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Old 10-13-2011, 02:44 PM   #1
B9anders
 
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Default New Combination: Assassin's Backstab

DF seems to prefer emulating the classic thieving backstab with Striking ST. I think there is a better way by using the rules in Martial Arts. The combination below can be bought as a 10-point package for your Thief/Assassin, allowing him to use it at full skill:

Lethal Assassin's Backstab (Hard)*
Default: Judo or Wrestling+4/Knife-7; cannot exceed Judo or Wrestling+4/Knife+0.
Prerequisite: Wrestling or Judo and Knife skill.
.
*As a combination with two rapid strikes, this technique costs 2 character points more to improve than standard Hard Techniques.

This is a special Combination designed for eliminating people as quickly as possible. You may only use this technique when making an impaling attack from behind with a reach C knife; you may take a step (before or after) if you wish.

Initiate the combination by making a Judo or Wrestling roll, at +4 to hit, to grapple the torso. If successful, follow-up by making two attack rolls against Knife-7! On each hit, you strike at the vitals for (x3 injury), doing an additional +4 damage (or +2/die, if better). A miss by 1 strikes at the torso. Successful or not, you have no defenses until your next turn.

If the victim is aware of your presence he can dodge or parry the grapple normally, though he is at -2 to parry from behind. He can not block. If the grapple succeeds, he defends at a -4 penalty to parry and -1 to dodge against the actual Backstab attacks and still can not block. Bear in mind penalties to parry for having to evade 3 attacks on one turn! If the victim is unaware of your presence thanks to successful use of Stealth, he gets no active defence!

On the victim's subsequent turn, he may attempt to free himself from the grapple (note that the attacker does not get the +5 bonus to maintain the grapple as it is only made with one hand), attempt a Wild Swing (p. B388) or one of the attack options listed under Pain and Breaking Free in Martial Arts (p115). Note, Unless the victim has Combat Reflexes, he is likely to be mentally stunned from surprise, for an additional -4 to his defense roll!

if the defender fails to break free of the grapple, the attacker can attempt another Backstab on the succeeding round without rolling to grapple. The victim can attempt a dodge at no penalty (the penalty for being grappled is cancelled by having backstabbed him previously) or a Parry at -3.

If the attacker misses with one of his attack rolls – or if his victim makes a successful active defense against it – the victim gets +3 on rolls to avoid the remaining attacks, provided he gets an active defense.

Backstabbing is a dirty trick. Rogues with the relevant perk get their bonus to all rolls in the manoeuvre on a first attempt. Backstabbers often also utilise a Reversed Grip for an additional +1 to damage.

A slightly less lethal, but more stealthy variant is also available:

Silent Assassin's Backstab (Hard)*
Default: Judo or Wrestling+1/Knife-7/; cannot exceed Judo or Wrestling+3/Knife+0.
Prerequisite: Wrestling or Judo.

*As a combination with two rapid strikes, this technique costs 2 character points more to improve than standard Hard Techniques.

When attempting the initial grapple, roll against Judo or Wrestling at only +1 to hit to grapple the face. If successful, the victim's mouth is covered and he cannot shout for help! The succeeding backstabs are only at +2 to damage (or +1/die, if better).

If the victim does not escape your grapple, you can follow up with additional Backstabs on subsequent turns for as long as the victim remains grappled. Attacks on these subsequent enjoy the same +4 damage bonus (or +2/die, if better) as the Lethal Assassin's Backstab!

Everything else is as per Lethal Assassin's Backstab described above.

Last edited by B9anders; 02-20-2012 at 01:59 PM.
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Old 10-13-2011, 03:06 PM   #2
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Default Re: New Combination: Assassin's Backstab

As per What Is . . . a Rapid Strike? (Martials Arts, p.127), the rapid strikes in this combination can be described in a number of ways, depending on the style of the attacker. It can be described as quick stabs, or simply one very precise one. The mechanic is somewhat similar to Critical Hits in 'other games' and can be rationalised similarly.

As for those wondering 'why the grapple', the answer really is: Why not? As per Grab and Smash! (Martial Arts p.118) when making an All-Out Attack (Strong) aimed at the vitals with a Reach C weapon, attempting the grapple first is basically a free attack. It is the easiest part of the manoeuvre, gives defence penalties to the victim and ensures the victim can not run away (or turn around to face you and attack without a wild swing! bear in mind, you have no active defences) if you did not finish him off with your first attempt.
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Old 10-13-2011, 03:24 PM   #3
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Default Re: New Combination: Assassin's Backstab

I'd be interested in seeing your "work" on how you built this combination. It sounds like you're using the All-Out (Double) to perform a Grab-n-Stab. Where does the additional +4 to Grab come from? Telegraphic? Is that same modifier then applied to the Rapid Strike?

I might change it to remove the Judo Grab from the combination itself, and instead just state that the technique can only be performed during a grapple from behind using All-Out (Strong), or All-Out (Double) on the turn that the grapple is initiated.
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Old 10-13-2011, 03:32 PM   #4
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Default Re: New Combination: Assassin's Backstab

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Originally Posted by vierasmarius View Post
I'd be interested in seeing your "work" on how you built this combination. It sounds like you're using the All-Out (Double) to perform a Grab-n-Stab. Where does the additional +4 to Grab come from? Telegraphic? Is that same modifier then applied to the Rapid Strike?

