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Old 07-14-2010, 08:45 PM   #10
Join Date: Aug 2004
Default Re: Backstab Technique: DFish games and reality...

Originally Posted by vicky_molokh View Post
Greetings, all!

It has been said that what other games call a backstab is a Telegraphic Targeted Attack to the Vitals in GURPS.
Actually, there are lots of things that could be done in GURPS to model a "backstab"/"sneak attack" (a surprise attack, perhaps restricted to "from behind" but possibly not, that is more effective than a vanilla attack, which may or may not only be available to attackers with special training), because GURPS has a lot higher resolution in combat than most of the games that feature such a thing.

Among the possible elements:
Almost All-Out Attack option (the advantage of surprise means you don't have to worry about defense, so you can concentrate on maximizing your effectiveness)
Telegraphic Attack (the advantage of surprise means you don't have to worry about the opponent defending, so you can concentrate on maximizing your effectiveness), using the bonus to offset penalties to strike a vulnerable location
Use of Power Blow skill (the advantage of surprise means you can take extra time setting up) by someone with an appropriate Weapon Master advantage.

Note that nothing prohibits using all these together: a "backstab" could involve setup with Power Blow skill (damage adds to next attack), followed by All-Out Attack (Strong) using the Telegraphic Attack option to target the Vitals.

However, I noticed the peculiarity of backstabs in other games: backstabbing requires a dagger, and not just any weapon.
Others have debated whether this restriction is common, but certainly GURPS can (with somewhat more flexibility) do something like it. While the thief may be skilled in multiple weapons, they may only have Weapon Master (Knife), and so only be able to use Power Blow with weapons that use Knife skill. So, they could still get some "backstab" like effect, but they'd only get the maximum effect with Knife-type weapons (including the dagger.)
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