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Kungfujon

Unarmed combat question

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Hi all,

 

I'm hoping someone can help me.  I'm new to the system and I'm going to start running a game soon.  One of my players wants to be a stealthy, "black ops" rebel commando (think Solid Snake).

 

One of the things he would like to be able to do is to sneak up behind someone (like a guard) and either knock them out or put them in a sleeper hold unitl they pass out.

 

Are there existing mechanics to support this?  All I can initially find is do to nonlethal, unarmed damage until the target's strain threshold is met.  But looking at the dice, it looks like this may take a few rounds to complete. 

 

Does it seem reasonable to use advantage pips to keep the guard from just screaming out or moving away and shooting?  Consider him grappled, then let the player roll an attack each turn until he scores enough successes to meet the strain threshold.

 

Any other thoughts?  Am I missing an existing mechanic?

 

Thanks so much for any help you can offer,

 

Jon

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I go with the common sense rule here, which is if a player can sneak up behind a Minion undetected, they can knock them out or kill them without a roll. If it's a Rival, maybe have them make a Brawl check against an Easy or Simple difficulty, just to see how smoothly it goes, but otherwise narrate it.

 

As for a Nemesis, I'd just do straight combat.

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I would let them spend advantages to control things like crying out, maybe 2 or 3 required.  Any extra successes from a Stealth check might turn into free advantages on the first round; or maybe advantages on the Stealth check might be enough to get a good hold that requires a contested Athletics check to break before they can cry out.  It might take a few rounds, but that's reasonable too.

 

The player should know their character isn't likely to be able to do this right off the bat, but working up to good Stealth and Brawl ranks and taking the right Talent tree can make them pretty good at it.

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Awesome!  Thanks.  I'll probably use "auto takedown" for minions, then maybe my version of the combat (advantages) for a rival.  He'll have to do more than just squeeze to take out a Nemesis!  I like the idea of a successful stealth check to aid in the process.  I'll use that too.

 

But yeah, his plan was to eliminate guards and such on the way to somewhere more important.

 

Thanks again so much.  If anyone else has more idea, please feel free to share!

 

-Jon

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Don't forget, Minions don't have a strain threshold, so any strain suffered goes straight to wounds, of which they typically have very few (like 5). So it should be fairly "easy" to knock out a given minion.

Yes, but forcing them to suffer Strain isn't generally as easy as just punching them "unconscious".

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I'd do it with a Stealth vs. (Vigilance or Perception?  Never sure which) check:

  • Success = Upgrade their next attack vs. that guy / group
  • Every 2 Advantages = Boost die to attack

 

Attack, do damage (vs. Strain if he's knocking them out).

Edited by Col. Orange

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If the sentry in question is just a minion and the PC wants to do a stealth takedown that just knocks them out, I'd just make it an opposed Brawl vs. the minion's Perception. if the PC wins, then the lone minion goes down, with the damage presumed to be non-lethal.

 

After all, minions aren't meant to be major impediments to the character's actions, but rather a brief speed bump as the PCs are en route to doing more important things.

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I spoke with the player and I think we'll give the following a try.  This will just be for minions.  Rivals or a nemesis will take more work.

 

1) Stealth check.  If it's successful, he has moved into takedown position.  Any advantage gained on this roll will translate into boost dice on the takedown roll (next).

 

2) Brawl check:  This is the takedown action, possibly boosted by the stealth advantages.  Success means that the target is unconsious.  Advantage can be used to be able to stash the body somewhere quickly.

 

That doesn't seem too complex and gives a few opportinuties for interesting "problems" to occur.

 

Failed stealth check?  guard sees you

Threat on a successful stealth check?  you made noise and another guard is heading your way to investigate

Failed brawl check?  the guard is struggling to escape and the action converts to a combat

Threat on successful brawl? the guard goes down, but hits the floor hard and another guard probably heard...

 

Thanks all for your wonderful thoughts and discussion!  I can't wait to try this in a session.

 

-Jon

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