Sneak Attack

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Dimirag
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Re: Sneak Attack

Post Sun Jun 03, 2018 10:18 pm

cbarchuk wrote:
Sun Jun 03, 2018 10:01 pm
...hiding doesn't make sense because he's not standing still waiting to ambush someone...
Hiding makes sense if the Thief actually tries to hide from an opponent's view (not necessarily hiding in a dark spot, maybe moving to some blind spot or mixing with the combatants), it will take him his action and the result wouldn't be known to him.
If he just advance and attack a distracted opponent then a backstab is ok to me.
If he then just sit there, or moves around with no other precaution, then no, his opponent is aware and can't be backstabed.
So I've been thinking of maybe just rolling a d6 every time for surprise but allowing the thief to achieve surprise on a 1-4.
Surprise is rolled at the start of an encounter unless you want to roll it for every "sudden" situation.
Some games gives sneaky characters like Elves and Rangers a 1-2 chance on the d6, that would be ok for a thief, but the party would have to move carefully or at a distance behind the thief.
This makes more sense to me in the heat of combat and also not allowing the thief to backstab the same target more than once. What do you think?
If you don't want the thief to backsab more than once per opponent then simply don't allow, consider that a backstabbed opponent will remain alert enough to cancel this special ability instead of dealing with rules alteration or additions.
Sorry for any misspelling or writing error, I am not a native English speaker
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cbarchuk
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Re: Sneak Attack

Post Sun Jun 03, 2018 10:27 pm

Dimirag wrote:
Sun Jun 03, 2018 10:18 pm
cbarchuk wrote:
Sun Jun 03, 2018 10:01 pm
...hiding doesn't make sense because he's not standing still waiting to ambush someone...
Hiding makes sense if the Thief actually tries to hide from an opponent's view (not necessarily hiding in a dark spot, maybe moving to some blind spot or mixing with the combatants), it will take him his action and the result wouldn't be known to him.
If he just advance and attack a distracted opponent then a backstab is ok to me.
If he then just sit there, or moves around with no other precaution, then no, his opponent is aware and can't be backstabed.
So I've been thinking of maybe just rolling a d6 every time for surprise but allowing the thief to achieve surprise on a 1-4.
Surprise is rolled at the start of an encounter unless you want to roll it for every "sudden" situation.
Some games gives sneaky characters like Elves and Rangers a 1-2 chance on the d6, that would be ok for a thief, but the party would have to move carefully or at a distance behind the thief.
This makes more sense to me in the heat of combat and also not allowing the thief to backstab the same target more than once. What do you think?
If you don't want the thief to backsab more than once per opponent then simply don't allow, consider that a backstabbed opponent will remain alert enough to cancel this special ability instead of dealing with rules alteration or additions.
Yea I'm mainly talking about backstabbing in the heat of combat. So in your games, the thief doesn't have to roll a MS or HS when backstabbing during combat? Can he also backstab the same target more than once as well?
My thought here is to also not worry about HS or MS at all during combat and just add a simple d6 roll to see if the opponent notices the thief or not right before he strikes.
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Hywaywolf
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Re: Sneak Attack

Post Sun Jun 03, 2018 11:17 pm

I think you put to much thought into pleasing the player and I am a player that likes to play a thief.

I personally don't think there is any way that a low level character can sneak around to the back of a group in combat in an enclosed space and get into a position to backstab an enemy. If you tried having a low level enemy sneaking behind your party in an enclosed space and backstabbing a party member they would lose their freaking minds. But since its in the rules and players are gonna want to do it, I think you should have to succeed with both move silently and hide in shadows to make it happen.

And if they fail either role, depending on how bad they fail it you should determine if they are actually beyond the enemies front rank and have an enemy attack them while they think they are hidden. ie without being ready to defend themselves so lose initiative or even a penalty to their AC.

But I admit I am biased and hope all backstab during combat attempts fail because its such a meta thing to do and a dumb idea in real life. You are separating yourself from your team and, IMO, once you attack you are now in melee and can't break away without giving up a parting shot.
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cbarchuk
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Re: Sneak Attack

Post Mon Jun 04, 2018 6:59 am

Hywaywolf wrote:
Sun Jun 03, 2018 11:17 pm
I think you put to much thought into pleasing the player and I am a player that likes to play a thief.

