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Old 07-14-2010, 09:04 PM   #11
Victor Maxus
 
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Default Re: Backstab Technique: DFish games and reality...

Well, you are a thief, you want to make yourself as light and quiet as possible. Packing a small weapon allows this. Also, when moving around, easier to manuever a dagger or knife in a close in situation, making it more practical. Finally, the short range, believe it or not, may just help. You can cover targets mouth when stabbing him to keep him quiet and place your blade in his back at the same time. Easier to do with a short blade than a long sword.

I don't know if any of my reason make sense or hold true, but just trying to do a half hearted attempt to come up with some sort of explanation on this.
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Old 07-15-2010, 12:17 AM   #12
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Default Re: Backstab Technique: DFish games and reality...

Note that most real world sentry removal methods would be difficult to perform with anything longer than a combat knife. This is because grappling the target and preventing it from moving and crying out are an integral part of sentry removal techniques. And using longer blades in Close Combat is penalised.

Of course, GURPS suffers from granularity issues here. Anything up to a Long Knife (up to 23") is +/-0, while anything from a handy shortsword (24") to a woodcutter's axe is -4. More properly, anything longer than 12" or so should probably have a penalty at Reach C, with a -1 for most Long Knives, a -2 for Short Swords, a -3 for some shorter Broadswords or hangers and a -4 for full-sized Reach 1 weapons.
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Old 07-15-2010, 02:10 AM   #13
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Default Re: Backstab Technique: DFish games and reality...

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Originally Posted by Icelander View Post
Of course, GURPS suffers from granularity issues here. Anything up to a Long Knife (up to 23") is +/-0, while anything from a handy shortsword (24") to a woodcutter's axe is -4. More properly, anything longer than 12" or so should probably have a penalty at Reach C, with a -1 for most Long Knives, a -2 for Short Swords, a -3 for some shorter Broadswords or hangers and a -4 for full-sized Reach 1 weapons.
As a brute fix, I've considered simply halving the Close Combat penalty for shortswords for exactly this reason.
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Old 07-15-2010, 02:28 AM   #14
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Default Re: Backstab Technique: DFish games and reality...

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Originally Posted by vicky_molokh View Post
Now, what is the reasoning for making daggers special - whether it is realistic, or some sort of cliché.
It's a cliché / game balance thing, as others said.
Note, however, than if you need to you can find a couple of pseudo-realistical reasons to back up the knife superiority in "backstabbing":

-Reduced penalty for targeting chinks in armor: the rondel dagger (Martial Arts) does so accordin to the RAW.
-Reduced penalty for targeted attacks: as an house rule, the GM could declare that some weapons (like the rondel dagger) can more easily target hit locations.
-Need for Close Combat: as Icelander said. In GURPS, you could represent expertise at backstabbing with a "Grab and Stab" combination or technique that can be performed only in Close Combat.

If you use these measures, backstabbing won't be restricted to knives, but knives will be advantaged to perform it.

(note: I am not claiming that these rules are realistic, nor necessary. I am just saying that they sound realistic/believable, and they could provide a rational explanation if your intent is to give knives a special role in your campaign)
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Old 07-15-2010, 08:13 AM   #15
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Default Re: Backstab Technique: DFish games and reality...

P-Kitty has a Backstab technique, built using the Martial Arts rules, on his page. It's easy to take it to the next level and make a Combination: Grapple Face (to cover the mouth) + Backstab for the kind of fantasy assasin move seen in many games. And of course any training in the Backstab technique would still be useful outside of the combination, for shivving people in fights.

Real sentry removal techniques go more for cutting the arteries and tendons/muscles in the legs to cripple and cause heavy bleeding, and the throat to hopefully mute and also cause more heavy bleeding. Ventilating vital organs along the way is always helpful due to pain and shock and moar bleeding, but you don't start and stop with them.

Just shivving someone in the kidneys in real life doesn't reliably disable quickly enough to be sure of a quiet safe removal, although I suppose if you have a moderately long knife and try to go up under the ribs into the heart-ish-area and veins/arteries around there, it'd be rapid. But they're still capable of a lot of flailing on the way down, and if they have a gun that can be really noisy flailing.
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Old 07-15-2010, 08:34 AM   #16
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Default Re: Backstab Technique: DFish games and reality...

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Real sentry removal techniques go more for cutting the arteries and tendons/muscles in the legs to cripple and cause heavy bleeding, and the throat to hopefully mute and also cause more heavy bleeding. Ventilating vital organs along the way is always helpful due to pain and shock and moar bleeding, but you don't start and stop with them.
What I've heard about real removal techniques is that while you're correct about the arteries thing, it's usually a face grapple, followed by a thrust to the neck, then pushing the blade forward to cut from the inside.

Cutting the trachea can actually make a shocking amount of noise, so I'm told.
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Old 07-15-2010, 08:37 AM   #17
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Default Re: Backstab Technique: DFish games and reality...

Slightly off topic:
The easiest way to model DnDesque backstabs in GURPS is probably to give everyone Combat Awareness (360 vision, defensive only), and have the backstab ability be some form of invisibility to the above.
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Old 07-15-2010, 08:39 AM   #18
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Default Re: Backstab Technique: DFish games and reality...

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What I've heard about real removal techniques is that while you're correct about the arteries thing, it's usually a face grapple, followed by a thrust to the neck, then pushing the blade forward to cut from the inside.
This is the proper way to do it, certainly. With possibly a sharp blow to the side of the neck to stun the target first, to give you time to get a good grapple.

Quote:
Originally Posted by DouglasCole View Post
Cutting the trachea can actually make a shocking amount of noise, so I'm told.
Yet the US Army seems fond of teaching it.
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Old 07-15-2010, 12:38 PM   #19
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Default Re: Backstab Technique: DFish games and reality...

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Originally Posted by Icelander View Post
Note that most real world sentry removal methods would be difficult to perform with anything longer than a combat knife. This is because grappling the target and preventing it from moving and crying out are an integral part of sentry removal techniques. And using longer blades in Close Combat is penalised.

Of course, GURPS suffers from granularity issues here. Anything up to a Long Knife (up to 23") is +/-0, while anything from a handy shortsword (24") to a woodcutter's axe is -4. More properly, anything longer than 12" or so should probably have a penalty at Reach C, with a -1 for most Long Knives, a -2 for Short Swords, a -3 for some shorter Broadswords or hangers and a -4 for full-sized Reach 1 weapons.
That was kinda my thought. If I were to attempt a "back stab," I would want to step forward and grapple around the mouth first. This means that if I didn't kill him on the first stab, I could go for it again and again and again. Once I had him, I could start stabbing for the vitals, and this isn't the sort of work one does with a rapier or great sword.

I have a hard time imagining a "back stab" with a weapon other than a knife, but it probably involves simply running someone through. It'll be loud and messy and instantly alert everyone around you, but that's ok, you're fairly heavily armed.
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Old 07-15-2010, 07:05 PM   #20
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Default Re: Backstab Technique: DFish games and reality...

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Originally Posted by Bruno View Post
P-Kitty has a Backstab technique, built using the Martial Arts rules, on his page.
It is very neat! (here).

It is quite realistic, though... to better mimick DnDesque backstab, and allow greater specialization and improvement for thieves, one could make it more difficult and more powerful (e.g., without the built-in "Telegraphic", or with a further increased damage, though that would not be RAW).

(EDIT: or, for maximum damage and badassness, Backstab could be represented by a targeted attack to the brain)
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