Sneak attks

A

Anonymous

Guest
Does a thief dual weilding two shortswords, and who execute a successful sneak attk, roll sneak damage for both, or just the first strike with the first sword?
 

BhilJhoanz

Mongoose
Xex said:
Does a thief dual weilding two shortswords, and who execute a successful sneak attk, roll sneak damage for both, or just the first strike with the first sword?

Just like in D&D, if both attacks qualify for sneak attacks, both ARE sneak attacks. This would include when the thief is in a flanking position, during a surprise round, or before his opponent has taken his first regular action in the initiative order (ie he's still flat footed).

It would not work for things like feinting in combat which reads: "target is denied his Dex bonus to DV for the next attack you make against it"
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
I already know when sneak attacks qualify,and when they do not. Maybe I should have put that in bold, caps, and then added color and an underline. :D

So I ask again, the thief weilds a shortsword in each hand, and has TWF He makes successful attack rolls for both, AND qualifies for sneak attk.. . Does he roll sneak attack damage for BOTH swords? I am thinkiing sneak attk damage applies only to the first attack, i.e. attack from one of the two shortswords. But hey.
 

argo

Mongoose
Xex said:
I already know when sneak attacks qualify,and when they do not. Maybe I should have put that in bold, caps, and then added color and an underline. :D

So I ask again, the thief weilds a shortsword in each hand, and has TWF He makes successful attack rolls for both, AND qualifies for sneak attk.. . Does he roll sneak attack damage for BOTH swords? I am thinkiing sneak attk damage applies only to the first attack, i.e. attack from one of the two shortswords. But hey.

Since BilJhoanz's rather straightfoward reply seemed to confuse you I will answer in bold, caps, color and with an underline


YES


Or to put it another way: if both attacks qualify for a sneak attack, then both attacks ARE sneak attacks and get sneak attack damage. This is why thieves find dual wielding attractive and why dual wielder's often try to aquire a little bit of sneak attack to boost their damage. And before you bring it up; no this is not overpowered. People with sneak attack tend to be somewhat lacking in both DV and HP and dual wielding means standing still for a full round attack. Generally the worst place for them to be in combat.

Any other questions?
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
Sure son. Hows this;

Have you seen the nobles and the scholars dv?

You say thieves have a low dv? Are you nuts?


Are you aware there is a feat called armored stealth?

Do you know what flank attacks are?

Do you understand what I'm getting at here kid?

Yeah, sneak attacks are way overpowered. Zamoran alrady get 1D6 sneak, add that inn with the lightfotted bonus, and the preferred weapon bonus, plus twf, and armored stealth which grants DV, and you have yourselves a munchy char. Hopefully this will be nerfed come second revision.
 
They are not, in my experience, overpowered. I have GM'd this game since the playtest began, and have had absolutely zero issues with the way sneak attacks work in Conan. This is not based on mathematical models, but on practical, honest-to-goodness playing. Zero issues here.
 

Yokiboy

Mongoose
Hi Xex, why not simply rule that in your game sneak attacks work the way you want them to? Simple enough in my book. :D

TTFN,

Yokiboy
 

argo

Mongoose
Comparing a Thief's DV to a Scholar's doensn't make his DV good any more than lighting a candle in a dark room makes it daytime.

20 level Thief with Dex of 24 (start at 16, put every bonus towards Dex) has a DV of:
10 + 10 (class) + 1 (light footed) + 1 (Dodge) + 7 (Dex) = 29

20 level Soldier with Str of 18 (start at 14, never put any bonuses in it) has a to hit of 24, he hits 75% of the time. Power attack city.

Of course the Thief could use expertise and fighting defensievly to boost his DV to 37 for a cost of -9 to hit. Now the soldier only hits a mere 35% of the time. This leaves the Thief with a total of +13 to hit the Soldier's DV 33 (that's from just standing around holding his shield) meaning the Thief only hits on a natural 20! He really does need all those extra attacks from TWF since he is gambling on a 5% chance of hitting. Heck, even if he abandons his defenses and tries to attack at full bonus that is still only +22, a 45% chance on his two highest hits which drops to 20% on the first itterative pair and back to 5% on the second.