I might change it to remove the Judo Grab from the combination itself, and instead just state that the technique can only be performed during a grapple from behind using All-Out (Strong), or All-Out (Double) on the turn that the grapple is initiated.
It's a all-out Attack grab'n'stab sown into a rapid strike combination, made telegraphically, extra damage bought as per Creating New Techniques at -2 to hit per +1dmg, a few to hit bonuses from having to strike in a very particular area that must be thrust/impaling or piercing and having much less move than your regular AoA. I made a few minor gimps (technically, you should be able to raise it higher than listed) in order to handwave the fact that official telegraphed attacks do not allow Deceptive Attacks, but this technique does (it's a baddass assassin backstab. It has to be deceptive).

Everything else is just interpolation from the rules for combinations, grappling and attacking from behind.

The Silent version is a bit more difficult due to needing to grapple a hit location and also can not take advantage of the grab'n'smash combo, hence the reduced damage.

Last edited by B9anders; 10-13-2011 at 03:36 PM.
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Old 10-13-2011, 03:36 PM   #5
DouglasCole
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Default Re: New Combination: Assassin's Backstab

Any grappling skill can be used to perform the initial grapple, and then comes the strike. Technically, this move is an All-Out Attack (Double), and if you hit with the grapple, you get the benefits of an All-Out Attack (Strong), that is, +2 damage. The attack itself is an AoA (Double) though.

This means, by the way, that you can grapple with DX if you're untrained in a grappling skill, and still be stabby-stabby-man.

For the classic DF Thief type with sky-high DX, if you don't want to be an unarmed combat expert/ninja type, you don't have to be . . . and you can still pull off this stunt.
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Old 10-13-2011, 03:38 PM   #6
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Default Re: New Combination: Assassin's Backstab

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Originally Posted by DouglasCole View Post
Any grappling skill can be used to perform the initial grapple, and then comes the strike. Technically, this move is an All-Out Attack (Double), and if you hit with the grapple, you get the benefits of an All-Out Attack (Strong), that is, +2 damage. The attack itself is an AoA (Double) though.

This means, by the way, that you can grapple with DX if you're untrained in a grappling skill, and still be stabby-stabby-man.

For the classic DF Thief type with sky-high DX, if you don't want to be an unarmed combat expert/ninja type, you don't have to be . . . and you can still pull off this stunt.
well, the skill requirements are part of the gimp that I made to allow for deceptive attacks. If you don't need them, and an Assassin who can't be bothered to spend 2 points on Wrestling to get DX+0 there probably isn't fussed with that, then go ahead and remove the requirement.
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Old 10-13-2011, 03:40 PM   #7
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Default Re: New Combination: Assassin's Backstab

Another option to consider:

The initial attack can be a Telegraphic Grapple, at +4 to the best of DX or any grappling skill. The double-whammy is the Rapid Strike, and there's no reason to pair it with the grapple if you don't have to, rules wise, though the benefits to damage should probably only apply to the first of the two strikes. You've already pulled the guy onto your knife, you lose the benefits of the momentum on the second stab.
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Old 10-13-2011, 03:41 PM   #8
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Default Re: New Combination: Assassin's Backstab

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Originally Posted by B9anders View Post
well, the skill requirements are part of the gimp that I made to allow for deceptive attacks. If you don't need them, and an Assassin who can't be bothered to spend 2 points on Wrestling to get DX+0 there probably isn't fussed with that, then go ahead and remove the requirement.
If you're DX-14, can't you still do a Deceptive Attack down to DX-10?
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Old 10-13-2011, 03:44 PM   #9
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Default Re: New Combination: Assassin's Backstab

Quote:
Originally Posted by DouglasCole View Post
Another option to consider:

The initial attack can be a Telegraphic Grapple, at +4 to the best of DX or any grappling skill. The double-whammy is the Rapid Strike, and there's no reason to pair it with the grapple if you don't have to, rules wise, though the benefits to damage should probably only apply to the first of the two strikes. You've already pulled the guy onto your knife, you lose the benefits of the momentum on the second stab.
The bonus for telegraphic grapple are already included. The grapple does not take any modifiers from the rapid strike. Martial Arts is clear on this regarding multiple attacks. It is only one of the two attacks from AoA that can be used as a rapid strike (and thus takes rapid strike penalties)..

The reasons to pair it with the grapple have already been outlined. It's free and it leaves you in a much more advantageous position after the backstab.

Damage bonuses apply to all rapid strikes. I forget where this is clarified, but I am quite sure it has been.
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Old 10-13-2011, 03:45 PM   #10
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Default Re: New Combination: Assassin's Backstab

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Originally Posted by DouglasCole View Post
If you're DX-14, can't you still do a Deceptive Attack down to DX-10?
Normally, telegraphic attacks can not be combined with deceptive attack.

I made a few gimps to this combination to handwave that. Demanding a certain measure of skill for example, seems to me a sensible requirement for such a handwave.
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