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Re: Sneak Attack

Posted: Sat May 26, 2018 10:34 am
by Hywaywolf
I have never understood why GMs allow "hide" to be used when determining if a thief can sneak behind an opponent. A thief hiding in shadows must remain still for this ability to work. If you hide and the enemy moves past you then yes I see it, but all to often I see a thief deciding he is going to move from the location of the party to get behind an enemy who is staying in one location. How do you hide in shadows if you are moving?

Re: Sneak Attack

Posted: Sat May 26, 2018 11:07 am
by SmootRK
Hywaywolf wrote:
Sat May 26, 2018 10:34 am
I have never understood why GMs allow "hide" to be used when determining if a thief can sneak behind an opponent. A thief hiding in shadows must remain still for this ability to work. If you hide and the enemy moves past you then yes I see it, but all to often I see a thief deciding he is going to move from the location of the party to get behind an enemy who is staying in one location. How do you hide in shadows if you are moving?
I use either based upon which seems most appropriate. Like you just mention, Hiding so that an enemy passes your location is exactly the way I would utilize. Otherwise, Move Silently to more actively get into position for the Sneak Attack.

I have on occasion thought that a more general skill called "Stealth" that encompasses both/either such maneuvers would be a simpler overall. The concepts are so interwoven in my mind.

Re: Sneak Attack

Posted: Sat May 26, 2018 1:06 pm
by Hywaywolf
SmootRK wrote:
Sat May 26, 2018 11:07 am
Hywaywolf wrote:
Sat May 26, 2018 10:34 am
I have never understood why GMs allow "hide" to be used when determining if a thief can sneak behind an opponent. A thief hiding in shadows must remain still for this ability to work. If you hide and the enemy moves past you then yes I see it, but all to often I see a thief deciding he is going to move from the location of the party to get behind an enemy who is staying in one location. How do you hide in shadows if you are moving?
I use either based upon which seems most appropriate. Like you just mention, Hiding so that an enemy passes your location is exactly the way I would utilize. Otherwise, Move Silently to more actively get into position for the Sneak Attack.

I have on occasion thought that a more general skill called "Stealth" that encompasses both/either such maneuvers would be a simpler overall. The concepts are so interwoven in my mind.
Still, moving silently just means they don't hear you, not that they can't see you. Thats whats wrong with removing "move silently" from the attempt to sneak behind opponents during combat. Sure there is enough noise to cover the sound but the thief will be moving (which isn't hiding). I suppose the argument is that opponents will be distracted, but its also true that opponents will have a greater situational awareness due to the fact they are in a life or death combat and will be watching for things that might kill them. I don't think its unreasonable to require succeeding at both move silently and hide in shadows when a thief is trying to hide while MOVING in shadows regardless of the noise level.

Re: Sneak Attack

Posted: Sat May 26, 2018 1:41 pm
by Metroknight
It has happened in my games before and I usually give the rogue the chance to sneak up on someone but the opponent gets a chance to notice (I use the surprise chance - d6 based roll - for the opponent to see or notice the rogue) when it involves combat otherwise if they are moving silently or hiding in shadows or appropriate locations such as behind or under stuff then it is a standard roll.

Re: Sneak Attack

Posted: Sat May 26, 2018 7:11 pm
by cbarchuk
Hywaywolf wrote:
Sat May 26, 2018 1:06 pm
SmootRK wrote:
Sat May 26, 2018 11:07 am
Hywaywolf wrote:
Sat May 26, 2018 10:34 am
I have never understood why GMs allow "hide" to be used when determining if a thief can sneak behind an opponent. A thief hiding in shadows must remain still for this ability to work. If you hide and the enemy moves past you then yes I see it, but all to often I see a thief deciding he is going to move from the location of the party to get behind an enemy who is staying in one location. How do you hide in shadows if you are moving?
I use either based upon which seems most appropriate. Like you just mention, Hiding so that an enemy passes your location is exactly the way I would utilize. Otherwise, Move Silently to more actively get into position for the Sneak Attack.

