Sneak Attack

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cbarchuk
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Re: Sneak Attack

Post Tue Jun 05, 2018 2:07 pm

Dimirag wrote:
Tue Jun 05, 2018 12:43 pm
Should I limit the thief to one backstab per combat...
The above idea is to allow as many backstab as wanted, the thief not will be able to do it always, and could end up spending time just waiting...
If you want to limit it, once per combat per opponent sounds ok and is how its done on some games, once per overall combat, i.e. on one opponent only, its a little severe to my taste, but its ok.
...and only on the first combat round
I don't recommend this, specially if using the "waiting" rule.
Sounds good. Thanks for the clarification. I will give this a shot and see how it works. I had yet another question: Can a single thief cause a surprise round against a group? Does a thief that is hidden or moving silently before attacking an enemy automatically cause surprise? I know you roll for surprise at the beginning of combat. But let's a thief jumps out of the shadows and backstabs an opponent. Does the thief get a free surprise round against that target?
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Dimirag
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Re: Sneak Attack

Post Tue Jun 05, 2018 3:53 pm

Can a single thief cause a surprise round against a group?
Any single character can surprise others, its not a matter of numbers but of awareness.
Does a thief that is hidden or moving silently before attacking an enemy automatically cause surprise?
From an old post (2011) regarding thieving skills:
Solomoriah wrote:Just a quick comment regarding Move Silently vs. Surprise. Surprise gives you a free round of actions; it does not hide you from the enemy, who can immediately act against you in the second round. If you fail to Move Silently, depending on the circumstances, the GM may still roll a surprise check for your enemies, who may be so surprised to discover your presence that you get a round to fight (or run away) before they can draw weapons. Works the same with Hide.
I think the one time its important to know this is when the thief misses his attack, can his opponent attack in retaliation or is surprised enough to start a new round?
Or if you want to use modifiers on surprise attacks (I'm guessing the Assassination Skill...)
I'm inclined to say yes, so the thief that succeed on his skill gets an advantage over the one that failed or over hiding non-thieving characters. I'm assuming the use of the surprise roll as a kind of detection roll here. If you use another roll against any hiding character and the thief gets a benefit here, then I would ask for a surprise roll...
I know you roll for surprise at the beginning of combat. But let's a thief jumps out of the shadows and backstabs an opponent. Does the thief get a free surprise round against that target?
I would say no, the combatants are spectating danger, they wont freeze if a new enemy suddenly appears.
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 Tue Jun 05, 2018 5:23 pm

Thanks again for the feedback. So if the thief achieves surprise by the backstab, does that one attack count as his surprise round action?

Example: Party is waiting 20' down the hall from a room that contains a pair of Bugbears. The thief decides to go in first. He peers around the corner into the room and notices the Bugbears are on guard duty but don't seem to be very alert. He waits for the opportunity and sneaks into the room at the right time. {DM rolls a Move Silently check...success!} The thief moves behind one and tries to hide in a shadowy corner that is only 5' away from the juicy backside of one of the Bugbears. {DM rolls a Hide in Shadows check...success!} The thief moves in for the kill...

Would I roll for surprise or the attack first? Either way lets say I succeed on both. The Bugbears are surprised and the thief lands the backstab. Was that backstab part of the surprise round? Or is the surprise round next?
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Dimirag
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Re: Sneak Attack

Post Tue Jun 05, 2018 8:03 pm

So if the thief achieves surprise by the backstab, does that one attack count as his surprise round action?
To me, yes, its him appearing that causes the shock.
Would I roll for surprise or the attack first? Either way lets say I succeed on both.
If you aren't using surprise just for the surprise round:
Attack hits
->Bugbear dies=why bother rolling?
->Bugbear survives=roll
Attack misses=roll
Was that backstab part of the surprise round? Or is the surprise round next?
Yes it was. Surprise comes before actions, and after actions are done, the surprise round ends.
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 Tue Jun 05, 2018 8:12 pm

So after my backstab lands, the surprise round is over? Doesn't the rest of my party get to take a turn first before the surprise round ends? I guess I'm getting confused.
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Dimirag
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Re: Sneak Attack

Post Tue Jun 05, 2018 8:53 pm

Well, the party is waiting 20' behind... it's a split party situation. In the scenario that the Bugbear survives and the party joins the situation, then yes, they get their actions.
Sorry, I gave the example on a 1 on 1 scenario.
Considering the other Bugbears:
If the bugbear dies and is at a considerably distance from his companions, I would end the situation there, they don't notice nothing and continue as normal (they don't get surprised) otherwise I would roll for them.
Yes it was. Surprise comes before actions, and after actions are done, the surprise round ends.
I'm speaking plural here as in anyone acting inside the surprise round.
Sorry for any misspelling or writing error, I am not a native English speaker
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Hywaywolf
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Re: Sneak Attack

Post Tue Jun 05, 2018 10:23 pm

Look at it from the other perspective when trying to decide how to play something out. Instead of the scenario of the party attacking someone, do it like this ...

