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1/16/2017 12:48 pm  #1


Assassins be assassinatin'

I think there's some confusion--at least on my part--on the assassination ability, specifically how it relates to thief backstabbery. For one thing, the last sentence in the ability write-up, "The target must be completely unaware of danger and not otherwise engaged in combat; in effect, this is a snipe attack"--this refers only to the use of missile weapons, right? Not to the ability in general.

So, to be clear, the assassinate ability encompasses and goes beyond backstab. Is the process envisioned something like this in combat:

1. Assassin character maneuvers into position however s/he chooses (hide, move silent, invis., whatever)
2. On attacking, check for surprise
3. IFF surprise is achieved, roll to hit at +4
4. IFF hit, check against assassination attempt table
5. IFF assassination attempt fails, roll damage per backstab level

Right? Or can assassination attempts in general not be made in combat? Does that mean the assassin can try to backstab without trying to assassinate?

Any insight?

 

1/16/2017 1:36 pm  #2


Re: Assassins be assassinatin'

Good question! 

I read this recently but interpreted it differently.  Specifically, I took the 'snipe attack' comment as referring to an attack that takes the target completely unawares (regardless of whether the assassin is using a melee or missile weapon).  That is, the term 'snipe' is metaphorical rather than literal.  According to this interpretation, someone in combat is assumed to be vigilant for danger and so immune to an assassination attempt of any sort. 
 

 

1/16/2017 2:10 pm  #3


Re: Assassins be assassinatin'

In my head it reads like this:

if surprise
   if attack+4
      if assassination
         target dies
      else
         backstab damage
   else
      miss
else
   if attack
      normal damage
   else
      miss

When we played the Assassin was able to use this ability with melee weapons in combat (as the Thief could use Backstab), if they could gain a positional advantage to make it so. The last sentence comes specifically after mentioning the ranged option, and its language - even if unintentionally - make it sound like it has to do with the ranged option.

EDIT: Just to make it clear, in my reading, surprise is automatic on a successful Hide or Move Silently check. Consider how at first level both have 5-in-12 chance of succedding, which is just a bit higher than the regular 4-in-12 chance of surprise (well, rolled 2-in-6, but the maths is what's important here).

Last edited by Ynas Midgard (1/16/2017 2:15 pm)

 

1/16/2017 3:05 pm  #4


Re: Assassins be assassinatin'

Yes, concur with that.  Re-reading the section, I see the missile weapon link.  (The 'snipe' comment was in a separate sentence, and I'd somehow disassociated it from what came immediately before; but examining again, the context with missile weapons makes much more sense).
 

 

1/16/2017 4:07 pm  #5


Re: Assassins be assassinatin'

Ynas Midgard wrote:

EDIT: Just to make it clear, in my reading, surprise is automatic on a successful Hide or Move Silently check. Consider how at first level both have 5-in-12 chance of succedding, which is just a bit higher than the regular 4-in-12 chance of surprise (well, rolled 2-in-6, but the maths is what's important here).

I always make a separate surprise check--success on the hide or MS roll allowing the attempt to gain surprise. Even invisible characters I give only a 4:6 chance of surprise usually. That is, in combat, where everyone is, as mentioned, hyperaware.

     Thread Starter
 

1/16/2017 6:59 pm  #6


Re: Assassins be assassinatin'

Jeff will correct me if necessary, but here's my understanding: For attacks with class 1 or 2 melee weapons, no surprize roll is needed; the target only need be "unaware" of the attack. (The referee could rule that a target in the midst of melee with the assassin's companions might be unaware of the assassin hiding and moving silently behind him.) If the attack hits (with a +4 bonus), check the Assassination table for chance of instant death. Even if instant death does not result, normal backstab damage applies, with a multiple based on the assassin's level.

​Assassins also can assassinate with a missile weapon, but only at short range, and only against a target who is not engaged in combat and does not expect danger. In other respects, the attack is resolved as above.

 

1/17/2017 7:39 am  #7


Re: Assassins be assassinatin'

Thanks, DMP! That was basically how I parsed through it. I think I hold on to the surprise check as the best way of deciding whether the target is unaware.

     Thread Starter
 

1/17/2017 12:07 pm  #8


Re: Assassins be assassinatin'

DMP is spot-on, as usual. I do not require a surprize check if the target is unaware of the assassin's presence, and the assassin has successfully put himself in position through move silently and/or hiding.
 


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