Surprise attacks and stealth in combat

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Lord Stone
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Surprise attacks and stealth in combat

#1 Postby Lord Stone » Mon Sep 24, 2012 6:46 am

So, how is stealth during combat supposed to work. Consider a character wanting to hide so he can take advantage of his Assassin Edge. Does it require an action to do so?

Barring Edges like Assassin, is there any normal benefit to attacking an unaware target in cases where the situation is not good enough for "The Drop"?

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#2 Postby ValhallaGH » Mon Sep 24, 2012 9:07 am

If the target is Unaware, the it's probably good enough for The Drop. In addition to other situations where the attacker gets The Drop but the victim is aware, so Assassin does not apply.


But, if you need a scaling bonus, check out the Burrow power, and apply it's guidelines generally (rather than the binary Drop / No Drop system).
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Zadmar
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#3 Postby Zadmar » Tue Sep 25, 2012 4:19 am

ValhallaGH wrote:But, if you need a scaling bonus, check out the Burrow power, and apply it's guidelines generally (rather than the binary Drop / No Drop system).

Good suggestion, that's how I handle stealth in my games and it works very well.

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#4 Postby Lord Stone » Tue Sep 25, 2012 7:56 am

The drop is a rather big bonus and as far as I can read used for situations where such a big bonus is appropriate. Examples include a character in a hostage position or sneaking up behind a guard who is completely unaware.

What I am talking about are combat situations. The target is well aware that there is danger, is combat-ready and everything.

My player wants to get a bit of mileage out of his Assassin Edge during combat, and I don't blame him... but I am not gonna give him the drop every time he succeeds at a Stealth roll; that would make Stealth way too much of a power ability.

Using the Burrow power as a guideline is a good suggestion though... I guess it wouldn't even have to be an action in itself; though there would be an appropriate penalty to the roll (the Burrow power needs to keep an advantage over "default" approaches after all).

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#5 Postby Jordan Peacock » Tue Sep 25, 2012 9:40 am

I admit to playing a bit fast and loose with the rules at times, but if there comes a situation where a hero tries to sneak up on someone to get The Drop, I require him to get a RAISE on an opposed Stealth-vs.-Notice check -- not a mere success.

Considering the various modifiers that can apply to Stealth checks, and how often this is applied against a mere Extra, this isn't all that hard for a dedicated Thief to pull off. Even then, however, I require that to get The Drop, you really need to catch your target off guard.

That doesn't mean that there's no benefit to sneaking up on a target once a fight has broken out and everyone is "on guard." If there are some melee-weapon bad guys who are still holding back while their fellows are the first to deal with the heroes charging in, I usually assume that they're "On Hold," until they have a chance to get directly involved.

If an attacker can sneak up on them (success on Stealth vs. Notice) to make an attack, I reason that there's no chance to interrupt the action with the Held action, because the guard didn't see it coming. (If the guard is still standing and active, he can use his Held action after the attack is resolved, now that the enemy has been revealed.)

On the rare occasion that an NPC opponent has First Strike, I waive the use of that ability if it's an attack that the defender simply didn't see coming.
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#6 Postby Zadmar » Tue Sep 25, 2012 10:14 am

Related discussion with some really good suggestions: How do you fight as a Rogue/Thief type?

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#7 Postby GranFalloon » Tue Sep 25, 2012 6:55 pm

I'll give a basic stealth success a +2 bonus on attack rolls, and the target is probably not dealt in for initiative (if he's not in the middle of a fight). I figure with the basic success, the target is clueless until just before the attack. "Hm? OH JEEZ!" With a raise, he has a moment to wonder about the sudden pain in his neck, and why the ground is rushing up to meet him.


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