Waiting 20' down a hall outside a room is a party of goblins and one of them is a thief type character. The thief decides to go in first. He peers around the corner into the room and notices the PCs are on guard duty but don't seem to be very alert. He waits for the opportunity and sneaks into the room at the right time. {DM rolls a Move Silently check...success!} The thief moves behind one of the PCs and tries to hide in a shadowy corner that is only 5' away from the juicy backside of a MU PC. {DM rolls a Hide in Shadows check...success!} The thief moves in for the kill...

So now you tell your party that the MU is dead from a sudden backstab attack. Round 1 over.

Now at the start of round 2 you tell the PCs that they are all surprised so they must stand there in near shock while a horde of goblins rush in and attack. Concurrently, the thief is backstabbing the fat PC fighter who, if not now dead, is pretty close.

Round 3. Now surprise is over but the party loses initiative and all of the goblins attack first again. The fighter drops dead because the thief is attacking him again (with a backstab?) as well as being attacked by some of the other goblins.

Now, if your players aren't screaming bloody murder at you by this time, they will be fitting you for concrete shoes if you let the thief backstab again because in their surprise they lost track of him.
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cbarchuk
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Re: Sneak Attack

Post Tue Jun 05, 2018 11:19 pm

Hywaywolf wrote:
Tue Jun 05, 2018 10:23 pm
Look at it from the other perspective when trying to decide how to play something out. Instead of teh scenario is the party attacking someone, do it like this ...

Waiting 20' down a hall outside a room is a party of goblins and one of them is a thief type character. The thief decides to go in first. He peers around the corner into the room and notices the PCs are on guard duty but don't seem to be very alert. He waits for the opportunity and sneaks into the room at the right time. {DM rolls a Move Silently check...success!} The thief moves behind one of the PCs and tries to hide in a shadowy corner that is only 5' away from the juicy backside of a MU PC. {DM rolls a Hide in Shadows check...success!} The thief moves in for the kill...

So now you tell your party that the MU is dead from a sudden backstab attack. Round 1 over.

Now at the start of round 2 you tell the PCs that they are all surprised so they must stand there in near shock while a horde of goblins rush in and attack. Concurrently, the thief is backstabbing the fat PC fighter who, if not now dead, is pretty close.

Round 3. Now surprise is over but the party loses initiative and all of the goblins attack first again. The fighter drops dead because the thief is attacking him again (with a backstab?) as well as being attacked by some of the other goblins.

Now, if your players aren't screaming bloody murder at you by this time, they will be fitting you for concrete shoes if you let the thief backstab again because in their surprise they lost track of him.
That was an absolute hilarious read. I must've been laughing for 5 minutes straight. Man, that was funny. Yea I would never let the Thief or a Goblin Thief continue to backstab like that over and over. I was just confused on how the initial backstab worked since surprise is checked before any actions are done. But in this case an action is causing a surprise roll to occur.
So in your example the PCs failed the surprise roll and my poor MU is bleeding out.

Surprise Round: Goblin Thief withdrawals out of the room as the rest of his goon squad enters and makes their actions.

Surprise Round over. Normal combat rounds begin.

Does that sound right? Once the combat starts the PCs are now aware of the Goblin Thief so I would say he probably would not be able to backstab again.
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Hywaywolf
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Re: Sneak Attack

Post Tue Jun 05, 2018 11:57 pm

Its all situational. You have to just look at the scenario and decide for yourself if its possible. Thats what old school DMs do.

Say the goblin thief was in a dark niche and waits for his goblin pals to smash their way in firing crossbows. The PC party all jump up and face the incoming horde. The thief steps forward and filets the MU and then steps back into his niche and shrinks into the darkness. The surprise round is over, the PC party sees their dead mu and figures a crossbow bolt took him out. They turn back to the goblin horde. Now the thief steps out again, moving silently, and backstabs the fat fighter. That could happen with a good set of rolls and it doesn't take a lot of meta gaming to make it happen.
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cbarchuk
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Re: Sneak Attack

Post Wed Jun 06, 2018 9:09 am

Hywaywolf wrote:
Tue Jun 05, 2018 11:57 pm
Its all situational. You have to just look at the scenario and decide for yourself if its possible. Thats what old school DMs do.

Say the goblin thief was in a dark niche and waits for his goblin pals to smash their way in firing crossbows. The PC party all jump up and face the incoming horde. The thief steps forward and filets the MU and then steps back into his niche and shrinks into the darkness. The surprise round is over, the PC party sees their dead mu and figures a crossbow bolt took him out. They turn back to the goblin horde. Now the thief steps out again, moving silently, and backstabs the fat fighter. That could happen with a good set of rolls and it doesn't take a lot of meta gaming to make it happen.
So at what point would you roll for surprise? Is it before or after Thief backstabs OR is it when his pals storm in? Surprise is always determined right before combat begins when the PC party encounters monsters.

My assumption is the thief backstabs and the poor MU faceplants into a pool of his own blood. Surprise is now rolled. I'm granting surprise on a 1-4 in this case for ambush. {A 3 is rolled. PCs are surprised}

Surprise Round begins...

-Goblin Thief takes turn and slinks back into the shadows of the niche he was hiding in. {HS rolled}
-His Pals move to the door and fire a volley of bolts at the PCs.

Surprise Round is over...

1st round of combat begins. Everyone rolls initiative.

Is all that correct?
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