Now factor in the fact that the Thief has no DR and a lousy Fort save (massive damage) while the Soldier is walking around with DR 10 or better and a fort save of, lets say, 15 and things look even worse for the Thief.

The point isn't that Thief's arent' deadly. They are. 11d8 sneak attack is nothing to sneeze at. The point is that a Thief is fragile compared to the ammount of pain a soldier is capable of dishing out. A thief who intends to stand still in the middle of melee had damn well better make sure that his sneak attack drops the target on this round because if it dosn't he is toast! That is the balance. Thief's who want to stay alive will slink around the shadows or spring attack with a reach weapon or feint and throw daggers. Thiefs who tumble into flanking position and full round with two weapons get a lot of glory, but they are choosing to ride the tiger.

Now a tumbling two-weapon fighting Pirate OTOH....


Oh yeah, BTW. You can't use Light Footed and Armored Stealth together (or rather I should say you can't wear armor with Light Footed). Hope that helps, son.
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
"Now factor in the fact that the Thief has no DR and a lousy Fort save (massive damage) while the Soldier is walking around with DR 10 or better and a fort save of, lets say, 15 and things look even worse for the Thief. "

Hmm, maybe you should light up that candle you mentioned earlier. You seem to have trouble reading. I mentioned a feat called armored stealth. Read it up, realize a thief does have dr, then post again. :D Thats a good lad!

Vincent Darlage: your book is sure as heck not my book! :D

Yokiboy: Indeed, I am all for house rules. Unfortunately, the fact is we do need core rule for general acceptance. Otherwise trudging house rules from game to game is a little too much.

I do not think they should be nerfed entirely, simpy take out 3 levels worth of damage, and then add one of that to the special ability feature, allowed to be taken once only.

I think people do not remember, after 10th level hitpoints in coan do not rise with HD. Its like adnd, you get a fixed amount of HD, around +2 or something (varies by class.) Add in massive damage rules, well you get the picture. Its insane that in combat all the thief has to do is keep flanking and killing opponents blow by blow.

The name of the char class is thief, not ubermunchkinyassassin.
 

BhilJhoanz

Mongoose
In a recent game I ran, we had a Zamorian Thief6/Noble1 go toe to toe with a Nemedian Soldier 4 -- he had to use a fate point to survive, even with all of his sneak attacking.

Try playing with the core rules for a while before determining that they are overpowered. You've obviously played D&D -- the Conan rules are no different. Are Rogues overpowered in D&D? If anything, lots of people find Rogues very underpowered in combat. I find Conan very similar.

BTW, when argo said a thief has no DR, I suspect he was thinking of a thief using Lightfooted -- a feat that you also mentioned.

Lastly, you seem to have taken offense at some of the posts made here and responded with a rather antagonistic tone. You might find it more productive to assume that posts often fail to convey a person's real attitude and work to keep the conversations more civil.
 

Yokiboy

Mongoose
It seems people get really hung up on the Sneak Attack ability and automatically find the Thief unbalanced because of it, but sometimes based purely on having read the rules, without testing them in actual play. I am happy with the Thief class in Conan and believe it to be perfectly balanced with the other classes.

I do however think that to each one his own, do with the rules what you will. :D

TTFN,

Yokiboy
 

slaughterj

Mongoose
Xex said:
Add in massive damage rules, well you get the picture. Its insane that in combat all the thief has to do is keep flanking and killing opponents blow by blow.

The name of the char class is thief, not ubermunchkinyassassin.

I haven't found sneak attack to be a problem, and in fact, allow the use of it with Feint (though I don't know what the final result of those discussions resulted in, rules-wise), though I haven't run Conan but so much so far. Limiting it even further to flanking (which may well be the official rule, AFAIK, in addition to surprise / helpless situations) won't result in it getting much use, given the Conan-specific rules on 5' steps and AoOs (again, as I understand them, from recent posts, though I might go back to D&D default on that as well).
 

