Sneak Attack

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cbarchuk
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Sneak Attack

Post Thu May 24, 2018 5:17 pm

Wanted to get some thoughts on how other GM's out there rule on sneak attack in BFRPG. I have a halfling thief in my party who always does more or less the same thing every combat and that is on his turn to announce that he's trying to sneak behind the target to backstab. I usually allow him to do this especially if the room is a decent size and if the monsters attention is diverted by other party members or something else entirely. Is it fair that I allow him to do this so often? Should I require a move silently roll every time in order to be successful? Thanks for your thoughts.
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orobouros
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Re: Sneak Attack

Post Thu May 24, 2018 5:43 pm

From the core rules, emphasis mine.
Finally, Thieves can perform a Sneak Attack any time they are behind an opponent in melee and it is reasonably likely the opponent doesn't know the Thief is there. The GM may require a Move Silently or Hide roll to determine this. The Sneak Attack is made with a +4 attack bonus and does double damage if it is successful. A Thief usually can't make a Sneak Attack on the same opponent twice in any given combat.
So going by the rules, a roll check for silent movement or hiding is required -- and I'd say which depends on how the Thief plans on preforming the attack. It's not obligatory, so you have to use your best judgement to see if it's necessary. You can always give a big bonus if you think such feats should be more likely but don't want it to be a given. Or bonus/penalty based on situation, such as if the opponent is already engaged in melee with a party member.

The rules also point out that more than one such (successful?) attack is unlikely to work per combat. So doing it every round seems to go against the spirit of the rules. But again, you're the GM. It's probably more important to be consistent within the game than get others' approval for how you call the shots.
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SmootRK
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Re: Sneak Attack

Post Thu May 24, 2018 5:58 pm

I am with orobouros for basically his entire post.

If I were to re-write the rules on this, I would change the wording here: "The GM will usually require a Move Silently or Hide roll to determine this."
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cbarchuk
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Re: Sneak Attack

Post Thu May 24, 2018 6:05 pm

orobouros wrote:
Thu May 24, 2018 5:43 pm
From the core rules, emphasis mine.
Finally, Thieves can perform a Sneak Attack any time they are behind an opponent in melee and it is reasonably likely the opponent doesn't know the Thief is there. The GM may require a Move Silently or Hide roll to determine this. The Sneak Attack is made with a +4 attack bonus and does double damage if it is successful. A Thief usually can't make a Sneak Attack on the same opponent twice in any given combat.
So going by the rules, a roll check for silent movement or hiding is required -- and I'd say which depends on how the Thief plans on preforming the attack. It's not obligatory, so you have to use your best judgement to see if it's necessary. You can always give a big bonus if you think such feats should be more likely but don't want it to be a given. Or bonus/penalty based on situation, such as if the opponent is already engaged in melee with a party member.

The rules also point out that more than one such (successful?) attack is unlikely to work per combat. So doing it every round seems to go against the spirit of the rules. But again, you're the GM. It's probably more important to be consistent within the game than get others' approval for how you call the shots.
Sounds good. I think I've been a bit too generous then. Is move silently typically going to be the main roll used? Unless the thief is just hiding waiting to ambush someone, I haven't really come across a time yet when a hide roll was used over a move silent roll. Now let me say up front that I'm quite new to DM'ing so there's that. Anyway say for example my thief wanted to move into a room and then attempt to hide in a shadowy corner somewhere would he have to roll a move silently roll AND a hide in shadow roll?
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Solomoriah
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Re: Sneak Attack

Post Thu May 24, 2018 10:21 pm

Combat is noisy; if the battle is already joined, moving silently may not be all that important, but staying out of sight (hide) would be critical.

Judgment is always required.
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Hywaywolf
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Re: Sneak Attack

Post Fri May 25, 2018 6:15 pm

As the GM you are the REFEREE as well and the facilitator for the "other side". So what ever you let your thief do you need to make sure any intelligent/rational opponent can do the same thing. So if the "other side" has a thief and you aren't letting their thief sneak behind the PCs and backstab them then maybe you shouldn't make it so easy for the PC thief.
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cbarchuk
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Re: Sneak Attack

Post Fri May 25, 2018 6:27 pm

Hywaywolf wrote:
Fri May 25, 2018 6:15 pm
As the GM you are the REFEREE as well and the facilitator for the "other side". So what ever you let your thief do you need to make sure any intelligent/rational opponent can do the same thing. So if the "other side" has a thief and you aren't letting their thief sneak behind the PCs and backstab them then maybe you shouldn't make it so easy for the PC thief.
Thanks for your thoughts. Yea I just wanted to make sure the thief felt useful in combat since his Move Silently and Hide in Shadows skills are quite low to the point that he rarely ever makes the roll. So I started just skipping it and I think I went a bit too far.
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Hywaywolf
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Re: Sneak Attack

Post Fri May 25, 2018 7:16 pm

cbarchuk wrote:
Fri May 25, 2018 6:27 pm
Hywaywolf wrote:
Fri May 25, 2018 6:15 pm
As the GM you are the REFEREE as well and the facilitator for the "other side". So what ever you let your thief do you need to make sure any intelligent/rational opponent can do the same thing. So if the "other side" has a thief and you aren't letting their thief sneak behind the PCs and backstab them then maybe you shouldn't make it so easy for the PC thief.
Thanks for your thoughts. Yea I just wanted to make sure the thief felt useful in combat since his Move Silently and Hide in Shadows skills are quite low to the point that he rarely ever makes the roll. So I started just skipping it and I think I went a bit too far.
I like to play a thief and I know that being useful in melee combat isn't going to be my thing. I try to see it as a real situation and backstabbing in a melee combat is going to put me behind "enemy lines". Unless I one-shot my opponent, I will then be engaged in melee combat and must follow all rules of defensive movement. So I don't do melee unless its the last resort before a TPK. I use a bow since I will have a dex bonus (and if I hit a friendly, well oops) or I drag out unconscious players and/or administer first aid, or I loft a flaming flask of oil at the attackers.
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teaman
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Re: Sneak Attack

Post Sat May 26, 2018 10:06 am

Solomoriah wrote:
Thu May 24, 2018 10:21 pm
Combat is noisy; if the battle is already joined, moving silently may not be all that important, but staying out of sight (hide) would be critical.

Judgment is always required.
This is the way I run it. I usually only require a roll if the thief has to sneak up from some distance.

I only allow it on the first attack in a combat, but that's my ruling, not gospel.
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cbarchuk
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Re: Sneak Attack

Post Sat May 26, 2018 10:17 am

teaman wrote:
Sat May 26, 2018 10:06 am
Solomoriah wrote:
Thu May 24, 2018 10:21 pm
Combat is noisy; if the battle is already joined, moving silently may not be all that important, but staying out of sight (hide) would be critical.

Judgment is always required.
This is the way I run it. I usually only require a roll if the thief has to sneak up from some distance.

I only allow it on the first attack in a combat, but that's my ruling, not gospel.
That's good. I haven't been requiring a constant roll simply because the thief's skills are so low. Now an assassin might join the mix as well and I may have to require a roll from him pretty regularly or he'll assassinate everyone...lol.
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