Concealment & Denying DEX bonus: Cloak Force Power & Sentinel Strike

On page 145 of the Core Rulebook under the Reflex Defense, Dexterity Modifier heading it states:

"... If you are flat-footed or unaware of an attack, you lose your Dexterity bonus (but not a penalty) to your Reflex Defense. ..."

In Clone Wars, the Force power says:
"You can bend light around your body, rendering yourself invisible to anyone around you."

but in terms of rules:
"You are considered to have total concealment against all targets until the beginning of your next turn."  and possibly gain a + Force bonus to Stealth checks depending on your level of success with the power.

I find the wording of the Concealment rules to be a little confusing though in the Core Rulebook.  It never explicitly states that the target is 'unaware' of you if you have total concealment, even though, it'd be hard to be aware of an invisible opponent.  Even if you are in combat and know something is attacking you.  If they shift their position, it'd be pretty tough for you to know where they ae attacking from.

So I guess the question is:

If you have the Cloak Power, and are in the middle of a combat encounter, and you use it, when you strike your next opponent, does that grant you the benefits of them being "unaware" of you, enough to trigger the loss of DEX so that Sentinel Strike would function?

If you have the Improved Cloak Force Technique and can maintain the power as a Move action, can you maintain it and continue to make standard attacks (or charges if you need movement), retaining the triggering condition for Sentinel Strike each round so long as you don't lose the Cloak benefits?

I'm considering a sneaky build with Sentinel Strike, Cloak and Improved Cloak, and potentially White Current Adept.  The Concealment rules don't seem quite clear to me though in terms of whether it works.  It 'seems' like it should.  As a final note, I realize that loss of DEX and "flat-footed" are two entirely different conditions, I'm not asking if the Cloak total concealment makes the target flat-footed.

I am Blue/Black
My thought is to simply stay away from Sneak Attack and look for other, less complex things, instead.  When weapons deal 2d8 damage the extra d6 damage isn't nearly as valuable as it is in DnD where you may be using a d6 weapon and also see the number of d6s go up.  To put things bluntly Sneak Attack (and Sentinel Strike which is effectively the same thing) just isn't worth the talent investment required.  If you really want to "hurt" a target denied its DEX I'd say that Dastardly Strike and its -1 step down the CT is far more effective then just getting another 3.5 points of damage.  I'm sorry if this isn't helpful as this advice is basically saying "re-evaluate your character's concept."

I can't think of anywhere that SAGA says an 'invisible' creature automatically denies a target it's DEX modifier to REF.  Now it may make a surprise round possible but once combat starts it doesn't appear to reset and certainly not quickly.
 

On page 145 of the Core Rulebook under the Reflex Defense, Dexterity Modifier heading it states:

"... If you are flat-footed or unaware of an attack, you lose your Dexterity bonus (but not a penalty) to your Reflex Defense. ..."

In Clone Wars, the Force power says:
"You can bend light around your body, rendering yourself invisible to anyone around you."

but in terms of rules:
"You are considered to have total concealment against all targets until the beginning of your next turn."  and possibly gain a + Force bonus to Stealth checks depending on your level of success with the power.

I find the wording of the Concealment rules to be a little confusing though in the Core Rulebook.  It never explicitly states that the target is 'unaware' of you if you have total concealment, even though, it'd be hard to be aware of an invisible opponent.  Even if you are in combat and know something is attacking you.  If they shift their position, it'd be pretty tough for you to know where they ae attacking from.

So I guess the question is:

If you have the Cloak Power, and are in the middle of a combat encounter, and you use it, when you strike your next opponent, does that grant you the benefits of them being "unaware" of you, enough to trigger the loss of DEX so that Sentinel Strike would function?

No. Simply using the Cloak force power during combat will not render an opponent flat-footed or Dex-denied.

To determine who is “unaware”, you need to check page 150 where it talks about determining awareness and “Unaware Combatants”. It specifically mentions that combatants are unaware if they fail to notice their opponents at the beginning of combat, usually with a Perception check. Unaware combatants are flat-footed until their first regular turn in the initiative order (page 149 under "Flat-footed"). Once everyone has acted, no one is “unaware” anymore, even if you turn invisible.

