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Knockout attacks

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  • Knockout attacks

    "....and so, Naazira sticked to the shadows and was lucky enough to get behind the guard without being detected. Using her small club, she quickly knocked the guard unconscious, so that no alarm was raised."

    Right - so, how to implement rules where this actually is possible? I know it is possible to stay a killing blow and rather knock someone unconscious, but the point here is that the rogue uses her skills and moves behind a guard and rather than attacking to lower hitpoints, she simply wants to knock the guard down and out of play (for a limited time).

    I was thinking of simply letting the Dragon Die determine this in the sense that the Dragon Die on the Attack roll made by the rogue against the guard sets the Target Number for the guard's CONSTITUTION (STAMINA) test;

    1 - Routine, TN 7
    2 - Easy, TN 9
    3 - Average, TN 11
    4 - Challenging, TN 13
    5 - Hard, TN 15
    6 - Formidable, TN 17

    So, when the rogue makes her attack, she rolls 3D6 normally, and the result for the Dragon Die determines the TN for the guard's test if she hits. The GM then rolls the test for the guard and applies the applicable result;
    If he fails, he is knocked unconscious.
    If he succeeds... well, then the story takes a whole new turn, doesn't it?

    Of course, some common sense must be used here. This only works against humanoids, and certain animals, perhaps. No going about and knocking revenants or ogres unconscious, that's just silly...
    Also, one might consider giving important and/or high-level NPCs special bonuses to resist such attacks, perhaps...?

    Any other suggestions on how to do this, or do you spot a flaw in my plan that I have failed myself to see? I am all ears/eyes.
    Last edited by fkirenicus; 14th November 2019, 10:22 AM.

  • #2
    Here's the whole thing rewritten in "GM language".


    Sometimes a hero simply wants to put a guard out of play at least for some time, rather than attacking to lower the guard’s Health. This is implemented like so:
    • The Attacker states that they want to knock their enemy unconscious. Action time is on (roll for Initiative).
      IMPORTANT: By stating that they want to knock their Target unconscious, they forfeit any normal damage in the coming attack! Also the attack must be carried out with a weapon from the Brawling or Staves groups, else it actually does normal damage anyway (you generally don’t knock people unconscious with a battle axe, you behead them….) and the Target will become aware of the danger immediately (if they survive the attack, that is).
      • We assume they have been able to approach their Target undetected.
      • We must further assume that since they have managed to sneak upon the Target without being noticed, the Target is of course not aware of the attack. So the Target only gets to apply the standard Defense rules.
      • The GM might even rule that Defense is without DEXTERITY if the Target is standing still (like guards often do!).
    • The Attacker then rolls for a standard Attack roll, applying all bonuses as normal.
    • The Target, unaware of the attack, must now make a CONSTITUTION (STAMINA) test, in which the Target Number is determined by the Dragon Die of the Attacker’s Attack roll:
      • 1 - Routine, TN=7
      • 2 - Easy, TN=9
      • 3 - Average, TN=11
      • 4 - Challenging, TN=13
      • 5 - Hard, TN=15
      • 6 - Formidable, TN=17
    • If the Target fails the test, they are knocked unconscious. They are now vulnerable to a coup de grace, if the Attacker wants to kill them.
    • If the Target make their test, the attack hits and the Target feels a sharp blow to the head, but it does not knock them unconscious, though they are stunned and unable to move this round unless they pass another CONSTITUTION (STAMINA) test with TN=13. If the Target makes this test, they can act as normal. Which means the Attacker might be in serious trouble...
    Last edited by fkirenicus; 14th November 2019, 12:15 PM.


    • #3
      Might not some kind of opposed test work better that the Dragon Die determining the difficulty level to resist? I might also grant the defender a bonus to resist the knockout blow if they are wearing a helmet.


      • #4
        Gotta think on this...


        • #5
          How i do it when it happens is an opposed Test. Say they are using their Dexterity (Staves) to knock someone over the head with their club. the target makes an opposed Constitution (Stamina) if they are unaware and Dexterity (acrobatics) if they are aware (seeing something coming at you and dodging as opposed to being tough). If the target passes, then they are not knocked unconscious but if they fail they are. The Dragon Die actually determines the number of minutes x5 they are knocked out. so a dragon die of 2 means you have 10 minutes to do what you want. I do also allow a sort of backstab bonus as well. That means that if they are currently unaware of you, you gain a +2 bonus to knock them out. you still have a chance to fail but it is still in your favor at that point. And, i also let the player decide which attribute they want to use; depending on their play style. for example, a stealthy rough might use Dexterity and put them into a chokehold to knock them out. on the other hand a warrior might use Strength and bash their helmet instead. in the above example; Dexterity (Staves) might be used to indicate that they smack with a club or choke with a staff for leverage. it is all in how the player and GM want to narrate the scene in my opinion.
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          • #6
            I really liked VladGenX's suggestion. It is far better than mine. But I'll add the bit about a bonus for the Target if they have a helmet from Parsival as well. Rewriting the rules NOW.