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Old 07-08-2011, 05:53 AM   #21
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Default Re: Question about cutting a throat.

Langy I can't figure out what type of game your running. Do you want to mimic Hollywood sentry-removal scene. Do you want to mimic real-world sentry-removal or do you want to do sentry removal purely based on RAW? Because each one comes with it's own assumptions and you keep brining up problems that would not be relevant in one type but is in another type, so when people respond you say "no" because they apparently respond to another type of game-style.

As far as I can read, here are your concerns:
1) A person need to be strong. To deal enough damage to the neck to take out a guard.
This isn't true, but you do need a high degree of skill to do it, even with a good Strength. This is realistic. If a weak and/or unskilled person try to stab someones neck, then they are going to hit at a bad angle and a knife do not cut through flesh like it's butter. try to take a big beef and or three and try to easily cut through them. You need to be strong to do it. The knife won't simply glide effortlessly through flesh.
Using RAW: With high skill you can make AOA:Strong, Rapid strike to the neck/vein with a fine knife and even more if your a weapon master, and easily deal enough damage to reduce anyone to below 0 HP.

2) As I don't insta-kill the guard there is a good chance he will yell alarm. That is why in reality people grapple the persons face first to prevent him from yelling alarm. But even in reality if you are surprised you do not automatically yell out, there is a good chance you freeze. Per RAW if you are surprised you are stunned, and when stunned you can't yell alarm.

-If you want to mimic Hollywood sentry removal where it always succeed and seem very easy. Then your game has to reflect this. Using either cinematic rules and/or cinematic high-points character.
-If you want it to mimic reality, then it's NOT EASY and it WILL go wrong so you need to take precoursions, such as grappling the mouth in case it goes wrong AND you still need to be highly skilled AND strong, more so than in a cinematic game.
-If you want to go purely by RAW, then again, you need to be skilled and strong for it to work.
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Old 07-08-2011, 06:26 AM   #22
Sam Baughn
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Default Re: Question about cutting a throat.

As I understand it, realistic sentry removal would usually either involve an axe, club, machete or similar to the back of the neck, hoping to snap the spine, or grabbing the victim (either with a hand around the mouth or an arm around the neck forcing the jaw closed) and stabbing repeatedly into the torso, hoping to puncture the lungs.

Martial Arts p. 138 has rules which allow an attack to the neck to damage the 'throat' preventing coherent speech with a major wound, but the odds are fairly low. I think that there should be some way to do it deliberately in a cinematic game.
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Old 07-08-2011, 07:28 AM   #23
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Default Re: Question about cutting a throat.

I suspect surprise and/or fear checks are probably the order of the day.

I'm told that to do this properly involves grappling the head in such a way that it is forced up and back (both closing the jaw and extending the neck) and cutting pretty much until you hit the spine. It's harder, slower and messier than cinema would have you believe. The less skilled attacker probably is better off using something like a sharp entrenching tool to the back of the neck.

Stabbing in the torso (the other Hollywood trope) is not recommended as it's hard to hit anything vital enough for a silent kill and you can never be sure what your opponent is wearing.
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Old 07-08-2011, 07:53 AM   #24
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Default Re: Question about cutting a throat.

Real life sentry removal with a knife does not involve "cut his throat and walk off, lalalala".

Everyone's pointed out the head grapple already. After that, and a throat cut, you're looking at stabbing at the kidneys and liver and/or cutting the arteries in the legs - which makes your blood fall out and greatly speeds dying. You maintain your grapple on the sentry until he passes out from blood loss, and then you carefully put him down - the goal is to avoid screaming, and to avoid the thump and possible rattle of equipment or even a weapon discharge (unlikely, but stranger things have happened and it will totally ruin your stealth if it does).

Different special forces have different variations on this procedure, but the idea is to open up as many major blood vessels and/or vascularized organs as possible, so the sentry bleeds out ASAP.
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Old 07-08-2011, 09:06 AM   #25
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Default Re: Question about cutting a throat.

-A large knife or bayonet will probably be 'fine', for +1 damage. Possibly very fine in modern days.
You don't do that kind of job reliably with a cheap pocket knife.

-You could go for a first turn determined grapple to the face, second turn AOA strong or double for more damage. 2 second is still fast. And as Bruno said, in realistic situation, a few more stabs at vitals are in order.

-In Hollywood movies, and game emulating them, sentry=mook and die when it reach 0HP.

-The rumour say Saruman death in the extended LOTR movie is an somewhat accurate portrayal of the sound the victim of such an attack do as Christopher Lee brought real life experience from WW2.

-Don't forget that if you go for the nasty slash cuts to the throat, you end up covered in blood. Something Hollywood often conveniently forget.


