My Rebel player group is heading towards a clash with ISB assassins in the near future, and I stumbled upon this piece of interesting equipment in the Cyphers and Masks book. The Redirection Crystal is basically a tool to help snipers disguise their attacks; you set up this “gun” near to where you figure the target is going to be, presumably you aim it at a spot where you intent do snipe the target, and then you can indirectly fire at said target from hiding by shooting the crystal which redirects the shot to the intended target/spot. I remember this weapon being a thing in the (absolutely terrible – sorry) Timothy Zahn book, Specter of the Past.
Anyway, my question – which isn’t answered in the C&M book, as far as I can see – is: How does this work rules-wise, exactly?
-Could you extend the range of your attack by, say, placing the Redirection Crystal at Long Range from the target and then yourself at it from Long Range, to achieve Long Range x2 effective range attack? (Assuming your weapon has Range Long).
-Must you fire from EXACTLY “behind” the crystal, or is it enough to hit it from any angle and the crystal will transfer the attack in the direction it is pointed?
-What should be the difficulty for making the via-the-Redirection-Crystal shot? Just simply increase or upgrade the attack difficulty once? (Perhaps increasing/upgrading once per extra Range band between the crystal and target?)
-Should there be two skill checks made here, somehow? One, perhaps… Perception? to set up the Redirection Crystal to point to the spot you want to hit, and then a separate Ranged shot to hit the crystal?
Any idea how to pull this off?
Gist of the weapon is we are installing a trap (closer to an explosive) in a location which we activate by successfully shooting it. The RAW provides a static hard skulduggery check to set it up, and it is also a hard ranged check to hit it. Not an attack, but a check.
Those rolls don’t necessarily cover determining the best place for it to both be hitable and to hit the target. They also don’t cover how you can tell the target is in place when it comes time to activate it. RAW also doesn’t mandate which roll you can use for advantage/net successes to determine ultimate damage / critting / peripheral good stuff. All of that is open to interpretation and the needs of the narrative/game.
Long from Long Range - No, the RAW explicitly says the crystal shot is Short range, using a different profile than the original weapon. It’s less a redirection than a static aimed blaster you shoot to activate. Technically, you could set up a cascade of these, but like multiple explosives it would soon get literally impossible to do, and be really prone to failure. Subject to the Rule of Cool, I wouldn’t entertain the possibility.
Doesn’t matter the angle, because it’s not redirecting, it’s just activating. We should also consider issues with detection/perception of a) the crystal, and b) the actual target which are important to the narrative.
The hit on the ultimate target by the crystal’s shot is already dealt with by the setup of the crystal. Essentially it is a trap not unlike an explosive, not an attack by the character. This has implications for Dodge/Adversary/Defense/etc.
I would decide what matters most in determining net successes/advantages in the particular circumstance. Is it the planning of the location (maybe perception, vigilance), initial setup (skulduggery), is it the timing of it (cool)? … I’d say it has very little, if anything, to do with the trick shot to hit the crystal, though.
Two+ Checks: Yes, this is a trap, so we may need to make several checks (but only if they’re all actually interesting narrative questions.
With 9 damage no pierce/breach, you’re not going to be one-shotting a PC to incapacity anyway, so I’d be using these for:
going after NPCs that helped or know information about the assassins. IE: That scene where the Detective interrogates a witness and just as they succeed and get a little information, the witness dies.
setting up subcontracted killings where they kill the killer in a setup;
frame jobs against NPCs or the PCs alike (e.g. crystal hidden at a doorway so it looks like someone came into the room and shot from there)
distractions or no-expense-spared spectacles of insanity: set up a bunch of the crystals on either side of a scene or around a room to just fire off in succession as distractions;
Thank you, @Kayber. I asked the question by memory of the item, and it turns out my memory is more poodoo than even I thought. Thanks for the schooling where I was just being stupid (i.e. misremembered), and thank you also for insights and considerations on more legitimate matters. Awesome, mate!
Basically, to think about it as a trap is much more helpful than as something that redirects the original shot (as the name “Redirection Crystal” implies). Cool.