Of course, being invisible will make it very difficult for the opponent to notice you. So you can easily initiate a surprise round and make attacks vs flat-footed opponents. But once they have acted in combat, they are no longer flat-footed.



If you have the Improved Cloak Force Technique and can maintain the power as a Move action, can you maintain it and continue to make standard attacks (or charges if you need movement), retaining the triggering condition for Sentinel Strike each round so long as you don't lose the Cloak benefits?

I'm considering a sneaky build with Sentinel Strike, Cloak and Improved Cloak, and potentially White Current Adept.  The Concealment rules don't seem quite clear to me though in terms of whether it works.  It 'seems' like it should.  As a final note, I realize that loss of DEX and "flat-footed" are two entirely different conditions, I'm not asking if the Cloak total concealment makes the target flat-footed.

For this build, you should consider taking the Ghost Assailant scout talent. If you start your turn with total concealment, you can make a Stealth check as a swift action, opposed by the target’s Perception check. If you succeed, the target is considered flat-footed against you until the end of your turn. Along with this, Also, I recommend the Saber Swarm force power.  That way you can whack the opponent twice, applying your Sentinel Strike both times.

If you want to go really nuts, you can take Accelerated Strike feat + Dual Weapon Mastery or Double Attack/Triple Attack (or anything else that allows you to make a full attack as a stanard action, such as Dual Weapon Flourish Melee Duelist talent). That way you can make multiple attacks as a standard action vs a flat-footed opponent, applying Sentinal Strike benefits.

Finally, the Improved Sentinel Strike Jedi Knight talent will make your Sentinel Strike d8's instead of d6's


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Ok, I think I see.

Improved Sentinel Strike was definitely part of the intent in the build.  I was just curious if Cloak & Improved Cloak would be sufficient to allow for Dex denied (again I knew already that Flat-foot was something separate and definitely wasn't gained from Cloak).

Part of the reason I was thinking about this was to get a character, with Improved Sentinel strike that was doing a lot of d8s in a single blow.  With stacking Sentinel Strike (and then Improving it), plus Rapid Strike / Improved Rapid Strike, Powerful charge, potentially Power Attack...  I was thinking the damage could really start to stack up on a single blow.

Without the Cloak granting Dex denied on the target though, I still think it's ok, conceptually, I think the Blind Force power could work, or really going with improving Charging, with Maniacal Charge (UR) and Fleche (GoI) might work out too.  The character would be pretty Dexterous, so I was thinking eventually Juyo & Ataru mastery, which would make Saber Swarm and Vornskr's Ferocity interesting adds into the mix.

Improving Cloak and leaving it up as a Move action would still grant the defensive bonuses of being totally concealed to the character using it though, correct?

One other question, does the "Unhindered Charge" Force power count as a charge?  It doesn't appear to come with the +2 attack and -2 Reflex defense (unless it's been errata'd where I haven't seen), but would it count to trigger Powerful Charge, and if you had Dodge/Mobility/Improved Charge, can it be done in a non-straight line?  Or is it just a completely separate thing from charging that doesn't work with any of the other charging rules despite the name and similar function (standard action to move and attack) of the power?

Even if that doesn't work, it should be sufficient to do something along the lines of:

Swift Action: Force power - Blind the target, making them flat-footed.
Move Action: Maintain Cloak
Standard Action:  Normal charge the target, plus Powerful charge, plus Fleche crit hit on a 17+ attack roll, spend a force point to activate Vornskr's Ferocity lightsaber form power with Juyo not to take a DSP, plus Sentinel Strike for bonus d8s based on flat-footed status after the Blind.

Correct?
I am Blue/Black
My thought is to simply stay away from Sneak Attack and look for other, less complex things, instead.  When weapons deal 2d8 damage the extra d6 damage isn't nearly as valuable as it is in DnD where you may be using a d6 weapon and also see the number of d6s go up.  To put things bluntly Sneak Attack (and Sentinel Strike which is effectively the same thing) just isn't worth the talent investment required.  If you really want to "hurt" a target denied its DEX I'd say that Dastardly Strike and its -1 step down the CT is far more effective then just getting another 3.5 points of damage.  I'm sorry if this isn't helpful as this advice is basically saying "re-evaluate your character's concept."