I have on occasion thought that a more general skill called "Stealth" that encompasses both/either such maneuvers would be a simpler overall. The concepts are so interwoven in my mind.
Still, moving silently just means they don't hear you, not that they can't see you. Thats whats wrong with removing "move silently" from the attempt to sneak behind opponents during combat. Sure there is enough noise to cover the sound but the thief will be moving (which isn't hiding). I suppose the argument is that opponents will be distracted, but its also true that opponents will have a greater situational awareness due to the fact they are in a life or death combat and will be watching for things that might kill them. I don't think its unreasonable to require succeeding at both move silently and hide in shadows when a thief is trying to hide while MOVING in shadows regardless of the noise level.
You make some great points. I had my thief in a session tonight have to roll both a MS and a HS check and, being only level 3, he failed one of them...lol. Being a thief at low levels is tough. But honestly is a backstab worth all the work it takes just to get into place to land one? Now on the other hand, it's almost always worth it for an assassin especially against a tough enemy. Anyways I've been just having my thief roll a hide check. In the heat of battle I assume moving silently isn't an issue. I have the thief roll the hide check to if the enemy see's the thief as he tries to backstab. Of course the thief's hide skill is quite low...unless he's a halfling. :D

Re: Sneak Attack

Posted: Sun May 27, 2018 1:44 pm
by Saladin
his Move Silently and Hide in Shadows skills are quite low to the point that he rarely ever makes the roll
That’s a big problem with almost OSR rules. Thief abilities need to be opposed checks by level of the opponent (or object).

Re: Sneak Attack

Posted: Sun May 27, 2018 3:05 pm
by Hywaywolf
Its not really a problem. Just a different flavor. In old school games 1st level adventurers are just a step above commoners except for having a little bit of training. A 1st level thief is better than the average person at sneaking and hiding and picking pockets but they are still at the bottom of the barrel at their trade. Old school games at their core are about slightly better than average people becoming great adventurers. Much of modern gaming is about already being great adventurers who are on the path to godlike abilities.

But like many people here have said. If you don't like how frail/bungling/etc 1st level characters are just start your campaign with every PC having 5000 xp.

Re: Sneak Attack

Posted: Sun May 27, 2018 5:14 pm
by Saladin
Thief abilities were always stupid. We realized that when they first came out. The simplest answer is just to add 50% to everything, then subtract 10% for each level the target is above the thief or add 10% for each level below. (Use dungeon levels for traps, etc.)

Re: Sneak Attack

Posted: Sun May 27, 2018 7:36 pm
by Dimirag
To me, easier than that would be d10+level vs 10+level, but, even easier than that is to leave it as it and lessen the results of failed rolls:
Failed to detect or remove a trap: The trap remains intact.
Failed to climb a wall: You don't find a suitable path to climb, remain on your place.
Failed to hide or sneak: You are not detected automatically, you move or hide as any other (then there is the universal chance of being heard or seen)
This makes thief's rolls more akin to other roll, like attack rolls, where if you fail, you don't get damaged by your opponent.

Re: Sneak Attack

Posted: Sun May 27, 2018 7:41 pm
by cbarchuk
Dimirag wrote:
Sun May 27, 2018 7:36 pm
To me, easier than that would be d10+level vs 10+level, but, even easier than that is to leave it as it and lessen the results of failed rolls:
Failed to detect or remove a trap: The trap remains intact.
Failed to climb a wall: You don't find a suitable path to climb, remain on your place.
Failed to hide or sneak: You are not detected automatically, you move or hide as any other (then there is the universal chance of being heard or seen)
This makes thief's rolls more akin to other roll, like attack rolls, where if you fail, you don't get damaged by your opponent.
Dimirag, can you explain the first option a bit more? I'm talking about the d10+lvl vs d10+ lvl one you mentioned.