Stunts, Combat Stunts and the dreaded -2 AV Penalty

-2 AV for Combat Stunts

I've looked through the forums quite a bit and there seems to be some confusion to -2 AV Penalty for Stunts in combat. The book clearly states that anything that you would get the same result as "I kick him and he goes down" shouldn't be at -2 AV. So for eg.

"I leap of the top of the cabinet, spinning three times in the air and kick the mook right in the chops with my wife's high heels I borrowed for "that party"

would be taking out one Mook and thus shouldn't get a -2 AV penalty right?

However, if I were trying to blind the mook/take his gun etc then it would, likewise if I were trying to take out more than one mook then I would get a -2, -3 or -4 AV depending on the number of mooks I were attempting to overcome or perhaps the difficulty on what I was trying to accomplish.

Right, that's how I'm seeing it. If we're happy with that then onto the next one!

Confusion about Combat Stunts

If I were jumping from the top of a cable car to another one several meters away (without the use of a Fu schtick) in a non-combat situation then it would be an x amount of difficulty on a Martial Arts check.

Lets call it 18 for the sake of argument. I have MA 16 I roll a positive 5 and a negative 1 for a AV of 19 and with my Outcome of 1 I make it well enough.

However, if I were attempting the same action with the end result of putting my "flying kick of doom" into the mouth of a Mook who had climbed on the top of the opposing cable car then I would say - "well yes, it's a stunt in combat" (as I'm trying to jump from one cable car to another, not just hit a mook) rather than just taking out one mook, and so I would have to take a -2 to my AV.

Say though that I rolled this time: MA 16 I roll a positive 5 and a negative 1 and - 2 AV for the stunt = 17. This would be more than enough to wipe out a Mook and probably I'd be looking up damage for a named character too. However, based on the stunt as previously exampled in a non combat situation, an AV of 17 wouldn't be enough to make it from one cable car to the other.

So the question is: do I (a) make it and hit the mook yet still fall to my doom, (b) fail to reach the car and fall to my doom, or (c) make it, hit the mook who falls to his doom and stand there in the wind looking pretty cool and smug?

Finally, if the answer is (c) make it, hit the mook who falls to his doom and stand there in the wind...etc - then if we change the example slightly to a Gun Bunny leaps from one car to the other shooting the mook... can he only get there if he's shooting a mook in combat, because out of combat he doesn't have a MA AV to attempt a non-combat stunt. Unless I guess he shoots at the clouds whilst jumping...

There's no hard and fast answer; it's all down to your GMing style.

When it comes to combining actions, the rule of thumb I use is to try to make every action a PC performs exciting, and fold unexciting actions into other ones. So, if a gun bunny wants to vault over a fence and shoot, I'll make that a single guns action because the vault, by itself, isn't particularly interesting or exciting. On the other hand, jumping to a cable car is exciting and dangerous in its own right, so I'd make it a separate action- and the gun bunny without the Martial Arts to make the jump is out of luck.

The advantage to this approach is that there's only one task in the action that's worth rolling dice for, side-stepping the issue of adjudicating success and failure for each part.

But when there is more than one thing to adjudicate on a single roll, I'd use a)- in your example the kick connects but the PC then loses his footing and falls off the car.

So just for clarification:

Using my cable car example. In a combat situation, both martial artist and gun bunny would have to get 18 (the stunt could be less, but I'm going with the example as stands) to make the jump and get rid of the mook. Both would hit the mook but fall if it was 17 or less (up to the Dodge AV of the Mook).

However, in a non-combat making the same jump only the Martial artist is likely to make the jump on a MA check, the Gun Bunny (if no-MA) at all would have to roll a Reflexes -3 AV roll.

Thinking about it - in the case of the combat cable car jump I would probably get rid of the -2 AV Penalty for stunts based on the fact that it's quite a high number to get anyway (and you'd likely to be dead if you missed).

however, you could run it one of three ways

Must get 18 or more to complete the stunt and kill the mook

Must get 18 or more to complete the stunt and kill the mook taking a -2 AV Pentalty because it's a combat stunt.

or, take a -2 stunt penalty and just get the normal amount to take out the mook

hmm - I think it might depend "on the moment", i.e how dramatic the group is wanting the moment to be, and how much is at stake, whether it is a mook or a named character and finally how the flow of combat is going at that point.

I think the question might be though, whether you can mix and match these three, or whether once you choose one you should stick with it for the sake of consistency.

  • On another note, I'm hoping to bring an old Feng Shui buddy of mine to come give some opinions on these matters. Hopefully kick some life in to the boards. :slight_smile:

on this, my wife did point out - the fact of the matter is, the Gun Bunny can just stand on the first cable car and shoot the mook, he has no need to jump across...that's what he has over the MA who 'has to' (in most case) jump from one car to the other to reach said mook.

I would interpret the situation differently depending on the players intention of the action.

"I want to hit that mook from my speeding car." - "Ok, the car is moving so the difficulty is increased by 9 (page 141). If you succeed, I want to know how you did it."

"I want to jump off the car safely." - "Sure. That's a difficulty of 15." (page 11)

"I want to jump off the speeding car. Can I hit a mook while I do that?" - "Uhm, sure. But you will hit get a -2 to hit the mook because you're using a stunt to get an advantage (getting off the car without stopping it) and the shot cost is increased by one (continous action, page 130)."

I only use the -2 stunt rule if the player gets an extra advantage, often some kind of movement to a special place. I never use the -2 rule if it's a martial artist running up against walls, doing a back flip and then kick a mook in the face. That would be the same thing as just plainly hitting the mook, only more imaginative.

Yeah that seems like a good way of doing it.

That's true and RAW anyway. There is no -2 for a combat stunt that gives no extra advantage.