires at the beginning of your next turn or until it used, whichever comes first. In no case is a Defend action linked to a specific Attack action being aimed in your general direction.

Therefore, since it specifies that the damage is redirected before Defensive Deflection finishes resolving, the damage redirection happens before the Defend can be applied to it.

I'll admit that my interpretation might be a little too powerful, but it's not hard to make a character almost completely invulnerable in the Red Zone. After reading through the replies following mine, I see no reason why mine is incorrect, and agree with the need for clarification. In fact, I know of such a combo that can be penetrated under very specific circumstances. Those same circumstances also negate the benefits of Defensive Deflection, regardless of which interpretation in this thread is applied.


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catDreaming
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If one combines Like The Wind, Pushing Your Limits, and Impossible Knowledge, one can realistically negate almost all incoming damage and possibly benefit from being Attacked.

Impenetrable Defense might be overpowered by some of the stronger attacks, but most Attacks that could penetrate it reliably has some form of backlash or are in the Red Zone, or have severe drawbacks on their use.

Empowerment is triggered by damage being dealt, but the Defend it gives is not specifically tied to the Attack that dealt the damage. If you somehow took damage from another source before the original triggering damage came through, the Defend would be used up. The bonus would hang around, though.


A single man
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Blades borne to the unmoving air
An unchanging world as their sheathe
Preserved for eternity
This is my Origin
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Powerhound_2000
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I disagree it works that way based off what you posted.  However, I agree it does work that way off the wording I see looking again in most recent version of chapter 3

Quote:

When an opponent would deal you damage, you may roll your single [power] die as a Defend and also redirect that damage to a nearby target, other than the source of the Attack.

Based off this wording you redirect the whole damage to another target and you have an active Defend that lasts until your turn.  So with that I’m retracting my comment in the playtesting forum as it seems clear to me with that wording. 


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Powerhound_2000
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As to the red combo you list I imagine villains will have access to an ability like Precise Shot which ignores defend actions and doesn’t allow use of reactions.  So while as a GM I wouldn’t necessarily set every villain with it it certainly would show up occasionally.  


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Shadowstripe
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Sorry, but I can't accept that interpretation, that the entire Attack is deflected without touching the Defense created in Reaction to the Attack.  it means that there was nothing actually there to deflect the Attack until after the Attack was deflected.

I really don't think it was ever entended to be a perfect defense, but rather a reaction to redirect some of the damage away from the Hero... not unlike Captain America using his shield to block a Hydra lazer blast towards a different Hydra agent.  It is also when Invisible Woman tries to errect a Force Field to deflect an attack but is overwhelmed by the effort and some of the energy blast gets through (or she has something like psychic blacklash when the field is overwhelmed).  It is when Wasp tries to shrink out of the way of a blast from Ultron but isn't quite quick enough, yet still avoids most of the damage that incinerates a robotic duplicate that was restraining her.

All of these discriptions show the hero errecting a defense that can redirect the incoming attack, with some reflecting all the damage while others reflecting most of it as the defense wasn't quite able to do the entire job.  Never once in comics was a laser or other energy blast deflected away form a hero before the defense went up.  If it was drawn like that, then no one would belive it is possible because there would be nothing there to cause such a deflection.

This is why I can't accept this interpretation... it defies any kind of logic (even that employed by comics).  I think I will wait to see if Christopher Badell replies to the post, as it was relayed to me that he often does check it for such feedback.


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Powerhound_2000
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You might not accept but I do see it as reasonable interpretation.  A strong defense power in red isn't a big deal to me and as I mentioned there good chances villains will have abilities to counter that if it did become a problem.   Regardless, in addition to the KS feedback you can also ask through the Letters Page https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSd9aq1Kv7Y1eObnBj4fqhQzwI3rYfAK... and use Sentinel Comics:The Roleplaying Game as the topic.


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Shadowstripe
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To be honest, I don't have a problem with a strong defensive ability in the Red Zone either... it is just that this interpretation is too strong.

