Friday, July 14, 2017

Actions for Edge of the Empire

Hey Game Fans, we’re going to be taking a closer look at Actions for Edge of the Empire.  These are complex things that require the character’s focus and attention.  There are a few of these and we’re going to try and break them down.  Remember that there is generally a limit of a character accomplishing one action on its turn. Also, keep in mind that a character can perform a reasonable number of incidental actions, typically one maneuver and one action in any given turn.Let’s take a deeper dive into Actions and how they work for Edge. If you’re curious about the first part of this discussion, check out our write-up of structured gameplay here.  

Actions (Time to roll the dice!)

Every character can perform one action in every turn.  Some abilities and character options allow them to perform actions as maneuvers, but these are pretty expressly identified in the option that lets a character do this.  This follows all of the normal restriction on actions and maneuvers (you can still only perform one maneuver in a round, normally).  .  

Actions are more strongly defined than maneuvers but there’s still a little bit of wiggle room for negotiation with your GM.  Remember, actions are complex procedures and processes that take a character’s primary focus and attention, and usually involve activating a more complex idea or a skill check.   We’re going to dig into them right about now.  

Types of Actions

Exchange an Action for a Maneuver

If you don’t like the idea of taking strain to perform an additional maneuver in a given turn, you have the option to exchange your action in that round for a maneuver.  This doesn’t get around the two maneuvers per turn limit, but it does give you a strain free way of squeezing an extra maneuver out of the round.  This action gives you a lot of flexibility in what you can do in a given turn and you might find it necessary to do this before you can perform the action you really want to.  For example, this let’s you use the drop prone maneuver, and the aim maneuver.  That sets up taking another aim maneuver followed up by a combat check with the double benefit of aiming, and you are in a prone position to help save you from ranged attacks flying your way.  

Spend an Action to activate an Ability

A lot of the really cool abilities in Edge of the Empire have a phrase like “during your turn you can spend an action to do the following:”  What this means is that most of these really cool super abilities require your character to  spend an action to set them off, and that’s what this specific action represents.  Some abilities grant the character a specific option to take a second action, and this (and a few rare force powers) are the only way to take more than one action in a turn.  

Activate a Force Power

The Force is a powerful ally and it binds the galaxy together.  Most of its powers require the character activating them to spend an action to activate.  We’ll theoretically cover these if/when we get to the chapter on Force powers.  This is really only critical if you have force powers, but there are options and ways for characters from Edge of the Empire to get into the struggle between the Light and Dark side.

Perform a Skill Check

There are a lot of activities in Edge of the Empire that require a character to perform a specific skill and check on the results.  These are important because they represent the possibility of a character failing at the task they are performing, and this represents the core dice mechanic of the Star Wars family of games from Fantasy Flight Games.  We’ll put together some specific examples of how this type of a check works and what the dice look like next week.

Perform a Combat Check

This is the most common Action performed in a typical Edge of the Empire game, and we’re going to break it down.  It’s a complicated process, but once you get the hang of it, you’ll be building your dice pools in record time.  Let’s dig into the procedure and get you ready for combat.  
  1. Declare an Attack, Pick Targets.
    1. The character chooses which of their various attack options to use for that action and selects all necessary targets.
  2. Assemble the Dice Pool.
    1. Ranged attacks have their difficulties based off of their distance from target to attacker, while Melee attacks have a fixed difficulty of average.  Make sure you check all of the situations and circumstances that can modify the dice in the pool and check out the dice section on page 18 for a more detailed breakdown of how to build your dice.  
  3. Pool Results and Deal Damage
    1. In order for a check to succeed, the dice have to show more successes than failures.  If this is in fact what the dice show, the attack deals the basic damage detailed in the weapon’s entry.  Every uncancelled success symbol adds +1 to the weapon damage in a given check, and the added damage is dealt to each target’s that is hit by the attack.
  4. Resolve Advantage and Triumph results
    1. If the dice show any advantage or Triumph results, you need to resolve these now.  There are a variety of ways you can utilize the symbols, the most common of which are triggering critical injuries or specific weapon qualities.  There results always count as success symbols, so you will always get extra damage out of these results.  The other thing to consider is that there are some other options you can trigger with these results, (and i strongly encourage you to check out the table of them on page 206).
  5. Resolve Threat and Despair Results
    1. When a character rolls threat and despair symbols on the dice, it’s up to the GM to spend these to further complicate the encounter and the adventure.  There are several options that are available for the GM, and there are certain additional effects that specific weapons have as options.  (There is a table for the GM to work off of on page 207).
  6. Reduce Damage, Apply to Wound Threshold, and Apply Critical Injuries
    1. Now that all of the unusual effects have been resolved, it’s time to start applying damage.  First things first, reduce the damage specified by the character’s armor and other damage reducing factors.  Once damage has been reduced, apply the value to the character’s wound threshold (and hope the character is still awake).  Finally, if any critical injuries were triggered, apply those last.

Once you completed this process, the character’s combat check is complete and most likely their turn is also concluded.


So Actions are powerful ways for characters to interact with the larger game universe of Edge of the Empire.  We’ll be back next week to show you to set up some skill checks and the mechanics of really building a dice pool.  The week after that we’ll take a nice hard swing at defenses and how healing works.  Game On, Game Fans

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