I can't think of anywhere that SAGA says an 'invisible' creature automatically denies a target it's DEX modifier to REF.  Now it may make a surprise round possible but once combat starts it doesn't appear to reset and certainly not quickly.
 




I don't really agree-Sneak Attack/ Sebntinel Strike may not be the absolute best talents but if you aren't worried about optimisation I find them pretty helpful. An extra 3.5 damage can be a fair bit of hurt. Consider that Specialisation gives you 2 extra damage. (Granted, more often, but I'll take 1d6 over 2 any day).
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Part of the reason I was thinking about this was to get a character, with Improved Sentinel strike that was doing a lot of d8s in a single blow.  With stacking Sentinel Strike (and then Improving it), plus Rapid Strike / Improved Rapid Strike, Powerful charge, potentially Power Attack...  I was thinking the damage could really start to stack up on a single blow.

Yes, this would definitely result in a massive damage hit.



Without the Cloak granting Dex denied on the target though, I still think it's ok, conceptually, I think the Blind Force power could work, or really going with improving Charging, with Maniacal Charge (UR) and Fleche (GoI) might work out too.  The character would be pretty Dexterous, so I was thinking eventually Juyo & Ataru mastery, which would make Saber Swarm and Vornskr's Ferocity interesting adds into the mix.

Sounds good.



Improving Cloak and leaving it up as a Move action would still grant the defensive bonuses of being totally concealed to the character using it though, correct?

Yes, there are penalties in attacking an invisible character, making it definitely tough. First, you can attack a square you think he occupies. If you actually guess correctly, you take a -5 attack penalty. You can never make AoO’s against an invisible character. You can attempt to Notice the target with a Perception check but you take a -10 penalty. Also, that costs a standard action, so even if you do notice him, you can’t attack him this round.



One other question, does the "Unhindered Charge" Force power count as a charge?  It doesn't appear to come with the +2 attack and -2 Reflex defense (unless it's been errata'd where I haven't seen), but would it count to trigger Powerful Charge, and if you had Dodge/Mobility/Improved Charge, can it be done in a non-straight line?  Or is it just a completely separate thing from charging that doesn't work with any of the other charging rules despite the name and similar function (standard action to move and attack) of the power?

Unhindered Charge does not count as a charge, despite the name.



Even if that doesn't work, it should be sufficient to do something along the lines of:

Swift Action: Force power - Blind the target, making them flat-footed.
Move Action: Maintain Cloak
Standard Action:  Normal charge the target, plus Powerful charge, plus Fleche crit hit on a 17+ attack roll, spend a force point to activate Vornskr's Ferocity lightsaber form power with Juyo not to take a DSP, plus Sentinel Strike for bonus d8s based on flat-footed status after the Blind.

Correct?

This works. Get Triple Crit for total chaos.

There are other ways you may want to check out to make an opponent flat-footed:

Unbalancing block lightsaber form power – when an adjacent enemy makes a melee attack against you as a reaction make a UtF vs attack to take half damage, and UtF vs Will to consider target as flat-footed until the end of your next turn.

Exposing Strike jedi talent - When you use a lightsaber to deal damage to a target, you can spend a Force Point to make that target flat-footed until the end of your next turn.

Mind Trick force power – make an opponent Dex-denied against your next attack. If you’re invisible, you can use Mind Trick on someone as a standard action, then attack them next round (or whenever). Not sure if this is legal, but if you get Improved Mind Trick, you can Mind Trick a 6-sq cone of opponents, make them all Dex-denied against your next attack, then each one can get Sentinel Striked when you attack them.

Fluid Riposte lightsaber form power – spend a FP to treat the opponent as flat-footed against the reactionary attack



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Fluid Riposte and Triple Crit would definitely be in the build I think, I'm not sure about Exposing Strike, Mind Trick, or Unbalancing block.  I will likely check out the Maniacal Charge and skill training and focus in Persuasion.  The free action part of that seems like a winner, and would free up the swift action for something else like Battle Strike or something.
I am Blue/Black
Fluid Riposte and Triple Crit would definitely be in the build I think, I'm not sure about Exposing Strike, Mind Trick, or Unbalancing block. 

