18 thoughts on “Surprised.”

  1. It’s all in the fiction mate. When the target is surprised then the thief/ranger can use their move. Mechanically for the rest of the group there is no benefit/penalty. If the fighter sneaks up on someone you can give them +1 forward but there is no hard rule like “Surprised characters take -2 to AC”

  2. The move I want to make is something like this:

    When you blah blah, your opponent is surprised. 

    The move makes him surprised, it does not take advantage of his surprise. 

    Any suggestions on how to handle this? I mean obviously I can write the whole thing out, but it would be easier to say, “You opponent is surprised”.

  3. This guy walks into a bar. 

    Nobody sees it,  he has an invisible dagger in his hand. 

    He walks up to a guy sitting at the counter, greets the guy like he’s his long lost blood brother, and slaps him on the back. With the invisible dagger. 

    The guy is surprised.

    Ok, I can just copy the backstab move in here, I suppose, since there is no rule for “surprised”.


  4. There is no definite rule for surprise like in D&D, but if you take a look at hack n slash and volley, those moves only trigger with an enemy expecting an attack and on their guard.

    If the enemy doesn’t expect an attack, then you get to deal your damage without rolling. Simple as that.

  5. So this is version alpha of the move then: A copypaste of backstab. (I believe in reusing code when appropriate)

    When you attack an unsuspecting target with an invisible meleé weapon, you can choose to deal your damage or roll+DEX. 

    On a 10+ choose two. 

    On a 7–9 choose one. 

    –You don’t get into melee with them

    –You deal your damage+1d6 

    –You create an advantage, +1 forward to you or an ally acting on it 

    –Reduce their armor by 1 until they repair it

    The important word here is “Unsuspecting” which means your opponent does not feel threatened until you stab him. There is no conflict until you do the dastardly deed. 

  6. Or maybe it should just be:

    When you attack an unsuspecting target with an invisible meleé weapon, you deal your damage. Period.

    I think I like the second one best. 

  7. Attacking a surprised target can be even deadlier than “no move, just deal your damage”… Consider this:

    The fighter sneaks up behind a guard, passing a Defy Danger move to avoid drawing his attention. She draws her short sword and slits the guard’s throat.

    Should she deal damage, or is the guard simply dead?

    I vote for the latter.

  8. Course then when you roll a -6 it turns out that the “guard” was just a coat tree holding the guys helmet and cloak while he was in the bathroom. The guard comes into the room buttoning his fly while you are slitting the throat of an innocent coat tree.

  9. Delos Adamski That’s what the defy danger roll was an Int roll and not a Dex roll…

    So which is the best move for an invisible weapon?

    ☺Hacked Backstab




  10. I don’t think the move should change because the weapon is invisible… it would depend on the situation.

    Walk up to a dude in the tavern and stab him in the gut, maybe deal damage. But stab him in the heart; autokill.

    Walk up to a dude someplace you’re not supposed to be, maybe an initial DD to avoid arousing suspicion. If the target is weary, it might mean you now have to H&S your way out.

    Act suspiciously and people are going to keep an eye on you, no matter if they can see your weapon or not.

  11. Wynand Louw Not sure if it needs a mechanical advantage. Maybe a +1 in H&S?

    Considering it would allow you to walk up to someone with a weapon drawn and no-one would be the wiser… the fictional bonus is already pretty amazing!

    Just don’t drop the damned thing…

  12. If you can get into a position where, due to whatever reason the target is completely unaware of the impending attack, you just deal damage. Done. In some situations the damage could be your class damage as usual, or it might be instant death. Whatever is appropriate for the fiction.

    That doesn’t always mean you can just walk up to your target and gut them though. You’ll need to get them in a situation where they have absolutely no clue the attack is coming. That requires effort and possibly a Defy Danger roll.

    To answer your question.. _nothing_ is preventing any class from backstabbing a target or attacking from hiding. Other classes just don’t get the bonuses the Thief does.

  13. What Christopher Stone-Bush said. Furthermore, in the example you give, you could use the rules provided in the book that cover multiple combatants ganging up on a target.

    Personally, I’d be very careful about granting instakills, especially in a situation like combat.

  14. Wynand Louw, what you’re describing doesn’t sound like a move, it sounds like a magic item. Establishing the fiction that the weapon is invisible is all that’s required. That fiction may enable certain moves like backstab to trigger at times when they otherwise wouldn’t, but it doesn’t create moves for people that don’t have them.

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