Yokiboy

Mongoose
That's true slaughterj, with the limited 5ft Step rules in Conan, flanking is trickier, you definitely have to rely on Tumble to a higher degree.

TTFN,

Yokiboy
 

BhilJhoanz

Mongoose
that or Overrun. :wink:

I just love a good overrun . . . nothing like knocking a guy on his ass and flanking him all the same round.

I jest of course, a thief should avoid overrunning like the plague -- pirates on the other hand . . .

On a side-side note, I'm a big fan of the Conan take on the 5' step. We've played 3 sessions with it and it makes for a much more harrowing combat experience!
 

Shonuff

Mongoose
Hello people. Been busy recently but I saw the topic.

The damage of a Sneak Attack does not bother me. I think anyone being open and hit by one should suffer the nasty consequences. Real nasty.

Any issues I had with it were related to rules interpretations which made a Sneak Attack . . . well . . . not so SNEAKY (like with that Feinting debate that went round after round).

For those that played it, think about the game PC computer game Thief. You had to be stealthy, sneak up behind without being seen or heard, and then your foe was toast. You could even get them this way with a short range bow shot if you hit them in the head. Once you were heard or seen however, it was either run for your life or stand and fight like a man. Your window for a thiefly Sneak Attack was gone - gone - gone. That game and Thief II were so much fun and I loved how they made Sneak Attacks work. VERY thiefly in IMO.

That's the way I want it to be in my Conan game.

I like to look at it this way and have been tinkering with the following:

1. Your DV is 10 and you are open to Sneak Attacks if you are unaware of the thief creeping up on you. No dodge, no Parry. You are unaware (DV 10). Surprise attack! Finesse around armor a piece of cake. Two daggers in the back of the neck even worse (as related to the two weapon fighting / sneak attack question).

2. You lose your stat bonuses (and feat bonuses like Dodge) to Defense Value (not ALL Dodge and Parry Bonuses - I'm following a more DnD 3.x rule for flat-footed situations since it has been more tried and proven IMO) and you are open to a Sneak Attack if you have not yet acted in the initiative order. Your superior training and experience is all that is saving you now (your earned Dodge and Parry bonuses). ---- PLUS - for the SA - The thief MUST be able to hit you with his FIRST action (you are in the thief's threatened zone before he acts, unless it's a ranged Sneak Attack which also takes place on the thief's first action). No jogging up to your opponent and then attempting a lunging SA. As soon as you see the thief coming, it ain't sneaky anymore. If you're standing next to him however . . . POW! . . . Knife in the eye before you know what hit you.

3. Sneak Attacks allowed during Flanking situations but not while using the Feint maneuver (debate had and not going into that again). Uncanny Dodge can help prevent this unless the thief is better (as in the book).

I'm also looking into ways to do the following:
-Either nerf DR a little or go with more of a damage conversion (DR changing lethal damage to non-lethal or some combination - reading up in DnD's Unearthed Arcana now). I'm still tinkering in order to allow for those in armor to be battered unconscious from a fierce melee rather than be walking tanks unphased by a powerful Pict hatchet blow to the ribs.
-Work out a balanced mechanic for ranged finesse attacks.

Anyway - I know others' opinions differ from mine but that's my take on the Sneak Attack stuff and what I'm considering. It shuld be horrible to be hit by a SA (all that extra damage, massive damage saves to avoid instant death, and critical strikes, etc.) but I think it should be SNEAKY to qualify as a Sneak Attack.

And as for the tone of some posts above (calling each other "son"), were they not just respectfully referring to each other as Sons of Cimmeria? :wink:
 

Yokiboy

Mongoose
Shonuff said:
Anyway - I know others' opinions differ from mine but that's my take on the Sneak Attack stuff and what I'm considering. It shuld be horrible to be hit by a SA (all that extra damage, massive damage saves to avoid instant death, and critical strikes, etc.) but I think it should be SNEAKY to qualify as a Sneak Attack.
I find feinting to be a very sneaky tactic indeed. :D

TTFN,

Yokiboy
 

Shonuff

Mongoose
Understood Yokiboy, but this is how I feel from my RL experience.