I personally don't think there is any way that a low level character can sneak around to the back of a group in combat in an enclosed space and get into a position to backstab an enemy. If you tried having a low level enemy sneaking behind your party in an enclosed space and backstabbing a party member they would lose their freaking minds. But since its in the rules and players are gonna want to do it, I think you should have to succeed with both move silently and hide in shadows to make it happen.

And if they fail either role, depending on how bad they fail it you should determine if they are actually beyond the enemies front rank and have an enemy attack them while they think they are hidden. ie without being ready to defend themselves so lose initiative or even a penalty to their AC.

But I admit I am biased and hope all backstab during combat attempts fail because its such a meta thing to do and a dumb idea in real life. You are separating yourself from your team and, IMO, once you attack you are now in melee and can't break away without giving up a parting shot.
Well I can't argue with that. I'm trying my best to stay in the spirit of the old school d&d and not get bogged down in rules but for some reason having my thief in my game operate like a 5th edition rogue irks me...lol. But you're right I am overly thinking about it. I guess I just want it to function in a special way under special conditions because my thief is doing more damage than the fighter many times. He usually kills the target with a backstab so he's not engaged with anyone. And also being a halfling he starts out with a pretty high HIDE skill and usually passes it. Oh well it is what it is. :)
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Hywaywolf
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Re: Sneak Attack

Post Mon Jun 04, 2018 9:19 am

And I bet that most people who allow the thief to sneak behind a NPC party and backstab one of them allows them to do it in a single round or maybe 1 round to sneak and one to attack. So all that sneAking and hiding and avoiding multiple combatants happens at normal movement speed.
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Dimirag
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Re: Sneak Attack

Post Mon Jun 04, 2018 12:15 pm

cbarchuk wrote:
Sun Jun 03, 2018 10:27 pm
So in your games, the thief doesn't have to roll a MS or HS when backstabbing during combat?
He has to, unless the situation guarantees that he will not be detected. If an opponent is fighting and hasn't payed attention to the thief, or is grabbed exposing his back, or any other such situation, then no roll is required, otherwise, roll as needed.
Can he also backstab the same target more than once as well?
Yes, BUT, each attempt must follow the correct parameters. That is, he has to reach the opponent's back with each strike, the thing is, after the first hit, a mobile opponent will not stay with his back towards the thief. If the thief manages to break from melee, he is free to try to repeat the backstabbing.
cbarchuk wrote:
Sun Jun 03, 2018 10:27 pm
My thought here is to also not worry about HS or MS at all during combat and just add a simple d6 roll to see if the opponent notices the thief or not right before he strikes.
The problem with this is that you will be using one mechanic inside combat, and one outside of it, and that can lead to confusion.
He usually kills the target with a backstab so he's not engaged with anyone.
Well, sooner or later opponents will have enough HP that a Thief will not risk enter melee in a failed/uncompleted backstab.

Finally, taking away something is really hard, if you feel that the Fighter gets behind give him a boost, this forum has several options, from classical to radical.
Sorry for any misspelling or writing error, I am not a native English speaker
Drawing portfolio: https://www.instagram.com/martin.dimirag/
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cbarchuk
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Re: Sneak Attack

Post Mon Jun 04, 2018 12:35 pm

Hywaywolf wrote:
Mon Jun 04, 2018 9:19 am
And I bet that most people who allow the thief to sneak behind a NPC party and backstab one of them allows them to do it in a single round or maybe 1 round to sneak and one to attack. So all that sneAking and hiding and avoiding multiple combatants happens at normal movement speed.
Guilty as charged!!! :lol: I have been allowing the thief in my game to move and backstab in single round. He's not wearing armor so is combat movement is 40'. So I didn't even think about making him spend a round "sneaking" in order to set up the backstab. Sounds like something I need to think about.
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cbarchuk
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Re: Sneak Attack