Last edited by Celjabba; 07-08-2011 at 09:09 AM.
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Old 07-08-2011, 09:45 AM   #26
Join Date: Jul 2008
Default Re: Question about cutting a throat.

Originally Posted by Langy View Post
ST10 Average Guy has a small knife, dealing 1d-3 cut damage on a swing.
Don't forget that if he's a modern guy, his knife is going to be Fine quality by default.
I don't know any 3e, so there is no chance that I am talking about 3e rules by accident.
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Old 07-08-2011, 10:02 AM   #27
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Default Re: Question about cutting a throat.

Originally Posted by Ulzgoroth View Post
Don't forget that if he's a modern guy, his knife is going to be Fine quality by default.
And he's not going to be using a small knife.
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Old 07-08-2011, 10:15 AM   #28
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Default Re: Question about cutting a throat.

BTW, whoever added the 'noob' tag, please edit or remove it. :)
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Old 07-08-2011, 10:31 AM   #29
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Default Re: Question about cutting a throat.

If you actually read manuals penned by combat veterans – e.g., Fairbairn's – you'll learn that the "one-stab kill" is pure Hollywood myth. As others have pointed out, the stab isn't the most important part; that's the stealthy approach followed by the solid grapple from behind. In effect, you achieve a kind of surprise headlock from the rear first, and then use this to control the victim while you stab or slice repeatedly. (The closest I know of to a one-stab immobilization is a thrust up into the brain past the base of the skull; in GURPS terms, a thrust to the skull hit location, most likely done as All-Out Attack (Strong) to drive the blade in.)

Abilities that would help here:
  • Stealth, to get behind the victim
  • Judo or Wrestling skill for the grab, or Boxing, Brawling, or Karate skill plus the Clinch* perk if you prefer
  • techniques like Targeted Attack (Judo or Wrestling Grapple/Face), Targeted Attack (Judo or Wrestling Grapple/Neck), or possibly Head Lock (which is at -2 to initiate one-handed)*
  • high ST, Lifting ST†, and/or a good Wrestling skill to keep the opponent from breaking free
  • Knife skill for the slash or stab
  • Targeted Attack (Knife Cut/Neck), Targeted Attack (Knife Thrust/Neck), or Targeted Attack (Knife Thrust/Skull) technique*
  • a Combination* that includes the grapple and the strike
  • high ST and/or Striking ST† to do lots of damage, because you are sawing to the bone or forcing a knife in, so power is vital ("the knife so sharp that it does the job for you" is more myth)
* See Martial Arts.
† May require Special Exercises perks, also in Martial Arts.
Combat rules that would be useful to remember:
  • Surprise Attacks and Initiative (pp. B393-394) to get behind the target and eliminate his active defense
  • Telegraphic Attack (Martial Arts, p. 113) for a bonus to hit a target who won't likely get a defense anyway
  • All-Out Attack (p. B365) for multiple attacks and/or more damage, and especially All-Out Grapple and Strike (Martial Arts, p. 118) to use your grapple to pull the victim onto your knife for bonus damage
  • Reversed Grip (Martial Arts, p. 111) for bonus damage if you stab
  • New Hit Locations (Martial Arts, p. 137) for some even more damaging targets to slice up
  • The Sound of One Hand Grappling (Martial Arts, p. 116) if trying some fancy lock one-handed in order to be able to stab with the other hand
Those seeking one-stab kills like in the movies will want a special ability common in the Dungeon Fantasy series: Striking ST (Only on surprise attack, -60%) [2/level]. There, up to 10 levels are allowed. You'll find that this does the job. Weapon Master (Knife), with its per-die damage bonus, is also nice. You can get pretty close to the knife that does all the work for you by selecting a long knife (Martial Arts, p. 228) and making it very fine; this would be good Signature Gear for someone with the cinematic abilities above. Note that a realistic combat knife is probably a fine large knife, though.
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Old 07-08-2011, 10:41 AM   #30
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Default Re: Question about cutting a throat.

Ahem. We have a whole book on this stuff.
Number 28 Use of the Knife: Judo Grapple/Face + Knife Thrust/Neck Arteries or Knife Thrust/Vitals. And I quote "The grapple serves to hold shut the target’s mouth." A Targeted Attack (Knife Swing/Neck) is treated as "cut the throat." It also notes that these can be "applied using All-out Attack (Double) or Rapid Strike " as well as Martial Arts combinations.

Last edited by safisher; 07-08-2011 at 10:42 AM. Reason: Beaten to the PUNCH!
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assasinate, assassination, garrote, knife, kromm answer, krommpost, sentry removal, skill

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