Just to keep in mind, Fluid Riposte requires a FP to make the opponent flat-footed, Unbalancing Block does not. Also, a Fluid Riposte flat-footed FP attack lasts for 1 attack, wheras Unbalancing BLock makes him flat-footed until the end of your next turn, thus leaving him open to multiple flat-footed attacks on your turn. Anyway, both are good.



The free action part of that seems like a winner, and would free up the swift action for something else like Battle Strike or something.

How does a free action free up a swift action?

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Fluid Riposte and Triple Crit would definitely be in the build I think, I'm not sure about Exposing Strike, Mind Trick, or Unbalancing block. 

Just to keep in mind, Fluid Riposte requires a FP to make the opponent flat-footed, Unbalancing Block does not. Also, a Fluid Riposte flat-footed FP attack lasts for 1 attack, wheras Unbalancing BLock makes him flat-footed until the end of your next turn, thus leaving him open to multiple flat-footed attacks on your turn. Anyway, both are good.



True, I'll have to consider that.

The free action part of that seems like a winner, and would free up the swift action for something else like Battle Strike or something.

How does a free action free up a swift action?



I was thinking Maniacal Charge over the swift action to activate the Blind force power for making the target flat-footed.
I am Blue/Black
Is there any way to turn Sneak Attack damage into d8s the way Sentinel Strike can when you Improve it?
I am Blue/Black
Is there any way to turn Sneak Attack damage into d8s the way Sentinel Strike can when you Improve it?

Not to my knowledge. The only special thing Sneak Attack can do is if you have the Unleashed feat, you can spend a DP to add +5 attack and +5d6 damage.

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Is there any way to turn Sneak Attack damage into d8s the way Sentinel Strike can when you Improve it?

There is a Improved Sneak Attack talent, but it doesn't do that. Improved Sneak Attack let you use sneak attack up to 12 sq away.
The only special thing Sneak Attack can do is if you have the Unleashed feat, you can spend a DP to add +5 attack and +5d6 damage.

That is not all, Hobbling Strike let you reduce your opponents speed insted of dealing extra damage, Staggering Attack let you turn as many dice of Sneak Attack you want into extra movement (2 sq per dice).

There are other good feats and talents out there that combine well with Sneak Attack, but typically they let you use your extra damage in a new situation

20801.jpg

I wonder if Sith Lord would make better use of Sentinel Strikes since he would be able to force targets who don't have a DSS do possibly gain 1 DSS and thus use his Sentinel Strike...
192523575 wrote:
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I wonder if Sith Lord would make better use of Sentinel Strikes since he would be able to force targets who don't have a DSS do possibly gain 1 DSS and thus use his Sentinel Strike...

A target doesn't need 1 DSS to use Sentinel Strike against him. He just needs to be flat-footed. Also, a Sith won't be able to take Improved Sentinel Strike since you need to be a jedi get that talent.

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I wonder if Sith Lord would make better use of Sentinel Strikes since he would be able to force targets who don't have a DSS do possibly gain 1 DSS and thus use his Sentinel Strike...

I can't follow your logic here. The Sentinel Strike does not require the target to have a DSS. It requires that the target be denied its Dex-bonus to Reflex Defense (or flat-footed). This could work out great for a former Jedi gone Sith Lord, if he has some good way to deny a target its Dex-bonus...

The real cheese is if you somehow can deny multiple targets their Dex-bonus, then use a non-dark side force power to damage several targets. That would let you add the extra damage to every target!

20801.jpg

The real cheese is if you somehow can deny multiple targets their Dex-bonus, then use a non-dark side force power to damage several targets. That would let you add the extra damage to every target!



How about this for maximum cheese:

Improved Mind Trick: deny dex to 6-sq cone of enemies

Next round, Force Slam: Damage same 6-sq cone of enemies, spend a FP for extra damage, apply max Sentinel Strike, dealing 11d6 damage to all targets! Improve Sentinel Strike for 6d6 + 5d8 damage!

EDIT: Never mind, I don't think this will work since Mind Trick says the opponent is dex-denied against next attack. A force power is not an attack...

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I got confused.  I thought Sentinel Strike required the target to need a DSS of 1 or higher, but I was mistaken.
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I got confused.  I thought Sentinel Strike required the target to need a DSS of 1 or higher, but I was mistaken.

It happens to all of us.

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