You get a perfect defense that blocks all damage, a free attack using the damage you blocked and a prepared defense for the next attack against you.  No other Red Zone ability provides anywhere near that kind of power while rolling a single die (or even a normal die pool).  Beyond that, mechnanically it doesn't make sense, how can you redirect an Attack by creating a Defense in response to that Attack without using the very Defense created in response to that Attack?  Describing the action of the Ability also doesn't make sense because you would be deflecting an attack before you create the defense in response to the attack.

An example would be Captain America redirecting a Hydra Laser blast before raising his shield to block the Laser so that it ready for another Hydra goon to run into when they attack Cap.  It simply doesn't make sense... the shield is what is needed to redirect the attack, so what deflected the attack before the shield got there?

Still... thanks for the link to the Letter's Page.  Hopefully it will help get the attention of the writers so that they can clarify what their intent with the ability is.


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Powerhound_2000
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If we use Captain America I see this being a case where he brought his shield up against a laser blast and deflected that to another target.  Cap now has his shield readied for the next attack.  
 

As to other reactions this has some differences in wording.  Empowerment, under Self-Control, specifically states you roll your Single die to defend the attack and also uses the wording dealt damage.   Defensive Deflective uses the wording would be dealt damage and makes no mention that the defend is tied to the attack like Empowerment does.   Another similar one


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Shadowstripe
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I really hate having to put the full wording of anything that is in a book on a forum (for what I hope are obvious reasons), but I think this really is a care where it has to be done to fully disect this Ability and figure out how exactly it is supposed to work.

Name: Defensive Deflection

Ability Type: Reaction

Actions Taken: Defense

Discription: When an opponent would deal you damage, you may roll your single [Power] die as a Defend and also redirect that damage to a nearby target  other than the source of the Attack.

Now, let us take this ability apart piece by piece.

1) This is a Reaction, thus in order for it to even apply, it needs a trigger.  That trigger is an opponent that has made a successful attack against you that will deal damage.  In other words, if you have an Innate ability that would reduce that damage to zero (such as the Immunity abilites), then this Reaction will not trigger.

2) What exactly are you doing in response to that Trigger?  You are rolling your [Power] die as a Defend.  This reactionary Defend action takes place before the Damage is applied (much like Hit the Deck! described in Chapter 2; pg 37).  This means that the Defense is up before the damage is dealt and, like all Defend actions, is applied to the NEXT source of damage that would affect the player... namely the Attack that triggered the Defensive reaction.

3) What is the secondary effect (if any)?  This ability does have a secondary effect, the redirection of damage to another target.  This is the source of the confusion with this ability because we can't seem to identify what damage is being refered to.  It be any one of the following:  A) The full damage of the Attack (favored by catDreaming and Powerhound 2000); B) The damage blocked by the Defend action created in response to the Attack (favored by myself, Shadowstripe, and Rabit); or C) Any damage that wasn't Defended against (as used by ErekLich).

Given that the rules in Chapter 2 for Defend actions basically apply said Defense to the next source of Damage and the Defense rolled with this ability is rolled before the damage of the Triggering attack is applied... it really does seem that the damage "that damage" is refering to is the damage that is being applied to the reactionary Defense that was just applied to the Attack.  If it is enough to deflect all the damage, then that is what is applied to a new target (for example: if the Attack only does 7 damage and your Defense can deflect up to 10 damage, only the 7 damage dealt to the defense can be deflected).  If by chance you are not able to Defend against all the damage from the attack, only the damage actually defended against is deflected and you take the remainder (for example: if the Attack were doing 15 damage and you can only Defend against 10 damage, you deflect 10 damage and then take the remaining 5).

It is the order in which the effects are applied that is the source of the confusion... something that Chapter 2 seems to clear up.  Even the wording of the Ability puts the deflection after the Defend... which really does seem to suggest that the deflection takes place after the damage is applied to the Defend roll.  If we put the defection before the Defend roll... then what exactly deflected the Attack since it is implied by the ability that the Hero using this ability doesn't currently have a Defense?

Now, to deal with my Captain America example above, let me set the scene.  Cap is being surounded by 3 Hydra goons.  One fires a laser at him.  Cap reacts to this by raising his shield quickly to deflect the attack towards one of the other two goons (which vaporizes the goon).  This however puts Cap slightly off balance, allowing the third goon (the one that the laser wasn't targeted at) an oportunity to punch Cap before he can get the shield back into position to defend himself.

