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Old 09-19-2017, 12:09 PM   #41
sir_pudding
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Default Re: The guide to throat slitting (or sentry removal, for the gentlemen)

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Originally Posted by Donny Brook View Post
Useful to know, but I think there should be a possibility to cripple the voice particularly.
There is, in Martial Arts.
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(I will also take this opportunity to reiterate my annoyance at GURPS' habit of publishing rules of general application in genre-specific books without making them available elsewhere. )
This is where the community can step in. Note that Bruno's hit location table includes the windpipe rule.

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Old 09-20-2017, 06:52 AM   #42
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Default Re: The guide to throat slitting (or sentry removal, for the gentlemen)

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Originally Posted by Tomsdad View Post
Not really, a sentry that lives long enough to raise the alarm has done their job*, there's a reason why your trying to take them out quickly and quietly.
That's a really good point. The entire purpose of sentry removal is that the sentry is still a problem for the intruder even if the intruder managed to sneak up behind him.

And of course, "not being murdered if I make a mistake" is the intended function of protective gear regardless of career path.
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Old 09-20-2017, 11:10 AM   #43
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Default Re: The guide to throat slitting (or sentry removal, for the gentlemen)

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It can be, but soldiers have been putting up with uncomfortable or annoying things (while complaining) for a long time now.
Neck armor can be distracting, as well as potentially restricting head movement, both of which directly interfere with a sentry/lookout's job (and make it easier for the infiltrator to sneak up on him). Wearing Neck armor also makes things only slightly more difficult for the infiltrator when stabby time comes around - he still has to grapple the target from behind to prevent him from calling out (this can be - but isn't advised to be - avoided if the sentry is completely unarmored, as it's difficult to shout with a collapsed lung), and after that slipping the knife into the gaps in the neck armor - or failing that just stabbing the sentry a few times in the face - isn't much more difficult than stabbing the neck would have been to start with. In other words, the cost isn't worth the gain.

Leather stocks and mail coifs may be an exception here, however, but the former isn't great protection (DR 1 IIRC) and if you can afford to put your sentries in mail coifs for the modest improvement, their chest armor is still pretty well guaranteed to be better than that on their necks, so the infiltrator is more likely to be able to get through with a neck stab than with a vitals stab.

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Not really, a sentry that lives long enough to raise the alarm has done their job*, there's a reason why your trying to take them out quickly and quietly.
Eh, I consider that as a case where the sentry has failed at his job, but managed to make the most of the failure by alerting the other guards. There's a reason I snuck that "arguably" weasel-word in there, after all.
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Old 09-20-2017, 06:58 PM   #44
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Default Re: The guide to throat slitting (or sentry removal, for the gentlemen)

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Originally Posted by Varyon View Post
Neck armor can be distracting, as well as potentially restricting head movement, both of which directly interfere with a sentry/lookout's job (and make it easier for the infiltrator to sneak up on him). Wearing Neck armor also makes things only slightly more difficult for the infiltrator when stabby time comes around - he still has to grapple the target from behind to prevent him from calling out (this can be - but isn't advised to be - avoided if the sentry is completely unarmored, as it's difficult to shout with a collapsed lung), and after that slipping the knife into the gaps in the neck armor - or failing that just stabbing the sentry a few times in the face - isn't much more difficult than stabbing the neck would have been to start with. In other words, the cost isn't worth the gain.

Leather stocks and mail coifs may be an exception here, however, but the former isn't great protection (DR 1 IIRC) and if you can afford to put your sentries in mail coifs for the modest improvement, their chest armor is still pretty well guaranteed to be better than that on their necks, so the infiltrator is more likely to be able to get through with a neck stab than with a vitals stab.



Eh, I consider that as a case where the sentry has failed at his job, but managed to make the most of the failure by alerting the other guards. There's a reason I snuck that "arguably" weasel-word in there, after all.
By definition if the camp is alerted in time he has not failed. He has just gotten killed and there's more where that came from. He is obviously a lot more concerned and so is his widow and orphans but not the army.
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Old 09-20-2017, 07:16 PM   #45
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Default Re: The guide to throat slitting (or sentry removal, for the gentlemen)

The big problem with neck armor for a sentry isn't discomfort -- it's that it limits your ability to turn your head, reducing perception, and "not being snuck up on in the first place" is one of the best defenses for sentries.
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Old 09-20-2017, 11:18 PM   #46
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Default Re: The guide to throat slitting (or sentry removal, for the gentlemen)

Hey guys, been missing. Those last few days were crazy. (And the rest of the week is going to be equally maddening.)

Anyways...

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Originally Posted by apoc527 View Post
Excellent post, Set! I particularly enjoyed the small font commentary. Very entertaining.

10/10 would read again/more.

Also, I was also curious about the tip slash. I see your point, but I think a tip slash is really meant to simulate very low-powered (minimal leverage) cuts with just the tip of an otherwise non-cutting weapon.

For my money, the actual throat cut here should use the normal sw damage for a knife. (Daggers, OTOH, don't do sw cut damage, so tip slash would be appropriate there.)
Thank you very much :D

So, I used tip slash because for me, I see swing damage as doing more damage because you are quite literally swinging your weapon, using your arms and weapon's length as leverage. You can't really do this if your dagger is in someone else's throats. Or on your throat, for that matter. But I strongly advise against this course of action.

Of course, slitting someone's throat should probably do more damage than a tip slash, but I wanted to go strictly by the book. Maybe in my tables I'd rule it as doing the same damage as the impaling (no -2 reduction for slash).


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Originally Posted by Varyon View Post
Neck armor can be distracting, as well as potentially restricting head movement, both of which directly interfere with a sentry/lookout's job (and make it easier for the infiltrator to sneak up on him). Wearing Neck armor also makes things only slightly more difficult for the infiltrator when stabby time comes around - he still has to grapple the target from behind to prevent him from calling out (this can be - but isn't advised to be - avoided if the sentry is completely unarmored, as it's difficult to shout with a collapsed lung), and after that slipping the knife into the gaps in the neck armor - or failing that just stabbing the sentry a few times in the face - isn't much more difficult than stabbing the neck would have been to start with. In other words, the cost isn't worth the gain.

Leather stocks and mail coifs may be an exception here, however, but the former isn't great protection (DR 1 IIRC) and if you can afford to put your sentries in mail coifs for the modest improvement, their chest armor is still pretty well guaranteed to be better than that on their necks, so the infiltrator is more likely to be able to get through with a neck stab than with a vitals stab.



Eh, I consider that as a case where the sentry has failed at his job, but managed to make the most of the failure by alerting the other guards. There's a reason I snuck that "arguably" weasel-word in there, after all.
Yep, the neck is usually way less protected than the torso - in fact, the torso is usually the most protected area - maybe the skull can be more protected, but usually not by non-vision-restricting helmets.

In any case, the intent of my technique is mostly to look cool and be realistic, all the while sticking to the books' rules and not changing anything - and still being able to down someone in a single turn. In my opinion slitting someone's throat is way more stylish for a rogue than grabbing someone by the neck and going all stabbey in the kidneys. I wasn't aiming for a optimized damage.



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Originally Posted by Hellboy View Post
Realism aside, going purely by TechGrap rules, if the intent is to set up a swing-cut to neck with a knife, what does grappling the head (-3 to skill) do which grappling the torso (-0 to skill) doesn't?

Both provide referred control to the neck. Both allow the control points to be spent to reduce hit penalties or enhance damage.
I'm pretty sure that Fairbarn states that you must grapple someone by the neck to silence them. However, I take that from a post in some other thread, since I don't have Fairbarn or TechGrap. Correct me if I'm wrong.
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Old 09-21-2017, 02:12 AM   #47
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Default Re: The guide to throat slitting (or sentry removal, for the gentlemen)

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Originally Posted by Varyon View Post
Neck armor can be distracting, as well as potentially restricting head movement, both of which directly interfere with a sentry/lookout's job (and make it easier for the infiltrator to sneak up on him). Wearing Neck armor also makes things only slightly more difficult for the infiltrator when stabby time comes around - he still has to grapple the target from behind to prevent him from calling out (this can be - but isn't advised to be - avoided if the sentry is completely unarmored, as it's difficult to shout with a collapsed lung), and after that slipping the knife into the gaps in the neck armor - or failing that just stabbing the sentry a few times in the face - isn't much more difficult than stabbing the neck would have been to start with. In other words, the cost isn't worth the gain.

Leather stocks and mail coifs may be an exception here, however, but the former isn't great protection (DR 1 IIRC) and if you can afford to put your sentries in mail coifs for the modest improvement, their chest armor is still pretty well guaranteed to be better than that on their necks, so the infiltrator is more likely to be able to get through with a neck stab than with a vitals stab.
I think ultimately we're talking about a difficult thing to do (sneak up without being noticed and take out a sentry quietly enough for the alarm not to be raised). Without getting into a discussion of GURPS mechanics regarding knives vs DR and chinks, targeting chinks and gaps on the neck is harder than just targeting the neck. So anything that makes an already harder thing harder is going to have some worth. Especially when considering the stakes and how little it takes to fail, one shout out and it could be all over. To be honest I think it's become such staple of the competent* in fiction that we forget that actually it wasn't very common in RL.

So try and do this with run of mill skill levels and no special training in sentry removal combinations, and the chance of neck armour becoming the factor that makes the difference drops off anyway, making it moot. I.e there's a reason why this tended to be preserve of the specially trained.

Is neck armour a compromise of protection, discomfort and distraction, yeah of course but to an extent that's all armour in all situations, and since this was a known compromise it was also something worked on.

But equally I think we can overstate the negative effects of armour. The concept of a sentry or patrol that constantly swivelling it head to and fro, and thus effective sentry work is prevented by any neck armour is a bit of a misnomer ;-)

However that said neck armour was certainly rarer than torso armour, because armour was expensive. Also neck armour is tricky to make and the operating constraints mentioned above are tighter. You reach points of diminishing returns in terms of situations where different armours are going to make a difference anyway. Which is why as said torso and head are the most frequently armoured, they are more likely to be come into effect and or give the greatest benefit (while being relatively easy to make.

I.e I certainly don't imagine every sentry ever or even a significant percentage of them was issued with neck armour as a matter of course!

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Originally Posted by Varyon View Post
Eh, I consider that as a case where the sentry has failed at his job, but managed to make the most of the failure by alerting the other guards. There's a reason I snuck that "arguably" weasel-word in there, after all.
Maybe but his job is to raise the alarm, being alive afterwards is more a personal goal ;-)

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Old 09-21-2017, 02:22 AM   #48
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Default Re: The guide to throat slitting (or sentry removal, for the gentlemen)

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Originally Posted by Hellboy View Post
Realism aside, going purely by TechGrap rules, if the intent is to set up a swing-cut to neck with a knife, what does grappling the head (-3 to skill) do which grappling the torso (-0 to skill) doesn't?

Both provide referred control to the neck. Both allow the control points to be spent to reduce hit penalties or enhance damage.
1). It's strongly implied that some grapples in this area allows you to stop someone shouting out* . Even if it wasn't inferred by Fairburn's I certainly rule that way as GM.


2). As a GM I'd have a much easier time agreeing a grapple to the head followed by stab to the neck would qualify for the grab and smash bonus to the neck. Than a grapple to the torso followed by a stab to the neck.

With a thr dagger that extra +2 to damage can be quite a significant portion of inflicted injury. The trick here is to inflict as much injury as fast as you can in order to get to certain points with the target after all.


