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Old 01-09-2013, 06:30 AM   #1
Vynticator
 
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Default Assassination a la Sam Fisher

It seems to me that it's quite hard in RAW to kill a foe from behind with surprise.

Assume you've snuck up behind the foe undetected. Let's make him a reasonably well armoured guard (say, mail hauberk and a pot helm) with Combat Reflexes. Assume you're a very skilled assassin. What would you do to kill him without him being able to raise the alarm?

If you grapple the neck from behind, the guard gets active defences (because you can never get total surprise against combat reflexes, according to p.393). Assume you succeed in grappling the neck. Then you have to wait till next turn to try a neck snap or throw from neck lock, right? So he can cry out and you're discovered.

Does Extra Attack mean you could grapple and throw in a single turn? That seems to be the only way you could Sam Fisher the guard under RAW. Or does a neck grapple assume you can stifle any cries for help?

P.S. I am waiting for Mr Cole to say this is answered in Technical Grappling :)
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Old 01-09-2013, 06:42 AM   #2
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Default Re: Assassination a la Sam Fisher

He wouldn't get an active defense from the first grapple as he is unaware and it is from behind. He is partially suprised so needs to make an iq test (with cr bonuses) to do something next turn.

You can all out attack double, grab (neck) and jab in the neck (getting all out attack strong bonus due to grab and slam bonus from martial arts) and as he can't defend, may as well telegraph the second attack for back of the head to knock him out if he is still alive or if unable to get last armour go for a weak point, armpits, abdomen vitals, though these, like in real life are unlikely to kill instantly.

On your turn maintain the grab and choke to prevent them screaming if they are still concsious and go stab happy. Due to the penalties to defend (grappled, close combat if no reach c weapon, and from behind you can still telegraph and probably all out attack strong, or at least comitted if your worried about being elbowed.

In one second is difficult, but it is very possible to do it without a noise if you choke them (depending on gm, don't think there are rules on crying out whilst being choked, gm may even allow a face grasp over the mouth to muffle the voice.
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Old 01-09-2013, 07:02 AM   #3
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Default Re: Assassination a la Sam Fisher

They have no defence, so you can telegraphic for a free +4. Even if they don't they will probably still have shock etc, so you can reasonably safely all-out.

Stab them in the vitals, or swing for the neck. Or do AOO Double and hit both, if your skill is slightly higher. If you're a good fighter with high skill, bonuses to rapid strike and things like weapon master, you could easily get multiple hits to important and un/lightly armoured areas.

If you're taking them un-armed then it's going to be harder, I'd probably go for AOO double, first attack to grapple, second to do a neck snap.
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Old 01-09-2013, 07:07 AM   #4
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Default Re: Assassination a la Sam Fisher

It should not be that hard.
You all-out-attack (two attacks) from behind and telegraphically grapple. So he gets at best a bad defence and you get +4 to hit.

For your second attack you snap the neck with extra effort for damage.
Here is my math.

ST13 = 2d-1dam
+2ST for high wrestling skill = 2d+1
+2 dam for Extra Effort = 3d

Average Dam 3.5 x 3 = 10.5 dam
Times 1.5 for neck = 16 dam

That's more then the average guards HP so he gets a knockout role and major injury. At the minimum he's stunned.

Then the next round roles around. You have more speed then the guards so you start and he's stunned.

So you attack two more times with all out attack, but without the extra effort (Saving your fatigue)

2d+1x1.5x2 = 8x1.5x2 = 24 dam more

Total damage done = 40 and a whole lot of death saves.

If that didn't work, keep going, chances are the guard is stilled stunned.
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Old 01-09-2013, 07:19 AM   #5
DouglasCole
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Default Re: Assassination a la Sam Fisher

Quote:
Originally Posted by Vynticator View Post
It seems to me that it's quite hard in RAW to kill a foe from behind with surprise.

Assume you've snuck up behind the foe undetected. Let's make him a reasonably well armoured guard (say, mail hauberk and a pot helm) with Combat Reflexes. Assume you're a very skilled assassin. What would you do to kill him without him being able to raise the alarm?

If you grapple the neck from behind, the guard gets active defences (because you can never get total surprise against combat reflexes, according to p.393). Assume you succeed in grappling the neck. Then you have to wait till next turn to try a neck snap or throw from neck lock, right? So he can cry out and you're discovered.

Does Extra Attack mean you could grapple and throw in a single turn? That seems to be the only way you could Sam Fisher the guard under RAW. Or does a neck grapple assume you can stifle any cries for help?

P.S. I am waiting for Mr Cole to say this is answered in Technical Grappling :)
the answer is in . . . GURPS Martial Arts.

You'll want to do a Grab and Smash (grab'n'stab in this case) as a Rapid Strike, improving it to maximum using the Combinations rules.

You might make a special case for targeting the spine location, but this time in the back of the neck, or just grapple and thrust for the neck itself. I would allow half-penalties (-3 instead of -5) for stabbing the guy once you have him.

Oh, sure . . . TG will talk about certain things that some of the new rules may allow, but everything you need is in Martial Arts already.
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Old 01-09-2013, 08:11 AM   #6
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Default Re: Assassination a la Sam Fisher

Sentry removal is really hard in real life. What you are mostly missing, in addition to the excellent comments on GURPS Martial Arts already posted, is that a combat turn is one second.

No one trains to do sentry removal as a one second thing, moving on the next guard with your next action so you could theoretically silently kill sixty people standing in a line in just one minute.

No, you grapple the sentry from behind, stab him in the neck while holding him and then use a series of actions in the following turns to do some or all of thrusting the knife deeper, twisting it and cutting outwards to sever the arteries. Then you hold the target for at least half a minute, while he bleeds out from his arterial wound.

In GURPS terms, your first turn is a Telegraphic All-Out Attack (Double) using the MA rules for 'All-Out Grapple and Strike'. Grapple the Face* for a +2 (+4-2) and then attack the Neck with a -1 (+4-5). You'll usually Evaluate for a few turns before you attack, but that doesn't improve your odds of hitting under the RAW, though it does increase critical chances in many cases.

The intial grab and stab is easier to do if you have bought this as a Trademark Move, raised it as a Combination or have the applicable Targeted Attacks. You'll do damage equal to an All-Out (Strong) attack with your knife and the face grapple means that the guard can't make as much noise by shouting and screaming as he'd otherwise do.**

Follow up with repeated All-Out (Double) and All-Out (Strong) knife attacks at the Neck and/or Neck Veins/Arteries while retaining your grapple until the guard stops struggling. Then just stand there maintaining the grapple for half a minute while he continues to bleed out, in case he's not really unconscious***.

A lot of sentry removal techniques advocate starting with a strike for the sciatic nerve, the kidneys, subclavial artery or nerves close by in the neck. This will increase the odds that he's Stunned when you start your grapple and stab. This is currently not modelled perfectly in GURPS, but you could use Pressure Points. More realistically, these are hit locations which cause quite a lot of pain if hit and therefore force Knockdown rolls as well as Will rolls to avoid Stun.

If you use advanced bleeding rules, you'll need to make fewer attacks before being reasonably confident that he'll eventually bleed out. In my campaigns, I use houserules that make arteries bleeding even more severe than in MA, for example.

The neck snap method is much more movies and videogames than reality, and as such, to do it in GURPS you would usually need better stats and skills than are available to most normal people. You totally can do it, but you need high ST, good Wrestling skill and the Neck Snap technique raised to the maximum allowed.

Also, keep in mind that Combat Reflexes means either someone who is a natural warrior or an experienced veteran. In either case, he's much harder to surprise or panic than ordinary people. It's definitely not something for an ordinary guard; it marks an elite combatant. If you want video-gamey action where innumerable faceless guards are killed with one quick and easy neck snap after another, you really need to avoid making the guards elite combatants who never get flustered, never hesitate under stress and always go right into combat mode when ambushed.

Even so, someone with Combat Reflexes still doesn't get an Active Defence if he doesn't know about the attack. That's how Active Defences work; you have to be able to detect the threat to defend from it. So you'd get an unopposed attack for your first turn and then the guard would start combat time, beginning partially surprised during his turn.

*Technically, the rules for All-Out Grapple and Strike would have you grapple the Neck to enjoy the damage bonus, but real-world methods usually involve the Face instead and the penalty is equal, so there's no real reason not to allow this.
**It's still not completely silent. Nothing violent is, pretty much. For one thing, the air escaping as you cut his windpipe will allow him to form an inarticulate scream even if you are holding his mouth closed, using the newly opened wound as some kind of obscene second mouth.
***Because he may be faking, or more likely, your diagnostic skills suck when you try to use them while struggling with a human being spraying blood all over you, worrying whether anyone else will hear this infernal noise and all the while actually feeling the last moments of life leave him as his heart strains to get oxygen to the brain through cut arteries.
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Last edited by Icelander; 01-09-2013 at 11:28 AM.
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Old 01-09-2013, 08:27 AM   #7
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Default Re: Assassination a la Sam Fisher

Quote:
Originally Posted by DouglasCole View Post
I would allow half-penalties (-3 instead of -5) for stabbing the guy once you have him.
I like that and have been using such a rule in my campaigns. Will GURPS: MA: TG make it official?
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Old 01-09-2013, 08:46 AM   #8
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Default Re: Assassination a la Sam Fisher

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Originally Posted by Icelander View Post
I like that and have been using such a rule in my campaigns. Will GURPS: MA: TG make it official?
I'll have to check the draft. I think so.
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Old 01-09-2013, 08:49 AM   #9
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Default Re: Assassination a la Sam Fisher

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Originally Posted by DouglasCole View Post
I'll have to check the draft. I think so.
I hope it also makes it official that in many cases All-Out Grapple and Strikes doesn't require you to grapple the same target you strike, merely one with a hit location penalty is that equal or worse and which would logically lead to you being able to strike more accurately and effectively while maintaining the grapple.

Otherwise, most real-world sentry removal techniques don't work. Neither does pulling someone down by the top of the head to knee him in the face, for that matter, because Skull and Face are different hit locations.
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Old 01-09-2013, 08:54 AM   #10
DouglasCole
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Default Re: Assassination a la Sam Fisher

Quote:
Originally Posted by Icelander View Post
I hope it also makes it official that in many cases All-Out Grapple and Strikes doesn't require you to grapple the same target you strike, merely one with a hit location penalty is that equal or worse and which would logically lead to you being able to strike more accurately and effectively while maintaining the grapple.

Otherwise, most real-world sentry removal techniques don't work. Neither does pulling someone down by the top of the head to knee him in the face, for that matter, because Skull and Face are different hit locations.
the solution in the book is not what you suggest, but I hope that it will meet your needs.

Edit: I just checked. The solution that is in the document was what I thought it was. You can use some of the effect roll that measures the strength of a grapple to cancel out hit location penalties for a strike. If you have a bad grapple, you'll not be able to do this. If you have a good one, you can cancel out location penalties until the striking penalty is equal to the grappling one for that location.
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Last edited by DouglasCole; 01-09-2013 at 09:03 AM.
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