I know it sounds as if I am repeating myself, but hopefully this fully explains how I reached my interpretation and shows how it would play out in a game.


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Powerhound_2000
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I get how you reached your conclusion and I never said it was wrong.  I’m saying what CatDreaming stated initially is a reasonable conclusion as well to me after looking up the wording as well.  At this point it seems  to me you won’t see that interpretation as plausible.   So I will just wait to hear what GtG has to say on it as there are different ways to interpret it.  


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TempestLA
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Actually, based on the first post from catDreaming, his interpretation is not plausible as it overlooks a key phrase in the wording:

Defensive Deflection:

When an opponent would deal you damage, you may roll your single <Power> die to Defend against the Attack and also redirect that damage to a nearby target other than the source of the Attack.

It states specifically that you use the defend against the attack. As with any defend action, this would use up the Defend (so there would be no defense against later attacks), and some damage could still get through.

However, in the most recent verion of Chapter 3, this was updated:

Defensive Deflection

When an opponent would deal you damage, you may roll your single [power] die as a Defend and also redirect that damage to a nearby target, other than the source of the Attack.

I suspect the change of the wording was to allow the hero to deflect damage which was not done through an Attack action. However, this wording does not change the initial order of operations:

  1.  An attack would deal damage (but has not yet done so) - trigger
  2. Roll a single die as a Defend (before the damage is applied)
  3.  Apply the damage from the attack (which uses up the Defend as that damage is the next damage dealt to the hero)

In my opinion, the only part of the interpretation in question is what gets deflected. This is very open to interpretation, as has been noted. Is is the use of the phrase "that damage" which is problematic, as it could be interpretted to be the amount of the Defend roll. This could lead to a hero rolling a 10 for defense against 1 point of damage, causing the reflected damage to be 1000% higher than the original incoming damage. This certainly needs clarification.

From a story telling perspective, it seems to me the most plausible interpretation is the damage which is stopped by the Defend is what is reflected (as detailed in Shadowstripe's Captain America examples). In my games, I will likely be using the following wording:

Defensive Deflection:

When an opponent would deal you damage, you may roll your single [power] die as a Defend against that damage. Redirect damage equal to the amount reduced by the Defend to a nearby target other, than the source of the Attack.

This covers both partial deflection (Incoming damage = 10, Defend roll = 5, hero takes 5 damage and redirects 5 damage to another target) and full deflection without increasing the reflected damage (Incoming damage = 5, Defend roll = 10, hero takes no damage and redirects 5 damage (not 10) to another target).

This also takes care of a character's innate defenses (say armor) reducing the effectiveness of the Ability. If the character would take 3 points of damage and has armor (3 points of damage reduction when in the Red zone), then this ability can't be used (since the hero would not take damage, negating the trigger). From a story telling perspective, it is unlikely heroes would use a major (Red zone) defense again damage that can be shrugged off.

But if the incoming damage is 8, they would still take 5 damage, triggering the reaction. If they roll a 5 for the Defend, this would reduce the incoming damage to 3, which would then be applied to the armor, negating the left over damage, and allow the hero to reflect 5 to another target.  

Powerhound_2000
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I think your rewording and what Shadowstripe has argued is likely the intent that the defend is meant to be against the attack.  However, based off what wording we have currently the Defend action is not tied to being used against the incoming attack damage.  Hopefully based off comments on the KS and messages sent to the Letters Page we can get a ruling on what is supposed to happen.  


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TempestLA
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Although not specifically tied to the incoming damage by the wording of the ability, it is tied to the damage by the game effect of Defend, which states the defend is applied to the next damage taken. Since the next damage taken is the potential damage that triggers the ability in the first place, it is applied to that damage.

Powerhound_2000
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My response is still the same.  The intent and wording aren’t aligned for that to the only reading.  


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Rabit
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Thanks for the discussion, folks. At this point, (as Powerhound alluded to ;-) everyone is expressing the same points and we really just need to hear an official answer, so let's wait for that. :-) 

Greatly appreciate everyone's civility and respectfulness! :-D 


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Until we have an H emoticon: