Anatomy of a Kill

Today I’m going to play out a short scenario where an assassin sneaks up on and kills a guard. My assassin will be Darren Freemont. My guard will be a level 1 human fighter with no levels in Perception, Leather Armor, and 15 Constitution. If the rules work properly, this should be an easy kill for Darren, with a very low probability of failure.AnatomyOfAKill

Darren peeks around a corner, rolling 3d6+10 against 10 for silence, getting 14. That’s enough to peek without making noise. The guard is facing mostly away with Darren at his 5 o’clock and rolls a perception check of 3d6-10 against 15 to notice someone behind him, an impossibility, but we roll to determine his attentiveness for the next little while, he gets an 11. Darren immediately makes for a nearer corner, rolling 3d6+10 per 10 feet against 15 to move quietly and quickly. He rolls 15 and 7 for 25 and 17, making the corner and resting there. The GM rolls 1d10 for the guard changing his facing on a 1, he rolls 7, no pivot. Darren’s path brings him to the guard’s 4 o’clock, so perception checks are against 12, he still has no chance of detecting Darren (when silent), even at his best. While Darren waits to be sure the guard didn’t see him, the GM rolls the guard’s facing again.

Darren peeks again, 20, the guard has pivoted and is looking up the corridor! His base perception of 11 leaves him with 1 after Darren’s -10 Stealth modifier, not enough to see Darren when merely peeking at that distance in low light. With a perception of 14, he’d have seen Darren. Darren waits several turns before checking again, 26. The guard has moved a little, but Darren is still at his 10 o’clock. Darren knows he wouldn’t make the backstab, and frontal assault would not only make noise, but possibly get him wounded. He waits a little longer. He peaks again, 20, but the guard has not moved. The GM rerolls the guard’s perception: 13, still not enough to see Darren on his peripheral after the penalty. Darren waits again.

When he peaks again, 19, the guard is facing with Darren at his 3 o’clock. Desperate to move on, Darren makes a move. He crosses to the guard’s 4 o’clock, then 5 o’clock, moving slowly with 3d6+10 against 12 for 22. The guard does not pivot, and so he proceeds, now in the guard’s 6 o’clock and closing in. With 3d6+10 against 15 to move with absolute silence, he gets 24. The guard does not pivot and he is now close enough for the backstab. He attacks with 3.6*(3d6)+6=34.8 for 4.2*(1d8)+3=15.6 damage. That’s barely enough to drop the guard. The GM rolls for the guard to make noise with 1d100 against 47-low (i.e. 50*(1+RemainingHealth/10), so that at -10 health he would have no chance of making noise, and if left conscious after the blow he has a chance of calling out instinctively over 50%). He rolls 20 and the guard cries out before falling unconscious. Darren needs to scramble for a hiding place.

Well, I think that went pretty well. It obviously needs more testing, but all in all it went well. What did you think? Let us know in the comments below.

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