*although If I was using TG I'd possible make that effect a function of how many CP you got, so not automatically silenced by a 1CP head/face grapple. But a lot of this is going to be done "by eye" so to speak anyway,

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Old 09-21-2017, 01:12 PM   #49
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Default Re: The guide to throat slitting (or sentry removal, for the gentlemen)

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Originally Posted by Set View Post
Of course, slitting someone's throat should probably do more damage than a tip slash, but I wanted to go strictly by the book. Maybe in my tables I'd rule it as doing the same damage as the impaling (no -2 reduction for slash).
This is a draw cut, which GURPS doesn't really have rules for. I've made my own. Most relevant here is the note that a knife grapple to the neck can be considered as the first half of the Draw Cut - the typical method would be to use an All Out Attack (Determined) with Telegraphic Attack to grapple the Face and Neck* from behind, then next round use Draw Cut at +6 (net +4, and ignore hit location penalties) to slit the throat, probably with All Out Attack (Strong) and if using Technical Grappling cashing in some of the CP from the grapple to improve damage. Doing it in one round would be a bit more difficult - you'd probably use All Out Attack (Double) instead, so the grapple would be a bit harder to hit with and the throat slitting would do less damage.

*I can't recall if this is in the books anywhere, but personally I think grappling two hit locations - one with each hand - makes perfect sense. Simply use the greater of the two hit location penalties, and count half the CP as being toward one location, half toward the other. The point here of doing Face and Neck is that the first prevents the target from speaking, the second gets you setup to slit his throat.

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Yep, the neck is usually way less protected than the torso - in fact, the torso is usually the most protected area - maybe the skull can be more protected, but usually not by non-vision-restricting helmets.
Skull can be pretty heavily protected without restricting your vision too much, it's the Face that's a problem here. Most of the loadouts in Loadouts: Low Tech Armor have as much if not more armor on the Skull than on the Chest, and that's not even accounting for the Skull's innate DR 2.

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Originally Posted by Tomsdad View Post
So try and do this with run of mill skill levels and no special training in sentry removal combinations, and the chance of neck armour becoming the factor that makes the difference drops off anyway, making it moot. I.e there's a reason why this tended to be preserve of the specially trained.

Is neck armour a compromise of protection, discomfort and distraction, yeah of course but to an extent that's all armour in all situations, and since this was a known compromise it was also something worked on.
Unless more advanced/expensive than what a sentry would typically have access to, neck armor is typically going to actively reduce the sentry's ability to actually do their job of spotting suspicious actors. Additionally, the type of actor who is likely to be skilled enough to actually sneak up on and silently remove the sentry with a knife to the throat is likely skilled enough that typical neck armor isn't going to severely limit his ability to kill the sentry. Thus, actually seeing the infiltrator before he reaches the sentry is far more important than the marginal increase in survivability once you've already failed offered by the neck armor.

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Originally Posted by Tomsdad View Post
But equally I think we can overstate the negative effects of armour. The concept of a sentry or patrol that constantly swivelling it head to and fro, and thus effective sentry work is prevented by any neck armour is a bit of a misnomer ;-)
The sentry doesn't have to constantly move his head back and forth, but being able to move it freely will increase his effective arc of vision, making him much harder to sneak up on.

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Maybe but his job is to raise the alarm, being alive afterwards is more a personal goal ;-)
No, his job - in regards to stealthy infiltrators - is to prevent them from getting in in the first place. A guard who manages to scream "Help I'm being murd-" *GURKBURBLETHUD* tells the others that there is a hostile actor somewhere near him, but doesn't actively prevent the infiltrator from getting past the sentry, nor does it give any further intelligence on the target (direction the target ran, what he looks like, if he was alone, etc). Still, if you see your sentries as little more than noisemaking traps that bleed, I guess he accomplished his purpose.
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Old 09-21-2017, 01:17 PM   #50
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Default Re: The guide to throat slitting (or sentry removal, for the gentlemen)

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No, his job - in regards to stealthy infiltrators - is to prevent them from getting in in the first place.
No, that's the job of a guard. The job of a sentry is to notice that the infiltrators exist and raise an alert so superior force can be brought to bear.
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