As a martial arts instructor and a person who has been teaching feinting for almost 20 years straight, the whole feinting issue has bugged me (both in Dnd 3.x and OGL). People are not understanding what a feint is, and confusing it with a head-turning distraction rather than a misleading attack that creates a brief window of opportunity for another attack (fake high, attack low).

Since Dnd 3.x could not seem to decide whether feint should be a swordplay maneuver or a deceptive head-turning distraction, I am removing feint from my game (since I consider the term a fighting man's skill, not a thiefly bluff/distraction skill) and replacing it by allowing those with the Bluff skill to pull off a combat diversion instead.

The diversion (represented by throwing dirt in the eyes, pulling cloaks over heads, spitting in the face, etc.) will cause a penalty to defense and allow for an immediate attack. Since the diversion is made as a free action that provokes no AoO, the attack can happen right away and this also allows for sneak attacks since the opponent’s concentration and/or sight is affected. Continued Bluff attempts to pull off such dirty tactics will incur a penalty (because it is harder to fool the same foe twice this way) using the situation modifier penalties (on the table in the book) related to Bluff checks and Sense Motive.

This, to me, better represents SNEAKY use of the Bluff skill and does not confuse such a tactic with a fencing feint (which is a martial skill).

This is just my take however. So to each his own. :)
 

Yokiboy

Mongoose
Merriam-Webster's definition of the noun Feint:

something feigned; specifically : a mock blow or attack on or toward one part in order to distract attention from the point one really intends to attack

And the definition of the verb Feint:

intransitive senses : to make a feint
transitive senses
1 : to lure or deceive with a feint
2 : to make a pretense of


I could live with making a proper feint Combat Maneuver which would be dependant on your fighting skills, while also allowing a distraction type maneuver (like what Shonuff described above) based on your Bluff skill.

For now though, Feint works for me as is, and since I allow Sneak Attacks following a Feint, I tend to describe Feints like Shonuff's diversions.

TTFN,

Yokiboy
 

Shonuff

Mongoose
We are actually doing the same thing :) -- Seeing what they call "feint" as a Bluff skill related diversion I mean. I just simply made it easier to do, but harder to repeat (as I'll show below).

It is just a choice of terms really. I tend to use the term FEINT as it is used among experienced fencers and martial artists. I view a combat feint as the definition says "a mock blow or attack on or toward one part in order to distract attention from the point one really intends to attack."

A DIVERSION, however, is something that "turns aside" and "distracts" or "draws attention away from". No mock blow is mentioned in the official definition.

Since the Bluff skill can be used to create a DIVERSION to Hide, I would also like it to be used to create a DIVERSION to Sneak Attack (stab in the back, take a cheap shot to the vitals, etc.).

Since I disliked the way the books had not clearly distinguished the difference between a fencing "mock blow" (where you are still very much looking right at your opponent, thus NO SA) and a bluffing distraction (which causes you to divert your attention away from the attacker, thus SA possible), I have simply decided to change the name and make a slight adjustment in order to balance things out.


Instead of: Bluff to distract, wait one round, then attack (unless you have the Improved Feint feat) with no option to Sneak Attack

I like: Bluff (free action), attack immediately (no feat required), and allow for Sneak Attacks.

Since I allow the DIVERSION to be a free action that requires no feat and that provokes no AoO, I will also use the Circumstance Modifier table to make it harder for the same opponent to fall for the same diversionary trick (granting them a bonus to Sense Motive checks to see through the repeated diversion).

So, trying to keep on topic and related to Sneak Attacks:
I LIKE diversion+sneak attack (better follows the official definition of the words)
I DISLIKE feint+sneak attack (shows a poor understanding of a martial feint or "mock blow")

Just my 2 cents worth.
Thanks
 
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