Hey Game Fans, we’re going to be taking a closer look at Maneuvers for Edge of the Empire. These are movements, little steps, and other actions that generally don’t require a skill check to accomplish. There are a ton of these and we’re going to try and break them down. Remember that there is generally a limit of a character accomplishing one maneuver on its turn. There are a few exceptions to this rule and we’ll cover those in just a second. Remember, a character can perform a reasonable number of incidental actions, typically one maneuver and one action in any given turn. Situationally this can change, and certain character options can let you take an additional maneuver. Let’s take a deeper dive into Maneuvers and how they work for Edge. If you’re curious about the first part of this discussion, check out our writeup of structured gameplay here.
Maneuvers (They do what now?)
Every character can perform one maneuver free of charge every turn. In addition, a character can voluntarily suffer two stress to perform another maneuver in a given turn. There’s a possibility that a character can perform a maneuver outside of their turn, but that is entirely the province of the Gamemaster. (There is a bit of a keyword confusion because Starship maneuvers also exist, those will be covered when we get to starships).
There are lot of potential things that can be maneuvers, but that’s part of the interaction between GM and player. Typically a Maneuver doesn’t require a lot of conscious effort on the part of the character performing it, and they never require skill checks. That level of effort is restricted to actions. Let’s take a closer look at the list offered in Edge of the Empire. Remember, this list isn’t exhaustive, but is representative of the types of things you can do with a maneuver. Now some things may require a specific sequence of maneuvers to accomplish, and this means they are probably going to take multiple turns to finish.
Types of Maneuvers
Aiming is a maneuver that lets a character take a bracing stance or spend a moment lining up a shot with a weapon. This provides a couple of benefits, but has some drawbacks. First, the benefits:
- A Character who spends a maneuver aiming, they gain a boost die to their next combat check. If the character spends two maneuvers in a row, they gain an additional boost die to their next combat check.
- Alternatively, a character can target a specific object carried by a target creature or a specific location on that target creature. This adds 2 setback dice to the character’s next combat check. If the character spends two maneuvers in a row targeting the specific object or location, it only adds 1 setback die to the character’s next combat check.
Now let’s take at the downsides:
- First, your character can’t move from their position, perform a different maneuver, or take another action before they take their next combat action without losing the benefits of this maneuver.
- Second, if the character takes damage that exceeds their soak value, it negates the benefits of this maneuver.
So why would you ever want to use this maneuver? Well, if you are playing a character that is not necessarily the best combat skill character, being able to add boost dice to your combat check is very handy. The other benefit of this maneuver is that it let’s you take called shots at a host of interesting things like door controls, weak spots, or a host of other things that may need a combination of bullets and blaster bolts in them. I’m sure you clever folks can find a good use for this maneuver.
Being a team player in Edge of the Empire has tangible benefits. Performing this Maneuver lets you add a boost die to the next action performed by an engaged ally. Several characters can work together using this maneuver to add several boost dice to a specific task. Bear in mind that a GM can limit the number of characters who can use this maneuver on a specific check, or can determine that some checks don’t benefit from assistance. If you need to get the hull shipshape for a space flight you might consider aiding your Mechanic on their Mechanics check.
This maneuver gives the character a couple of benefits for protecting themselves in melee combat. It adds a setback die to any combat checks that character makes until their next turn, but it also gives them the benefit of Melee Defense 1. If you know you are about to hit a melee combat, this maneuver can be the difference between getting shanked in a bar fight and walking away without a scratch.
Interact with the environment
This is a catch all maneuver that details how a character can interact with the setting around them. Star Wars has always been a universe filled with exciting scenes full of setting elements and details. This is the maneuver that allows a character to interact with that environment in a myriad of potential ways. There are a lot of ways that this maneuver can work for a character that include Moving a big object, Opening or closing doors or taking cover. There are a lot of options for a creative character so make sure you understand the setting you are in before you rush headlong into danger.
Star Wars has a lot of gear and equipment that is situational, and in most cases interacting with your gear is a maneuver. You can reload a weapon, draw or holster one, or ready your weapon as a maneuver. You can also pull something out of storage on your character or put something away as a maneuver. There are a lot of situations where managing your gear is an important game element and this maneuver can give you a lot of situational options.
Mount or Dismount
Star Wars has a host of vehicles, animals and other pieces of equipment that a character can utilize to get from place to place. Trained animals and vehicles are easy to mount up on, but an untrained animal is a trickier proposition. These actually are one of the few maneuvers that requires a skill check (with a difficulty set by the GM depending on the mount in question). Once a character has mounted up or dismounted, they can use the vehicle/mount as an action, or carry out whatever they were planning on doing.
This maneuver is how a character moves around inside the game environment. There are three primary ways that you can spend this maneuver to get from place to place. They are changing a range increment (which basically means that you can move from short to medium range, relative to another character, or you can spend two maneuvers to move from medium to long range, or long to extreme range). You can also engage or disengage from a character (which is the distance that’s inside short range and realistically covers melee combat.) or you can maneuver within short range to get into a different position, relative to another character. This maneuver is likely to get used a lot because it allows a character to navigate around their environment and deal with obstacles in said environment.
Dropping Prone/Standing Up
Characters can either stand up or drop prone as a maneuver. A character in a prone position adds a setback die to any ranged attacks made against him or her, but has to allow the attacker to add a boost die to any melee attacks taken against them. This makes sense as it’s harder to a smaller target at a distance, but a prone character is not typically as capable of resisting melee attacks as a character that’s upright and mobile.
There are a lot of actions that require a brief setup to make them functional. This is covered under the Preparation maneuver and represents a whole lot of different steps that you can perform to get ready to perform something more complicated. It’s usually used in conjunction with another ability or bonus granted by a specific trait or piece of equipment, so make sure you know what all of your oddball gear does.
Maneuvers give you a variety of options for how your character can interact with the game environment of Edge of the Empire. Remember that the list of Maneuvers above is a suggested list and that other sources can have new maneuvers or specific uses of the ones listed above. You can also ask the GM if you can perform an activity as a maneuver because it falls within activities that are similar to the ones above but don’t quite fit. You can always ask, and the GM has final decision over what’s a maneuver and what’s an action.
That’s our write up of Maneuvers for Edge of the Empire, and we’ll be back next week with a look at Actions. Game on, Game Fans.