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Old 04-04-2009, 09:15 AM   #11
Harald387
 
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Default Re: The game mechanics for a stealth sneak-up and backstab?..

Quote:
Originally Posted by Crakkerjakk
Personally I'm against "roll every turn" on an all-or-nothing thing like stealth.
I'm in this boat. My general rule of thumb is to roll as if the character were trying to sneak right up beside the target - so ignore penalties for distance, etc. Apply the distance penalty *after* the roll; if it causes the roll to fail, you have a rough guideline as to how far away the character is when he's detected. If the roll succeeds, the character is free to sneak around near the target until he does something that gives him a large enough penalty that the target's detection roll succeeds.

This requires keeping track of the MoS, but I find this a lot less painful than rolling every second.
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Old 04-04-2009, 09:32 AM   #12
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Default Re: The game mechanics for a stealth sneak-up and backstab?..

I'd use the rule of three that tends to get used unofficially in extended Contests for cases such as poison and stuff in certain worldbooks.

Have the would-be assassin have three contests with the target. After the third contest is won, the assassin is considered to be in position. If any are failed, the target notices. If the assassin makes a critical success, that voids the necessity for the next (or for all subsequent) rolls.
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Old 04-04-2009, 01:58 PM   #13
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Default Re: The game mechanics for a stealth sneak-up and backstab?..

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Originally Posted by Jovus
I'd use the rule of three that tends to get used unofficially in extended Contests for cases such as poison and stuff in certain worldbooks.

Have the would-be assassin have three contests with the target. After the third contest is won, the assassin is considered to be in position. If any are failed, the target notices. If the assassin makes a critical success, that voids the necessity for the next (or for all subsequent) rolls.
My problem is that it artificially deflates their skill level. Having them roll several times on a "fail a roll and you're in trouble" task effectively lowers their skill, so for some reason, characters need a higher stealth skill than what the normal bell curve + modifiers would actually suggest. It twists probability such that it's harder to instinctively calculate your chances for success. Rolling once for sneaking right up behind them allows you to tell how close they CAN get before getting caught by looking at their margin of failure. And it only takes one roll.
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Old 04-04-2009, 02:16 PM   #14
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Default Re: The game mechanics for a stealth sneak-up and backstab?..

Quote:
Originally Posted by Crakkerjakk
My problem is that it artificially deflates their skill level. Having them roll several times on a "fail a roll and you're in trouble" task effectively lowers their skill, so for some reason, characters need a higher stealth skill than what the normal bell curve + modifiers would actually suggest. It twists probability such that it's harder to instinctively calculate your chances for success. Rolling once for sneaking right up behind them allows you to tell how close they CAN get before getting caught by looking at their margin of failure. And it only takes one roll.
I like the one-roll solution. I'll also look into DF rules.

But for less abstract games, a system involving all of vision, hearing, smell and possibly the more exotic senses would be neat.
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Old 04-04-2009, 03:32 PM   #15
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Default Re: The game mechanics for a stealth sneak-up and backstab?..

And there also should be modifiers for how carefully the attacker is moving. A properly cautious attacker in this situation will be moving half speed at best, and quite possibly one hex a turn once they get within five hexes or so.

A bit easier to make the approach if there are other things in the area distracting the guard, but if there is any activity at *all* in the area you are (I would think) much less likely to get full surprise.
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Old 04-04-2009, 03:45 PM   #16
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Default Re: The game mechanics for a stealth sneak-up and backstab?..

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Originally Posted by Jasonft
And there also should be modifiers for how carefully the attacker is moving. A properly cautious attacker in this situation will be moving half speed at best, and quite possibly one hex a turn once they get within five hexes or so.

A bit easier to make the approach if there are other things in the area distracting the guard, but if there is any activity at *all* in the area you are (I would think) much less likely to get full surprise.
Under modifiers for Stealth (B222) "-5 to move silently if you are moving faster than Move 1"
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Old 04-04-2009, 03:52 PM   #17
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Default Re: The game mechanics for a stealth sneak-up and backstab?..

Quote:
Originally Posted by Crakkerjakk
My problem is that it artificially deflates their skill level. Having them roll several times on a "fail a roll and you're in trouble" task effectively lowers their skill, so for some reason, characters need a higher stealth skill than what the normal bell curve + modifiers would actually suggest. It twists probability such that it's harder to instinctively calculate your chances for success. Rolling once for sneaking right up behind them allows you to tell how close they CAN get before getting caught by looking at their margin of failure. And it only takes one roll.
For things like quick contests against ranged senses, I have the PC's roll for each category/range/penalty/bonus zone change - if you walk inside the room after walking silently along a thick wall, it is time to roll once again and when you're within X meters of your target the ambient sound vs your movement sound reaches a threshold where you have to be extra extra careful, you roll again. That's for more or less "simulationist" games though, when my group is interested in that much detail and tactics. My ongoing game? I don't even roll if the target has no senses listed at exceptional level - a phoenix sniffer? yeah, you'd roll and would have problems against a Discriminatory Hearing of 18... a "mere" SWAT officer? Meh, you already have 15 stealth without the bonus for 3 levels of silence factored in :)

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Old 04-04-2009, 04:41 PM   #18
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Default Re: The game mechanics for a stealth sneak-up and backstab?..

Quote:
Originally Posted by Molokh
I like the one-roll solution. I'll also look into DF rules.

But for less abstract games, a system involving all of vision, hearing, smell and possibly the more exotic senses would be neat.
Maybe modify it also for the target's attention/occupied, meaning if they're
consumed doing something, like banging a hammer on an anvil or urinating and whistling... etc, etc.

For players vs NPC, I'd probably go just for surprise, for NPC targeting a PC it might not be quite that simple.

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Old 04-04-2009, 05:24 PM   #19
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Default Re: The game mechanics for a stealth sneak-up and backstab?..

I'd probably opt for the every turn approach. The longer you're generating suspicious noises and shaking the bushes for, the better the chances of someone noticing you.

Oddity: the noise table in HT has a person 'stalking' only -1 harder to hear than a person walking. A quick contest of stealth is much more variable.
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Old 04-04-2009, 09:47 PM   #20
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Default Re: The game mechanics for a stealth sneak-up and backstab?..

Quote:
Originally Posted by Crakkerjakk
My problem is that it artificially deflates their skill level. Having them roll several times on a "fail a roll and you're in trouble" task effectively lowers their skill, so for some reason, characters need a higher stealth skill than what the normal bell curve + modifiers would actually suggest. It twists probability such that it's harder to instinctively calculate your chances for success. Rolling once for sneaking right up behind them allows you to tell how close they CAN get before getting caught by looking at their margin of failure. And it only takes one roll.
I think one roll is sufficient to "get your attack." That seems consistent with the way DF handles it. If you want multiple turns behind someone getting ready (evaluate) or making faces or whatever, I think that should require multiple stealth rolls, but a highly skilled sneak is the kind that can linger right behind someone for minutes on end without discovery. The more mundane people have to take their advantage where they can get it.
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