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PhaKnight

do you allow insta kills in some instances?

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the reason im asking is because recently ive been listening to some ig audiobooks and ive noticed in some cases where catachans could hide in the trees and jump down on chaos space marines and use the vulnerable space between the helmet/neck/body bc they were told of the weakspot by other catachans who faught them before and insta killed them with there knifes. so i was wondering how do you handle situations like that. 

 

another example is if you sneak up on a human enemy and take a knife to the throat and cover the mouth so they cant scream. thematically and realistically they would die but mechanicaly? i house rule it if the enemy passes a toughness test he is alive still and struggling to brake free as if in a grapple.

 

oh i should also say i use a house rule where wounds are devided into bodyparts so a 12 wound human has 6hp in body 2 in each arm and 2 in each leg 2 in head and the tb goes to the body only or sometimes diffrent to mix it up. 

Edited by PhaKnight

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First off, instakilling a Marine by stabbing him in the throat with a knife shouldn't work. Marines are usually fast enough to kill any human jumping on top of them or climbing on top of them (marines tend to be really tall in that power armour, remember?), and even tehn, their enhanced biology should let them survive for several turns to a single slash, even in the neck. Try lexicanum or the 40k wiki for good info on marine enhancements - IG audiobooks certainly aren't! Remember the whole "Black Library books are mostly propaganda and/or loosely based on actual canon" thing.

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Because, after all, guardsmen are human beings, they often hesitate to murder others in their sleep, while they're helpless. So they have to pass WP test. Of course they have a re-roll if they have Hatred Talent against that enemy or are Jaded, Machine or sth like that.

 

If they fail it, something wrong happens - enemy wakes up, they stumble and fall or drop a knife. I think it's quite natural that without proper training it's hard to murder other living being with cold blood. I came up with this idea after listening to polish resistance members fighting in Warsaw Uprising against Germans. They had to be stealthy murderers and while they'd shoot any German in fair fight without mercy, they had to fight first with their own humanity to sneak up to a German and stab him in the throat while he was dying in their arms.

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the reason im asking is because recently ive been listening to some ig audiobooks and ive noticed in some cases where catachans could hide in the trees and jump down on chaos space marines and use the vulnerable space between the helmet/neck/body bc they were told of the weakspot by other catachans who faught them before and insta killed them with there knifes. so i was wondering how do you handle situations like that. 

 

another example is if you sneak up on a human enemy and take a knife to the throat and cover the mouth so they cant scream. thematically and realistically they would die but mechanicaly? i house rule it if the enemy passes a toughness test he is alive still and struggling to brake free as if in a grapple.

 

oh i should also say i use a house rule where wounds are devided into bodyparts so a 12 wound human has 6hp in body 2 in each arm and 2 in each leg 2 in head and the tb goes to the body only or sometimes diffrent to mix it up. 

Yes, there is a time and a place for it, but it's best done from a narrative point of view. If Guardsmen A shoves a shotgun into Prisoners Bs mouth and pulls the trigger, he is not really going to live though that... Unless maybe he is a Nurgle worshiper. Or in instances where you are taking out a sentry with a knife, I will just have them roll a stealth test so they can sneak up, and a weapon skill test to see if they hit the right place on the neck, if they pass, i see no need to sit there and waste ten minutes of every ones times going " okay roll initiative, okay now roll damage, okay he is gonna dodge but at a penalty... "  

 

Rule of thumb i best find is if it's a single person, the players have total advantage , it's not a boss character, and it will progress the narrative faster , then by all means do it. 

Edited by CommissarWilliams

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I personally don't allow instakills as per GM fiat. If you do enough damage to kill them, then you kill them. If you want to assassinate people, play a Scout or a Marksman who have class features and equipment to enable this in my games. I don't like devaluing classes like that.

The exception is probably the execution of a helpless captive.

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I personally don't allow instakills as per GM fiat. If you do enough damage to kill them, then you kill them. If you want to assassinate people, play a Scout or a Marksman who have class features and equipment to enable this in my games. I don't like devaluing classes like that.

The exception is probably the execution of a helpless captive.

Well, on the one hand, yes, on the other ... if one manages to sneak into point-blank or melee range behind someone and have a silenced or melee weapon, you should be able to put them down before they can sound an alert and without alerting anybody who isn't watching them or paying close attention.

This is partly represented by the Surprise round mechanics and the modifiers for an Unaware target. If you've maintained stealth all the way there, I'd consider allowing a free aim action before initiating the Suprise Round, with a successful Stealth test. I might also allow an Initiative bonus on the subsequent round, depending.

 

The only way without a Silenced Accurate Basic weapon or the Scout Silent Ambush Order/ability, to have a chance to stealthily and near-instantly neutralize a normal person* would be to port over the garrotte from DH Radical's Handbook - Melee 1d10 R pen 0, Primitive, Flexible, all attacks are Called Shots to the Head (-20 penalty to hit) subsequent attacks after a successful hit, regardless of damage, recieve a +30 bonus, should the garrotte cause damage to a target after armor reduction, the attacker can cause Wounds normally or inflict half the value, rounded up, in Fatigue. It's not an instant-kill, but with an average damage roll and a decent Strength bonus, you can put a fair amount of Fatigue on somebody, knocking them out more or less instantly. Granted, I'd strongly recommend a mono-garrotte, but it's still incredibly useful for stealth kills.

