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In Starfinder, during starship combat, the Snap Shot minor crew action allows a crew member who has taken a major crew action earlier in the round to fire a starship weapon during the gunnery phase. The rules state:

You can fire one of your starship’s weapons with a –2 penalty to the gunnery check. You can take this action only if no other gunner actions have been taken during the gunnery phase (including snap shot).

The wording of the second sentence raises questions. Does it disallow Snap Shot actions completely if another character intends to take a gunner major action at any point in the Gunnery Phase? Does it disallow Snap Shot actions unless they're taken before any gunner major actions for the phase? Does it simply disallow Snap Shot if the character attempting it has already carried out--or intends to carry out--a gunner major action? Or does it disallow a Snap Shot if a gunner action has been taken--or will be taken--with the specific weapon being used?

The scenario I am facing in play is this: a pilot has completed a pilot major action in the Helm phase and positioned the ship to put the enemy ship in the port quadrant. There are two gunners on board. The first gunner has fired at the enemy ship with a turreted weapon. The second gunner has fired at the enemy ship with a port arc weapon. The pilot's player points out that the ship also has a forward arc weapon that has the broad arc property--meaning that it can target ships in the port or starboard arcs with a -2 penalty. He wishes to Snap Shoot the broad arc weapon at the ship in the port arc with a cumulative penalty of -4 (-2 for firing outside the weapon's normal arc and -2 for the fact that it is a Snap Shot). This seems like a reasonable request to me, but do the rules preclude it? If they do, then had the pilot declared this intention before the other gunners rolled, would he have been able to do it within the rules?

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Well, I admit that the wording here is not 100% clear and any of your interpretation is possible. At the same time I would suggest to look at the general description of Minor Crew Actions.

Minor crew actions are computer-aided actions that allow a starship limited functionality if it doesn’t have the necessary crew to fill all the roles (for instance, the lone crew member aboard a Tiny starship might always be the pilot but may need to fire one of the vessel’s weapons in an emergency). You can take one minor crew action per round regardless of your current role, but only if no other action was performed this round for the role associated with that minor crew action. A minor crew action can be performed only once per round and doesn’t count as your action.

I think, it suggests that a Snap Shot minor action can only be taken if there is no way to take a major gunnery action this round neither by the character attempting the Snap Shot action nor by any other crew member.

I personally would allow a Snap Shot action only if it is the only gunnery action in a round for whatever reason, even if a gunner is in position to perform a major action, but refrains from doing it.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Thanks for your answer. I think you've quoted the exact passage to best answer the question. \$\endgroup\$ – ruffdove Feb 24 at 2:25

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