Can touch-only attacks be passive?

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lmckenzi lmckenzi's picture
Can touch-only attacks be passive?

The rules for touch-only effects such as the Psi slight Psychic Stab imply that the attacker must initiate the touch. Is it possible to instead initiate the touch-based attack when receiving a melee hit from an opponent. For example, morph with Psi level 2 holds their action and is hit with a melee weapon by an opponent and then releases their Psychic Stab without having to make their own attack roll? (Can envision something similar if defending using shock gloves or something, though I suppose in that case there'd be a chance of the attacker hitting something other than the gloves.

Related question:
Exactly what constitutes a "touch"? Must you contact skin? Some part of the opponent's clothing? Anything the opponent is wielding?

Decivre Decivre's picture
Re: Can touch-only attacks be passive?

lmckenzi wrote:
The rules for touch-only effects such as the Psi slight Psychic Stab imply that the attacker must initiate the touch. Is it possible to instead initiate the touch-based attack when receiving a melee hit from an opponent. For example, morph with Psi level 2 holds their action and is hit with a melee weapon by an opponent and then releases their Psychic Stab without having to make their own attack roll? (Can envision something similar if defending using shock gloves or something, though I suppose in that case there'd be a chance of the attacker hitting something other than the gloves.

Related question:
Exactly what constitutes a "touch"? Must you contact skin? Some part of the opponent's clothing? Anything the opponent is wielding?

For the purpose of async abilities, our group has generally ruled that a "touch" is any point at which the async is pressed against a part of the target's body, whether it be directly on skin or through close. Lightly brushing the target isn't enough, it has to be such that tactile sensation could occur.

As for whether it can be done defensively, I say that it depends on the tactical context. Two people fighting in hand-to-hand combat have little to no possibility to avoid touch, so I allow an async to use touch sleights during a defensive exchange under the precondition that he/she has a mental action to withhold for triggering the sleight. However, if the target is using a melee weapon that gives them a significant reach advantage, then a defensive touch may only be done if the target charges the async or does anything else that might close the gap. If the target is explicitly trying to maintain distance, then the async must go on the offensive to trigger his abilities.

I also use these rules when dealing with characters that have eelware or shock gloves. As a secondary note unrelated to the topic directly, I think it should be mentioned that as a person who plays a combat async, I would highly recommend investing in eelware. Async sleights eat at your durability quickly, and having a secondary way to be effective in combat that doesn't cause strain is very helpful. Eelware allows you to disable a target without necessarily having to pump him or her with sleights to get the job done.

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