*Barring psychic powers, of course. Or house-ruling Accurate bonus damage onto pistols and/or throwing knives.

Although technically, I suppose you could whisperbolt a lascannon. :/

 

 

Someone who's helpless, incapacitated, immobilized, or otherwise incapable of acting (or who is willing, ie, a mercy kill) can be coup de graced with a successful WS/BS test, or narratively, depending. Unless they've got fate points to burn, they die. With Fate Points they get an Opposed Toughness test or Fate Point burn to survive but look like they're dead.

 

 

It is, however, extremely difficult to do an Assassin's Creed-style assassination. Even the Scout needs to have his comrade available to use his ability ... which part of me doesn't like.

 

I might, under certain circumstances, allow a for a called death attack against an unaware target, that would probably look something like: full action, called shot to torso or head, BS or WS opposed Toughness or damage is dealt normally; with a modifier on the opposed test either equal to damage that would be dealt or twice damage dealt, can employ any normal single attack action as the base attack(no multiple attack actions unless it's a TW thing and you're trained in it); if you're doing this melee, you need to either stealth all the way in or act like you're a normal person who isn't there to kill them with Deceive - and it's not going to be easy or singular tests to get there; if you don't successfully kill them go straight into normal combat, this counted as your surprise round, fail an approach test and regular combat begins; fail the WS or BS test and you outright missed them, and then almost always go straight into normal combat rounds, but I might be willing under certain circumstances to allow the target to remain unaware of the attack - ie, if you're using a needle rifle, that's a lot less noticeable than a bullet or somebody swinging a sword, so it'd be an Awareness test with the needle rifle, but a bolter or plasma weapon automatically alerts them on a miss (and still auto-alerts anyone nearby on a success).

This might serve to represent that while anybody can, in theory, ninja-kill someone with the right circumstances, someone with the right skills, training, and/or equipment, is going to do a lot better than someone without. And, you're going to have to describe what you're doing, you can't just rely on the dice.

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I do have instant kills in my campaigns under specific circumstances:

 

1. Very low level enemies in groups, partially for ease of accounting, partially as its a pain when you roll really badly on a damage roll and see your nice hit just tickles something that should be one shot (so snotlings, grots, vermin, mobs, etc)

2. Low level enemies where a hit might not by the rules kill them by damage likely to be rolled but the hit was quite a good one with a few levels of success (so a guardsman fighting a renegade guardsman as with the armour and TB they may well be able to power through a few average hits)

3. Low level enemies where they have been taken by surprise in Melee (so throat cutting and so on) partially to encourage sneakiness, partially to allow rapid silencing of guards and sentries.

 

I do not allow it with anything bigger then that, everything else damage gets rolled for an accounted for..  In my campaigns when they bump into space marines they are genned as PCs using the death watch books (they are renegades rather then from the heresy chaos space marines though some plague marines will be being thrown at them soon mwhahahaha) and as such they die very hard.

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The way I do it is a called shot to any instantly fatal area- heart, eyes/jugular, shotgun to mouth, almost anything to the jaw going into the brain, and spinal column hits (with the spinal column hit they're entitled to a -20 toughness test to do something before everything goes numb, usually firing an unsuppressed weapon to alert, shout, or if they're a quick enough enemy (lightning reflexes+ rapid reaction) pull the pin on a grenade)

The called shot however has more penalties applied to them in this case however, as you're not specifically attacking one general body area, you're targeting organs or tiny spots on the body (eyes for example) that you're not likely to hit. Usually this is -10, for the heart, and -20 for eyes/spinal columnn/jugular. If its shotgun blast to the inside of the throat, knife into the base of skull through the jaw, it's an auto success assuming they pass a grapple for the knife, and only if the target is Helpless for the shotgun blast.

In addition, bosses typically have home brewed talents to counter these, like hyper-sensitivity (allows them to dodge at a -10), or a special implant that specifically protects these areas (steel plate separating the ocular orbits from the brain as the crow flies, spinal reinforcement, "secondary" jugular) the list goes on.

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I have mostly used it in the case of executions in this game, in some of the other 40k games (espesially Deathwatch) I use it more since the players are more likely to find themselves in situations where it fits, for some examples on places where I have used it.

 

-Commissar questions a subordinate and decides he is to be summary executed, no test, he dies.

-Inquisitorial Acolyte suspects an unarmed/unarmoured civillian to be a heretic and decides to kill him, since the foe is pretty much defenceless a hit will be an instant kill.

-Deathwatch Marine hits something which is very likely to fall into critical by one hit when on full wounds.

-Rouge Trader uses a strange Halo Artefact which radiates evil (character gains corruption as well).

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I allow instant kills if the first hit brings the target to 1 HP left. I get the player to describe they way that they kill them, either brutally, flashy or such pin-point precision. They get to elaborate the way that they do it and everyone at the table laughs or cringes and then that enemy is dead. If they say "I kill it with my sword" I leave that 1 HP alone.

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