Post Mon Jun 04, 2018 12:54 pm

He has to, unless the situation guarantees that he will not be detected. If an opponent is fighting and hasn't payed attention to the thief, or is grabbed exposing his back, or any other such situation, then no roll is required, otherwise, roll as needed.
Say it's the first round of combat and the fighter and cleric move to engage 4 orcs. The thief goes next. Assuming I'm understanding what you're saying you would allow him to flank and backstab on his turn without rolling any checks since the 4 orcs are focused on the cleric and fighter? But subsequent turns the thief would have to roll some hide checks. Do you typically use Hide in Shadows more during combat as opposed to Move Silently? Or both?
Yes, BUT, each attempt must follow the correct parameters. That is, he has to reach the opponent's back with each strike, the thing is, after the first hit, a mobile opponent will not stay with his back towards the thief. If the thief manages to break from melee, he is free to try to repeat the backstabbing.
If the thief manages to kill the target in one hit he isn't considered to be in engaged in melee right?
The problem with this is that you will be using one mechanic inside combat, and one outside of it,
and that can lead to confusion.
True.
Finally, taking away something is really hard, if you feel that the Fighter gets behind give him a boost, this forum has several options, from classical to radical.
Yea maybe I'll check out some of the combat options for fighters.

Could you by chance type out a basic scenario on how you handle stealth and backstab just so I can get a more birds eye view?
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cbarchuk
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Re: Sneak Attack

Post Mon Jun 04, 2018 1:06 pm

But I admit I am biased and hope all backstab during combat attempts fail because its such a meta thing to do and a dumb idea in real life. You are separating yourself from your team and, IMO, once you attack you are now in melee and can't break away without giving up a parting shot.
Interesting so you're not a fan of the whole backstab or sneak attack mechanic? I actually can understand that in some ways. Well what are your thoughts on the assassin class? His whole schtick is assassinating the target which is done in a similar way as a thief setting up a backstab. How would you play him in a game? In the assassin's case I would probably mandate that the assassin has to achieve surprise since killing a target outright is quite powerful. So to me the assassin would have to sneak ahead of the party and wait in ambush against his unsuspecting foe causing him to operate alone a lot. Not sure if other party members would like that. Anyhow I've got someone that wants to play an assassin so that's why I mention it. At this point I'm not sure what I think of it.
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Dimirag
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Re: Sneak Attack

Post Mon Jun 04, 2018 1:55 pm

Say it's the first round of combat and the fighter and cleric move to engage 4 orcs. The thief goes next. Assuming I'm understanding what you're saying you would allow him to flank and backstab on his turn without rolling any checks since the 4 orcs are focused on the cleric and fighter?
If the Orcs have seen the party, then they have seen the thief and are aware of his presence (backstabbing: no).
If not, this means that the Thief has Hided or is coming from other angle (not being part of the party) (backstabbing: probably, combatants are moving and the chance of been seen exist).
If they hasn't seen the thief, and are fighting, the thief can approach from a blind spot (backstabbing: yes)
Plus, if the orcs are banded together they can shout warnings to their teammates.
(I let the backstabbing happen, but under the correct situation, which are rather hard to get, sometimes is a matter of luck, others, patient)
But subsequent turns the thief would have to roll some hide checks.
Subsequent turns the thief would have to get out of melee, take advantage of a distraction to get out of sight, approach undetected and reach the victim's back, this could take several turns or end bad quickly as the thief never knows of his failed hiding attempts until its too late.
Do you typically use Hide in Shadows more during combat as opposed to Move Silently? Or both?
I use whatever is needed by the description of the player. Hide may be more used as a matter of "losing track of the thief" as the sounds of battle usually take cares of the MS part.
If the thief manages to kill the target in one hit he isn't considered to be in engaged in melee right?
If the victim dies, yes, but everybody else will know what happened, the thief does not disappears leaving the body alone.


Regarding the Assassin:
The Assassination Special Ability (and the backstabbing) are more to be used outside of combat, or before this starts.
See that Orc guarding the entrance? Assassinate him.
See that Orc patrol over there? Combat.
See that Orc army marching? Run, run and tell everyone!

If you are having trouble with one character having backstabbing I don't recommend you to add another one with the same special ability plus a more powerful one.
Sorry for any misspelling or writing error, I am not a native English speaker
Drawing portfolio: https://www.instagram.com/martin.dimirag/
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